July 14, 2023
As leaders, we hold the power to inspire, uplift, and bring out the best in our team members. By fostering an environment of empowerment, we can unlock their potential, drive organizational success, and ultimately enhance the lives of the older adults we serve. As the Executive Director of The Wellington Senior Living, I want to explore what empowerment means to me, its impact on the workload, and the strategies I use to empower my team members, as well as the current threats to the senior living industry and how empowerment can be a catalyst for overcoming these challenges.
Empowerment means giving my team not only the resources and tools to effectively lead their departments, but also the encouragement to take chances and make mistakes to learn what works best for them and their team. When my team members feel empowered it means my workload gets a little lighter. It allows me to create and maintain an appropriate work-life balance for myself and that’s so important when you have so many responsibilities.
I constantly encourage my team members. My work love language is “Words of Affirmation” and I love to use them. Even when they feel like they have failed to make the best decision, I always try to encourage the team by letting them know even perceived failures are an amazing opportunity for learning and growth. I love letting my team know how much I appreciate them and how important their role is to the success of this community.
I believe the current staffing crisis is a huge threat to senior living. With the increase in travel positions, many employees are leaving their permanent positions for travel positions that may pay more or provide better schedule flexibility. However, with that comes less comradery with colleagues and less opportunity to build meaningful connections with residents. I empower my team to really see each other as valuable assets, not just to the company but to each other. I encourage staff to build and foster meaningful work relationships with each other by promoting passionate but professional communication when feeling frustrated or facing conflict. I empower my staff to take the lead in solving problems and bringing me solutions, so they can have buy-in. I also empower my staff to appreciate each other through our monthly Shout Out Program.
I learned a lesson very early in my career, even before I held a people leadership position. I learned how I felt when being managed by a controlling leader and have strived to model the opposite, so that no one felt the way that I did. I’m not saying I have been perfect, but I truly believe employees want to feel empowered and feel like they have a say in processes. Buy-in from all stakeholders is so important and includes our employee stakeholders.
In conclusion, as a leader, empowering your team members is not just a noble goal; it is a strategic imperative. By fostering an environment of trust, autonomy, and continuous growth, you unlock the full potential of your team, reduce your own workload, and enhance the well-being of the aging adults you serve. Empowerment becomes a powerful tool to navigate the challenges faced by the senior living industry, fostering resilience, innovation, and sustainable solutions. So, let’s embrace the transformative power of empowerment and lead our teams toward a brighter future.
The Wellington Senior Living in Liberty, MO offers assisted living and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located with easy access to a wide variety of attractions and local shopping.
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