Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 8, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Fraser Health Authority was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2017):
- Varying by employee group and position, Fraser Health offers its new moms maternity leave top-up payments (from 17 to 27 weeks) and helps employees balance their work and personal lives with alternative work options
- New employees at Fraser Health start with either 3 or 4 weeks of paid vacation -- previous work experience is also considered when setting individual vacation entitlements for experienced candidates
- Fraser Health encourages employees to stay healthy with free access to an onsite fitness facility that features instructor-led classes for activities such as yoga, laughter yoga and Zumba
At Fraser Health, a strong culture of engagement
More than 20 centimetres of snow had fallen on Vancouver on the morning when Cameron Brine set out for a Coquitlam hotel to join the CEO of Fraser Health and about 300 formal and informal leaders, some of whom were "engagement radicals".
"Most of our engagement radicals are frontline staff in our 12 acute-care facilities and community services," says Brine, Vice President of People and Organization Development. "They were noted in a recent Accreditation Canada report on Fraser Health as a noteworthy innovative platform that addresses and maintains improvements in staff and physician engagement."
It's one of the many ways that Fraser Health encourages innovation and change at the grassroots level, Brine says.
With almost 12,000 full-time staff, Fraser Health serves 1.8 million people from Burnaby to Hope with services ranging from hospital care to public health services. Keeping employees engaged across such a broad geographic and vocational spectrum can pre-
sent a challenge, but Brine says Fraser Health does "an extremely good job".
Kalina Repin would agree. A critical care registered nurse, Repin grew up in a small town in the B.C. Interior and joined Fraser Health three years ago when she moved to Port Coquitlam.
"When I came to Vancouver to work, I felt alone," she says. "Fraser Health gave me a sense of community. I felt that I belonged."
After a six-month training course, paid for by Fraser Health, Repin started as a full-time emergency room nurse, dealing with a variety of patients, from children to homeless adults.
"This kind of nursing can be stressful," she says, "so you really need a supportive management team. The nurses in charge on our team are always here to help. It makes me look forward to coming to work."
From Brine's perspective, frontline staff like Repin contribute to the culture of engagement that distinguishes Fraser Health as an employer. "Culture is cultivated by behaviour," says Brine, who studied kinesiology after competing for Canada as a canoer. "If you get the right people, you get the culture you're looking for."
Using his own background as an example, Brine says diversity gives Fraser Health a distinct advantage in sustaining its employees' enthusiasm for their work. "If you keep hiring the same people for the same jobs, you'll never come up with the changes you need," he says. "We empower people to be creative. It really fires them up."