News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
Sign In
Culture and Benefits Play Significant Role in Employee Satisfaction

Two clinical pathology laboratories were recently given high rankings on Modern Healthcare Magazine’s annual “100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare.” It is the first time that more than one medical laboratory has earned this recognition in the same year.

Anatomic pathology
testing company Clarient, Inc., was selected as the number three best place to work in healthcare. Based in Aliso Viejo, California, Clarient employs 391 people. In the past year, its voluntary turnover rate was 9%.

Ranking ahead of Clarient on the list was Allegan General Hospital of Allegan, Michigan, at number one and AtlantiCare of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey at number two.

The second clinical laboratory company to earn a position on the 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare was Pathology Associate Medical Laboratories, LLC, (PAML), based in Spokane, Washington. PAML ranked number 28. PAML employs 1,356 people and also has a voluntary turnover rate of 9%.

Two Clinical Laboratory Companies Rank in the Top 100
Modern Healthcare
publishes its annual list in an October supplement to the magazine. It ranks the best healthcare employers in the country by city, type of business, average annual salary, tenure of the current CEO, and the voluntary turnover rate.

To complete the survey, Modern Healthcare partnered with Best Companies Group, a third-party organization that conducts regional “best places to work” surveys nationwide.

Best Companies Group sent out two surveys to 328 healthcare companies and organizations that agreed to participate. The first survey questions the employer, and the second gauges the job satisfaction of the company’s employees.

According to Modern Healthcare, the results of the surveys show “what employers of all sizes and sectors have done to maintain morale and retain staff during tough economic times—and how they’re preparing for reform.”

According to Quint Studer, Founder and CEO of the Studer Group, Modern Healthcare’s parent organization, the secret to the success of the companies which earn a Top 100 ranking is “that they know how to attract high performers and bring out the best of them. They’ve been able to create the kind of organizational culture great employees like.”

  • Employers were measured on:
  • Overall employee engagement
  • Work environment
  • Role Satisfaction
  • Relationship with supervisor
  • Corporate culture and communications
  • Leadership and planning
  • Pay and benefits
  • Training and development

Employees were asked why they like working for their companies. Here are some of the key benefits researchers noted as significant toward overall employee satisfaction. The company:

  • Pays for some or all of vision coverage
  • Matches employee contributions to 401(k) or 403(b) accounts
  • Offers a bonus to employees who refer new hires
  • Offers employees a compressed work week
  • Offers employees telecommuting options
  • Employees given paid time off for community service/volunteer work
  • Pays 100% of employee health insurance premium
Clearly, even during times of economic hardship, providing certain benefits can create work environments that employees find enjoyable and gratifying. This is certainly true for medical laboratory employees.

Clarient’s Motto: “Train Them to Go, but Motivate Them to Stay”

That motto and others like it indicate why Clarient ranked first among medium-sized employers and third overall on Modern Healthcare’s annual survey. It is also why the pathology company says it’s only seen a 9 percent voluntary turnover.

“Nobody gets fired for making a mistake,” Clarient CEO Ronnie Andrews told Modern Healthcare. “People feel a sense of empowerment here. Their job matters. Their decision matters,” he said. “We get the team in a huddle and tell it like it is: ‘It’s going to be a tough week, or a tough month,” explained Andrews.

Clarient has fostered an open culture of “tolerance for risk taking” and constantly strived for an “open and transparent” relationship between the company, its managers and their employees.

“Every employee here knows that if they can’t go to their supervisor, their manager, they can, for lack of a better word, go up the chain,” said Sherrie Kline, senior director of human resources. “There’s no retribution. There’s no punishment. We want to know what’s going on.”

GE’s recent announcement that it would acquire Clarient and pay $578 million for the company might be considered an independent validation that Clarient has developed a positive working culture. (See Dark Daily,GE Healthcare Pays $587 Million to Purchase Clarient, the Specialty Pathology and Cancer Testing Firm.”)

According to Modern Healthcare’s research partner Best Companies Group, employees from medium-sized companies listed “trust and communications” as one of the most important differentiators for employee satisfaction and job performance.

Clarient employees also listed the company’s “mission and servant-leader culture” as a central motivator, especially where it concerns the cancer patients served by Clarient’s cancer testing program.

“None of us is more important than the patient at the other end. That holds us together and keeps us strong through good and bad,” said Andrews. “Because people are struggling with a ‘deadline’ disease, it helps us all rally and focus.”

Now in its fourth year, Modern Healthcare’s “100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare” honor seems to attracting more attention. Clinical laboratories and pathology groups interested in applying for inclusion on this list in 2011 should visit the Modern Healthcare website for further information and details on how to apply.

Related Information:

Modern Healthcare’s
Best Places to Work in Healthcare program