TRIUNE Health Group Named One of Chicago's Best Places to Work 

For Immediate Release 21 April 2010
Contact: Thomas Yep 630.522.8904

TRIUNE Health Group was named one of the Best Places to Work in the greater Chicagoland area by Crain’s Chicago Business, the city’s premier Business publication. With over 30,000 business professionals from over 250 different companies surveyed, being named to this prestigious list is exactly that. “First and foremost we would like to thank our customers” Chris Yep, founder, president and CEO said, “without them, we would not have an award to talk about.”

Happy employees mean happy customers. Once a month, Triune employees attend a staff meeting. It's an expensive proposition, given that its employees in the field bill by the hour and work as far away as Washington, D.C. "We feel it's essential that people hear directly from us what we're trying to accomplish and that we hear back from them what are the barriers to success, what's on their wish list," says Chris Yep, founder, president and CEO of the family-run business that provides rehabilitation services and wellness programs for insurance companies and small and large employers.

Understanding employees and customizing programs to meet their needs at different life and career stages may be the key characteristic of all the Best Places to Work. Hearing what employees need is part of Triune's emphasis on respect and a good work-life balance. In order to provide the best service, TRIUNE Health Group also provides employees in the field with a BlackBerry, air card, laptop and printer. "We're given a lot of encouragement and support," says Nancy Galloway, a nurse case manager who knows employees at rival companies who catch up on e-mail at home at night because they don't have similar technical support.

Obviously, having the resources to offer employees generous benefits (and salaries) can set a company apart as a desirable place to work, especially at a time when other employers have been cutting back due to the recession. The companies on this year's Best Places to Work list also share qualities that aren't determined by budgets, particularly an emphasis on career development and the availability of flexible work arrangements. Offering employees the opportunity to rotate to other areas within a company, providing mentoring by senior colleagues, letting people work from home or giving them flexible hours cost little or nothing but can have a big impact on morale.

It also doesn't take a big investment to foster a culture that suits a company's unique workforce. Culture it is more than just the mood of the office. It's the way you do business, the way communication is handled. It should translate into everything you're doing and be reflected in the programs you're using.  

Details on the Best Places to Work Award:

Who was eligible? Any business with more than 50 employees as of Sept. 30 in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. More than 250 applied. In past years, a firm needed 100 employees to apply. Dropping the threshold allowed wider participation. "Larger companies tended to score better on the employer survey because they have more resources and are able to offer more employee programs," says Don Strickland, leader of Buck Consultants LLC's employee listening practice. "Smaller companies tended to score better on the employee survey because they provide a more inviting everyday work environment. By using both surveys, each size has a relatively equal opportunity to compete."

What criteria were used? Buck Consultants, a New York-based employee and human resources consulting firm, developed two surveys, one for the company and another for its employees. In total, 150 companies completed both rounds. More than 30,000 employees took the survey. The employer portion focused on quantitative issues about pay, promotions, health care and other benefits, hiring practices and more. The 41-question employee engagement portion dealt with fairness of pay, vacation time, relationships with management and co-workers, career development and other day-to-day workplace issues.

What is engagement? Employee engagement is an indicator of the degree to which employees feel involved and committed to their work. As the survey results show, key factors in engagement include open and transparent management, clear communication of company goals and obvious paths to promotion.

How was it scored? The two surveys had a possible combined score of 1,000 points, with 600 derived from the employee survey.

Information supplied by Crain’s Chicago Business: