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Long-Serving Staff Give DHB Sense of Belonging

Media Release

Date: 14 July 2014

Long-Serving Staff Give DHB Sense of Belonging
Outgoing Waikato District Health Board chief executive Craig Climo always made it a priority to attend staff service recognition award ceremonies wherever they were so it was fitting, as he enters his last week in the job, that a full house greeted him in Hamilton on Friday (11 July).

Had everyone who was eligible for an award been at the Bryant Education Centre on the Waiora Waikato hospital campus, there would have been 170 staff members totalling 3305 years.

As it was, 112 attended with a total of 2245 years' unbroken service.

Mr Climo, who leaves on Friday (18 July) after nearly seven years as CEO, paid tribute to those people who had broken service and were not eligible for awards.

“This is particularly an issue as we have such a female dominated workforce and so many women took time off to have children and spent time with families,” he said.

The system now acknowledges service for those who take maternity leave but there were still a number of people who went unrecognised who he hoped would eventually get recognition.

Those who did attend were entitled to and should be proud of their service, said Mr Climo.

“It is a very significant personal milestone which I envy and also of significant importance to the DHB.
“You collectively carry and pass on the organisation’s culture – what we are and stand for – our attitudes, values and beliefs.

“You have our institutional memory. You know where we are, how we got here and why things are as they are.

“You train and mentor the next generation of workers.

“And because long service is correlated with age, you bring the well-recognised benefits of the older workforce that includes stability, reliability, loyalty, work with minimal supervision, maturity and patience to relate well to people, greater experience and problem solving ability to contribute to improvements,” said Mr Climo.

There was one characteristic of Waikato DHB that meant the service recognition was special, he said.

“It is the sense of belonging, that we are part of a family, recognising people and being recognised and being part of something that matters. It's only achieved with time and grows with time.

“For all (Waikato DHB’s) huge size, we haven’t lost the intimacy and connection that might more likely be seen in a smaller, less complex organisation.

“Organisations function on relationships. Our success is far more due to the knowledge and relationships that you have, than it can ever be in the process and procedures we use,” said Mr Climo.

Waikato DHB currently has 260 members of its 6000 strong workforce with more than 30 years’ service. Its longest serving member of staff is Meade Clinical Centre outpatients’ receptionist George Woodcock who joined the DHB on 13 April 1960. An acknowledgement of his 54 years' of service came on 30 June when he was one of five people who cut a red ribbon at the reopening of Waikato Hospital’s iconic Red Corridor, known as the spine of the hospital.

The numbers and years of service honoured on Friday were:
• 35 x 10 years
• 12 x 15 years
• 28 x 20 years
• 12 x 25 years
• 11 x 30 years
• 7 x 35 years
• 7 x 40 years.


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