Aspire for More with Erin

3 Tips to Improve Employee Retention w/David Hopkins

January 18, 2024 Erin Thompson
Aspire for More with Erin
3 Tips to Improve Employee Retention w/David Hopkins
Show Notes Transcript

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Erin:

It's an Aaron and David episode again, which I am extremely happy about. And today I think we're going to talk about something that's really important. We've both tackled it. We're both experiencing a similar pattern in our life and maybe opening up our eyes to, maybe helping with retention, right? David, that's a big problem in senior living. I know it was for me when I was inside of the community and my little neck of the woods. Which always felt like it was hard to find people that wanted to stay and work inside the senior living industry. Did you have that? Issue. yeah, so some of the buildings I walked into, they had a bunch of, agency staff and they were trying to cover shifts and, the recruitment process was super long. And, especially for CNAs and that, Most places you can get hired within a day. And, I walked into some companies and it was like 2. 5 weeks and they wanted 3 interviews. I'm like, you guys are crazy that they're walking out the door to their 2nd interview and getting a job offer. we won't see them in 2. 5 weeks. yeah, it was a lot of battle. and then creating your own pipeline to on that is hard to, get out there because everybody's competing for the same thing. And, I've seen more banners go up outside of, raising. Hourly rates and your cna's are driving by that going. I can earn two dollars more an hour here Okay, wait a minute. Let me go check this out. So Yeah, so I in the state of alabama one of our regs Was that we had to have a physical in order to work. and so And the tb skin test and that always delayed things And then I was constantly having to, okay, go get your physical, okay, go get your TB skin test. And then finally, I just made the decision to say, get a chest x ray. Yeah. I didn't necessarily ask for permission to do that, but. It was too difficult to try to get people there and get a TV skin test and then go back to get it read. I just said, we're going to skip that step, especially if our place didn't even have the serum there that A whole nother, so when we talk about retention, here's what we know the, let me make sure I say this. Put it right. I know put it right the, according to the Bureau of labor statistics, senior living industry is at a 50 percent turnover, which is quite scary and according to McKnight by 2040, long term care settings will have 20Million. Job openings and 3, 000, 000 of those alone in senior living. That's a lot. That's a lot. That's those are scary numbers. That's a pucker up kind of deal. Okay. So having been out for a little bit and looking back and reflecting and analyzing and seeing. Things differently and having the perspective of being an entrepreneur now. I have a much different perspective today than I did when I was inside of the community. So here's where I think that you and I can offer some perspective. Is there's like this world of TikTok and Instagram and social media that leads you to believe that you can go and do all these things. But there are people waiting to hire you, to want to be enlightened by you, and all those things. And I fell for that is a strong word, but I believed that. And I believed, still believe, that I have something to offer and then can do that. But what people don't realize is that saying, telling you that you can work four hours a And make a hundred thousand dollars in a month. That's a unicorn. That's like Michael Jordan type stuff. But even Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant worked hours upon hours to be successful. So I feel like, yes, there are people that get lost in hope that they can go and make a hundred thousand dollars monthly by doing something on the internet. And there are certainly people who can. You could also inherit 3 million from the king of Sudan if you just send them your social security number. Yes, that's true. Just saying. Yes, that's true too. I think that people want to be a part of something. And I think senior living can certainly give them that, certainly through an intrinsic value. But I also think that people want to be treated fair and valued and senior living can give that, but senior living can also be really can give it as much as they can take it away. Then you have the balance issue, which balance is a strong word, but the work life balance may not be balanceable. It may be a blend. But as a leader, as a worker, as a caregiver, as some, you are constantly giving to a 24 hour, seven day a week industry. And if you're constantly giving, what are you getting back the balance of weighing the, of I am giving a lot, am I receiving enough to balance off what I'm giving? Because I think there is a key trend in trying to find the boundaries and where are the boundaries when it comes to a 24 hours, seven day a week operation. I think those are some of the key headwinds. Yeah, give me some of what you think, or let's talk about them, whichever way you want to take it. Now, let's talk about them. So, I mean, even the blend of your timing, right? Because you'll get woken up at 10 o'clock at night or 3 o'clock in the morning and, or you put on a late event and it goes to 11 o'clock at night and, you decide I'm going to sleep in, take a couple hours for myself in the morning. Inevitably, your boss is calling you going, I'm at the community. Where are you? I'm taking a couple hours cause we were there to, Oh, dark 30 last night. I'm here. So I'm going to need you to come in. It's Oh my God, seriously. I'm trying to get this blend of work and get a few hours when I can. And it's, you're always. I think cheating your family in that perspective, because there's always something that's a crisis or a fire, especially in senior living that you've got to run in and take care of or call somebody and handle or, try and get ahead of a explosive situation with a family member and a staff member because they both reach their limits and trying to blend that is always the hardest thing. And if you don't have a good leader that supports that to say, Hey, No, take that time off. I'll handle things here for you for a few hours and I'll see you at lunch. Why don't we go grab lunch or something like that? Then you feel like you've got a partner in crime or somebody that's got your back. Not, I'm going to need you to come in. And by the way, I have, 2 spreadsheets that I need filled out. You grab the spreadsheets and it's the same information you send every week, but just in a different format or, multiply this number. And what's your best guess scenario for how many movements you're going to have by the end of the month. And it's only the 12th of the month. And you're like, can we take all that stuff off the plate and help me get, Some more caregivers on the floor spell a couple of them that have been picking up those extra shifts to really they're committed. That's not the issue. It's they just need a break and there's so much going on in the world. And like you said, everybody shows it on tick tock and instagram and all that other fun stuff. But it's not real. It's fake. I, Even had this conversation just last night. I went to a parent meeting for the youth group and they were talking about how kids perception today is perfection because they see it one time 30 seconds. They nail the dance. They get the song, whatever it is, but they don't show all the blooper reels of trying to make it work and studying. Like you said, Michael Jordan plays for an hour in basketball, but, he's working 20 hours a day. To make sure that he's the best on the court and people don't see that work, that work in private to hustle so that you can be successful in public. Yeah. Even well, I'll just tell you in learning how to shoot my own videos, and I felt like a complete failure. It's hard change is hard changing culture, changing identities, changing jobs, anything new is hard. And if you don't build in that resiliency component of. I'm just going to do this until I feel somewhat comfortable. I'm not shooting to be whoever is an amazing TikTok star right now that seems like everything is right. no, I'm at the beginning and I'm just going to do, that's what builds that resiliency and that confidence. But yes, we think, I did. I thought that it would be really easy and I thought that it would, It would just like, when you find enlightenment that you think that everybody wants enlightenment. no. Let me tell you what I found. You need some of this. No, that's not what happens. And we, there's so many things I could tell you that we, should talk about with people that it's not social media is an outlier of what success is. Is. And people like, whoever we see, even Brene Brown or Simon Sinek or all these people, they did their job for years before they became the version of who we know today. It seems like an overnight success because we didn't know them 20 years ago. So yes, it's all the work that you put in when no one's watching. That makes it seem like an overnight success. And one of the things that I think is important for our leaders and for any hourly associate or whoever inside the industry, something that I hear a lot of different inspirational speakers and successful businessmen is it's you always overestimate what you can do in a short amount of time. And you always underestimate what can happen in 18 months, 24 months, three years, five years. And so there's a lot of people who quit because they think it was supposed to happen sooner. But, it's rare that it works that way. we were talking about exercise earlier and I did some weightlifting stuff for the first time in a while. And I told my husband, I said, you know what? It should be instant tanias. Like I, I feel stronger today. And so therefore I should look stronger today. That's the way that it should be. But really. It's no, that's going to come two months down the road. If you're consistent with it every day, you may look stronger, but if you do it every day for a year, you're certainly going to look stronger wise words. So what do you think about that? Very much listen, when I lift weights and they're, 15, 20 pounds, I feel like I'm Superman some days and I should have be ripped up and have, an eight pack ab and everything else going on. and that's not the case. It's the long drawn out process that you have to do on it. And then there's some days that you worked and you think you did really well. And then you go to stand up and you're like, Oh, my God, I need my own CNA to help me get up because I feel like I'm 80 at this point in time. And the muscles are going, we haven't done that in a while. So we're going to, we're going to just take a little bit of a break and you work something else out to get your body up and moving at that point in time. And it's that. That leadership that we need to instill in our people out there that they can take that time to go do those things that they need to do to keep themselves healthy. you think about our staff out there and they're run. They've got a half hour for lunch, right? And what typically they do if they don't eat lunch at your community or, the very few that packet that morning of they're running out to fast food restaurants and they got a scarf it down and. Even in that time, they've probably gotten three pages while they're trying to choke down a cheeseburger and some fries to get some energy in their body. And, we're not helping them to be that healthy alternative and be engaged in a long term commitment at that point in time, right? Going back to what you said, when it was about the, when you work till 11 or 12 o'clock at night, it is very easy to plan for how to instill the boundaries in that and I have fallen in the trap obviously, just like you of. I'm going to be Superman, Superwoman, He Man, and She Ra, right? Of working till midnight, for whatever reason, coming back, working all day the next day, and then making that the example of what should be done. Yeah. Because I can handle it, and therefore you should be able to handle it. And that kind of mentality isn't going to work. It's not sustainable. It's not sustainable for He Man and She Ra. It's not going to be sustainable for somebody who is not He Man and She Ra. But when I changed my philosophy and I started giving what I needed. Hey, I see that you worked late yesterday and you got a lot of stuff done. So I'm going to cover you for in the morning. You come in around lunchtime and therefore I'm not going to be resentful about that because I know that person is going to do the same thing for me when I need it. And now I don't have to feel guilty whenever I do it for me because I did it for them. Yeah. And I noticed the shift in my team when I started. giving them what I wanted. I wanted time where they didn't call me for everything, which meant that I had to do the same thing for them. I had to not call them when I was manager on duty. So in order to facilitate that shift, I had to literally start on Thursday and Fridays asking What's going on in your department? What do we see that might happen that if I got involved in it, that I don't overstep where you are? I am giving you what I need. So then in return, you will give that back to me. And when you have a great team, that happens. Exactly. two points on that. I used to have, my mentor, who's still my mentor, is, was the former executive vice president of Walt Disney World. he oversaw 60, 000 cast members at Walt Disney World. He would go visit. Every place it didn't matter what time he was very structured. He's amazing leader. But the 1st thing you do when you walk into a department is he go to the leaders and say, who's doing well, and who's not doing well, because I don't want to walk up to somebody who's not doing well and go, hey, good job. Keep it up when maybe you just had an expectation discussion with them and they're not meeting their expectations. yeah. This executive vice president said, I was doing great. So you guys obviously don't know anything that's going on. And he didn't want to counteract what was going on in that department. So that's, super kudos to you, Aaron, for taking the time initially to find out what's going on so that you're not putting your foot into it. Erin said I was doing great, and I'm, she's the executive director, so you obviously don't know anything. When I first got into senior living, we had a COO who loved to work till 11, 11 o'clock at night, and she'd send emails all the freaking time, and people would respond. So it was like every executive director in this, in the community, in communities, and they'd be like, oh, great point, I'll get on that tomorrow, blah, blah, blah. And it's 9 30 at night. And I started falling into that trap like a month in, and finally I'm like, I'm not doing this. And then I stopped responding the visit that you came down. She's you don't, chime in on my emails. And I said, no, I said, I actually read an interesting article about how late night emailing your team can destroy that. And she just sat there in silence. And I had printed out the article and I handed it to her. I said, it's kind of interesting. I said, I'm setting those boundaries for myself. If it's something in an emergency that you need me to address in my community, I'd expect probably a phone call for that. I'll respond to the emails the next day, but I'm not going to sit there and spin and wait and try and figure out and strategize all these things from a cryptic email that you sent that you read this article. Does that pertain to mean? Does that pertain to somebody somewhere else? And what should I be doing about it? and those are things that we as leaders can instill like inside the community. Yes, there's a myth of the balance. Of life and work. But there is a strategy and there is intentionality that can make it more manageable. And just because there's a 24 hours a day, seven day a week job, doesn't mean that we have to work and reply and respond and all the things 24 hours, seven days a week. And if we continue to have that mindset, We will continue to be on the lookout for 20 million job openings, and the change starts with us. Yeah. I'm focusing most of my January content on the weekends, one day a weekend, to that Socrates quote that literally explains why I did things so wrong, because I kept bringing old stuff Into a new environment. So it never felt changed until I actually started focusing on what needed to be changed. And I think that's what we're talking about here today. Yeah. So number one, TikTok, Instagram, all that stuff, talking about coaching and making 1, 500 a month, very much a unicorn status. And it requires an element. Of anything that I was not used to the grit and the dedication that required success inside senior living is much different than the grit and success that's required if you were a solopreneur trying to be a coach or sell a product or something online two completely different things huge So you cannot compare It's almost like judging parents before you were a parent. Let me just tell you, everything that you say about those kids, your kid's going to do. So speak highly of everyone's kids. Exactly. You don't think we're going to have a meltdown in a restaurant. You are sorely mistaken. Yes. Yes. Number two, like David said, the boundaries of a 24 seven operation. Is up to you as the leader inside the community and how you support your team to establish the boundaries and protect the boundaries Clearly. There are reasons that are emergent that you have to focus on. Yep. And then number 3, people just want to be a part of the team. Talk to us about the KPIs of hard numbers, right? And then the KPIs of soft emotional skills. Exactly. those KPIs, it's so easy to measure and we've really shifted towards finance, right? Everything's about numbers. Everything's about. Potential move ins, profit ratios, NOI, your bonus is based on that, da da da da da, and it goes on and on, but you're managing people, and you're managing emotions, you're managing, your residents expectations of, is this a 5 star meal, that's what you say I get is a 5 star meal, and I wouldn't say this is a 5 star meal, and then it's They turn around and pick up the phone and call the daughter who's paying the bill and the daughter's on the phone calling you going, why is my parents happy? and they're getting a perception that you're not delivering what you promised. And you've got all these emotions that don't fit into a spreadsheet, that don't fit in nice and neatly to say, we're going to be at this amount and we'll make this much profit. you're managing an entire Just gob of emotions that are all tangled up that don't fit into an Excel spreadsheet. And, it's always interesting to get those finance people to come down to a community and sit in a room. And I love it when you get a complaint. I'm like, no, you don't go anywhere. Sit here. this is what the emotion, the raw passion that goes on in senior living that we deal with on a minute by minute basis. That doesn't fit into cell a four on your spreadsheet. Senior living is a landmine full of triggers. And if we do not teach our employees and our leaders, how to manage that effectively at the beginning. They will leave because something happened and they did not know how to handle it. Correct. the 80 20 rule, you don't understand that it's not all about me. We house everything inside. That becomes too much. I can't handle this anymore. There's a lot of trauma. Yeah, a lot of trauma resident have trauma inflicting, their responses on people, the people who are caring for them have trauma. They don't know how to handle that. And then you have a leader who's dealing with all the people's trauma yelling at them. Like, where is the support? And I think that's 1 of the things that we're missing. So that emotional intelligence. Huge. That keep people informed, keep people inspired. If you're not an inspirational person, how are you managing your team? And find a way to do it that is authentic to you. So people will want to stay in there. So I feel like those are our three major problems and solutions, to retention, not solutions as in this is going to solve all the world's problems, but awareness of what solutions could be. For 20, 000, 000 job openings by 2040 with 3, 000, 000 of those alone in senior living, right? So maybe we're at the start of something really big David big time. Absolutely. Okay, those are the thoughts. Yes, those are the thoughts of Aaron and David and retention and future and if we could pay attention to those areas. Then I think that we can make some headway and absolutely big time. Thank you for your time today. David. Thank you. Erin. Always a pleasure. Happy New Year. Yes, don't forget the zoo leadership. It's right in the 1st steps, right? And understanding just because it's simple doesn't make it easy. Nope, not at all. All right. And as always to our listeners aspire for more for you.