The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with PointClickCare. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of senior housing, skilled nursing, home health and hospice care. To see this year’s future leaders, visit Future Leaders online.
Kyle Exline, director of operations management at Life Care Services, has been named a 2023 Future Leader by Senior Housing News.
To become a Future Leader, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be a high-performing employee who is 40-years-old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for seniors and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
Exline caught up with SHN to talk about how he got into the senior living industry by way of landscaping and why operators should not underestimate residents as they plan to evolve in operations.
What drew you to this industry?
I was fortunate to have exposure to senior housing at a young age. In college, I worked landscaping at a local community in the summer, I found myself being excited to show up to work every morning. Serving the residents was the immediate draw to the industry, you get the opportunity to make a difference every day. As time went on, I realized the impact you could also have on the employees you served. This combination of serving seniors and impacting the lives of others made it a perfect fit for what I was looking for.
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in this industry?
Never underestimate your residents. We serve residents who have lived wonderful lives and have had amazing careers. I am always reminded that they allow you to run their community, and it’s our job to exceed their expectations. Some of the best ideas I have had have been improved by brainstorming with my residents.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of senior living, what would it be?
Get younger people exposure to our industry, we need to attract the best and brightest minds to our field.
What do you foresee as being different about the senior living industry looking ahead to 2023?
We no longer are just a provider of senior living services, we are a provider to those we employ. The competition in our labor market is so strong, that it’s imperative we are creating environments that our associates love to work in. Personally, I think this was a needed change and the companies who adapt the quickest will end up thriving.
In a word, how would you describe the future of senior living?
If you could give advice to yourself looking back to your first day in the industry, what would it be and why?
Be patient. Everything takes time, whether it’s your career or a new initiative you are wanting to roll out. Take the time to get buy in, communicate your vision, and work through any potential problems. There are no shortcuts, continue to show up each day and take another step forward. Eventually, you can look back and see the impact you’ve had.