What is workplace culture?
Culture influences everything we do – and the culture of a company can speak volumes to its mission, vision, and values.
Why is it important? Open communication, meaningful work, and strong workplace culture gives employees a reason to stay. It is only when we walk the talk, that culture truly impacts the organization.
Immersing yourself in your new hires, shows this positive culture on day one, such as taking the time to explain your organization, the core values, and help them embrace their new career. However, repeating those core values once or twice a day during orientation isn’t going to stick with them. It only becomes effective long-term, when our employees see the leadership team, their supervisors and coworkers demonstrating those core values with daily actions. It is only then, they connect and try their best, because it shows they too truly care about the work they are doing.
While workplace culture starts with leadership, all of us need to ensure that our employees feel like they belong, are able to contribute, are heard, and are allowed to grow professionally. When our employees understand how they can help the organization’s goals and future plans, this gives pride in the work they do. This becomes a significant reason why employees will stay with the organization. Ultimately having a great work culture, will be a key contributor to ensuring the viability and sustainability of our Mission, to empower people to live their best life. Our culture and ultimately the Mission, depend on you and your daily interaction with the LifeScape family.
July 11, 2023
Excellence. It’s a Value that is vital to our mission. That’s why we not only celebrate Rebecca Lange and Jackie Kocak for their national awards, but why we also receive national and state accreditations. These recognitions are why we value excellence, it’s validation of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.
If you didn’t know, LifeScape employs over 1,100 people, to serve 5,500 children and adults. To keep serving those who need our services, we strive to be the best and provide the best care. Our efforts are validated when parts of our organization receive special accreditations.
In May last year, our adult services achieved Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. This internationally recognized designation validates that LifeScape is committed to person-centered practices that promote the attainment of individual defined outcomes by people with disabilities. In fact, LifeScape and The Council on Quality and Leadership has a partnership that spans more than 40 years. It’s an accreditation that solidifies our mission’s impact on everyone LifeScape touches.
Our Specialty School is approved through the South Dakota Department of Education and accredited by the National Association of Private Education Centers (NAPSEC). Each defines how our team works every day with our students to ensure they are not only living their best life but receiving valuable skills towards the goal of independence.
As you can see, our team at LifeScape believes in being best in class at what we do. However, it’s also about how we can support unique groups as well, like at RISE Custom Solutions. In 2021, RISE was awarded the Freedom Award by the Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America (OPGA) for providing exceptional care to military personnel needing orthotic and prosthetic devices.
Every year, validation is delivered through these awards, accreditations, and recognition. Proving LifeScape delivers excellence among all campuses and every service line.
April 11, 2023
The workforce crisis is far from over and it will continue to challenge our ability to perform our Mission. As intensity on recruiting efforts mount, LifeScape also increased our focus and visibility on retention. The results of the last employee survey gave us a better understanding on how we can sustainably increase retention over time. That employee input gave us the framework to create the LifeScape Way initiative.
It’s clear how vital Mission, Vision, Values, and Culture statements are, given our purpose-driven employees. Our employees want to be engaged and heard. We took their feedback to heart and implemented an initiative we feel will connect them even more to the reason why we do what we do . . . empowering people to live their best life.
Through the LifeScape Way, employees have shared the meaningful reasons why they chose LifeScape and why they continue to work here.
In January, more than two hundred employees shared their “Why.”
I come back day after day because I and the team here at LifeScape can change a person’s life. We see it every day and being a part of that no matter how small or great warms my heart and soul. I love being able to help people reach their full potential.
The kids teach me to never take a day for granted, and I love the people I get to work with every day. LifeScape is more than a job for me, it’s a place where you can help make a difference.
At LifeScape I’m so fortunate to not only get to work with our individuals who make me a better person every day, but to also be surrounded by my like-minded colleagues who are not only my friends but have become family! There’s the old saying – you never work a day in your life if you love what you do! And I love what I do!
In February, hundreds of employees took part in the Compassion Challenge, lifting up their fellow team members by showering them with praise. In March, the Respect Challenge took internal engagement to new heights. More than sixty teams throughout LifeScape got together and designed posters that reflected what the value of Respect meant to them. Just take a look below at some of the posters. Employees then got their friends, families, strangers, and more to vote in a bracket style contest. Fun was had by all, and not only was it fun, but it embraced our Culture by allowing staff to live out our mission and love what they do.
As the LifeScape Way initiative looks ahead, our goal is to keep the momentum moving throughout our campuses with the end in mind: retention of our great staff. We believe by empowering our employees to find purpose in what they do, who they support, their teams, and their life, our retention will improve. As retention improves, so will our ability to complete our Mission. They go hand-in-hand, just like our warm and caring staff do every day for those we support.
January 17, 2023
Welcome to 2023! With the New Year underway, we are already off to a busy start.
First up, the return of MallWalk to the Empire Mall! Yes, you read that right, it means we are back! As you might remember, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the LifeScape Ambassador’s to turn MallWalk into a cyber event the last two years. In a few short weeks, we will be able to see all your smiling faces as we gather for MallWalk on Saturday, February 4th.
To learn more, start a team, or to make a donation for the 29th annual MallWalk Walk ‘n’ Roll for LifeScape, simply click here.
January also means the start of the new legislative session in Pierre. The majority of our funding comes from the state Medicaid program, and this is the time additional funding for the new fiscal year will be determined. We have funding asks in all areas of our children’s and adult’s services. One of the key services is autism. The number of children diagnosed with Autism, who are waiting to get Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA, has grown exponentially by over 50% this year with 492 families on our waitlist for autism services.
As the largest of a limited number of Medicaid based ABA providers in South Dakota, we rely heavily on state funding to provide ABA services. The lack of funding and surge in Autism diagnosis have created the perfect storm. With hundreds of families frustrated about not being able to get their children the help they need, when they need, we are asking and empowering you all to speak up.
Throughout the legislative session, I will be in Pierre asking our legislators for funding for both adult and children’s services. This year we are asking for support of nearly five million dollars that would support families who currently use / or need ABA services, our Children’s Residential program, Children’s Specialty Hospital, and money that will go directly into compensation for our Nurses to help with the shortage impacting every health organization across the country.
So how can you help us help you? Call, e-mail, or send a letter to your elected leaders. We’ve made it easy for you to find their contact information as well, just click here and follow the instructions. Take a moment to tell them your story and then ask them to support LifeScape’s budget asks. On behalf of the LifeScape family, I want to personally thank you for your assistance in helping legislators know and understand how important LifeScape services are to the families of South Dakota.
Given the legislative session ends in early March, now is the time to take action. Thank you!
October 11, 2022
Despite the ongoing concern of COVID, our lives are slowly getting back to normal. Relief is found in routine, routines we’ve been without ever since the pandemic began. As we hit the final months of 2022, let’s look back at the normalcies that have returned. Trent River, Swan Lake, kickball, Canaries, and so much more! Needless to say, the adults and children supported by LifeScape had a busy summer!
It’s easy to forget how meaningful these types of events and activities can have not only on the people we support, but to our mission, our employees, and our LifeScape volunteers. They bring new life into everyone who has been feeling the loneliness the past few years have brought us. The simple act of riding a tractor, going fishing, visiting the zoo, playing baseball, getting creative at day services, are just a few of the activities possible thanks to the collaborative relationships we as a LifeScape family and the community rely and thrive on.
That being said, it takes a village to keep the funding flowing that allow us to keep our excellent services available to the many people dealing with developmental disabilities, medical complexities and more. As the end of the year approaches, we are already gearing up for the next legislative session in Pierre. Every year, we approach the South Dakota legislature and Governor for incremental funding. The vast majority of our Mission is funded from the state and determines our wages, benefits, and service capabilities.
You’ll notice wages is a crucial factor in that ask. The workforce crisis isn’t going away anytime soon, meaning there is a great need to describe and illustrate how dire the situation truly is and how it can impact the most vulnerable citizens of South Dakota. More to come on how we plan to approach those voted into office.
For now, we relish in the smiles, laughter, and joy the return to normalcy has brought.
June 12, 2022
Welcome back to LifeScape Live! As all things in our world move towards digital, we are pleased to provide you with this new and improved quarterly newsletter.
I want to start off by giving you an update on the 2022 Legislative Session. I spent about two months up in Pierre fighting for funding to keep LifeScape’s mission moving forward, but I couldn’t have done it without your help. To those of you who reached out to your South Dakota Representatives and Senators on behalf of LifeScape, thank you! Our combined efforts secured millions of dollars for our Adult and Children’s services. Know your help in this is truly appreciated.
One of the biggest struggles in our community right now is the work force crisis. The Sioux Falls Business Journal reported Sioux Falls had just over 3,000 unemployed, while having more than 18,000 open positions. This is a long-term challenge that anyone operating a business is facing. To combat this, you may have seen an increase in LifeScape Recruitment advertising speaking about the culture of working at LifeScape.
Finally, I’m happy to share with you that LifeScape Adult Services was accredited by the Council on Quality Leadership for another four years! This accreditation shows just how hard our team works on a daily basis to ensure people supported by LifeScape are being empowered to live their best life.