New research sheds light on some of the key reasons senior living employees stay in their jobs. And those who feel they make a difference; are positively recognized for their contributions; and trust their peers and supervisors may stick around longer than those who don’t.
The research, conducted by senior living research firm Holleran Consulting and Des Moines, Iowa-based LCS, comes at a time when operators cite staffing as their greatest challenge. LCS is one of the largest owners of senior housing in the U.S. with more than 130 communities across the nation.
The research findings, released Tuesday, reinforces a long-held industry hypothesis that boosting employee engagement can go a long way in improving retention.
The white paper research included input from 753 workers at 39 LCS communities collected over an 18-month period between 2016 and 2018. Just 14% of the respondents identified as supervisors, while 84% said they worked in a non-supervisory role and 2% held roles that could not be identified.
LCS employees who felt their work “makes a difference” were 34% more likely to stay with the company over a six month period, according to the study. Similarly, employees were 23% more likely to stay with the company over six months when they were positively recognized for their work.
The white paper also revealed that positive relationships with supervisors and coworkers can go a long way in boosting retention.
Employees who trusted their supervisors were 18% more likely to stay with LCS over six months, while those who said they have friends at work were 21% more likely stay on. And, workers who said they felt like their opinions were counted were 21% more likely to stick around, according to the study.
While none of the white paper’s results were particularly surprising, they lend more credence to the notion that employee engagement can greatly affect retention, according to LCS Chief Human Resources Officer, Monica Friedman.
“The white paper just helps to affirm what we already knew to be true,” Friedman told Senior Housing News. “We know that employees who are more engaged stay with us longer than folks who aren’t feeling quite as engaged.”
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LCS surveys its employees and frequently solicits their feedback in an ongoing effort to keep them feeling engaged. Last September, six of the company’s communities were listed among the top 50 senior housing workplaces in the U.S. by Great Place To Work’s senior care team, Activated Insights.
“It’s important to measure engagement and turnover, but it’s really important to have continual feedback from employees,” Friedman said.