We all know integrity matters but what does it really mean for senior living communities

By Ron Jennette, President & CEO

Over the next few months, I want to explore the meaning of the words that form the ICARE acronym. ICARE stands for Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. In each of our communities, we keep ICARE as the focus for recruiting, training and employee evaluations. We feel ICARE symbolizes “hospitality with teeth.” It gives life to the care and services we provide to our residents daily. So we reward employees who live and breathe these values.

Each letter of ICARE has a specific meaning, so let’s start with “I” – it stands for INTEGRITY. In its simplest form, integrity means being honest and ethical in all we say and do – even when no one is looking. So when we discuss integrity in our internal meetings and training sessions, here are some of the things we hear:

  • Integrity means you give credit to others for their good ideas.
  •   Integrity allows you to give people the benefit of the doubt instead of rushing to judgement.
  • Integrity requires you to own your mistakes and take actions to correct them.
  •  Integrity means you work just as hard, regardless of whether anyone is watching.
  • Integrity demands honest words and deeds.
  • Integrity calls you to listen before you speak and think before you write.
  •  Integrity in leadership means you lead by example to promote ethical behavior.
  • Integrity enables you to make tough decisions to best fulfill and serve the mission.
  •  Integrity motivates you to make a positive contribution.
  • Integrity asks that you keep love at the core of all your interactions with residents.
  •  Integrity requires you to realize that God is watching.

These kinds of comments make me proud of the people who pour so much compassion and love into the work they do for our residents. My parents taught me that if I’ve truly done my best to do the right thing, I should be able to sleep well at night while trusting that God will pick up any pieces that I may have unfairly been dealt. I think that’s pretty good advice, and I believe we have hundreds of employees who also live by this belief.

Integrity is a work in progress for even the best person. It requires a conscious effort each and every day if we are to become the person of integrity that God intends for us to be. I invite you to add your thoughts. What does integrity mean to you?