Do you remember that the service you give has the power to build community?

Sometimes in the rush to get our work responsibilities completed in a timely manner, we overlook what is the most important part of our job in a senior care community. It is the residents who have changed their lives completely, often selling the family homestead, leaving family, friends, and relatives behind in the neighborhood, at an advanced age, to start a new way of living in your community. It may take an extended time period for many to adjust to this new way of life among strangers they hope will become friends. Some folks will be super shy about asking questions unless they are encouraged by the people whose faces they see every day. These very faces become so familiar that they learn to trust them. A prevalent thought in many older adults’ minds is that they “don’t want to be a burden” to anyone. That includes people who surround them in their new home, who are trained, can be trusted, depended on, and fully informed about everything that has to do with senior living communities. Or at least to know how to find answers for questions asked. The food serving team who is most often in contact with residents fulfills that challenge when they are fully trained with people skills. 

Communication abilities are key factors in making new residents feel the comfort of home. Chit-chat conversation is a skill to practice until it easily becomes second nature. Continued education and practice of smarter ways of working empower employees to make judgment decisions on the spot when necessary.  Kind Dining♥ conveys the importance of your food servers’ relationships to your residents and how their dining experience affects the quality of life of your residents. Learning new ways to perform meal service can teach you a smarter way to work. Practicing, especially by checking your own appearance to make certain that nothing is remiss i.e. your hair and uniform are neat and clean and your attitude is cheerful. Know the menu at hand and be ready to inform your residents of any changes or updated news that may affect them.  Also, master the value of detailed checklists. 

Kind Dining♥ training modules were created for the benefit of online instruction and designed to appeal to all staff members. Our coaching series was designed to help you build a winning dining service operation that will place your community in a position that places you at the top of any list.

B♥ Kind Tip: Your food service team is the face of the entire organization.

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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