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 Vitalia Montrose, 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.
As a leader, empowering to me means trusting my team to make meaningful decisions that will impact the operation in a positive manner, while staying within the scope of the operation. Also, with the understanding they have a voice in matters.
When my department heads feel empowered, my workload is greatly reduced. I can focus on the big picture, allowing my responsibilities to shift from doing the work to verifying the competition of projects. I empower my team by asking them what you would like to do and how they will accomplish it. I then follow up by asking what they need from me to be successful. By doing this they take ownership of their department.
The greatest threat to the senior living industry currently is staff turnover and under delivering on expectations. To reduce this threat, we must listen to the team members, address all concerns, and most importantly follow through with promises.
Several years ago, when I stepped into the position as an executive director, I would micromanage the culinary department to the point the culinary staff would come to me for just about everything and bypass the Culinary Director. This caused complete disfunction and lack of trust between me and the Culinary Director. It was not until I listened to some sound advice and stepped completely out of the department and only communicated with the Culinary Director did the department gain trust within itself and function as one team.
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.
VITALIA® Montrose in Copley, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Cleveland Clinic with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Mud Run Golf Course and Driving Range, Summit Mall, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Summit County Metro Park, Stan Hywet, and Hale Farm.
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