If you were in charge, what would you do to make Carea Community Health Centre a better place to work?
I would listen AND hear what my staff say. I wouldn't just say that I care about them I would show them that what they say is valued and what they feel is important. I would admit that just because I have a title that doesn't mean that I have all the answers. I would be vulnerable and authentically admit that I don't have all the answers but that I am willing to learn. That I am open to learning and improving.
What was the most challenging part of your role at Carea Community Health Centre?
There is nothing challenging about my role. I love my job and my clients. The challenging part is dealing with the incompetence of Leadership. Decisions are made with no collaboration with frontline staff and so often don’t make sense or get in the way of us doing our jobs. Focus is on numbers rather than offering quality work with clients. Lack of support from Leadership for us to feel good about the work we do and to self care.
No rambling list of “benefits” can obscure the fact that the costs of working at this toxic place far outweigh the benefits. Wounding us deeply and offering a band-aid is not a winning formula for safeguarding the health and well-being of the employees.
What would you suggest Carea Community Health Centre management do to prevent others from leaving?
Make it a safe place to share our thoughts. We clearly do not feel safe. Telling us you can leave if you don’t like it here, just makes us feel even more unsafe. Start by coming down to earth and acknowledge your mistakes, treat us like people who are important to you and actually follow through. If you don’t know how...here’s a thought...pretend for a moment that you don’t think you know everything and ask us!
What advice would you give the CEO of Carea Community Health Centre about how to improve the company?
My advice would be to speak to your staff and ask what they think will improve the company. You cant pretend that the company is functioning well as it is. As much as you might want to. If so many people are this unhappy, the issues are worth listening to
Why do people stay working at Carea if it such a bad place to be? What keeps you there?
We stay because of our clients. Carea is very fortunate to have such dedicated front line staff whom all care about the well-being of our clients. All we want to do is help our clients live the best lives they can, however it makes it harder and harder to do our jobs well when we are feeling unsupported by our Leadership team. At one point we were ONLY feeling unsupported. Now we are feeling unsupported, unsafe AND even more under valued than before. We feel under valued when we are told to leave if we don't like it. They ask for constructive feedback....well here it is...support us better. Show us you value and respect us. Make us feel safe to express ourselves. Ask us how you can support us better. Give us the tools we need to take care of ourselves. When we can take care of ourselves we can better take care of our community.
One of the worst parts about working at Carea is listening to the incessant whining of a small number of my colleagues that simply want to complain about everything and are not interested in being part of the solution. There are some of us that try very hard to make things better, then there are a few others. If they are this miserable at work, you can bet there are lots of other things in their lives that they are miserable about. The theme? misery.
What is the vacation policy like at Carea Community Health Centre? How many vacation days do you get per year?
All new hires get 2 weeks of vacation, with the exception of nurses. Nurses get 4 weeks vacation because they are valued more and their jobs are harder than everyone else’s. (FYI most other non-profits start with at least 3-4 weeks as additional compensation because they are aware that they are not able to pay as much as for profit organizations.).