Overall winner: Women’s Health Specialists

2013-04-15 18:18:02

Imagine yourself saying goodbye each the morning to your family so you can go to work, where …

You are greeted by your family.

Okay, the people who work at Women’s Health Specialists don’t all make up one biological family. But make no mistake: The Yuma health care provider creates and promotes a workplace environment that brings together its 57 employees in a tight-knit organization.

That sense of family was one of the factors in the provider’s selection by judges as Overall Winner in the 2012-13 Workplace Excellence Awards programs. The Yuma Sun and Southwest Arizona Human Resources Association hand out the awards annually to recognize businesses, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations whose employment practices best promote satisfaction and excellence in performance among their work force.

Women’s Health Specialists, located at 2911 S. 8th Ave., provides obstetric and gynecological care to patients from throughout Yuma County.

In fact, its mission is to be “the premier obstetric/gynecological office in Southwest Arizona that provides exceptional customer service.”

But to be able provide exceptional service to “external customers” — that is, to patients — employees of Women’s Health Specialists understand they must also pay attention to the “internal customers” — to one another.

The health care provider offers a number of incentives and rewards to its associates who do more than what is expected of them.

“One of the successful programs is our ‘Get Caught’ contest,” said Wendy Steward, Women’s Health Specialists administrator. “If any employee observes another employee going above and beyond their duties, they complete a card that we draw at every staff meeting.

“The person completing (the card) and the person receiving receive a prize. We like to reward employees who go above and beyond, even when their supervisor isn’t watching.”

Promoting open communication and an open-door philosophy throughout the office is also key to high employee morale, and ultimately high performance.

“We also have office email and instant messaging as needed,” said Steward. “We want our employees to feel that our office is not just a place to work, but that we are a family and that their opinions and suggestions matter.”

Women’s Health Specialists also cultivates employee commitment and dedication by creating both professional and personal growth programs.

To promote professional growth, the health care provider provides recurring in-house training for employees, as well as maintains a continuing education allowance that enables them to travel to out-of-town conferences.

“For personal growth, we want to make sure our employees are happy and healthy,” Steward said. “To accomplish this, we give our employees various awards and bonuses, gave a free 30-day gym pass and created a weight-loss initiative.”

Perhaps the best indicator of employee satisfaction is low turnover, said Steward, noting that some employees have more than 20 years of service with the company.

“Our employees make a difference every day, and we want to ensure their highest satisfaction. Inspiring greatness doesn’t just come from managers or owners; it comes from the heart of the organization — the very employees themselves. You will hear our employees laugh, support and cry with one another, and carry each other through hard times and the good. We are a dedicated, loyal family.”