By Wendy Byerly Wood
Employees at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital were treated to a free lunch of soup and sandwiches during its Harvest celebration Wednesday.
With popular demand, the celebration brought back the pumpkin decorating contest and provided a time for the staff to recognize being named the Triad Business Journal’s number one “Best Places to Work” winner in the large employer category, which requires 250 or more employees to qualify.
“Thank you for making this one of the best places to work in the Triad, I would argue the best in the health field,” said Paul Hammes, CEO of HCMH, to the employees gathered in the cafeteria for lunch.
The designation came based on information submitted by the hospital about workplace environment, benefits and
culture, as well as surveys filled out by more than 190 employees asking about topics like team effectiveness, trust in senior leaders, feeling valued, manager effectiveness, and compensation and benefits.
“We welcome surveyors when the come,” said Hammes. “It helps tell us what we need to improve on. We want to get better every single day. And people make the difference.
“We knew we were pretty darn good, but I love the validation,” he said of the honor.
“We have the best people, and I want to acknowledge each of you and all you do all year long,” he continued.
Dr. Steve Isaacs reminded Hammes that when the CEO was considering coming to Hugh Chatham he stood with him in the hallway at the cafeteria and “told you this is a special place, and you got it. And you are what makes it special.”
Hugh Chatham placed ahead of two other finalists for the “Best Places” title, Inmar and Furnitureland South.
Hammes also announced the winners of the pumpkin decorating contest, which was “brought back this year by popular demand.” Winners received gift cards.
Grand prize following a 24-hour employee vote, was Lorraine Jones’ pumpkin giving birth to a baby pumpkin, complete with an IV back feeding off a can of pumpkin.
Tied for second place were Marlene Baker’s pumpkin with a brain and John Orta’s intricately carved pumpkin with the initials HCMH carved in it.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.