New Lancaster Office Under Construction & Coming Soon!

CSG’s new Lancaster Office is under construction in the Greenfield Corporate Center.  As the lot gets paved and the steel beams are erected to frame the building, we can see the site really coming together and transforming into our new building.  We look forward to seeing you in our new location in 2020.

Building Under Construction in Greenfield Corporate Center

This new office is being designed and constructed to provide an environment where employees and clients can continue to focus on personal growth and holistic wellness.  And it is conveniently located along the Lancaster bus route (Click here to learn more!)

Many of the services provided at the 790 New Holland Avenue location are moving to the Greenfield Corporate  Center.  Tempo Clubhouse and the Concepts Day Program will relocate to their own separate sites, and details on those locations will be coming soon.

Follow csgonthemove.com for updates and information about the move and the new Lancaster Program Office.

Community Services Group Recognized for Exceptional Employee Engagement

LANCASTER, PA (June 5, 2019) — Community Services Group (CSG), a provider of comprehensive mental health and intellectual and developmental disability services throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania, is one of the five DecisionWise Employee Engagement Best Practice award recipients this year based on feedback submitted by the 1,600 CSG employees.

“We recognize that this line of work is notorious for burnout, so we have always put a tremendous emphasis on the care and well-being of our employees. When our staff feels fulfilled in the mission of serving the individuals in our care, they provide better services and find more meaning in their jobs,” said Susan Blue, President and CEO of Community Services Group. “This recognition validates that the steps we are taking to encourage positive morale, consistent communication from leadership, effective training and mentorship are truly paying off.”

The survey asked a series of questions focused on the meaning, autonomy, growth, impact and connection that an employee experiences as a part of their work. CSG’s employee benefits, competitive pay, appreciation from executive leadership, onboarding and mentorship were highlighted as strengths according to the anonymous DecisionWise survey results.

“We’ve been utilizing DecisionWise for three years now, and it’s been really effective in helping us measure our success with employee engagement. It has also helped us recognize key opportunities where we can grow and improve,” said Bruce Cohen, CSG Vice President, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. “Employee engagement is an ongoing initiative for us. The award is exciting because it recognizes both CSG’s efforts to do the right things to engage employees and the fact that so many of our employees choose to be engaged in their work at CSG!”

CSG ranked in the Large Enterprise category along with CHG Healthcare Services (physician staffing company), Crown Castle (shared communications infrastructure), Ewing Irrigation (landscape) and Greystone (finance).

For more on CSG and to learn what career opportunities are available to join the growing team, visit csgonline.org.

ABOUT COMMUNITY SERVICES GROUP

Community Services Group (CSG) provides community-based mental health and intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services that empower individuals to reach their full potential. We use proven and innovative approaches to help other lead healthier, more independent lives. Learn more at csgonline.org.

ABOUT DECISIONWISE

DecisionWise is an employee engagement firm specializing in building engaged employees at the organizational, team, and individual levels using assessments, feedback, coaching and training. DecisionWise was founded in 1996 and is privately held. With offices in the United States and partner locations around the world, the company operates in over 70 countries and conducts surveys in over 30 languages. For more info, visit: www.decisionwise.com.

Attracting, Retaining & Engaging Employees

At CSG, we strive to provide the best services for those in our care and the best work environment for our team. CSG employees experience daily opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life, while gaining skills and experience that will help them develop and grow within our organization. We want every member of the CSG team to share their creativity and compassion with the individuals we serve so they can experience life to the fullest.

We recently partnered with a consultant to better understand, in today’s climate, what attracts people to a job and why they choose to stay with a company. We focused specifically on Direct Support Professional (DSP) and Direct Support Specialist (DSS) roles, positions at CSG with high turnover rates. We wanted to explore what was happening at a national level and at CSG, with the goal of developing solutions and resources to build a more positive, engaging experience. The research included analysis of both external and internal factors, industry trends, competition, and in-depth employee interviews.

We uncovered some industry-wide issues that are currently affecting most DSPs and DSSs. For instance, the number of individuals needing care is growing exponentially and individuals with IDD are living longer.  Given current turnover and increasing demand, there are not always enough caregivers to meet the need.  Because service providers do not have enough direct care workers to meet the need, many employees feel overwhelmed, resources are stretched, and staff are looking to supervisors for a higher level of support because of increased hours and limited staffing.

In addition to being stretched too thin, direct care staff spend their working hours caring for others, increasing the likelihood that they will experience Compassion Fatigue. This is a common experience for the human services profession, and when we fail to recognize or address compassion fatigue, it can result in employee burnout and turnover.

Through our research and conversations with employees, we found opportunities to help people feel more valued and engaged. We’re focusing on the employee experience rooted in the meaning, autonomy, growth, impact, and connection that employees feel (or don’t). We know that effective communication and a meaningful career path can mean different things to different people. Our diverse workforce is multi-generational and each person brings their own experiences, skills, and cultural perspectives, shaping the way they prefer to receive information and provide feedback. Varied backgrounds also mean varied professional development goals, requiring different training, supports, and tools. Meeting such a broad spectrum of needs is a challenge, but it is also a primary focus for CSG.

Based on what we have learned, we are continuing to focus on new and creative approaches to employee engagement, both with our current workforce and those new to CSG. We want to create an environment where employees choose to be engaged in their work.  We were recently recognized by DecisionWise as a recipient of their 2019 Engagement Best Practices award.  The recognition demonstrates that we are doing many of the right things, and that our employees are overwhelmingly choosing to engage in their work at CSG.

One of our top priorities is developing more effective channels of communication as well as ensuring that employees feel they can provide feedback on what’s important or concerning to them.  In addition, we are exploring how we can provide continued training and development opportunities for all interested employees. For our new employees, we are improving our onboarding process to immerse them into our culture and the meaningful work we do.  Above all, we remain committed to providing an exceptional benefits package, including flexible schedules, generous PTO, top-tier health benefits and opportunities for professional growth, and we strive to be the best in the industry.

At CSG, we are dedicated to being a healthy company where employees feel valued and engaged. We know that the role of a caregiver is both uniquely challenging and incredibly impactful. At CSG, we work every day to ensure that our DSPs, DSSs and all other employees know they are valued and are the heart of our organization. We want our employees to feel seen, heard and appreciated. When our workforce gets to experience meaning and joy in their jobs, the individuals we serve receive the excellent and extraordinary care that they deserve.

Mike Brinkos, LSW

Mike Brinkos, LSW, obtained his master’s degree in social work from Millersville University. Joining the outpatient team at Community Services Group (CSG) in 2019, Mike is an outpatient therapist on our dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) team and works with both adolescents and adults. Mike’s previous experience in mental health includes services provided to dually diagnosed individuals (MH and IDD) in both inpatient and community settings. He also has experience as an adjunct faculty member at Millersville University. In addition to providing DBT at CSG, Mike has interests in working with individuals who are considering weight loss surgery or who are struggling with eating disorders, and with the LGBT population.

John Perez, MA, LMFT

John Perez, MA, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist who received his MA from the Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has had training in EMDR and trauma, and has provided therapy in the outpatient and school settings since 2011. Joining CSG in 2019, John provides outpatient therapy in the school and office settings. He is bilingual in Spanish and English, and works with individuals ages 7 and older.

CSG Breaks Ground at New Greenfield Corporate Center

CSG and High Real Estate Group break ground at new Lancaster office location

On Friday, March 22, Community Services Group and High Companies Real Estate Group broke ground in the Greenfield Corporate Center on a new location for the CSG Lancaster Program Office.

Once construction is completed at the end of 2019, the building will become the new home to most of the programs and offices that currently reside at the New Holland Avenue program office, including the Outpatient Program, Case Management Services, and Partial Hospitalization. The Tempo Clubhouse and Concepts Day Program will also be moving, and more details will follow about their future locations. CSG has a long history and partnership with the High Real Estate Group.

Susan Speaking
CSG Executive Director, Susan Blue

“Seventeen years ago, our programs that were operated out of the Greenfield corporate center […] It feels like a homecoming,” said Susan Blue, CSG Executive Director, of the move. “We are very excited.”

Please stay tuned to csgonthemove.com for updates and information about the move and the new Lancaster Program Office.

Compassion Fatigue: How Much Do You Know?

Here, at Community Services Group (CSG), we believe in empowering individuals to reach their fullest potential. This is why we ensure that all of our employees have all the training and tools necessary to foster every beautiful mind we encounter. One of the most frequently discussed topics in regards to training is compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is a challenge that is often experienced at the caregiver level but is something that, with the right resources, can be dealt with accordingly. In this article, we will look at what compassion fatigue is, who it can affect and how proper training and resources can help in taking protective measures to assist in dealing with compassion fatigue.

First and foremost, let us define what compassion fatigue is exactly. According to the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, compassion fatigue is defined as  “a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress; it is an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create secondary traumatic stress for the helper.” However, it should be noted that compassion fatigue is very different from burnout. Burnout occurs when the person feels overwhelmed and emotionally worn out. It is the cumulative result of stress. On the other hand, compassion fatigue results in chronic stress with vicarious/secondary trauma.

Studies have shown that more and more caregivers are prone to experiencing compassion fatigue as a result of their environments. They are constantly surrounded by situations that present emotional challenges day in and day out. Compassion fatigue is something that develops over time and can move through four different phases. The first phase is known as the zealot phase, where the caregiver is fully involved and always willing to go the extra mile to assist those in their care and otherwise. Soon they move into the irritability phase where they may begin to cut corners, make oversights and mistakes, and distance themselves from their co-workers. Following irritability comes the withdrawal phase. In this phase, the employee’s enthusiasm turns sour, they complain about both work and personal life, and they become chronically tired. The final phase of compassion fatigue is called the zombie phase. In this phase hopelessness turns into rage, others appear incompetent or ignorant, and they begin to develop a real disdain for their clients. Compassion fatigue is a problem not just for those directly affected by it, but those they interact with on a daily basis. Many of these symptoms can become “contagious” and be a real detriment to the morale and engagement of your team. This is why it’s so important to be aware of this debilitating issue in your workplace. Once you begin to recognize the signs of compassion fatigue, you can begin to take the steps to work through the emotions associated with compassion fatigue. It will become extremely important to ensure you and your team remain self-aware and begin to factor in self-care practices into your daily lives. Asking for help and support during this period of time is also vital to the path of recovery as there may be individuals or resources out there that can help in recognizing and working through these feelings. Also, know that your place of employment is ready and available to assist in ensuring individuals are taking the proper precautions to avoid compassion fatigue. They can to lighten caseloads and provide other resources outside of home life to help.

At CSG we are committed to ensuring that our caregivers are well equipped with the resources and knowledge to help them identify compassion fatigue and the best ways to cope. We feel it is extremely important to ensure that our employees enjoy a work-life balance that allows them to disconnect and practice moments of self-care. To learn more about compassion fatigue and other services we offer, please visit our website at csgonline.org.