ECA New Employee Partner Program

A group of Elder Care Alliance team members recently became the first graduating class of the New Employee Partners program.

The pilot program launched June 22 with a celebration that followed a four-month leadership development course for the new Partners, who will serve as guides to new team members.

Kathleen Quinlan, Director, Professional Development, noted that the pilot New Employee Partners program included resident assistants and medication technicians in the company’s assisted living and memory care communities.

At the summer graduation ceremony, Kathleen said, new Partners said the program helped them get in touch with their capacity as leaders and provided tools to improve their leadership skills.

“The people who were interested in becoming Partners are learning about their own potential, seeing themselves and their futures with greater possibilities,” Kathleen said. “That got me really excited.”

Graduates of the pilot program include Virginia Vecina, Leslie Ortiz Miranda, Mary Pao, Veronica Verduzco, Myisha Wise, Gaylyn Hayden, Teresa Santos, Oliver Galupo, Juliet Leegroy, Estela Sarabia, Jackie Garcia and Nory Ninobla.

Responsibilities of Partners

What responsibilities are assigned to the new Partners graduates?

“The Partner is a guide who leads the way and makes a meaningful connection to a new team member,” Kathleen said, adding that new employees can turn to their Partners when they need information or have a problem.

For example, if a new employee does not understand the details of the policy for paid time off, the Partner’s job wouldn’t be to explain the policy but rather to direct the team member to the appropriate place to have the questions answered.

Exemplifying Elder Care Alliance Values

How does the program represent the mission and vision of Elder Care Alliance?

“It embodies just about every one of our core values,” Kathleen said, adding that providing learning opportunities for staff members is at the heart of Elder Care Alliance’s work.

She said initiating new employees at Elder Care Alliance goes far beyond the frequent routine of providing a quick tour and lunch.

“We went very deeply into ‘Who are you, New Employee Partner, and how can you grow and step into your leadership capacity?’” she said. “We want to take these gifted people who are in our ranks and help them feel that we’ll support them in learning. That reflects the core of who we are and how we operate.”

Kathleen will continue to stay in touch with the individual Partners on a regular basis and will meet with them as a group. She also hopes that the program will eventually expand to other departments within the company.

“We have a very simple vision: Engaging Hearts, Transforming Lives and Erasing Boundaries,” Kathleen said. “I think that the New Employee Partners program is the embodiment of that vision, because we always start with heart.”

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