I am thankful to God for many things but I believe, next to my family, I am most thankful for Morningside and being a part of an organization with solid values, clear vision and a social justice mission. By extension I am also thankful for our staff who are very focused on what we do, have a spirit of helping others and a drive to make sure individuals with disabilities have opportunity.
It is so fun to talk with staff who get excited when the perfect job match is found and the person we are supporting is happy for a job that they choose to do and fits their needs and desires. We don’t have easy jobs. First, it’s a challenge to get an employer to even talk with you. But then to have an employer say yes – well, it’s time to get ecstatic. What I enjoy also about my job is talking to employers who expound the virtues of hiring a person with severe disabilities. I love to hear about how the workplace has improved and changed as a result of hiring one of our clients.
It is also true that I get bummed out when something goes sour with a job. For instance I happened to find out by happenstance that a long time employee at Pizza _ _ _ was let go. I use this person as an example because this national company conducted a study extolling the virtues of hiring individuals with disabilities. The study found their turnover rate was 200 plus percent for non-disables workers at entry level jobs but a miniscule, in comparison, 30% for individuals with disabilities. This person whom we support has been an employee there for the past 9 years and rarely missed a day of work. She had been known to walk to work in the snow for fear the transit system wouldn’t be operating that day. She was the embodiment of the study they conducted nationwide. She was the living example of the positive return on investment of lowered turnover rates. She was let go because of economic reasons and no amount of discussion could change this manager’s mind. The manager has been the store manager for two years and he said that it was an economic decision and it sticks. I think it is penny wise and pound foolish. Boy are they losing out. Not only are they losing a good loyal employee they have lost a lot of goodwill in the process. I for one was a customer but I won’t be encouraging people to buy from them in the future.
The only saving grace in all of this is that I chatted with her the other day and she not bitter or resentful but looking ahead because as she puts it “I am a good worker. Someone will want me, huh Jim?”. She is so positive and encouraging to others, I am blessed to know her and a better person because of it.
CEO Viewpoint is published by Jim Larson, CEO Morningside
This space is intended to share my thoughts and update the community on issues concerning Morningside and its clients as well sharing inspirational employment stories.
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