How to Become a Best Place to Work for 10 Years in a Row

June 19, 2018

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network/NIATx

Horizon Health Services began in 1975 with a single location in Buffalo, NY.  Today, the agency has more than 600 employees providing a full continuum of services at more than 20 locations in three counties.

At Horizon, staff satisfaction and growth are at the heart of workforce development. 

Really—the agency trains all new staff on the Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. model, a communication model developed by the Cleveland Clinic.

"The H.E.A.R.T. (Hear, Empathize, Apologize, Respond, and Thank) model differentiates us," says Veronica Meldrum, Vice President of Employee Services. "It provides a framework for a collaborative work environment,  solving problems, and keeping the customer at top of mind in all of our day-to-day operations."

Staff Surveys 

For Meldrum, The H.E.A.R.T. model is one factor that has helped Horizon Health Services earn the distinction of being a Best Place to Work in Western New Yorkfor the 10th year in a row.

"We are as proud today as we were the first time we received the award," says Meldrum.

Another critical factor? Continually seeking staff feedback.

Benefits and Compensation Study

In addition to engaging in surveys with external vendors, Horizon also conducts internal surveys to assess employee engagement. Surveys are just one way for agency leadership to stay connected with employees and address any workforce issues. For example, information from staff surveys was key in a recent revamp of Horizon's benefits and compensation plan.

"Being named a Best Place to Work is a huge honor because it largely depends on results of anonymous surveys our employees complete," explains Meldrum.

Meldrum says that Horizon takes a creative approach to addressing the many factors that complicate staff recruitment and retention today. "We will continue to strive to improve our workplace and the work experience of our employees. Every single person at our organization, whether providing direct service or working behind the scenes, has a critical role."

ATTC Resources for Workforce Recruitment and Retention

Publications: National Workforce Study
National Workforce Report 2017: A National Qualitative Report
Vital Signs: Taking the Pulse of the Addictions Treatment Workforce

Webinar: Workforce Recruitment and Retention: A Review of Strategies
June 28, 2018, 11:00am CT

How does your organization recruit, retain, and reward your staff?  Share your strategies in the comments section below.

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