Q. You started the new position – Vice President of Human Resources for Elder Care Alliance – in August? What are the goals for you and your team for the first six months?
A. My overarching goal is to create a more compelling experience here. More specifically, we are looking at programs closely and asking our employees questions like, “Was that an enhancing experience or not?”
We want to be an employer of choice and I have been involving leadership and we are asking employees, “What do you need?”
Sorting out all the information and making buckets of how we will approach setting priorities is also what we are doing.
Q. What appealed to you about the position at Elder Care Alliance?
A. I wanted to be at an employer of choice and Elder Care Alliance has that in its strategic goals and it is not just lip service. The leadership is dialed in and committed.
Q. What partnerships have you formed during your first 60 days? Internal, in the community and in the industry?
A. I have formed real partnerships at the corporate office as well as in the communities as well. I lean on my peers for direction and counsel. I also am part of the California Assisted Living Association (CALA). We also are involved with Helping Hands East Bay and that allows us to ensure that kind of support from the community and to the community is woven into Elder Care Alliance. It also means we may find a way to incorporate folks we meet through them into our organization.
Q. You obviously enjoy working in senior living as your background indicates. Can you share what it is about the sector that you enjoy most?
A. What attracted me to it was I had some personal things going on with my Dad. I had a call from a recruiter and I visited a senior living community. I connected with a resident who was telling me all about her daughter and her life. The woman was feeling loved and engaged. And getting plenty of attention. I saw this and I knew my Dad was not getting this where he was. His place was cold and clinical. I knew then that I wanted to help senior living communities become a place where people come to LIVE!
I also had a dining coordinator put it into perspective for me. He told me he treats every meal with great care and concern as you never know if it will be their last one.
Q. How do you work to recruit and retain great employees?
A. Well, we are working on that. What I have asked my leadership to do is to start to look at things form their employees’ perspective. Have we asked them if something they do is meaningful to them? We need to ask our employees how programs or interactions work and if they are meaningful. This allows them to create their own story about Elder Care Alliance by using their own experiences. We need to move the needle on employee appreciation. Sometimes just a Thank You or show of appreciation is all they want or need.
Q. What do you enjoy when you are not working? Favorite food or hobbies?
A. One of the goals for the year was to become more creative. My dining room table is filled with crafts. I enjoy making jewelry. I bead some jewelry at times. At the end of the day, I have created something tangible.
By day, Monica is the vice president of Human Resources for Elder Care Alliance. She also is a certified success coach and enjoys working with a group of women in this capacity. “I enjoy helping women connect with other women. It feeds my spirit as well. I love what I do.”