I have seen a lot of changes at Imagine Housing in the thirteen years that I have had the privilege to be on the staff. I have been part of the office moves from Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church, to Issaquah, and to our current offices in Kirkland. Our number of housing units has increased from 185 to 485 and our staff size has increased from five people to our current staff of 22 – it seems like every month brings someone new to the organization! It is so exciting to be a part of this dynamic organization.
Along with rapid growth can come some growing pains. One of the biggest challenges we have faced is how to maintain a strong, cohesive team with many staff members working at our properties rather than in our main office. In order to feel as though we are one team, we dedicate time during our monthly staff meetings for staff recognition.
In October, IH staff members, Kendra and Frederick, led an exercise on gratitude. We watched a short video on the positive impact that expressing gratitude to others can have on our own level of overall happiness. Afterwards they challenged us to write comments of gratitude about each member of the staff and put them in each person’s own gratitude bag. It was fun to think about things that I admire about each member of our incredible team and it challenged me to get to know some of the newest members of the staff better.
Our bags were redistributed at the November staff meeting where we each silently read the comments that were written to us. Now we can reach into our gratitude bags whenever we may need a pick-me-up and instantly feel our spirits lifted.
In this season of thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to not only think about the people that we are thankful for but to also express that gratitude. Trust me, it will make you happier.
~Sue Bliven, Director of Finance