No senior housing leader will deny the importance of communication.
However—the reality is—most leaders aren’t creating the right kind of communication in their operations.
The kind of communication we’re talking about?
- Fuels disruptive innovation.
- Is the opposite of ambiguous buzzwords.
- Brings different departments together to collaborate.
- Creates one central message for every organizational level.
- Ensures top-level initiatives are understood by team members, regardless of their rank.
In this article, we’re continuing our series on innovative disruption, explaining how senior housing operations can cultivate the communication that makes organizational change easier.
Keep on reading to discover 5 ways to create the communication that helps your organization make a much-needed shift.
1. Senior Housing Leaders Must Communicate Clear Expectations
This is, perhaps, the most important directive we can give to senior housing leaders.
Whether you’re a CEO or an investor, it’s easy to focus your attention on high-level goals. And sometimes, your language can reflect your 10,000-foot vision.
Not everyone in your organization sees what you see. For many team members, you’ll need to get specific when it comes to organizational change.
To create communication that fuels disruptive innovation, you need to attach a plan to any initiative. You need to make your meaning precise.
For instance, don’t simply say…
We need accountability at the site level.
Instead, rephrase this in terms that create clear expectations…
“To reach our goals for this quarter, I’m expecting each executive director to increase our tour-to-move-in ratio by at least 10%.”
Be sure to use this technique to define what organizational change looks like at each level in your organization: from your regional directors of sales to your site-level sales counselors.
2. Senior Housing Leaders Must Pass Their Vision Down to Each Organizational Level
Once you’ve attached clear definitions and a plan for your high-level initiatives, it’s time to create a trickle-down effect with your communication.
The goal is simple: ensuring the very bottom of your organizational hierarchy understands the vision you’ve created in the C-suite and implements it.
Inspect what you expect at each level in your senior housing operation. Do some digging to see if your…
- C-suite is communicating your vision to the regional teams.
- Regional teams are communicating goals to the executive directors.
- Executive directors are communicating KPIs to your sales professionals.
At Bild & Co., one thing we can’t emphasize enough is this:
During a recent interview, Bild & Co’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jennifer Saxman, revealed that most sales teams aren’t focused on the operational budget and numbers.
However, to ensure your innovative vision reaches the site-level, take a radically different approach.
Jennifer explained that senior housing operations need to be…
“[S]howing sales and the EDs at the site level: Look, here’s your budget…this is yours to own. If it were your business, what would you do? And because of that, these are the sales goals you need to meet to keep your business afloat.”
3. Senior Housing Leaders Must Get Sales and Operations Departments Talking
Innovating where it counts isn’t simply a function of your sales department.
Your operations play a critical role in driving revenue for your senior living organization.
Think of it this way. A property’s operational management will impact its clinical care (clean, safe buildings are a must). In the same way, operational details also impact your sales department.
However, at Bild & Co, we often find silos exist between regionals of sales and regionals of operations.
It’s your goal to break down these barriers and get these two departments talking.
Instead of delegating complete sales oversight to your Vice President of Sales and Marketing, bring both operations and sales directors together for regular meetings. Ensure there are opportunities for crossover and interdepartmental collaboration.
If you want to radically reinvent your customer experience, you must align both sales and operations.
4. Senior Housing Leaders Must Ensure Their Operations Have Channels for Communication
Communication that creates senior housing innovation will be difficult unless you have predefined channels for communicating your top-down vision.
And that can be difficult…especially as in-depth communication begins to break down the higher you go on the organizational chart.
Here are a few processes you’ll want in place:
- A standing meeting with your regionals. Use this time as a teaching opportunity, a time to innovate together and work on your business.
- Regular times for regionals to provide mentoring. Make sure you haven’t placed your regionals in a micromanaging role…putting out fires. They need time to mentor executive directors and on-site teams.
- Weekly meetings between EDs and sales teams. Granular oversight of performance belongs to your executive director. Make sure there’s a weekly meeting for consistent accountability.
5. Senior Housing Leaders Must Always Clarify the Greatest Priority
At Bild & Co, we’re passionate about helping you radically transform your senior living organization from the inside out.
But here’s something senior housing leaders need to hear.
Don’t lose sight of the site-level responsibilities your teams face.
Yes, driving revenue is critical. But, at the end of the day, your communities’ number-one priority is taking care of residents, and your properties face challenges the C-suite simply isn’t exposed to.
For your properties, not everything can be a priority all at once. Change must come in phases.
Instead, give bitesize goals that clarify the greatest priority.
Don’t overwhelm your properties. Simply explain what your top objective is for each quarter—whether that’s increasing lead generation or improving your inquiry-to-tour ratio.
When it comes to communication for your innovative initiatives, rely on Bild & Co. We understand the importance of relationships for executing your top-line strategy.
Take the first step, and schedule a time to discuss your challenges and opportunities with us.