Learning About Happiness in Your Community

Last week I ran into an old friend that I had not seen in a long time. After exchanging the polite pleasantries, we decided to have coffee and really catch up. Soon we fell into conversation about our work. She’s been a high school teacher and guidance counselor for at least 20 years. “There has been a major change in what I advise my kids,” she said. “It used to be to go after the big bucks. Now it’s, find what you love to do and follow that path.”

I replied, “I was fortunate to start my career early in doing what I love and continue today. I believe happiness comes from a deep seeded feeling of joy, of satisfaction in being appreciated for the difference you make in your work, and in the lives of people around you. Teaching people to become life-long learners is an element of Kind Dining®. It’s what I do.”

It was great to run into my friend and very satisfying to be able to talk about the choice I made for my life work.

Recently, there have been surveys and studies on people in the work-place. Results prove that happy employees produce more, regardless of what their job is and create a joyful atmosphere that spreads, making a better place for everyone to work. Happiness is a contagious emotion that is good for any company and brings remarkable results in senior living communities. A server’s disposition affects not only her co-workers but every resident she meets each day. It can turn a resident’s day from feeling sad to being happy that they chose your community to live in.

Employees happy with the work they do are healthier, come to work every day without taking needless, unnecessary days off for doctor’s appointments or because they have a headache. Unscheduled days off are costly and disruptive. Happy servers remain in the community, growing along with the changes that take place and knowing that they improve their status with each new challenge accomplished. They tend to love learning something new about the job they do and the results it brings. Kind Dining® teaches about learning.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Setting higher standards in your dining room is a positive change; embrace it!

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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