Turning the Tide of the Great Resignation

Written by: Brady Drake

For Eventide, a local company providing much-needed senior living opportunities, “the great resignation” has become an issue worth attacking from all angles.

According to Eventide’s Vice President of People and Culture Kayla Linn, Eventide experienced an uptick in turnover rate across all locations by about 10% between 2020 and 2021.

“I think COVID really escalated what I anticipated in our industry,” Linn said. “We knew our demand was going to increase over the next five years because of the baby boomer generation. So, I anticipated a staffing shortage over the next 5-10 years but COVID expedited that quicker than we anticipated.”

According to Linn, the issues with turnover have been more noticeable in their rural locations than at Fargo-Moorhead locations, which have a significant talent pool to pull from. However, as the pandemic progressed, Eventide saw increased turnover due to a number of factors including the increase in regulations and rules that came with the territory of being a healthcare business. Imagine the stress and uncertainty you felt at the onset of the pandemic magnified by strict mask mandates and multiple tests a week for everyone in the company, regardless of whether or not they were direct care professionals.

“Our world was changing multiple times a week, sometimes per day with all of the new regulations coming from the state and the CDC,” Linn said. “A lot of people chose to instead find a job where they could work from home and not have to deal with all of that.”

What is Eventide doing to fight back?
Eventide is trying a multitude of things to combat the great resignation, including:

• Increased salaries – Eventide increased all salaries across the company in 2021 and are continuing to review these to ensure they remain competitive in their markets

• An expedited recruiting process – In order to get people in the door, Eventide has begun to implement a quick application process. Instead of filling out a full application, prospective employees simply have to give their name, phone number and the position they’re interested in. Then Eventide calls them for a quick phone interview that usually ends in them scheduling an in-person interview.

• Sharing their story – in recruiting employees, Eventide has made an increased effort to tell prospective employees about the benefits of working in long-term care. Included in this effort is their “#WorkWithMe” campaign, where frontline staff share why they love working with Eventide. “This has not only helped us tell our story to new candidates but also helped us uplift our current staff,” Linn said.

• A robust referral program – Linn estimates that right now, Eventide has 230 of its 1,100 staff members receiving referral bonuses. Eventide also separates itself from the other employers in the area by offering referral money to both the person joining the team and the person that made the referral.

• Obsessing over employees – Eventide has made a genuine effort to obsess over its employees, meaning they dig deep with each individual to learn what is keeping them at Eventide and how they can help them continue to grow and be successful within the company. “The way we are doing this is by having every manager complete regular one-on-ones,” Linn said. “This sounds simple in an office setting, but you have to remember, some of our managers have staff that may only work nights every other weekend. In that situation, the manager and the employee may become two ships passing in the night. That’s why we need to be really intentional about it.”

“We really want our employees to feel appreciated here and we will be holding focus groups to see what we can do to further that,” Linn said.


Kayla Linn Vice President of People and Culture, Eventide
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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.