Early Findings: Staff & Resident Retention

Behavioral Analysis to Improve the Resident & Staff Experience

Fynn’s platform enables senior living operators to leverage behavioral analysis—a powerful and underutilized tool—to gain a deeper understanding of residents for earlier detection of potential changes in acuity. This report highlights early findings on how the platform is using behavioral analysis to proactively improve the resident and employee experience with the goal of increasing the length of stay and strengthening margins. Fynn will continue to update these ongoing findings as it learns about the impacts of continuous behavioral analysis on resident and community outcomes and the engagement and support for senior living care teams.

Overview: Reducing operational friction to improve employee retention and resident satisfaction 

Staff retention is a major challenge for senior living operations—impacting everything from resident satisfaction to net operating income (NOI). According to a meta-analysis conducted by Gallup, businesses with highly engaged employees received a 10% increase in customer satisfaction and an 18% increase in sales. 

Recognizing the positive correlation between employee engagement and resident happiness, Fynn began looking for the drivers of employee engagement and conversely, points of friction contributing to employee burnout. In collaboration with senior living management and staff, Fynn identified 5 underlying pain points leading to caregiver burnout with 5 proposed solutions: 

The early findings in this report study the correlation between observed resident behaviors and the employees caring for them to identify points of friction and opportunities for intervention. Fynn has been deployed in senior living communities offering Independent Living through Memory Care. The goal is to address the challenge of improving the care experience for residents and employees by identifying early shifts in resident well-being.

The Big Idea: Empowering employees enables proactive care

Fynn is committed to promoting Health Sustainability—a conceptual and actionable approach to transforming the availability, efficiency, and quality of senior living options and operations. Empowering each contributor in the senior living ecosystem to be an active and engaged partner in fostering the well-being of seniors is a central focus of Health Sustainability. As senior living operators seek to improve outcomes for residents, Fynn empowers senior living employees to succeed by providing a deeper understanding of residents for proactive, personalized care. Fynn is working to improve health outcomes for residents and career outcomes for employees. 

By looking at a resident’s behavior data over time, by the time of day, by ADL type, or by care staff member, we can identify trends and anomalies that present opportunities to improve Health Sustainability through proactive intervention.

Application: How one operator used behavioral analysis to optimize staffing and personalize care 

Fynn leverages observed resident behavioral data to identify earlier indicators of operational pain points in senior living in two main categories: 1) friction between residents and the employees caring for them and 2) friction associated with assistance with certain types of ADLs. In this report, we’re focusing on identifying and mitigating the causes of staff friction to improve the care experience for residents and employees alike.  

By analyzing each resident’s behavior over time, Fynn developed a behavioral baseline for each resident while looking for deviations from normal. Once a meaningful change in behavior was identified, Fynn determined if the deviation was correlated with a specific caregiver. The operator was alerted to further investigate the underlying cause triggering the change in behavior and deploy the appropriate intervention.

Identifying Friction Between Residents and Staff 

To identify potential points of friction between residents and care staff, Fynn studies the correlation between observed resident behaviors and the employees caring for them. This graph shows the average behavior score (y-axis with negative behavior starting at 0 and increasing toward positive behavior at 1) for 11 different care staff (x-axis) that the observed resident interacted with at least 100 times each. As the data illustrates, this resident generally demonstrates positive behavior for the majority of care staff but experiences a noticeable dropoff in interactions with Caregiver 9. 


Potential Interventions 

The deviation in resident behaviors with a single caregiver promotes several opportunities for further investigation into the underlying contributors to the problem such as insufficient or inconsistent training, personality conflicts, or employee burnout. Depending on the particular source of the friction, managers may choose to deploy the following interventions: 

  • Employee Coaching – Seeing that the resident seems to respond positively to all other caregivers, this decline in behavior may signify a training opportunity for Caregiver 9. To determine the area where additional coaching may be needed, the community Wellness Director can shadow Caregiver 9 during interactions with Resident 4. Through closer observation, the Wellness Director can identify improvements to reduce the friction in the interaction to improve resident well-being as well as minimize negative interactions for care staff.
  • Resident-to-staff Matching – In the case that this resident and staff member have a personality conflict, managers can work to minimize scheduling Caregiver 9 to provide care for Resident 1. Behavioral analysis enables managers to pair residents with caregivers with whom they have a positive, trusting relationship; thus, building a better experience and personalized care for both residents and employees.
  • Employee Engagement Check-in – Providing care can be physically and emotionally strenuous leading to employee fatigue and ultimately burnout if warning signs are not addressed. If multiple residents demonstrate negative behaviors when receiving care from Caregiver 9, his/her manager may need to schedule a time to meet with the employee to understand what factors may be negatively impacting his/her performance. This provides the employee with the opportunity to be heard and have his/her needs addressed and gives the manager a fuller understanding of how to motivate employees. 

“Oftentimes, managers are focused on resident well-being and may miss signs that a team member needs help. Meanwhile, the employee may not feel that they can ask for the support, training, or resources they need in order to succeed. Fynn helps us to identify workload balancing issues and coaching opportunities sooner, so employees’ needs are being met before burnout occurs,” said Joshua Peterson, President of Galerie Management.

Deployed Intervention   

After further investigation, the community managers were able to identify a difference in communication style as the root cause of the friction between Resident 1 and Caregiver 9. Resident 1 preferred and needed more direct communication with specific reminders and directives for daily activities rather than open-ended questions. Meanwhile, Caregiver 9 used a more indirect and broad communication style when addressing the resident, causing Resident 1 to become confused and agitated. 

This tension was easily eliminated by providing Caregiver 9 with communication coaching. Empowered with the proper training, Caregiver 9 was able to better engage with Resident 1, resulting in a steadier behavioral curve and improved experience for both resident and employee. 

“Empowering employees to succeed is a big part of our vision to create more ‘good’ days for residents, employees, and communities. Fynn’s data gives us the actionable insights to drive our vision for Health Sustainability forward,” Peterson said.

Findings: Behavioral analysis helps reduce costly resident & staff turnover

Reducing Costs of Resident Turnover 

Across the industry, frustration with staff is a leading contributor to resident move-outs. Had Resident 1 decided to move out due to ongoing frustration with Caregiver 9, the community would have lost $12,000/month until the unit was backfilled—totaling to a loss of $36,000 for a 90-day backfill rate up to a $144,000 of annualized loss should the unit take a full year to fill. By mitigating tension sooner through resident-to-staff matching, improved training, and increased staff retention, communities can improve resident length-of-stay and steady occupancy rates. 

Reducing Costs of Employee Turnover 

The financial costs of employee turnover is estimated to be 150% of the exiting employee’s wages. For example, a full-time associate making $20/hour would cost the company $4,800 to turn the position. Moreover, the organizational cost due to a loss of interpersonal knowledge and relationships between residents and caregivers is difficult to replace.  

Unlike shorter-term acute care environments, senior living communities provide assisted living care services for an average of 2.5 to 3 years, giving the opportunity for residents and care staff to build close relationships. These relationships are highly valuable for providing personalized care to residents, as tenured caregivers often intrinsically know each resident’s unique preferences, norms, and histories that may or may not be recorded in traditional care plans. 

By giving employees the ability to capture their knowledge within the platform, Fynn shares the insights of individuals across shifts and departments. Recognizing the person-to-person connection between a resident and caregiver remains irreplaceable, Fynn’s performance monitoring and rewards system and the earlier identification of coaching needs gives operators more opportunities to intervene before voluntary or involuntary turnover occurs. 


For questions about Fynn or our ongoing research, contact Andrea Morgan at andrea.morgan@fynn.io.