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The merger brought with it many challenges for the human resources department. Many of those challenges we're very task-oriented and were centered around things like payroll, benefits, and job titles. All of those things are very important, of course, but the real challenge has been the effort to really bring the focus of Human Resources on the “human” part of human resourcess. By that, I mean things like team-building, increasing comfort levels and, overall, the formation of a new and enhanced organizational culture. Creating and maintaining a positive culture is a tall order and it will be a continual effort as it has always been at Wildwood. We will continue to make our culture a top priority and we will keep our focus on making Wildwood an outstanding place to work.
One of the most essential and important parts of the merger from a human resources standpoint was making sure that every person maintained a position. I'm very proud of the fact that during this transition no positions were eliminated and no one lost their job or moved on unless they chose to.
One of the things we needed to address was job titles and positions. We found out that our two organizations sometimes referred to a position in the same way but those positions had different duties, responsibilities and reporting. In those cases, we needed to make some changes, coach staff and make sure that everyone was on the same page.
The bringing together two organizations created new opportunities in some cases for staff to do something new like try a new position, work in a new location or with a different schedule. Wildwood’s increase in workforce has created chances for people to have new experiences and that has been a real benefit.
For some people the merger has meant an immediate pay raise because of our experience-based pay scale. Some staff joining Wildwood had experience that entitled them to a pay raise and, as you might guess, that has been very exciting.
Our larger human resources department is now able to respond to requests and needs in a faster way because we have a larger team. That means requests for training, group activities and problem solving can be met quicker and more efficiently.
It is also exciting that our new staff have a whole new list of benefits that they can access. Our Employee Assistance Program, tuition reimbursement and the Wildwood Cupboard are some of the the benefits new to many staff.
It is an exciting time at Wildwood. It is a great opportunity to build an even more cohesive, person-centered and focused culture that can meet the needs of the people we support. I am looking forward to the challenges and exciting opportunities ahead.
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Joining together two organizations brings with it many challenges. Like the rest of the organization, our primary focus was to ensure that there would be no interruption of our supports and services. In departments that do direct support, you can witness this process but in our department, so much of our efforts are behind the scenes and can be easily overlooked.
It was, of course, essential to make sure that the payroll systems were brought together so that our dedicated staff could receive their hard-earned wages.That involved changing systems, setting up accounts, writing code, and keeping everything in order. It was a fast and furious time and, in many ways, still is, but I'm very proud of the work that was done and the successful outcome from all our efforts.
In addition to the payroll project, we are coordinating Medicaid billing, merging banks, consolidating pension plans, and establishing a consistent documentation system. The devil is in the details, as they say, and we are going about all of this with painstaking deliberation to insure consistency, minimizing error, and to streamline processes wherever we can.
Our IT department has been tasked with on boarding the ALG computer infrastructure, email programs, and digital systems. ALG also utilized a contracted service to oversee their platforms so integrating all of that was a heavy lift for our technology department. Consolidating websites, social media accounts, and integrating their infrastructure havs been and, continue to be, a challenge we have been ready for.
The hard-working Facilities Department has taken on everything that goes along with acquiring new residences, offices and workspaces. The department has strategically approached the work by designing systems to cover what has become a much larger organization. I'm very proud of the work they've done.
All-in-all, with a lot of hard work from our dedicated staff, the merger has come together with only the expected challenges. It is an ongoing process and I am happy to report that we are pleased with how everything has come together.
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Family Support Services will be hosting our 3rd annual Social Relationships and Sexuality Education Conference on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022.
The theme for this conference - Empowering Myself in Times of Change.
Scan the QR code to register!