Culture at Benchmark Senior Living

Benchmark Senior Living is one of the main companies in the care-giving industry. It was found by Tom Grape in 1997. Currently, the organization manages 45 communities with about 4000 employees. Benchmark is an excellent sample of teamwork. From the beginning, the CEO of the company wanted to establish a corporate culture that was built based on shared core values. These values are presented as PERSONAL: personalized services, excellent collaboration, respectful cooperation based on teamwork, and integrity. What is more, the company demands from its employees to be passionate, responsible, dependable, and committed to their job. All associates must be highly adoptive for changes and willing to upgrade their professional skills through innovations.

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The best way to put desired values in action is to recognize and compensate employees for a superior work performance. To approach this goal the company has initiated a myriad of programs that are applied throughout its 45 communities.

All employees, including part-time and per diem staff, have the opportunity to increase their wages by over 20 percent over the course of a year. Frontline associates, who include non-management staff working in resident care, food service, housekeeping, laundry, plant operations, and activities, average $265 in bonuses per year, (Mayfield, 2011). Every program of recondition reflects employees cooperation on all levels and demonstrates strong team bonds that are set as company policy. For instance, Gratitude Gram is a sort of thank you card that associates give to each other when they believe a co-worker has succeeded. Everyone who was marked this way becomes an applicant of a monthly lottery with the prize of 50$. It is a considerable step to encourage collaborators to provide high quality service. Furthermore, this award applies to strengthen team spirit and develop the sense of responsibility for one another.

Benchmark Senior Living contains different teams in every community. For instance, the Wellness Department includes nurse, a nursing supervisor, a Traditional Care director, a director of nursing and the CNAs . There are also Housekeeping Team, Maintenance Team and a Business Administration Team that consists of the receptionist and Human Resources Manager.

Communication Leads to Quality

Benchmark implements its commitment to quality and safety emphasizing the importance of communication on all levels. The organization appointed a culture ambassador position in all 45 communities. The main goal of culture ambassador is to support Benchmark's mission by keeping every employee motivated to progress and advance. Every month the culture ambassador assembles the council to discuss issues and to produce creative ideas for events and festivities.

Company policy claims that communication serves to improve quality. If someone considers the service quality to be less than excellent, the workers are trained to bring the issue to a manager so that the concerns can be resolved before they potentially create greater problems (Benchmark Senior Living, n. d.).

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On 10th anniversary, Benchmark initiated The One Company Fund which is a separate non-profit organization with the purpose to give financial support to collaborators and their families in times of extreme hardship. The fund gives Benchmark associates a special opportunity to do the right thing for each other, notes Grape. This is a very tangible way that we make sure that our values are not just words on the wall but put into practice, (Mayfield, 2011). In 2009- 2010, the organization donated 135 grants that amounted to roughly 178 000$. Establishing One Company Fund is an excellent approach to maintain Benchmark Senior Living policy of strong ethical values throughout the times of crisis.

Staffing Excellence

Tom Grape believes that it is very important to invest in the workforce. He evaluates it as apragmatic business perspective. The companies which have high skilled staff are more competitive and profitable than those which do not care enough about staff advancing.

Senior vice president of human resources, Tim Reilly, emphasizes the necessity to invest in staff development. As an organization, we believe if we have engaged, happy, well-trained or well-educated associates, in turn they are going to provide superior services to our residents and their families, (Mayfield, 2011).

In the course to this goal, education is executed in three ways: learning through in-service practicing; attending the Benchmark University; receiving financial compensation for studying aside the Benchmark.

Benchmark University proposes about 50 courses to its employees in the fields of time management, conflict management, leadership, sales, financial, recruitment, resident care and customer service excellence. All trainings are free and the associates are paid by company while studying.

Furthermore, new employees have a day-and-a-half orientation and during this time they get a good idea about company core values, community-based systems, and infrastructure. The collaborators are obligated to create individual annual development plans, which reveal both personal and professional goals rested on the individual aspirations and interests. Every community, depending on its size, is supposed to have a certain number of skilled faculty associates, who are taught to work with adult learners.

Benchmark policy of strong moral values and extreme attention to quality they provide brings to its employees great business results. We are realizing superior business results right now, states Grape. Our occupancy is higher; our financial results have been stronger than our competitors in the industry at large. (Mayfield, 2011). That is why Benchmark Senior Living has been recognized year after year by The Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. Companys employees are known to be among the best in the industry of care-giving.

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