Tampa General Hospital: A case study on supporting team members through a crisis

Tampa, Florida, USA- February 23, 2020:  Tampa General Hospital Cancer Center in Florida, USA.
It’s a demonstration of love and compassion.

The 2020 pandemic led to the worst U.S. recession in history, but the real surprise was the “Great Resignation” that followed.

Workers are quitting in droves, searching for new, better jobs where they can make a difference.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor July 2 jobs report: “The number of job leavers — that is, unemployed persons who quit or voluntarily left their previous job and began looking for new employment — increased by 164,000 to 942,000 in June.”

For many workers turning in their resignations, the decision resulted from how their employers handled the crisis.

“The way companies treat their employees will become the deciding factor for success or failure in our new post-pandemic era,” says executive recruiter Jack Kelly. “We are in a war for talent.”

Tampa General Hospital is a case study on how to support team members through a crisis while also maintaining strong operations.

TGH invested $13.6 million to support its team members through challenges faced during the last 16 months. More than $4.6 million went to pay a higher rate to all team members on the front lines of COVID-19. $5.5 million was awarded to TGH team members in the form of a bonus in December 2020.

While the financial investment TGH made in its team has certainly had a positive impact, it was the efforts to respond to the specific needs of team members that really demonstrate the company’s commitment to its workers.

For example, team members needed school supplies to help children pivot to virtual learning. Tampa General’s Team Member Emergency Fund (TMEF) stepped in and helped 143 team members to fulfill requests for school supplies, including 130 laptop computers, so learning was uninterrupted.

“I lost my previous job when COVID hit, so I was grateful just to have a job at TGH. Then, (they) helped my family when our computer died. We did not have a back-up and did not have the resources to go buy another one, but TGH gave me a computer so my child could stay in school,” said one team member who requested her identity not be shared.

In another example, TGH secured rooms at a local hotel and covered the cost to provide team members who had been exposed to COVID-19 a place to stay.

TGH even covered the cost of funeral services for a team member in need.

Elisabeth Fineis, a patient care technician in the neurological ICU at Tampa General, lost her 73-year-old father to COVID-19. When this mother of three who is also a student and caretaker for her mom with diabetes, asked for help, TGH provided $2,400 to help cover funeral costs.

This fall, Fineis will graduate with her associate degree from Hillsborough Community College, including all the prerequisites for nursing school.

“I don’t know where I’d be today without my angels at TGH,” said Fineis.

And in another example, Jeffrey Morton, TGH’s pool chaplain for spiritual health and education, was diagnosed with COVID-19 last year and could not come to work. TGH’s TMEF covered his rent for July to help keep him afloat.

“I am grateful to be part of the TGH family,” said Morton. “That’s exactly what it is — a family who surrounds you and makes you whole when you need them.”

So as employers struggle to find labor during the “Great Resignation,” look to great examples of companies that care for team members.

Tampa General’s investment in its team is not just a case study of leadership through this challenging time. It’s a demonstration of love and compassion.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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