How We Work
As you consider employment at Spruce Run, we ask that you read the following description of who we are and how we work as an organization.
How We Work
Spruce Run operates as a collective and has used this model since the early 1980’s. Our structure is driven by and mirrors our mission. We believe everyone holds a piece of the truth, all staff member’s voices and input are heard and valued.
At Spruce Run, staff members learn to lead by leading, and are encouraged to speak, share opinions and ask questions. Staff members are empowered when they actively participate and understand the balance between working in teams and accepting individual responsibility.
Working Well Together
An important and distinctive aspect of our collective is the way in which we supervise and support each other. We have been able to grow and maintain our structure by empowering program-driven teams. The supervisory process includes all team members who share responsibility in the quality of work performance.
We all come to this work with the understanding that people have the right to live free from abuse. Staff members who thrive at Spruce Run are committed to our mission, have a strong sense of accountability and challenge themselves to give and receive feedback. We strive for an honest, friendly, hard working and mutually supportive work environment, based on a sense of good will.
All Spruce Run job descriptions include responsibilities that serve to support our organization and structure. Some examples of organizational work include: various forms of direct service work, providing ongoing support to coworkers, providing supervision and appreciation of our volunteers, representing the organization in the community and attending organizational meetings. We prioritize this work and the degree of involvement fluctuates with weekly demands.
Working in Teams
As our staff has grown, we have maintained our collectivist structure while remaining efficient in providing high quality services. One way we have done this is by empowering small teams of staff that independently make programmatic decisions. Our programs are effective and productive because program coordinators engage in extensive collaboration and consultation with a variety of coworkers.
Making Decisions by Consensus
At Spruce Run decisions are made by consensus. The consensus process is unique as decisions are made based on the good will of the collective rather than a contest between opposing sides. The process is marked by its problem-solving nature. All new staff and steering committee members receive training on how to engage and participate in this decision-making process. Please review the attached document on Consensus Decision- Making for more information on this topic.
Integration and orientation into our organization is essential in the first year of employment. Spruce Run staff members provide a comprehensive and thorough integration plan to ensure your success within the organization. Below are benchmarks new staff can expect to have included in their plan.
- Regular weekly meetings with assigned primary support person.
- Orientation to our employee handbook.
- Development of a cohesive operational workplan.
- Integration meetings with all other staff.
- Participation and successful completion of our crisis-intervention hotline training.
- Training in working in a collective structure, making decisions by consensus, and supervision.
For more information, please view our Mission Statement, Political and Philosophical Statement, Annual Report, and other pages on our website that are of interest to you.