In 25 years, QLI has become an industry innovator, a resource of hope for families nationwide, and a community powerhouse for the Omaha area, helping Nebraska stake its claim as the principal destination for individuals affected by brain or spinal cord injuries.
That credit goes to QLI’s extraordinary staff, says QLI president and CEO Patricia Kearns.
“If QLI is truly the best resource for this specialized rehabilitation and care,” Kearns said, “and if we are going to be successful rebuilding lives affected by devastating injuries, having employees who are not only positive but 100% committed to our mission and the individuals we serve is the key to that success.”
QLI’s employees demonstrated their dedication to its mission this year in a big way—voting QLI as Omaha’s Best Place to Work in the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Best Place to Work Survey for an astounding fifth time. QLI previously earned the distinction all four times it participated in the survey (2005-2007, 2010), and for its continuing merit, received the Best Place to Work – Sustained Excellence Award from the Omaha Chamber and BairdHolm LLP in 2011.
The Best Place to Work survey is an annual initiative designed to recognize the Omaha-area’s premier employers. Distributed to employees of participating organizations, the survey analyzes several aspects of each workplace, including morale, workplace environment, employee and benefit satisfaction, growth opportunities, management perception and co-worker relationships.
“The companies that rank well in this survey process are companies that have tremendous leaders spread throughout their organizations who help build a positive, vibrant work environment,” Kearns said.
“In that respect, QLI excels. All staff are encouraged to take part in the integral processes across the company. Their ideas are implemented. Each employee is a leader, and their leadership has a noticeable influence.”
Leadership stands as an important theme for QLI throughout this year’s surveying period, as 2015 marks the first time QLI has participated in the Best Place to Work proceedings since Kearns succeeded QLI’s founding president and CEO, Dr. Kim Hoogeveen, in 2011.
To make the transition seamless, Kearns – alongside a pair of new vice presidents and a group of new corporate directors – embraced QLI’s foundational values and continued to provide opportunities to the organization’s entire workforce. With an interest in promoting leaders from within the organization when possible, QLI continues to invest time and resources into giving staff the best growth avenues possible.
Among QLI’s staff development initiatives are an “Immersion” program to acquaint direct care staff with both clinical and corporate branches of the organization; a Mentor/Professional program, where direct care employees are recognized for their commitment to QLI’s mission and are promoted as leaders amongst their peers; and a prestigious Demonstrated Excellence Award, chosen every two years by past recipients of the award. The Demonstrated Excellence Award offers a wealth of extraordinary prizes but also represents an individual’s devotion to and ambition for added responsibility.
Ultimately, QLI’s environment is one of transparency and flexibility. Its teams respond in real time to the needs of QLI’s clients and the ideas of its workforce. Through that flexibility, QLI maintains a culture of excellence, a culture its staff fight for and remain passionate about.
And to that end, Kearns said, “When an employee feels like they have an impact on their organization’s big picture, they are invested in the success of not only their work area, but their entire company.”
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