“We ask ourselves, ‘How do we solve that problem so they can do their jobs effectively?’ ” Arora said, adding, “We are in the business of helping people do their work. If we help (our staff) move their own obstacles out of the way, they’ll be happier and do their part. We ask ourselves, ‘How can we make their lives’ easier?’ And if we remove that obstacle, there’ll be a return on that investment.”
Clearly, LiquidAgents is doing something right. It won the inaugural Millennials Award for suppliers in the 2016 Best Places to Work ranking and placed third in 2018. The company also placed in the top 32 of healthcare suppliers overall since 2009.
A key to this success is leadership’s open-door policy and weekly all-hands meetings, where staff members are informed on company updates and achievements are celebrated, Arora said.
Recognizing excellence is essential to LiquidAgents, Arora said, but it also wanted to add a fun, interactive twist to the traditional “employee of the month” award. Winners get to spin a prize wheel with gifts ranging from an Apple Watch to maid service for a month. The prizes are chosen by the employees and change every quarter. The recruiter who closes the most deals that month also gets to try their luck.
Creating that fun, interactive workplace also builds a community atmosphere, which is a goal for many employers. At Hillcrest Hospital Cushing (Okla.), town halls with entertaining themes are used to create that culture while also recognizing exceptional staff.
The town halls are hosted twice a year, with all hospital staff invited and each one having a different theme. The last theme was “The Tonight Show,” featuring an interview with the pharmacy manager, who has been with the hospital for 20 years.
“People love it. It’s opportunities like that we look for. We are constantly looking to do things differently,” said Kevin Hawk, the hospital’s CEO. “They always involve food, music and other entertainment.”
The search for community-building programs led to a community garden, where staff members’ “competitive juices” can flourish, Hawk said. Those whose crops grow faster and larger earn themselves bragging rights, but it’s all lighthearted, he added. Staffers help one another with their crops because while they can take the produce home for a fresh meal, many donate their harvest to charitable causes like local food banks.
The garden started about a year ago based on the recommendation of one of the hospital’s office managers. A carpenter on staff helped build the 3-foot-tall garden beds.
“The community garden has had an amazing first year,” Hawk said. “The staff has fully embraced it. Other companies in the area are using our model, too. The winners are the people who live here. It’s a win for everyone.”
Hawk also rejected negative stigmas attached to millennials, including being called “job hoppers.” Research backs him up: 67% of millennials say loyalty to their employer is important to them, equal to baby boomers and Gen Xers, according to a 2017 Capital Group study. Hawk said it comes down to finding the right people and being upfront about expectations. When those individuals are found, loyalty is offered by both parties, he added.
“It’s about treating people not in a group mentality but as individuals,” he said, “helping them reach their goals and providing them with education and opportunities to meet their dreams. It comes back to communications 101.”
Best Places to Work in Healthcare 2019