During the 41 years Lifespace Communities has dedicated to providing a premier retirement experience, we have achieved considerable growth. We are proud of our achievements and are honored to continue to have such a positive impact on the lives of thousands of residents, their families and team members who support them across the country. While success comes with plenty of rewards, we certainly face some challenges as an ever-growing organization. With a dozen communities in seven states, one such challenge is maintaining a uniform organizational culture while also preserving the unique personalities of all 12 communities.
This challenge was a key reason behind the launch of our Living Lifespace program last year. Living Lifespace aims to ensure we are all working toward the same purpose – celebrating the lives of seniors. It means:
– Maintaining a spirit of friendliness that’s second to none at all our communities
– Providing exceptional service to all our residents and their families
– Sustaining a professional, supportive and engaging work environment for all our team members
– Adhering to a high standard of processes and practices, from our financial structures to our health and safety measures
Living Lifespace also means championing and preserving the uniqueness and individuality of our communities. Locality plays a major role in shaping these traits. Traditions, cuisines, interests and activities can vary widely depending on region, state, city and neighborhood. Grand Lodge at the Preserve in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a prime example of this. With the University of Nebraska as the city’s cornerstone, residents at the community are closely tied to the school’s fabric. Consequently, academia, initiatives of higher learning and Huskers sports are an important part of their lives, and the community works diligently to cater to that.
During a recent conversation with Blaire Goldstein, executive director at Oak Trace in Downers Grove, Illinois, she highlighted the importance of community traditions. Blaire is a firm believer in defining and honoring her community’s past and using it as the backbone for future endeavors. For example, the community hosts an annual United Nations Day event to celebrate the diversity of its team members. While other communities also honor their associates, this tradition is unique to Oak Trace. Blaire noted that such a tradition can evolve and change over time, but the people who live and work at Oak Trace define when and how that happens.
I agree wholeheartedly. These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg in the multitude of unique traits our communities possess. These characteristics cultivate a sense of familiarity, belonging and comfort for our residents and team members, and we fully champion and support them. Our Living Lifespace culture offers principles and guidelines for achieving exceptional hospitality, whereas our traditions and values breathe life into each of our communities. The combination of the two is where the magic happens.
(In the photo: Oak Trace team members huddle together for a photo during the 2017 United Nations Day event. Front, L-R: Rosemarie Argote, Lea Lucas, Heintje Miranda, Leonora Cantos, Kimberly Anne DeMesa and Gladys Carlson Back, L-R: Paul O’Hara Peters and Marlon Sicat)
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