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Returning to a Top Workplace

I dug a penny out of my wallet.

We were scratching… we were scratching… and then it appeared – “You won a PTO day!” My aghast face looked up to meet a colleague’s shining smile. WHAT? Do I get a free day off? I was actually being rewarded explicitly for excellent work with a member?! She was challenging and complex. I worked tirelessly with her, and one day, my Denver Fire Department crisis response team counterpart shouted me out to Colorado Access. Then, someone in leadership took that feedback, called me over, and rewarded me for this hard work. I was thrilled. I felt very proud and seen. I was so happy to be a part of an organization where this mechanism existed.

This experience always stood out to me and endeared me to Colorado Access. My Single-Entry Point contract (SEP) went to Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) in July 2020, and I was sad to leave. RMHS also had great managers, but I was never directly rewarded for my hard work with members. I went into social services because I love helping the most vulnerable in our community. I have always known that I likely wouldn’t make as much money as my friends who went into computer software sales or public relations (PR), but I didn’t care. My husband and I were able to weave my deep desire to work with people into the hopes and dreams we had for our lives. In social services, we sometimes fall into the trap that to be compensated or rewarded for helping people degrades the work. This is not true. We deserve to be compensated and rewarded.

When I felt I needed a change, the first place I looked to return to was Colorado Access. I always had great interactions with the case managers back at Colorado Access while at RMHS, and they always worked so hard for their members. I knew returning would put me back among like-minded, compassionate people who would do what it took to care for their people. Luckily, Colorado Access also had positive memories of me and offered me a job. It has been everything that I remember.

Colorado Access leadership truly values us as workers but more so as team members. We are all working toward the same goal: to provide assistance and guidance to our members. The mechanism for rewarding this hard and challenging work is stronger than ever. As a Colorado Access employee, albeit new again, I have felt very well-compensated and recognized for my efforts here. Whether it’s a LIVEABLE wage, a shout-out at a team meeting, a space to ask questions and propose new ideas, reward points, PTO days, free lunch, or whatever, I know I made the right choice in returning.

I am looking forward to future opportunities to help people AND be recognized for this vital work.