2021 – The Year of Giving

2021 – The Year of Giving

Understatement of the century: 2020 was a hard year for senior living providers.

Curious to see what organizations are doing to rebound from this time? My favorite phone calls and emails to receive are ones that begin with “Can you help us? We want to thank our staff, our leaders, our teams… give them a gift…”  

And so it seems that 2021 must be the year of giving back to those who give! 

Shifting from pandemic stress to focused giving.

I told you in a recent article about Guardian Healthcare’s inspiring day of fun and reflection, and that powerful story inspired many of you to host something similar for your teams. 

What else do fatigued leaders need right now? Well, the short answer is, a lot.

Andrew Applegate, CEO, and Daisy Herndon, Director of Talent Arts, of Arbor Acres, a CCRC in Winston-Salem, NC, concluded that it was time to give back to their leaders, and their gift of choice was one of learning. (It’s worth noting that in our post-pandemic focus groups with organizations from around the country, people in this field want more training and learning, so the gift Arbor Acres settled on is timely and needed.)

Arbor Acres came to Drive for help to make this gift truly memorable and impactful. The first step was asking each leader just what type of learning and development they were interested in. The leaders chose to go back to “basics” after a year of crisis and refresh their foundational leadership skills. This pandemic took so much away from people, and for leaders, it robbed them of many of the ways they are used to inspiring and connecting with their teams. So for Arbor Acres, it was clear that revisiting concepts such as accountability, having difficult conversations, managing conflict, and giving feedback would be the gifts that keep giving for the entire organization.

At Drive, we are fortunate to have Veronica Barber, LNHA, EdD, Culture Consultant and EQ Coach, who makes sure all of the leadership training we provide is infused with emotional intelligence and mindfulness. Because of Veronica’s expertise, we know that “presence-based” leadership is the most important and effective leadership strategy there is. 

And so, in March of 2021, a very special monthly management webinar series was launched at Arbor Acres. After each one-hour call, hosted by Veronica, leaders receive a guidebook with exercises and challenges to work on in between the calls. So far, leaders have attended five monthly training sessions and will conclude the six-month series with a refresher course on the dos and don’ts of appreciation. 

It’s been an exciting journey (and one we have loved being a part of) in which each leader can appreciate their years of experience but also be reminded of some things that were forgotten along the way. For instance, feedback is more effective when done using a coaching conversation, stay interviews are more important than exit interviews, and the precursor to accountability is establishing trusting relationships.

Give your teams what they need

If you are interested in giving the gift of learning to your teams and would like to learn more about our presence-based leadership approaches, reach out to us!


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