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  • Trinity Services welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors

    Aug 22, 2018

    NEW LENOX, IL — Trinity Services, Inc. recently welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors.

    Christine Falvey and Ron Stricklin joined the board this summer. Both are parents of children who are supported by Trinity Services, and both have been involved with the organization for roughly 15 years.

    Falvey, a Mokena resident, has approximately 30 years of experience in the environmental industry as a transportation coordinator for a waste management company.

    She said she is honored and proud to be a member of the board and part of Trinity Services.

    “I have seen firsthand how parental involvement is so beneficial to the individual clients and to the direct service providers,” Falvey said. “Trinity has given my son and me so much. Brian is surrounded by dedicated professionals at every level. Joining the Trinity Board of Directors is the perfect way for me to give back to Trinity.”

    Falvey’s goals for her first term are to become familiar with the full scope of the services Trinity provides and to promote Trinity throughout her community.

    Falvey added that she and her husband are contemplating retirement, so her opportunity to become more involved with Trinity Services came at the perfect time.

    Stricklin, a South Barrington resident, is a retired executive with roughly 35 years of business experience. He is involved in the Parent Advisory Group at Trinity Northwest, located in Des Plaines, and has volunteered in numerous capacities, including during audits, during legislative advocacy campaigns, and on the planning committee for Trinity’s annual Dinner and Concert Gala that takes place every December in Oak Brook.

    “I like keeping busy,” Stricklin said of his interest in joining the board. “I’m excited to learn how the board works and how different programming works at Trinity. I’m always amazed anytime I learn more about how many different services Trinity offers. I’m interested in learning about different things Trinity is doing, and hopefully my business background can be tapped into to help.”

    Stricklin added that he also wanted to join the board to stay connected to his son and contribute to what is best for him.

    “I’m impressed with people I see up and down the organization,” Stricklin said. “They are so committed to what they do and to trying to help everyone succeed.”

    President and CEO Thane Dykstra, Ph.D., praised both Falvey and Stricklin for their dedication to their sons and the mission of Trinity Services.

    “I’m so pleased that Chris and Ron decided to volunteer their time and talents to Trinity by joining the Board of Directors,” Dykstra said. “They are both instrumental supporters of the organization, and will provide Trinity with valuable perspectives and insight in their new roles.”

    Trinity Services, Inc. is a 68-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 northeast, central and southern Illinois. To learn more, visit www.trinity-services.org.

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  • Trinity Services’ 29th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction to raise funds for people with disabilities, mental illness

    Aug 22, 2018

    NEW LENOX, IL — Trinity Services, Inc.’s 29th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction will raise funds for the more than 3,500 people with developmental disabilities and mental illness whom the organization supports throughout Illinois.

    The event, themed “Moonlight Sonata,” is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at The Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park.

    All are welcome to attend the fundraiser, which will feature a variety of silent and live auction items, entertainment by The Night Shift Orchestra, fine dining, and great company. Tickets are $100 per person, and sponsorship and program book advertisement opportunities are available.

    At this year’s event, guests may bid on experiences, appliances, sports memorabilia and tickets, electronics, and much more. Mobile bidding will be available to all attendees for the silent auction, conveniently sending bidders a text message when someone has outbid them.

    Tickets for the Dinner Dance & Auction are $100 each and are available at www.trinity-services.org.

    Those interested in helping Trinity Services in other ways are invited to volunteer on the event’s committee or donate new, unused items for auction at the event. These donations are 100 percent tax-deductible.

    The work of Trinity Services would not be possible without its generous donors and supporters. Because of the backing of sponsors, attendees and volunteers of events like the Dinner Dance & Auction, Trinity Services is able to meet the full range of needs of the people it supports and help them to flourish and live full and abundant lives.

    Trinity Services, Inc. is a 68-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 northeast, central and southern Illinois. To learn more, visit www.trinity-services.org.

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Workplace Harmony and Rules

by Art Dykstra | Jan 03, 2018

A harmonious organization doesn’t just happen on its own nor does it maintain itself without conscious effort and attention. As in music, interpersonal harmony is achieved through the interplay of rules and relationships. It is not an accidental creation.

Rules pertain to order, guidelines or principles for regulating or governing action or behavior. They involve the exercise of authority. They also promote productive, safe, healthy and harmonious workplaces by providing structure, boundaries and an ability to experience the future in a predictable fashion.                         

There are both positive and negative aspects of rules and rule-making. From a positive perspective, rules are meant to be followed and enforced. Trinity’s rules are generally found in a policy manual and the employee handbook. Let’s consider some of them.

  • Persons served are not to be mistreated.
  • No smoking is allowed in Trinity work sites.
  • Neither drivers nor passengers may eat or drink in agency vehicles.
  • Staff work fixed hours and schedules.
  • Employees need to notify supervisors if they are not coming to work.
  • Third shift employees must be awake during their shifts.
  • Team leaders must complete monthly staff evaluations.
  • Residential sites must be locked during staff, residential absences.
  • Employees are not to do personal laundry in Trinity homes.
  • Only classical music is permitted at Trinity work sites.

While the list includes only a few of our rules, the good news is that they are always followed and always enforced.

These rules did not suddenly appear. Generally speaking, they came into being in response or reaction to a negative event or troublesome situation. Since we are trying to prevent more undesirable behavior, I believe all of them are necessary. Another important characteristic of the Trinity rules is that they are tailored to our organization. They address issues in our culture. To my knowledge, there isn’t a Disability Services Rules Package currently for sale. CEO’s do not call me asking for a copy of our rules, and I do not want copies of theirs.

While rules are established for a reason, they may, over time and with organizational growth, be forgotten. As a result, employees can lose touch with the rationale and intent of the required action. If they do not understand the why of the rules—the spirit and intent behind them—they may come to believe that a rule does not apply to them. Others, perhaps by the nature of the tunes in their heads, look for the loopholes or pathways of evasion. Some are actually loophole hunters.

For instance, several years ago, Steve Adams, an Alaskan postal clerk, decided to modify his uniform by wearing bow ties that were anything but the simple blue required by the “rule book.” He wore bow ties decorated with the Three Stooges, Looney Tune characters, and an endless variety of other items. Postal clients actually gave him new tie versions they happened upon in their travels until he had a huge collection.

However, the bosses were not amused. They finally ordered him to follow the rules. Adams didn’t want to lose his job, so he complied.  He returned to work with the approved blue bow tie, but he also wore a pair of suspenders decorated with the Tazmanian Devil—an item not mentioned in the postal rules. In spite of the humor of such instances of thumbing one’s nose at rules, it is my belief that rules are important and necessary for harmonious human interaction.

So what is the downside of rules? We already know that one downside occurs when people do not know the rationale or intent of the rule. My primary objection to them as an organizational dynamic or mechanism of employee control is very simple. An organization that emphasizes rules and has a great number of them loses sight of what is good, right and well intended. Instead it focuses on what not to do. Rules reflect the past; they do not serve as guides for the future.

At my age, I have come to realize that I live in a messy, gray world—not a neat, black and white one. When I was 35, I was more certain of things than I am today. A black and white world is easier to navigate; however, it doesn’t actually exist. By the way, I’m not speaking of moral relativism. I believe that some things are good and others bad or evil.

So let me make some observations about rules.

  • Rules do not work because you cannot include all of the possible aspects of the behavior to be governed.
  • In a rules-dominated culture, employees will think that they can do things that are questionable because they are not in the rule book.
  • Rules create minimum expectations.
  • Rules are not the most effective way to achieve the outcomes we are seeking.
  • Flourishing organizations come together through a commitment to shared values—not shared rules.
  • A rules-dominated organization leads to hierarchy and employee separation.
  • Rules lead to the presence of more rules.

Leaders invested in having rules haven’t done well at Trinity—whether as team leaders, program directors or professionals with advanced degrees. In fact, “rulers” should be rejected by those below them, those alongside them or those above them because rules create a constipated culture.

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