Living our values each and every day.
Now that’s a pretty powerful statement, and one that deserves some elaboration. Front Porch, like many companies, has a set of values that define our culture. You can find all six here, and on the walls of our community offices and meeting rooms.
But “on the wall” is really the last place we expect to find our values. They’re out on the table, in the offices, in the communities, and a part of every one of our daily interactions with our residents.
Our employees know they’re expected to integrate them into everything they do. And since we employ a diverse range of people doing a wide variety of jobs, we realize that not everyone is going to interpret these values in the exact same way.
And we also recognize that our residents have a set of values too, and that sometimes their values might not match ours. Are you beginning to see some of the “grey areas” that our employees might encounter with respect to values? We certainly did.
That’s why Front Porch devotes an entire department to educate and train employees on the subject of ethics. Our Ethics Service helps our employees interpret our values, learn ethical decision-making skills and incorporate them into their working lives.
It’s really a process of self-discovery that begins by asking employees about their own core values. Once they understand what’s important to them, they can start to empathize and understand what might be important to a resident.
We also do a lot of work with the concept of presence, that grounding component that allows caregivers to be sensitive to another’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Integrity, dignity and respect are other topics we routinely discuss and explore as well.
Our values-driven approach to meeting needs helps to create a safe and trusting environment. Most importantly, it ensures we honor our residents’ choices even if their values differ from those giving them care. Residents are free to live life their way.
There are lots of great stories of our values in action, like the integrity shown by Rogelio Guerrero, a long-time maintenance worker at Fredericka Manor, who found lost jewelry on more than one occasion, and made sure they were returned to their rightful owner.
And the excellent teamwork displayed by the entire staff at Villa Gardens when the city needed to shut off the community’s water. The staff filled containers in advance, creatively prepared meals and ensured resident care and services didn’t miss a beat.
Our Ethics Service also provides guidance on assessing ethical dilemmas, those sensitive circumstances that might involve two rights, or even two wrongs. Here, it’s of utmost importance to ensure we are looking at all the benefits and burdens of each decision.
As retired Front Porch CEO Gary Wheeler so aptly puts it:
“Front Porch must be a place where it is better to debate some very significant questions without ever settling them, than it is to settle some very significant questions without ever debating them.”
At Front Porch, we’re dedicated to intentionally living our values each and every day. Our Ethics Service helps us do just that, to be better people, to take the time to learn from and listen to each other, and to honor our residents’ choices in everything we do.