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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on April 25th, 2017

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#UMatterHere: Cultivating our Mission, Values and People at UMH

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If you’ve visited any one of our UMH communities lately, you may have noticed some of our staff members walking around wearing a t-shirt that says #UMatterHere. “Cool,” you might be thinking, “They are doing some kind of team-building t-shirt initiative. I wonder what it’s all about.”

But wait! Did you stop to ask anyone, “What’s the deal with the #UMatterHere shirts?” Probably not. It’s okay. We know you wanted to. So why is everyone wearing those shirts?

#UMatterHereThese t-shirts are the beginning of a new Mission/Values focused initiative we are rolling out at all of our UMH senior living and care communities. This initiative, entitled, #UMatterHere – Cultivating our Mission, Values & People, includes a series of programs for our staff designed to cultivate an understanding of and a commitment to the Mission and Values of UMH. These programs will provide training, education, and inspiration for our teams, as well as tools and resources for building meaningful relationships across our communities. They will also help to encourage ownership, provide accountability, and build trust within our teams.

Through this #UMatterHere initiative we hope to:

  • Strengthen our award-winning culture of caring and service
  • Ensure that our core values of respect, spirituality, excellence, collaboration, and stewardship remain at the center of every interaction, every task, every transition, and every new endeavor

#UMatterHere at UMHWhen we talk about this new initiative, which was launched in early April, we are using the phrase #UMatterHere. Some of our residents have been asking…. “Why is that number sign (#) in front of the phrase?”

We then get to enter into that fun conversation where we explain to our residents that the number sign (#) is also called a hashtag. (For those of you who might not be familiar with this word, a hashtag is a symbol that is widely used across social media to identify messages on a specific topic.) So what is the message behind #UMatterHere?

The message behind #UMatterHere is actually really simple. And while the programs I mentioned above are being introduced mainly to our staff members at this time, the message behind #UMatterHere speaks to all of us. It speaks to our staff, our residents; our family members, our volunteers, our guests… really anyone who walks into our communities! The message of #UMatterHere speaks to each of us as individuals…

  • You matter here.
  • Your contributions are important. You have something to offer. You are needed.
  • You make our communities feel like home; special places to live, work, and make a difference.

…and to all of us as a community:

  • We matter here.
  • We are all part of an extraordinary community of caring. It “feels different here” because of our team’s commitment to our Mission, Values, and People. (You might have noticed this in our tagline, “Cultivating our Mission, Values, and People”)

#UMatterHere at UMHThe message behind #UMatterHere is one that we share with every prospective resident and their families as well. It is not just something we mention on the first visit, but it truly reflects our commitment to excellence in care and service throughout the entirety of the resident and family experience.

In case you’re not familiar with our philosophy of care at United Methodist Homes, relationships are at the core of our mission. Our President and CEO, David Lawlor shares, “The relationships we form with each other, the residents we care for and their families all combine to create a culture that is unique to each of our communities…. the culture of our communities is no mistake, and building the necessary connections that allows meaningful relationships is hard work.” We are really excited to begin working with our staff this spring as we launch this new Mission Development Series, which targets strengthening the award-winning culture of each of our communities.

#UMatterHere at UMHSome of the topics we’ll be discussing with our staff will focus on understanding the impact we have in caring for others, the importance of collaboration and communication, best practices for exceptional customer service, dealing with challenging dynamics when working with older adults, and the secrets to preserving enthusiasm and positivity. It is our goal that staff will find these sessions helpful in their work, and help us form stronger relationships among our teams and better connect us to our mission.

As we work through this program with our staff in the coming weeks, we are also excited about developing new ways to share the #UMatterHere message with our residents, family members, and volunteers, inviting them to share their stories and ideas and capturing them in new ways.

Want to know more about the Mission and Values of United Methodist Homes? See what makes our senior living communities feel so different!

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.