A bit of a giggle sneaks out of the office around the corner. Then . . . a collection of chuckles erupts, and finally a whole bunch of full-blown laughs echoes through the hallways. It’s a typical day in the Phoenix Home Care office of Branson, Missouri. It is a team of fun, others’-centered, positive, energetic, authentic people who love what they do and who find joy and moments to smile (and laugh) in many of the toughest points of the day. Leading this pack are two ladies who make life interesting and worthwhile . . . Ashley Robinson, Senior In-Home Care Coordinator, and Sherry Smith, In-Home Care Coordinator. This hometown duo has been breaking records and building relationships in their community.
Ashley Robinson and Sherry Smith
The Hometown Duo Breaking Records and Building Relationships
Both Ashley and Sherry started in the field as caregivers. Maybe that is what makes them so successful – that empathy and compassion. They know what it is like to be “out there.” Ashley started in March of 2015 in IH in Springfield. Sherry started in July of 2016 in Private Pay in Branson.
It is obvious why these two are selected for the Spotlight this month if you just look at their numbers. When Ashley came to the Branson office in February of 2017, 55 clients used the services and there were 370 authorized hours. In November of this year, there are 201 clients and just under 1,400 authorized hours. The office did average 21% telephony usage and now they are at 88%. The first goal they set was to reach 100 clients by August of 2017 and they hit that goal in June of that year. For their second goal, they aimed to reach 200 clients by the end of 2018 . . . well they hit that mark already. New records have been set: 1,193 hours with a revenue record of $22,464!
But the numbers are not the most amazing thing about this dynamic duo; it is HOW they get these numbers. There is not a client among the 201 that has not met either Sherry or Ashley personally. They are regularly caught playing BINGO at one of the local senior apartment complexes. The first Wednesday of each month, Sherry is at the local food pantry picking up food for all the Stone County clients and delivering it to them. They are true advocates.
For instance, there was a client who did not have a front door. She honestly had blankets covering the entrance to her home. Our team set up an appointment with Senior Age in Stone County and was able to get a door and have it installed. Another client could not heat her home because of lack of propane. Ashley called OACAC and, with the help of two more agencies, they were able to fill the client’s tank with no cost to her.
So we know this duo loves their clients, but the real magic is found in how they take care of their own. Currently there are 54 caregivers on the team, and 19 of them have been with Ashley and Sherry for over a year. Why are they so good at getting and keeping caregivers?
They cite three big reasons for their success:
- They have an open-door policy. And this doesn’t mean the door is always open for one to come in and vent. Oh, there is venting! But there is also storytelling, sharing, learning, and, of course, laughing. Many times, these get-togethers involve food!
- They will not send a caregiver into a home they would not go into themselves. And if there is fear or anxiety, one of the two will jump in the car and go do the first visit with the caregiver. One time they signed a client on services who was a compulsive hoarder. The caregiver could not do her job because of all the clutter. Ashley and Sherry went to the home, deep cleaned, and organized so the caregiver could be effective.
- The last secret to their success as leaders of caregivers is their honest appreciation, true respect, and lack of judgement for their team and the quality of their work.
“Ashley and Sherry have set the bar high as to the power of teamwork by accomplishing what has never been accomplished in Branson in my 25 years of providing home care in this area. They have managed to grow their operations beyond any numbers that have been achieved before now. They have achieved this by attracting and retaining the best caregivers in their community, which has consequently created a quality product that recipients of care are eager to have serve them. Both women epitomize the Phoenix Phanatic culture, which is proving infectious in their community.”
Branson is a small town. It is a relationship-centered town. Residents trust their neighbors’ recommendations and reputation matters. Ashley and Sherry have found their way into the Branson community and have made their mark. This hometown duo is trustworthy, kind, authentic, skilled, and compassionate.
We know they have the Phoenix “X-Factor,” but the town of Branson has stamped them with the ever-important “Hometown Factor.”