Reliant at Home blends teamwork, caring to build winning workplace

The Reliant at Home Team enjoys Halloween 2021. (Photo courtesy Reliant at Home)

Reliant at Home didn’t need recognition from one of the world’s leading business magazines to know the local caregiver is one of the top aging services workplaces in America.

But affirmation is a good thing, so it was welcome news when Fortune listed Reliant at Home at No. 15 in its 2022 ranking of Best Workplaces in Aging Services – the second time in three years the company was ranked among the nation’s very best.

Which raises the question: What separates the good from the great, as author Jim Collins described in his excellence-defining book, Good to Great? It’s about having a powerful vision and discipline.

One of Collins’ most inspiring quotes helped create the culture of this exceptional company. For no matter what we achieve, if we don’t spend the vast majority of our time with people we love and respect, we cannot possibly have a great life. But if we spend the vast majority of our time with people we love and respect – people we really enjoy being on the bus with and who will never disappoint us – then we will almost certainly have a great life, no matter where the bus goes.

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The great – the exceptional – companies consist of teams that genuinely like one another and want everyone on the team to succeed and thrive.

When Reliant at Home acquired Fort Worth-based Bridgeway Health Services in 2019, the company vision was to be a best-in-class homecare company that would attract the best people who provide the best care.

“Adding Bridgeway Health Services, an already very highly regarded Home Health agency serving Fort Worth and several other Texas communities, was pivotal to our vision roadmap,” said Matt McMurphy, President/CEO of Reliant at Home.

He adds, “Bridgeway had great people, provided exceptional patient care, and had an outstanding reputation in Fort Worth – all key factors important to us. The incredible people, care, and reputation in Fort Worth still exist today, just under a different name.”

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Bridgeway Health Services’ name was changed to Reliant at Home in 2020 to fit into the already existing Reliant at Home brand operating in Texas.

Reliant at Home was founded in 2004 with one Home Health and Hospice office. McMurphy put together a plan with the backing of a private equity firm to acquire Reliant at Home in 2017. McMurphy’s first call after that was to Jana Lightfoot, with whom he had worked as a fellow vice president at one of the top-five largest national homecare companies. Lightfoot joined Reliant at Home in 2017 as executive vice president and now serves as chief operating officer. Reliant at Home has since grown organically and by steady acquisition activity and now has 20 offices in 14 overlapping geographic locations in Texas providing Medicare-certified Home Health, Hospice, Caregivers, and Rehab services.

The name Reliant at Home inherently reflected how seniors and their families could trust and rely on the company to provide outstanding care in the comfort of their homes, but McMurphy and Lightfoot wanted it to mean something more. They wanted to ensure that Reliant at Home team members could trust and rely on one another, as well.

In 2021, Reliant at Home launched a new logo and a commitment to those ideas, called The Bluebird Promise.

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Their shared vision and focus on excellence led Fortune Magazine to recognize Reliant at Home as the only Home Health and Hospice services company in Texas to be among its 15 “Best Workplaces for Aging Services” in America this year.

Companies were eligible for Fortune ranking consideration only if they were a Great Place to Work-Certified organization.

Reliant at Home’s Great Place to Work survey results showed:

  • 94% of employees believed their work has special meaning and was not “just a job.”
  • 93% of employees were made to feel welcome when they joined the company.
  • Frequently mentioned key words to describe Reliant at Home were Team, Love, Care, Amazing, and Prayer.

“We are grateful to all of our team members for achieving this incredible honor and exemplifying The Bluebird Promise,” said McMurphy. “This award recognizes their dedication to excellence in everything we have accomplished in the last year. We truly have an amazing team.”

The Bluebird Promise defines the culture of Reliant at Home and should be an inspiration to other companies no matter what their industry.

“It was also important to Matt and I that we fostered a place to work where employees were happy to be. Providing healthcare to seniors is personally fulfilling to each of us, but it is not always easy to orchestrate all the moving parts,” Lightfoot said. “Coordinating and providing care in thousands of different locations to thousands of different patients every day can be stressful on our office and field teams. We believe including a stated intent to care for each other was essential to creating a culture of joyfulness, grace, laughter, kindness, and fun that would make working at Reliant at Home special.”

In addition to being known as a happy species, bluebirds are familial and protective of their own. Bluebirds were a common reference in songs of the 50s and now a nostalgic sentiment of the aging population Reliant at Home serves today.

Community volunteerism is one of the culture priorities of Reliant at Home. The company volunteers year-round with the North Texas Food Bank, packing thousands of meals for the elderly and school children. Reliant at Home also participates in many other service initiatives every year, coordinated by each of the local offices in Texas, including the Walk to End Alzheimer’s events.