Flo, how do you contribute to the GoodLife population?
I have worked in partnership with GoodLife through my position at the University of Kansas since 2010. My job is to help improve ways GoodLife supports their staff so they can do their jobs well to deliver the best care possible. I work directly with staff to find barriers and then work with leadership to develop systems and processes to improve or eliminate those barriers. For example, my team of graduate and undergraduate students work closely with the iLink team to develop training for iLink coaches to improve care. We also track quality, staffing turnover, training and finance metrics.
How is this partnership a differentiator for GoodLife?
This partnership is very unique! Other agencies might pay a consultant to come in and tackle one problem. They don’t have a robust student-led workforce like we do partnering with different departments and tackling issues from a multi-pronged approach. The advantage is that it requires GoodLife to be honest with their words and to hold themselves accountable to change.
What do you mean “honest” with their words?
My team is an unbiased third party with a problem-solving approach. I am a safe and trusting place for staff at all levels to have honest conversations about what is and is not working. I can then turn those barriers into action items, and work with leadership to take steps towards training, systems development – whatever is required for improvement. When that level of openness is present, really incredible progress can happen, which ultimately results in better care for residents and employee satisfaction.
What are the outcomes you love?
A few years ago, there was a high level of turnover in middle management. My team did an assessment of the variables influencing turnover and they were really complex, related to the on-call system, employee health benefits and professional development opportunities. Once we identified these three areas, the agency really stuck to making change even though it took time to work through. Today we are seeing the fruits of that labor because the agency is reporting increased stability in those particular management positions. When we keep people in those critical positions, it increases employee development and success, and stability in homes.
What is the best part of your job as it relates to GoodLife?
The people I interact with at GoodLife work so hard to meet their mission. The work we do requires long-term commitment and effort, and this management team is so dedicated. I also love how they support my mission of training students. They understand things may take longer to come to completion because, not only am I working through solutions, I’m training the next generation that will need the skills to deliver care. It’s fun to see both GoodLife residents and KU students succeed through this special partnership.
Learn more about GoodLife’s staff here.