Do Your Food Servers Happily Remain in the Community Long Term?

The story came to me about two brothers looking for a retirement living community for their elderly mother. They knew their mom was a modern thinking woman. They also knew that age would catch up to her in time and wanted that aging to take place in a community that felt familiar and like home. The two men were partners in a business they stepped into when young and inherited from their father when he passed away many years ago. Drawing on their own experiences learned over the years, they looked for a few particular items in their search for Mom’s new home.

One item they felt was important was the long term employee record. They were firm believers that employees who were happy did not look elsewhere for work. These same employees knew their job inside and out, took pride in knowing the business, the goals and they wanted to be part of the success of that business. Serious problems didn’t happen because the employees could spot a potential difficulty and avoid it. Accidents were non-existent for the same reason. The brothers agreed that’s what they wanted for Mom. A community with those same types of coworkers who Mom would come to know, rely on, and recognize when her memory or physical health did begin to fail. They did not want strangers at their mother’s elbow but people they trusted to care for her when they couldn’t be there.

The most obvious area in the community to notice teamwork, of those who have trained to work together, love what they do, who they work with, and the residents who they serve, is the dining room. This was the target area after talking with all the care-givers they met while they roamed the premises. Next they settled in the dining room to taste the food served and take notice of the skill of the food servers. More importantly, the brothers watched the interaction of the food servers with each other, with the residents and guests, too. When they found a community they felt comfortable, where the employees were at ease while doing their job, and took time to welcome visitors, they knew they had found a place they could trust to take care of Mom. Kind Dining® believes in the same principles. It’s what I have learned throughout my career and it’s what I teach.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Food servers can be taught to enjoy their work.

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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