The demands placed on frontline staff, and those in leadership positions, to do more with less, contributes to a workforce that is hurried, stressed and feeling unable to do their best quality of work. Runnymede Healthcare Centre (RHC) has implemented mandatory procedures that build in down time in the day for staff to increase overall staff satisfaction, reduce turnover, and enhance work-life balance. These include dedicated meal breaks away from the work area, consumption of snacks and meals only in the cafeteria for frontline staff and management and executives, and a “buddy” system that is hardwired to encourage those in leadership positions to take regularly scheduled vacations. The practice is evaluated through a staff satisfaction survey that includes work-life balance questions and the participation in annual healthcare survey that includes industry wide retention figures. The Human Resources Department has included “early resignation rate” as one of the indicators in its departmental balanced scorecard which is reviewed each quarter. In 2012, Runnymede Healthcare Centre completed a staff satisfaction survey and 69.2% of staff felt that their job allows them to balance their work and family/personal life. This represented a 6% increase from the results from the 2009 survey and was 5.2% higher than the national average. Furthermore, Runnymede Healthcare Centre’s resignation rate improved to 5.3% in 2012 (was 6.2% in 2011) and was significantly better than the 7.2% average resignation rate for other Complex Continuing Care Hospitals. Often, in hospitals, quality of work life and work life balance considerations does not extend to the senior team or management levels. Ensuring practices and initiatives are in place for executive and management work-life balance, as well as front-line staff, promotes employee satisfaction at all levels and increased stability within the leadership team.

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