Embrace Living with Rebecca Priest: Welcoming Each Other

When’s the last time you joined a new team? I recently became a member of a Mom’s volunteer group. The welcoming experience has been really interesting. They’ve been a group for a while without me, and I don’t know any of them. When we meet at our events, they all stand in a circle talking with each other while we gather. When we break up to head home, they immediately hop onto their phones, leaving me awkwardly smiling at the top of their heads as they sit staring into their social media abyss. It hasn’t been the warmest reception to say the least. In fact, it makes me want to stay home instead of going back. I believe in this team’s work, however, so I’ll keep going back. I’Il try and seek one person to help me break into the group. That can help me get in onto their “hello” radar and their walls of insecurity will drop and the team will open up and they will meet me. I know this, I’ve done it before. But why does it have to be so hard?

Elders in our organization are masters at navigating being new. They are new to our community, new to us as a team, new to our households, new to being more dependent, etc… New employees, or staff who are shifting teams also have the scoop on what it’s like to be new in our organization. I hope those of us who are seasoned and have been a team for a while are wrapping our arms around those who are new to make them feel a part of our crew as painlessly as possible.

The Tulip neighborhood welcomed Darryl Powell last week in a new endeavor. They did so by introducing him, sharing stories of the household, and seeking to understand his hopes and desires.
The lilac neighborhood welcomed Chris and Ashley, two new members who are here to help us create some neighborhood processes to ready us for managed care and also support the shift to neighborhood based hiring, scheduling, and staffing.

On average 6 new elders move in each month to each of our neighborhoods (rehab excluded). Helping people to feel and be a part of our team; EVERYONE.. elders, staff, and families alike is a key to our success in maintaining the family feel you and I love about this organization.

How do you know if someone is new? How do you welcome them and introduce yourself? How do you extend them a hand of help or encouragement? How do you we make sure those moving into this organization are welcomed with friendliness, respect, responsiveness, compassion, innovation, and fun?

I challenge you to reach out and welcome anyone new, ask who they are, care about them in a way that makes them understand why they should stay here. Shine your lights of welcoming to those joining our ever changing teams.

Maybe, just maybe, it will bring some more stability to our days. Get that “hello radar” out. Lets make a place where people feel connected.

Thank you for welcoming each other,

Rebecca Priest
Administrator, Skilled Services

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