Community of Hope is proud to announce that our Vice President of Talent Management, Stephanie Leonetti, has been honored with one of three 2022 HR Impact Awards by the Washington Business Journal.
These HR leaders also have a track record of helping make their workplace environment productive, creative, and safe for all of their employees. This past two years of the COVD-19 pandemic stretched human resources tasks immensely as businesses had to pivot to remote working wherever possible, ensuring diversity, inclusion, and equity, while strengthening company culture and morale.
We celebrate you and your contribution to this organization, Stephanie! Read her full story here.
Q&A with Stephanie Leonetti
What’s your why? Why are you so dedicated to the mission of Community of Hope?
During my career, I have always found that I’ve been drawn to mission-driven work. The mission of Community of Hope in particular has been near and dear to my heart because I have an immediate family member who has experienced homelessness, and his journey has taught me so much about the importance of the services we provide to individuals and families. Having a personal experience with someone close to me really connects me back to the mission and why our work is so important. I am also incredibly dedicated to the people who I work with; we have a special and amazing group of talent. They inspire me and keep me motivated to do my very best to support them and to make sure that they have great employee experience on a day-to-day basis.
What does a ‘good day’ look like in your role at Community of Hope?
For me, a good day looks like helping someone in my job. It can be something small and behind the scenes but knowing that I’ve helped a staff member or a leader at our organization find a solution to an issue really brings joy to my day.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Recruitment and staff retention are definitely the biggest challenges we are currently facing at Community of Hope. Like many other peer organizations, we are facing ‘The Great Resignation’ and it has taken a large toll on our teams. We are constantly looking for new ways to recruit good talent and spread the word about why we are a great place to work. We have had to go back to the drawing board and re-think our recruitment efforts in order to recruit in the current market. We have also had honest conversations about burnout in healthcare and social services and have implemented new trauma-informed approaches to support our staff.
You’ve been leading the organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts the last few years. What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
When we began our DEI journey in 2018, I did not know where it would take us, but I am incredibly proud of where we are today as an organization. One of the most rewarding aspects of this work has been seeing how we can integrate DEI into as many places across the organization as possible. It is now integrated into our mission, our strategic plan, our culture statements, our performance evaluations, our onboarding training, and the list goes on! Most recently, we have been creating a Language Equity Guide that will frame how we talk with and about our patients, clients, and other DEI terminology. I truly have enjoyed watching our DEI work go beyond the foundational level and turn into the core of what we do.
Every workplace has had to make major changes in the past 2+ years of the pandemic and Community of Hope has often been ‘out ahead’ of other organizations. What is your proudest accomplishment in this pandemic flexibility?
The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us so much. I am most proud that we have been forward thinking as an organization and remained flexible and adaptable to the constantly changing landscape. The first thing that I’m very proud of is our ability to transition into a remote environment, and then take those learnings to offer long-term flexibility for our staff. We were able to create long-term plans for remote, on-site, and hybrid work that are now in all job descriptions for each staff member. I also worked with staff committees to solidify culture recommendations for the hybrid working environment. We took the time to be intentional and shape what COH’s culture should look like in our ‘new normal’, which has helped us create new norms as an agency around staff connection to one another and our mission, employee wellbeing, and holding effective meetings.