Mark Hassemer

Dear Friends of ACT:

Earlier in my career I’ll admit I had some big goals. And I was ready to work to achieve them. I thought then if I accomplished those goals (like CARF accreditation) I could just sit back and manage ACT at a comfortable pace.

That’s laughable to me now. In fact, the whole tone of ACT, I am pleased to say, is one where I see our very talented and dedicated employees stretching every day, not resting, working to push the boundaries of what’s comfortable or what we’ve always done. They want to do more. Often, to do more, you’ve got to do something different.

You’ve got to innovate. Change your perspective. Break your habits. Test something new.

Last month I mentioned two new ideas we’re taking on here at ACT.

The budget has been approved and the process has begun for us to add a new position, an HR training specialist who will manage all training activities and track each employee’s training status. This is no small undertaking. We think we’ll see a new dimension of service to individuals as a result of this move.

We’ve also initiated a new effort to expand our quality measures. We’re starting a new set of practices designed to look at a wider range of metrics and then act on what we learn.

If you ask someone what ACT does, he or she will likely say we provide services to persons with disabilities. In order to do that there’s got to be a process in place to make it possible to hire the employees needed to deliver those services.

I’m proud to say ACT is not just innovating and stretching in the areas of direct services to individuals. This ethic, this commitment to going beyond what we’re comfortable with is alive and well in our financial management functions, communications and outreach, and human resources.

If you haven’t heard them yet, I’ll let you in on the news that ACT is now running radio ads on Y107. We’re at the tail end of a two week run that invites job seekers to join us at a job fair August 9, 4:00-7:00 pm at Shakespeare’s South, 3911 Peachtree Drive.

Employee turnover is a big part of everyday life at ACT. We have work to do and we need people to do it. Our work goes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We need people to join us in this work and then stick around and grow with us.

We must do better at hiring and retaining employees.

But it was me who was a little apprehensive when our Director of Human Resources Brian Tveitnes suggested a new approach to addressing hiring and retention issues. We’re going beyond the usual ads, prospecting at the University School of Health Professions, and employee referrals.

What’s new in hiring? Radio ads to reach a wider audience and a job fair with on site interviews (and free pizza). What’s new in retention? Bonuses. Employees who stay at ACT can get retention bonuses at 6 months, 12 months, and 2 years. As much as $2,000 can be earned by those who make it beyond these critical retention milestones.

Please help us spread the word. ACT has opportunities that few private sector employers can offer: schedule flexibility, highly competitive benefits, and now bonuses.

Never rest on past accomplishments. Always examine services and systems to find better ways. Remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination. So, don’t ever arrive. Continue to stretch, to reach, to aspire to do better. Never be satisfied or become complacent.

I’m glad to say these principles are in effect at ACT. I am excited to see new ways of doing work emerge as we continue to listen to the persons we serve, their families, our employees, and the businesses that welcome us into their workspaces.

Until next month,