In todays economy, organizations are supposed to treat employees almost as free agents, with low expectations of loyalty on either side. In the 15 years since I joined Scripps Health, we havent laid off anyone. Hundreds if not thousands of hospitals have responded to trends such as shorter average hospital stays, fewer surgeries, a shift to outpatient and home care, and reduced reimbursements by consolidating or overhauling their operations and laying off staff.
We’ve certainly had to change too. Sometimes that’s meant eliminating positions, but we didn’t tell the affected employees to leave. A small minority voluntarily left Scripps, but most went elsewhere in the organization. When we were aiming to close a small chemical-dependency hospital in 2013, for example, we looked hard into unmet needs in the area. We decided to simultaneously start a new outpatient clinic nearby, and that’s where the hospital staff ended up.
We believe a no-layoffs philosophy is good for employees’ physical and psychological health — it’s well known that job insecurity can be harmful. And it’s with employees’ health in mind that we also offer generous benefits: Our insurance, wellness, and employee-assistance programs are more extensive than those of most health systems. We want our people to focus on patients, and they can’t do that unless their own health or family concerns are taken care of.
We support these policies through three key practices: Read more…