Happy Friday! I am very fortunate to be granted the opportunity to work here at NorthEast Residence. In the last month and a half, I have been spending many days getting to know the inner workings of NER through meeting with Corrine and many others; I have also been spending time visiting the homes where our clients live. I have been so impressed by the commitment that all of the staff bring to the clients and to the mission of NER.
I recently attended the October Special Olympics Bowling and I also attended the Annual Bon Fire. It is very clear that there is a lot of work that goes into organizing these events and they are so important and meaningful to clients that participate. Thank you to all of you that participate in planning and working on these events, I am very impressed.
As I said, I have been spending a lot of time visiting the different homes where our clients live. I have met many clients and many staff and some families. At my last site visit, a staff person told me that they love getting this newsletter and really look forward reading (most) of it. There have been other staff who have commented to me that they really like the newsletter and each time I have these conversations it seems the position openings section seems to be of great interest. From these position openings, you can all see there are open positions. Human Resources staff and Training Staff are working hard to fill these positions. We have formed a Staff Retention Committee which includes staff from the office and a group of supervisors who have been discussing additional ways that we can recruit new staff as well as to retain the valuable staff that we have. We intend to announce some of the ideas in the near future. We ask that you look for these announcements and share with the staff you work with. We are also interested in your ideas, if you have ideas please share them, either with your own supervisor, Human Resources, or with me.
As a new employee to NER I have been attending the same orientation classes that each of you have attended. I understand that not only do you have to learn about NER in training, you also learn about each of the clients in the houses you work in. There is a lot to learn as a new employee and I appreciate the care and concern each staff person brings with them to these trainings and to the staff people that do these trainings.
I want to highlight a few of the additional things I have learned and observed in my training and on my visits:
· I have learned that each person who works for NER has a passion for the people we serve.
· I have learned that the clients are really the heart of who we are and why we are here.
· I have learned that when a client celebrates a success, each of us can also celebrate a success. On the other side of that, when a client has a bad day or bad moments in a day, you empathize with them and try to help them through the difficulty and see to the next day.
· I have learned that we have A LOT of long-term employees who are very dedicated to the clients and the mission of NER.
· I have learned we have families that are very involved and committed to their loved ones.
· I have learned that the Board of Directors is very committed to the clients and the success of the staff and to the organization.
· I have learned that we have A LOT of employees who aren’t so long-term, but may beginning their careers, may be working this job until they finish school, or may be looking to make service to the clients of NER their life’s work.
· I have learned that there are many of you with good ideas – some that people I have already met have shared with me in regard to clients’ needs and in regard to staffing issues (with more to come as I meet people and get to know all of you).
· I have learned that NER is an organization with a heart and a commitment to the mission we are here to serve from the staff in the Administrative Office to the staff in the houses.
· I have learned is that NER is a great organization with committed people and families and I am very privileged to know and work with all of you.
Have a great weekend and remember that next Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day. I encourage each and every one of you to go to the polls and “do something about that!” For those of you that work with clients who vote, work with your Supervisor to assist getting the client to the polls to also vote, the election judges are happy to help once you arrive at the polls. If you have questions you can visit the Secretary of State website http://mnvotesinfo.sos.state.mn.us/ and you will find answers to frequently asked questions as well as your own voting location.
My favorite quote that I live by (and you will hear me say often) is by Lilly Tomlin who is a comedian she said “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized I was somebody.” To me this means a lot of things, but know that if you have an idea and it would help you do your job better and a client will benefit, please speak up, we are all SOMEBODY!
Finally, please know that as we transition in leadership from Corrine’s position as Administrator to a Program Director in Shari Newgard and Executive Director position in Heidi Holste, everyone remains committed to the success of clients, staff and the future of NER. I do hope that you take me seriously to know that my door is open. If you have thoughts or ideas, please come forward and share.
The future is so extremely important for all of us, and remember that we all make a difference every day!
Heidi Holste, Executive Director