Making a Difference

Heart and soul: Making a difference in the community

Jared Southard is always looking for trouble. Seriously. As the senior training manager over learning and development at our RNnetwork division, he’s always looking for ways his new hires can get involved with the community and make a difference. He looks for places and projects that may have been overlooked by others. And then he dives in, taking his RNnetwork team with him.

Walking the talk

“I’m deeply committed personally to working in our community,” Jared explains. “And I love that CHG has that as part of their mission statement.”

At CHG we believe we make a difference in the lives of those we serve — our people, our providers, our clients, and our communities. That’s why an afternoon spent volunteering is part of the onboarding process for every RNnetwork new hire.

“Our president stands firmly behind new hires spending part of their onboarding time serving,” Jared explains. “You have to understand our culture. We have very high expectations. This job is more than just sitting at a desk.”

Fractured but not forgotten

Several years ago, Jared went looking for trouble in his Boca Raton, Florida, community and found it — the Mae Volen Senior Center. It’s an adult daycare and memory center. Every two months he takes his newest hires and heads to the Volen Senior Center for lunch, games, and some good old-fashioned conversation.

“Families are so fractured today,” Jared says. “We don’t grow up near grandparents as much as we used to. Elderly folks don’t see young people much anymore. They are a largely neglected segment of our population.”

Giving and receiving

New hires visit with seniors at community center

There’s a payback for the volunteers as well. As part of the CHG Healthcare family, RNnetwork employees receive up to 16 hours of paid volunteer time off (VTO) and unlimited team VTO every year. Jared realized many employees weren’t sure exactly how or where to volunteer, so the benefit was going unused. He decided to train his recruits on how to volunteer the same way he teaches other important skills: “Tell, show, do, and review,” he explains.

He instructs volunteers to simply strike up a conversation with their elderly partners. “Ask them, ‘Where are you from? Tell me about your family. What about your career?’” As volunteers begin to warm to their new friends, the conversation comes more naturally. Ultimately, many RNnetwork new hires end up asking for the Volen Center’s contact information so they can begin volunteering on their own.

“We’ve broken a barrier for them,” Jared says. “They feel secure. Now they can go and do it on their own. Once you introduce them to VTO, they become active in wanting to do it on their teams.”

He adds, “I’m proud to be part of a company that lets me spend time taking care of those who are generally forgotten and helpless. I’m grateful we’re able to use this as a teaching opportunity as well. We’re always looking for new opportunities to serve.”

Want to work at a company that believes in giving back to the community? Check out the open jobs at CHG.

About the author

Jennifer Jones

JJ loves writing and hates cooking. When she’s not sharing stories about the remarkable people of CHG, you’ll probably find her reading, hiking, or on an adventure with the grandkids.

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