Residents’ Care and Mealtimes are Most Important to Your Residents.

In a successful community dining room, every staff member needs to perform their individual part to please residents, just like each musician in an orchestra plays from his sheet music to deliver a unified audience-pleasing performance.

Executive Directors tell me, “Resident caregivers grumble about serving food or pouring coffee.“We didn’t school to be wait staff and resent this part of our job.”

I understand this long-standing schism between departments. This is really about complete care of each resident, not waiting tables vs. nursing. Serving is respectful work when viewed correctly. The dining experience is the most important area to enhance residents’ well-being.

Communities in cultural shift of service quality and organizational change are beautifying dining rooms, overlooking the most important aspect: staff enlightenment. Change requires staff to embrace a new set of skills, attitude, and commitment. Those roles and responsibilities are changing rapidly with new standards. A good leader takes the focus off pettiness and orchestrates staff unity around mealtimes, where residents spend 60% of their day.

Remember that furniture, chandeliers, and new paint, no matter how beautiful, don’t bring warmth to the table. What does? Joy, generosity, patience, love, and a kind staff working in the residents’ home dining room, touch their hearts.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, a good leader unites all employees to the same goal.

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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