It's More Than Money

Tuesday, July 24
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: The Admiral's Quarters

While challenging, the current workforce situation represents an opportunity to address how we engage, inspire and support the wellbeing of our workforce to develop long term employees with a passion for their organization. The specter of a livable wage for direct support professionals has stalked our movement for decades. While it has ebbed and flowed; it has been omnipresent. We have lobbied, with limited success, for funding levels to provide a living wage for our direct support professionals. The truth of the matter is that the solution lies, not just in more money for wages and benefits, but in a completely different approach to the problem.

Near full employment and shifting demographics have ALL employers competing to attract and retain the most talented individuals to their organizations. With the shift of service models, we need even more direct support professionals and leaders to help us meet our mission. We have difficulty competing on wages, so we need to stop trying and use different methods to attract, retain and develop our workforce to ensure the successful future of our movement.

With over 65 years combined in The Arc, Steve and John combine their passion for the movement with unique perspectives on this critical issue. By focusing on why people stay at organizations and building a culture to reinforce those reasons is an essential task we must rally towards. Those who stay talk about the importance of relationships with their coworkers, supervisors and the people they support. Those that leave report there was no relationship - just a focus on compliance, billing, health and safety.

Another key theme explored will be the positive impact staff continuity has with the people we support. Too often by focusing only on the negative, “The Workforce Crisis”, we negate the tremendous impact our staff and their relationships with the people they support reinforce the core values of The Arc. In addressing the staffing issue by creating a culture that supports positive results rather than punishing poor performance, not only do we save money, but we improve the quality of supports and help develop better relationships. All of this is in support of meeting our mission

Come and discover lessons learned from across the country that from organizations that engage, inspire and educate our workforce in a totally new way. Based on Seliegman's work on positive workplace environment, the session will give you concrete steps to support your staff and their wellbeing. We will explore these topics through an interactive presentation - engaging people with the very tools and techniques they can use back at their chapter of The Arc. This session is designed to make people think, and while we will be giving them concrete examples, it is really designed to help them think about the culture of their organization - and what they need to do to make everyone feel engaged and inspired in this essential mission.

John Dickerson


John Dickerson began his career in 1973 at The Arc of South Dakota, moved to Indiana as Assistant Director of The Arc of Indiana, then to The Arc of the US and he returned to The Arc of Indiana as Executive Director from 1983-2015.
John retired from the Arc in 2015 is now the founder/CEO of Quillo, a unique new approach to the engaging and inspiring our workforce in organizations serving people with disabilities.


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Steve McDonell

Independent Consultant

With over 20 years of experience in the IDD field at intersection of strategy, data, Steve provides a unique perspective on the workforce challenges we face. He has led business intelligence and executive dashboard projects which provide actionable information to senior leadership for informed decision making, most recently in the area of workforce management.


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It's More Than Money


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