For nearly two decades, Sheila Riedl has been handling the community’s bookkeeping as accounting assistant. While at most organizations that’s a tenure that would grant her a certain level of seniority, at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor, it means she’s just getting started.
“Nineteen years sounds like a lot, but when you look at employees who have been here 30 years, that’s longevity,” said Sheila.
Despite her status as a relative “newcomer” to the community’s staff, that doesn’t mean Sheila hasn’t seen her share of change.
“We continue to improve the appearance of the building and grounds to be attractive, inviting and homelike. Our residents, their family and friends, and our staff deserve a comfortable place to live, visit and work,” said Sheila.
Even though she has spent her entire career in the accounting department, her job itself bears little resemblance to the one she started in 1999.
“As far as work processes, there’s hardly anything that I do now that is exactly the same as when I started,” said Sheila. “Computer systems are different, Medicare and Medicaid is different—I like the saying ‘the only thing constant is change.’”
Maybe the biggest change Sheila has seen in the past 19 years has taken place in the community’s culture. What was once very scheduled and regimented has become much more free-flowing and individualized to meet the needs of the residents.
“We’ve evolved not only to provide a better service but because the next generation requires it,” said Sheila. “They want to do what they want, when they want.”
It’s that focus on—and interaction with—the community’s residents that motivates Sheila to get up and come into work each and every day.
“The parts I enjoy the most about my job are not any of my job duties, it’s the parties, the recognitions for people, visiting with residents, helping them find a website on the computer and knowing they’re comfortable to come to my office and ask me questions,” said Sheila.
When asked for her opinion as to why the community enjoys such longevity among its staff, Sheila had a simple answer.
“I think it’s because we choose the right people—people who want to be here to take care of the residents,” said Sheila. “It’s not about the money. We’re here because we want to take care of our residents.”