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Providence Mount St. Vincent

Staffing Impact

We aim to be an "Employer of Choice" – Charlene Boyd.

"At first people may come to work here just to pay the bills, but they stay for the relationships." – HR staff member.

Staff Impact Quantitative Findings

  • Turnover percentages decreased significantly from pre- to post-culture change. The above graphs display that annual employee turnover at The Mount fell from 50 percent prior to the implementation of the "neighborhood" model to 15-18 percent voluntary turnover in 2006-2007. Very modest estimates put cost savings of lower turnover and increased retention at $270,000 per year (nearly 2 million dollars in savings from 2000-2008). 
  • Even with over 400 staff, retention and average years of service for most positions is greater than 5 years. Average length of tenure for a CNA at The Mount is 7.6 years. "Retention is through the ceiling. I've never worked at an organization like this where it's common to find out people have been here for 10-20 years." – Neighborhood Coordinator.
  • The Mount scores consistently high on staffing surveys. As with resident surveys, this is particularly true for questions directed at relationships or commitment to residents.

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.

  • 95% of staff interviewed utilized words that describe The Mount as a cohesive unit (e.g. family, team, home). "I don't feel like they are old. I see them as young. I spend more time here than with my own family. For some residents, we are their only family." – Mount staff member. 
  • 100% of staff demonstrated knowledge of culture change principles. "This is their home and they are letting us come into it." - Staff member of 5 years. "The difference is that before [culture change] it was us telling them. Now, it's them telling us. They aren't 'patients' anymore. This is their home and we let them tell us what they want to do." – Staff member of 20 years. 
  • The Mount maintains a diversity committee that celebrates the staff. "We try to model it (not just with the residents) but with each other." – Mount staff member.

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

  • 90% of staff interviewed at The Mount reported that they felt empowered to reach-out to fellow employees to brainstorm on operational issues. For example, one of the neighborhood coordinators observed that resident assistants were over-serving residents at meal times (leading to food waste). The neighborhood coordinator solved this problem by scheduling an "in-service" for staff on serving and portioning. The outcome was positive for residents, staff and the organization (substantially controlling waste and food costs). 
  • Staff indicated that, when compared to previous employers, this type of empowerment was unique to The Mount and resulted in a reduction of time, resources and expense to solving day-to-day problems.

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

  • "We work as a team. Just like I learn from the residents, I learn from my team members. We share a lot of knowledge with each other" – Resident Assistant.

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

  • Staff benefits at The Mount support staff and incentivize retention (e.g. discounts for the Childcare Center, discounts on beauty and clinic services, bereavement leave, and employees can donate sick leave to each other). "When an employee has to take a leave of absence, we try to keep their job open."- HR Staff member.
  • Leadership actively pursues staff feedback. For example, Mount employees were promised a "Casino Night" for a 90% response on the staff satisfaction survey (the response rate was achieved and the Casino night provided for staff and families. "They (leadership team) look for feedback from us. They ask us what we think and give us more responsibility." – Resident Assistant.

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