Risks can be a barrier to progress. Consequently, taking steps to mitigate potential threats is an important element to achieving and maintaining success. Lifespace Communities identified a significant opportunity to make a difference by assessing and managing risk at all levels within its enterprise to provide for its residents and team members’ well-being. This goal is achieved through a process known as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).
Enterprise Risk Management involves the organization-wide gathering, evaluation and treatment of risks, so resources can be dedicated to enhancing the Lifespace experience, rather than being diverted to dealing with preventable setbacks. Due to Lifespace’s breadth of services, from housekeeping to health care, this approach keeps integral parts of the organization running smoothly.
To kick-start its ERM efforts last fall, Lifespace first set out to gauge its risk tolerance. Through thorough discussion and evaluation, it was determined to be a moderate risk-tolerant organization. Lifespace is certainly aware that it must accept some risk to grow and provide better amenities and services. However, the organization is fully committed to averting any threats to critical areas such as the health, safety and security (including financial security) of its residents and team members.
Following this assessment, representatives from every department across the organization gathered to identify the probability of key risks inherent in business activities and their potential impact. Based on their findings, they developed Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) to keep them cognizant of increasing risk exposure, and developed effective ways to manage the risks. Lifespace consistently monitors these KRIs and reports to its board, leadership, team members and communities the risk treatments and mitigating controls it has established to help control or limit the risks.
With this process in place, Lifespace hopes to improve or lessen the negative impact of the various risks it faces. The organization’s emergency preparedness program exemplifies this. Retirement communities are at risk of natural, man-made or public health disasters that can threaten the safety, health, welfare and livelihoods of residents and team members. These disasters include hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, fires, pandemics and violent acts. Lifespace’s ERM program has emergency disaster plans and processes in place to alleviate these issues. This includes plans for evacuation or sheltering in place, stocking ample supplies, ensuring there is enough fuel for emergency generators and having sufficient insurance coverage. Earlier this year, Lifespace’s efforts helped successfully ensure the safety of residents and associates at its five Florida communities that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.
Lifespace is a firm believer in the notion that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By carefully identifying, assessing and monitoring known risks and applying timely risk solutions, the organization can better serve the needs of its residents and team members, and its mission to “celebrate the lives of seniors” can be achieved in the safest and most secure environment possible.
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