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Find Top-notch Health Care in Maury County

“We hire you to retire you” – medical center’s employee programs and priorities are building loyalty.

By Laura Hill on June 15, 2022

For feature about health care in Maury County
Nathan Lambrecht

Not so long ago, if you were a new hire at Maury Regional Medical Center, your two-day orientation was jokingly described, by senior management, as “Death by PowerPoint.” Funny – but also telling – and the impetus for sweeping changes in the way new – and current – employees are viewed by hospital administration.

Now, new employees participate in a “passport” half-day at the hospital, where they rotate through different departments, leadership comes to meet them and they hopefully make a lasting connection.

“Employees decide in the first 15 minutes whether they are going to stay,” says Dennis Fisher, chief human resources officer, who oversees an ongoing revamping of employment policies to good effect.

Facing a nationwide workforce shortage, Maury Regional has concentrated on keeping its current employees, attracting and training new ones, and looking down the road toward future needs. This is part of the overall efforts to keep health care in Maury County in great shape.

High-Ranking Health Care in Maury County

In 2022, Maury Regional ranked 57th of 80 Tennessee employers on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers by State. It was one of only nine hospitals or health care systems that made the list, evidence of its commitment to being a desirable place to work.

Rich Rewards

“We hire you to retire you,” Fisher says. “If we can get you to stay for five years, you will stay with us for your career. And 40% of our employees have been here for five years already.”

Maury Regional fosters employee longevity several ways. First are competitive salaries and a generous and flexible benefit package that can include free on-site fitness facilities, cafeteria discounts, health and wellness benefits, on-site child care, even a free Calm meditation app subscription.

A “very rich rewards program,” Fisher says, includes everything from personal email praise from management to an app that rewards performance, attendance and more with points redeemable for T-shirts and other goodies. Rewards banquets and other recognition events also help make employees feel valued and important members of a team.

“People can be rewarded in different ways,” Fisher says. “For one person, it may be rewards points. For another just the genuineness of a supervisor’s comment. Our team is very in tune with how people want to be rewarded. We want to be where people feel most comfortable with recognition.”

The MASH program is a partnership between Maury Regional and Maury County.
Maury Regional Health

Career Maps

Rewards are important, but so is offering employees a future. Fisher points out that a new hire who learns only how to sterilize instruments may not stay long. But if she can see a path to becoming a surgical tech or an LPN, she may well stay.

“The more we can plan career maps, and show people they can benefit from their attendance, their performance and engagement, the more we can we get them to the fifth year,” Fisher says.

For nurses, where the workforce shortage is especially challenging, Maury Regional offers a number of career advancement options, from ongoing professional training to internships to mentoring.

“I am concerned about the vacancies of today, but I have to look at next year and the year after,” says Cindy Short, director of volunteer services, who heads up an ambitious initiative to attract future employees by reaching out to high school students. “We used to have candy stripers, then we had student volunteers, who mainly rearranged magazines in the waiting area – not a very rewarding experience.”

An earlier weeklong MASH (Maury Academy for Students in Health) program has evolved into Work-based Learning, a creative partnership with Maury County Public Schools that brings students into the hospital two hours each week, where they job shadow professionals and have serious hands-on experiences, perhaps even learning how to handle surgical tools on a simulator or practice suturing on a pig’s foot.

A summer paid internship program, now entering its second year, offers a chance for a deeper dive into how the hospital works. Students are assigned to a department for the summer, mirroring entry-level jobs 20-30 hours a week.

Past experience proves the value of such programs. Short says her department tracks whether new employee applicants have a history of volunteering with MRMC and, to date, 20 former student volunteers are now working where they first learned about health care.

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Array ( [0] => 148745 [1] => 151567 [2] => 151517 [3] => 151487 [4] => 151188 [5] => 150280 [6] => 150265 [7] => 146472 [8] => 122911 [9] => 122894 [10] => 122881 [11] => 119747 [12] => 19561 )

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