The Hope House Foundation’s Engagement Calendar
Submitted By: Christina E, Hope House Foundation
Hope House Foundation initiated a monthly engagement calendar that varies between team and personal development activities. The engagement calendar includes development opportunities for both the team and the individuals. Team challenges for our 15 locations include competitions like pumpkin decorating and gingerbread decorating contests that are posted and voted on electronically with the locations selecting the agency-wide winner and prizes for the winning team. We also crafted individual challenges for wellness such as walking and healthy eating to help support the full spectrum of physical and mental health for our employees.
This aimed to keep teams and individuals connected to the agency’s culture when we needed to socially distance ourselves. Additionally, we did a separate celebration for employees for each day of DSP week to include team recognition as well as individual recognitions to include ice cream trucks coming, sending food to teams, acts of service, and t-shirts with our theme this year: “Powered by Hope”.
We also relaunched a newsletter called Recognitions of Hope to celebrate individual and agency accomplishments as well as to share assistive tech tips written by an employee with a certification in Occupational Therapy and for employees to showcase their artwork and/or businesses.
Impact Of The Program
The program has helped to keep the employees of Hope House Foundation connected to one another and given us an opportunity to celebrate each month, which has been critical during this unprecedentedly challenging season for our agency.
DSPs have benefited from several of the program elements have focused on employee wellness, self-care, DSP recognition, and participatory management.
Steps To Implement A Similar DSP Program
These monthly engagement and DSP Recognition Week strategies can be implemented with little cost and are largely about the creativity and implementation. We utilize existing electronic communication platforms to share the activities, announce winners, and post pictures agency-wide.
Challenges You May Encounter
Keeping engagement activities voluntary for individuals and celebrating team winners helps meet people at the level where they are without adding additional tasks to their workload. When we have found that an activity had minimal participation, we recognized that as an indication that it was time to simply celebrate our employees without asking for additional time or energy as they were pouring everything they had into services for the people we support.
About Hope House Foundation
At Hope House Foundation, we believe neighborhoods and communities are enriched when everyone in them participates to the fullest extent possible. Choice. Belonging. Home. At Hope House, these are not just abstract concepts. Through our services, our community participation, and our advocacy, we make these ideas a reality, each and every day.
Help Us Carry Out Our Mission
You can join The National Alliance For Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) through NADSP Membership, and support us to elevate the status of direct support professionals.
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