‘We are making changes, we are moving forward,’ says team member
What better way to spread the idea of culture change than to hold an education day where people share experiences and ask questions about what it means to aspire to offer “flexible living,” “flexible dining,” and a range of “meaningful and shared activities” for residents and team members?
These are the aspirations the Village of Wentworth Heights has placed high priority on in terms of enhancing the lives of residents, and an “aspiration education day” held in late August drew the attention of 45 team members, who gathered to learn how they fit into the changing culture of aging.
The concept of culture change can be daunting upon first consideration, but as recreation support coordinator Kristel Bulthuis says, the education day led by food services director Kristie Wiedenfeld and the village advisory team is a great example of how the concept grows more accessible through conversation and idea sharing.
“It was a great way for team members to see we are making changes, we are moving forward,” Kristel says.
“Sometimes we like to see big, obvious changes and then we feel discouraged when we don’t see those big changes, but when we see all sorts of little changes, then it becomes a little easier to see we are moving forward.”
It takes time for the understanding to spread, she adds, but it is happening. Team members can be seen along village streets in blue T-shirts with the aspirations written on them, which encourage people to ask questions about how these statements inform the village’s future direction.
A conversation café hosted by team members from the Village of Erin Meadows was also held in late August, giving people even more opportunity to discuss how a range of aspirations in each of the villages are creating a new sense of resident empowerment.
“There are all sorts of ideas out there that we should be tapping into more,” Kristel says, but with these conversations happening more often, ideas are spreading and it becomes easier to see which ones can have the greatest impact.
Taking the time to acknowledge team members in all village areas as they contribute to progress — sometimes without even knowing it — is also extremely important, she adds, and her pride is clear when she says progress is happening every day.
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