Atria’s Employee Value Proposition serves as a touchstone to clearly guide and strengthen the relationship between employer and employee.

How these company promises are put into practice often reflects the style, experience and personality of the company leaders who implement them.

John Hetzel, Vice President of Culinary, recently shared insights on a key tenet of the Employee Value Proposition – the Atria workplace being a place of belonging.

On the camaraderie found in Atria kitchens…

Anyone who spends time in one of our communities finds out quickly that the kitchen is the heart of the operation. Each meal is an occasion, and a lot of pride is taken in providing nourishment and comfort to a whole community. It forges a close bond, I think.

On workplace culture impacting customer satisfaction…

When the culinary team works together, it extends beyond the kitchen and influences the entire community. Residents can sense the positive energy and teamwork, which enhances their dining experience.

So long as you work hard and with integrity, there's a place for you on the team - John Hetzel

We know that because twice each year our residents are invited to take part in a survey providing detailed feedback on life at Atria. In the last survey, 90% of residents scored the friendliness of our Food & Beverage teams highly and favorably. That says a lot about workplace culture and the closeness of our kitchens.

On diversity, belonging, and team building…

As an industry, kitchens are well known for their diversity. Atria is no exception. We have so many ethnic and cultural backgrounds in our workforce. Age diversity, too. It’s not uncommon for a teenager working a summer job to work shoulder-to-shoulder with a chef with 30 years’ experience who trained in Italy.

But so long as you work hard and with integrity, there’s a place for you on the team. I think that’s true not only in culinary – my area – but throughout the entire company.

On dishwashers, longevity, and employee benefits…

Dishwashers are the most important people in the kitchen! Everyone counts on them for a successful service and for the next successful service. There’s a lot of respect for every role, and that one in particular. Everyone plays a part and should be appreciated for it.

Part of belonging and showing appreciation is supporting employees so they’ll want to be here long term. We want teams to gain experience and continuity, and we want residents to see the faces they rely on day in and day out.

For employees to belong, we must show support; that can be through the benefits we offer, through tuition assistance, or through training and development opportunities. That shows not only does your present self belong here, but your future self, too.

On belonging in his own Atria career…

I’ve been here for three years, and I can honestly say it’s the most inviting and welcoming workplace I’ve been a part of. For me, leading a team that worked together before me, I felt accepted and listened to from the minute I stepped through the door. It’s the culture of the company.