Provider Finds Formula to Beat Industry Averages on Retention

Though some senior living providers must focus solely on higher wages or robust benefits to attract and retain top industry talent, that’s not the case at Presby’s Inspired Life.

The Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania-based nonprofit, which has four senior living communities and more than 30 affordable housing properties in and around the greater Philadelphia area, recently reported that 41% of its workforce had been with the company for five or more years. The faith-based organization also currently has a 24% turnover rate, which falls below such industry benchmarks as the 31% national assisted living turnover rate reported in the latest Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report from the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service.

“We’re very happy that we do have that longevity because it has helped the foundation of our organization, and has helped our culture, and helped instill our mission, vision, and our values into new team members,” Michelle Bryk, vice president of human resources at Presby’s Inspired Life, told Senior Housing News.


All in the family

One big reason why the organization is able to hold onto its longtime employees is its “family-like” company culture, Bryk said.

To help foster that atmosphere, Presby’s encourages communication and open-door policies among all of its employees. The nonprofit also implemented a customer service program called Service from the Heart in 2010 that emphasizes service and fun, and includes a prize for exemplary employees called the “distinguished service award.”


“We try to do a multitude of things to show our appreciation to our team members because we know the work that they do is really the foundation and the reason why we can be successful,” Bryk said.

Presby’s also gives its employees the chance to pitch in during an annual volunteer effort dubbed the “Day of Inspiration.” During the event, employees serve at food shelters, clean up public parks or collect donated clothing. Though the day of service isn’t mandatory, it’s a great way for workers to see firsthand their employer’s dedication to its mission, vision and values—a key component in longevity, Bryk explained.

“They feel so connected to our mission of caring for our residents regardless of what economic income level they are,” she said. “That really is something that resonates with people.”

By the numbers

Culture and service can only go so far in attracting and retaining talent, however. Presby’s has found direct care workers, particularly certified nursing assistants and nurses, are in short supply—a problem the entire industry is facing, Bryk explained.

That’s partly why Presby’s participates in frequent salary surveys and listens to its team members often to make sure it’s paying competitive wages.

“If we see our rates need to be more competitive, then we look to make those adjustments and to adjust the rates accordingly,” she added.

Some other perks for Presby’s employees include health and wellness programs, retirement plans and 401(k)s, professional development, and tuition assistance. Here are three other ways Presby’s uses benefits to attract top industry talent:

 Nurses can get a tuition reimbursement of $3,000 per year, while frontline employees are eligible to receive $1,500 annually.

 Presby’s offers a referral bonus of $250 to employees who recommend a new hire.

 Employees who participate in the nonprofit’s in-house health and wellness program get a discount on health insurance to the tune of $520 per year.

Written by Tim Regan

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