Julie was a great rep for Vision at our client for the year of 2018! She started at the end of March and has worked over 1000 hours, including over 40 hours of OT this year, and rarely missed a day! Julie has displayed amazing longevity during her career. Her position was a long term temporary position and they were going to hire on until they realized her location is closing in April. She contacted her recruiter about finding another assignment. She wanted to get ahead of the change, because she’s been with companies that close and knows how stressful it can be to find other work. She then called back and told her recruiter to hold off the search. They think there may be a possible position down the road at another location, and they could hire her on there. She decided she’s going to stay with our client and was recently hired on! WAY TO GO JULIE!!!
Every year I pick a personal “Theme” for my year. Something for me to focus on, to work on, and a space to grow in. This year, my theme was “Believe” – that’s it. Throughout all of these emails you’ve probably heard me talking about believing in a multitude of ways. Today, on Christmas, I’m going to talk about my belief in Him (the Big Guy), my faith.
I received a call from Patricia at 5:30am, her car was broke down on the side of the road and she was going to be late or miss work, she wasn’t sure. She just moved here from Alabama so she doesn’t know her surroundings. I asked if she was safe, and she was. She was choked up, perhaps she had been crying? I wasn’t sure. In our biz, I don’t always know if I’m being told the truth or it’s a lie because it’s the 4th of July weekend and sunny out. RIGHT?! Either way, I said, “don’t worry, thank you for calling, I’ll make sure our customer knows and this will only result in a small hiccup. I’m headed to a meeting right now at a customer but I’ll call you after it and see what your game plan is”
At 6:30 I called her again, she told me she was walking on 94 somewhere near Maple Grove. I could hear cars flying by her on the freeway – this wasn’t a lie. I told her I’ve never picked anyone up from the side of the road, but if she’s comfortable with it, I’m coming to get her. She said ok.
When I got to her, she was still walking and she was bawling. She got in and I said “Good morning!” and she said she has anxiety and apologized for crying. I told her I’d be in the same boat if I were her. I told her we were going to push the reset button on her day and grab coffee and bagels for her co-workers. It also gave her a moment to freshen up before heading into work. While driving I learned she came here from Alabama because her husband’s company closed down there and he was the only one offered a transfer and he took it. They’re living in a hotel room in Rogers so he can bike to work and she can use the car for work just while they get settled. Once settled, they’ll get their boys up here from back home. A 15 year old MVP Football athlete with straight A’s, and twin 8 year old boys going into 2nd grade that love to play guitar. All of the boys are excited for snow! She got her degree in culinary arts because she wanted to prove to herself she could finish school, and she took this job because she wanted something stable and consistent so she could get their family affairs in order.
I told her I knew she wasn’t telling me a lie when I heard the cars on the freeway. I asked her if she knew how long it would take to get to work from where she stalled? She said her GPS told her 4 hours of walking! I said, “and you walked anyhow!?” and she said she didn’t know what else she could do. She doesn’t know anybody here, she can’t fix her car, and so, she walked. Can we talk for a second about the courage it took to do that? She could have been paralyzed by her morning and instead of doing nothing, she put one foot in front of the other to do something.
I had never met her, nor did I know anything about her prior to that call at 5:30am. I just happened to have our on call phone on hand and fortunately didn’t miss her call. Since I didn’t know her, I was curious how she found us and so I asked. I was particularly curious since there’s a different staffing service next door to her hotel. She said, “I don’t know, divine intervention I guess?” I told her I believe too and I think this morning was pretty dang cool.
Let’s flash forward now that we know more of the facts. She was within the first few weeks of her assignment when we met, she turned out to be one of our star performers and was recognized by our customer as a stand out employee…now they ask us to duplicate her in future placements! She was hired on perm and is cross trained in multiple departments. She joined us last week and when she came in everyone knew who she was and was excited to meet her. She even brought her husband so we got to meet him too!
Last night was our Christmas Eve service done by candlelight: “The light shines in the darkness” à there is good everywhere we look, I find my light in my foundation of faith and my belief. So often people say to me “this stuff always happens to you!” and when I hear that, I laugh. It ‘just happens’ to all of us, but are we all paying attention and looking for it?
I hope you’ve found a little light throughout these last 12 days of stories, and I truly hope you’ve been able to enjoy the holiday season J
Merry Christmas, and Cheers to a happy new year in 2019!
Until next year,
Merry Christmas Eve!
Today was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 76 years young and I know this morning he would have been singing and wearing his coca cola sweatpants making breakfast with my mom J
Sometimes when I pause and think about the sadness the holidays can bring for so many of us, it consumes my thoughts and emotions. And THAT is when I choose to think about the smiles and memories I shared with those that were the lucky ones and left us early. I look around at the family I surround myself with – those born into my same family and those I choose as my family and I embrace my blessings.
We have a Vision Family, and I hold it very near and dear to my heart. If you were a fly on our walls, you’d hear us talk about it often – we know not everyone can stay here forever, and not everyone will be our employee forever – but whether you’re here now or you’ve moved on, you’ll always be a part of our family.
A few family stories for you all:
- Isabel was hired on over a year ago, when her son came to town she was thrilled to send him our way and we were thrilled to work with him!
- While on site at a customer, our contact said she was headed to Roseau for a family graduation this summer. We quickly connected the dots, because my mom is FROM Roseau, And if anyone is from northern Minnesota, you KNOW that the name game is a MUST.
- This summer, we placed TRIPLETS on the job and they all got to work together and train together – everyone on our team knows them by name!
- In January we started working with Jason – through a long process and a lot of HR stuff I’m not sharing, he said “I’ve been denied so many jobs because of my record – you are the first person to ever ask me about it and actually hear me out. Thank you” – and we were able to reply “It’s not me, it’s what we do here at Vision, One Person at a Time” J
- Last week: “You guys are the best!…You guys are amazing, so nice, so helpful, you are just the best and I really wanted to come say hi, and celebrate the season with you!”
- Daniel came to us on the bus line, originally from Gary, Indiana he had moved to Chicago in hopes of finding consistent work. After bouncing around a bit he moved to MN to be closer to his mom. He was early to his interview and he had taken the bus for 1.5 hours to get to us. We hit it off right away and moved quickly knowing he was in a hurry for work, and we’d lose him if we didn’t figure it out! There were 2 more times we needed to meet in person before we could have him start, and it’s a great way for him and us to prove our commitment. It was flawless. We shook hands and agreed his life was about to change and we wouldn’t let him down, and he wouldn’t let us down. He showed up his first day at work 2 hours before his shift because he didn’t want to have transportation/bus route issues. He took the bus 3 hours every day to work, and he continued to communicate and work hard and we continued to support him in his journey with performance feedback, raises, and more that I won’t get into here.
- For each of our events last week, I lost count of Vision Family that attended – employees that were hired on, customer contacts and their husband’s/wives that joined them, significant others across the board, kiddos, and grandkids, so many newborn babies (!!!!), former Vision Rockstars, and more!
Family comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s more than who we live with or who we fought with at the dinner table growing up. All of the stories above are about being there for one another, it’s about lifting each other up when times are tough, it’s about being dependable or sometimes simply showing up. Crying together, laughing together, being goofy together and being our authentic selves with one another. It’s about caring and extending that care to the community around you.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading these stories and being a small part of our community. My pappy said I’d make a difference in this world someday, and if I put a smile on even one face or warmth in one person’s heart, I know I’ve accomplished that and you can too J
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
We celebrated one of our Christmas’ today with family and it reminded me why I love this time of year so much. The season and spirit of giving is everywhere around us, memories are made daily, and traditions are celebrated.
This week was an incredibly busy week for us at Vision, and not only are we so proud and thankful to have the opportunity to say THANK YOU, but I was blessed to witness and hear so many stories. Here are just a few that stand out…
- Titus came back this year, it’s his 3rd year joining us. He always brings his kids and has a super big smile on his face that warms your heart. I’ve shared stories about Titus before, and I continue to be proud that he comes back to celebrate with us and stay in touch. See you next year, Titus J
- Tony was here for two of our events! He said “I’m just so happy – this is the BEST employer I have EVER worked for!” – we’re proud to have been a part of that connection.
- Ron came by, I couldn’t tell you how many times he’s been here but I know it’s more than 4! He brought his wife this year and his genuine smile. It’s always great to see familiar faces!
- Brian popped by after work and said “I love where I work so much! I hope they love me, because I’m retiring here!”
- Our customer, Kevin, said that he was SO THRILLED with our last placement “She’s just the most perfect placement! Right attitude and just so great!” – her recruiter almost cried hearing that in person. It means the world to us.
- Glen came by after work, but he brought his granddaughter along! He’s worked for us for 7 years! Thanks for putting a smile on all of our faces, Glen!
- Donna surprised us again this year, I hope she comes every year! I’ll take a hug from her any day of the week! SO great to see you Donna, glad you’re not sick of us after 7 years J
- Dale visited us and I was so thrilled to meet him! He was hired on over 8 years ago and referred his son to us this year! Dale, thanks for popping by for a visit and remembering who we are!
- Norma came and gave us the biggest hug ever! She’s worked for us on SO MANY assignments and is loved everywhere she goes – including here!
- I placed Carl, my brother’s best friend, over 8 years ago and he’s still there! I’m so happy he stops by to say hi and enjoy the free food (as he puts it!), this year he told me, “It gets bigger and better every year, you guys are serious about these decorations and it’s fun to see!”
- Jim used to be our employee, then our contact at a customer, and then back to our employee (did you follow?!). Jim’s story is a special one that we connected with him on and it’s very personal, let’s just say that him swinging by to say hi meant a lot to both him and us – keep rockin Jim, we’ll always believe in you.
This is getting really long, I could go on for days and days!
Look for the spirit around you, look for the peace, the goodwill, and the memories being made and let it carry you through the year ahead. I know we get caught up in giving gifts – but give of your heart, give of your time, give of your intention, give in whatever way you can.
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Tonight I went to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Good food, good company, and great dialogue. Of all the things he said, one thing was so simple and true and it sat with me:
“You have two choices. Be miserable or be happy. Life is short, why wouldn’t you choose happy?”
Don’t get me wrong, I love to have dialogue and discussion and see differing points of view and perspectives. But tonight, I really loved that. I believe that with all of my heart. Every day we have choices to make – so many choices to make and we can own them as our choices or we can pretend like we’re not able to have a say. But at the end of the day, we have choices and we need to be conscious about which ones we’re making.
Here’s a few stories of choice:
- Chas worked for us in 2016 where he was hired on at our customer….and then he became our contact. Recently he found himself looking for a job again and he came back to us. Everyone here still remembers Chas because he made such a positive impression with us all. – Thanks, Chas for being a rockstar
- Bob works for us right now, and although it was a bit of a long road to get him working due to pre-employments, etc. He started! Then we had a paycheck/timecard issue, then his check got lost in the mail, etc etc. What’s so cool about Bob? He’s communicated through it all and although not every conversation has been good news, he has always chosen to have an awesome attitude and confidence it would get worked out – and it did. Thanks Bob for your faith in us as your partner!
- Katie started a position with us in August and it wasn’t quite what she thought it would be. She felt underutilized and that she had more to offer. She called us, we were happy to advocate for her and talk through how to be a voice for herself too. Together we bridged the gap and she is being utilized to her full potential – not only that, the customer is SO HAPPY that something was said so the growth opportunity was there. That takes courage, and that takes a conscious decision. Thanks Katie for being great!
- Matt worked for us this summer and he was over the moon happy with his position – he sent US flowers to say thanks! What a great guy! Matt – thank YOU for showing up every day with the awesome attitude that you have and paying it forward!
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
I’ve been completely overwhelmed with gratitude and can’t even process it all, I think my heart is ready to burst. I love to live with the mindset of always giving and putting service above oneself. I simply feel like I’m blessed beyond imagination and the reason for that is the community and people around me. These last few days are merely a small indication to our team here at Vision and a testament to our commitment to one another and our customers.
I have this Kindness book that I read daily (almost, I’m not perfect). And earlier this year there was a story about how He does everything with purpose and precision. That same day I was witness to the perfection and precision that happens around us in the community every day. Because I believe if you look for the good, you’ll find it. And that the opposite is true J
This one isn’t about Vision. It isn’t about staffing. This is a memorable highlight from 2018 about people in our community working together to make a difference; and it still gives me goosebumps…
Here’s some missing details of the story from Chief Beahen of the Rogers Police Department:
- “Both reporters called me a hero. I told them the fire fighters on scene were the true heroes. I was in an insulated cold water suit-they jumped in the water in their bunker gear, without regard to their own warmth and stayed there taking turns holding the victim up and out of the water. I gave them the name of FF Ryan Morgando, who had to be treated for hypothermia after as he was in the water almost as long as anyone. I had even called Chief Feist first to get Ryan’s name and correct spelling so I got it right on camera.”
- “I talked proudly of the consolidated efforts of Fire, PF, Public Works and Burda’s Towing, in their use of two front end loaders, daisy-chained together for safety-supporting the tow truck so it could safely/finally lift the device off the victim so he could be freed-that was ingenious and it took the work of everyone single person there to make that happen. It was the freeing of the trapped arm that saved the victim in the end.”
- “I highlighted that Sue Stensrud from Carrie-on 5K called yesterday out of the blue, and how I told her that the rescue suits she and her family purchased for police and fire-were used in a real life rescue. “Touched by the wings of angels”. Remember that Carrie died in a car crash in Maple Grove on I-94 where the victim was trapped upside down in a cold creek. Her family wanted to make sure this never happened again.”
- “We spoke to the victim (Willie) the following morning, who had his pelvis broken, his shoulder smashed and his arm broken in multiple locations and he was treated for extreme hypothermia. He also has facial injuries.”
- “He is so grateful for our response to this call, and he remarked that those who were with him were calm, reassuring and of extreme comfort. Your voices of reassurance are what he said, kept him alive. He was also impressed that as a person of color, he trusted us and has a vastly different opinion of police and fire today-then he did last week.”
I also learned this:
- “The victim’s 40-year old brother died last Friday. He was buried Monday. He was on his way to the hospital as he was really ill, when he passed. They discovered it was a massive bacterial infection. Willie and his family and trying to put money together to pay for the funeral.”
- “Willie has three children, the youngest is 7-today is his birthday. One of his children is autistic.”
- “He had quit the job last week trimming trees-thought they took too many risks. Decided to come back to pay the funeral bills.”
- “The other victim spent 15 minutes using boards and a jack to try to free Willie before he called 911.”
The City of Rogers and the community we serve, should be very proud of the work that took place on Jasmine Way yesterday. I am proud to work aside each of you, and have never seen such collaborative work in my career under such duress. Congratulations on a job well done!
Today concluded our 3-day extravaganza and marathon of a week! Today, like Tuesday & Wednesday, we continued the celebration and thanks in our Rogers office J With over 350 people coming through our doors I bet you can only begin to imagine the stories and experiences that were shared. It is incredibly overwhelming in the absolute best way possible but that means I have a significant challenge ahead – to get the stories told J
Measurements model our mindsets.
Have you heard that one before? Think about it, our mindsets are determined by where we’re measured. I wish I had kept track of how many people responded with “WOW” upon walking into our offices to see the cubicle contest and decorating extravaganza! I bet it would have been 100%! We track a LOT of information in our business, and one of my very favorite numbers to celebrate is our Referral Rate. I think of our referral rate as a function of quality and an indicator that our mindsets are in the right place and we’re doing the right things. Year after year, ~50% of the people we put to work are referred to us. I share that with GREAT pride. That is no small feat and it’s something we work on diligently. I’m excited to share some stories of the power of relationships and referrals…
- My mom grew up on a farm in Roseau, her neighbor and best friend was Gene. His step-son was looking for a new ‘home’ but only wanted direct hire opportunities. My mom is the best referral partner I have, so without hesitation I reached out to his step son, John. John was happily employed, but commuting from Monticello to Shakopee every day for work, talk about a nightmare. It took a little convincing, and several phone calls and in person conversations, client visits, and a thorough interview process but eventually we got John in at a new company. I am STILL over the MOON thrilled about having worked with John. His first day was Monday, July 30th. On Saturday he text: “…checking in…Monday is almost here and my brand new career…very excited and a little nervous. That is probably normal, just wanted to say from the bottom of my heart how much it means to me that you and your mom helped me with this amazing opportunity and now it has come to pass….so very very cool. Thank you!!!! I mean, this is HUGE!!!!!” It’s way huge, and I had the privilege to be the one to connect the dots.
- We met with Bob and he started working for us in 2017, kicked it out of the park. Bob referred his step son Braeden to us. He was in a unique position with criminal charges on his record that were not his – so we worked with him to verify and clean it up and got him placed. He started his new role and was hired on in record time with our customer. Obviously he was good. So when Braeden’s friend Deon was looking for work, and moved to MN – the first place he called was Vision! We placed him too and he’s thriving! These three gentleman all worked with the same recruiter….where do you think her mindset is at?! She’s winning J
- Today I met Matt. He retired from a solid career at our customer and many years there. He didn’t want to stay home and wanted to keep busy – so where did he come? Vision. We got Matt busy working right away with a customer that can offer him part time hours and the flexibility and home he was looking for. He LOVES it there! Today when he was leaving he leaned in and whispered something about how much he loves working with Vision and he loves that we communicate and genuinely care about how the position is going!
- One of the new clients we started working with this year came today, it was so fun to put faces to names for me! You know how they heard about us? A candidate we placed, 10+ years ago, at a DIFFERENT client told his boss that if he was frustrated and wanted good talent, to call Vision. Are you kidding me?! I can’t make this up, because people matter, and how you treat people makes a difference…even after 10 years!
- Caitlyn came today, she’s always smiling. I saw her on site at our customer earlier this year and she gave me a little more to her story. Caitlyn found us because her son had an awesome experience several years ago. So when she was looking he suggested she come to us. Two years ago he also referred her grandson’s girlfriend to us who is still working where we placed her and she was hired on! Can you even keep up with the chain of connections!? This is SO. COOL.
As per usual, I could keep going but this is getting fairly lengthy. ~50% is pretty rad. This holiday season, let’s all make sure we’re taking measure of the important things in life, and not trying to keep up with our neighbor, co-worker, friends or others. Let’s make sure our mindsets are in the right place to continue to do good in this world.
**Special thanks to everyone who came out to join us for Thanks. We had an amazing time and feel incredibly blessed to be able to celebrate each year!**
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Yesterday we had our Customer & Employee Appreciation event in Bloomington and we were overwhelmed with support from customers and employees. Today we had it in Blaine, and I came home feeling that same gratitude. Tomorrow we will conclude the best event of the year in Rogers J We do this event every year to say THANK YOU, and so, when you give us the time to do that, it means the world to us.
Throughout the day today, I was reminded again of what we practice every single day: “One Person at a Time”…
- Grace shared with us that when she first started working with us a month ago, she was in a job she didn’t like and she had been there for 15 years. They recently relocated and she found herself job searching and got connected with us through a friend. She found herself turning down job after job bc nobody was listening to what she really wanted…but we listened. She was scared in the job search – she hadn’t searched in 15 years! We walked her through the steps, she was thrilled to see her recruiter and give him a hug after her first day (yesterday)! She said that she has found the exact right job for her and she hopes they have a good retirement plan because she’s staying!
- We met with Nicole in the summer and she had a successful career in Banking and finance, but then took some time off to focus on her kids and family. Getting back in the job market was challenging, she wasn’t being considered for FT positions or she was getting rejected. We went through her resume and revamped it a bit to really help her shine! After interviews at a couple different places she finally found the perfect fit. The customer said, “She does an incredible job! She quietly and calmly handles everything that’s thrown at her! We just love her!”
- Natalie calls us each week to make a payment for her company invoice, but she’s our placement. When you talk to someone weekly, you tend to build a rapport, right? Well, we do. There’s something real about engaging in conversation and really listening to one another – and genuinely caring – isn’t there? I think so. Natalie wanted to get hired but she had a few worries/concerns and wasn’t sure how to address them. That’s where we get to be a part of the equation J We got to chatting with her and brainstorming they why behind her desire and where she contributes to build her confidence and to understand the ‘above & beyond’ and we helped her think outside the box – beyond just pay but for the whole picture. Fast forward – Natalie gave us a call to let us know that she was getting hired on, she was getting a raise she was confident in, felt comfortable with the benefits and even negotiated more time off – she was so thankful for the perspective she gained, and we’re thankful to have been a part of it.
- Robert was someone we worked with for 6+ months before we found him the RIGHT position. We listened, we explored, and we got it right! The supervisor said, “He’s the best fit any service has ever provided us!”
I’m getting a little wordy, I could go on for days but I think that’s enough for today anyhow. People matter, and sometimes when we take a moment to pause and listen to connect the dots, it is life changing…
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Dwayne started working for us in February 2018, while at our client he was an awesome employee; never late and was always able to help out in other areas! During his time there he averaged 44.9 hours per week and that included a some time off. With his awesome communication, Dwayne worked with his recruiter and informed Vision that he was wanting something different and the place where he was at wouldn’t be a good long-term fit so we let them know and we worked to find him the right company! Our goal was to find him something as fast as possible because we knew he would not be on the market long! Within 10 days we got him placed at one of our new clients where he has, by no surprise, had wonderful performance feedback and continues to shine bright and represent Vision well! Thank you Dwayne for being such a great employee!