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Valuing Worker Welfare Is Just Good Business

April 1, 2008
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Related Topics: Corporate Culture, Workforce Planning, Featured Article
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During a financial crisis, taking good care of employees isn’t just the right thing to do, explains Crouse chief quality officer Derrick Suehs—it can also help the bottom line

    In 2002, when Crouse was still fighting to emerge from Chapter 11, the hospital was plagued by a higher-than-normal rate of employee injuries. A group of workers and managers, led by Suehs, was given the task of investigating, and discovered that the big problem was nurses who were straining their backs and shoulders lifting patients. "People have been getting heavier, and it was taking two or three nurses to move someone," Suehs says. "That could get awkward, and so a lot of them were getting hurt."

    The group also discovered a possible solution—the HoverMatt patient transfer and repositioning system, a mattress riding on a cushion of air that can be manipulated safely by a single nurse. The downside was that installing the newly developed, still-unproven technology would cost $350,000, a hefty sum for a cash-strapped organization already struggling under the weight of multimillion-dollar losses. Nevertheless, Suehs and his group persuaded management to somehow find the money to buy it anyway.

    The decision quickly paid off. Within nine months, a reduction in time lost to injuries enabled Crouse to save $1 million.

Workforce Management, March 17, 2008, p. 26 -- Subscribe Now!

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