Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2015)
Here are some of the reasons why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) :
Here are some of the reasons why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016):
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences supports employees who are new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments and a generous subsidy for in vitro fertilization when needed (to $15,000) -- also offers parental top-up for new fathers or adoptive parents and also operates a convenient onsite daycare facility
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences maintains a strong focus on employee wellness, which includes providing employees with a variety of flexible work options (when possible), free membership to an onsite fitness facility, a unique "Life Stages Program" that offers support to employees through all stages of life, an annual Wellness and Safety Fair, a variety of nutrition programs, and even encourages employees to leave the car at home with the installation of large secure bike cages at four separate locations on the campus
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences offers a unique healthcare workplace experience, situated on nearly 100 acres of ravine parkland in midtown Toronto with plenty of green space for employees to walk, ride a bike or take a break during the day
At Sunnybrook, care doesn't end with the patients
For those dedicated to the care of others, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre provides ample opportunity to engage in work that is inherently meaningful. Even so, a career in healthcare can be very demanding and stressful. No wonder, then, that the groundbreaking hospital believes that tending to the wellbeing of its employees goes hand in hand with caring for its patients.
"Our goal is to attract and keep the best people and help them develop to their full potential," says Dr. Barry McLellan, President and CEO of Sunnybrook. "Literally hundreds of details go into creating a supportive workplace environment where people can feel they are truly making a difference."
Situated in a parkland setting in midtown Toronto, Sunnybrook officially opened in June 1948 as a veterans' care hospital. It has grown and evolved into one of Canada's largest health sciences centres, where a team of 10,000 staff, physicians and volunteers serves some 1.2 million patients a year. Widely recognized for its specialty programs in trauma and emergency services, cancer treatment, and high-risk maternal and newborn care, it is also a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.
Among the benefits Sunnybrook offers are ones aimed at making employees' daily lives a little smoother. This includes a variety of flexible work options (when possible), an onsite daycare facility and free membership to two onsite fitness facilities. An award-winning Quality of Work & Life program features an array of health, safety and wellness initiatives, ranging from nutrition education sessions to injury prevention programs.
In its broadest sense, employee wellbeing includes career advancement and development, and here, too, Sunnybrook excels. It supports continuous learning, for instance, via in-house workshops and financial assistance for career-related continuing education. The Sunnybrook Leadership Institute invests in and helps build the organization's future leaders.
Marilyn Reddick, Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development, notes that Sunnybrook also has an excellent record of promoting from within. "All jobs are posted internally before they are advertised," she says, adding that not all career-enhancing moves are necessarily upward. There were 978 lateral moves last year, affording staff the opportunity to learn a new job, obtain new skills and tackle new challenges.
Registered Nurse Sue Thorne has taken full advantage of the career opportunities that Sunnybrook provides. After starting work with only a diploma, she earned her nursing degree while working full-time. "Sunnybrook really encourages people to stay and grow here," she says. "They even provided some of the courses on site."
While Thorne has spent most of her 17 years at the hospital as a trauma nurse in the Emergency Department - which cares for the highest volume in Canada of the most severely injured patients - she knows firsthand the value of a lateral move. After spending a year in the Office of the Patient Experience, advocating on behalf of patients and their families, she returned to the E.D. with a fresh perspective, she says.
More recently, Thorne transferred to Sunnybrook's Infection Prevention and Control Program. With Canadian hospitals increasingly concerned about rising rates of antibiotic resistant organisms, or superbugs, it is challenging work on the front lines.
But when asked what she likes most about working at Sunnybrook, Thorne doesn't hesitate to reply: it's the team atmosphere. She attributes that, in part, to an infrastructure that facilitates collaboration among the various professionals who may care for any one patient.
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top 100 Employers winners, published November 9, 2015 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.