Peaceful Lake

A Thanksgiving Letter from StaffLink Owner, Gretchen Curry, MSPH

Dear StaffLink Friends,

I attended an annual business retreat in mid-January 2020.  At the conference I shared and fleshed out StaffLink’s 2020 business plan with other successful female entrepreneurs. I, nor any of the attendees had any foreboding of the challenges that would face us as businesses, as a country or world-wide this year.  As I looked out over the peaceful lake scene from the conference room window at our retreat location, I could not imagine the upheaval that lay ahead. To say StaffLink’s business plan (and every other business’ plan in the nation and around the world) missed the mark, is an understatement!

Nevertheless, as we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, I sit in a place of thankfulness.

First, I am saddened that more than 250,000 people have lost their lives to COVID-19, however, I am thankful for what the pandemic wrought in StaffLink.  The pandemic caused StaffLink to rethink how we conducted many aspects of our business.  The pandemic forced us to change how we did several aspects of our business.  I am certain we would not have re-evaluated or even considered changing and shaking things up, had it not been for the pandemic. An example of this, is how we have recruited St. Louis home caregivers.  For years we have allowed caregiver candidates to walk-in to our office to apply, Monday through Friday. With the pandemic, we desired to contribute to “flattening the curve” and reducing unnecessary foot traffic in and out of our office.  Within 48 hours of deciding to stop walk-in applicants we added an on-line application to our website. We had never had an on-line application on our website!  We also started conducting remote interviews with local applicants.  We now bring local applicants in at the end of the process versus the beginning. By the time we meet candidates in person we have completed most of their vetting (comprehensive background checks.) These changes helped us to reduce the exposure to the virus to both job candidates and our office staff. We like the changes to our recruitment protocol and do not intend to reverse them when the pandemic is completely over. I am grateful for this and other forced business “shifts.” The pandemic forced us to be nimble.

Second, I am thankful for the sound and sights of unrest across America in 2020. Unrest makes us uncomfortable.  Unrest pushes us out of a place of complacency. Unrest should motivate us to consider our world as it actually is and as it could be. Unrest should cause us to consider how we individually and collectively can make the world a better place for our children, grandchildren and our neighbor and our brother. The unrest of this year caused more people to vote in this November’s elections than have ever voted in a national election. More than 150,000,000 people exercised their right to vote. That is a positive.  As a business owner, unrest forced me to ask what and how can StaffLink better serve the needs of the individuals and communities that are hurting and struggling.  It made me ask, “Is StaffLink a positive force in our community and in lifting those that need lifting?”

Thirdly, I am thankful for the friends, current clients, past clients and industry professionals that continued to refer new clients to StaffLink throughout this year.  The confidence and trust of those persons, in our ability to deliver reliable, competent and compassionate services is priceless is the midst of this of uncertainty.

Next, I am thankful for our clients themselves. Most of our pre-pandemic home care clients have remained clients as we both traversed into unknown terrain.   Additionally, new families called and became clients, along with new health care facilities calling in need of nursing and medical staffing.  All have trusted StaffLink to provide the required care.

Without hesitation, I am thankful for our team of professional practitioners, which include but is not limited to, home health aides (HHAs), certified nurse aides/assistants (CNAs), certified medicine techs (CMTs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs), that have continued to provide essential care in various capacities and settings throughout this pandemic. Without their dedication and passion to serve others, many clients, requiring our assistances, may have gone without care and staff.

Finally, but not least of all, I am thankful for my administrative team who have been flexible and open to change.  I am indebted to Patrick, Evelyn, Camelle, Sandra, Louise, Pam, Donna, Katie, Ronda and Kathy for their commitment to make sure StaffLink is vital and successful.  Without their commitment, I would be a solo passenger in an oarless canoe.  The pandemic was not a part of our business plan for 2020, nevertheless, it is a part of our business reality for 2020 and beyond.

I am certain that our business, our country and the world will continue deal with the changes spawned by the pandemic over the next several months and year. I am certain StaffLink will continue to succeed and be responsive to the needs of our clients, the community and the business landscape as it is presented to us.  I am also certain that I will meet again with my women’s entrepreneurial collective to discuss our businesses’ futures and to enjoy the peaceful landscape outside our conference room window.

For More Information on StaffLink’s Services please click here.

Gretchen Curry, MSPH