By | October 1, 2015

This blog post was previously published on the Redilearning blog and is republished here. Redilearning became part of Relias Learning in October, 2015.

In the senior care industry, we are constantly being challenged to do more with less – less money, fewer people, less time. Given that the squeeze has been on, and will continue, let’s stop and reflect a moment on what we need to deliver quality resident and patient outcomes in this ever-tightening model.

Patient outcomes include clinical outcomes as well as the value we return to each resident, patient and family that fills our beds and makes our communities thrive. That may be in the form of a touch, a kind word, or meeting a need in an unconventional way. This type of outcome happens at our lowest common denominator – person to person. Quality care is delivered by a quality workforce – whether that is a nurse, a department director or front-line caregiver – that believe in the mission of your organization and make it happen every day in every building across this nation.

To ensure we maintain a quality workforce, we hire, promote and try our best to retain those wonderful people that “get it” and embrace this industry as their life’s work. This is not an easy vocation.  Long hours, sicker residents, and challenges in regulations and staffing require our utmost. When you think about what people need to do their jobs – and stay in them – we must consider what we can provide both in time and in resources to help them be the best that they can be.

I’m reminded of a story of an executive director who was wonderful with families and residents, ran a strong building financially, but had never received any formal training on how to deal with conflict among her team members.  She struggled to move her people toward a shared, common vision, especially when the going got tough. It simply wasn’t her strong suit.

Her organization offered little in the way of time or resources to improve her area of deficit. They recognized the deficit, tried to coach to it, but in reality, her supervisor didn’t have the coaching skills, resources or ability to facilitate change for this young woman.

She eventually left the profession. She felt she had failed, and lost a building she loved. We all lost a professional who was making a difference.

We all have some area or areas in which we are not strong, or we wouldn’t be human. As an industry, we must get to a place where those areas are identified and there is something to offer to help good people do better.

Fortune 100 companies have been invested in this “human development” model for far longer than we with great results. We used to hope people who were good at one thing would just magically have all these other qualities – or would get them by osmosis.

The challenges we are facing as an industry now are making us realize how important development of the “whole person” can be.

Relias Learning’s partnership with Skillsoft allows us to provide many of these Fortune 100 resources to our clients. Skillsoft’s experience as the number one provider to Fortune 100 companies has helped them develop a “Know Me, Entice Me, Improve Me, Reward Me” model.

  • Know Me  Begins at hire and orientation and means we treat employees like individuals.
  • Entice Me  Occurs throughout their career by connecting them to the right development opportunities
  • Improve Me  Giving them tools that help them become smarter and perform at a higher level
  • Reward  Me  Giving them accolades, exposure and compensations that fit them.


Jan Wilson, MEd, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Director of Learning Designs and Outcomes at Relias, Jan brings over 25 years of technology, human resources and learning expertise to the Relias team. Her experience in senior care spans more than a decade, including serving as a senior executive of learning strategy with one of the country's largest providers. As an organizational development consultant, she has provided strategic planning, process alignment, curriculum development and planning, and learning solutions to a variety of clients in pharma, healthcare and state governments.

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