Most people live by a common set of values. It’s how each person upholds those values in day-to-day life that is as unique as a fingerprint.
At Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS), we carry out our work every day because we believe everyone deserves opportunity. From the baby girl with a newly diagnosed developmental delay, to the young man with cerebral palsy who needs 24-hour care, to the veteran who served his nation proudly for years before living in a homeless encampment next to a creek.
These individuals motivate us to uphold our own values – respect, integrity, courage, excellence, dynamism.
These values weren’t handed down to the RMHS staff. The staff developed them and live and breathe them every day. We post them around our building in southeast Denver, we talk about them at staff meetings, and we refer to them as we create our annual goals and strategies.
We want the communities we serve to understand our values and keep us in check.
Respect every person. Colorado communities can thrive only when they value and respect each community member. An inclusive community makes everyone better. We have a common respect for our clients, staff, volunteers, board members, donors, funders, partner agencies and communities. This common respect allows us to provide the person-centered, compassionate services that help everyone feel heard and valued. In fact, listening is core to respect. If we don’t take the time to listen to clients and families, we cannot understand their vision for the future and how we can help them get there.
Act with Integrity. The people who choose us for services deserve honesty and accountability and the assurance that we are working alongside them to achieve their goals. We say what we’re going to do, and we strive to do what we say. The communities we serve deserve this honesty, too – from the Denver taxpayers who provide mill levy funding to the mill levy-funded agencies that partner with us.
Integrity often lives at the intersection of transparency and efficiency. We are committed to transparency. We open our meetings to the public, we hold community events where we solicit feedback, we post Board of Directors agendas and minutes on our website, and we share information through our newsletters and social networks. But we also must remain flexible and responsive to the people we serve. At times, we must respond quickly to clients’ and the community’s needs, but we always weigh our actions with the need to inform and gather feedback from stakeholders. Our intent is always to listen to the community and seek ways to achieve our common goals.
Be Courageous. It would be easy to get bogged down in the rules that govern our industry. If we moved at the pace of bureaucracy, the world would easily leave RMHS – and our clients – behind. We strive to be creative, innovative and bold. We challenge the status quo, supporting systems that work and fighting the ones that don’t.
Perhaps more importantly, we challenge not only ourselves to be courageous but also our clients. We want to empower people to advocate for themselves and stretch beyond what they believe is possible.
Seek Excellence. Excellence is where each of these values converge, and it starts at the hiring process. Many staff members come to the organization with advanced degrees and extensive backgrounds in working with the populations we serve. They hold themselves to high standards.
At the organization level, we continue those standards. We take part in difficult conversations, push ourselves to learn from mistakes and apologize when we are wrong. We also continuously examine where we can improve. Over the next year and a half, we will pursue accreditation to take RMHS to a new level of excellence.
Be Dynamic. Like the rest of the world, the human services industry is always changing. We must stay nimble in the face of these changes and never lose sight of the people we serve. For instance, RMHS responded quickly and is taking actions to abide by conflict-free case management. We made difficult decisions to comply with changes to our mill levy contract with Denver Human Services, and we are always increasing our cultural competencies to meet the needs of Denver’s evolving population.
We look forward to diving deeper into each of these values in the coming months. In the meantime, have you seen an RMHS employee or client who exemplifies these values? Let us know. Have you seen an area where we can improve upon these values? Let us know.
We value your relationship and look forward to continuing our work to empower people with the resources they need to reach their full potential. Thank you for helping us create an inclusive community.