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July 14, 2023

Vitalia North Olmsted Strives to Empower Their Team Members

Category: Senior Living

Author: Bridget Morgan, Executive Director

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 North Olmsted, 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 holds a personal meaning, transforming me, and allowing for the discovery of an inner strength and confidence. As a leader empowerment means providing your team with the tools, resources, and autonomy individuals need to take ownership of their work, make decisions, and contribute to the overall success of the team or organization. It involves creating an environment where individuals feel valued, trusted, and supported, and where they have the confidence and authority to act independently.

When those you lead feel empowered, it can create a more self-sustaining and high-performing team. By leveraging the strengths, skills, and talents of individuals, you can distribute workload, foster productivity, encourage creativity, and develop a team of capable leaders.

We establish clear expectations and goals for the community or team, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and understands what is expected of them. We have created an environment of open communication where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Our community has a monthly peer group gathering where staff members can openly discuss their concerns and share their suggestions. We regularly acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and milestones of team members and publicly recognize their efforts with our monthly creative follow ups. This recognition reinforces a positive and supportive culture, boosts morale, and encourages individuals to continue striving for excellence.

I believe the most significant challenge we face in the senior living industry is finding staff who possess the necessary patience and passion for senior living. Staff members who feel empowered are more likely to develop a sense of purpose and dedication to their work, including caring for older adults in the community. An empowered work environment can attract talented individuals who are passionate about senior living and seeking an organization that values their input and growth. Staff members who feel valued and acknowledged are more likely to be motivated, dedicated, and passionate about their work in senior living.

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work with two distinct types of leaders. In a previous company, I encountered a leader who exhibited controlling behavior and lacked approachability. This individual micromanaged every task within the team. Unfortunately, this leadership style did not create an environment conducive to growth, leaving me feeling stagnant and limited my potential.

On the other hand, I also had the privilege of working with a leader who took a different approach. This individual built a strong relationship with me, actively fostering empowerment and personal growth within our organization. She consistently cheered me on, offering guidance and support that instilled in me the confidence to pursue my goals and embrace new opportunities. I will always be grateful for her invaluable guidance and the positive impact she had on my professional development. Her belief in my abilities and her dedication to empowering me enabled me to grow and thrive in my role.

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® North Olmsted in North Olmsted, 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 St. John West Shore with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Crusher’s Stadium, Crocker Park, North Olmsted Senior Center, North Olmsted Library, Bradley Woods Park (Cleveland Metro Parks), and Cleveland Zoo.

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