Photo: Executive Director Sara Lowe
Emmanuel Hospice, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has again been named one of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources.
The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment. Organizations are assessed by an independent research firm based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more.
This is the second time Emmanuel Hospice has made the list of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. In 2020, the nonprofit provider of hospice care also received recognition on the national level.
“We are honored to again be recognized for our human resource practices and employee enrichment as one of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For,” Emmanuel Hospice Executive Director Sara Lowe said. “The acknowledgment affirms our efforts to provide compassionate care for our patients and for our team despite the challenges of an ongoing pandemic.”
Since inception, Emmanuel’s team has gone from one part-time employee to 80 full- and part-time staff members today. In 2020, hiring new employees, for instance, posed obstacles because interviews needed to be performed remotely. Emmanuel responded by developing new protocols ensuring they were able to attract and hire top candidates.
Included in their strategy was ensuring technology didn’t pose any barriers for a diverse group of candidates. Emmanuel Hospice also invested in training with Race and Faith to create a culture of anti-racism. Race and Faith is a local faith-based organization that aims to challenge racial inequities and advance deeper understanding to foster a more just world.
Additionally, the organization uses best practices in human resources such as targeting compensation in the 75th percentile for the geographic area and industry and encouraging positive interactions internally and with patients and their families. With these practices in place, Emmanuel was able to increase its employee ranks by nearly 55% last year.
Matt Schipper, who oversees Human Resources at Emmanuel and is its director of Support Services, says Emmanuel’s success is tied to a culture shaped by embracing death as a meaningful transition through the care of mind, body and spirit. There are many internal touchstones in place at Emmanuel that help to attract and retain quality employees.
“Being a caregiver is a tough job, both mentally and physically,” Schipper said. “COVID-19 placed an additional toll on our staff that we were very conscious about and wanted to go to the extra mile in providing additional support.”
This led to the creation of the Employee Relief Fund, where staff could access additional financial assistance. Emmanuel Hospice also recognized the additional burden outside of work by paying for free tutoring for the staff and their school age children.
These benefits are on top of the employee-focused benefits Emmanuel Hospice offers, such as one-on-one self-care coaching and a partnership with Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services through an employee assistance program.
Emmanuel Hospice also utilizes an online employee engagement platform called Motivosity. Each employee gets $5 per month to give in the form of “kudos” to other employees. They can send a shout-out to another employee based on one of the nonprofit’s values and attach a dollar to their kudos. Employees then redeem the dollars they’ve received in the form of gift cards to many different restaurants and stores. Work anniversaries, new staff and upcoming activities are also celebrated on the platform, which functions like an internal social media platform for the organization.
About Emmanuel Hospice
Emmanuel Hospice is a faith-based nonprofit provider of compassionate, person-centered hospice care to patients and families in West Michigan. Serving the community since 2013, the organization is a collaborative effort of St. Ann’s, Clark, Porter Hills and Sunset designed to complete the continuum by providing end-of-life care to those inside – and outside – the walls of these organizations. For more information, visit www.emmanuelhospice.org.
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