Leading With Heart
Ensuring employees feel heard, supported and valued
Many staffing firms across the globe claim to operate with caring values and compassion, but not many can show proof that they are operating heart first. A glowing exception is Uniti Med, “The Staffing Agency with Heart,” which shows every day that they are leading with heart for their employees, their clients, their travelers and their wider community.
Founded in 2021 with just a handful of employees, Omaha, Nebraska-based Uniti Med by April 2023 had an internal headcount of 110. This explosive growth is due in large part to Uniti’s commitment to developing and preserving its culture — a commitment so strong that one of the first senior leadership positions the organization hired was a director of culture. “We were inspired to focus on building a community within our four walls, building an environment where we know we have more in common than not,” COO Chris Sund explains. “A place where differences are welcomed and people are encouraged to be themselves, allowing us to work together, play together and thrive together.”
This environment of heart and growth is evident in how Uniti treats its staff. For example, each Friday, the organization holds a company-wide meeting to discuss recent business updates, leadership decisions and rationale, and special projects and opportunities. Those meetings are rounded out by recognizing staff nominated by colleagues for going above and beyond to make someone’s life or job easier. These MVPs receive genuine, heartfelt thanks for their efforts. In this way, Friday meetings create a sense of pride and community among the Uniti Med team members.
Accessibility to senior leadership and a flat hierarchy also enable the staff to feel they are truly involved in building Uniti up from every level, even if they are new to the company. One such team member is Chad Crawford, who joined the organization in February of this year as VP of sales. With 15 years in the staffing industry already under his belt, Crawford knew he wanted something different in his next career move. “I was looking for a culture that had heart, amazing people that invested and built each other up,” he shares. He found that culture in Uniti — and he also found the opportunity to begin making an impact right away. “Joining a young organization like Uniti Med gives you the feeling that you’re helping to build something from the ground up. You’re having a significant impact on the organization and developing its vision.”
A Culture of Care
Uniti is devoted to hearing, understanding and acting on its employees’ needs. One example of this is a centralized suggestion box in which all suggestions are made a priority. Submissions are reviewed and tracked to ensure employees are being heard and taken seriously. It’s a key aspect to creating the culture of care that the firm prides itself on, explains Director of HR Lynn Owen. “It’s important to continue to foster an environment where employees are heard, supported and valued,” she shares.
Another way Uniti shows its dedication to its employees is with a wide range of benefits programs, from great health insurance offerings and flexible time off to a large variety of non-traditional benefits designed to support employees’ mental health, encourage their passions outside of the workplace and create an environment of inclusiveness. These benefits range from breakfast provided by an on-site chef every workday to fun in-office events like Mario Day, celebrated with a Mario Kart video game contest.
Employees are also celebrated for achievements or life events outside of work. For example, celebrations such as baby showers and diaper parties are held for new and expecting parents. These social events are a chance for employees to take some time out of their schedule to celebrate each other during very exciting times of their lives while deepening personal connections.
One challenge that Uniti Med faces in a post-pandemic world is the inclusion of remote workers in events and ensuring they also feel that team connection. While local employees often benefit from fun team events and dinners, the firm ensures that its remote employees are also included with fun personalized gifts or gift certificates to hot spots local to their area. Regardless of where they’re located, Uniti leadership makes sure that no employee feels left out or forgotten during special celebrations.
While positively impacting employees and clients is a priority for most organizations, a wide impact within the community isn’t necessarily a given — but Uniti knows the importance of giving back. Director of Culture Micaela Zimmer organizes service opportunities for team members looking for ways to incorporate values and culture with service to the community. “When employees get to volunteer together, they see each other’s humanity,” she shares. “They really get a chance to create relationships with team members they won’t normally interact with.” Organizations benefitting from Uniti Med’s outreach include Special Olympics of Omaha and Omaha Black History Museum.
Overall, being a Best Staffing Firm to Work For comes not only from creating a solid culture but also finding a way to use that culture to better the lives of everyone that interacts with the organization. As Long-Term Care Recruiter Levi Anderson puts it, “The key to continuing to be a Best [Staffing Firm] to Work For is being a company made up of people that hold the core values to heart, where everyone continues to work, develop and live them every day — a company where people focus on making everything around them better.”