Medical care is gratifying work in its own right, but team members say WellStar Health goes above and beyond to create a fulfilling workplace.

EMPLOYEE RATINGS

     

This review is based on 824 employee surveys, with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 3.29. It was published on Dec 5, 2014. 326 Visitors

What You Should Know

Medical care is gratifying work in its own right, but WellStar Health System team members say their System goes above and beyond to create a fulfilling workplace. Much of that comes from a culture that people widely describe as collegial and welcoming. Team members across diverse fields also say they share considerable pride in this extensive hospital system's role in the Atlanta community. At the same time, tangible benefits valued by team members include day care centers with extended hours and flexible work policies that encompass extensive parental leave. A share of team members feel their salaries could be more competitive. But overall, it's an environment well-suited to people who want the career opportunities of a large health care system, as well as a tight-knit environment in their individual departments. Says one team member: "The company encourages its [team members] to work as a team, a family. We are encouraged to share our personal lives - if we feel comfortable - and not be judged for past discrepancies or errors."

WHAT THEY DO

WellStar Health System is the largest not-for-profit health system in Georgia and serves a population of more than 1.4 million residents in five counties. WellStar includes WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center (anchored by WellStar Kennestone Hospital) and WellStar Cobb, Douglas, Paulding and Windy Hill hospitals; WellStar Medical Group; urgent care centers; Health Parks; Pediatric Center; Health Place; homecare; hospice; Atherton Place; Paulding Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; and the WellStar Foundation.

Website: www.wellstar.org US Headquarters: Marietta, Georgia
US Sites: 101 Major Locations: Marietta, Georgia; Austell, Georgia; Douglasville, Georgia; Hiram, Ga; Atlanta, Ga
US Employees: 13300 US revenues: $1.4 billion
Worldwide revenues: $1.4 billion Founded: 1993
Industry: Health Care

WellStar Health System has been awarded:

FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies to Work for ® 2014 (ranked 39)


Great Challenges

How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?

Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected team members to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. At WellStar, 78 percent of team members report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 15 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 93 percent of team members in the Great Challenges category.

WellStar team members provide a variety of healthcare services to patients. The company has approximately 13,300 team members in the United States, where they operate 101 locations.

Most team members (88 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the System, and the majority (82 percent) also say that managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. For most team members (88 percent), their work at WellStar is more than just a job: The chance to help people in their community stay healthy provides special meaning.

At WellStar, 76 percent of team members feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers.

Supporting Employee Development

  • College Tuition Reimbursement: $4,500
  • Average annual training for part-time hourly team members: 15 hours
  • Average annual training for full-time salaried team members: 118 hours
  • In addition to tuition reimbursement, WellStar offers team members guaranteed time off for educational leave and a program that provides loans for up to 60 percent of educational costs. Those loans are then forgiven if an employee remains at WellStar for at least five years. The company also offers courses onsite and online, as well as career counseling services. WellStar has its own nursing school in partnership with Kennesaw State University and also partners with a number of local colleges to recruit and develop team members. 
In this company one can always be what one wants to be. There is always more room to grow. Tuition reimbursement is offered to those who want to go to school.

Great Atmosphere

What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?

At WellStar, 79 percent of team members say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 15 percent sometimes benefits from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 94 percent of team members in the Great Atmosphere category.

A large majority of team members (93 percent) describe their working environment as consistently friendly. In addition, 87 percent say it is caring, and nearly as many say they feel comfortable being themselves while on the job. In fact, 74 percent actually look forward to coming to work.

Fun and Celebrations

  • WellStar's various locations celebrate in their own ways, such as with ice cream days and barbecues. In 2013, the System celebrated its 20th anniversary by distributing cupcakes among all of its team members. WellStar also hosts regular pre-screenings of popular movies for team members and their families. 

Caring and Support

  • WellStar offers team members confidential counseling resources through an employee assistance program, as well as a number of support groups for breast cancer, grief, diabetes and other challenges. 
  • In addition to WellStar's regular programs for flexible work - such as compressed workweeks, job sharing and telecommuting - team members can also receive paid time off beyond their normal benefits through the company's Extended Illness Bank.
People celebrate special events around here.
83%
 
People really seem to care about each other, especially in my area. It is a family environment. It's more than just coming to work, and doing a job, we celebrate each other's successes and provide support during our fellow team members' struggles.

Demographics

 

Great Rewards

What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?

At WellStar, 72 percent of team members often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 18 percent reports they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 90 percent of team members in the Great Rewards category.

Our rewards include: the pension plan, the additional benefits of health programs for [team members], concierge services, ability to transfer departments.

COMPENSATION BY THE NUMBERS

$60,309 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Nurse 50% 403(b) match of employee's salary, up to 4% of an employee's contribution
84% Company-paid health coverage for team members 69% Company-paid health coverage for dependents
16 hours Weekly at which part-timers receive health care coverage

COMPENSATION PROGRAMS

  • 403b plan
  • Performance pay bonus plan (bonus structure for everyone) 
  • Pre-tax savings account

PERKS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

  • Take-home meals on a regular, daily basis
  • Onsite package/mailing service
  • Discount ticket sales
  • Car wash
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Personal travel service
  • Fresh farmers market baskets
  • Subsidized lunch on a regular, daily basis
  • Personal concierge service
  • Massage therapy
  • Fitness classes
  • Weight Watchers meetings
  • Banking

WORK-LIFE BALANCE BY THE NUMBERS

23 days Holidays & vacation days after one year of employment $10,000 Adoption benefit
180 days Job protected leave provided above and beyond FMLA 15 days Paid maternity/paternity leave including adoptive parents

WORK-LIFE BALANCE PROGRAMS

  • Unpaid sabbaticals
  • Telecommute option (10% use it)
  • Compressed workweeks (60% use it)
  • Onsite child care
  • Elder care resources
  • Flexible schedule (75% use it)
  • Job sharing (2% use it)
  • Phased retirement planning
  • Lactation rooms
  • Child care subsidy during business travel
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
86%
 
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
81%
 
The company affords me the opportunity to work at home and have flexible hours.

HEALTH INSURANCE COVERS

  • Dental care
  • Prescription drug subsidy
  • Alternative treatments, such as chiropractic
  • Vision care
  • Mental health care
  • Fertility treatments

ONSITE HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Breast cancer screening
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Flu shots
  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Fitness center

Great Pride

What inspires team members' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the System?

At WellStar, 85 percent of team members report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the System and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 11 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of team members in the Great Pride category.

Recognized as the fifth most integrated healthcare delivery system in the country, WellStar Health System is the largest not-for-profit health system in Georgia and serves a population of more than 1.4 million residents in five counties.

WellStar's vision is to deliver world-class healthcare. WellStar launched the Center for Health Transformation and the Georgia Health Collaborative which aim to have far-reaching effects on healthcare both locally and nationally.

I'm proud to tell others I work here.
90%
 
I believe in the vision and great advances the System has achieved and look forward to the future.

Supporting the Community

  • Not-for-profit community support in the last year: $221,000,000
  • As a not-for-profit healthcare System, WellStar regularly provides charity care to uninsured patients in the community. At the same time, outreach programs educate community members about personal health, pregnancy and other issues. For example, WellStar partnered with a local school district to give high school athletes free concussion testing. Team Members are also encouraged to participate in charity walks and companywide fundraising initiatives. 
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
92%
 
The organization makes itself visible to the greater community by participating in local events with health and wellness information. WellStar is a contributing sponsor to a variety of wellness campaigns like Relay for Life, American Cancer Society Pink Ribbon Golf Classic, Speaking about Wellness and the Family Fun Walk/Run, to name a few.

Great Communication

How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?

At WellStar, 73 percent of team members say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the System. Another 18 percent sometimes has this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 91 percent of team members in the Great Communication category.

WellStar faces the challenge of communicating with a workforce operating from dozens of locations that offer different types of services. Nonetheless, most team members confirm that they have consistent access to the information they need to do their jobs. Eight in 10 say their managers are approachable and easy to talk with. At the same time, 78 percent of team members say their leaders make expectations clear.

WellStar does a great job communicating to its [team members] and physicians. Also, the town hall meetings are great for feedback and let the staff know what is going on.

Great Bosses

What are managers' leadership strengths?

At WellStar, 75 percent of team members say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the System. Another 16 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 91 percent of team members in the Great Bosses category.

WellStar team members widely appreciate the workplace pride and sense of community their leaders encourage at the company. Additionally, the majority of team members express confidence in the way the healthcare system is run. Eighty-four percent of team members describe their managers as ethical, and 81 percent feel the company would lay people off only as a last resort. Additionally, 82 percent of team members describe their leaders as competent at managing the business.

Wellstar is a very caring company. I have worked other places and it was just a 'job' and I don't feel that here. They have people in place in upper management who listen to the [team members] and do what they can to make it a great place to work.

Great Perks and Programs

  • Employee Recognition: WellStar team members nominate outstanding colleagues for a range of System-wide awards each year. The company's S.H.I.N.E. program specifically recognizes nurses, working mothers, team members over 60 and others. Those who earn the Shining Star award receive two days of paid time off, a plaque and a celebration in their honor. WellStar also holds an annual banquet and offers gifts that pay tribute to team members' tenure with the System.
  • Food and Prizes: At Thanksgiving each year, the company gives out gift cards for honey baked hams. Team leaders often distribute chocolate at team huddles, and they award team members with free movie tickets when patients thank them by name.
  • Healthy Living: Team members have access to three corporate fitness centers, one of which has an outdoor track and a pool. Additionally, the company sponsors the Feel Like a Million program, in which team members earn virtual dollars and entry into prize drawings by exhibiting healthy behaviors.
  • Purchase Perks: Team members can spread out the cost of new appliances and other electronics through a payroll-deduction program. The company also offers its team members special deals on sporting events and other activities.
  • Pension: In addition to company-sponsored retirement savings plans, WellStar offers a rare defined-benefit pension at no cost to team members. Team members are vested after only five years. 

Employee Quotes

Great Rated! collected feedback from WellStar team members via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons team members said they appreciate their workplace.

"I feel we work together as [a] team and always pull together when necessary. Not only do we share things that are work-related, we also share outside activities with our co-workers and as a team this makes us stronger as a unit."

"There are great benefits and great people to work with. I feel appreciated here."

"There are many extra benefits that WellStar offers: daycare, continuing ed and concierge services. These go a long way toward a productive work environment. The concierge service to me is extremely valuable."

"My co-workers and the patients are the reason that I find my job the most satisfying!"

"I would say the flexibility and work-life balance has been great. I also feel that management truly trusts you to do your best and support you."

"The work/life programs are great. I really enjoy using the concierge service, the pharmacy delivery and the nearby gym where I receive a discount for being an employee. I also enjoy the Bistro where I know I can enjoy a healthy meal and make good choices."

"I think that WellStar Health System is an organization of heart. From the person that greets you at the door to any facility, to the person that says goodbye as you pull out of a parking garage, there is a level of compassion and pride that is visible. It is this unique personal commitment that resides in every associate that truly defines WHS."

"The benefits are great, especially adoption assistance, maternity leave, the gym and pension plan. Overall, I'm very proud to be a WellStar employee."

"WellStar strives to provide the best care and service for their patients. I am amazed at the improvements in patient care that is always ongoing. WellStar will always look for better ways to treat and to obtain information for their patients."

"In my opinion, a great attribute to our workplace is the fact that we are very team-oriented and still have the 'small-town' feel and hospitality, even though we are in a brand new facility. This is one of the most frequent compliments I hear from my patients: that the staff is warm and friendly and that our team works so well as a unit."

"I love the way the staff members make you feel like you're family and are genuinely concerned about you. Everyone is friendly. Management keeps you well informed. Some of the benefits are great."

"I believe the benefits make WellStar unique. WellStar funded my master's program 100 percent. I believe they are truly vested in my development as a professional. In addition, I believe the LEAN training they offer is a unique opportunity as I know several friends that have had to pay for it out of their own pocket. The onsite daycare is also a great perk. In addition, the concierge services along with the farmer's market baskets are unique and beneficial services offered at WellStar."

How to Get Hired

We asked WellStar for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

WellStar looks for candidates with a focus on patients and customers who bring a positive approach to their work. Key characteristics include pride in their work, ability to influence others, highly efficient, dependable, flexible, team-oriented, mission-oriented, compassionate and possessing a positive attitude.

What can prospective team members do to get your attention?

Candidates can let their talents shine in the application and interview process by providing examples of when they have demonstrated the key characteristics above. They can follow up quickly and remain flexible during the selection process. They must leave a positive impression with every WellStar team member whom they encounter during the process.

Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?

WellStar takes pride in being very selective in the team members who we hire. There is a candidate assessment tool attached to most of our positions as part of the application process. This helps us determine if candidates are likely to focus on patient needs and work well with fellow team members. If selected for a position, candidates will go through a rigorous pre-employment process, including a thorough background check.

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

Yes, we are focused on hiring registered nurses, physicians and advanced practitioners as well as other professional and clinical positions.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

Interested candidates should visit our careers page at www.wellstarcareers.org to learn more about WellStar and to apply for immediate consideration.

Hiring Outlook

9%Job Growth 30Average number of applicants per opening
10%Total voluntary turnover in past year 157100Applicants in past year
1173Openings in past year 30%New hires by employee referrals

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