ESTEVAN - St. Joseph's Hospital has launched a staff appreciation initiative that it hopes will build morale among employees and help with recruitment and retention.
A launch was held on Thursday with t-shirts being handed out to the workers. All St. Joseph's employees and physicians will be presented with a shirt, with the We are St. Joe's campaign slogan on the front and Back the Front Line on the back.
"To me, it serves two purposes," said St. Joseph's executive director Candace Kopec. "It serves a purpose so staff recognize that our management teams back our front line, and we're here to support them and we value them for everything that they do."
It's also an opportunity to show others that the hospital has a strong team, which should help with recruitment and retention.
The staff represents the hospital's biggest resource, she said. During her seven-month tenure as executive director, Kopec has seen them do great things and be involved with things, and they go above and beyond every day to take care of the community. But she doesn't believe they hear the "thank you" message enough.
"We are proud of our team and we want people to know it. So, we're really going to use our staff campaign to strengthen our team. It's just one step to show our commitment," she said.
Kopec credited Impact Creative SK co-owner Breanne Van De Woestyne, a former executive director with the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation, with creating the We are St. Joe's campaign.
"When she came to me, I just thought it's exactly what we needed at this facility," said Kopec.
There will also be a monthly coffee break for all staff members, because Kopec said it's important to take time to get to know each other and to enjoy each other's company.
"I think the departments do that individually, but I think we need to do a better job of bringing everyone together," said Kopec.
The hospital has long had what Kopec called a mission committee, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was difficult to get the team together to plan staff events. The hospital is re-energizing the committee with new team members. Kopec told the staff to watch for exciting events planned in the new year.
The hospital's website is going to be updated, and it will allow community members to thank employees.
"And then we're going to have it posted just as a way to communicate that to staff to know how appreciated they are," said Kopec.