At the recent October Board meeting, where resident leaders came together with Board members and Lifespace leadership, we received great questions regarding Lifespace’s strategic plan.
A strategic plan is important for an organization to maintain focus and viability. It is also beneficial for our residents, team members and Board to understand our vision for today and into the future. Our strategic plan currently has five supporting pillars that guide our actions to ensure we remain aligned with our purpose. We strive to structure our organization around these pillars to preserve the quality of all our communities and position the organization for future success. Here’s how:
Be a Great Place to Live and Work
Our goal is to create a comfortable home and ensure the future viability of our communities. We continually focus on improving amenities, access to care and introducing programs to enrich the lives of our residents and team members. Historically, Lifespace has always invested in redeveloping and renovating our communities. Several redevelopment projects are underway, and we continue to assess our other communities’ needs.
In addition, we realize the team members that provide care and services on a daily basis are critical to the health and happiness of our residents, which is why we strive to be the premier senior living employer in the markets we serve. An example of supporting our team members involves the Charles M. Hall Scholarship fund, established to inspire team members to pursue their dreams of becoming registered nurses and supporting those seeking advanced nursing degrees.
Be Financially Stable
Lifespace has a strong financial history that has allowed us to grow and reinvest in our communities over the years. A benefit of being a part of a larger organization, rather than a standalone community, is having the capacity to service debt at reasonable financial rates. It is because of our ability to borrow and pay back debt that we are able to invest approximately $400 million in our existing communities. Investing not only in our physical plants, but also in our team members so they can support our residents with the best service and care possible.
Be a Good Neighbor
Giving back to society at large has been a focal point for Lifespace since the very beginning. We work closely with our residents and team members to help offer the resources and support necessary to pursue their passions that contribute to the greater good. In addition to a strong focus on social accountability, we carefully adhere to standards that support and maintain our 501(c)3 not-for-profit status. Last year alone our team members volunteered close to 400 hours, and we have continued to build upon our benevolent care funds.
Be a Unified Enterprise
It is important to celebrate the unique personalities of our communities while leveraging their individual strengths, as we work together toward common goals. The more we are able to function as a cohesive organization, to learn from one another and implement best practices, the better each individual community can be. As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. Recently, our unified spirit was put to test with Hurricane Irma which impacted, in varying degrees, all five Lifespace communities in Florida. With strong collaboration and clear communication across the entire organization, we successfully ensured the safety and well-being of our residents and team members. While certainly an unfortunate event, Irma further emphasized the benefits of organizational unity. I am extremely thankful to all the team members who worked tirelessly through this event.
Be Growth Oriented
From the time Lifespace opened our first community, Friendship Village of Bloomington, in 1978, until 2011 when we acquired Oak Trace, we have always been focused on growth. Our ambition is largely driven by our desire to positively impact as many lives as possible. In this pursuit, we are focused on geographic diversity, while working to attract talented and skilled professionals to enhance the services and amenities we offer.
Overall, our strategic plan is aimed at one critical deliverable – enhancing the well-being of our residents and team members. Our foundational pillars are crucial to achieving the growth that influences residents’ sense of confidence, freedom and purpose at a Lifespace community. Growth means better services, better amenities, better-trained personnel, better programming and better opportunities for residents to pursue life-enriching endeavors. The generous commitment displayed by our team members and the enduring spirit from residents are inspiring reflections of the hope, progress and promise experienced at Lifespace communities.
(In the photo: Abbey Delray resident Peggy York shares a laugh with President and CEO Sloan Bentley (left) at the 2016 resident Board meeting.)
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