With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to reflect on all that we are grateful for. In the senior housing market, we are tremendously thankful for the employees who have heroically overcome the challenges imposed by COVID-19 and continue to show up for the seniors who depend upon them.
As designers, it’s KEPHART’s mission to create spaces that improve the quality of life for residents, but of equal importance is creating a high-quality work environment for staff! Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your design that will help your staff feel appreciated.
Staff engagement – Create dynamic settings for employees that encourage them to take root at your senior community. Dedicate spaces that will function as team-building rooms. Create administrative areas that offer both open and closed offices to encourage connection and allow for privacy when needed.
Staff health– Create a work environment that supports the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of your staff by designating areas for employees to take breaks. Offering quiet spaces to allow them to unwind and recharge will increase overall productivity. Staff lounges should include comfortable seating, dining areas, and large windows. Other staff-dedicated spaces might include an in-house kitchen, storage lockers, and a fitness center. Be mindful of the physical needs of your staff, too, as they perform their tasks. Ensure that resident bedrooms and bathrooms are large enough for staff to comfortably maneuver as they assist residents. In office spaces provide ergonomic workstations.
Attracting Staff – Create an attractive physical setting for all spaces that expresses the distinctive personality of your community. Use combinations of natural materials, with color accents, displays of upbeat artwork, and regional decorative objects. . First impressions matter but as important is the daily reminder of the attention to detail that permeates your community.
Recognizing Staff – Create areas to recognize your staff for their hard work. Provide visible signage and a dedicated parking space for the employee of the month, so residents can thank them, too.
Supporting Staff – Architecture can provide settings that enhance the nurturing of employees. These physical places can be classrooms for training, small conference spaces for one-on-one mentoring, and even a childcare facility for the largely female employees.
Improving the work environment though design enhancements can go a long way towards improving the work environment for your staff, but improving operations is just as critical to the overall success of the employee’s experience. They go hand-in-hand in expressing thanks for the important service that senior living employees provide to society. KEPHART salutes the employees of senior living communities and is dedicated to creating architecture that is worthy of them.
We’d love to discuss other ways you can create spaces to show your staff appreciation. If you have questions or are interested in learning more, give us a call at 303-832-4474.