In late September, Fortune Magazine released the 2018 Fortune Best Workplaces for Aging Services List. Masonic Homes Kentucky was honored to be recognized as the 32nd best workplace for aging care.
This was the first year Fortune Magazine included an aging services list in their best workplace publication. The applicants for the inaugural list spanned the aging care continuum and included independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, home health and others. To be eligible for consideration, a company must apply and have at least 55 percent of employees fill out a digitally-administered anonymous survey over a two-week period.
Masonic Homes had 65 percent of employees complete the survey last spring. The overwhelmingly positive survey results earned Masonic Communities the certification by independent analysts at Great Place to Work® this summer, which is the main requirement to be considered for the Fortune Magazine list. According to the employee data, 85 percent of the team members working across all disciplines who responded to the survey at any of the three Masonic Homes’ campuses say that their workplace is great, and 91 percent feel pride in what they and the organization accomplishes.
“We applaud Masonic Homes for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Kim Peters, Executive Vice President of Great Place to Work’s Certification Program. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace – critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with Masonic Homes should take into account as an indicator of high performance.”
Receiving that recognition in June made Masonic Homes eligible for the Fortune Magazine honor this fall. “We were so proud to hear we had made the Fortune list, too,” said Trasee Whitaker, Chief Human Resource Officer. “It does validate and show the world what we already know: Our employees have a lot of pride and passion, and they’re the ones who make us successful.”
Trasee credits the exceptional education and leadership programs as one of the facilitators of employee happiness and company culture. In 2017 Masonic Homes began a Remarkable Leadership series composed of six courses that help managers understand how to manage employee expectations, mentor employees to become future leaders and more. In January, Masonic Homes launched the Walters-Judy Scholarship that supports free nursing education for employees. In February, the Women In Leadership program was also launched. The inaugural class of 30 women graduated from the program in August.
While the survey results were spectacular, some feedback was the catalyst for company-wide changes. The most important change is that employees will be invited to be involved at the ground level in strategic planning, which is designed to help give everyone a better idea of the organization’s big-picture goals. “We want everyone to know what we are we doing and how you can support that or hear what ideas do you have that can make it better,” said Trasee. Other feedback was about comradery and connection to coworkers. Masonic Homes responded by hosting a free country concert in October and bringing back an annual company picnic for opportunities to bond with coworkers and invite family members to events.
“We’re proud to be recognized for our positive workplace environment,” said J Scott Judy, interim Chief Executive Officer of Masonic Homes. “We strive to make Masonic Homes a great place for our team members, whether through scholarship programs, leadership programs, continuing education opportunities, wellness opportunities and more.”
“It’s our employees that make it a great place to work, and we feel it’s important to give recognition where it’s due,” said Trasee.