Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Covenant Health was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- Covenant Health helps employees prepare for the future with retirement planning workshops and contributions to a defined benefit pension plan or matching RSP (depending on employee group) -- the organization also helps retiring employees transition to life after work with phased-in work options
- Covenant Health created a dedicated wellness strategy and program to support positive health behaviour at work and at home -- the organization offers workshops on stress management, as well as mental and spiritual wellness, and employs Wellness Champions to encourage self-care
- Covenant Health recently established its first diversity and inclusion strategy and is currently exploring a partnership with Inclusion Alberta to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities
Selfless service to others drives Covenant Health
There are any number of reasons why social worker Scott Stewart has spent 13 years on the staff of Covenant Health, but the primary one is that the values of the organization match his own. "Whatever your discipline or role, what drives us is providing quality healthcare to the most vulnerable and needy," says Stewart.
Covenant Health is one of Canada's largest Catholic healthcare providers and operates 17 sites across Alberta, including acute care hospitals, post-acute centres, continuing care centres and palliative care hospices.
"Most of us get into healthcare because we want to serve people and make a difference," says President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Dumelie. "The mission of our organization is to provide that selfless service to others, whether it's a calling or living out your faith -- whatever your faith might be."
As a diverse healthcare provider, Covenant Health employs a broad array of professionals, including nurses and social workers, among others, and the organization provides a suite of in-house training materials aimed at developing managers and leaders across the professions.
"We've invested heavily in our Leadership Development Pathways, starting with non-management service delivery staff and going right up to the governance level of the organization," says Dumelie.
The in-house training materials, most of which are available online, also help foster a collaborative working environment, says Stewart. "We have multiple professionals who have different points of view, but we have to work together," he says. "We have education materials that help us learn how to deal with conflict and how to communicate effectively with members of a multi-disciplinary team."
Covenant Health also allows employees to apply for the Staff Education Fund, or use their flex spending accounts to further their education -- something that Stewart has found very valuable. He had a bachelor's degree in social work when he joined the organization, but was able to earn his master's thanks to support from Covenant Health.
As a registered healthcare professional, he is also required to take 40 hours of continuing education annually to stay current in his field and he has benefitted from generous organizational support. "I have been able to take training that speaks directly to my practice," says Stewart. "Covenant has provided me the time to do that."
It's all part of Covenant Health's people-first philosophy. "It starts with the people we serve," says Dumelie. "But we've also put in place a lot of programs and services to support our employees."