Comprehensive, forward-thinking Performance Expectations (or Job Descriptions) are provided for all positions, documenting expectations and a comprehensive list of duties and physical requirements.
To assist managers in the recruiting process, Watermark Retirement Communities provides an interview tool that matches candidates to position expectations in six major areas: values, alignment, career progression, performance experience, personality and position profiling, and technical knowledge. The use of this innovative performance-based interviewing has resulted in lower turnover rates.
ORIENTATION & TRAINING
G.O. Fish Orientation
G.O. (General Orientation) Fish teaches associates general skills necessary for their position. It tells trainers how to find fun ways to teach safety tips, required guidelines for resident care, and the team’s unique brand of excellent customer service, all while preserving each community’s personality and “flare.”
WRC has created Skill Sheets for each position that clearly identify the necessary skills, competencies and the timeframes in which they must be acquired. The Skill Sheets provide managers with the resources they need to train and document the acquisition of each skill.
Watermark Retirement Communities’ proprietary training materials have improved retention rates and job competence in high-turnover positions. Coordinated with the skills documented in the Skill Sheets, these materials provide the tools needed to ensure that training objectives are met and the quality of the job position is standardized across all Watermark-managed communities.
Training on Demand (TOD)
Training on Demand (TOD) modules are Internet-based training tools. Associates view up-to-date training with tests that track user knowledge.
Leadership by Design (LBD)
Leadership by Design is one of the ways that Watermark Retirement Communities is completely unlike any other company. Developed for and by Watermark Retirement Communities, LBD provides a framework and a culture to keep our company continuously improving and moving forward. LBD workshops focus on key areas proven successful in creating an organization that produces outstanding results on a continuous basis.
Creating a Powerful Culture. LBD helps identify factors that are barriers to change and deals with them in a manner that allows change to take place at an effective rate.
Producing Breakthroughs. LBD leads to finding specific, concrete and new results through seeing new possibilities.
Creating Committed Action. LBD empowers associates to create actions that yield results. Examining the nature of commitment, they are encouraged to overcome barriers and take responsibility for their part in the community.
Developing Working Relationships. Associates discover the use of coaching relationships to increase performance and satisfaction. New levels of trust, cooperation, communication and teamwork are established.
Handling Breakdowns. LBD examines the nature of breakdowns, how breakdowns can be best managed and how participants can actually use breakdowns to move forward in realizing their commitments.
Keys to Success
Using data available through Financial and Management Tools, each manager and supervisor identifies several key issues of focus critical to a community’s operation. Keys to Success programs are set up annually and are monitored quarterly or semi-annually.
Performance Improvement Plan
This program, initiated when a community manager is struggling to meet his or her goals, permits an open dialogue about obstacles to overcome, tools or training that the manager might need, and the expectations that he or she must meet in order to fulfill their position requirements. It gives managers specific expectations and deadlines to bring performance up to required levels, asking for their input and providing tools that are needed to succeed.
WRC utilizes a proprietary performance-based evaluation to give feedback to rate associates on contributions, job knowledge, compliance with community culture, leadership abilities, safety, teamwork and other key success indicators. The evaluator gives the associate feedback on their successes and areas for improvement. Managers are evaluated on the key indicators critical to community and departmental success.
Watermark uses a proprietary management Talent Review process that gives senior management the tools to review abilities and commitment of each member of the management team at their community. Based on placement on a skill and commitment chart, an action plan is put into place for every manager. It may entail extra training, an improvement plan, acknowledgement, or the chance to expand into a new role. This review process ensures that senior management is regularly evaluating their managers and providing tools they need to bring performance to the next level.
WRC has assembled operational standards for each department to increase performance and reduce operational risks. Throughout the year, department managers conduct self, peer and supervisory Standards Reviews. Annually, WRC conducts Standards Reviews to ensure that systems, policies, procedures and best practices are in place. The expectation is that each department achieves a score of 90 percent or better on their individual standards.
Employee Satisfaction Surveys
The associates of each community are surveyed at least annually to determine their level of satisfaction. Surveys provide associates the opportunity to offer suggestions anonymously. Feedback comes in two forms – numeric and written – so that management can both chart the satisfaction numbers and respond to written comments and concerns that are not addressed in the ratings. Results of the surveys are posted and distributed to associates along with corrective action plans.
Resident/Family Satisfaction Surveys
This survey process works almost identically to the employee survey process. Conducted annually at each community, resulting scores are disseminated to the communities and action and communication plans are immediately provided to the residents.
This tool allows managers to receive feedback from peers, subordinates and supervisors about their management and coaching performance. Partnering surveys are conducted whenever a manager or supervisor feels this would be beneficial. Typically, managers at each community have a Partnering Survey conducted at least annually.
Keys to Success Bonus Plan
The Keys to Success that were noted above are the key elements in managers’ bonus plans. The level of their achievement dictates the monetary acknowledgment they receive, thus directly tying performance to reward. This assists in maintaining a consistent alignment of goals between Watermark, the senior management of the community and department-level managers. As priorities shift, key indicators can be adjusted, creating a dynamic rewards system that can adapt to the changing needs of the community.
Financial Management Tools
Labor is one of the largest expenses at any retirement community. Watermark Retirement Communities tracks labor and compares actual hours to budget hours on a daily basis with proprietary labor flash reports.
Watermark Retirement Communities has developed a proprietary budget model that is benchmark and resident-day driven. It guards against cost creep during the budget process and identifies expenses that are outside industry benchmark statistics.
WRC projects cash requirements weekly. Collections, accounts payable, payroll, debt service, capital improvement payments and other items that affect cash are forecasted at least four weeks in advance.
Financial Analysis Report
This report gives a snapshot of important financial data so that community financial health can be quickly evaluated. It shows community census, revenue variances due to census or room rates, a 90-day rolling accounts receivable report, bad debt reserves, per day income, expense by program and ancillary costs. Department-specific functional and expense reviews are provided in this report, as well as action plans for improvement.
Financial Trend Report
Two years of key financial indicators are displayed on this report so that trends can be quickly established and analyzed for action. Communities collect and maintain two years of data on census numbers, revenue billed, revenue collected, AR balances, AP balances, payroll expenses, and contract labor expenses. This enables management to identify trends and address them proactively.
Sales Management Tools
Roadmap to Success
The Roadmap to Success establishes the sales activity required to achieve budgeted occupancy based on the closing ratios of each sales associate at the community. By analyzing sales ratios such as phone-outs to appointments, appointments to deposits, and deposits to move-ins, a Roadmap is created for each sales associate’s success.
WRC utilizes a high-capacity e-mail marketing server to send marketing announcements, community updates, and distribute inspirational stories, which inspire residents to embrace new activities and participate in the community programs.
For prospects, family members, and referral sources, these pieces celebrate the spirit and lives of Watermark residents and associates, as well as community accomplishments. Distributed via print and e-mail and deployed within the communities, these powerful marketing pieces are effective sales tools.
From pre-sale community relations to post-sale marketing to prospects, residents and family members, Watermark eMarketing system offers an effective communication medium.
Sales by Design
This pioneering sales system works on the belief that sales is the process of leading prospects through the steps to make the right decision. This comprehensive training program gives strategies and tools for understanding buyer motivations, developing referrals, and providing move-in and follow-up customer service.
Daily Occupancy Report
Occupancy Reports are prepared daily and break out rates by level of care, allowing the sales team to focus on the most critical areas, and provides management with an always-current analysis of marketing efforts.
In order to track the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts, we’ve invested in CallSource, a helpful tool for tracking incoming calls. Through CallSource, we can monitor the effectiveness of advertisements and promotions. Because calls are recorded, we can use real-life examples for sales and reception training.
Our in-house agency, Watermark Marketing Group, manages dozens of creative projects on an ongoing basis. Whether it's advertisements, direct mail, brochures, signs or even bus wraps, the team can work collaboratively with communities to create and edit through this streamlined, online program.
We’ve invested in Claritas, the premier provider of marketing information and research resources for companies engaged in consumer and business-to-business marketing. We utilize Claritas’ state-of-the art technology and information to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of our marketing efforts.
Quality Of Care Tools
Quality Improvement Program
The Watermark Quality Improvement Program is designed to measure associate performance against established standards and objectively and systematically monitor and evaluate the quality and appropriateness of resident care. It’s also used to purse opportunities to improve care and resolve identified problems.
Quality Improvement reports provide a snapshot of the key quality indicators for both Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing, enabling Watermark Retirement Communities to chart potential care concerns, trend community progress and reduce indicators that do not meet our high expectations for quality.
Data on resident care needs and significant health events are collected and charted against standard quality indicators. Skilled Nursing results and performance are analyzed based on this data and follow-up actions are determined and implemented as needed. These health-related indicators are trended and measured on a monthly basis. Any performance that does not meet our expectations requires an action plan that is objectively tracked on a monthly basis.
Residents’ care needs and recuperative progress or decline are reviewed by an interdisciplinary team to evaluate the appropriateness and quality of care provided to residents in licensed programs. This clinical review process occurs most frequently for residents that are at high-risk for sentinel health events such as falls, infections, difficulty eating, and pain management.
QUALITY OF LIFE TOOLS
Seven Dimensions of Wellbeing
Watermark views resident health and happiness as a key indicator of successful retirement living. Community programs developed to promote health and happiness are based on the seven dimensions of wellbeing: Physical, Emotional, Vocational, Spiritual, Social, Environmental, and Intellectual. Associates are also encouraged to participate in the creation and promotion of community wellness. Lifelong learning is advanced, especially concentrating on steps residents can take to promote wellness in their lives.
Community Life Philosophy
Resident Programming, otherwise known as Community Life, is the heart and soul of Watermark communities. The Community Life department is charged with planning, directing, and implementing Watermark University courses, community activities, events, excursions and opportunities for residents. Community Life must reflect the broad range of goals, preferences, hopes and needs of this expanding, pioneering generation. Activities, events and opportunities build upon and expand residents’ past interests and desires for new experiences in lifelong learning and growth.
Community Life planning is accomplished through a blend of resident requests and suggestions and awareness of the local community offerings, in addition to creative planning with other departments. Implementation of programs is tracked through newsletter and calendar offerings as well as Standard Reviews. Program evaluation is assessed for resident, family and associate satisfaction.
Getting to Know You Questionnaire
When residents first enter a Watermark community, they’re asked to complete a “Getting to Know You” questionnaire. Questions concern their past experiences, profession, hobbies, and interests. The questionnaire is kept on file and referenced regularly.
In Assisted Living settings – with resident permission – caregivers and activities professionals are given copies of the completed questionnaire so that they can tailor care to resident needs, strengths and interests. In the memory care setting, residents’ family members and friends may complete the forms on behalf of the residents.
The Safety Standards are a community-wide set of Best Practices designed to ensure that appropriate Risk Management is in place at every Watermark community. Required components include the creation and regular meeting of a Safety Committee attended by both residents and employees, regular safety training, a posted safety goal that is revised at least annually, the appropriate documentation and action plan initiation in response to all injuries, regularly documented fire drills, and the proper documentation of MSDS and emergency procedures.
Emergency Preparedness Manual
Watermark provides each community with a specific Emergency Preparedness Manual. This document provides the communities with effective policies and procedures that have been implemented in the past at various Watermark communities. The manual is stored in various areas of the community (such as the front desk, in the Executive Director’s office and at every nurse’s station) so that it is readily available in the event of an emergency. These manuals are customized to each community, based on the architecture, levels of care and emergency challenges presented at each property.
Incident Reporting System
Communities receive multiple tools for the appropriate documentation of both resident and associate injuries and other incidents. These tools have been developed in consultation with legal professionals to ensure that they are appropriate for the various levels of care in which they are used. The Incident Reports are required for every incident, assuring effective documentation and response. The implementation of the reporting system has dramatically reduced incident recurrences.
Watermark’s extensive Compliance Plan is a complete set of written standards, created not just to the letter but the spirit of HIPAA. Beyond the general training received by every associate, it offersjob-specific training is provided for associates working in Skilled Nursing, operations and sales.
Preventative Maintenance Program
Recognizing that the condition of major capital assets may drastically affect the bottom line, Watermark tracks assets at every community with the Micromain software program, which generates a 15-year asset replacement list annually and tracks and produces work orders.