Supporting a culture of strong employee engagement

As one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals, North York General Hospital (NYGH) emphasizes a healthy work culture for its employees that leads to positive outcomes for patients and families.

“A supportive and collaborative culture is a foundation to providing patients with exceptional care,” says Jamie Campbell, Director, Organizational Development and Volunteer Services at NYGH. “We are proud to be an organization that promotes a culture of innovation, creativity, and learning and development at every level and within every discipline.”

A key way to achieve these outcomes is through a dedicated Organizational Development (OD) Department. The four-member Organizational Development team provides support for internal change management and partners with others in the promotion of learning and development.

The department provides services in the following areas: training and education; team building and facilitations; employee, physician and volunteer engagement survey; leadership development and talent management; change management; learning management system; new employee onboarding; and recognition. 

A winning formula

One member of the OD team, Samia Touma, has worked at North York General for 34 years and has become a household name here.

Samia Touma
Samia Touma, Coordinator, Organizational Development

Samia has worked in many areas during her career at the hospital, from health records to fundraising, corporate communications to her current role as Organizational Development Coordinator. “NYGH is my community hospital, I love the people that I work with and we have really good things going on and being pioneered here,” she says.

Samia also has a significant role in organizing and implementing staff engagement and recognition events at the hospital including the Staff Appreciation BBQ, Administrative Professional Day, NYGH Golf Day, NYGH Long Service Awards, Take Your Kids to Work Day and orientation. 

“It's nice knowing I've done everything possible to support the organization and put NYGH first — this starts with orientation.”

“Orientation is important because it lays a foundation for a new employee's entire career,” says Samia. New employees are introduced to the company, its policies, coworkers and the job itself. Orientation encourages employee confidence and helps new staff adapt faster. “First impressions are important since they establish the basis for everything that follows."

“I've seen it come full circle; I see staff from the beginning, during milestones, to retirement. A culture of strong employee engagement sets the stage for meaningful collaboration among staff that ultimately benefits patients and families,” Samia says. 

For over a decade the hospital has continued to build and grow the organization's culture. Today, NYGH is a top performing hospital in Ontario, scoring top marks in the categories of engagement, health and safety, patient care, and trust in the organization.

This article first appeared in the May 2018 issue of The Pulse.

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