Positive company culture in healthcare helps during labor shortage

That was especially true during the hardest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the CNO put on scrubs and pitched in to help the bedside nurses.

“But that wasn’t just because of COVID—she would do that if there was a crunch on a medical floor or whatever unit needed help,” Bennett said. “The nursing staff knows that they can depend on her, and we’ve developed a good reputation in the community.”

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GRMC fosters esprit de corps among its roughly 600 workers by hosting social activities—ice cream socials, pumpkin carving contests and the like—for its staff and inviting employees to participate in community events, whether that’s handing out water bottles along a parade route or stacking canned goods during a community food drive.

“We look for anything that we can do that helps our employees see that they are part of something good,” Bennett said. “Any one thing may not appeal to everybody, so we look for a variety of opportunities” to suit a range of interests.

Forefront Healthcare, a Detroit-based culinary and support services company, also creates opportunities for its workers to participate in community-building activities. The company—employing about 700 workers, most of whom work in 40 hospitals and senior living communities in 14 states—was founded in 2019 by a group of executives who had worked together previously.

“We feel like one of our strengths is building a strong, cohesive culture and that is something we are committed to,” said CEO Dan Bowen.

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