Wendy Nelson’s journey at Classic LifeCare has been a remarkable journey of transition, development, and profound growth. She joined Classic LifeCare in spring 2019 as the Clinical/Operations Manager for the Calgary branch. Since then, Wendy has moved on to overlooking all four Classic LifeCare branches. She was appointed Operations Lead in 2022 and Quality Assurance Lead in 2023. Currently, Wendy’s focus is ensuring that our clients are getting the best quality service. She is constantly seeking client and employee feedback and reviewing metrics to make necessary changes that can help improve our service.
Embracing Change and Learning
Transitioning from hands-on nursing duties to an office-based leadership role was a significant change for Wendy. She reminisces about how Britney played a pivotal role in introducing her to the Classic culture. “When I first joined Classic, I shared an office with Britney who is Classic’s Business Growth Leader. Britney had worked at Classic for 20 years and she told me what Classic was all about. She helped me to understand the ways the company works, what they value, and past experiences. I quickly learned that relationships are at the heart of Classic. A strong importance was placed on building relationships with our clients, community partners, employees, and coworkers.”
Wendy’s learning journey continued beyond her initial expectations. She thought by going to nursing school that she would never have to deal with numbers or math again, her least favourite subject in school. However, in the past two years, Wendy has been working closely with metrics and analysis. A large proportion of her role involves working with numerical data and Wendy has grown to appreciate statistics. Her professional growth over the past two years has been astounding as she has become an Excel and Power BI guru. “My career has taken a turn into a position that I never imagined that I would be working in. I still can’t believe I am working with numbers after years of hating and dreading them.”
Finding Appreciation in New Projects
One of Wendy’s favourite things about Classic is the development journey each employee travels. She appreciates all the opportunities she has been granted and the new skills she has learned.
“The leadership team noticed a gap in our work where we could not confidently answer what areas were working well and not working so well. We were guessing what we thought the influencing factors were but we had no solid evidence. This gap was affecting our decision making and we felt like we had access to good information, but no one was managing it or reviewing it regularly. I took responsibility for this data and it has had a huge impact on our business and the way we work. Although it was daunting and frustrating initially, I have really enjoyed analyzing the metrics for Classic and looking at trends. I present the data we gather to the teams regularly, so we are all on the same page and know what we need to address.”
Overcoming Challenges and Imposter Syndrome
Acknowledging the challenges she faced, Wendy candidly confesses struggling with imposter syndrome as she navigated her evolving roles. “Each new responsibility brought different learnings and challenges. While I doubted my skills and ability to meet both my own and the business’s expectations, my colleagues at Classic believed that I could do it. They supported me through the learning process without judgment and saw potential when sometimes I couldn’t see it. Metrics was a mountain that I wanted to conquer, and I am proud of my accomplishments.”
A Supportive and Empowering Work Culture
Wendy expresses profound admiration for Classic LifeCare, describing it as a workplace for “growth, belonging, and nurturing relationships”. She especially values the company’s recognition of individual contributions and its commitment to empowering employees to excel.
She also praises her colleague’s growth and how they have become a team who supports each other. “When I joined Classic, the leadership team was somewhat disjointed. There was a common interest that we wanted to strengthen our teams. However, we recognized that we had to work on ourselves first to become better leaders before we could make a difference within our teams. We have all become more self-aware and learned how to work towards our strengths. There has been a significant improvement.”
Cherished Moments and Aspirations:
Reflecting on cherished memories, Wendy fondly recalls visiting the Prince George branch and returning to a town where she had spent many years visiting her mother when she was alive. In the past “I dreaded the drive from Calgary (especially with 4 car sick children in the back) to Prince George. The trip was arduous and often involved someone getting car sick. However, when I was able to return many years later to support the Prince Goerge team, I was grateful for the long, beautiful drives and the time in Northern BC. I saw Prince George in a new light, and I started looking forward to the visits.”
Looking to the future, Wendy envisions substantial growth for Classic LifeCare in the next three years. She would also like to see people in the community recognize Classic LifeCare as a great place to work because we care about our employees and their progress. “I am excited for the future. During COVID, we lost our path a bit but we have re-gained our vision and are all determined to get to a place where we want to be.”
Wendy’s journey at Classic LifeCare is a testament to resilience and the power of embracing new challenges.