The Best Employees in the Whole World . . . .

I want to get real for a moment.
It does not matter how nice a building you have!
It does not matter how great your location is!
It does not matter how robust your local market is!
Ultimately success depends entirely on how good your staff is. . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the annual ALFA convention where Bill Strickland – – founder of Manchester Bidwell Corporation an organization that is committed to making the impossible possible for the most disadvantaged people. His organization has had remarkable success in making the impossible possible in the most hopeless of people.

A key element of his phenomenal success is his unshakable belief that the lowest of the low, the most unlikely should be treated like people of privilege. They should learn school in elegant surroundings, they should be surrounded with fine art and they should eat gourmet food in an elegant dining room served on fine china.


One of the more noble aspects of senior housing is that it provides jobs to people who often start with only minimal skills and yet the work environment is pleasant. This is good, but is it good enough?

As I look back at the communities I have developed and managed, I sort of hang my head realizing that it never even occurred to me that my line staff should have an experience that equaled that of my residents. The staff dining and locker rooms should have been as elegant as anything the residents experienced; rather than getting leftovers or even different less expensive food, the very best food should have been served to those loyal dedicated team members.

Perhaps, just perhaps, they should have been encouraged to eat in the main dining room with the residents.

It makes me wonder if by treating the team members as being every bit as valuable as the residents those communities would have gone from good to out of this world spectacular.

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