Culture is sporadic. Some directors and managers, particularly in the clinics and quality care areas say they will help or are working on something, but they are literally out to lunch half the day (shopping trips, running errands, doing anything but work). Others give it their all for a company that shows little meaningful appreciation to anyone. It could be a really great place to work, but there’s way too much dead weight and poor leadership that constantly makes excuses, instead of getting things done.
Support from management
This depends almost entirely on your supervisor or director. I particularly like mine, and I get a lot of support. How much your specialty or group gets from the market leadership and corporate is a totally different question. It often feels like you are working alone, and corporate doesn’t exist. CHS has been super-tight for years, and they repeatedly make costly financial decisions that just exacerbate the problem. The technology across the company is almost a decade behind where it should be, because they got into a pissing match with Microsoft over paying licensing fees. Guess what? No one has anything up to date, unless it is purchased individually for a specific purpose, and there is no other option. In the end, you will probably feel like you work for Ebenezer Scrooge, and there’s no Christmas.
It is very case-by-case. Some teams will work with you any way they can, and most people individually will, too. However, at the management/director level, there is a large group that will endlessly schedule meetings for ‘CYA’ purposes, but you’ll never get any work or help from any of them. They have ruined my opinion of the company, since no one seems to recognize just how ineffective they are, and no one will get rid of all the dead weight.
Freedom to work independently
My job is very independent. I also don’t have a lot of support or resources, but it all depends on where you are or what you do. Some areas frown on independent work, and some bosses clearly don’t want anyone to bring attention to how much could get done, with the right work ethic and attitude.
Almost everything comes out in email or announcements on the cafeteria electronic notice system. Few department meetings or discussions about upcoming events, new programs, etc.
There is an occasional whiff of good old boy networking, but there are a lot of female nurses and doctors, and THAT kind of stuff doesn’t fly far or long. On the other hand, HR policies on various types of leave are generally the least generous they could get away with and still have a policy.
Attitude towards older colleagues
This is one area where they do a good job. The company employs a lot of older folks, and it seems to treat them fairly well. They also have a large volunteer group of retirees, and they do some nice things for them.
If you are in nursing, they will almost shove you through school, if you say you’re willing. Almost all other jobs, that’s not true. HR policies offer tuition assistance (I believe up to $2500 per year, nowhere near what many companies offer), but virtually no one gets it, and if you do, you also have to commit to working an additional year for each year if tuition assistance that you receive. There are a lot of resources devoted to mandatory training, but little else. There are very few opportunities to brush up on computer skills, learn business- or work-related skills, leadership skills, etc. Most of what you get here is simple professional experience.
Overall compensation for your work
Salary on the low end for my specialty, no bonus system, decent but not outstanding 401k, matching after a year, expensive medical insurance for the coverage offered and copays involved, fairly cheap vision, life, and disability, plus several other types of insurance that are of little value.
Office / Work Environment
The building has needed serious mechanical and structural updates for quite a few years. They are working on some of them, but progress seems very slow. We often have issues with heat and air, there are literally open holes to crawl spaces where ducts should be, and there are lots of rough edges that have needed paint or repair for years. Lighting is often either non-existent or extremely bright and harsh.
Foam and plastic everything, in the cafeteria. No working recycling program, even in areas where plain paper could easily be recycled.
Most of the supervisors and directors I’ve met make a serious effort to work around family or other big events. I’ve heard long-time employees regularly comment that ‘at least they take care of me when I ask for PTO (paid time off)’.
On the other hand, I and many other employees have been promised additional vacation or immediate vacation availability, but I’ve spoken with numerous employees who say that HR will lie to your face about this during the hiring process, then make no effort to meet what you agreed to, after you are hired. You will get 2 weeks of vacation per year, accrued at a rate of about 3 hrs per two week pay period.
HR policies do not support a decent work-life balance, and new hourly employees are forced to use a day of PTO before they can use sick time, until they have more than 2 weeks of sick days built up!
Some things, the company does really well, but the main hospital has always had a poor reputation, and one of the first things I was told when I moved here was don’t let them take you here, if you go to the ER. Go to another hospital in the area. There is little emphasis on quality of care, and there’s are a few dodgy physicians in the system, but quality of care is ge really solid. The hospital still isn’t considered as good as others in the area, though.
Many long-term employees have weathered numerous corporate changes, including ownership changes. If you are willing to accept the other issues, most positions here are relatively secure.
For obvious reasons, handicapped access is pretty good, but floor surfaces are uneven, some ramps are extremely long, repairs seem to take much longer than necessary.
This is one area where there is little discussion, but a high expectation that people work with the appropriate safety precautions in place.
Sometimes, the challenge is the crappy, outdated systems that we have to use, or trying to keep up, when they won’t hire the help you need. On the other hand, if you ignore the general atmosphere and do your thing, there are a lot of professionals doing quality work in a poorly managed system, and they are taking quite a bit of satisfaction from doing the job right.
Inclusive / Diverse
Fairly inclusive and diverse. I’ve seen better, but I’ve seen much worse.
Suggestions for improvement
- As suggested above, rigorous review and evaluation of all mid- and upper-level management and directors by people outside of their division or department would bring a lot of dead weight to light. For the health of the company and quality of care, they REALLY need to let a large number of these people go. They desperately need better communication to all staff. They know they have trouble hiring people, but they don’t seem to understand that their crap HR policies annoy people almost from the date of hire.
What I like about the company
There are a lot of good people here, and most of them just quietly and professionally take care of their work.
What I dislike about the company
Constant penny-pinching (often in ways that are short-sighted and detrimental to work AND the company image), lack of meaningful feedback and performance reviews, HR policies that barely qualify as benefits and just make life harder for many employees, particularly hourly workers.