The annual Governor’s Work-Life Balance awards were recently held at the Peabody in Little Rock. Pictured left to right: Artee Williams, Director of the Department of Workforce Services; Steve Henson, SMH Chief Operating Officer and Governor Mike Beebe.
Winners of the Governor’s Work-Life Balance Awards were recently recognized at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock and Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) was among those honored.
SMH received the Mature Worker Friendly Award. Governor Mike Beebe presented the award.
“Over the past few years, Saline Memorial’s culture has focused on not only the health of our patients, but also the health of our co-workers,” said Randy Fortner, SMH President and CEO. “They are our greatest asset, and we believe it’s our role to encourage a healthy balance of work and life.”
The Mature Worker Award is given to employers who place a special emphasis in retaining mature workers. Currently, SMH employs 250 full and part time co-workers who are over the age of 50.
“Mature co-workers are loyal, dedicated and experienced,” said Carol Matthews, SMH Human Resources Director. “Their knowledge and experience is invaluable and a great benefit when caring for patients and their families.”
SMH was recognized for allowing more training, classes and extended preceptor time for mature applicants that have not worked in their field for an extended period. In 2008, SMH replaced all patient care beds with models that convert from lying to sitting (in one touch) and assist with side to side turning. This helps mature co-workers with patient positioning/turning and minimizes risk of back injury.
SMH recently initiated several programs to encourage co-worker work-life balance that extends beyond a focus on mature workers. For example, the SMH Co-Worker Sharing Fund was designed to assist co-workers with an emergency financial need. Co-workers can payroll deduct money that is used to support other co-workers when emergencies occur. Proceeds from the 2010 Jocks vs. Docs game went to this effort. This committee also organizes internal cereal and school supply drives. Co-workers in need can pick up cereal to help feed their kids while school is out for the summer, and they assist with school supplies in the fall.
“Life can feel like a constant battle between our personal and professional responsibilities,” said Fortner. “We believe in caring for our people and if we can achieve that mission while maintaining quality healthcare- our mission is accomplished.”
Companies that were nominated for the awards were asked to provide information regarding issues such as health benefits, work-time options and childcare assistance. If a company did not have formal work-life policies, informal ways of making the work environment as family-friendly as possible were taken into account.
Partners in the initiative are Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Arkansas Business Publication Group, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, Child Care Resource and Referral Network, and the Society of Human Resource Managers. The following state offices and agencies are also partners in the initiative: the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Department of Education, the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Workforce Education, the Department of Health, the Arkansas Head Start Collaboration, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Arkansas Early Childhood Commission, DHS Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, DHS Division of County Operations, and the Office of the Governor.