When Monica Courtney decided to open her own home care franchise 15 years ago, she wanted to “take care of people in a respectful way.” Now, as owner and manager of Visiting Angels Gresham, she makes this happen every day, not only for the company’s customers, but also for the employees.
Courtney and her husband, Gresham office vice president Robb Courtney, “take such good care of their staff,” caregiver Jackie Bulger said. ” It’s very hot.
Bulger won the Caregiver of the Year award from Gresham’s office and placed in the top 11 of thousands of nominees in the national Visiting Angels Caregiver of the Year competition.
Full list of Top Workplaces 2022 winners
Visiting Angels provides personalized home care so seniors and adults with special needs can continue to live independently. The company’s Gresham office is a 2022 winner of The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Top Workplaces competition, now in its 11th year. This is the second year that Visiting Angels Gresham has won this award.
The Gresham franchise is one of more than 500 offices in the United States and serves much of the east side of the Portland metro area. Courtney said the corporate office is intimate in its relationship with its franchises. “They model their vision in their relationship with us, because that’s how they want us to relate to our caregivers and staff.”
Courtney recalls a time in 2009 when a situation arose that as the new owner she didn’t feel ready to handle. She called Scott Parish, the vice president of the entire company. He picked up the phone and guided her while he was at the grocery store.
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“What makes this agency different is that for Monica and Robb, it’s not a business, it’s an extended family,” said Tammie Sullivan, operations manager for Gresham’s office. “They have real compassion and love for the people who work here.”
No task is too small for the Courtneys, who have been known to step in and help caregivers by shopping for groceries, picking up food or even working night shifts. “They’re ready to step in and get their hands dirty,” Sullivan said.
The Courtneys’ love for their employees is also reflected in the thank you cards they send out daily, the mini concerts and barbecues they host for staff, and the way they make sure no birthday party goes by. employee or milestone is celebrated.
“Creating a culture of caring here is important to us as it impacts the care provided to our clients,” Courtney said. “I want caregivers to come and feel cared for.”
And they do. “The business is like home – they take care of you,” said Mary Baker, who started out as a caregiver and now works in the office. “If you need help, they are there for you.”
The green sofa in Courtney’s office is a good example. Courtney has an open door policy that many employees have taken advantage of, confiding in her about the challenges they face.
“We’ve had caregivers who have had cancer or who have lost their own parents,” Courtney said. “I want to be approachable. People can come in and sit on this couch. They can call me anytime.
Ariana Rus agrees. “She helped carers in difficult situations,” said Rus, also a former carer turned office worker. “She does a great job of balancing professionalism with the fact that we are human beings.”
That’s why many employees ended up at Visiting Angels.
For professional carers, compassion is their calling – and yet many have found it lacking in their previous roles in assisted living settings. Bulger said she was nearing the point of exhaustion when she found Visiting Angels.
“In the setting of the establishment, I had difficulty when a person reached the end of life, having the impression of being treated like a bed. It was like, ‘Who are we going to put in this bed next?’ “, Bulger said. “Here there is more dignity. People are people, not a number.
Sullivan quit her job at a tech company to work for Visiting Angels because, “here, you’re not helping people get rich,” she said. “You help people enrich their lives.”
“You come here everyday and you see the goodness,” she added. “The smile you bring to people’s faces. The ways you help clients’ families relieve stress, let them know that their family members will be safe. »
Anonymous surveys employees filled out for the Top Workplaces contest showed that Sullivan isn’t the only one experiencing these feelings of gratification. Many employees said they feel appreciated and their work is rewarding.
“I love coming to work,” Baker said. “And I’m very proud to work here. It’s a good feeling.