Changing of the guard: village manager workforce to turn over in next 2-3 years

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Village operators are looking to invest in training, support and wages for staff as the older generation of managers retires and ‘Gen Y’ fills the gap.

In last week’s Workforce issue of SATURDAY, many operators reported that they were expecting turnover in their existing workforce over the next two to three years – and the younger generation

One operator said that over 50% of their village managers have now been in the job for less than two years.

Paul Burkett, the Director and CEO of Baldwin Care Group, said he has had two village manager retire in the past 12 months to be replaced by younger managers in their 30s.

Maintenance roles are also proving difficult to fill as the retired builders and tradespeople in these roles also retire, while home care workers are hard to source due to lockdowns and resignations.

COVID-19 has made the challenge of retaining and attracting staff even harder with many residents demanding that staff are fully vaccinated.

Paul says he has lost some staff recently because they did not want to be vaccinated.

At the other end, village managers are being verbally abused by residents that are ignoring the public health orders.

How then to appeal to the new generation?

Pay is an issue – the average village manager salary is around $80,000 despite the responsibilities being equivalent to that of a hotel manager.

Paul offers yearly bonuses based on KPIs around accreditation, meeting regulations, guest surveys, sales and more.

Training – and networking opportunities – are also critical.

Paul has two new village managers taking part in the DCMI program and says he is seeing the difference that it is making to their experience.

“They realise that they’re not Robinson Crusoe and there’s other people sharing the same problems,” he said.

Some operators are also budgeting for additional support staff – but historically this has come at a cost to the residents and operators.

The question is then: will the new Baby Boomer customer be prepared to pay more for a higher level of service – and are village operators ready to invest in their human capital?

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