Want to hire and keep top talent in Birmingham? Here are six keys to success from Encompass Health

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Judy Loo, Karen Turpin and Anastasia Turner of Encompass Health. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Birmingham has a top-notch pool of job candidates, and companies know that recruiting and retaining these candidates can be tough. Employee engagement is a term that’s thrown around often, but what exactly does that mean? We spoke with three employees at Encompass Health to learn what works.

Here are six takeaways from our conversation: 

1) Commit to improvement (That starts at the top!)

Of course it’s important to ask your team where your company can do better. Encompass Health sends out an employee engagement survey for this reason, but according to their employees, it’s the action that follows the survey that matters.

Anastasia Turner with Encompass Health. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Anastasia Turner, medical services coordinator, said, “Employee engagement is more than a survey. You can tell there is an active response behind it here. There are company-wide initiatives taking place based on the results of that survey.”

Judy Loo with Encompass Health. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Judy Loo, ITG specialist, agrees. Encompass Health has evolved substantially as a company since she started 20 years ago. “Leadership has moved everything in the right direction, which makes it more enjoyable. I’m proud of where we’ve come.”

2) Address the total person, not just their time at work 

Work-life balance is another term you hear a lot when it comes to employee engagement. Before you roll your eyes, consider this: companies that retain talent are the ones who recognize the fact that their employees have lives outside of the office. 

Turner is a single mom. She appreciates the company’s flexibility. “It’s important to me to do my job well but also be able to take care of my son,” she said. “That’s supported and understood here.”

In addition to professional development initiatives, Encompass Health also has a Healthy Living Program and hosts informational sessions on life skills like financial management. 

3) Keep it light (where appropriate)

Ice cream social at Encompass Health. Photo via Encompass Health

Work doesn’t have to mean drudgery. Whether it’s a luncheon or an ice cream social, fun activities can keep things light at the office. “These things may seem small, but they bring up morale,” said Loo.

It’s nice to get to know (and have some fun with) the people you work with every day. They can make a big difference on your experience, and everyone we talked to at Encompass Health agreed that their coworkers are a huge reason they choose to say. 

4) Reward success

Employees can reward their coworkers for going above and beyond through Encompass Health’s employee recognition program. Points awarded through the program can be cashed in for things like vacations and gift cards. That’s not something you hear about every day.

5) Provide growth opportunities

Turner joined Encompass Health because she knew there would be opportunities for growth in her career. The support she’s received from her supervisor to learn not only about her role, but other aspects of the company, has made a big difference.

According to Karen Turpin, senior recruitment coordinator, “Encompass Health gives you the keys to be successful; you just have to figure out what direction you want to go in.”

Karen Turpin with Encompass Health. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

6) Invest in your people

This is probably the most important takeaway. Anastasia Turner said that “keeping employees motivated by giving them a sense of ownership of their development and the company” is essential. “Feeling like you have a say in things gives you pride in what you do,” she said. 

Turpin has been with Encompass Health for 15 years, and says the company’s investment in its people is what’s kept her there. “You learn so much over the years and end up feeling like you are a key player and part of the organization.”

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