Is civility common in your retirement community?

Commonly, being civil is not something everyone is consciously aware of in their daily behavior. Someone, or group, believes we need more civility in our lives because August was appointed “Win with Civility” month. Organizations, companies, and even government departments were offering awards, prizes, and ideas to bring attention to the major problem of incivility in the daily workplace. There are even Civility Pledges offered for those who wish to practice awareness of incivility and change it to civility. We believe every month needs to have civility awareness. In retirement living communities, civility goes hand in hand with Kind Dining♥. It is vital that food servers are constantly aware and practicing civility because they are the main conduits connecting the community with residents multiple times a day. Practicing civility with coworkers is also vital toward building a food serving team that works together smoothly, improving their workday and working relationships.

To understand cultural conditioning by knowing your family culture learned as a child and how to bridge that, first by extending respect for the culture of others. Embracing the diversity of residents in the community is paramount toward creating harmony and forming the familiar feeling of being home. Home means belonging and it is essential for residents’ contentment and their sense of well-being. Aware food servers can help create that harmony when they connect to residents with small talk, light conversation, pleasant greetings every time they meet, and extend a helping hand if necessary. These added skills open the way to learn the culture of others. Relying on your self-esteem reflects your thoughts and will help build solid relationships. Now that dining rooms are reopening, alert food servers can assist in breaking up negative cliques, by introducing new residents to tables already established. Using finesse to do this is another skill added to the food servers’ archive of knowledge.

Kind Dining♥ concludes civility responsibilities are another skill the meal serving team needs to learn and practice. The civility adopted expands outward to include coworkers where offering a helping hand forms on-the-job friendships. Trust is formed when coworkers can rely on each other. Encouraging the Golden Rule suggestion of – treat others as you would like to be treated- is a perfect guideline for attitudes toward residents and coworkers. Employees who are trusted and treated with respect, remain on the job. That respect comes from all directions, residents, coworkers, and management. Civility can achieve that.

B♥ Kind Tip: To meet residents’ expectations, treat them as you like to be treated.

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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