by Jen Karolski
“….generating survey results that are unprecedented in the history of the Best Place to Work survey, the #1 Best Place to Work in Omaha, for the fourth time, is awarded to Quality Living, Inc.” Thunderous applause rings wall to wall in the QwestCenter from all 800 luncheon attendees. As our CEO takes the stage to accept the award, all 175 of the QLI staff in attendance rise to their feet. I look around at the faces of our staff that tirelessly place their entire hearts, minds, souls, not to mention countless hours, into their company as they beam with pride. The feeling is palpable and moistens many eyes.
Dr. Kim Hoogeveen, our CEO, was asked to be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. As he describes a few basic tenets of his MindSet leadership philosophy, which plays a huge role in creating QLI’s amazing culture, I grin as I recall the thousands of times I have heard our staff say “It’s the culture, stupid!” Unfortunately outside of QLI, most of my friends stare at me blankly when I mention ‘work culture.’ They assume I am referring to some new motivational book or passing HR fad. To us, culture is as important to our success as the air we breathe is to life. We pride ourselves on creating a work environment, or culture, that attracts, builds, and retains THE BEST employees – an environment that encourages our staff to love their work. As Dr. Hoogeveen says, “We create exceptional people, and exceptional people provide exceptional services.”
The next day QLI enjoys Best Fest – a company-wide celebration of our award. As Mike Hon, Vice President of Residential Services and Dr. Kim Hoogeveen address our staff, they recall 20 years ago when QLI first opened its doors, “As we looked at the one small brick building we had back then, we said to ourselves, ‘one day QLI is going to be a big deal… one day QLI is going to lead this industry… one day QLI will be bigger and better than any other provider of our kind in the nation.’ That day has come – because of you (our amazing staff)!” Indeed, that day has come. In fact, we’ve been there for years.