Bruce McLaren kindness award winner Nicky Rijns pictured with the colleagues who nominated her.
From left to right: Shirley Leith, Kulwinder Saroi, Nicky Rijns and Chrissie Baker.
When Nicky Rijns says kindness is part of the fabric of who she is, you can believe it. But, like most kind people, her actions speak louder than words.
The clinical manager at Bruce McLaren Retirement Village says she’s never worked harder in her career. Nor has she ever been in a more rewarding role.
Winning the Kindness Award is the icing on the cake.
“I’d nominated someone else. My reaction was that this is surreal. This isn’t normal, companies don’t do things like this. I felt very blessed.’’
Her Christian faith is Nicky’s bedrock and she says that belief gives her the guidance to do what she does each day. That involves looking after residents in a brand-new care centre and training and developing new staff.
In a nutshell she believes that kindness is all about loving others. “The most important thing is love. If you don’t have love you are just making noise. For me personally that’s my foundation, that’s the fabric of who I am.’’
Nicky won rave reviews from her colleagues and the staff on her team. She was praised for her compassion, her positivity, her willingness to listen, her patience and the way she explained concepts to staff so that they knew clearly what needed to be done.
“Nicky is a fabulous clinical manager,’’ wrote one. “She’s a very calm and understanding person. She always has an open ear to whenever you need her to listen. An excellent role model for anyone thinking about nursing in the future.’’
Nicky thinks having a kind approach makes for good management. “I think you are more productive and you are humane. You get more out of people when you care for them. People aren’t stupid, they can tell whether it is genuine or not.’’