As we are all adjusting to the "new normal" during this worldwide pandemic, we want to emphasize the importance of showing appreciation to the ones who go above and beyond every day. We're proud of the thousands of dedicated associates on the frontlines of this crisis. Their tireless efforts are helping to save the lives in our communities. Every member of the Morrison Living family understands our mission and is focused on the health, safety, and well-being of our residents, associates, and community.

How do we let them know we care, especially in the midst of COVID-19? Recognizing each member of the team, working to improve overall morale, and maintaining transparent communications reinforces the important role they play in keeping our residents safe and ensuring an excellent culinary experience, pandemic or not.

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As part of the world's largest food service company, we offer benefits the way we know best--through the nourishment of food. Our associates appreciate the perk of free meals during shifts and value the opportunity to shop for groceries from the new pop-up market to avoid trips to the store.

We are also encouraging our associates to share their appreciation for each other with the recent addition of the "shout out boards" in our communities. These boards offer associates the chance to recognize each other for their outstanding work.

Another way to celebrate team members--individually and collectively--is by creating a morale calendar. Many communities around the country have implemented these calendars with fun activities for employees that can include t-shirt Fridays, potluck lunches for staff, coffee and donut days, gift card giveaways, and celebrating all associates' birthdays and service anniversaries. When your staff feel valued, they are more likely to perform at their highest level.

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Now and always, we strive to be the best part of someone's day. As devastating as this pandemic has been, we've seen our associates take initiative to create new and innovative ways to care for our residents. Here are just a few, out of many, positive and uplifting stories that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While our team is busy being the best part of our residents' day, it is important to remind associates that self-care is just as important as the care they provide to residents, too. During stressful times, it is critical to take time for yourself and focus on what you can control, according to this article from our nutrition and wellness senior director, Traci Miller. In addition to those tips, Morrison Living offers a dedicated intranet page with resources regarding coronavirus, new and exciting programs, and wellness tips for our staff.

However, these thoughtful and morale-boosting acts are not all that is needed for employees to feel they are appreciated and respected. Associates also want the security of knowing decision-making and administration are transparent, which can be attained through regular communications to staff. One way this can be achieved is through a company blog, similar to the one Morrison Living's CEO, Barbara Conn, shared about Morrison Living's commitment during COVID-19. Other ways to maintain open lines of communication with employees are through regular email messages or weekly calls, which can give associates an opportunity to hear the latest updates from leadership and the chance to ask questions.

It is not enough, though, for staff and residents to feel appreciated during these difficult times. It is also necessary to continue these best practices after weathering the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and make them part of our "new normal."

We are better together, now and in the future.

To all senior living frontline associates, thank you for your commitment to serving others and being the best part of someone's day!

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For nearly 100 years, Morrison Living has been serving delicious food and providing superior hospitality services. As part of Compass Group USA, their focus is on serving the senior living industry with a mission and purpose that connects their clients, residents, and the community. Morrison offers the highest quality of food, nutrition and wellness, design, and environmental services to its clients along the senior care continuum including independent living, assisted living, and nursing homes.