ROWE - Results Only Work Environment

Marcia Dietz is a Local 34 member and long-time volunteer for the Wellness Committee.  Her story and her spirit have inspired many in her area and within HSPHD.  

I met Marcia through the HSPHD Recognition Committee.  Her smile and sincere interest in others drew me to her.  During one of our meetings, Marcia said she wouldn't be attending the next month's meeting due to a medical procedure that had been scheduled.  Eventually, we heard the devastating news that Marcia Dietz had been diagnosed with cancer.  

During our next committee meeting, we discussed how to help Marcia.  The committee arranged for food and entertainment packages to be dropped off at Marcia's home. Supportive cards and calls were sent to Marcia to help her to keep her strength and focus on anything but the help her keep fighting.  Marcia also received generous financial support through HC Employee Donation Program, and cards and donations were sent by her fellow Child Support employees.

At the time of Marcia's diagnosis, one of Marcia’s co-workers was working in a ROWE and was able to arrange her work schedule to offer rides to and from treatment during the day when Marcia was scared to go alone.  

Marcia's unit was migrated to a ROWE in early 2010.  Marcia was then able to work between doctor's appointments, from the Mayo Clinic, at home, and in the office.  She could work when she had the strength to do so, which sometimes was in the evenings or early morning hours.  She contacted the ROWE team via e-mail last year.  The subject line was “Working from the Mayo Clinic:”
“Can you believe it?  I am in between my 9:00 AM Doctor appointment and my 2:00 PM Doctor appointment, and I'm able to work.  Systems are up and running and I'm able to access them.  I had to play around with it a little but it works.  Hurray!.  How awesome is that?  Instead of wasting this time I can actually work in between.  (Feel free to share with anyone you want to tell.)”

Marcia later explained that working from the Mayo Clinic helped her to focus on something other than her medical issues. She felt that she had a purpose during the time she waited for the next appointment, and she felt that she was emotionally stronger because of it.

Even when struggling with complications from the treatment, she was still able to do the work.  She sent this statement to the ROWE team after being congratulated for being one of her team's  "YTD over 90%" collectors:  
"I just wanted to share this with you and say thank you for ROWE.  For me this has worked just as it was supposed to (retaining good talented workers), building computer/tech savvy while working from home, finding efficiencies to keep up with my ever expanding caseload, eliminating unnecessary stress that coming to the office brings including commuting......and if it wasn't for the timing in my case, I might even be a former employee, but I'm not and I thank you for your vision, your dedication, your insight, your commitment...everything that worked together to make this happen.
Did I mention the commendation letter I received from Hennepin Volunteers and the Minnesota Twins for helping them open the ballpark this spring?  So what if toot my own horn a little?! I'm alive, I didn't lose everything or really anything when major illness came into my life and every day I'm stronger, better, healthier and more hopeful.  I live right next to Public Housing and when I walk out my back door I'm reminded and grateful for what I have because it could have turned out different.  Thank you for believing and supporting me personally as well."

Two years after receiving the devastating news, Marcia is now in full recovery.  

Her story reminds us that HSPHD was a great place to work before we became a Results Only Work Environment, but now that we have the opportunity to balance our work and life demands as long as the work gets done, we can go that extra mile to accomplish our goals and help others.

The world of work at Hennepin is changing, impacting our lives in a way that it never has before.  Life is good.  Let’s enjoy it together. ~ Carolyn Johnson, MS, SSW, Front Door Service Planning, ROWE Internal Change Agent (7/2010)