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Internal Newsletter

Staff Survey Committee Report


Key Comments/Suggestions

  • Each Program and/or department should have a protocol book which explains in detail the procedures that will be encountered in that department or program and what to do when it happens.  This is an easy way to make everyone be on the same page. 
  • ProAct should not be scheduled for a staff member where they have to work their normal shift.  An employee participates in ProAct for 8 hours and then they are required to work their normal shift which is normally 12 hours.  In actuality, that staff member is working approximately a 20-hour day.  The normal shifts should not be scheduled on a day when the staff member has to participate in ProAct.  This is happening on a regular basis.
  • Communication is critical and needs to be addressed immediately.
  • Compensation is critical and needs to be addressed immediately for all levels of employment here at David & Margaret, not just for Senior Leadership.
  • Senior Leadership needs to pay attention to employee retention and it needs to start immediately.
  • Fire alarm needs to be working properly on the first floor of the Whitney building.


Staffing / Co-Workers

My co-workers cooperate well with one another.

JMS and D&M are separate but both entities are not in sync with one another. Communication is key. We need to come together as a community.  There are so many moving parts to this agency. If one department does their job, they need to communicate this with other departments that might be involved. If someone wants to move to another department, their original department does not allow them to move. This keeps the staff from growing.  A mind set for staff progresses when they want to grow. This creates an adversarial environment. 

Good communication needs to be practiced by every staff member on campus. The current population now roams the campus and it helps when we can inform other departments of the details. It would help if we had the opportunity to get to know other staff members/departments on campus for this reason. The one hour during the General Staff Meeting is not long enough to get to know other people in other departments. Staff members will refer to other staff members of whom they know instead of going to someone they do not know. 

We have to have more compassion for the line staff. If we have regular debriefings when a situation occurs, it helps calm the staff.  It is important to get recognized after an issue occurs so that we ensure everyone is okay. If we discuss the situation, we can learn what to do differently but we are tied to the policies in place instead of the compassion. We might be doing the best we can with a client but we are not focusing on ourselves. We are reminded of the cause but not at the sacrifices of our staff. Our care is being ignored. There are staff members that have gone above and beyond but it is not being recognized effectively.   

We have an adequate number of staff to do our jobs.

We are hiring a lot but we are behind on filling positions. There is not enough staff and we are always hiring.  This reason makes it tougher. We become reactive and not proactive. We need to focus on staff retention. The incentives can improve. It is difficult to see a case manager in one department leave after one year because the rules can change anytime. The incoming staff members do not see the growth and the potential at David & Margaret. There is no sense of retention to stay. We are not being offered competitive wages and the staff members are not cohesive and we do not feel valued. 

The morale is very low at the agency. The shifts are long and staff becomes burned out. Shorter shifts might solve the problems. A 12-hour shift becomes, 13, 14-hour shifts. Having opportunities to interact with other staff members are not so prevalent. Typically people will go the extra mile for someone when they know that person. Different departments are impacted and we all need to be involved together because we all work for the same agency. 

Supervisors need to be built up to trickle down to their staff. “Cultivate your garden” can be a theme to work on at the agency. Some departments receive raises while others do not and that is not fair.  If the incentives cannot be financial, then add one more day on vacations or offer a gift card, but at least try to offer something. Compassion is important. We have to get people to stay on here at David & Margaret. 

My co-workers treat one another with respect.

No discussion needed.

Recognition and Growth

Recognition and growth should be a regular occurrence. We need to focus on the positive rather than the negative. We need to focus on the positive rather than focus on the negative or what was done wrong. This is important to come from the supervisors. The case may be where our current supervisors know how to do their job but they do not know how to be effective supervisors. Maybe there should be a training on how to be a supervisor because it requires a different skill set. When you first hired at David & Margaret, supervisors do not have the time to spend with you so you are forced to learn on your own. Standardization needs to be implemented.


Senior Leadership is committed to high quality care.

There needs to be more transparency. More communication is needed from Senior Leadership so we can better understand their difficulties. We need to be informed more on what is happening so we can have more respect for Senior Leadership. For instance, in the General Staff Meeting we were told that there will be job positions terminated but we were not told why or who was going to be let go. It was very vague in the way it was presented. Senior Leadership does not explain the results or give follow up to their announcements/decisions. Senior Leadership needs to share more to let staff know that Senior Leadership is working and doing their job. It helps to understand Senior Leadership. Non-staff members or outside workers need to be debriefed on what we do here and what our purpose is at the agency.

My direct supervisor shows interest in me as a person.

At JMS, we have an open door policy, we offer a team approach, etc.

Leadership keeps us well-informed/My opinion is valued here.

People can feel they are not well informed and this can lead to feeling their opinion is not valued.

This place is well-organized.

There is not organization in any one department. People are not following their responsibilities. Each department has a set standard within that department. For instance in Mental Health, the structure is not organized. Everyone is telling you different things. We are not fully trained in different departments and need to be cross trained if departments help other departments. The staff members do not tell you everything you need to know to do your job.

I understand the vision and mission of this organization.

The staff members need to be well versed in the purpose of this organization. Everyone needs to have an “elevator pitch” of the mission and vision of David & Margaret.

Compensation and Benefits

I am satisfied with my pay.

If you have been here for a few years, you do not receive a raise and it feels like we are not valued. The pay needs to improve. Recently, Senior Leadership asked us to give a donation through the Employee Giving Campaign but yet they do not give any monetary raises, not even a cost of living increase. The way it was presented was not positive. We do realize this is a donor participation requirement but at least Senior Leadership needs to meet us half way when they have their hand out to the employees. Senior Leadership was bold enough to encourage all of us to increase revenue so we can increase the possibility of raises. It should not be the responsibility of the staff members, it should be the responsibility of Senior Leadership to help retain employees.

Satisfied with benefits

Overall, yes but can be expensive.

Salary and benefits are fair.

For an individual, the benefits are affordable. It is only when you add your family when it becomes expensive. Staff members in different departments feel that is not encouraging sick time because shifts have to be covered. There is no support in enabling people to make healthy choices.

 Vacation is not enjoyable because you are thinking about what is facing me when you return. It is either a few days of catch up or the supervisor exhibits some hostile attitude because you were not available. There is no one in any department to cover for you when you leave on a vacation. This becomes a staff issue. It is also an “it is on you” type of culture. The care is not there from supervisors.

 There is not enough organization and not enough staff. From the time a vacation request is submitted to the supervisor, it takes a long time for it be approved or declined. In some instances, the staff member does not know if the vacation has been approved until 24 to 48 hours before the first day of vacation. The lack of organization and standardization should be a critical focus. We need to be standardized across various departments so we can work together. 

Physical Environment

I have the materials and supplies that are necessary to do my job properly.

When we need IT assistance, there are issues getting the tasks completed regarding computer equipment. For example, when we need to move offices, we have to put in a request to both maintenance and IT, because both departments have responsibilities to move furniture, etc. and IT has responsibilities to set up computers, printers, etc. The drawback is both departments are not synced together and do not work together where it is a smooth operation. The system here should be seamless and streamlined. IT is the area where it starts to slow down and we never see any movement once a request has been submitted. They take their time to do what is asked of them. We have experienced at least five weeks before anything is completed by IT. 

The onboarding process for new employees is weakened by the duties not being fulfilled by IT, Maintenance and materials purchasing. Materials are very limited. For example, we are only allowed to operate with a few reams of paper.  We are copy intensive department and cannot operate with only a few reams of paper before running out. Once we run out of the paper, we are then forced to go to other departments to ask for paper before we get our allotment replenished. Procurement orders are cut without explanation. When that occurs, we do not have the necessary tools to do our job. If management believes there is an excessive order on supplies, they begin to question the consumption. 

If they monitor our usage on a monthly basis, management will have the opportunity to analyze the usage trends and it would be helpful to order accordingly. There seems to be split roles for Sue, our purchasing manager, and we have limited access to her which does not always fits into our schedule. If there are two roles one person is doing, both roles suffer as a result and that is apparent in this case here. The recommendation would be for the supervisor over Sue to review her assigned tasks and maybe redirect or delegate her tasks which might help.

Adequate safeguards are in place to protect the safety of employees.

The clients we have currently are aggressive and we are making strides to address safety. We are installing the guard shack, installing LED lights, hired two more security guards. One recommendation is requiring the staff to use personal sound machines. It is a personal alarm that is on a keychain. Here is a link:  .  They are about $15/each.  This is device is perfect for anyone that has contact with clients.  This video link gives a better idea of the range and sound of the device: Also, there are devices that sound proof a room and they can be found here:  . This might be beneficial to all departments.

The fire alarm is not connected to the first floor of the Whitney Building  This is a major issue that needs to be addressed as we have minors in our care that are on the first floor. The fire alarm did go off a few weeks back and we could hear the alarm coming from the top floor but we did not hear it on the first floor and really did not know what to do.

When the agency does go on a “lockdown” status, the employees of the YWTC feel uncomfortable with the uncontrollable clients. Everyone is uneasy. We suggest a condensed version of ProAct at a General Staff Meeting to help put everyone’s mind at ease.

We need a more effective way to communicate and we need a standardized way to be informed.

Every staff member and interns needs to be ProAct trained.

I have ample space to do my job.

There are three major issues with space on campus: 1) storage, 2) meeting space, and 3) parking. The more programs and staff we hire, the more our space diminishes. For those staff members who are meeting with lawyers, consulate representatives, etc., it is embarrassing to tell these people we have to meet in rooms that have a window boarded up or in an area that is not the best choice. 


The staff here provide high quality care.

The numbers are good here but possibly we could be allowed to get one hour of training to do our job better or to work toward advancement.

Adequate safeguards are in place to protect the safety of clients, families and visitors.

Numbers are good and no discussion is needed.

We are encouraged to report errors and safety problems.

Numbers are good and no discussion is needed.


I am proud to work here.

Numbers are good and no discussion is needed.

Morale is good within my team.

Morale can be improved.

Overall, I am satisfied with my job.

There are elements that need to be improved but overall it is okay.

Resources are provided to deal with work-related stress.

The areas that need to be worked on are: 1) having supervisors debrief with their team after a crisis, and 2) supervisors need to allow to take a breather after a crisis to decompress.


As an agency, our employees are cognizant of other people and their choices or their background. We celebrate diversity and encourage positive thinking.


Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served


  • Volunteer Hours


  • Youth Internship Hours


  • Housing Provided


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