A.U.E.E. from Adminstrator Jerre van den Bent
On November 9th, we are formally rolling out our new leadership structure, as well as our new and deeply enhanced “menu” of career enrichment opportunities. This new professional growth extravaganza is the result of more than six months of hard work by T2K upper management. I would like to recognize our HR Director Ira Kirkley for his leadership on this massive undertaking. I hope that you will take advantage of the many opportunities that we are rolling out. There are so many new growth opportunities, I feel confident in saying that there will be one that fits every employee’s needs.
The new menu of career enrichment opportunities brings us back in line with the two guiding principles I had when I founded THERAPY 2000. First, I wanted to be “the employer of choice” for the most passionate and specialized therapists and support staff. I want T2K to be an agency that offers the Absolutely Ultimate Employee Experience or A.U.E.E. (oh how I love my acronyms… J) to everyone who chooses to belong to the company. Second, I wanted THERAPY 2000 to be an agency that would value and respect every patient who we served, and through its workforce, would offer exceptional quality of care to all of the families we serve. In other words, by offering an A.U.E.E. to our employees, we expect our employees to offer an Absolutely Ultimate Quality of Care Experience (A.U.Q.C.E.) to the families we serve.
Over the past twelve years, we have adhered to these principles successfully the majority of the time. As far as offering an A.U.E.E., we have consistently attracted and retained the “best and brightest” clinicians and support personnel. We have experienced high job satisfaction offering a rich employee experience, instead of simply “a paycheck”. We offer a high level of total compensation through offering good pay and a great benefit package. We have also delivered an A.U.Q.C.E. to our patients. Through our monthly education calendar and our clinical specialty programs, we bring superior quality of care to our patients. Our support staff stays in touch with our families, problem solving and bringing resources when needed. We have delivered high quality of care in an ethical and compassionate environment.
While it is important to take credit for our successes, it is imperative to keep looking for opportunities for improvement. In the past year, we observed three areas that needed to be addressed.
Retaining our “mid career” clinicians: While we continue to experience good overall levels of employee retention, we have seen a subset of employees who we are not retaining as well. They are our more experienced clinicians, therapists who typically are out of school between five and fifteen years. Through interviews and careful review of their experience, it became clear that these clinicians were less engaged with T2K, in large part due to the fact that our professional development paths were geared heavily towards newer professionals, and didn’t challenge them with growth opportunities. Several of you expressed a desire to be more in a teacher/leader role during Second Friday training instead of a student role.
Size Matters: An additional barrier to offering a truly A.U.E.E. is our current therapist supervisory structure. In the past year or so, our District Managers saw their teams grow up to twenty therapist direct reports. With teams this large, supervisors are able only to offer the most basic level of employee supervision. (Productivity, Attendance, Productivity, Attendance, Productivity, Attendance). What falls by the wayside is career planning and enrichment, clinical mentoring, etc.
Monthly Trainings; it’s not just for clinicians anymore: In the past eleven years, we have formed a company identity around our monthly clinical trainings. We have developed and offered literally thousands of hours of clinical training. We realized that we haven’t brought this level of professional development to the T2K managers. We must change this, as continued skill development in our supervisory folks is without a doubt a necessary ingredient of A.U.E.E.
We decided it was time to put the A and the U back in A.U.E.E. and went to work. In the past six months, we have completely rewritten our job models, developed hours and hours of managerial training, and designed a much enhanced supervisory structure. We are going back to single disciplinary teams, and we are drastically reducing team size. This creates new opportunity for experienced clinicians who want to add supervision and management to their T2K experience. Our managerial training modules will ensure that we are setting our newer as well as experienced supervisors up for success. We have developed a true “menu” of career enrichment opportunities for our professional staff. Whether you want to become a clinical expert in a specific area of practice, a CE course presenter or content developer, or you want to give supervision a try, we now have something for you on our menu.
I have learned a lot in the past twelve years while operating THERAPY 2000. One thing I have learned is that growth and progress are never linear. As sincere as we have been in our desire to offer a truly perpetual A.U.E.E, there have been, and there probably will be times when the experience is not truly A and U for all employees. I believe that we have diagnosed several significant A.U.E.E. barriers and I am confident that the solutions we are implementing will break through them. I hope you will take advantage of all the opportunities that will be available agency wide for you this next year, and that you will do you part to make working here the Absolutely Ultimate Employee Experience too.