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Bluewater Health has embedded its Core Values (Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence – CARE) into all aspects of its organization, from recruitment to employee development.
“According to the Canada Human Resource Centre, remaining competitive requires hiring truly talented people and then keeping them,” says Mike Lapaine, President and CEO. “Turnover is not only costly in terms of replacement expense; it’s not productive, and it’s distressing to other team members when they see good people leaving the organization.” The Conference Board of Canada cites best practices for improving employee engagement such as leadership training, decentralized accountability, interesting and challenging work and empowerment.
The hospital recently produced a video featuring Lapaine to support its recruitment efforts and ensure new hires can determine their fit with the organization’s culture prior to applying for a position. Viewing the video will precede all application submissions through the hospital’s Employment Opportunities site. New hires attend a comprehensive corporate orientation program and specific orientation for their work area to support their integration into their team and the organization.
“As an organization that provides care for people at often their most vulnerable times, it’s crucial for our staff to share our Core Values,” adds Lapaine. “With more than 16,000 applications submitted each year, this is an excellent opportunity to ensure we continue to attract employees who are really committed to working here.”
Just as important is support for employees once they join the organization. Bluewater Health’s approach to employee well-being includes a focus on a culture of kindness, for staff-to-staff and staff-to-patient interactions, and listening to and acting on the voices of staff and Professional Staff members and volunteers. Every two years, the hospital conducts an anonymous, third-party survey to measure the health of the workforce and organization. “This allows us to hear from individuals across the two hospitals, review the results, compare them to previous surveys and our hospital peers, and establish actions to build on our strengths and address areas for improvement,” says Shannon Landry, Chief Nursing Executive. A staff-driven Healthy Living Team supports employee well-being through a focus on recognition (through events throughout the year), and physical, mental, spiritual and nutritional health.
Other supports for staff include leadership development, in-house training and e-learning courses and a robust employee development process. Tuition for certification and advanced learning is supported through the Staff Education Assistance Program (SEAP). “Staff can explore career paths that may take them from the front line to an educator or subject lead role, or to a management position,” says Colleen Cook, Director, Human Resources. “Others may choose a change from one support role to another, such as from Food Services or Environmental Services to a clerical position, or vice versa. Everyone has the opportunity to complete a personal development plan to suit their career needs and aspirations.” “It’s important to us to be an employer of choice in which to work, practice, volunteer and learn,” adds Lapaine. “Supporting our people as they support our community is our top priority. We’ve made a commitment in our last two annual operating plans to avoid layoffs at all costs and continue to invest in training and development. We continue to enhance strategies to support employee and physician resilience and well-being.”
Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500
staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing
care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare
experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit
www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
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Chief, Communications & Public Affairs