You matter because you are you and you matter until the last moment of your life. We will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die." The words of Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the UK hospice movement, are embodied in the work of employees at St Ann's Hospice, who aim to improve the quality of life for people with life-threatening illnesses in Greater Manchester. While pay and benefits might not match those in the private sector, job satisfaction could hardly be higher. The common goal of the hospice is understood throughout; staff say their organisation makes a positive difference to the world, giving it the second highest positive score of any company at 88%; the 87% score for belief in the hospice's values is another top 10 result.
Employees across sectors pull together as a united team and seemingly understand that without all the cogs the wheel would not turn: staff feel they can make a difference evidenced by the 81% positive score on this question in our survey.
Team relationships are very strong; staff say people in their team go out of their way to help them (84%); they are confident in their team-mates' abilities (86%) and they say people in their team care for each other (87%) — all top five scores.
Training is another strength and there is a dedicated institute for learning and development to ensure that hospice practice is relevant, research-based and high quality. Staff have to maintain up-to-date knowledge in order to be able to perform to the best of their ability.
No matter how much money is spent on new equipment and buildings, without effective use by skilled employees they are worthless and the workforce firmly endorses its training with an 80% positive score.
The hospice recognises the importance of looking after the wellbeing of its staff who, in turn, provide such vital care to terminally ill patients. It offers a variety of flexible working options including job sharing, reduced hours, school hours and term-time only contracts. Holiday allowance is 27 days per year, meals are free and childcare vouchers are available.
The organisation matches employees' contributions up to 7% into a stakeholder pension scheme, or else those already with the NHS scheme when they join can stay with it if they choose. A long service awards ceremony honours the many long-servers; 67 employees have worked at St Ann's for more than 10 years. Volunteers with long service are similarly honoured.
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