I am the I in IWK – Arlene MacAskill

Posted by

Arlene MacAskill is a Strategic Recruitment Consultant with the Human Resources team at the IWK Health Centre, but her organizational reach extends far past the walls of HR.

For six years, MacAskill’s role has been to fill the traditionally hard-to-fill roles within the health centre. Through this work, and her role as Chair of the STARS program, MacAskill says that she has had the privilege of getting to know and seeing the work of many IWK teams organization-wide, from midwifery to Tim Horton’s to executive leaders.

It’s through this privilege that MacAskill’s passion for recognition has developed and is a driving force behind her desire to give thanks to the hard work and the dedication of her IWK colleagues.

“One of the great parts of my job, one that I didn’t even really appreciate when I first came on board, was how involved I would be able to become in retention initiatives, like our STARS program. It has been a pure privilege and joy to be a part of.”

MacAskill became the Chair of STARS when the former chair, Mary Thibeault stepped back after 10 years of contributing to the program. Every year since, MacAskill, along with her “couldn’t-be-more-amazing” STARS Team, have organized site visits, recognition events and STARS Time (now a two-week initiative) in an effort to recognize the work and achievements of so many within the IWK.

MacAskill also seems to immerse herself in learning more about the IWK’s people, and their efforts, whenever possible. Through receiving feedback from Family Leadership Council, working on Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, to receiving the Ebola vaccine through IWK clinical trials, to helping decorate Smile Cookies with the IWK Tim Horton’s at 7 a.m., MacAskill believes that it takes a closer look to really understand all the work happening behind the scenes.

“It’s all perspective,” says MacAskill. “You can’t appreciate the challenge of someone else’s work until you’re trying to decorate a Smile Cookie and you see how hard it actually is.”

“My goal is to have recognition not associated with HR. I want it to be an IWK culture and a team culture,” says MacAskill. “We don’t want recognition to just be a one week or two-week mindset; it should be a constant endeavor.”

“I think if we make it easier for people to find ways to say ‘thank you’ or commend somebody for the work they’re doing, then the better we will be.”

To get involved with STARS and the effort to recognize the great work of IWK employees, contact Arlene at Arlene.MacAskill@iwk.nshealth.ca