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Cedar Valley Hospice wins 2nd National Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award

For the second year in a row, we have been awarded the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award. This award is Gallup’s premier recognition for engaged workplace cultures, presented only to organizations that meet rigorous standards of excellence.

As a winner, Cedar Valley Hospice differentiates itself by investing in employees and putting people development at the center of its business strategy. Even amid a pandemic, we rose to the challenge. With offices closed to the public and staff working remotely with very limited in-person meetings, our leaders initiated a variety of endeavors to keep communication frequent, transparent and fun.

  • Zoom meetings... galore!
  • Daily email updates at the beginning of
  • Video messages from the executive director
  • Boxed lunches during difficult weeks
  • Hand-written encouragement notes to
    staff at home
  • May-Day baskets
  • Who’s Behind the Mask? (employee photo contest)
  • Virtual holiday celebration and ugly sweater contest

“Cedar Valley Hospice is a special place to work, and our culture relies on professionalism and compassion as we care for people with a terminal illness,” said Human Resources Director Katie Unland. “We do a good job of taking care of each other because the work we do is difficult and emotional. During 2020, we had to pivot and found new ways to connect with staff providing daily emails on updated CDC guidelines, new processes/procedures and reminding them to take a deep breath.”

A part of making sure that people are happy at work is taking time to listen. Our leaders believe in empowering its employees and encouraging ownership to help achieve agency goals and objectives. We do this through a variety of internal efforts, including:

  • Weekly interdisciplinary team meetings
  • Bi-monthly management and weekly department meetings
  • Quarterly 1-on-1 evaluation meetings with a merit-based pay incentive
  • Weekly staff newsletter
  • Meetings with Michaela (open meetings for staff to discuss anything with the executive director)
  • Special committees for strategic planning

Our employee engagement committee also plays a large role in facilitating internal camaraderie. At Cedar Valley Hospice, it is not uncommon for employees to receive breakfast pizza on a difficult day, be invited to play office BINGO, participate in Elf on the Shelf or post funnies on its Team Facebook page. Why not recognize National Donut Day with sweet treats for all staff? It’s a feel good for most everyone.

“Every day we make a conscious effort to put our mission first for our patients, clients, families and staff,” said Executive Director Michaela Vandersee. “The happiness of our staff is a priority and has a direct, positive impact on those we serve.”

To learn more about the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award, click HERE. ( Gallup Great Workplace Award | Gallup Topic