Scripps Health has been named among the top 25 employers in the nation by Fortune magazine. Fortune’s 17th annual list of America’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” ranked Scripps as No. 24 — up from No. 43 last year — and is one of only two San Diego-based companies to make the list since the list’s inception in 1998.
“It is an honor to be named to Fortune’s ‘100 Best’ list for the seventh year and being listed as No. 24 is our highest ranking yet,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps. “It’s the people that we hire, the work that we do, and a culture of transparency and communication that makes Scripps a great place to work.”
Planning for the future
Fortune recognized Scripps for its strong leadership team and the organization’s ability to eliminate waste and cut spending in order to avoid layoffs and meet today’s healthcare challenges.
“Working together horizontally across the system instead of just vertically within our hospitals, we have improved the quality of our care for our patients and reduced costs at the same time,” said Van Gorder.
These performance improvements — $77 million in Fiscal Year 2011, $64 million in FY 2012, $83 million in FY 2013, and a projected performance improvement goal of $97 million in FY 2014 — have helped Scripps remain financially stable despite the steady decline in government and insurance payments for care.
“Our employees and physicians have come together across locations and disciplines to identify unnecessary variation and develop new solutions for us and for our patients,” said Van Gorder. “By being proactive about health care reform and encouraging employee engagement, we have maintained our financial strength and continue to expand while others are reducing their workforce, cutting pay and eliminating benefits.”
Sharing in the success
At a time when other companies are cancelling employee bonuses due to a weak economy and uncertainty about the future, Scripps was able to distribute incentive pay to nearly 12,000 employees in December 2013 as part of the Success Shares Program. Success Shares rewards employee efforts in achieving patient satisfaction and financial performance goals.
“We invest in our employees with programs like Success Shares because they’re engaged in providing quality care to our patients,” said Vic Buzachero, corporate senior vice president for innovation, human resources and performance management. “Thanks to the hard work of our employees, we’ve made significant gains in patient satisfaction and financial performance. Because of this, we’re able to share our financial success with staff.”
The Success Shares Program, along with several other benefits at Scripps, came about as the result of employee feedback. Scripps Human Resources representatives regularly meet with staff to hear about their experiences with and priorities for workplace benefits and programs. Employee comments from these focus groups are used to design and enhance new and existing benefits programs for the entire Scripps system.
“Our employees are our most valuable asset and our goal is to attract and retain top talent who help make us the first choice for patient care,” said Buzachero. “We believe that employee engagement and communication are core components of our workplace.”
In the rare occurrence that a position is eliminated due to changing business needs, employees can continue earning their base pay and benefits while the Scripps Career Resource Center (CRC) helps them search for a new job within or outside of the organization. In addition, the center assists employees in developing resumes, searching jobs, preparing for interviews and acquiring temporary work assignments to learn new skills.
“As part of Scripps’ commitment to caring for our employees, our practice is to avoid layoffs wherever possible,” said Van Gorder. “The Career Resource Center has provided support, boosted morale, and saved the company money in severance pay.”
Since its inception, more than 800 employees have participated in the CRC with job placements in or outside of the organization. In 2013, 84 employees participated in the program, saving the organization more than $1 million in severance costs.
The list will appear in the Feb. 3 issue of Fortune. To pick the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America; 257 firms participated in this year’s survey. More than 252,000 employees at those companies were surveyed by the institute, a global research and consulting firm operating in 45 countries around the world. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the institute’s Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.
The Fortune magazine ranking comes on the heels of four other national accolades Scripps Health has received for workplace excellence. In its 2011-13 listing, AARP ranked Scripps as one of the top employers in the country for its 50 Best Employers for Workers Over 50. This was the seventh consecutive year Scripps was named to the AARP list. Scripps was selected for the ninth year to the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers List 2013 by Working Mother Magazine. Also in 2013, the E-Learning organization named Scripps 10th in the nation for enterprise learning and Becker’s Hospital Review named Scripps among the 100 Great Places to Work in Healthcare.
Learn more about Scripps Health, an integrated health care system in San Diego, Calif.
- Lisa Ohmstede