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Westminster-Thurber Community

Staffing Impact



Early to Mid-Implementation Signs of Staffing Impact: Increased levels of staff satisfaction formally (surveys) and informally (verbally to peers and leadership team); Active understanding of culture change and person-directed principles by the majority of staff; Formal recognition of employees for excellence in person-directed care; Self-motivation, critical analysis, and problem-solving by front-line staff to incorporate person-directed principles.

Staff Impact Quantitative Findings

  • Culture change growth has been exponential over the past few years as evidenced by increased employee satisfaction with over a 90% acceptance of culture change by employees.
  • "Soil Warming" surveys indicate significant longitudinal increases from 2006 to 2008 in employees responding "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" to the following key culture change statements (see above graph):
    1. Management is interested in me and my development as a person.
    2. Management is leading us in the right direction.
    3. I know and understand the mission of this organization.
    4. Management listens to me and takes my opinions seriously.
    5. My work is recognized by my team members as worthwhile.
    6. I have the resources I need to be effective in my job.
    7. There is a happy atmosphere in the place I work.
  • The interest of employees to take a more active role is evidenced by the increase in the number of line participants in the Eden associate training. In 2002, Westminster went from 5 certified Eden associates to over 60 associates in 2009.
  • Annualized staff turnover for the entire organization decreased by 9.4% from fiscal years 2007 to 2008.
  • Internal surveys indicate an 18.7% increase in employee understanding of culture change.

Staff Impact Qualitative Findings 

1) Create an inclusive community for staff that is constantly communicating and reinforcing a resident-directed focus through formal and informal educational opportunities and relationship building.

  • Westminster-Thurber won the 2008 AAHSA "Excellence in the Workplace Award" recognizing organizations that demonstrate effectiveness in fostering and advancing a healthy workplace culture.
  • Westminster-Thurber hosted the 2008 International Eden Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Employees volunteered and donated their time to plan and staff the event.
  • "We all have to be a supporter of culture change and to help our community grow. That means being innovative and an out of the box thinker." - Westminster staff member.

2) Through a flat organizational structure, employees feel empowered to help control quality, waste, and problem-solve throughout the community. 

  • Leadership consults front-line staff for recommendations and input on new processes and systems. "It's revolutionary. It does take longer. It's not easy to make it happen that way. But, the bottom line is the result is so much better, because we get it right the first time. We have employee buy-in right off the bat. How did we miss that for all of these years?" - Human Resources staff member.
  • "We are a family, clicking on all cylinders. Ok, not all the time, just like a family. But, for the most part we are really clicking along. We say what we need to say, we talk it through and we move on." - Westminster staff member. 
  • On employee opinion surveys, employees overwhelmingly answer the question "Why do you stay at Westminster?" with reference to the family and community developed within the organization.

3) Leverage the value-added potential of inter-disciplinary, cross-trained teams throughout organizational structure to take advantage of synergies in the organization.

  • Staff hold bi-weekly meetings where all associates come together to discuss creative and innovative ideas on how things can change and what steps are needed to accomplish it.
  • "I've seen the accountability piece of people knowing what we are doing here. We've learned the value of high involvement. You've just got to be involved with the process." - Member of Leadership Team.
  • "I finally see teams working together much more now. There is less friction all the way around." - Westminster staff member. 

4) Leadership actively pursues engagement and supportive strategies with staff.

  • "I marvel at the communication in the learning circles. I love watching and listening to staff learn from each other and express themselves through active communication." Steve LeMoine, Executive Director.
  • "I dropped the title of Manager and chose Coordinator instead. As far as I'm concerned, it describes more of what I do now." Member of Leadership Team.
  • "We know what happens in the lives of our staff, and we talk to them on a personal level. That's meaningful to people." - Member of Leadership Team.
  • "We write personal notes to each of our 300 employees in birthday cards, and many employees are shocked. Some even tell us that they haven't received birthday cards or thank you notes before, so we know that it makes a difference." -  Member of Leadership Team.

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