Helping Staff Feel Valued Through MTC’s “Culture of Caring” Program: Part II
“I think [the] ‘Culture of Caring’ shows that you’re involved as a leader,” says Jerry Buscher, warden of the Gadsden Correctional Facility. “It shows that you care. People work for people. People don’t work for systems.”
MTC has developed a structured “Culture of Caring” program to help employees feel welcome, appreciated, and valued. Outlines and resources for employees are listed on MTC’s employee website. All facilities are encouraged to follow the program.
Linda Thomas is the warden of the Bridgeport Correctional Center. “So, the ‘Culture of Caring’ is important because it changes the way people think,” she says. “Their behavior, their mindset.”
“It’s very important because we need to take care of all our staff,” explains Rick Martinez, warden of the Giles W. Dalby Correctional Facility. “We have a lot of new staff coming in that sometimes have never worked in corrections and we’ve got to guide them, train them, and continue to care for them.”
“Recognize them for the little things,” continues Warden Jeremy Casey of the Arizona State Prison-Marana. “Making them feel like they’re part of the family – the MTC family. I think it’s important for the ‘Culture of Caring’.”
“Far too often I think companies forget how valuable their employees are,” says Scott Middlebooks, warden of the Graceville Correctional Facility.
Bluebonnet Detention Center Facility Administrator Steve Mora agrees. “When they feel that connection, they reciprocate it and they continue that culture that’s developed at the facility itself, and it’s self-sustaining.”
Pete Coffin is the warden of the Oliver J. Bell Unit, previously operated by MTC. “It all blends in together,” he states. “When you have the ‘Culture of Caring’, when you have the ‘Better Together’ [program], it all makes them part of it so they have the satisfaction.”
“To me, it’s more about the family-ship and the camaraderie rather than just having employees,” says Misty Edwards, facility administrator of the HOPE Transitional Treatment Center. “Making people, letting people understand and know that without any of them, there is no success. My RAs are just as important as my admin. My counselors are just as important as anybody, and we’re all on the same heartbeat.”
Part III of this story will complete our profile of the “Culture of Caring” program and MTC’s efforts to stress the contribution of every single employee and to make them feel welcomed and appreciated.
“Everybody is important, you know?” says Linda Brown, facility administrator at the Miami North Community Release Center. “And when you start looking at body, mind, and soul; when you start looking at the environment and making people enjoy where they work, enjoy where they have to be from day to day, I think it plays a very important role in our work life, even in our home life, too.”
“All people are the same. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about residents or employees or community partners,” says John Cochran, warden at the Billy Moore Correctional Center. “We’re all the same. We want to know that other people care about us. And deep down [that] we care about other people.”