Management Education that Works for EldercareAs Chief Learning Officer of ELDER Management Education, a Professional Studies Program at Lasell College, I love the day assignments are due. Sampling our participants’ excellent work is a weekly reminder of the importance of investing in managers in senior living, health care and community-based care. It’s a confirmation that well-designed training and education works.
We all want and need our managers to succeed in developing their managerial skills; it helps our organizations thrive. Most of the managers in our program come in with a narrow, specialized background (nursing, other clinical, social work, marketing, facilities, dining) and many have only seen one part of the continuum (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, home health, home and community based services and special programs.) Few have an overview of the field, and very few have had the benefit of management education.
These managers are running teams, divisions and organizations. They have so much experience in the field—which is why they benefit from management tools. The ELDER Management Professional Studies program at Lasell College program teaches the highlights of management, emphasizing strategic management, marketing and organizational skills. More importantly, every class is taught by leaders in the eldercare field, who understand the nature and of the profession and its unique challenges.
The pre- post- class survey results are impressive. From our most recent course, Strategic Thinking in Changing Senior Market, increases in scores ranged between 144% to 246% across five learning objectives. The score gains come from adult learning design: managers learn by doing. The class included discussions and assignments that require reflecting on their senior-serving organization and its market. Doing the assignments, and sharing that work with others results in learning that sticks.
One of our participants made the following unsolicited remark at the end of the last class:
“I cannot thank Lasell, E.L.D.E.R, and [the faculty] enough for this opportunity. Many of us nurses never had formal business or management classes. We learned them … on the floor with residents with medications, treatments, CNAs, ancillary staff and families…This is giving me much more. I have gone back to my facility after every assignment and discussed and shared the work and comments by [faculty]. [It] has truly woken up my campus and for that I am grateful. I now have the tools to continue to work these Items …Again thank you for the opportunity.”
We at ELDER Management and Lasell College are grateful to the hardworking managers across the continuum of care.