Where workers have the CEO’s ear
Feedback from LiquidAgents staffers seen as crucial by their boss
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.