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Passport to Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly

Posted: February 11, 2013

“Learning from colleagues across buildings, work groups and departments strengthens what we do.”  JCHE Principles of Practice

Last week, I blogged about the culture change initiatives at JCHE, and the work that we are doing as an organization to make JCHE the best possible workplace it can be.  One of the challenges of working at JCHE is keeping the connection of a single professional community while doing so many different things.  We operate four (all equally wonderful but) unique communities, and our commitment to combining exceptional housing with exceptional services, and all of the things you need to support that, means a tremendous diversity in both the activities and background of our staff.  As we gathered information from staff during the culture change process, one thing that came out loud and clear as a priority was the desire for more learning between departments. The CORE Task Team chose this concept as a focus point, and launched an exciting new venture this week.

CORE has proposed 2013 as a “Year of Learning,” and began the education process at February’s monthly staff meeting, held yesterday.  The team solicited their colleagues to present to each other about their departments, centering presentations on things that people might not know about their work.  During an energized round robin session, staff (not managers) delivered seven simultaneous presentations to each other.  Because part of being a great workplace is about having fun, the presentations were bookended by a pop quiz and a raffle. 

At the end of the meeting, the team issued a challenge.  Everyone who works at JCHE is receiving a Passport to JCHE, where they can collect “Visas” by visiting departments about which they want to know more.  Through a menu of activities, people are invited to do everything from answering the maintenance work order phone for a half hour to cooking in the kitchen for a day to sitting down for a one-on-one with our Chief Operating Officer.  The goal of this journey is not only to learn more about whoever you visit, but also to learn more about the extent of each department’s work, and how all of the pieces of JCHE come together.  Our passport experience will culminate in a celebratory event in December, but we hope that as the months go by the cross-fertilization brings about new ideas about how to work best together.      


Jessica Boatright, JCHE Chief of Staff, February 11, 2013

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