After Slashing Turnover, HumanGood Anticipates More Firepower From Employee Engagement Partner

Nonprofit senior living provider HumanGood credits better employee engagement with driving down nursing turnover 36% and dining staff turnover by 48% between 2014 and 2016.

The Pleasanton, California-based provider worked with employee engagement firm Brand Integrity to achieve these results. Now, Brand Integrity—which has a stable of other health care and senior living clients—has been acquired by global human resources technology provider Reward Gateway, whose clientele includes corporate behemoths such as McDonald’s, Samsung and Discovery Channel.

The acquisition is still “too new to see changes,” but John Cochrane, CEO of HumanGood, told Senior Housing News that he doesn’t anticipate service alterations.

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“I expect and hope they will continue to improve and iterate on the product and make it even more responsive,” Cochrane said. “I suspect they’ll have even more resources they can bring to the table.”

HumanGood operates 18 senior living communities across California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Washington.

Reward Gateway and Brand Integrity will have more than 1,800 clients and 400 staff members.* Additional resources are exactly what the combined firm intends to provide.

“[Reward Gateway] absolutely believes what we believe, about driving usage of the tools and technology,” Gregg Lederman, founder and CEO of Brand Integrity and current president of employee engagement at Reward Gateway, told SHN.

Eventually the two companies’ platforms will integrate, but that’s still in progress, Lederman said.

Data-driven efforts

Reward Gateway offers engagement software to measure employee engagement and help clients develop meaningful recognition programs.

“People want to feel like they’re making a difference and having a positive impact,” Lederman said. “When you get recognition you feel really good and that translates, in most cases, to more motivation and productivity.”

The software platform gathers and analyzes data to identify areas in which a company can improve employee engagement and recognition. For example, its set of services for HumanGood draws conclusions from platform-gathered data, as well as employee surveys and feedback from senior housing residents and their loved ones.

The dashboard breaks down data by location, department and team.

“[It provides a] holistic engagement score for the company… [but] the software also allows us to drill down into individual departments,” Cochrane said. “We’re getting data on engagement in real time across all of our departments.”

While employee engagement is considered important to all businesses’ success, it is particularly crucial in the senior housing industry, and has been an area of focus for several large providers in recent years. For instance, Des Moines, Iowa-based LCS has worked with Holleran Consulting to boost employee engagement, trying to take a page from the Southwest Airlines playbook.

“There are not many industries more challenged than aging service,” Lederman said. “It is a daunting task to provide an adequate level of care and employees can become disengaged.”

Beyond tech

HumanGood has experienced turnover decreases in several areas since implementing the employee engagement system, with the decreased nursing and dining turnover being highlights.

Although plenty of senior care facilities invest in engagement technology, they don’t always achieve positive results because they don’t use the tools in meaningful ways, Lederman said. However, “HumanGood has cracked the code on how to get employees to use it.”

Ensuring manager buy-in is key.

“Engagement isn’t just throwing a piece of technology out there and expecting people to use it, because they usually don’t,” Lederman said. HumanGood has “great leaders who get people to use the technology.”

Frequent and proper system use leads to greater data collection, and ultimately a recognition program based on best practices to “deliver what people crave at work,” which drives higher performance, Lederman said.

“This has been a key strategic relationship to help manage and grow our business,” Cochrane said. “Team member engagement is utterly foundational to our current and long-term success.”

*Editor’s Note: A previous version of the story stated that the combined firm will have revenue in excess of $1 billion, as stated in a press release issued by Clearsight Advisors, a financial advisor on the transaction. This figure is not accurate, a Brand Integrity spokesperson informed Senior Housing News.

Written by Katie Pyzyk

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