Working within senior living is often a fast-paced and stressful. This makes senior living staff bonding an essential part of your community’s culture: especially across departments.
Staff typically work in shifts, meaning they won’t get to know many of their colleagues with different hours. Activity, memory/clinical care and sales/marketing staff probably won’t interface much outside of their shared responsibilities.
It’s crucial for community leaders to give their staff opportunities to bond and get to know each other. Staff will better understand each other’s working styles, motivations and the stresses and joys of each role. In addition to providing much-needed opportunities to blow off steam, staff bonding events will help different departments work together. Bonding opportunities increase open, frequent communication while promoting collaboration that ultimately helps deliver a higher quality of care for your residents.
In short, senior living staff bonding activities can help you reduce burnout
, improve teamwork, reduce turnover and improve the culture and mood of your community. Staff bonding can even help your community better adopt purposeful technology that helps promote engagement, accessibility and inclusion.
The Eversound team has partnered with 1,000+ senior living communities across the country. We’ve drawn inspiration from our partners to compile seven stellar ideas for senior living staff bonding. Additionally, we’ve included examples of cross-functional use of our wireless headphone system:
7 Ideas for Senior Living Staff Bonding
These seven ideas hit three major criteria. They’re able to be conducted:
- On-site in your community (no travel needed!)
- During normal working/community hours
- For a relatively low budget
We’ve seen communities have success holding these events during staff meetings that are already part of their typical schedule – increasing participation and reducing time spent away from residents. Many of these ideas make great ice-breakers at the opening of the meeting.
Be sure to promote your upcoming events with reminder emails and flyers posted around staff common areas.
Lunch and Learns
This is a great way to teach new skills without setting aside additional time on the calendar. Consider inviting a guest speaker, or empowering one of your staff members to speak about their area of expertise. Perhaps you could give a leader from each department an opportunity to share something from their training. Sessions could cover anything from CPR training to resident engagement to mindfulness (eg. incorporate meditation at the beginning of an event or meeting).
Most importantly, provide lunch for attendees; it’s amazing how pizzas, salads or sandwiches can entice your staff to grow their skillset!
Activity, sales/marketing, clinical care, and dining staff are often wrapped up in their own responsibilities. Try breaking down these “siloes” with short, cross-department visits that help your community take a holistic approach to care.
On a monthly basis, staff can join another department for an hour of their day. This will give more visibility into daily routines, and help colleagues think of ways they can collaborate. For example, the sales team might be able to discover a new idea for a marketing campaign by watching a memory care specialist at work.
Test your knowledge with a round of community trivia. Separate into teams and answer questions about the community, such as “when did the community open?” or “how many rose bushes are in the garden?” In addition to being fun, this can help increase awareness and knowledge of the community. Don’t be afraid to offer small prizes to add some buzz.
Guess That Person
Have staff members anonymously write down interesting factoids about themselves. Read each fact at the beginning of your meeting, and have staff guess who is who. This is an opportunity for everyone to share their interests and discover connections with others.
Holiday Decorating Party/Bake-off
Whether it’s Halloween, Fourth of July, or any holiday of your choosing, almost everyone likes an excuse to celebrate. Set some time aside for staff to decorate your community’s common areas.
Baking TV shows are all the rage right now, so perhaps you could run a bake-off competition for holiday treats or cookies. Staff can vote on their favorite home-baked treats, or they can bake and assemble treats together in your community kitchen.
Charcuterie Board Competition
Adding a competitive element is always more fun for staff. Plus, charcuterie boards are trendy; you can be sure to see some Instagram posts after this one.
Food Truck Fridays
You can probably sense a theme here: food brings people together!
Consider contacting a local restaurant with a food truck to visit your community on a weekly or monthly basis. It’s a great opportunity to connect with a local business and saves staff from getting in their car for a lunch trip
How Eversound Helps with Senior Living Staff Bonding
Sometimes, the best bonding opportunities come from on-the-job, cross-functional collaboration. Staff can get much closer when they’re training or onboarding with new technology, and as they use that technology together during their daily routines.
Eversound – senior living’s preferred hearing solution – is an example of purposeful technology that can inspire closer connections between your departments. Eversound’s wireless headphone system amplifies sound and enhances communication, and can be used in large group activities, family visits, clinical appointments, prospect tours, resident council meetings, one-on-one therapy sessions and everything in between.
The system’s broadcast range (300 feet from the transmitter) helps enhance communication and comprehension while affording flexibility for outdoor programming and broadcasting between wings of buildings. — without the need for WiFi or cellular service.
You’ll never have to worry about Eversound sitting on the shelf, as it can provide impact to multiple departments at the same time:
Team Meetings/StaffBonding Events
Try using the Eversound headphone system during team meetings or bonding events so that all staff can experience what life at full volume could be for residents. Additionally, this allows staff to practice using the system away from residents.
This is a great opportunity for activity and sales/marketing teams to collaborate. Sales leaders can schedule prospect tours
during activity hours when your residents are using Eversound to enhance communication.
Whether it’s a trip to the mall, a bus tour, movie night, or town hall meeting, Eversound can break down communication barriers. Using our group transmitter, activity leaders can act as tour guides throughout your resident outing – from the bus to the attraction and back. Once you arrive, residents can explore on their own while remaining engaged.
This is also a great opportunity for memory care workers to join their patients outside the community, and for sales/marketing to capture photos and videos for social media and branding materials.
Activity & memory care programming
All Eversound customers have access to our free members portal, which features hundreds of programs, print-outs, videos and playlists to help fill your programming calendar. The members portal features content for engagement, education and even memory care, featuring our “Rekindle” label. Activity and memory care teams can share content ideas as they pull from the portal.
Senior living staff bonding is incredibly valuable for your community – but it will only happen with intentional efforts by community leaders. Borrow a few of our ideas for your next staff meeting, and consider integrating a cross-functional tech solution like Eversound into your community.
Want to learn how Eversound can help strengthen ties across activity, sales/marketing and memory/clinical care and between other team members? Get in touch with the Eversound team today.