Marque Medical takes good care of its employees so they in turn treat patients well.
Chief executive officer Pierre Bergougnan said it’s something they really work hard on. The Irvine-based company has about 150 employees companywide, including about 70 workers spread across four brick-and-mortar clinics — Marque Urgent Care — in San Diego County and a virtual office for local patients. It says it’s also in the process of opening additional brick-and-mortar clinics in San Diego County in the next year.
“Happy employees make for satisfied patients,” Bergougnan said. “That’s our secret sauce.”
How does it keep employees excited to come to work? It provides work flexibility when it can and will ask employees for solutions to problems, especially ones that directly impact them. It also recognizes and praises employees for various milestones, including birthdays, work anniversaries and promotions.
“We always try to promote from within,” Bergougnan said. “We want people to want that next position. If they feel there’s upward mobility, they will come to work in a better mood.”
This company culture likely helped Marque land The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Top Workplace award for small companies this year.
The company also honors work anniversaries starting with the first year and then every year thereafter. For work anniversaries and promotions, Bergougnan handwrites cards for those employees. Clinic managers also throw mini-parties that include cakes and lunches.
Marque also celebrates birthdays. Clinic managers will carve out five minutes during the day to celebrate a worker’s birthday. There’s a cake, a card signed by the staff and a shout-out on social media.
“Time out,” Bergougnan said. “We need to focus on this employee’s birthday. It makes them feel good. It makes them feel like family.”
Marque also hands out tokens to employees for jobs well done. San Diego County workers can redeem tokens for things like Disneyland tickets, hotel stays, gift cards, beach cruisers, days off and Apple products such as iPads.
“I really enjoy our culture and the ways our manager and CEO try to reward us for our hard work,” one employee wrote in the survey comments.
The executive team will stay on top of clinic managers to make sure they are doling out those tokens regularly.
“If we do something, we got to be consistent,” Bergougnan said. “If you say you have a policy that promotes hard-working employees, you can’t be sporadic about the reward system. It’s too easy with businesses to focus on what’s not going right. People respond better when they are appreciated.”
That sentiment was proven in a recent study. According to a survey of nearly 8,000 employees this year by Gallup and Workhuman, people who are recognized for their work are three times as likely to feel loyal to their organization and four times as likely to strongly agree they would recommend their organization as a great place to work.
Another way Marque shows employees they value them is by giving them work flexibility. Even though its San Diego County clinics are open seven days a week, eight to 12 hours a day, it tries to be flexible with the hours employees work. Executives and managers are cognizant that many of their workers are moms with family responsibilities.
If there’s a problem, including with work hours, employees are encouraged to seek out managers. Managers are trained to involve the worker in coming up with a solution.
“We work long hours,” Bergougnan said. “Disruption from employees does create increased wait time” for patients. However, Marque does try to compromise to give their valued employees the life-work balance they need.
Employees appreciate it.
One worker wrote: “It’s a tough job and it does have times where you are burned out, but my manager is always willing to help adjust schedules and give me the support I need.”
Another employee wrote: “My boss is the best! My schedule is flexible and I can take care of personal appointments without cutting into my work hours. Additionally, being able to work remotely is a huge positive. Even if I don’t do it very often, knowing that I will be able to get work done from home if my circumstances prohibit me from coming into the office gives me peace of mind and reduces stress in my life.”