Waitemata and Auckland DHBs continue to lead the way as ‘Good Employers’

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An analysis of 91 Crown entities across New Zealand has seen Waitemata and Auckland District Health Boards (DHB) among those ranked equal-first for compliance with ‘Good Employer’ principles for the second year.

The review by the Human Rights Commission (external link) factored-in performance across a range of benchmarks, such as:

  • Safe and healthy environment
  • Leadership, accountability and culture
  • Recruitment, selection and induction
  • Employee development, promotion and exit
  • Flexibility and work design
  • Harassment and bullying prevention
  • Employee recognition and working conditions
  • Equal Employment Opportunity initiatives

Waitemata DHB Chief Executive Dr Dale Bramley and Auckland DHB Chief Executive Ailsa Claire put their top rankings – a 100 percent overall compliance rating – down to the the ongoing emphasis the DHBs place on growing their organisations with values developed on feedback from staff and patients.

“This shows that large public sector organisations can be nimble enough to achieve internally-driven culture change and offer a working environment that is just as attractive as the private sector,” says Dr Bramley.

“At Waitemata, we have always believed that having the right systems in place to support staff in their development, and having strong values behind these systems, is the best way to attract and retain the very best people.

Auckland DHB Chief Executive Ailsa Claire says she’s continually impressed with the dedication and achievement demonstrated by DHB health care professionals.

“Whether they are in a directly patient-facing role or providing support in the background, we know we make a genuine difference in people’s lives. Our patient satisfaction rates are the highest they have ever been and our employee survey results correlate with this, with 95 per cent of employees saying they are happy to go the extra mile,” she says.

Dr Bramley says there’s a direct influence on the quality of care delivered to patients and communities by large health organisations which have the right people-development systems in place.

“Being a ‘good employer’ and a leading organisation in high quality, compassionate healthcare go hand-in-hand.”

“The two DHBs have a combined workforce of more than 17,300 employees and progress is not without its challenges. The recognition reinforces that the direction we have chosen and committed to places us at the forefront of good employer principles nationally,” says Dr Bramley.

Waitemata DHB’s commitment to good employer obligations has consistently improved since the Human Rights Commission began reviewing ‘Good Employer’ activity in 2007 but progress has accelerated rapidly since the DHB’s values, transformational care and leadership, healthy workplaces and Maori and Pacific recruitment development programmes were introduced from 2013/14.

Auckland DHB has also seen consistent improvement in its compliance since 2009, success it puts down to building clarity about purpose, values and objectives.

Ailsa Claire says the organisation has set a clear sense of direction and staff are clear about how their individual and team roles contribute to that.

“Staff tell us how much they value the teamwork that contributes so much to quality and safety in healthcare. A large majority (88 per cent) of staff say their team works well together to provide a great service. We enjoy high levels of engagement and numbers of staff who would recommend the DHB as a place to receive healthcare.”

“That clarity starts with the value system. What’s driven this achievement is each and every one of us breathing life into our values - each and every day,” she says.

For further information contact:

Mark Fenwick, Senior Communications Advisor, Auckland DHB - 09 630 9952 mfenwick@adhb.govt.nz

Holly McClune, Deputy Director Communications, Waitemata DHB - 09 487 1276 holly.mcclune@waitematadhb.govt.nz

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