18 Sep Taking Care of the People Who Take Care of Our RMHC-KC Families
Recently, I read an article about the danger of company leaders being out of touch with employees who are struggling, and it made me ask myself a question that is almost always on my mind:
“Are we doing enough for our people?”
The work we do at RMHC-KC is extremely important, and it’s also incredibly hard. It’s an emotional job—helping families who are going through unimaginably difficult times.
With an organization like ours, “doing enough for our people” is a box you can never completely “check”—at least, not if we’re doing it well. There’s always more (and better) work to be done when it comes to supporting our team’s emotional and mental well-being.
One of my biggest responsibilities is to make sure everyone on our staff feels like people first. If they feel like employees first, and not valued as individual whole humans, they will feel less engaged and committed. Especially if they’re struggling.
It’s up to me to figure out: How can we help? What is ours to solve? Where can we better show them that we care about them as people?
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The past few years have proven to be difficult for everyone—and as a culture, we seem to be getting better at not pretending that we’re okay. As leaders, we need to be sure we are creating environments where our staff can share their struggles and what they need—and do what we can to help them live their best lives and do their best work.
We will get the best results for the families with sick children that we serve if we’re taking care of our people. Which is why almost everything we do to support our guest families, we try to provide for our staff, too. We bring in volunteer massage therapists, chaplains, and meditation sessions. We offer a variety of activities, and do whatever we can to provide meaningful connections and emotional support.
We’ve also upgraded our Employee Assistance Program to include more mental health benefits, and have brought in speakers like Ginger Rothhaas, who has spoken to our team multiple times—about grief, self-care, and difficult conversations.
We’ve made it a priority to take care of our people, and it shows. A few weeks ago, I was talking to Eddie, a dad who was staying with us (all the way from France!). He was amazed by our staff, saying he couldn’t get over how consistently kind they’d been, despite having a job that had to be tough at times. Finally, he shook his head in disbelief and asked me, “How do you find these people?”
We hire for heart and we hire for spirit. We hire the very best, and do our very best to take care of them. When our staff feels supported, our families feel supported.
Are we doing enough for our people? I don’t know, but I know we’ll never stop trying.