Where work­ers have the CEO’s ear

Feed­back from Liq­uidA­gents staffers seen as cru­cial by their boss

Modern Healthcare - - THE BEST PLACES TO WORK IN HEALTHCARE -

At least once a month, usu­ally more of­ten, the CEO of nurse-staffing com­pany Liq­uidA­gents Health­care meets with em­ploy­ees with­out their im­me­di­ate man­agers. The CEO, Shel­don Arora, hears any con­cerns em­ploy­ees may have and can re­spond im­me­di­ately. But if that doesn’t give Arora enough of a sense of what’s go­ing on, he also hits the floor, reg­u­larly walk­ing through the area where re­cruiters and sales­peo­ple are work­ing the phones, try­ing to re­cruit nurses to match up with the client hos­pi­tals that need to fill crit­i­cal po­si­tions. Em­ploy­ees ap­pre­ci­ate that level of ac­cess to the top lead­er­ship. “He wants to talk to us,” re­cruiter David McKen­zie said. “He wants to know what prob­lems there are, so he can get it fixed. At an­other com­pany I worked for in the past, the only time I ever talked to a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive was if she wanted some­thing from Star­bucks.”

The col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach seems to be ef­fec­tive. Liq­uidA­gents, based in Plano, Texas, is No. 3 on the rank­ing of small health­care sup­plier firms in Mod­ern Health­care’s Best Places to Work in Health­care for 2015. It’s No. 8 among all sup­pli­ers and No. 14 over­all.

“Th­ese guys out on the floor are the clos­est to our hos­pi­tals and our nurses,” Arora said. “They share all sorts of in­ter­est­ing in­for­ma­tion about what cus­tomers are say­ing.” He said their feed­back is vi­tal be­cause it usu­ally high­lights is­sues he can act on im­me­di­ately.

Also, he likes be­ing around his mostly young staff. “It’s pretty en­er­giz­ing for me per­son­ally,” Arora said.

It can be fun for the work­ers, too. There are nights out at mi­nor league base­ball games; spon­ta­neous sales in­cen­tives such as con­cert tick­ets or cash; ping pong and pool ta­bles; and lately, Beer Cart Fri­day.

Re­cruiters and sales­peo­ple can carry a high caseload try­ing to meet cer­tain goals, some­times mak­ing 150 phone calls a day. Em­ploy­ees on on­line job re­view sites re­peat­edly say the work is very fast-paced and de­mand­ing, but it’s also re­ward­ing.

“Their days are tough,” Arora said. “So we try to make it fun and in­ter­est­ing.”

And there are financial re­wards. Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, some em­ploy­ees can make $500 ex­tra a month just in in­cen­tives. Staff work on a com­mis­sion struc­ture that re­wards them when they work harder or smarter, McKen­zie said.

“You have a lot of con­trol over your own financial fu­ture,” McKen­zie said. “At a lot of places, you can’t give your­self a raise ev­ery month like you can here.”

A team of Liq­uidA­gents Health­care staffers gath­ers for a photo dur­ing an out­ing to a Frisco RoughRid­ers mi­nor league base­ball game.

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