Are your employees surprised by your training sessions?

Kind Dining Training

“Our last training session took an unexpected turn this time. I was quite surprised at first. When I gave it some thought, it all made sense.” Kelly spoke with her usual enthusiasm. She and her mentor Coleen were enjoying lunch at their favorite bistro in town. They agreed that the service was as good as the food. They always took note of both.

Colleen replied, “It must be important if it impressed you so.”

“Well, you know how much stress is placed on our assistance in helping our residents in every way we can when we serve their meals or snacks. But in this session, we were shown how learning new skills give us value and aid us in building our self-confidence. In turn, we learn to manage our behavior! I never thought of it that way! Remember Midge and her behavior problems? We were all sorry she couldn’t change her bullying ways that resulted in her leaving. We food servers certainly show accountability.” Kelly took a deep breath.

“I’m so happy we work as a team and no longer have to worry about facing a bully.”

Colleen smiled and added, “Remember that it improves our mental health, too. Those additional skills you continue to learn to reduce experiencing burnout. Hopefully, the pandemic is behind us, though we still need to be conscious of residents that may face loneliness. Generally, isolation is gone but individuals suffer from it. We food servers are the first to notice, I think.”

“It’s from our daily and personal contact with each resident. Building trust with them one conversation at a time helps. A few have opened up to me when they had a mild case of the blues. Our communication by sharing thoughts keeps the feelings of isolation away. ”

Too often, retirement and assisted living communities are staffed with under-trained employees including those serving meals. The well-trained employee will start their day being aware and recognizing different moods older adults may be carrying. Communication and asking open-ended questions to keep a person engaged can turn a blue day into a happy-I’m-so-glad-I-chose-to-live-here-day. It’s a small moment that can bring about a big change in an attitude, all while serving a meal. Setting an intention to make that difference by showing empathy and compassion will lift the spirits of the server, too.

New skills learned during Kind Dining♥ training sessions build confidence in your employees by their becoming aware of the value of what they do. They learn to manage their behavior, and accountability and will avoid the tendency to burn out. This improves mental health by keeping spirits high.

Be♥ Kind Tip: New skills learned in training sessions keep spirits high and build confidence.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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