San Jorge Children’s Hospital is a Culture of Collaboration and Care
As a full service hospital in Puerto Rico, San Jorge is as committed to the well-being and care of its employees as it is to its young patients. A 2011 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winner, San Jorge understands that success in their business depends on paying careful attention to the people side of business. Like MITRE and the other companies receiving this award, San Jorge demonstrates both the program excellence and concomitant work benefits of taking care of (people) business.
San Jorge has an open door communications policy to encourage and facilitate staff interaction and involvement. Active communication is sought from employees through email, meetings, and other systems. Once each month the executive director holds Dialogue Day, where any employee can have a private meeting with him on any issue. Committees of staff and managers are created to implement new ideas generated by the open communication system.
Staff is encouraged to take advantage of a wide variety of training, not just in technical areas, but also in customer service and safety. In 2007 San Jorge implemented an employee mentoring program. Mentors are given special training and incentive pay while new employees receive personalized orientation in hospital procedures and practices.
The hospital offers several programs that enable employees to manage both their professional and personal lives. The Ten Month Work Program allows participating employees to take the summer months off to care for their families. The hospital also offers an onsite art summer camp and other family activities during school breaks.
San Jorge makes the extra effort to recognize employees for their contributions to the mission of the hospital. The system celebrates work milestones and an employee of the month. Employee awards include a cruise for two and other monetary rewards. Letters that praise employees for patient care are circulated to other staff.
Employees at San Jorge report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs. They also report a congruence of company values with their own. It makes for healthier, happier, and more productive employees. It is the result of a careful plan for the people side of business.
For more on the Psychologically Healthy Workplace, visit phwa.org.
Tom DeMaio, PhD