Our core values
Since a few years we have explicitly mentioned the Franciscan values of the Congregation of Mariadal as our own core values. In doing so, we give the values a new charge, so that they are preserved for the future. We explain these values as follows:
– Love: good care comes from the heart. By really being there for others, we make the difference on a daily basis, from whatever function.
– Simplicity: St. Elisabeth wants to make things as simple as possible for residents. We are an organisation without fuss.
– Effectiveness: by this we mean the effect of our actions. To what extent do we contribute to the well-being of residents? And: we support and stimulate residents as much as possible in their self-reliance and togetherness.
– Detachment: The residents are in their final phase of life. A phase in which life issues often surface. Emotions such as pride and satisfaction can go hand in hand with mourning and regret. We are aware of this and treat it with respect. For employees, detachment means the art of letting go: of certainties and old ways of working, and being open to change.
Employees, volunteers and residents always respond very positively to these values. The core value ‘detachment’ is always particularly appreciated, especially because this core value is so unique and special. You need an explanation in order to understand what exactly is meant by this. As a result, this value often sticks out more than other, more common values.
People often indicate that they recognise the values in daily practice. We give shape to this in different ways:
- When recruiting and selecting employees, the core values are always explicitly mentioned. New employees are among others, interested in St. Elisabeth because of the core values, among other things. In these times of enormous labour shortages, it helps us to attract the right employees.
- In the familiarisation process of new employees and volunteers, an introductory meeting explains the core values: where do they come from, and what do they mean for daily work?
- All policy documents and job descriptions refer to our core values; they form the basis of everything we develop.
- In proportion to the number of residents, we have a large group of welfare workers and spiritual care takers; precisely because we consider spiritual welfare so important.
- We offer employees a great deal of say, and expect everyone to do their bit for the well-being of the residents from their own role. The organisation is flat (simply) organised , with a lot of autonomy for the (care) professionals, which means that a limited number of managers is needed.
- Our ‘golden rules of conduct’, which apply to all employees, volunteers, residents and visitors, start with the four core values.
- If residents wish to make use of the daily celebrations in the chapel, the care is organised in such a way that this is made possible.
- The Christmas celebration with staff starts in the atmospheric St. Elisabeth Chapel. That always gives this celebration a very special touch.
In addition, the core values help us to make strategic choices. For example, we recently decided to develop a palliative unit because – precisely on the basis of our core values – we have a lot to offer to this vulnerable target group.
Connection with the Congregation(s)
The cooperation with the Franciscan Sisters of Mariadal is intensive. Traditionally both organisations have been closely linked. The Sisters play an important role in living the core values. Not only on a personal level, but also, for example, by contributing to the introductory meeting for new employees and volunteers. They were also actively involved in drawing up the ‘golden rules of conduct’. However, the number of sisters is steadily decreasing, which raises the question of how we maintain the core values in the long term, even when the sisters are no longer there. Soon we will start a joint workgroup to make a plan for this together.
Besides the Congregation of Mariadal we also work intensively together with two other Congregations. In 2016 seven sisters of the Congregation Charitas (Roosendaal) came to live in St. Elisabeth. Part of the building was rebuilt for this purpose, so that they could be housed together. Since 2017 we also work together with the Congregation St. Anna in Oudenbosch. Every day we deliver the warm meals and every week the laundry. Some sisters with intensive care needs have moved from St. Anna to St. Elisabeth.
If other congregations are interested in a possible collaboration with St. Elisabeth, or have questions about this article, please feel free to contact us.