Our Workplace Culture Agreement

For all LCHS Staff, Volunteers, Board Members and Advisory Council Members.

We are drawn to volunteer at the Leon County Humane Society (LCHS) because of its mission dedicated to making the lives of animals better and free from suffering and cruelty. While we spend our lives together doing this work, we can choose to create a humane and healthy workplace for ourselves.

This cultural agreement exists between all of the staff, animals and volunteers of LCHS. We agree to support through action, thought and intent to:

Support a united LCHS

  • Practice “we” thinking and speech
  • Seek to understand the different needs of all we work with
  • Practice responsibility for needs beyond our immediate job requirement
  • Participate in animal socialization

Practice collaboration, cooperation and coordination

  • Encourage inter- and intra-departmental collaboration
  • Give an individual about to be interrupted a chance to say if it’s a good time or not and schedule a later time if need be. Be respectful and don’t assume your crisis is their crisis
  • Present no problems, only solutions. All concerns communicated will be supplied with positives you see as well, and suggestions for solutions. Be aware we have no complaint department.

Embrace diversity and practice open-mindedness

  • Expect differences
  • Different is not wrong
  • Look for the contribution that each person is trying to make to help the animals
  • Seek commonalities within our differences
  • Disagreements, as long as they are respectful, are not necessarily negative. “Fierce conversations” keep us dynamic and evolving

Practice open, direct, prompt communications

  • Take a stand to stop gossip and complaining where it arises
  • Practice proactive listening and seek to understand
  • Deliver and receive concerns, suggestions, and other communications responsibly
  • Hear someone out before responding or jumping to conclusions, check your facts
  • Take time to check for understanding before proceeding
  • Use phone or face-to-face meetings when topics merit such communications; emails and texts can be misinterpreted or impersonal
  • Use the organization structure, keeping supervisors informed while respecting their resources

Deal with conflict responsibly

  • Agree to resolve outstanding conflict NOW
  • Recognize there is such a thing as POSITIVE conflict and it is actually valuable in the work place
  • Be active in resolving conflict, not taking sides
  • Deal with conflict directly – with the persons involved
  • Do not escalate conflict by involving others not directly involved
  • Show respect – keep your voice calm and your language clean and professional
  • Opinions are subjective – respect other people’s right to their own perspectives
  • Conflict resolution will take place in a private area

Promote Trust

  • Everyone must take responsibility in building trust, lend support to others in building trust, and be accountable for their own actions or inaction
  • Trust that everyone at LCHS is making decisions for the animals in good faith. If you have questions, you must check into it before making accusations or assumptions

Address Problems proactively and constructively

  • Treat complaints, suggestions and ideas with respect
  • Take responsibility to bring issues needing attention to someone who can take action on it. Complaining to complain-without seeking real solutions is counterproductive and takes valuable time away from the animals that need us most
  • Think constructively, look for solutions
  • Encourage people to work things out between themselves
  • Give up the grudges or let grudges be a signal to you that you need to go talk with the person in question

Demonstrate respect

  • Respect decisions made
  • Respect the right to disagree and different opinions
  • If you disagree, continue to communicate and present the organization or team opinion to despite your personal views
  • Extend compassion to your fellow volunteers (and yourself!)
  • Value each other regardless of job title, seniority, position or opinion

Acknowledge the emotional aspects of our work

  • Recognize the importance of having a sense of humor –lighten up
  • Identify healthy ways to reduce or release stress –ask for help if you need it
  • Commit to a healthy lifestyle
  • Find appropriate ways to express sadness, grief and anger
  • Respect others’ response to emotions –help them find creative and appropriate outlets to express their feelings
  • Keep things in perspective – help yourself and others maintain a positive outlook
  • Have fun!!

Create and maintain a safe workplace

  • Commit to following safety procedures even when you’re in a hurry
  • Know your limitations and seek out others to help when needed
  • Bring safety concerns to the attention of your supervisor

Show Appreciation

  • Take time to remember why we have chosen to volunteer here
  • Practice appreciation at all levels of the organization
  • Acknowledge people across the organization when they are doing great work!

Share the customer service vision

  • Safety, Education, Courtesy, Compassion, Acknowledgment, Timeliness, Solutions not Obstacles and Efficiency
  • Customer Service Vision: We define quality service as exceeding expectations of human and animal clients, paying close attention to detail, and creating an animal welfare experience which transforms and educate all those we meet