For GT Independence, self-determination is everything.
“Think of the choices you make every day,” explains Holly Carmichael, chief operating officer at GT Independence. “You choose when to take a shower, what you want to eat for lunch, and so on. But even those basic things aren’t always afforded to people with disabilities. That’s where we can help.”
GT Independence serves over 17,000 people in Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado who have long-term care needs or disabilities by facilitating their efforts to easily hire and employ caregivers. The company handles all legally-required paperwork, time tracking, payroll, tax filings, and insurance concerns as a fiscal intermediary. Its services enable individuals to live the life they want to live in their own home and on their own schedule.
Not satisfied with just empowering its clients, GT Independence also lives out its founding value—“Your Life. Your Choice.”—in its workplace. The company has created a culture in which its employees have great autonomy. “Anybody who works here knows that the culture is built around this idea that no matter who you are, you’re entitled to make decisions about whom you spend your time with, who walks through your front door, and how you live your life. Everybody. That is the cornerstone of our culture,” says Chief Executive Officer John Carmichael.
Because of this culture of flexibility, team members don’t have to feel guilty taking their child to a dentist appointment or leaving a little early to make it to a tee-ball game. GT Independence also gives many of its employees the option to telecommute, encouraging team members to find their optimal work/life balance. John argues that an open culture is much more effective than trying to monitor and control behavior: “We honor what’s important to you, if you honor what’s important to us. It’s been the best way to operate the business. Giving people the latitude to make that commitment, rather than being paternalistic and trying to monitor their behavior, yields such a collaborative team environment.”