Every day I think that I am one of the luckiest people alive – I get to work with the most amazing, passionate, competent, intelligent and hard-working staff imaginable. These are folks with hearts combined with skill; drive tempered by patience; with hope sustained by tenacity and endurance; and imagination balanced by wisdom. These are the employees of the Family Care Network – The Awesome!
March is our National Social Worker Appreciation month. I have written many articles over the years lauding our Social Workers and the gift Social Work is to the betterment of our society and communities. This year, I feel it is important to bring attention to everyone who contributes to “enhancing the wellbeing...” of our community. Our social workers are incredibly successful, because they are part of a very unique cast of characters, a team that works almost flawlessly together towards a common good – positively changing lives!
One of the founding principles of the Family Care Network is our commitment to collaboration, teamwork and the power of synergy. We believe in the axioms: “there is wisdom in the counsel of many,” and “a healthy body works best when all of its unique members are working together and not in opposition.” Each of us has a different role, a different responsibility, a different talent or skill; but none is more important or valuable than the other. Importance and value are derived by the successes achieved by the team, not by the individuals it is comprised of. For 32+ years, I have seen this play out almost impeccably. Seriously, people that are primarily driven by self-interest and glory, don’t stay long at FCNI.
Needless to say, I have ruminated a lot about the attributes or ingredients that have created our unique work environment. As a founder, I not only want to maintain this magic, I want to see it live on well past my tenure at the helm. So, here are my thoughts on how The Awesome emerged and thrive.
There is a deep seated sense of purpose and mission, a compelling intrinsic drive that provides the energy to sustain the organization. The long and short of it is people care! It’s not about a paycheck, it’s about a passion to help others, and to make a genuine difference not only in individual lives, but in the quality of life in our community. We positively impact our community by maintaining an internal “community of caring,” continually encouraging one another to do good work.
Trust is another contributing characteristic. Trust is a two-way street. Management and administration trust that our employees are capable of making the best decisions for their clients, that they will perform responsibly on behalf of the lives that they have been entrusted to care for. Employees trust that management and administration are going to take care of them, being responsible to provide whatever it takes to promote their success and a safe work environment. Management and administration trust that our employees will perform at the highest level of integrity, professionalism and honesty, and staff trust that management and administration will do likewise.
We have endeavored to create and maintain a diverse environment of Mutual Respect. It is absolutely essential for people within our organization to feel appreciated, valued and respected for who they are--their uniqueness, talents and personality. Diversity is a catalyst for innovation, solutions and organizational strength. We not only embrace it, we depend upon it! But it is equally important that we practice what we preach. We don’t tolerate disrespect or ill-treatment of a fellow worker. We welcome divergence of opinion and even healthy disagreement, but at the end of the day, we are all on the same team, and can only effectively work together without grudges, ill feelings towards others or conflict.
Another foundation that the Family Care Network has built upon is the strong belief that everyone within the organization has something to contribute, everyone is uniquely gifted and talented, and that individuals need to feel the freedom to be creative, innovative and to exercise their talents in the fulfillment of our mission. I know some of you control freaks are thinking that this sounds like chaos! And it is. But it is “managed chaos,” an essential, critical ingredient in the development of any healthy organization. Positive change only occurs when creative juices are flowing freely within an organization. And The Awesome have become masters of it.
Family Care Network appreciates the opportunity to serve our community, to heal the broken hearted, to house the homeless, to replace despair with hope, to strengthen families, to provide families to those who have none, and to launch young adults on a pathway to success. We do this as a team, as a community of caring, an amalgamation of diversity, uniqueness, outstanding skill, creativity and compassion into a life changing force – The Awesome!
I will be forever grateful and proud to work arm-in-arm with my fellow Family Care Network teammates. THANK YOU!
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