June 2, 2023 —
It’s one thing to have a good idea. However, it’s an entirely different ballgame to be provided with a forum to share the vision in front of your peers and have it considered for implementation.
Making Innovative Ideas a Reality
When Kendal Charitable Funds opened the last round of affiliate grants, Kendal at Lexington knew it wanted to empower staff to make their innovative ideas a reality. The community dived into some friendly competition, organizing a contest for staff members and teams to pitch their best ideas to enhance the employee experience.
On November 15, eight staff members and teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges and other members of the Lexington community. Paul Cormier, President of the Resident Association, proudly acted as master of ceremonies and provided an entertaining overview of the day.
The judges took their role in awarding three ideas prize money seriously and greatly considered how the ideas would enhance staff happiness and support workforce engagement. One by one, ideas were presented, either in-person or via video, and judges carefully assessed cost management, ability to be implemented within a year, and gauged its “level of awesomeness.”
One of the three winning ideas, specialized mannequins to help train new staff on best care practices, was developed and presented by Debora Dolin and Brittany Clark on behalf of the Health Services team at the Borden Center. The pair were awarded prize funds and a lunch/dinner party for their department.
Another winning idea was pitched by Amanda Bartley on behalf of the Webster Center team. The family fun day with food and activities for staff, families and children, was inspired by the fun Amanda used to have at her grandfather’s company picnic. Finally, the third winning idea was presented by Brenda Johnson and Geanie Garrett on behalf of the culinary team. A heated massage chair will be bought for the staff lounge for employees to enjoy.
Meghan Whorley, Director of Human Resources, shared the day’s atmosphere, “The competition was a fun way to create a platform for our staff to provide even more terrific suggestions about ways to improve their employee experience.”
Although not every proposal claimed a prize, Jan Bigelow, CEO of Kendal at Lexington, emphasized the importance of hearing each person’s ideas and voice, “We want to take pieces of each and every idea and utilize them in one way or another now and into the future.”
Thank you to the competition judges: Steven Veiga, Breana Walker, Cathy Morrissey, Joyce Clark, Jessica Lipscomb, Remington Propps, Rachel Rose and Katie Harlow.
Funds provided by Kendal Charitable Funds
Kendal believes that a spirit of inclusion and a culture of diversity enrich and strengthen communities, people and services. Creating this environment requires concentrated efforts and is the shared responsibility of each community and team member.
Kendal Charitable Funds, which was incorporated in 1989, supports the charitable goals and aspirations of The Kendal Corporation, its network of affiliates and the wider world of aging. The 2022 Affiliate Grant program provided support to Kendal affiliates in areas focused on increasing commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and a sense of Belonging (DEIB), particularly among employees. Each month we plan to share a story from a Kendal affiliate to highlight the strides they made in DEIB initiatives as it relates to the workforce.