As the chief executive officer of both Samaritan hospitals in Lincoln County, I am acutely aware of the importance of retaining a strong workforce in a tight labor market. The medical care environment can be difficult and unpleasant at times, yet our employees consistently do their work with a smile, with tender care, and with pride. I certainly do agree that our employees are superheroes, as stated in a recent letter to the editor. Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital wouldn’t exist without these devoted Wonder Women and Supermen working around the clock, every day of the week.
In the same letter, comments were made about wages and health insurance coverage for our employees. I agree that we must continue to offer competitive wages and benefits so we can retain excellent employees. That is why hospital management and union representatives worked together to create a labor contract that included significant wage increases and lowered the cost of some aspects of health insurance coverage. Even though we and the healthcare industry as a whole are facing tough financial pressures, we felt it was important to do so.
An equally important factor in retaining employees is the work environment. Do employees feel valued? Do they enjoy coming to work? Samaritan Health Services is actively focused on systemwide employee engagement strategies, with each hospital developing its own specific goals toward engaging, rewarding and retaining employees. After all, the work they do is so very important!