About 9 months ago, I re-entered the world of Full Time employment by becoming the Director of Behavioral Health Treatment & Education at Brandywine Counseling & Community Services, Inc. (BCCS). We are a very large Substance Use and Mental Health treatment facility with several sites throughout the entire state of Delaware. We have around 150 employees total and serve thousands of adults and families struggling with these disorders every year.
So far, I am loving my new role. One of the things I most enjoy doing is working to unify our scattered sites and to boost morale among all of our employees. It is a huge challenge since we are spread out all over the state. Yet I know it can be done and I am determined to make it happen. One mechanism we have in place is an internal staff Newsletter where we post stories of accomplishment, highlight initiatives going on and celebrate the incredibly difficult and rewarding work we all do on a daily basis. I have been utilizing the Newsletter to communicate more collectively with all of our employees. To that end, I came up with the idea of having a recurring column directed at boosting morale and offering inspiration to all employees.
Employee Enhancement was born!
Below is the first column. The ideas written are helpful for not only the employees of BCCS, but for all of us. Please read and consider applying some of the ideas and tricks to your everyday life!
Employee Enhancement – Improving the Lives of BCCS Employees, One Newsletter Column at a Time
Welcome to Employee Enhancement – A recurring feature in our BCCS Newsletter that will focus on providing tips, inspiration, and ideas that you can use to reduce stress and improve your overall professional life here at BCCS!
This first installment will focus on the concept of being Person Active.
This is a philosophy that was developed by Harold Benjamin, PhD, that asserts: “If you take an active role in your life, you will improve your overall quality of life.”
This basically means that if you are passive and allow the world to move along without you, your life will not be as enjoyable as you would like. However, if you actively choose to be involved in your life and make choices for the improvement of your life, you will see an increase in your overall satisfaction. It is a simple concept that works. It is also something many of us take for granted way too easily. Something we have to remind ourselves of on a daily (or even hourly) basis.
Here is an example: Office gossip and negative attitudes. We all have seen this on many different levels among many of our co-workers (or within ourselves at times). There will be bad days, difficult customers, challenging meetings. We are all entitled to have some frustrating feelings from time to time. However, what if you see this type of atmosphere on a regular basis? How do you respond? Are you passive in the process and just turn the other way? Maybe you think that it’s always going to be there and there’s nothing you can do about it, so why bother trying to make change?
There is another way to approach this issue – the Person Active way. You can choose to take an active role in shifting the overall environment and culture of you team, of your program, of your site. You can be the positive voice in the meeting. You can tell someone that you do not want to participate in gossip or complain about a customer. You can help your co-workers reframe complaining to be more productive and to find solutions. You can smile more and laugh more and be the source of positive energy among your team. Just as negative energy can be contagious, so is positive energy. If you take an active role in being more positive and energetic throughout all aspects of your work, others will follow. At the very least, taking this active stance will certainly improve the overall quality of your day!
This concept can also be shared with our customers. We all know of those customers who are more active in their overall treatment and that we tend to see greater progress among them. It is also empowering for customers to gain a greater understanding that they have a say in their overall recovery. They have more control than they may believe. We can help reinforce this with them. This is also part of our agency shift to more Person-Centered and Trauma Informed Care.
So give it a try! Be Person Active and see if you feel your life improving!
“Be the change you seek to see in the world.” Gandhi