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Utah's CHG No. 3 on Fortune's best-places-to-work list

Published January 16, 2013 10:05 pm

Labor • Ranking is highest for a health care company since magazine started assessment.
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CHG Healthcare, the physician staffing company in Holladay, has something in common with Google.

The two companies — along with software company SAS Institute — are the top workplaces in the U.S., Fortune magazine said Wednesday.

Google was No. 1. CHG came in at No. 3. In between on Fortune's latest 100 Best Companies to Work For list was North Carolina-based SAS.

CHG moved up six spots from last year's No. 9 spot, achieving the highest ranking ever for a health care company on Fortune's list, now in its 16th year.

The underlying foundation of CHG's rise to the apex of U.S. workplaces rests on the energy it devotes to communicate with its 860 employees in Holladay, and more than 600 workers in offices outside the state, CEO MIchael Weinholtz said.

Each year, the company hires an outside consultant to help it survey employees about their level of satisfaction and connection to CHG, their co-workers and their role. Smaller surveys during the year amplify the annual assessment, Weinholtz said.

When the company discerns something that might help morale and boost productivity, it acts. After analyzing results of one survey, the company opened an onsite medical clinic for employees and their families.

"We spend more time talking about culture and values than typical business topics like strategy and innovation," said Weinholtz, who writes a blog and talks every day to close to 30 people outside the handful of senior executives who report to him. "We believe the right environment is more important than some of those other things. If you don't have great people, [the company] is not going to be as effective."

Fortune develops the annual list with help from the Great Places to Work Institute, a research and consulting company. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the result of a "trust index survey," which is sent to a random sample of employees. The survey probes employees for the their attitudes about management credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie.

The other third asks questions about pay, benefits, hiring practices, internal communication, diversity efforts and recognition programs. Weinholtz said CHG was ranked No. 1 among the 100 companies for its efforts to share information with employees. A corporate events team organizes 270 employee events a year, he said.

CHG was the only Utah-based company on the list. However several companies that operate in the state are represented, including Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), Marriott International, Whole Foods Market, Nordstrom and Goldman Sachs.

The complete list will be released officially on Thursday.

pbeebe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribpaul —

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