Guest Columns

Journey to performance excellence

John Goodman
John Goodman

This year, The Goodman Group is celebrating 50 years as an innovator in senior living and healthcare. We manage 33 communities nationwide and are expanding into the United Kingdom. As a service organization, we continuously seek performance excellence.

With the mission of long-term success and enriching the lives of our residents and team members, The Goodman Group is on a journey that requires commitment spanning multiple years and planning at every level. In 2014, The Goodman Group participated in the Minnesota-based Performance Excellence Network (PEN) assessment. Following a challenging and comprehensive application process, PEN evaluators assessed quality and business operations at our home office in Chaska, MN, and at eight of our senior living and healthcare communities in Minnesota, Montana and Florida.

The evaluation team also conducted phone interviews with leaders at four of our managed communities in California, Arizona, Oregon and South Dakota. The assessment is based on the nationally renowned Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and is the culmination of a rigorous evaluation of an organization's management system, encompassing leadership, strategic planning, customer-related processes, and operations.

PEN recognizes organizations committed to systematically improving results. It is a multi-state, northern regional award program which assesses organizations in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. Beyond Minnesota, there is an alliance of state and local performance excellence assessment programs based on the Baldrige principles.

Though the PEN regional, tristate program is open to all size companies, this year only six organizations, including The Goodman Group, joined 127 others recognized since 1991 for their systematic improvement efforts and superior outcomes. The first is the Commitment level, the second is Advancement, the third is Achievement, and the highest level is Excellence. It is not unusual that the journey to take a decade in order to receive the highest level of achievement. I'm proud to share that our organization was recognized with the Advancement Level Award on our first attempt.

PEN evaluators recognized our Platinum Service® training program, the operating philosophy of

The Goodman Group. Every morning, team members at our corporate office, and at all of our communities across the nation, attend a stand-up meeting, recommitting themselves to embrace a culture of unparalleled service. Since its implementation in 2011, the program has become part of our daily service culture, and is the centerpiece of our promise to each of our residents, families and all those we serve to deliver the highest quality of service on a legendary scale. We believe in putting our residents at the heart of everything we do. It is intrinsic to our culture and woven into the fabric of who we are. Every team member completes The Goodman Group's Platinum Service training, embraces the program and promises to follow its 20 service standards.

PEN noted our use of data and how metrics play a role in our daily decision making process.  They see value in the record number of innovations we have continued to develop for our residents in every stage of the care continuum (independent, assisted, skilled and memory care). Our proprietary programs include Food for Life™, Life Enrichment programming such as FIT Functional Fitness™, Pearls of Life® memory care, music programming, pet therapy, and aromatherapy. We create exceptional environments for our senior residents, featuring innovations such as our new multisensory Nature Immersion Room.

I highly recommend that more organizations nationwide embark on this journey, as it is invaluable to an organization's outlook and sustainability. Even as we approach our 50th anniversary in the senior living and healthcare industry, we look to the future as we continue to enable our residents and team members to achieve an optimum level of wellbeing. The Baldrige principles are a guiding light for the continual pursuit of excellence, and a promise that we will serve future generations with the utmost competence and compassion.

I believe you measure your success by your mission. If you're truly stating your mission and you're following through to the best of your ability, the results will be there. Through the years, we have stayed with our mission: to create and manage truly wonderful places for people to live. Participating in the PEN Baldrige journey helps assure the sustainability of our vision.

Founded in 1965 in residential and commercial property ownership and management, we developed our first healthcare center in 1967 and are a leading national and international operator and developer for senior living communities, healthcare centers, residential communities and commercial properties. The Goodman Group is a privately held company with responsibility for overseeing senior living & healthcare and residential communities with more than 13,800 residents and 4,200 team members. We are breaking ground in the United Kingdom and are setting a new standard for the quality of London's senior living and healthcare.

John B. Goodman is the chairman of The Goodman Group, and has more than 45 years of experience in the management and operation of residential, commercial, senior living communities and healthcare centers. For more information on our company, please visit www.thegoodmangroup.com.

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