Do your employees carry a sense of belonging?

kind dining teamwork

The human emotion of that “sense of belonging” does not fade away after graduating high school, raising a family, and/or fulfilling a career. It remains with us as long as we breathe. As many seniors choose to shed household ownership responsibilities to live in a senior living community, they will look for the one place that says, “I belong here.” A major vibe they absorb as they visit your community for the first time is the sense of your staff feeling as if they belong. Those vibes emanate from the relationship employees have with each other and their relationship with the residents they serve. A staff that is well trained to work as a team and knows the importance of performing as a team will exhibit that sense of belonging naturally. This team completely accepts and respects each other, willing to jump in to gladly help when needed and without waiting to be asked. It’s a team whose individuals are alert, aware, and committed.

Once team members develop these qualities through training curriculum and practice, each member’s behavior, attitude, and belief will alter to conform to the team’s goals. If their work began as an unskilled job, the influence of team education, adding skills learned, will guide them to work with intention. As their work performance improves and progresses, they will experience a sense of belonging. This feeling is what employees rely on to commit to their organization for the long term. 

That sense of belonging with residents encourages them to join in the various social activities, appear at events, and stop at a table during lunchtime to chat with others. Knowing you belong builds self-confidence and a sense of security. It even extends to welcoming new residents, showing that you chose the right community; you belong there and are a contented, happy resident. Living where you belong dissolves anxiety, depression, and loneliness. It supports excellent physical and mental health.

Kind Dining ® designed its’ training curriculum and hands-on exercises, knowing that it is in the organization’s best interest to ensure a well-trained staff. The results are employees confident to see their work as a ‘calling’ and to know it as a way of life. They take pride in their efforts to do a little bit more to make life better for residents and coworkers. Kind Dining® nourishes a desire in participants to continue honing their skills, expanding their education, and securing their sense of belonging.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Residents need to feel they belong in your community. 

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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