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  • Chairs from Trinity’s New Lenox Woodworks will decorate downtown Frankfort as part of chamber’s Fall Festival

    Jul 19, 2018

    FRANKFORT, IL — People served by Trinity Services, Inc. were invited to be part of an artistic project initiated by The Center for Independent Futures (CIF) and the Frankfort Fall Festival.

    Trinity Services’ New Lenox Woodworks created 55 Adirondack chairs for the AdironDecorate project in downtown Frankfort, which is part of the Frankfort Fall Festival.

    To prepare the chairs for the installation, CIF, in partnership with artist Sam LaRocco and hot rod painting specialist Adam Krause from The Refinery, organized a chair painting night June 26 at Dancing Marlin in Frankfort.

    At this event, roughly two dozen people worked on about one dozen chairs. Attendees from Trinity Services helped out with painting and created a paint splatter-effect chair.

    Program participants at New Lenox Woodworks also decorated a chair to represent Trinity Services.

    All chairs were cut, sanded and assembled by people with disabilities who attend New Lenox Woodworks. They were then sold for local businesses to decorate and display. Chairs are being placed around Frankfort this month and are being featured on the Frankfort Fall Festival’s Facebook page.

    People of all abilities worked side-by-side on the artwork, ensuring it spreads a message of inclusion along with providing beautiful places for passersby to rest.

    For more information about New Lenox Woodworks and its products, follow the program on Facebook.

    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 publishes ‘Beeing a Leader: Insights from the Trinity Beehive’ to share buzz about intersection of leadership, positive psychology

    Jun 11, 2018

    NEW LENOX, IL — Trinity Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of “Beeing a Leader: Insights from the Trinity Beehive,” a fun, easy-to-read guidebook focusing on leadership traits that adhere to the fundamentals of positive psychology.

    A group of 91 authors, all staff members at Trinity Services who have diverse professional backgrounds and personalities, collaborated on the book. Each wrote a separate entry on a quality of leadership. These qualities are divided into five categories — Nurture Positive Emotion, Experience Engagement, Cultivate Positive Relationships, Discover Meaning and Recognize Accomplishments — that are each central elements of positive psychology.

    The concept for this book was developed by Art Dykstra, recently retired executive director of Trinity Services and editor of the publication.

    In his introduction to the book, he writes that an active, energetic beehive is an apt metaphor for a fully functioning organization. Bees are unable to live by themselves. They must live and work together in a hive, communicating with each other to gather pollen and survive.

    Every entry is written as a separate “bee” — for example, “Bee Grateful” or “Bee a Servant Leader.” Each bee works together to contribute to the “hive,” an organization that values the growth, happiness and success of all of its employees, recognizing that each staff member, because of his or her individuality and contributions to the group, is integral to carrying out the organization’s mission.

    The book aims to inspire and encourage people from all walks of life to embrace their natural leadership abilities and step outside of their comfort zones for their own personal growth and for the growth of those around them.

    It also gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the positive organizational culture at Trinity Services, which employs more than 1,000 people in Illinois and serves more than 3,500 people with developmental disabilities and mental illness.

    The book is published by Trinity Services’ support business High Tide Press and will be available for sale at www.CherryHillHighTide.com beginning Tuesday, June 12. Proceeds from book sales benefit the people with disabilities and mental illness who are supported by Trinity.

    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.

    Beeing a Leader Cover
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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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Upcoming Events

  • 29th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction — 'Moonlight Sonata'

    Click here to purchase tickets.

    We feel privileged to be celebrating our 68th year of providing supports and services for people with developmental disabilities and mental illness. Since first opening our doors as a small school, Trinity Services has been committed to helping individuals flourish and lead more independent lives. We now serve more than 3,500 people through an array of innovative programs. This would not be possible without generous supporters like you.

    We hope you will join us for an evening of entertainment, fine dining, dancing, and silent and live auctions at our 29th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction, Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park. This year's theme is "Moonlight Sonata."
    The evening starts with cocktails at 5 p.m.

    Sponsorship Opportunities:
    Platinum - $5,000
    Full-page color ad in the program book
    Business logo posted on Trinity Services' website
    10 complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Gold - $3,000
    Full-page color ad in the program book
    Business name on the Trinity Services website
    Six complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Silver - $2,000
    Full-page B&W ad in the program book
    Business name on the Trinity Services website
    Four complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Bronze - $1,000
    Half-page B&W ad in the program book
    Business name on the Trinity Services website
    Two complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Program Book Advertisement Opportunities:
    Full-page color $500 (7.5” W x 9.75” H)
    Full-page B&W $300 (7.5” W x 9.75” H)
    1/2-page B&W $200 (7.5” W x 4.875” H)
    1/4-page B&W $100 (3.75” W x 4.875” H)
    1/8-page business card/celebration B&W $50 (3.75”W x 2.4375” H)

    Auction Items:
    You can also help us make this event a success by contributing a new, unused item for the silent or live auction. All items donated are 100% tax deductible.
    Some popular auction items from past years have included: tickets to sporting events, autographed sports paraphernalia, vacation packages (or airline miles), tools, theater tickets, gift cards, spa treatments, jewelry, wine, kids’ fun baskets, pet baskets, and electronics (iPad, Kindle, wireless sound systems, smart TV, etc.)
    Please drop off or mail your item(s) by Friday, Aug. 21, to 301 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox, IL 60451. If you need Trinity staff to pick up your donation, please call 815-717-3750.
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