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  • Writer's pictureKevin Phillips

Listening to the ARS Team

ARS has been in the process of expanding our facilities. Our goal is to both provide better support for our staff as well as a higher quality of care for our patients. 


Change is challenging – even change that improves people’s lives. It may require that we adapt to a new work environment. We may need to build new relationships. For some it can mean a new schedule. For other it can mean a new role with a new job description.


Adaptation to something new is always easier when the change is something we can control. If we can’t control every part of a change process, it helps when I can be well-informed of the changes that may effect me.


To understand how the ARS team is adapting to our expansion, Glenn Davis created a staff survey. We want to hear what our team is thinking about and what they are feeling as we process these changes together. This survey is just one thing we are doing to listen to the ARS community.


We are a collaborative organization. We value staff feedback. Input from staff helps us navigate change more effectively. In addition to the staff survey, we are also asking questions, watching staff behavior, and inviting dialogue and ideas from everyone on the ARS team.


A survey is just one tool we use in our listening process. Here is some of what we learned from the survey.


39% of our Organization completed the survey (41 of 105). This may seem low. However, it is important to remember that in recent months we have doubled the size of our staff. It may be that many of our new staff may not have responded to the survey due to being so new to the organization.


Everyone who responded to the survey rated every questions. 18 out of 41 provided additional feedback in the form of additional comments to specific questions.


In response to the question, “How do you feel about the expansion project that most directly influences your role at ARS? Over 80% reported they are” excited and motivated”. 17% reported they had no feelings to report. Either they do not feel impacted by the changes, or they are simply “neutral” in their feelings.


Of interest, one member of the ARS team reported that they were “apprehensive and concerned” about coming changes. Note: ARS leadership would like to hear more from this member of the team. We would like to hear about their concerns. They may be in position to identify an issue that the rest of the community is not seeing. If you are feeling apprehensive and concerned about upcoming changes, please do contact Kevin Phillips, Wanda Cook, or Chris Audette. We want to hear from you.


About 83% reports that they were very informed about the upcoming changes. Almost half of these reported a score of 4-5 on a five-point Likert scale. Seven members of the team who completed the survey report of a score of 1-2. While this indicates that we are doing a fairly good job with internal communication about our expansion, this highlights the principle we can never communicate too much.  


Most responses expressed enthusiasm for the ARS expansion:

  • I have confidence that our team will be able to manage this process well.

  • I am excited and ready the more we expand the more people we can help.

  • I am experiencing it with excitement of the growth.

  • Excited to a part of a organization that is striving to help people restart their lives. That it’s not just my passion, but it’s the organizations passion.

  • I am excited about the way that Archway is growing in a people helping field.

  • It's refreshing to see that even through the struggles of the expansion, the leadership shows confidence that individually we can meet our goals. So, it makes it easier to deal with the day-to-day difficulties when you know you have their full confidence.

  • Everyone is working hard, supporting others and motivated to do good.

  • I am excited about the expansion. I look forward to the opportunity to work with women

  • I'm very excited about the changes. I can't wait to I be able to grow with Archway.

  • I believe that expansion will be good for the community and we will be able to serve a larger portion of people struggling with substance use disorder.

  • I think its great. Learning from all different aspects and working as a team and moving forward.

  • I am excited and welcome all positive changes that allow us to better assist our clients and provide them with the effective support they are seeking

  • I am feeling positive yet nervous, hoping to make the Napa facility an overwhelming success and get the staffing issues addressed as quickly as possible.

  • My experience with the ARS expansion plans consists of acknowledging the expansion of the available units making the facility more accessible to a larger population.

  • The experience has been interesting hearing a lot of feedback from the definitely departments, it's a lot of work but I enjoy the challenge.

Some ARS team members expressed concern about communication:

  • I would like to be more informed about all aspects of these projects. I feel my inputs, knowledge and foresight can help with smooth transitions into our new buildings.

  • More explanation.

  • A lot of what I hear comes in passing without official announcements or details of the change.

  • More Detail Up dates as we move forward

  • I feel like I am not aware of all the moving parts of ARS expansion.

  • Updated information regarding timelines would be appreciated


For members of the ARS team who would like to learn more about what is happening, we encourage you to read our monthly newsletter and other more frequent bulletins published by Glenn Davis. You may also check-in with the Executive Director’s blog on the ARS website. It is also helpful to participate in the monthly All Staff meetings. The ARS team can hear reports from managers as well as senior leadership. Questions are always welcome at this forum. Finally, if an ARS team member has a specific question, they are welcome to ask their manager. You may also email the Executive Director any time.


A handful of ARS team members expressed concern about staffing:

  • It is great that we are expanding because there is a need for it. However, these additional sites need and should be fully staffed and trained before the transition not during as it can cause chaos and confusion.

  • Things move fast here, it hard to keep up with the latest.

  • I feel as though the expansions are happening too fast as there isn't adequate staffing for the facilities we have.

  • I feel stretched thin. I also feel that sometimes managers are given too much freedom when they may say they know how to do things and then don't have much supervision in them reaching their goals.


Senior ARS leadership agrees that staff may be the most significant challenge associated with our expansion. Our Recruitment and Retention Officer, Glenn Davis, is working hard to identify appropriate new members of the ARS team. Our goal is always to be fully staffed.


Every member of the ARS team can help Glenn. If you know anyone you believe may be a good fit for ARS, please encourage them to apply. Remember, the first thing we look for in a prospective employee is someone who embodies our ARS team values: Humility, Kindness, and Commitment.

We appreciate everyone's input and feedback. We hope you will continue to look forward to responding to our Staff Surveys. Your work matters. Your voice matters. You matter. Our goal is to support you. This starts when we listen.



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