Caught in the Act! It’s a phrase nearly every Whitney Center employee hopes they hear according to LaTasha (Tasha) Green, Whitney Center’s HR Generalist/Employee Relations Specialist.
Caught in the Act is a Whitney Center employee relations program designed to recognize employees who go above and beyond each month. While the program was in place when Tasha came to Whitney Center a little over two years ago, she has taken the program to exciting new heights. “I just think the program is wonderful,” says Tasha. “We are fortunate to have a team in place who loves what they do. It shows in the care they provide and in the tasks they perform every day. Caught in the Act is a way for us to recognize their efforts.”
Each month, residents select employees from a list of nominations. The employee “Caught in the Act” is treated to a fine dining lunch experience with Whitney Center’s CEO, Vice President of Business Services and some residents.
Tasha says the program was specifically recognized by CARF – Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and Continuing Care Accreditation Commission – during Whitney Center’s recent accreditation process, stating that Whitney Center “nurtures a culture of trust as indicated in the longevity of employees who say they feel recognized and important. This is reflected in the quality of care and service.” CARF designation is awarded only to communities that demonstrate financial stability, quality of care, and the value of a resident’s investment.
Overseeing Caught in the Act is just one of many programs Tasha has enhanced since she joined the team. In addition to conducting initial interviews for all potential new hires, implementing orientation and training programs, her “superpower” according to many of her colleagues, is event planning.
“Tasha is our event planner extraordinaire,” says Cathy Goodman, Whitney Center’s Director of Marketing. “Her employee events truly help build bridges between our residents and employees. She’s been instrumental in making sure employee morale remains high because all of us here at Whitney Center are firm believers that gratified, satisfied employees, equals better care and better service for residents.”
Tasha says the most talked-about event of the year so far was the Black History Month Celebration. “The event focused on migration and a changing culture. Together, residents and employees shared their views and opinions on the importance and role black history has had in their lives. Local entertainers came in; we had food …it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the community,” says Tasha. “The event was all about building relationships and celebrating our differences – something we try to do here every day.”
“The Black History Celebration was another way to show the staff how much we appreciate what they do,” adds Cathy. “Tasha places a lot of emphasis on making sure the staff knows that every person on our team is appreciated by Whitney Center’s leadership, as well as by our residents.”
“A little recognition goes a long way so I try to promote and support the staff as much as I can,” says Tasha. “Our employees are dedicated, hard workers. They deserve to be celebrated.”
When it comes to planning employee events, her coworkers say Tasha thinks outside the box. “Fortunately, everyone here at Whitney Center supports my ideas, so the staff can look forward to several new, ‘outside-the-box employee events’ throughout the next year including a big splash for our upcoming 40thanniversary and an even-bigger celebration for next year’s Black History Month,” says Tasha.
At the end of the day, as a Human Resources Specialist, Tasha is largely responsible for hiring the right team. She says the most important quality she looks for in a potential hire is empathy. “I try to get a feel for how that person will engage with our residents … Did they mention a relationship with a grandparent? Why did they become a caregiver?” she says. “I am looking for a person that fits our culture. We are a mission-focused community that places a high emphasis on living our values. I look for people whose values align with ours.”
About Whitney Center
Whitney Center is a Life Care community for people ages 62+. Founded over 40 years ago, the community offers area retirees a full range of lifestyles and services including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, and home care. As a Life Care community, residents have access to any level of health care they may need. Whitney Center is located at 200 Leeder Hill Drive in Hamden.