Category Archives: Press

Alzheimer’s Walk

We recently learned of paople making a difference for a cause which is near and dear to the hearts of everyone who works in the long-term care industry – Alzheimer’s Disease.

For those who have it, nothing is the same as before.

For those who have a loved one with it, it is a painful reminder of how things have changed.

For those who witness it, it is something we must do something about.

In Spencer County Kentucky recently, they decided to do just that. Signature stakeholders, family and friends turned out for the Alzheimer’s Walk to rqaiase money for research to help flight this disease. The walkers from Signature raised well over $800 for the event.

 

EVENT – 2012 International Wisdom at Work Conference – “Wisdom With Aim”

On Wednesday October 31st, 2012 Dianne Timmering will be one of the presenters at the 2012 International Wisdom at Work Conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Conference is a presentation of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace, a part of the Sam M. Walton College of Business One at University of Arkansas.

Dianne will be presenting on the subject of spirituality in the workplace and her presentation is entitled “Wisdom With Aim” and a preview of which is as follows:

Long-term care and post-acute company Signature HealthCARE’s Department of Spirituality is founded on the belief that nurturing the spirit is an integral part of human well-being and can unleash our greatest capacity for healing and purpose. Believing that spirituality is sacred to the human experience, we seek jewels in cultural differences and fold them into a library of respect and new understanding, embracing the social impact of unending mercy and endless hope as life-changing interventions of the most powerful kind within the fabric of healing.

A signature component of the program is that spirituality is not “watered down” but specific paths for individual discovery are made available. An army of 75 full-time chaplains serve residents, employees and local communities meeting the vision of healing through care-planned interventions and other critical partnerships that enhance wellness, pursuits of purpose and overall quality of life for our people.

Vice President Dianne Timmering and her team have built and maintain the largest for-profit, multi-faith Spirituality Department in the nation.

 

The exact schedule for the conference is still being set, however registration and further details for it can be found at http://tfsw.uark.edu/conference.asp.

 

PRESS – Business First Article – “Spirituality plays a valuable role in the workplace”

The June 29th edition of Business First Magazine featured an article written by our good friend Dr. Rick Underwood and me entitled “Spirituality Plays A Valuable Role in the Workplace”.

The entire text of the article is below, or you can view it free on Business First’s website HERE.

Spirituality plays a valuable role in the workplace
by Dianne H. Timmering and Rick Underwood

 

Are there appropriate ways that spirituality can play a positive role in the workplace while respecting diversity issues? There are some for-profit organizations who think the answer is a resounding “yes.”

 

Through the years, faith-based, nonprofit organizations such as hospitals often were the only workplaces that placed an emphasis on faith development and growth in spirituality. That is changing as more for-profit organizations experience the value of promoting spirituality among their staff and clients.

 

Some, such as Signature HealthCare, are integrating spirituality into their business plan while enjoying positive business outcomes. Signature, for example, launched its grass-roots spirituality program in 2005, focusing on spiritual care delivery with a dedicated chaplain and spirituality program for each long-term care center.

 

Qualitative and quantitative results confirmed the need for well-trained chaplains in spiritual care as it related to employee empowerment, meeting residents and their family members at the very point of need, and improved therapy and clinical outcomes.

 

For Signature, spirituality became an issue of the heart, founding the program on unconditional love for all faiths and cultures. Educating the Signature chaplain corps on tenets of understanding, listening, and humility was key to the spirituality program’s early success as well as encouraging the love and respect for one’s “neighbor,” regardless of religious or philosophical affiliation.

 

Members of the Signature community began to learn from one another with the barriers down. Now God (of each person’s understanding) in the workplace is a part of the fabric of their culture, from recruiting to decision-making. Purpose and personal mission, which all of mankind eventually pursues, are explored and encouraged.

 

Background of the movement

 

The roots of spirituality in the workplace began in the 1920s as individuals sought to live their faith and spiritual values in the workplace. Through the years, the interest in finding creative ways to integrate spirituality into the workplace has grown.

 

Some trends that led to this interest were:

 

• Mergers and acquisitions that destroyed the sense of security for workers and led some to seek forms of inner security;

 

• A global economy that called into question long-term economic viability;

 

• A decline of mainline church attendance because, for many, the message was no longer relevant;

 

• Baby boomers facing retirement who began to ask questions about meaning and purpose.

 

A new focus on spirituality

 

In the workplace today, terms such as transformation, transcendence, meditation and soul have become commonplace. Many workers in a knowledge-based business environment want to bring their entire self to work: body, mind and spirit.

 

It now is apparent that interest in matters of spirituality is shared by active members of faith groups of all kinds, by people whose religious practices have lapsed and by those who seek purpose, especially when it is lacking or seems to be unidentifiable.

 

Implications of spirituality in the workplace

 

Spirituality is essential to health, credibility, trustworthiness, respect, fairness, meaning of work, sense of community, creativity, commitment, ethical behavior and productivity. Recent unethical behavior among top corporate executives has confirmed the need for integrity and ethical behavior. Fortune magazine found that corporations that adhere firmly to integrity based on these values have a 50 percent higher growth rate.

 

Traditionally, the term “religion” has been associated with an institutional community that practices faith in a specific tradition or creed. In contrast, the word “spirituality” in the workplace is being treated as an alternative or, in some cases, a complement to religion that involves focusing on a particular way of thinking about self, others, work and organizations.

 

Promoting spirituality in the workplace

 

Activities that promote spirituality in the workplace include:

 

• Servant leaders/employee assistance programs (or less of a need for such);

 

• Programs in diversity, bereavement, wellness and stress management;

 

• Support groups and prayer systems;

 

• Management and leadership systems that promote growth, development and transformation;

 

• Encouragement of creativity, self-expression and innovation;

 

• Feedback systems that help all walk the talk of the values of the organization;

 

• Brown-bag lunch discussions of similarities of different faith group beliefs and practices.

 

As the world faces many uncertainties in the future, new strategies that integrate spirituality as one of the core business functions can help bridge the generational gaps, empower people through a spiritual intelligence of gained wisdom, inspire and retain a loyal work force, create outstanding customer service, contribute to the development of a global future story and ensure financial sustainability.

 

Rick Underwood is managing partner and performance consultant for Leadership Management Institute in Louisville. Dianne H. Timmering is vice president of spirituality for Signature HealthCare in Louisville.

 

PRESS – Habitat for Humanity In Louisville

We recently recieved some information about some of the great work Habitat for Humanity is doing here in the local Louisville Community and thought it would indeed be something to relate to everyone. Local Signature chaplains are working with the greater Spirituality department to try and identify possible candidates for Habitat Homes from within our stakeholder community.

The following article is about a CNA (working for another company here locally) whose life was changed by a Habitat House:

Kelley T. Helgeson, our own VP of Human Resources for Rehab was involved in the construction of this house and she related to us some comments by those who worked on it:

I found my participation in this Habitat build to be very rewarding. I always wanted to volunteer for this organization, and the experience did not disappoint. The gravity of the work hit me while I was painting the bedroom the family’s youngest daughter will occupy. That simple task, when combined with the tireless efforts of the Habitat build team, will change that little girl’s life forever. The room came to life as I envisioned pictures on the wall, her clothes in the empty closet, a bed and dresser in the corner…things I take for granted that will eventually transform those four walls into home for her.

I can only imagine the emotions I felt that day…for a family I have never met…would likely be multiplied 10-fold if I could participate in an SHC build for one of our CNA’s. Having just gone through CNA clinicals at SHC South, I was able to walk in their shoes for a brief moment and see the love and dedication they show to our residents. Being able to give a day of service to a SNF as a CNA is already a blessing, but sharing my time to give a CNA a home…that would be the epitome of servant leadership.

Would YOU perhaps be interested in helping out Habitat for Humainty in the local Louisville area? It’s real easy to get involved – just go to their local website at: http://www.hfhlouisville.org/ and click on “VOLUNTEER”. It’s that simple.

 

 

 

 

The National Day of Prayer—”The Faith of a Mustard Seed” by Dianne Timmering with Joe Steier

by Dianne H. Timmering with Joe Steier

A few days ago was our first interfaith national day of prayer—an unparalleled celebration of faith traditions from across the country and the world. Joe Steier and I were nervous, often nervous before a big speech or when we feel something big is about to happen. We launched the SHC Dept. of Spirituality in 2005—a message from that still small voice that said, Bring the Spirit of God into the workplace and see the miracles I will perform for my people—miracles of love and hope. Base it on unconditional love, He said, and imperfections will dawn newness from this invitation of the heart.

So that is what we did in November of that year. Even back then, we thought God might do something explosive, even invasive into the fabric of our long-term care company to bind up broken hearts of the hurting and heal our sick, even the sickest with weary hands and wounded feet. We knew that our model was more than a silo of prayer but an unconventional intervention with the clinical team for fullness of spirit and emotional and physical wellness. We began to uncover like a sleuth in the ocean depths, the power of the listening ear, the lending of compassion for the empathy of the ailment and the simpleness of time to mend the suffering heart. Prayer or a good game of checkers could heal—afterall, it was about time and the bravery of a compassionate heart.

Our Day of Prayer was about the faith of a mustard seed because we started with the invisible Hand of nothing but that which floated on the Spirit and manifested in the savory of the spoken word. It was about the power of unconditional love even in the unavoidable imperfections of our existence; it was about celebrating the dignity and beauty of faith traditions long established; it was about the character of respect; it was about the abolition of assumption; it was about the ancient roots of compassion—the throwing away of old beliefs and the pressing into of new wisdom; it was about the outpouring of love . . . just love, because that is what God is.

It was about understanding that the House of God is His place of worship for all “Nations” (Greek word in Old Testament is ethnos defined as “peoples”) as stated in the book of Isaiah; it was about one vision of faith and the testing of a model that the sanctity of respect and a stream of love could bring faith traditions together–not “watered down” or diminished–but thriving in who we are with assurance and boldness, and a shine for the world to see that there need be no strife, just dialogue, collaboration and a willingness to hear another–to listen and to consider anew. It was in this secret beauty of one voice that was, and is perhaps, the best language of love.

They were proud to be there free to represent their faiths—Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Native American, Unitarian . . . , and we were proud to watch them and have them in “our” house, so to speak. You are always welcome, we told them. And they believed us.

The day was uncontainable, like a glistening seed after a drop of honey.

“For My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. The Sovereign Lord declares—he who gathers the exiles of Israel: I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”  (Isaiah 56:7b-8)

 

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Please view more photos from the event on the Louisville Courier Journal website:
Louisville Courier Journal – National Day of Prayer Photo Galley

 

“God In The Workplace: Society For Human Resource Management Event” by Dianne Timmering

SHRM Conference by Dianne Timmering of Louisville Ky Signature HealthCAREJoe and I served as the keynote speakers at the recent SHRM meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, a meeting made up of Human Resource leaders across the state. I will admit we were nervous, confronted with a topic normally anathema to such a group: policy and procedure conflicting with the enigmatic blanket of God in the Workplace. It wasn’t that they wouldn’t be gracious or offer a cursory listen – there was, after all, a $1,500 drawing at the end of the meeting for one lucky recipient, so they sort of had to suffer through. And it’s always hard to give the concluding speech to a sea of kind fatigue.

But that’s not what happened at all. They listened. At one point, Joe asked if he was talking too fast, and they said ‘yes.’ They wanted to hear clearly the twinkle of newness, a glint of opportunity to expand the meaning of their jobs beyond the rudimentary row of the canoe, so to speak. We began with the tactical elements of rolling out spirituality through an unconditional love and respect for all faith traditions. We explained how we took a grassroots approach because much of the opposition and skepticism came from the top. We discussed the role of HR; how it started as a talent pool, a central force focusing on the exploration and development of people into leaders, but through the decades devolved into policy, static development and even worse, paperwork.

Audience members were free to leave, and a few did – but very few. We presented spirituality as a core competency, the power of spiritual discernment as a new ingredient to help them reach their people—the struggling, the hopeful, the vulnerable. Our audience was suddenly engaged as if a secret of the soul had been dusted off. After all, why be in HR if you don’t want to help people? We spoke of ‘the unmentionable’: empathy, second tries, prayer, creative ways to develop talent, renewal of purpose, imparting being, the power of authenticity and other things that don’t have formulas. We presented a new approach outside of the day-to-day and the EAP (Employee Assistance Program), and the reentry of the ‘C suite’ by restoring HR to its 1950s role as an agent of change.

Maybe they started to remember why they had taken the job in the first place. It was a renewal of purpose of what spirituality could mean: the freedom and creativity to go beyond the practical solution with the simplicity of love, the importance of meeting people at the point of their need, loving fiercely without judgment, offering freedom to express without watering down faith traditions, and simply respecting the person next to them. The freedom to worship or not to worship, but the freedom to be, has expanded the audience, not minimized it, we shared. The art of listening has moved the mountain of faith into the belief of a spirituality component into everyday life, we offered.

We discussed measurable outcomes and metrics. They asked endless questions: How do you go up against obstinate leadership in manufacturing? How do you ‘hire the heart’ as much as the skill set? Is this an approach outside of the EAP? How do you incorporate spirituality into daily operations with skepticism on every side? How do you honor faith traditions outside of the more conventional or widely-accepted belief systems? How do you change the hearts of non-believers who don’t support the program? Did God strike anyone down? (We, of course, said there was no ‘striking down’ at Signature!)

But something bigger clearly began to ‘strike’ their hearts. We said we would help. We will see . . .

Joe Steier and Dianne Timmering

PRESS – Feature Article in LTL Magazine

Nurturing Spirituality in LTC by Dianne TimmeringThe October 2011 issue of Long Term Living magazine features an article written by Dianne

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Timmering titled “Nurturing Spirituality in LTC.” The article discusses how Signature HealthCARE has been able to introduce God into the workplace, and weave “hope into the fabric of healing.”

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