Nicole Schweigert, human resources director, says the hospital is one of few in the market that pays 100% of short-term disability premiums, and it also pays 100% of the costs of “robust wellness programs,” which she says sets the hospital apart. Texas Health Flower Mound partners with the nearby Cooper Clinic to provide an on-site registered dietician, Schweigert says, and offers on-site fitness opportunities, gym discounts, “couch to 5K programs,” Zumba dancing, aerobics and “other fun ways to keep employees engaged.”
To offer staff nurses the opportunity to gain specialized hands-on experience, the Flower Mound hospital partners with another Texas Health Resources facility, Schweigert says. “We felt we specifically needed to grow … in critical-care areas,” she says, “to provide the practicum and the ability for nurses to get that critical-care experience.” Three employees have gone through that program, the latest of whom will pursue her goal to become a labor-and-delivery nurse. “That was an employee request, and it's a good retention metric,” she says.
Texas Health Flower Mound has used a variety of job boards and recruiting tools to specifically target a diverse workforce, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, veterans and the gay community, Schweigert says. Probably 30% of the leadership and 45% of employees overall are people of color, she says, while women account for half the leadership and 79% of the total workforce. The company has offered domestic partnership benefits since its inception, she says.
“Our workforce has blended itself pretty nicely,” Turner says. “The (Dallas-Fort Worth) Metroplex is a very diverse community. That effort falls in place regardless, but we watch it pretty closely to make sure that things are what they should be.”
Building an environmentally aware workplace also can be a recruiting tool. The hospital kept a close watch on the construction of its 182,000-square-foot facility and 12-acre campus to ensure compliance with the highest environmental standards, working in collaboration with the town of Flower Mound to pursue certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, from the U.S. Green Building Council, Turner says.
“That's not something you do, and it sits on a shelf,” he says. From windows to lighting to cups in the break room, “You have to watch the supplies you buy, and maintain your landscape and walking paths. Whenever we've added on, we go back to LEED certification requirements and adhere to those.”
The hospital works hard to create camaraderie both among line employees, and between them and senior leadership, Turner says.
“It's a tremendous list of things we always do around reward and recognition,” including an annual employee gala, monthly “Shining Star” celebrations to recognize top employee contributors, and “carpet days” when all leaders close their office doors and walk the hallways to meet with and talk to staff. “The interaction is second to none here,” he says.
Ed Finkel is a freelance writer based in Evanston, Ill.