It’s been a tough environment the past year. My friend Mark sent me a link to a map generated by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care Industry (NIC MAP) that shows how challenging it has been for senior care operators in some markets. The census trend from the peak to present has shown a loss of 390 basis points in the 31 largest metro areas – from 92.8% occupied in the first quarter of 07 to 88.9% in the fourth quarter of 09.
For companies operating small groups of properties that experienced this census decline, the pain was real and tangible.
For my friend Mark, it caused him and his partners to change from, as Mark puts is, “a great operator with a marketing department” to being “a lead-generating machine that is also a good operator.”
In the end, Mark and his company will be stronger, more focused and will thrive, but the last year or two have been genuinely tough.
Like Mark, many senior care companies have had to examine their operational costs and systems. They have had to streamline operations while not cutting corners on quality care and maintaining compliant record-keeping and training. Perhaps, like we did during the 1980s in my own communities, they have looked at reallocating dollars into marketing – building that “lead-generating machine”, and away from some of the softer functions of administration.
It’s been interesting to me that while many companies have been challenged, our company, aQuire Training Solutions, has experienced record growth. Mind you, since we’re a company less than four years old, records are easily shattered. But experiencing growth at all in these past couple of years is something to be treasured.
One thing is clear to me: the folks who are signing up for online training programs now are the folks who understand that building a “lead generating machine” means delivering even better services than ever. It means taking advantage of this positive hiring environment and as well as focusing on creating an engaged, vital workforce – and giving them the tools to succeed. It means giving caregivers – typically the lowest paid members of the team, yet the ones who truly deliver what you promise – a sense of affirmation and empowerment by offering them way more than a mandatory training inservice program.
Today we received a call from a large multi-location organization who wants to implement e-learning across their locations, but can’t afford the basic cost to do this. They asked us to think creatively with them to find a way to at least get them started – corporate-wide.
That’s the kind of challenge we like! It’s the kind of partnership that we thrive on, and I guarantee we’ll sharpen our pencil and make a plan that will work in your budget. If you’re committed to providing online learning to your team to build, strengthen and enrich them, we can help.
Because at the end of the day, no matter how worn out and trite the phrase it still is true: we’re all in this together!
Friday, December 16, 2011
1 year ago