I love stories about leaders who care. President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Paul Levy is one of those leaders. He doesn’t just say he cares, but shows it. Faced with the prospect of laying off 600 employees, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. This is a leader who truly understands that the “C” and “E” in CEO should stand for caring and empathy. He saw these 600 employees as people with families. Many of them were lower wage workers who if given a “pink slip” would only be a paycheck or two from losing their homes.
As companies continue to lay off thousands of people, this company found an innovative way to keep the people they care about (all of their employees and families) and prevent families and lives from undo adversity and possible poverty. How did they do it? By setting up what they call “alternative work.” Work that was contracted out is now done by employees. They even have a corporate garden that employees work in and sell.