LeadingAge New York Adviser Adviser LeadingAge NewYork Spring 2019 final - Page 16

Workforce Summit Shifts Attendees’ Thinking on Workforce Challenges This year’s Annual Conference offered a full-day pre-con to attendees that challenged them to focus their attention on employee retention rather than just recruitment. Ellen Quinn, vice president of human resources for LeadingAge New York, kicked off the session by sharing data on the high costs of recruiting new employees, which include the costs of HR staff, advertising and screening candidates, background checks and training. Ms. Quinn presented data showing that the average cost of turnover for a 120-bed upstate nursing home is $362,200, while the cost for a similarly sized nursing home located downstate, where turnover is lower, is $205,190. Leah Brown, retention strategist for Crescendo Strategies, made “A Case for Change” discussing several critical factors when rethinking approaches to staffing, including why today’s workforce has incredibly different expectations than their leaders and strategies for keeping people longer through adjusted incentives and creative advancement. Attendees then learned about “How Leadership Values Drive a Positive Culture of Retention.” This session began with Pat Tursi, CEO of Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, who described how her leadership team begins every day by asking themselves the same question: “What can we do to advance care and learning to help every one of our children grow and live life to the very fullest?” They have focused their efforts on innovation and creating unique solutions to address their children’s specialized needs together with their families. This includes recognizing that every member of their team, every child and every family adds value and is treated equally. Ms. Tursi ensures that employees are treated with respect and that there is open communication by monitoring staff engagement and job satisfaction through employee engagement surveys as well as onboarding and exit surveys. In addition, Ms. Tursi has dedicated staff to ensure employee engagement: a part-time employee experience and engagement ambassador, responsible for providing leadership and direction aligning the organization’s mission, vision and core values and supporting positive employee experience and engagement; and a full-time director of employee experience, responsible for leading employee engagement initiatives and developing the leadership team for greater accountability with employee engagement. Katie Kirkpatrick, chief talent officer for St. Joseph’s Addiction and Recovery Centers, then discussed “Creating a Culture of Caring,” which led her organization to attain a 6 percent turnover rate in 2018. The Culture of Caring incorporates a team-based approach where employees participate on all levels, which includes having an empty chair at each executive team meeting for any employee who wants to attend. St. Joseph’s also promotes the Sanctuary Model, which involves every unit/department holding a daily Community Meeting to assess how staff are doing. Staff are asked: How are you feeling? What is your goal for today? Who will you ask for help? After lunch and dessert with exhibitors, attendees heard from a panel of providers who shared “Best Practices to Keep Good People on Your Team”: . Employee Engagement and Recognition: Edwin Rodriguez, Jr., Lutheran Social Services Group, Jamestown. With a turnover rate ranging from 55 to 70 percent, Lutheran undertook an employee engagement and recognition campaign to recognize “the good” in one another while also measuring employees’ satisfaction with their work environment. Since creation, turnover rates have decreased, reaching a low of 25 to 30 percent. “When your employees feel appreciated and you recognize them for their hard work, the work then seems less hard,” Mr. Rodriguez told attendees. Continued on page 16 15 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Spring 2019