Nurturing Talent to Reduce Turnover & Increase Engagement-16

Nurturing Talent to Reduce Turnover & Increase Engagement

Passionate people are where it all begins with talent in the hospitality industry but nurturing that passion and investing in the employee experience are key to a sustainable talent retention approach.

Training Culinary Leaders

The Culinary Advancement Training Series (CATS) is a Compass Community Living program that engages both hourly and salaried employees with in-depth development opportunities conducted in collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America.

The training includes a comprehensive online class schedule, three hours each week online with mentors, homework assignments, exams, and regular webinars with senior leadership. Culinarians who have successfully completed the curriculum and development plan, and who have been actively mentored by a regional or corporate chef, are added to Compass Community Living’s ”Emerging Leaders” list for future opportunities within the company.

Roger Ellens, the CEO of Peace Village in Illinois, noted that the benefits of the CATS program:

“The benefits of the CATS program for the residents of Peace Village includes the cooks learning new ways to make things from scratch which allows them to tailor dishes to the tastes and nutritional desires of residents.”


Employee turnover remains an ongoing challenge with rates exceeding 33% in senior care, according to Argentum’s Workforce Trends Report. Amid rising turnover and rapidly expanding care needs, hiring and retention practices, along with associate engagement and recognition is critical to morale.


Compass Community Living’s culinary team tapped The Culinary Institute of America to offer both CIA ProChef® Mentor training and Culinary Advancement Training Series (CATS) to provide culinarians with
education, ongoing training, and development opportunities to take their careers to the next level.

  • Talent Development
  • Resident Satisfaction
  • Engagement Strategies


  1. Reduced Average Time to Fill Culinary Positions
    Over the course of the Fiscal Year 2021, Compass Community Living reduced the average time to full a culinary position by 29%
  2. Cost Savings on Vacant Positions
    Compass Community Living saved an estimated $185 per day on vacant culinary positions or an average of $1,480 per open position.
  3. Reduction in Turnover Rates
    In 2020, Compass Community Living’s turnover rate was 72.7% below the foodservice industry average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, the turnover rate for internal culinary positions decreased 3% year over year. Given the challenges the senior living industry faced during COVID-19, a reduction in turnover is a testament to workplace culture.

Take a closer look at how we attract and retain top talent by investing in the employee experience in our case study.

About Compass Community Living

Compass Community Living (CCL) is a division of Compass Group, a global culinary and support services leader. With over 15,000 associates nationwide, CCL offers the expertise of three powerhouse brands – Morrison Living, Coreworks and Unidine. CCL provides collaborative partnerships, emphasizing hospitality and service excellence, for over 850 retirement communities and behavioral health facilities across the country. Together, our family of companies deliver an experience known for innovation and a passion for service with proven management and strong operational infrastructure.

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