I recently had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion at the SHINE Senior Care HR Executive Summit. The panel was entitled “The Trifecta Tsunami – Minimum Wage, Overtime, Living Wage, and Paid Leave. Senior Care and the New Normal”. Yes, the title is a mouthful. And it’s an important topic for any labor dependent business.
Wage stagnation and income inequality are pervasive topics in the media. Wage initiatives at the local, state and federal levels are putting pressure on labor costs that create challenges both from a financial and administrative standpoint. And organizations can’t pass all these increases along to their clients. Recruiting and retention are impacted. Organizations are challenged to find enough workers, with adequate education and training, to fill their jobs.
In the senior living industry, talent truly is everything. From dining to clinical staff, it takes a lot of people with a strong service ethic to make these organizations successful. The jobs can be tough, and often the employees they need can often find equivalent or higher wages at jobs that are easier to perform. Seniors and their families in many cases are literally trusting these providers with their lives, and have high expectations of the service levels from providers.
The panelists I interviewed are all leaders in Senior Living organizations, and all face these challenges:
- Denise Rabidoux, President and CEO EHM Senior Solutions
- Lynne Katzmann, President and CEO Juniper Communities
- Dana Ullom-Vucelich, CHRO, Ohio Presbyterian
- Matt Broman, Director HR, ERA Living
They are all executing strategies to pay competitive – and compliant – wages while still meeting their overall financial objectives. You can listen in to our conversation by clicking on the podcast link below. The first minute or so was cut off, however the opening remarks are captured in the text above.
- What is your philosophy on raising wages significantly? Are you rising to the minimums required or getting ahead of that curve?
- What specific challenges do you face and what strategic measures are you taking when managing the “trifecta” impact of living/minimum wage increases, FSLA overtime rules changing and paid time off?
- How do considerations of talent recruitment impact your wage strategy?
- What strategies are you employing to mitigate the pressures of rising labor costs while retaining the right people?