Nancy Weinbeck
Nancy Weinbeck

In my last column I wrote about the elephant in the room: acquiring staff who want to work in senior living, particularly in nursing home settings.

At Bayview we are a Life Plan Community (formerly known as a continuing care retirement community), and our nursing home remains part of our continuum.

I wrote of the gifts that are inherent in the work we do that add so much meaning and purpose to the lives of our staff as well as residents. But making the case only goes so far.

For Bayview, we’ve sought out creative strategies to find the right staff for the right roles. Through a stroke of good fortune, we were able to partner with another nonprofit, though one seemingly far afield from Bayview: Northwest Center. Northwest Center’s mission is to support people of all abilities. On its website homepage it says, “Until all of us are allowed to engage and contribute, none of us will reach our full potential.” That sounds a lot like our mission at Bayview. After further exploration, we discovered that Northwest Center has several subsidiaries that feed its mission, one of which happened to be an area where we needed some extra support: facilities management. With our missions in alignment, it has turned into a great solution for both organizations.

Another strategy we are looking at is how does our diverse workforce differ in terms of their expectations.

As I recently shared in the “Bayviews,” our monthly resident publication, the different generations that work here: Gen Zers, Millenials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have vastly different needs. Does a one-size-fits-all benefit plan work for everyone? Probably not. So we’re looking at creating more options for our staff.

Maybe young adults still covered by their parents’ insurance don’t have a need for health coverage, but maybe they are on their own living with a dog or cat and need pet insurance. We’re taking a look. Maybe getting a paycheck every other week doesn’t work for everyone; we’re taking a look at that. Are there opportunities for remote support for our current staff through technology advances? We’re looking at that, too. We are exploring all the ways we can reduce staff burden and upgrade everyone’s day-to-day experience.

This work we do, this labor of love, continues regardless of the challenges we face. Times change, and we have to change with them. The exciting part is that it opens us up to opportunities and options we never even dreamed of just a few short years ago.

Considerations of change apply to all our lives all the time, no matter where we are on our journey. So we have to grab that change, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride. Hope all of our readers stay cool and comfortable this summer. Stay well and strong. And watch for opportunities where you least expect them.

— Nancy Weinbeck is the CEO of Bayview in Queen Anne