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Our staff

We are recognised throughout the industry for the high calibre of our employees and our standards of nursing. We make Life Healthcare a great company to work for, through:

  • an environment in which people are empowered to develop their full potential;
  • ongoing investment in staff development;
  • fair representation of gender and race; and
  • growth opportunities, skills development and career enhancement at all levels.

Different cultures enrich the organisation and diversity in the workforce is celebrated and encouraged. Our employment practices attract and encourage cultural and personal diversity regardless of race, gender or religion. We run a national diversity forum that monitors cultural issues, identifies cultural challenges and encourages understanding and sensitivity.

Our priority is to focus on the delivery of a unique and special brand of health and care to patients. In a Life Healthcare facility, supporting doctors, nurses and administrative staff all strive to optimise and enhance our patients’ experience. Our investment in development and training is designed to retain and motivate staff to ever higher standards of health delivery and provision of care.

Human capital

Life Healthcare manages a permanent and sessional staff complement of 13 900 employees as well as a number of agency staff. In South Africa, the growing shortage of critical skills, particularly in the healthcare industry, has prioritised the retention and motivation of employees. We aim to develop highly motivated and productive employees by nurturing them and monitoring their career paths. They are empowered to reach their potential as part of the Life Healthcare team. We support employees in their career aspirations and encourage them to share a common vision and passion for the company. We are committed to ensuring that the employer/employee relationship is sustained so that individuals feel that their personal contribution is encouraged, recognised and rewarded.

Recruitment and retention of skills

Life Healthcare is mindful that the ability to recruit and retain staff of a high calibre is a critical success factor in our competitive healthcare industry and is vital to the provision of quality care.

South African healthcare workers are constantly targeted by foreign countries. To combat this, we have stepped up recruitment of experienced specialist nursing and pharmaceutical professionals in particular, and have renewed our focus on training interventions, succession planning, career development, and retention strategies.

We are involved in various recruitment initiatives, supported by South African Nursing Council (SANC) and other statutory bodies, to increase nursing capacity. In an effort to promote nursing as an exciting and rewarding career we also hold open days at our hospitals and target school leavers. We also invest significantly in skills development and training and continue to implement world class clinical governance standards in all of our operations.

Employee empowerment

Investment in the professional and personal development of people serves as an effective retention strategy. It is important to advance social and economic transformation for the continued performance and success of our group and of South Africa. We promote a culture of continuous learning throughout the organisation to build our human capital and maintain a strong complement of well-trained and motivated people. Career advancement within Life Healthcare is backed by well established and formalised review processes that identify above average talent and outstanding performance at various strata of the group.

Work outputs are reviewed on a continuous basis. Appropriate development programmes with agreed goals aligned to our operational strategy, are formulated for individuals who show potential. Apart from our ongoing development and training initiatives for staff at all levels, Life Healthcare provides staff bursaries, as well as bursaries for employees’ children to study for a tertiary qualification and on merit, managers are offered education at master’s degree level.

Employee support

Our group has contracted with an external service provider, Employee Wellness Programme(EWP), to provide a support and information service to which employees and their family members have access. The programme encourages and assists employees to take responsibility for their own physical, mental and financial well-being by fostering self-sufficiency and resilience. Qualified, experienced counsellors provide this service and confidentiality is assured. Support is offered in the context of workplace productivity and performance, enhancement, and Employee Wellness Programme(EWP) also offers multilingual advice on legal and financial management, psychological, family and work issues, stress, trauma and substance abuse.

Employment benefits

Following the listing of Life Healthcare on the JSE, staff benefited from the growth of the group, through the realisation of the proceeds from an employee trust. Staff were also given the opportunity to acquire shares in the listed company through an initial public offering (IPO).

Our infrastructure provides for competitive remuneration and compensation benefits.

Labour relations

Life Healthcare is committed to creating and maintaining sound labour relations. Formal and informal communication channels are used to shape behaviour and share information. Our policies and procedures are regularly evaluated to ensure fair treatment and a safe work environment. Our consultative forums and other channels provide open communication and constructive dialogue aimed at maintaining good relations in the workplace.

Meeting the HIV/Aids challenge

HIV and Aids are acknowledged as critical business risks that affect our employees, impact on our work production and increase costs. Our HIV/Aids policy is based on a combination of sound business principles as well as the obligations associated with our social responsibility as an employer. Employees are encouraged through education and training to know their health status. Our HIV/Aids programme dictates absolute confidentiality, compassion and fairness, as well as non-discrimination on the grounds of illness. The focus is on awareness, lifestyle education and the prevention of infection and re-infection. Voluntary counselling and testing, monitoring, care and continuous support are offered as well as access to appropriate treatment for those on medical aid. Every effort is made to accommodate HIV positive employees in a risk-free work environment. Life Healthcare’s HIV/Aids policy was implemented in 2003 and all new employees have undergone HIV/Aids awareness training as part of their induction into the group.