The Value of Teamwork –Interview with Allen Heinly
Landis Homes employs more than 530 people. As a team, all are working to serve the residents and clients who call this community their home as well as those who come to the Adult Day Services program and those in the wider community who are cared for by Landis at Home. This month I am interviewing Allen Heinly, who serves as Vice President of Human Resources, about the ways Landis Homes works to stay connected with this group of wonderful team members and how the organization is constantly listening and learning from them. — Larry Zook
Why does Landis Homes spend time and resources seeking input from team members about their experiences? We are blessed with a very committed group of team members who closely align with the organizational values and goals. Each individual brings a unique perspective and valuable experience and skills. Listening to their thoughts and stories gives us insight into their affirmations, concerns, needs and ideas which assists us in improving our service to residents, clients and families, as well as making sure team members feel supported and honored for their efforts. The investment we make to receive this feedback is repaid many times over by the learnings and resulting improvements.
How does Landis Homes get this information? There are a number of ways we gather this information through both formal and informal methods. Every other year we utilize an outside organization which conducts a formal survey, gathering input from the vast majority of team members. The feedback received is then tabulated and shared widely across the organization. It provides a “big picture” view of areas where we excel and where there is room for improvement. We as a Human Resources team take this information very seriously, as does the Leadership Team and all Supervisory staff. Another method of gaining information is via “Conversation Times with the President.” These informal small group discussions are held every 1-2 years. They offer team members opportunity to come hear from Larry Zook and others on the Leadership Team, ask any questions they may have about the direction and goals of the organization, and offer input for improvement and future development.
Do you have an example of something learned via this process? Recent surveys and discussion showed there was much room for improvement in the performance evaluation process. Supervisors were finding it difficult to get through the formal process in a timely manner and many team members felt it was not a process that was very helpful to their work. This led to the creation of an interdisciplinary team that guided a complete overhaul of the system to create an informal process, titled “One 2 One Conversations.” We anticipate this being more in line with what team members reported would be meaningful and also more effective in team member engagement and development.
Landis Homes has team members from 4 different age groups. How does that affect how we gather and respond to their input? Writer Ron Zemke notes, “We have four generations working side-by-side for the first time in history. All have unique experiences and attributes which influence their attitudes towards work.” Our team profile bears this out. This means we are moving to processes of gathering and responding more quickly and more informally to connect with the generations who appreciate that model. We also continue to explore ways to share information with our team members electronically while remembering some still prefer more formal relationship pathways.