43% of Senior Living Supervisors Are Disengaged

Senior living organizations appear to be struggling with engagement among supervisors—and with inspiring trust in them.

About 43% of supervisors in nonprofit senior living are not engaged, according to newly released research from employee engagement research and consulting firm Holleran. Additionally, only 62% of senior living employees actually trust their organizations’ leadership, the research revealed.

For the new analysis, Wrightsville, Pennsylvania-based Holleran delved into its database, which includes more than 1,000 not-for-profit senior living provider organizations across the United States. Holleran used the term “senior living supervisor” to refer to anyone in a supervisory position working in a senior living community or on a senior living campus. An “engaged employee” refers to someone who, beyond their own personal fulfillment, is invested in the overall success of their organization.


Though engagement levels among senior living supervisors may seem low, they could be much worse; in corporate America, for instance, 65% of managers are not engaged, according to Holleran Executive Vice President Connie Wolfe.

“Our percentage compares favorably to corporate America, where 65% of managers are disengaged, but we need to do better if we are going to stem the turnover crisis in our field,” Wolfe says in a press release. 

It’s critical for senior living leadership to inspire trust in their employees, Wolfe suggests, noting that close relationships built trust that could very well lead to lower employee turnover down the road.


“Developing relationships with those you interact with on a daily basis is one key to self-engagement,” Wolfe says. “We look forward to coming to work when we have positive, nurturing relationships with fellow team members. And when we feel like we are having an influence on the passion of others about the mission and purpose of our organizations.”

Boosting employee engagement has proven tricky for the senior living industry, especially as providers begin to count on an increasingly millennial workforce. Some senior living operators, like LCS, have managed to boost employee engagement by copying the engagement strategies of other companies, like Southwest Airlines.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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