An Excellent Return on Investment
By Chuck Price, MS
Leaders, the shift is on. The tide was starting to turn in this direction prior to the pandemic. If anything, COVID has accelerated the movement towards a much more trauma informed and humanistic approach to management, leadership, and overall organizational culture. You must be ready to invest in your culture and your staff. The current workforce is looking for something more, beyond salary and benefits. These priorities include purpose, connection, feeling valued, and alignment with their values.
Investing into your staff by implementing a trauma informed approach, will most certainly have a return on your investment. The competitive advantage in today’s marketplace is a connected, compassionate, and empathetic organizational culture. Here is what we k
now. If we are looking for successful outcomes for those we serve, we must invest into those who provide the service. Applying a trauma informed approach to an organization is a mindset shift that increases trust, dignity, respect, connections, and relationships, all of which are cornerstones to a resilient organization. It provides an environment where staff are thriving (not just surviving) and coming to work with hope every day. Of note, the number one predictor of success for those we serve, is the hope the staff person has in them to succeed. So, if staff has no hope, they are unable to pass any hope onto those we serve or the organization itself. We must strive for a healthy and resilient organization. We can do that through the foundations and understandings of a trauma informed approach to the work.
What does a healthy and resilient organization look like?
· Burnout decreases
· Secondary trauma decreases
· Compassion Satisfaction increases
· Retention increases
· Those we serve spend less time in services
· Those we serve have less need for deep end, intensive services
What is the cost of replacing a staff member when someone resigns? We know in Human Services, replacing a social worker is anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000. It is not just the salary of the position. It is the cost of training, the time and resource to recruitment and onboard. In the meantime the caseload needs to be attended to, so perhaps higher caseloads for those who are still in the organization. You can start to see the cascading effects of the stress on the remaining workforce from there. A healthy, thriving organization and workforce can produce incredible outcomes for those we serve. Increasing retention, through healthy means, will result in a cost savings in personnel. Less reliance on, or need for, deep end, intensive (and expensive) services will have an impact on the overall budget. Over the course of implementation and sustained trauma informed practice, you can anticipate opportunities to shift dollars from costly services to preventive services (typically lower in cost, high in effectiveness).