Recipe For Teamwork
Chances are, during the course of your life, you have been part of a team. Whether it's your family, participating in sports, a group project or in the workplace, your team came together to achieve one goal, and that is to succeed. TSI's Core Values states: "We rely on teams to accomplish many tasks from planning agency activities to making changes in service planning. To be a good team member means to always keep focus on the work not on personal recognition." TSI currently has 13 programs, four administrative departments and maintenance. Although we are not housed in one facility, we are a team with one goal: to help people with mental disabilities live a successful life...where they choose...how they choose.
Our McLenahan group home staff understands the importance of being a team. They rely on teamwork so that persons served are successful in their recovery. They have shared some of their insights as to why their team is successful. We introduce to you the McLenahan team: Kathy, Debbie, Gloria, Dennis, Moses and Sharon.
The McLenahan group home houses 12 adults, and 7 staff (one staff was not available for interview). The program operated without a supervisor from July to December 2015 until Kathy joined the team. Kathy understands that good support is essential to the team's success. She has shown her team that she is willing to work hard and has earned their respect.
Debbie, who is like the big sister, shoots from the hip. She feels that open and honest communication is vital, even if it leads to conflict. "To deal with the conflict the team relies on acceptance, listening and being open about their feelings in a respectful manner," states Debbie. This is not to say that things do not go wrong; however, if the team keeps the goal in mind they can work through anything. She also feels that "Not talking behind your team member's back, instead, talking directly to the person you have the concerns with has helped this team." Do they get mad at each other? Absolutely. What ultimately brings them back together is respect for what each person brings to the team.
Gloria feels one of the things that makes the team successful is [everyone] "just jumps in and does what needs to be done and doesn't worry about caseloads." As one of the newest members to the team, she understands that we are striving toward the same goal: success of the persons served.
Dennis is like the wise owl. He shares his wisdom gained from his personal life, integrated with tools, such as Psychiatric Rehabilitation Approach (PRA), to work with persons served. He shares this wisdom with his team which helps them to respect each person's unique diff erences.
The overnight staff play a vital role in teamwork. They tend not to feel appreciated and not part of the team. This is far from the truth. Moses and Sharon are the "behind the scenes" staff . They complete tasks that help the day shift function well, and are supportive by reinforcing the messages given by the daytime staff . Sharon is very positive. She sees the "light" in everything and is consistent with this attitude with all staff no matter the situation. Moses has a very comforting presence and makes the team and persons served feel safe and cared for.
McLenahan is a diverse team; some new staff, some seasoned staff, age, life experiences, gender and race. Each member sees what makes the team successful from a diff erent perspective. Put these ingredients together and it's a great recipe for teamwork.