Dove’s Nest of Charlotte Rescue Mission reached out to Apparo for help to improve their ability to work and collaborate in the cloud.
Dove’s Nest, Charlotte Rescue Mission’s cost-free women’s recovery program, operates a 120-bed facility on the city’s west side, providing a structured yet loving and stable living environment, with a dedicated staff aimed at helping women understand and deal with the core issues of addiction as a disease. The program welcomes mothers with their children and focuses on spiritual, physical, social and psychological recovery, to help women understand and deal with the core issues of their alcohol and/or drug addiction. The clinical staff assist residents in dealing with all women’s issues including mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and a special families program to assist with issues unique to mothers in residence with their children. Residents come to Dove’s Nest to rest, mend, heal and gain a new direction in their lives.
Dove’s Nest leadership were optimistic that they could work more efficiently if they moved away from their server-based shared drive and email/manual business and communications processes. They turned to Apparo for help and were matched to a volunteer team from Rodgers Builders, in a Community Impact Project generously sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas.
Rodgers Builders volunteers demoed the capabilities and functionality of Teams, showing Dove’s Nest staff how to set up and use Teams, included permissions, channels, tasks and moving data/files to SharePoint and/or Teams. As a result, they helped Dove’s Nest improve document accessibility, collaboration and business processes. See PDF of Project Snapshot.
We checked in with Trina Fullard (Chief Program Officer), Winston Lassiter (Clinical Supervisor), and Barbara Thomas, (Program Director) of Dove’s Nest, after the project wrapped up to learn more about the impact. “We are in the care business and strive to give the best and most informed care,” explains Trina, “Our organization is foundationally sound. This is a matter of taking what we do and doing it better.”
She explains that a main goal for Dove’s Nest was improving their efficiency around intake of those in need in the community, getting them on their road to recovery. “We were looking for a way to have everyone connected without sending and having to read so many emails. We also needed one ‘home base’ to look for everything related to client admissions. We were experiencing version control issues and problems accessing the most up to date information.”
Use of Teams will help free 250+ hours a year and minimize data-related challenges, resulting in increased attention and improved service to the women in recovery in their program.
Key business process changes:
- Class schedules will be kept up to date in Teams, eliminating emailing back and forth to finalize times.
- Call logs and the admissions calendar will also be kept in Teams, eliminating time spent logging in and out of files and addressing version control issues.
As a result, Trina shares, “We’ll be able to spend more time face-to-face with the women in our program, providing more of the support they need. When someone new reaches out for help, anyone on staff will be able to look at the calendar and provide them information on the timing for the next intake opportunity, giving them peace of mind around when they will get the help they need. Clinicians now can rely on the class schedule that is up to date in Teams at all times, which assists them in creating consistent openings for their individual sessions with residents.”
Additional benefits include ability to serve remotely and bolstered employee morale.
Barbara explains, “As we are faced with planning for a potential second lock down, we realized, we have Teams, so we do not need to worry about our ability to work remotely. We won’t be scrambling like we were in March and April. That peace of mind is wonderful.”
Trina shares about the impact on morale, “We came into counseling because we wanted to work directly with people. Teams will allow us to do that.” Winston adds that the positive impact on employee satisfaction is felt beyond the counseling team. “This project has made a big change in employee morale. The staff is really engaged in this process. They have taken their learning and run with it. We are moving forward quickly and it will help us do great things.”
In closing, members of the project team shared their optimism and appreciation.
Trina – “It was a wonderful experience. I appreciate that we were able to explain what we wanted and our Rodgers Builders volunteers brought back concepts for us to consider. They gave us hands-on support to learn to use the tools, time to practice using them on our own and then, additional support when we reconnected. They did not just demonstrate and leave us on our own to figure things out. Everyone was so helpful, everyone did their part. We look forward to moving off our shared drive and rolling out use of SharePoint and Teams our across our organization.”
Barbara – “This support was a Christmas gift to us. Thank you.”
Markus Hill (Volunteer) – “Charlotte Rescue Mission is very near and dear to my heart and to all of us at Rodgers Builders. What’s so exciting about this engagement is that we pointed the Dove’s Nest team on their way and they took our help and ran with it on their own. We were the helping hand and empowered them to improve the way they work. This is sustainable and morale-boosting impact, which is so important in these difficult times. You all are our Christmas gift.”
One year after this project was completed, we checked in with Trina Fullard to learn about its sustainability and impact. We were excited to hear that not only Dove’s Nest has embraced Teams, but also have many other departments at Charlotte Rescue Mission.
Trina explains the different components that have driven a 25% productivity increase via Teams:
“Our organization is spread across multiple campuses, and in the past, we would lose half an hour of our work day traveling back and forth for meetings. That’s a lot of lost productivity. Now we chat and hold meetings via Teams instead. We’ve also learned that screensharing via Teams is a lot better than everyone in a room together trying to look at monitor. This has been huge for us and it’s spreading the infectiousness of Teams across the organization.
“Teams is especially useful for case managers we have out in the field in our new Recovery Living program. They are out traveling all day and can now take a meeting or chat from wherever they are. That helps them give better service to those in our program, because they have more time to be on in the community rather than in the office.
“We don’t waste time searching for files and we’re better at communicating and sharing information. At Dove’s Nest and the Community Matters Café we use shared calendars in Teams now, too, so we can easily see student and staff work schedules and rotations.
“We’ve gained an additional 25% of productivity as an organization. We have the time we need to serve, to better do the job, now that our efficiencies have increased in this area.”