Resident Engagement is positively impacted when residents have a voice, when administrators are transparent in decision-making and when sincere efforts are made to address issues and concerns impacting residents’ everyday lives.

By adopting a philosophy of involving residents in decision-making and being responsive to them, campuses like Garden Spot Village in New Holland, Pennsylvania, are excelling in resident engagement and satisfaction scores, according to Holleran, a national research firm. Garden Spot Village ranks better than 95% of other campuses in the Holleran national benchmark when it comes to the element of resident engagement that measures ‘Voice’.

“We have created a culture that gives residents mastery, autonomy and purpose,” states Garden Spot Communities’ CEO, Steve Lindsey. When residents are encouraged to actively voice their opinions, it contributes to their sense of belonging, esteem and self-actualization–the three upper rungs on Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs model of human psychology.

Lindsey says that consistent, two-way, and transparent communication is key to the excellent resident engagement scores achieved at Garden Spot Village. Monthly “coffee and conversation” meetings, where no topic is off limits as well as numerous other feedback loops contribute to a feeling by residents that they are being heard and taken seriously by campus leaders.

Voice is one of four key elements of resident engagement, as measured by Holleran in its national database. The other elements include Connection, Fulfillment and Well-Being. “When all four of these are positively felt by residents, campuses experience a culture of engagement which directly leads to a high quality of life,” states Michele Holleran, CEO of the research firm.