The Village Business Institue Can Help Your Business

Written by: Brady Drake

Photo by Kayleigh Omang

(Left) Denise Hellekson, Village Business Institute Program Supervison, and (Right) Sherri Hashbarger, Director of Marketing and Communication for The Village Family Service Center

One of the biggest investments employers can make for organizational success is to create a culture that encourages and supports employee health and well-being. The Village Business Institute (VBI) provides a variety of consulting, training and counseling services to assist organizations in this endeavor, including:

  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Executive/Leadership Coaching
  • Organization Development and Strategic Planning
  • Workplace Mediation
  • Human Resource Consultation
  • Crisis Management Services
  • Leadership and Employee Training
  • Career Transition and Outplacement Services
  • Financial Counseling

Denise Hellekson, Program Supervisor for The Village Business Institute, has been with the program since 2003. “The trend that I have been seeing in recent years is that companies are beginning to see more clearly the importance of health and well-being services for their employees,” she said. “We’re getting more and more requests for services to address issues such as compassion fatigue, leadership development, employee engagement and morale, signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and how to break down the barriers to getting help.

“Now more than ever, employers are recognizing that creating a healthy work environment and supporting employees’ emotional health is just good business,” she added.

While VBI’s consulting and training services are available to all organizations, many companies access these services at a reduced rate as part of their Employee Assistance Program (EAP) contract. The Village EAP provides organizations with training, crisis management services and a Supervisor Helpline to help them meet their organizational needs. The Village EAP also provides confidential counseling services to employees and their household members to address a variety of concerns including emotional health and well-being, grief and loss, relationship issues, personal adjustment issues, financial counseling and concerns related to alcohol or drug use.

“People are looking for employers that see and value them as people and not just for their skill set or knowledge,” Hellekson said. “In a competitive market, employees are going to choose – and stay with – the employers that provide a healthy work culture that fosters employee health and well-being.”

Hellekson said investing in services such as those provided by VBI not only helps organizations improve productivity, it also assists them in recruiting good workers and reducing turnover.

Director of Marketing and Communications for The Village Family Service Center, Sherri Hashbarger, has seen VBI’s services be utilized effectively during times of crisis.

“I hear from our staff after they respond to a workplace that has experienced a crisis, such as an employee death,” said Hashbarger. “They go in and help these groups process and deal with something that’s often unthinkable. The long-lasting effects of that early intervention cannot be overstated.”

Companies can also benefit greatly from using VBI services in less drastic circumstances, such as by hosting a training on-site or encouraging employees to access their counseling benefit.

“Employees often comment on our satisfaction surveys how beneficial it was for them to be able to see a counselor at no cost,” said Hashbarger. “I remember one quote that stood out to me: ‘I needed someone to listen to my concerns, give me guidance, and that happened.’”

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.