Employee engagement is a popular buzz phrase used in workplaces recently. For Whitney Duncan, human resources coordinator at Skyline Nursing and Rehabilitation in Floyd, Virginia, employee engagement is everything, and she makes it come to life.

So, what is employee engagement? It’s a “workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organization to give of their best each day,” according to the Engage for Success movement. In Whitney’s world at Skyline, this means providing a meal on all three shifts for Valentine’s Day, throwing a big off-site bash to celebrate passing states survey and making sure all employee birthdays are recognized. Whitney told us that the key to getting employees involved is to really figure out what the staff wants and appreciates, and then make it come to life.

Whitney is passionate about people. She uses her passion to make sure that employees across all departments at Skyline are included in employee engagement. Because she started as an activities assistant and also worked as a receptionist at the care center, she has a good understanding of the organization and knows the staff well. She is also passionate about the residents at Skyline. “They are the main priority,” she says. She has a special affinity for the patients on the dementia unit, and has found them to be very loving and forthright.

We asked Whitney if she could give advice to other human resources professionals who are encouraging employees to give their best each day. She said that you need to make sure that everyone feels included. That means looking beyond just one department to include everyone in the organization, even contracted workers. She mentioned that when Skyline has their annual offsite party, they are sure to bring food back for the employees who had to stay at the care center to work. In addition, Skyline invites staff family members to the annual party because family members often make sacrifices to support the employees.

As Whitney and Skyline move forward, they plan to continue generating new ideas to keep employees feeling enthusiastic and appreciated. To do this, they have an employee engagement committee that meets every two weeks. The committee invites all of the department heads and solicits new creative ideas as well as feedback on prior events, so they can come do the best job possible.

Regarding Whitney’s life outside the care center, she is the loving mother of an eight-month old baby girl, a wife, and also the mother of a fur baby. Whitney, we are so thankful that you are part of the Consulate family too. Keep up the great work!