<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=73454&amp;fmt=gif">

Three Key Takeaways from the Argentum Workforce Development Symposium

September 29, 2017 | Marti Bowman

Key takeaways from Argentum Workforce Development SymposiumOnShift had the pleasure of partnering with Argentum to conduct the second annual Argentum Workforce Development Symposium. Approximately 50 leading senior living executives descended on Washington D.C. in September to talk recruiting, retention, employee engagement and strategies for managing a multigenerational workforce.

Guest speakers included Congresswoman Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, who serves as Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. It was an honor to be in the same room as Congresswoman Foxx! Talk about someone who gets it done! In addition, business advisor, best-selling author and sought-after keynote speaker, Bruce Tulgan engaged the attendees with his lively discussions and advice about today’s workforce.

The symposium was packed end-to-end with meaningful conversations about workforce challenges in senior living. Here are three reasons why I was inspired at the event:

  1. There are people in Washington advocating for us

Congresswoman Foxx opened by thanking attendees for all the work that we do for America’s senior population. She let us know that she believes in our mission and that she and her counterparts are working with us to resolve the current workforce challenges in senior living.

Among several of her workforce-related initiatives, Representative Foxx’s Committee was responsible for passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA) and Workforce Investment Act.  Together, these acts improve existing federal workforce development programs and foster a modern workforce that American businesses can rely on to compete. And, just last May, the Committee approved a bill to strengthen CTE (career and technical education), with a focus on improving CTE’s alignment with in-demand jobs, which is promising for our struggling senior living workforce.

Congresswoman Foxx said the shortage of talent is felt everywhere, but reassured us: “You are going to find those people and we are going to do everything we can to help you.” Hats off to Congresswoman Foxx for her hard work addressing the nation’s workforce issues.

  1. Each generation brings something unique to the table

Bruce Tulgan, an expert on leadership, management and young people in the workforce, said that understanding generational differences, and using each generation’s unique skills and qualities to the employer’s advantage, is the key to success in today’s workplace.

He also touched on the importance of what he calls “wisdom transfer,” in which older workers teach younger workers soft skills, so they don’t become obsolete. Such skills, like effective communications and collaboration, can transfer into any job and make younger workers valuable anywhere their career takes them. This is important to all senior living leaders working to juggle a multigenerational workforce.

  1. Retention strategies can be as simple as being honest & kind

Tulgan discussed several unique and easy-to-implement approaches to increasing retention that I thought really resonate with the challenges of our industry.

One idea he shared addressed hiring the right employees. Tulgan recommends that before employees accept a job, employers should have them shadow their peers for an entire day to experience the reality of the role. This should help weed out employees who would eventually turnover before you invest the time and resources into training, increasing the odds that you hire the best fit for the job.  

Tulgan also talked about compassion in the workplace and how to use it to create a home-like environment where employees want to work. For example, many caregivers experience personal challenges— working multiple jobs, having difficulties making ends meet or struggling to find childcare. Tulgan highlighted the undeniable opportunity here for providers to create a hub of resources and support for their employees. Your community can and should be a place where employees feel taken care of and supported.

Finally, Tulgan acknowledged that many organizations have strong onboarding programs. But, they often release or graduate new hires upon completion of the program, without having additional initiatives or structure to keep new hires continually informed, trained and ready for their jobs. Attendees discussed the value in more extensive programs post-onboarding, something that could make a real difference to combatting the high turnover in senior living.

Future outlook

The Workforce Symposium was an exciting chapter in OnShift’s partnership with Argentum. As we continue to work together to explore methods for improving the senior living workforce, we would love to hear what you’re doing to increase engagement and retention…what works, what doesn’t, and any day-to-day best practices that seem to make an impact. Feel free to contact me at mbowman@onshift.com with any recommendations you may have.

1 Images of Bruce Tulgan and Congresswoman Foxx are courtesy of Argentum.

Recent Posts

Vista Springs Increases Census By 40% And Sees Its Highest Shift Fill Rate In Years With SAMI
Introducing OnShift Schedule X: The Future Of Workforce Scheduling Is Here
Honored to Share SAMI's Triumph in McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards


Recruit, Engage, Retain

Operational Excellence

Payroll-Based Journal

In The News

About Marti Bowman

As Chief Marketing Officer, Marti brings significant experience leading go-to-market strategies, product marketing, communications and PR programs for technology startups as well as Fortune 500 organizations. Prior to OnShift, Marti was a principal product director at Oracle, where she drove global go-to-market strategies for the Oracle Fusion Middleware product portfolio. She joined Oracle through the acquisition of BEA Systems, where she was a product marketing manager.

See OnShift In Action

See for yourself why thousands of providers rely on OnShift’s innovative software for recruitment, hiring, workforce management, pay and engagement. Request your personalized demo today.

Request A Demo