Here at Northwest Disability Services we continually aim to provide a fun and energetic work environment for our staff; sometimes due to the nature of this work, our staff face difficult situations. Having a close knit group of people working together makes for a much more productive day and means that staff can really “get into” their role and work together.
Community services and disability work in particular can be a challenging job at times. Our staff work directly with service users and their families so understandably it can be hard to “clock off” at the end of the day and focus on home life. I think it’s really important for staff to feel comfortable in voicing their opinions and concerns on a daily basis and I feel very strongly about keeping communication lines open to all staff at all times. This gives staff the opportunity to talk about any concerns or issues that they are experiencing in the programs and basically just get things “off their chest”. The staff and management of NWDS strive to create this open environment every day and continue to work towards solutions and brighter futures for everyone.
Recently we have developed an NWDS “Social Group” which is made up of staff and volunteers from all of our buildings that get together every now and then for social gatherings. We have put together a volunteer “social committee” to meet regularly and plan fundraising events for our organisation to help raise some funds for our end of year staff Christmas Party.
This has been a huge success so far, with volunteer participation from many different members of our staff, carers, service users and management. This is a great initiative to get people together outside and inside work to socialise and get to know each other. The fundraising element is a massive bonus, but the main objective of the group is to get people together on a social basis and involve all staff from various locations and age groups. As a member of management I find these events to be a fantastic opportunity to gather feedback from the staff on what they really enjoy and also find challenging about their roles in this industry.
Do you think something like this would be useful in your workplace? I would like to know what other organisations are doing.