Devereux Massachusetts/Rhode Island STARR program builds a sense of community
Sheri-ann Mclean, Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island program director, cultivates a culture of trust and collaboration among staff through the organization’s STARR program in Paxton, Mass.
Mclean strives to create a sense of community in the workplace in a variety of ways, including showing small acts of appreciation for employees during holidays and special occasions.
the past two years, Sheri-ann Mclean,
program director at Devereux Advanced Behavior Health Massachusetts and Rhode
Island, has been cultivating a culture of trust and collaboration among staff in
the organization’s Short-term Assessment and Rapid Reintegration (STARR)
program in Paxton, Mass.
an industry with a high employee turnover rate, specifically for direct support
professionals, the Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Paxton STARR program, which
provides short-term placement services for youth in need of immediate behavioral
healthcare support – has experienced a less than 1 percent turnover rate since August
we do in the Paxton STARR program can be stressful and overwhelming – reintegrating
youth back into their families or the next appropriate placement or level of
care, typically, within a matter of days,” Mclean explained. “My goal is to ensure
our employees feel appreciated and understood, and know that their voices will always be heard.”
Meaningful acts of
strives to create a sense of community in the workplace by:
employees weekly text messages with inspirational quotes
surprise gifts in employees’ mailboxes
team building activities during staff meetings
raffles for gift cards during staff meetings
gift cards for employees’ birthdays
employees cards and monetary contributions in recognition of significant life events
small gifts for employees on holidays and during Direct Support Professionals
I first started sending text messages to employees with inspirational quotes, I
did not know if anyone was reading them or if the messages were making a
difference,” Mclean shared. “Then one day, a team member said, ‘Thank you so
much, Sheri-ann! I really needed to hear that quote.’ This motivated me to continue
sending text messages and do even more to support and empower our staff.”
A healthy environment
also places an emphasis on self-care, encouraging employees to take time to relax
always tell staff, ‘If you are not taking care of yourself, you are in no
position to take care of our youth,’” Mclean explained. “By creating a
positive, healthy and collaborative work environment, employees are motivated
to go above and beyond what is asked of them every day to help the individuals
we serve – and their families – reach their treatment goals.”
Massachusetts/Rhode Island Executive Director Kerry Ann Goldsmith noted that, “the Paxton STARR program is proof
that building a sense of community in the workplace, where employees feel
accepted, supported and encouraged, can lead to increased engagement, productivity
and employee retention. People want to part of something bigger than themselves,
and that is where the Paxton STARR program truly shines.”
Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
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