Continuous improvement makes Valley Healthcare Staffing a best place to work

Valley Healthcare Staffing has been in business for 15 years, placing traveling nurses, technicians and other medical personnel in temporary jobs. In that time, the company has constantly innovated to provide employees with a good working environment.

“We want people to want to be here and hate to leave,” said founder Steve Swan.

The Sacramento-based staffing firm, with 31 employees in its one office, now occupies a spot on Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2017 Best Staffing Firms to Work For list.

The firm is always looking for ways to improve the workplace for its employees – including acting on suggestions from its staff.

“The team is extraordinarily engaged with each other,” Swan said. “We embrace questions and improvements.”

Swan pointed to a number of areas in which the company has taken traditional workplace practices and improved on them to make the firm stand out as an employer:

* Flexibility. For example, with company personnel living all over the Sacramento area, some were spending a lot of time sitting in traffic on their way to the office. The firm created flexibility, asking everyone to be in the office for “core hours” in the middle of the day, but allowing employees to start and end their workdays at home or in another location that was more convenient for commuting. That way, they can do their driving in the middle of the day, when traffic is lighter.

The firm also offers employees the option of working four 10-hour days per week, so people who love skiing, for example, can have long weekends.

* Healthy habits. “We encourage healthy living,” Swan said. “A healthy team is a happier team.”

The firm has a nutritionist in the office regularly to work with employees and offers health food choices for its staff, such as salad every Tuesday. There are also regular contests in which employees form teams to see who can log the most workout hours in a month, for example.

* Broad-based bonus plan. Valley has bonus programs that all employees can participate in (in addition to traditional commission programs for recruiters).

“Our payroll specialist is also participating in the growth of the company, so we all have our goals aligned” when that person is also able to get a bonus if the company does well, Swan said.

* Engagement with employees. Valley uses Officevibe, employee engagement software that allows the firm to survey its employees weekly. They can find out if employees are feeling happy, eating well or establishing relationships with their colleagues outside the office. They can also ask employees questions such as how the work environment could be improved, or what additional tools would help them do their jobs better. The software produces an aggregate score that measures employee engagement as well as specific suggestions from employees — and the firm acts based on employees’ answers.

“It allows us to keep our finger on the pulse to make sure we have happy and healthy teammates,” Swan said.