Repeated Success
Attracting top talent brings stellar results at CHG Healthcare Services

When Annalee Rowley began at CHG Healthcare Services some 20 years ago as an administrative assistant, she was a single parent with four children.

That’s when she discovered the company’s “people first” philosophy and its dedication to ensuring that employees can have a work-life balance. CHG’s people-first philosophy allowed her to juggle raising children with a career.

Later, when her father passed away, CHG sent flowers as well as a card signed by top management.

From her start at the company, Rowley has since been promoted into management, presently serving as sales manager with CHG’s CompHealth division on the anesthesiology team. And she says that she can’t imagine being anywhere else.

“I came as a single mom, but my background before I came here was a homemaker,” Rowley says. “They had to invest a lot of time and money in training me to be a manager.”

The company’s efforts, she says, have meant the world to her.

We Listen & Improve

Rowley’s story is just one at CHG, which ranks as the top staffing firm to work for this year in the category of 501 or more internal workers. The Salt Lake City-based firm has appeared on the list of Best Staffing Firms to Work For before — in fact, it’s placed on the list six times in the last seven years. It also ranks as the secondlargest healthcare staffing firm, and it appears on the most recent list of fastest-growing staffing firms.

CHG offers many perks to its employees, including free onsite healthcare, a smoothie bar, onsite gym and cafeteria. It’s also building a new headquarters in Midvale, Utah. But the company’s people-first philosophy is what really sets it apart, according to workers. CHG listens to what they say and takes action. “It really starts with our putting people first philosophy,” says Leslie Snavely, senior VP of marketing and business development. “It’s really the No. 1 thing we focus on every day.”

CHG listens to its workers daily, but one example of its listening to employee concerns is its annual employee opinion survey. The company has made several improvements based on the survey, including the idea for the onsite health clinic, but it also looks into smaller ideas raised, such as needs for improved ice machines in the office. The survey takes place in February and March, and the raw results are shared anonymously with the entire company.

“It’s much about the act of asking and truly listening that creates an environment where people tell you what they think and they want to make it better,” says Snavely, who has been with the company for seven years.

Giving Back

Another aspect of CHG: The company gives back to the community, and workers get eight hours each year to volunteer with a nonprofit of their choice.

The company also went a step further this year when it sent six employees to Kenya to help build a high school as part of its Difference Maker Award. CHG even posted a YouTube video following the workers as they worked on the school, met with the locals, interacted with giraffes and reflected on the differences between cultures. It was the CHG’s first such trip, and the company plans to do it again this year.

One of those who went to Kenya last year is Charese Jamison, a provider representative with CHG’s CompHealth division, who has been with the company for more than four years.

Jamison’s background also includes founding an organization with eight other women called BOLD (Bridging Opportunity, Love and Determination) to help women and their children. In fact, Jamison and the others were invited to the White House for an event to recognize their efforts. BOLD is under the National Crittenton Foundation umbrella, which focuses on helping teen mothers stay in school and improve their futures. Jamison also works with the Crittenton Services of Wheeling, W. Va., to partner with the state of West Virginia on a number of events sharing her story and talking about the state of women in West Virginia. In addition, she volunteers at her church. And Jamison says the company encourages her to take time to volunteer and gives her the flexible schedule to do so.

Jamison also stresses the job at CHG is impactful in itself.

Placing healthcare providers in rural areas that would not otherwise receive healthcare is very important.

“If I don’t have a doctor in this area, if someone has a heart attack they have a greater chance of dying,” says Jamison, who is on the cardiology team.

Regular Feedback

Workers also have access to executives, and the company focuses on its workers’ success. They help each other and push one another to succeed. CHG also paves the way for workers’ success, providing them the training they need to do their jobs properly. Jamison says she was trained for eight weeks when she joined the firm.

“They set it up so that you can’t fail, and then when you do succeed they reward you,” she says.

Workers get feedback on how they can improve and managers also receive reviews from their subordinates.

“Feedback is a daily thing, it’s not just once a year on your annual review,” says Rowley, the sales manager at CompHeatlh. It also happens on a monthly basis, with one-on-one meetings with direct reports in addition to on-the-spot feedback, and people shouldn’t be surprised about how well they are doing. Even if the company and a worker eventually part ways, the company’s made sure he or she had the opportunity to make changes or determined together that the fit wasn’t right. As a result, even the departure is amicable.

Growing Together

But how does treating people well help the company? It helps by attracting the right workers, inspiring them to work their best and encouraging them to remain with the company, cutting down on costly turnover. Attracting and retaining top talent leads to top results.

“People want to be here, and when you want to be here you give your best work,” says Snavely, the senior VP of marketing and business development. “We attract the best talent and retain the best talent.”

There are many jobs but a scarcity of top talent. Snavely says she discovered CHG herself when she found it on a Fortune magazine best places work list. “I had a great job before this, but I was feeling like I wanted to be a part of something that was making more of a difference in the world and healthcare staffing felt like it was something that fit that mold,” she says. “And I heard of the company in the first year CHG won that award.” The others agreed that treating workers well encourages them to do their best as well as remain with the company.

Jamison sums it up: “I feel fortunate, I feel very blessed to be part of an organization who really lives and breathes their core values and considers the people their greatest asset.”