One Company, Many Departments; One Strategy or Many

One Company, Many Departments; One Strategy or Many

by Kim Jimenez

When talking about your organizational goals, is every department within your company on the same page? Have you shared or even included all departments in goal setting and strategy development? Does your Human Resources department act as part of the strategy team for your community and your company or do they perform as an auxiliary function?

Woman drawing Flow Chart

People can make or break your organization. The front-line employees who interact with the public. The CNAs and nurses who care for your residents. The receptionist who greets everyone who walks into your office or facility. The marketing team who puts out the marketing material and branding that can draw in new business (or not). Your top management and executives who define and plan the company brand and strategy. So, don’t you think the department responsible for recruiting all these people need to be an integral part of the company strategic plan? Absolutely!

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Our Industry Is Entering Into The “Second Generation”

When we think of “generations” we typically consider population in general and our peers, children and grandchildren.  We know unique generations commonly think differently in terms of lifestyle, finances, how they spend their money and their perception of value . . . in other words their “psychographics” are different.  The term psychographics is broadly defined as the use of demographics to determine the attitudes, perceptions and behavior of a particular segment of our population.Strategy(compressed)

Let’s sharpen the definition of population psychographics and apply it specifically to our senior living industry in terms of two important consumer generations; 1) The Silent Generation, ages 70 to 90 – age, income and asset qualified seniors as potential residents for our communities and 2) The Baby Boom and Baby Busters ages 55 to 64 – the decision influencers for senior living.  Let’s also consider the professionals that design and operate our communities.  These designs and operating strategies are changing.

There are dramatic differences we need to address as we make the critical transition into the second generation of our industry.  They involve two primary consumer generations:

1. The Silent Generation – 1925 to 1945. This generation has two major components:

  • The Depression Era (1929 to 1939). When I talk to seniors and conduct senior focus groups, I always ask, “Does having lived through the Depression in any way affect your financial decision-making today?”  The answer is always a resounding
  • World War II (1940-1945). GIs came home from the war, married, bought homes and had children in record numbers (the Boomers).  These veterans were motivated to make up for lost time.  After getting educated under the GI Bill, they built businesses, careers and built personal savings.  They are generally fiscally conservative.

2. The Baby Boomers – 1946 to 1964. The Boomers and the Baby Busters (1965 to 1980) have a current age spectrum of 35 to 69.  Their psychographics are:

  • The “Gray Flannel Suit” Era (1946 – 1980). During this period, many men and women entered the corporate world prepared to spend their careers with one employer.  They were generally “team players” – conforming, spending their time responding to the requirements of their employers as they worked through their careers.
  • Vietnam Era & the Rebellions of 1960s & 1970s. This troublesome period (1960 – 1974) created large groups of disillusioned veterans and many “maverick consumers”. A large portion of the population did not accept these nonconformists, which only triggered further rebellion against “the establishment”.

The younger element of the Silent Generation and the Boomers are the foundation of the emerging second generation of our industry.  Their attitudes and opinions have also been shaped by the boom/bust cycles of the past 20 years and the very low savings rates experienced by fixed income seniors.

The typical life cycle of the Silent and the Boomer generations has been defined as approximately 18 to 20 years old respectively.  The modern day senior living industry “first generation” life cycle is defined as approximately 30 years (1985 to 2015).  Just like consumer psychographics and trends, some dramatic strategic changes are taking place in our industry

Multiple Generations affect senior living marketing strategy

Tomorrow’s senior living marketing prospects are no longer “the usual prospects.” They are raising the bar of expectations and will be much more articulate in expressing their wants, needs and perceptions of value.  It’s time to redouble your efforts at understanding today’s age 75-plus consumers while becoming more savvy about how you market to them.  Actually, quite a lot is known about the current mindset of the senior consumer; the challenge is translating this knowledge into practical communication and marketing strategies.  Take, for example, pricing.  Most of us know we should sell tangible value before price.  But, in our zeal to tell our story, we forget that the process involves three very important steps:

1) Truly understand the senior consumer mindset

2) Identify and correct common senior misconceptions

3) Deploy consumer-focused, market-driven positioning

Finally, realize that we are evolving to another generation of prospects and we are dealing with senior consumers who have experienced a number of life-changing events.  The financial implications are enormous.

A word of caution: Don’t get misled by the opinions expressed by your existing residents.  These opinions may no longer necessarily reflect the changing mindset of your future residents.

Jim Moore is president of Moore Diversified Services, Inc., a national Senior housing and health care consulting firm based in Fort Worth, Texas.  He has written several books about assisted living and Senior housing, including Independent Living and CCRCs. Jim is also a regular contributor to industry publications such as McKnights Long Term Care News and various industry association publications.  Contact MDS at 817-731-4266 to discuss your consulting needs.

Is “Cost Creep” affecting your income statement?

Is “Cost Creep” affecting your income statement?


Cost Creep, senior living consulting, senior living consultant

What is “Cost Creep”? How is it measured?  How does it affect your community, division, or company? What can you do to stay out in front of it?  These are some questions I hope to answer for you.

Cost creep, in its basic form, is providing more care to residents than you are being compensated for. This can come about for many reasons, such as:

  • an incorrect loaded hourly rate on which to base monthly service fees (MSF) and care tiers upon;
  • not having residents assigned to correct care tiers;
  • not catching resident’s decline soon enough; and
  • caregivers not understanding the dynamic of what they provide the resident and the company through their service.
Webinar Recap:  Back To Basics in Professional Selling

Webinar Recap: Back To Basics in Professional Selling


sellilng senior living, Back to basics, senior living consulting, senior living consultant, Moore Diversified Services

Senior Living expert Roy Barker, Director of Special Projects at Moore Diversified Services, recently shared in a webinar what he has learned in his years of experience in the Senior Living industry about Professional Selling and how important it is to go “Back to the Basics.”  Barker specifically used his mystery shopping experiences to highlight some of the main mistakes Senior Living sales staffs are still making, mostly without even realizing it.  If Senior Living sales staffs take Roy’s advice and implement his suggestions, it could have a big impact on the bottom line.

If you missed the webinar, you can view it in its entirety by clicking on the video below at the end of this article.  You can also view past webinars on the Moore Diversified Services Senior Living YouTube channel. This article gives a brief recap of some of the main points of the most recent webinar.  Roy broke up the Sales Process into three stages:  the Beginning, the Middle, and the End.  But first, Roy talks about a Shift in Focus needed in Senior Living sales.

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What is Your Digital Media Strategy for 2015?


digital media strategy, senior housing consulting, senior housing consultant, Moore Diversified Services Are you about to move right past this post because you don’t believe you need one? THINK AGAIN!

Digital Media is now an integral part of any comprehensive marketing strategy/plan. While some products and services may use digital media more than others, every business needs to utilize digital media in some form to build and enhance client and customer relationships.

Product Marketing vs. Relationship Marketing

There was a time when you strictly marketed your product or service to your target audience. While that is still a part of an effective marketing plan, relationship marketing is extremely effective in our industry. As a provider in the senior living and housing industry you actually have two target audiences. The first target audience is the senior themselves. The second is the family members of the senior who may be the primary decision maker or at minimum highly influential in the decision making process. You must be building relationships with current and potential customers as well as their family members.

In the case of a senior living and housing community, if an individual is not a resident or has a family member as a resident, you still want to be the first community they think of if the need arises or if someone asks for a recommendation. This means getting your community name out there and engaging with the public, resident or not. This process does not have to be complicated. Start with a simple plan and build from there.


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10 Critical Steps to Increase Employee Retention


steps to improve employee retention, senior living consulting, senior living consultant, Moore Diversified SerivcesEmployee retention is an area most businesses can improve on. In the heat of the moment with deadlines, phones ringing, and customers that need servicing, this is one area where short cuts are often taken. With the average entry level worker costing approximately $7,500 to turnover and executives reaching 200% of their yearly salary and some technical workers up to 400% of their yearly salary, this shortcut can be a costly proposition.

Thought we’d start the year off with a list of critical steps to increase employee retention in 2015. This is not meant as the be-all-end-all list by any means, but it’s a great start.


1. Initial Screening – Take the time to review applications and resumes thoroughly. Develop a combination of basic and individualized questions to fill in the gaps. Be alert to attitude and personality in addition to the candidate’s skill set. There are great programs available that can help automate this process. I read a great line in a book about prospective employee attitudes, “Attitudes are catching, ask yourself if you would want someone to catch theirs.”

 2. Orientation – This is a tempting one to skip. You are shorthanded and really need the new hire on the floor….but don’t! Take the time to thoroughly orientate new hires even if they have worked in the same industry. It will be worth the time it takes.

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Wishing You and Your Family a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!


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Happy Holidays From The Staff of MDS

We at MDS would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you dedicated to the service and care of the many residents aging successfully in communities around the world a Safe and Happy Holidays!

We especially thank those that will tend to residents on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; there is no day off in an industry such as ours.  To many of these residents, you are their family and you will make their holidays bright!

Thank you for your commitment to the betterment of the Senior Living and Senior Housing Industry.

Can your office survive without you? If it can’t you are doing it all wrong!


Empower Definition Magnifier Showing Authority Or Power Given To Do SomethingThe sign of a true leader is one who is constantly creating new leaders.  These type of leaders inspire, motivate, educate, support and mentor others into positions of leadership.  They cultivate the skills of others and strengthen their weaknesses.

In Boy Scouts, one of the main premises of the Eagle Scout project, and something you will be grilled on in you Eagle Board of Review, is the question: could your project have happened without you? In order to have a truly successful project, it must be so well planned out AND you must have designated, informed, trained other participants that a) you as the project leader do not actually work on project day and b) if you cannot show up for any reason, the project proceeds as planned.

This so goes against our nature of needing to be needed.  We tend to feel if our business or department can survive without us, we have no value.  We MUST adjust this way of thinking! If business as usual can proceed without you, then to your credit you have hired some very capable employees and you have trained them so well they know how to do their job. This then frees you up to focus on the big picture, more time for strategic planning and business growth.

Do you think you must be involved in every little aspect of your department? Do you require frequent updates and details on every project? Now we get into micromanaging, stay tuned…


Kim Jimenez has been a regular contributor to the MDS website and MDS blog for the past 15 years.  Kim holds a supervisory position in a Fortune 100 company and has extensive experience with a multitude of employee, training and leadership issues.  She is currently obtaining her degree in Human Resource Management at Southern New Hampshire University.

Strategic Planning Series Webinar Recordings


I want to thank everyone who joined us for our Strategic Planning Webinar Series.  If you missed the opportunity to participate live, here is your chance to view these recordings.  These webinars contain important and helpful information to remember as you finalize your Strategic Planning journey for 2015.

We are busy putting together some new webinars that you will not want to miss.  These can help you take your organization to the next level.  I am currently planning for late January or early February.  Watch our blogs and newsletter for more information. To sign up just enter your email in the box on the left hand margin.  Also, please send me an email with any suggestions you might have for both blog and webinar topics. Let us know what your specific challenges are and I will try to accommodate as many requests as possible.

Below you will find links to MDS’ recent Webinar Series on Strategic Planning, both Parts I & II.  The images are linked to the MDS YouTube page, so just click on the image of the webinar that you want to view and it will open up the presentation video in a new window for you.

Part I Part II












Roy Barker is Director of Special Projects at Moore Diversified Services, a Fort-Worth, Texas-based organization specializing in operations analysis, marketing development, and investment advisory services. Roy is an authority in the field of employee turnover analysis and retention strategies.

Strategic Planning Webinar

Moore Diversified Services presents Plug-In and Prosper Webinars:

Part 1 – Where Do I Start?
Thursday, Nov. 6
1:00-1:30 p.m. (CST)


At Moore Diversified Services your success is our goal. We are committed to equipping our clients with tools and strategies to make their businesses successful. As we close out fiscal 2014 and approach 2015, MDS would like to offer a special, COMPLIMENTARY webinar series on Strategic Planning.     Plug in with copyright

Join Roy Barker, Director – Special Projects at MDS, for “Part 1 – Strategic Planning: Where Do I Start?” as he answers this question and provides insights into strategy planning.   Topics will include:

  • Selecting a team
  • Employee Buy-In
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Data Driven Indicators
    • Operations
    • Marketing
    • Employee Turn-Over

Space is limited. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to learn from a company with over 40 years of experience.  Click here to view webinar flyer