Care-coordination consulting is one of the services CQuence Health Group offers its clients, but the company also specializes in a coordinated approach to wellness among its own employees.
At CQuence, wellness moves to front of the line
“I'm a big believer that if you take care of your employees, everything will follow, including customer satisfaction and other benefits across the board,” says Mike Cassling, president and CEO of the Omaha, Neb.-based firm.
CQuence oversees a group of firms that work with consumers and healthcare organizations offering marketing, human resources, medical technology and clinical services to streamline healthcare delivery. The 29-employee company placed No. 5 overall in this year's 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare and No. 2 in the small-employer category, those with 25 to 99 staffers.
Cassling and his staff believe strongly that taking care of employees means providing them with the resources to help them take care of themselves. That includes a comprehensive wellness program.
New employees are always impressed by the company's gym, says Lindsay Cosimano, CQuence's chief marketing officer. Staffers can practice yoga, play basketball and use the exercise equipment. A physical-fitness “boot camp” and other classes are included for employees who pay a $10 a month gym membership fee.
Innovative ways some Best Places are using sustainable or green practices:
- Innovative Healthcare Solutions, Punta Gorda, Fla.—Paperless webinars and meetings.
- Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, Fruitland, Idaho—32 eco-friendly vehicles are provided to top employees.
- JSA HealthCare Corp., St. Petersburg, Fla.—Styrofoam cups eliminated, and every employee gets a tumbler or cup for beverages.
- Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, Metairie—Used toner cartridges donated to local school PTAs for fundraising.
- Pikeville (Ken.) Medical Center—Recycles all cardboard, uses reusable dishware, separates solid from medical waste and abstains from mercury-related products by using digital thermostats.
Cassling says CQuence considered offering gym access for free, but management believes that if employees spend their own money, they'll be more inclined to use the facilities. “If they have skin in the game, they're more likely to work out rather than watching the membership go to waste,” Cassling says.
Cassling's father, Bob, founded the company in 1984, and an employee-benefits program titled Captain Cassling's Journey to Wellness is named in honor of the elder Cassling. Staff established the pirate-themed program in 2001 as something fun that would be attractive to employees, Cosimano says. Bob Cassling helmed CQuence, much like a captain of a ship, which is what inspired the name, she says. The company gives individual employees a stipend of $300 a year and families $500 a year that can be spent on almost anything that benefits the wellness of the employee or the employee's family.
While the program does have some restrictions—for example, employees can't spend the money on groceries—workers are invited to find creative uses for the stipend. Some use it on fishing, hunting or parks licenses. Others use it to buy fitness equipment or fees for cooking classes to help them learn how to serve healthier fare at home. CQuence also has started to distribute free Fitbits, small electronic devices that measure the user's physical activities and help employees monitor progress toward individual fitness goals.
“For us, it's more about giving people the resources to define wellness in their own terms,” Cosimano says. “It's for the mind and body; it's not just about working out.”
In addition to its dedication to wellness, CQuence looks for ways to support professional growth among its staff, Cassling says, singling out its employee-development program. The program, “Road Map to Success,” has evolved over the years from employee input through surveys and one-on-one discussions. Workers identify two or three key areas they'd like to focus on in terms of career goals and acquisition of new skills. The employee then works with training modules and a development plan also designed to foster better communication between employee and management.
“The tool can help get employees off to a fast start, revitalize current employees, improve communication and build sound employee-manager relationships,” says CQuence spokeswoman Jane Schuster.
Follow Ashok Selvam on Twitter: @MH_aselvam
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.