Washingtonian Magazine Names Miriam’s Kitchen One of Washington’s “50 Great Places to Work”
Family-Friendly Polices and Staff Commitment to Ending Chronic Homelessness in D.C. Create an Award-Winning Work Environment
November 25, 2013 – Washington, D.C. – Miriam’s Kitchen today announced that it has been named one of Washington’s 50 Great Places to work by Washingtonian Magazine. The feature appears in the December issue, which hits newsstands today.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Miriam’s Kitchen works to end chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C. The organization advocates for permanent supportive housing, while providing healthy meals and high-quality social services to more than 5,000 homeless individuals each year. Guiding each program is a commitment to honoring three core values: dignity, belonging and change.
According to Executive Director, Catherine Crum, these values guide not only the organization’s approach to its mission, but also the environment in which employees work each day.
“Our guests are at the center of all that we do,” Crum said. “That has a profound impact on our working culture. It encourages us to always honor each other’s dignity as coworkers, and it fosters a sense that each team member belongs at Miriam’s Kitchen, with an important role in our mission. Ultimately, it allows employees to realize that change is possible for our guests – and for ourselves.”
In the face of such an ambitious mission, Miriam’s Kitchen’s leadership has committed to providing unique benefits to ward off the effects of burn-out. Of particular importance to employees are the organization’s flexible, family-friendly schedules – vital perks for an organization in which half of the employees have children.
The approach has resulted in an impressive retention rate for senior staff; 100 percent of Miriam’s Kitchen’s leadership team has been with the organization for more than five years, and 70 percent have been on staff for ten or more years.
Miriam’s Kitchen also provides regular wellness activities, including staff yoga classes and monthly seated massage services provided by a generous volunteer; free, home-cooked, healthy lunches every Friday; and wellness competitions in which teams of employees are motivated to bike to work, use the staircase instead of the elevator, and participate in chef-led healthy cooking and nutrition classes.
Crum added that Miriam’s Kitchen’s culture is informed by a concerted effort to work collaboratively on behalf of its guests.
“We know that we can’t end chronic homelessness by ourselves; we have to work together with our guests, volunteers, policymakers, and especially other direct services organizations,” she said. “When your mission depends on that kind of collaborative mentality, it can’t help but to shape your culture. We take tremendous pride in knowing that the way we work together for our guests improves the way we work together with each other.”
This is the eighth time Washingtonian has published the Great Places to Work issue. Winners were chosen after a panel of editors reviewed more than 200 companies and about 13,000 employee surveys. The final determinations relied heavily on the scores given by a company’s employees.
“It is a true honor to be recognized by Washingtonian for the second time,” Crum said. “As always, we share this award with our guests, who inspire our work each and every day.”
About Miriam’s Kitchen
Celebrating 30 years of service, Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C. Miriam’s Kitchen advocates for permanent supportive housing as a long-term solution, while meeting short-term needs by providing healthy meals and high-quality social services to more than 5,000 homeless individuals each year. www.miriamskitchen.org
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