July 14, 2023
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 Westlake, 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, to me, means to offer guidance, support, growth, and development; creating opportunities where a team feels valued and trusted to utilize their skills in their area of expertise. Empowerment allows each team member to take ownership of their work, when provided the information and tools to do so. Empowered teams seek input, share ideas, and feel positive about their role. It is then easy to rely on their efforts. This can often lead to fresh ideas and productive outcomes. This creates a better opportunity for work-life balance.
I empower by leading by example, demonstrating the qualities and behaviors I want to see in my team. I’m empathic, supportive, provide feedback, an active listener, and engage with the team, whether they are seeking knowledge or insight.
The greatest threat to the senior living industry is employee satisfaction and burn out. Our employees are hardworking and it’s important to empathize, support them, and make changes as needed. Communication must be open, and we must listen to our teams, with follow through, not just talk.
In recognizing the need for change, I was able to delegate more authority by working alongside a team rather than over or across from them. This builds trust and communication among the group. In turn, this created several ideas and perspectives.
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® Westlake in Westlake, OH offers independent living +, 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 UH St. John Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic Avon with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Meadowood Golf Course, Crocker Park, Clague Playhouse, Porter Library, Westlake Rec Center, Sibling Revelry Brewery, Bradley Woods Reservation, Huntington Reservation, and White Oaks Restaurant.
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