Your Goals
Our Mission

Talking With Kate McClain, Special Tree's Director of Workforce Engagement

 HR is more than just policies and procedures, it's also at the core of developing a successful organization because a company develops through its people.  That's why I like to call HR the "People Department."

I like that staff members are on a first-name basis with the CEO.  The family-nature of Special Tree makes it feel personable and warm and that’s the kind of company where I want to practice HR.

For HR month, our goal is to help staff members get better acquainted with our department.  We hope staff will come to our open houses in January to have some light refreshments and to meet the team face-to-face.  We’re also producing an HR directory so staff members can quickly find the right HR person for help.

Invite, invest, and inspire.  That’s our team’s philosophy to developing a great workplace.  It’s a system that continually refuels itself.  When you recruit the best people and make them feel welcomed; provide opportunities for their ongoing training and job development; and inspire them to be the best they can be, the reinvestment continues. 

We’re enhancing our online screening process with new assessment technology that helps place people in the right jobs.

Being a Detroit Free Press Top Workplace is part of our inspiration to attract and keep the best staff.  Top talent is what makes Special Tree a Top Workplace.

I have a very good team and we’re all in the process of adjusting to new roles and responsibilities.  Mary Jo Hall is now leading Learning Systems.  Lisa Bray is handling all of HR’s day-to-day operations, and Lashawn Slay is championing our recruitment efforts.

Staff is going to see a more fluid HR that’s more visible at all of our facilities.

Our team views staff members, management, and applicants as valued customers.  We want to the HR process to be as easy as possible and provide the right support and resources to meet their HR needs.

As Special Tree continues to grow, the HR team is being more proactive in anticipating future workforce needs.  In order to have enough staff who are ready, willing, and able to do all the jobs needed, we have to invite the right number of people to join our company, make sure they are well-trained and well-prepared, and give them the right tools and resources to do their job.