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Ursula Gorman was one of Phoenix Home Care & Hospice Inc.’s first employees. Since beginning her career as executive director of human resources in 2011, Gorman has helped the company grow to a multistate organization with more than $100 million in annual revenue.
Gorman’s responsibilities are extensive. The company’s footprint covers 15 offices and more than 3,300 employees.
In addition to overseeing state and federal labor law compliance in all markets, Gorman strives to ensure each employee receives a culture-driving orientation that focuses on diversity, enrichment and work/life balance as much as policy and compliance. She also works to ensure employees are rewarded for excellence through various programs and awards.
“Employee recognition programs and being a culture champion are very rewarding roles I have a strong influence over,” Gorman says. “Recognizing those that daily care for others with a true servant’s heart is a blessing in itself.”
Gorman says without question the arrival of the novel coronavirus created some of her greatest challenges yet.
“The first major challenge is staffing shortages in these uncertain times of COVID. Many potential employees fear being in the workforce due to exposure to COVID,” Gorman says. “Our goal is to combat the fear with precautions, understanding of the mandates and assurances that all precautions will be taken to protect our employees.”
The other challenge has been staying abreast of changing COVID laws, mandates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But, Gorman says, the additional work has also led to a high degree of professional satisfaction.
“The most satisfying aspect of my position is knowing that the employees can count on me and my team to help them in their times of need,” she says. “Things are tough these days with both COVID and rising prices, and needs are high.”
Gorman says she sometimes just lends a compassionate ear. Other times, when employees are experiencing a profound financial hardship, she may guide them to apply for assistance through the In Time of Need Foundation.
“Seeing an employee go from having no hope to seeing their tears of relief that help is available and that someone cares, someone is listening and they are not alone, that is the most satisfying aspect of my position – being there for others in their time of need,” she says.
Some of her most recent accomplishments include creating a COVID Rapid Response team to address the concern of disease spread and employee safety. The team provided all necessary protective equipment, tracked COVID exposures and implemented strict cleaning schedules.
She also helped establish the Phoenix Home Care University Too, a program to help staff stay on top of challenges and changes in home care.
“Not only does it help them grow their base knowledge, it helps them understand the PHC culture, a culture that makes us an employer of choice,” Gorman says. “They aren’t just an employee; they are part of the PHC family. We strive to make our culture one of diversity, inclusion, transparency and encouragement.”
In an effort to provide flexibility to their workers, some area businesses are beginning to offer four-day workweeks.
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