Horizon House Blog

Fit for Growth – Facing the Future

Horizon House exists to make a difference in society and in the lives of residents and employees. By examining “what makes us tick” we will be able to extend and adapt our services and programs, meeting the needs of our community and the community-at-large while remaining financially sound and staying true to our mission.

When CEO Sara McVey first came to Horizon House in June 2015, she needed to get to know the organization, its people and culture. Sara proposed a framework for doing this called Fit for Growth (FFG)—an initiative she read about from Strategy& (formerly Booz and Company). Our process kicked off in November 2015 and is ongoing.

The Horizon House Executive Team worked with the CEO to create a process that fully examines operations in order to understand what we do, why we do it, who does what, and how we might do it better. The guiding philosophy behind FFG is advancing our mission, making sure Horizon House is a great place to live and work now and in the future—and doing so on a continuous basis.

Our partner in this objective examination has been nationally known retirement industry professionals, Moraine Byrne Associates. We’ve simultaneously involved residents and staff every step of the way. As mentioned, FFG is an operational assessment: we’re looking at our market, our people, and our processes—asking those closest to these things to be the architects of improvement. This is an effort that will take time (knowing we’ll hit peaks and valleys), but one in which all constituents are empowered, where everyone sees where we’re headed and why, where we hold people accountable and achieve real progress.

Currently we’re concentrating our efforts in three areas:

  1. Keeping occupancy strong as competition increases and market conditions change
  2. Continuing to improve day-to-day operations, beginning with dining
  3. Repositioning departments and staffing under an umbrella of whole person wellbeing, starting with Supported Living–our assisted living program

Horizon House is unique in the industry, catering to a very broad socio-economic range of residents whose entrance fees range from $40K to $1.2M. As such, we have a responsibility to mitigate monthly service fee increases, bolster resident satisfaction through operational excellence, and ensure we are being as effective and efficient as possible in all areas. Addressing employee engagement and satisfaction is equally important.

Our Board of Trustees voted in May 2016 to affirm its commitment to an ongoing Fit for Growth process, using resident input, employee ideas, and industry benchmarks to continuously improve what we do to advance our mission and ensure long term sustainability.

For more information about Fit for Growth, please contact communication@horizonhouse.org.

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