Baptist Retirement Homes is dedicated to creating an outstanding work environment that makes our facilities feel like home to team members and residents alike.
“Setting the right culture is a major part of providing the experience that our residents and families deserve,” said Reed VanderSlik, CEO and president of Baptist Retirement Homes of North Carolina.
The key to making our staff feel like they are part of a team is simple: BRH’s leaders take the time to listen to the concerns of all of those on their care team. “We create a culture where the team members feel valued and then trust that they’re going to deliver that care to the residents,” VanderSlik said. “That’s because people want to work where they feel like they’re part of a family, they have friends, and they feel like you care about them.”
VanderSlik engages with members of his team regularly to remind them that they have the support they need. “I’m a firm believer in leaders walking around, being involved, and asking very open-ended questions, like, ‘How’s your day?’ and then pausing when you get a response that isn’t extremely positive,” he said. “It’s really about listening.” VanderSlik asks how he can make their situation better. “I love to ask, ‘If you had a magic wand and could change one thing, what would you change?’,” he said. He then looks for patterns to prioritize the issues presented to him.
Building a team that knows that our leaders are concerned with their well-being is at the heart of the outstanding care provided at Baptist Retirement Homes. VanderSlik discussed some of the things he has learned during his experiences in a recent podcast interview on Experience Care’s LTC Heroes. You can listen to the interview by clicking here or read what he had to say on Experience Care’s blog.
Under the current circumstances, filling open positions is more difficult than ever. “COVID and vaccination requirements are making people second guess their choice of industry,” VanderSlik said. “And, overall, I think our industry didn’t have that attractiveness [even before the pandemic] that a lot of industries have.” Still, we at BRH have found innovative ways to collaborate with our competitors to convey that the industry is very rewarding. “We are using social media and videos to encourage people to consider our industry,” he said.
And VanderSlik’s approach is working. “We’ve built a strong culture here by listening, rewarding great behavior, and acting decisively,” he said. “And it is working.” He mentioned BRH’s significant reduction in employee turnover over the past three years. As a result of building a friendly workplace environment, BRH is a great place to live and work, and we will continue to find new ways to improve as a place to live and work. “We deliver excellent care and an excellent experience,” VanderSlik said. “And it’s because we care and have compassionate staff and team members.”
– Cameron Zargar