Brightview Senior Living has been the top workplace in senior living the past two years. Now it is recognized as one of the best workplaces in the country.
The Baltimore-based operator earned a spot on Fortune’s 2021 “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, ranking 92nd and placing it in conversation with the likes Cisco, Salesforce and Hilton, which rank first through third, respectively.
Brightview, which operates a portfolio of 42 communities and has three more in development, is the only senior housing operator on the list, and its inclusion — particularly during a pandemic — is further proof that the company has built a successful workplace culture, President Doug Dollenberg told Senior Housing News.
“Our goal is to be a first and foremost is to be a great place to work for our associates,” he said.
The recognition by Fortune, however, gives Brightview an opportunity to compare itself to other companies that have routinely landed on the best workplaces list for years and provides further motivation to continue improving, Julie Masiello, senior vice president of technology and marketing, told SHN.
She credits the annual Great Place to Work survey for helping Brightview establish its workplace culture, specifically noting the feedback provided by associates who participate and the data gathered by Activated Insights in helping the operator identify areas for improvement.
Activated Insights is the senior care division of Great Place to Work. It compiles the annual best aging services workplace list.
The data that the firm compiles can be drilled down to the role of survey participants in a company, tenure, gender, race, age and other variables that can help providers identify gaps in workplace services and supporting team members, regardless of where they are in their professional careers.
“It is a data scientist’s dream to look at this feedback,” Masiello said.
Dollenberg views the newest recognition as validation for how Brightview has managed through Covid-19. Associates began filling out their 2020 Great Place to Work surveys in August, while the operator and the industry was still in the throes of the pandemic.
The feedback Brightview received was similar to 2019, before the pandemic disrupted the industry. And it was also used to stay ahead of an industry-wide increase in staff burnout. First, Brightview decided the best course of action was to acknowledge that Covid-19 is a unique situation.
“We said, ‘It’s OK to not be OK,’” he said.
Second, Brightview encouraged and emphasized self-care and finding people in which to confide. Most important, leadership emphasized communication between associates and management to prioritize workflows. And the central office supported this by having capable substitutes at the ready for when associates did take time off.
“When you have a group of dedicated associates like we have, it’s really hard to pull them away, particularly during a time when, as the year went on, there were always new [challenges],” Masiello said.
As the industry heads toward an end to the pandemic, Dollenberg is confident the challenges of the past year, and Brightview’s response, has made the team more cohesive and capable of making faster decisions if similar situations occur.
“I do believe that our organization is going to be stronger on the other side of the pandemic, because of the teamwork and collaboration,” he said.
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