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  • Thank you to all who shared the love with Trinity on #GivingTuesday

    Dec 08, 2017

    Trinity Services, Inc. would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who supported Trinity on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 28.

    Whether it was through donating, sharing information about Trinity or creating a Facebook fundraiser, we appreciate all of the support that was shown for our mission to help people with disabilities and mental illness flourish and live full and abundant lives.

    More than $47,000 was raised for Trinity online across the duration of the #GivingTuesday campaign.

    Additionally, thanks to the generosity of The Coleman Foundation, all donations made to Trinity Services online on Nov. 28 will be partially or fully matched, up to $10,000.

    All donations assist Trinity Services in fulfilling its mission.

    Trinity provides residential services, adult learning programs, behavioral health care, supported employment services, a school program, respite care, crisis prevention and more to people in Chicagoland, and central and southwest Illinois.

    This was Trinity’s fifth year participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that encourages philanthropy and the celebration of generosity.

    Thank you for sharing the love with the people we serve.

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  • Trinity Services supporters can amplify their impact this #GivingTuesday

    Nov 03, 2017

    NEW LENOX, IL — Supporters of Trinity Services, Inc. can amplify their charitable impact this #GivingTuesday by making a tax-deductible online donation to the nonprofit on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

    Thanks to the generosity of The Coleman Foundation, all donations made to Trinity Services online on Nov. 28 only will be partially or fully matched, up to $10,000. The Coleman Foundation will match $25 for every gift between $25-$99; $100 for every gift between $100-$499; and $500 for every gift of $500 or more. Matches apply to both current and new supporters.

    Additionally, thanks to the generosity of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, all donations made Nov. 28 through Facebook fundraisers created on behalf of Trinity Services will be matched at $1,000 per fundraiser, up to a total of $50,000.

    All donations assist Trinity Services in fulfilling its mission to help people with developmental disabilities and mental illness flourish and live full and abundant lives.

    Trinity provides residential services, adult learning programs, behavioral health care, supported employment services, a school program, respite care, crisis prevention and more to people in Chicagoland, and central and southwest Illinois.

    This is Trinity’s fifth year participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that encourages philanthropy and the celebration of generosity. #GivingTuesday is always held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and holiday shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

    Those interested in donating to or helping Trinity Services on #GivingTuesday are encouraged to visit www.Facebook.com/TrinityServices/fundraisers to create a shareable fundraiser on behalf of the nonprofit or to visit www.Trinity-Services.org/GivingTuesday to donate. Trinity is using the hashtag #ShareTheLove for its campaign.

    For more information about ways to get involved, call (815) 717-3750.

    Trinity Services, Inc. is a 67-year-old, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness flourish and live full and abundant lives. Trinity serves more than 3,500 people in more than 30 communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Peoria, Jackson, Madison and St. Clair counties. To learn more, visit www.trinity-services.org.

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  • Employee-to-Employee Relationships

    Dec 13, 2017

    The employees who actually carry out the work of organizations that serve people with disabilities—the treatment, habilitation and education—are often referred to as the “hourly employees.” (The term probably captures the extent of their organizational value, or perhaps the extent of their commitment, or in some cases, the measure of turnover rates.) No matter what they are called or how they are categorized, these people are key to fulfilling the mission and purpose of the service provider.

    With that in mind, who an organization hires is the most important thing that it does. Recruiting people with compassion, energy and a sense of personal purpose clearly contributes to an outcome producing work environment. Likewise, hiring people with positive attitudes certainly makes more sense than trying to teach courses in positive thinking.

    Essential to fostering a positive and optimistic culture is a focus on the nature of employee–to-employee relationships. Assuming that the organization strives to secure appropriate employees and uses the best techniques for employee selection, new employees should enter the organization with a clear understanding of the attitude, skills and performance levels expected.

    However, the workplace environment must also encourage positive attitudes and behaviors. In this context, managers are the key players. They must model the kind of interactions and ways of being they expect of their team members. Role modeling can never be underestimated as a vehicle for “infecting” team members with supportive, relationship-enhancing actions.

    Last week’s blog highlighted behaviors such as face-to-face communication, active listening, honesty and appreciation. Since these behaviors are also fundamental to productive employee-to-employee relationships, managers can encourage them through offering relationship-focused trainings, providing opportunities for employees to give each other positive feedback, creating contexts in which socializing can occur, and cultivating an environment that allows for differences of opinion and gives clear guidelines for dealing with conflict.

    The obvious goal is for employees to be responsible for the own behavior and to treat each other as they want to be treated. Employees who believe that they are doing meaningful work, who are using their creative and cognitive skills, and who know that they are being treated fairly will do just that.

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  • The Importance of Manager-Employee Relationships

    Dec 06, 2017

    If you ask employees what it’s like to work for any organization, they are likely to answer based on the relationship they have with their boss. That is a fact of life. “This place sucks—no one ever knows what’s going on. All they do is take advantage of you. They never help you out when you’re hurting. No one tells you anything.” 

    Of course, the likelihood of positive feelings and experiences are also possible. “It’s a great place to work. I’m trying to get my sister a job here.” In other words, the manager-employee relationship creates the lens through which the employee views the organization.

    Some time ago, I came across the term, “vertical couple.” Coined by Daniel Goleman, it describes the relationship we have with those who report to us, and to those to whom we report. Goleman states, “It’s the single most important social bond we develop at work.” His research indicates that the strength of the bond between manager and employee is the prime predictor of daily production and the length of time people stay at their jobs.

    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for first-line managers to take the position without any essential training or chance to practice. Frequently, they are tossed onto the playing field and before too long, when difficulties arise, resort to giving orders on the one hand or doing the work themselves on the other. Management training, therefore, becomes a high priority in organizations pursuing high quality service delivery. 

    How then does a manager develop that strong bond with his or her team members? Some of the most important actions to be taken include the following.

    Communicate face-to-face. While email and phone conversations are often easier, speaking with employees face-to-face offers greater benefits. A manager who takes the time to communicate in person makes a statement about the value he or she places on the relationship with the employee. In addition, both parties in the conversation learn a great deal more from each other as they connect facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures with the words spoken. Furthermore, any positive interaction—be it a passing “Good morning,” or a lengthier interaction in a more formal setting—triggers the release of dopamine, which literally makes learning easier.

    Listen actively. Managers who listen carefully and ask questions develop stronger relationships with their employees. Learning about an employee’s responses to job requirements, suggestions for improving processes, and assessment of relational dynamics in the workplace offers a supervisor not only insight into the person’s character and abilities, but also ideas that might enhance team performance and/or culture.

    Show interest in employees’ personal lives. Keeping up with an employee’s family and personal interests cements positive connections even further. Captain Michael Abrashoff, well known for having transformed the worst performing Navy crew into the top performer, attributed some of his success to learning the names of the sailors’ family members and making a point to ask about them when he spoke with the crew members. Employees appreciate knowing that they are regarded as valued individuals rather than simply cogs in the company machine.                   

    Be honest. No relationship is stable without trust. Teams in which managers and members work together efficiently is inevitably characterized by honesty. Being able to count on the veracity of any information shared prevents mistakes, misunderstandings and energy-depleting conflicts.

    Always follow through. As an outgrowth of honesty, a manager’s commitment to follow through lets employees know that plans and promises require action. Consistent, appropriate action builds bedrock trust while encouraging accountability and establishing a stable environment that promotes high performance.

    Express appreciation. Acknowledging the contributions of employees also demonstrates how much a manager values the team members. Appreciation can be communicated with a verbal “Thank you,” an award, a written note or a public announcement. The most effective form of recognition is one that an employee finds most rewarding.

    As Goleman reminds us, the manager-employee connection is the basic unit of organizational life. Therefore, the message is clear: we need to prize and prioritize our relationships.

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