Staff members at Kendal at Lexington recently dived into some friendly competition.

In a contest held on November 15, eight staff members or teams pitched their best ideas to enhance the employee experience.  The special master of ceremonies was the always entertaining president of the Resident Association, Paul Cormier.

Awesome Ideas

Judges were fellow, not-so-fierce staff members who ultimately chose three winners based on how well their ideas would enhance staff happiness and support workforce engagement. Other criteria were clear presentation (in person or via video), cost management, request compliance, implementation within a year, and “level of awesomeness.”

Three ideas took home the prize of funds up to $5,000 and a lunch/dinner delivery party for staff in the winners’ areas. They were: 1) specialized mannequins to help train new staff on best care practices; 2) a family fun day with food and activities for staff families and children; and 3) a heated massage chair in the staff lounge. The winning teams were Borden Center and Health Services, Webster Assisted Living, and Dining, respectively.

We’re All In!

Though not all proposals claimed top honors, “We want to take pieces of each and every idea and utilize them in one way or another now and into the future,” said executive director and CEO Jan E. Bigelow.

Funded by a $10,000 grant from the Kendal Corporation, the Kendal System affiliate services and resource arm, for a project to increase workforce engagement, the idea for the contest began to take root when staff members shared valuable input about improving time off policies at a Kendal at Lexington recruitment and retention committee meeting.

The Power of Suggestions

“It occurred to us… since our staff has such incredible suggestions to offer regarding our request for recommended changes to our time-off policies, what other great ideas might they have?” said Megan Whorley, director of human resources. “A contest was a fun way to create a platform for our staff to provide even more terrific suggestions about anything to improve their employment experience here.”

Nurse supervisor Amanda Bartley’s winning idea of a family day was inspired by the fun she used to have at her grandfather’s company picnics. “I thought, what a great way to enjoy the day with co-workers and family and showcase the beautiful Kendal campus.”

Everyone’s a Winner

The Kendal at Lexington leadership team is not alone in ensuring that staff members are fulfilled on the job. Residents, too, take it upon themselves to express their appreciation for employees with a twice-yearly fundraiser in support of staff bonuses.

“It’s astonishing to me the amount of money they raise every six months to say thank you,” said marketing associate Kevan Kavanaugh, who was also a presenter at the event.

Added Megan, “It is so important to let staff know they have a voice, and their fabulous ideas can not only be helpful to them, but to other staff members and residents themselves.”

With the mutual support of the entire Kendal at Lexington family front and center all year long, everyone wins.


  1. Specialized mannequins and the CNA class (Health Services Team)-  Debora Dolin and Brittany Clark presented
  2. The family fun day (Webster Team)-  Mandi McComas presented
  3. The massage chair (Dining Team)- Brenda Johnson and Geanie Garrett presented


  • Steven Veiga —Borden Dining
  • Breana Walker–Webster
  • Cathy Morrissey–Maintenance
  • Joyce Clark—Admin
  • Jessica Lipscomb—Housekeeping
  • Remington Propps—Dining
  • Rachel Rose —Borden Nursing
  • Katie Harlow—Activities
Kevan shark tank
calm room shark tank
borden staff women shark tank
harold and shark