Lafayette Regional Health Center
Health-care heavyweight HCA, which had $33 billion in revenue last year, operates 164 hospitals in the United States and England. Exactly one of those finished atop the organization’s employee-satisfaction scores in 2010: Lafayette Regional Health Center. That says a lot about the kind of workplace it is for 214 people—176 of them full-timers—in Lexington, Mo. And that No. 1 was no fluke: LRHC was in the top four among those 164 in each of the previous four years. Physicians affiliated with the hospital turned in similar satisfaction scores. Employee satisfaction starts with the paycheck, and the average hourly wage of $30.94 makes the hospital a key economic force in the county. No one on staff earns less than $8.80 an hour, or 20 percent more than the minimum wage, and the hospital provides free health insurance to employees who earn below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. It doesn’t stop with pay: “We believe in investing in our employees,” says HR director Lee Tagai, and they do so with a whopping $4,500 maximum reimbursement for tuition and leadership seminars. Driving the development message further, and building shared values: A $225 stipend to employees who read a self-development book and take an open-book test, something nearly 75 percent of the staff has done. It all pays off with a turnover rate of just 11 percent—nearly half the national norm.
Mariner Wealth Advisors
Mariner Wealth Advisors pays 99 percent of the cost for health-insurance premiums for its associates and families. That must surely make the national debate over health-care costs an abstraction for more than 300 professionals who work there. Which is good, because it lets them focus on building a company that started five years ago with a staff of just eight. Mariner has been riding a rocket of growth, both organic and acquisition-driven, doubling its work force in 2010 and adding 20 percent more already this year. Founder Marty Bicknell, who hosts all of those employees in an annual Fall Festival on his farm, has labored mightily to build a different kind of wealth-management workplace, one with no corporate mandates, no proprietary products to sell and no limits on what his associates can achieve. “We have created a company culture that’s intentionally unlike the typical financial advisory firm,” says Kara Stoecklein, senior vice president for human resources. Veterans of Wall Street “boiler rooms” wouldn’t be able to comprehend Mariner’s alternative work arrangements, which include flexible hours, reduced and compressed work schedules and telecommuting. Or an associate referral bonus program maxes out at an eye-popping $20,000 per referral—in addition to performance bonuses. The organizational payoff? Talent that has helped Mariner bulk up to manage nearly $1 billion in assets through 2010.
Every employee knows that work impacts life. Astute managers, like those at McGladrey, are dialed into the other half of that equation: Life impacts work. So the nation’s fifth-largest provider of assurance, tax and consulting services engages its work force with a wide range of programs that make employees more effective at what they do. One is Coach on Call, which helps staff members manage stress, discuss career development or improve interpersonal effectiveness. The 150 employees in McGladrey’s Kansas City office (out of 7,000 nationwide) are also able to participate in work-life Webinars, avail themselves of the employee-assistance program, improve their fitness through the stay-well health program or tap into Sittercity, which connects families with in-home care-givers. There’s even concierge service, to assist with errands, house-cleaning or odd jobs that clash with workplace needs. Some of that is derived through the power of a strong umbrella organization that provides policy guidance, but the Kansas City office’s management of those programs earned it a 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. Similar recognition has come from BusinessWeek magazine and WorkingMother.com’s 100 Best Companies in 2010, for best in class with work-life flexibility. That kind of recognition, says marketing manager Laura Bopes, speaks to the company’s commitment to supporting personal and professional growth of employees—the foundation for its customer service.