Building Great Places to Work

October 2. 2014

Winner Spotlight: Excelas, LLC

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October 2. 2014

Excelas is a national provider of medical information analysis to help health care organizations, medical corporations and insurers settle and win cases. Located in Highland Heights, Excelas is the home base for 37 employees. However, with its flexible telecommuting hours, convenience time policy and strong wellness initiative, it has no trouble retaining and attracting top talent, which is also why Excelas is a Workplace and Community Impact recipient of the 2014 NorthCoast 99 Awards.

Winning the Workplace and Community Impact Award

“We are a very collaborative environment, so Winning NorthCoast99 is a joint effort amongst all of the employees here at Excelas,” says Malissa Rowland, Director of Operations & HR. “It gives us another opportunity to come together and celebrate. In addition, it serves as validation that we are on the right track and that we are making decisions that are beneficial to both us and the company.”

Convenience Time Policy

One of those decisions that can be beneficial to employees at any given time is the convenience time policy.

“The convenience time policy (CTP) has given employees the flexibility to deal with personal matters when they come up,” says Jean Bourgeois, President. “I think from a business standpoint, when we need our employees, we get the same consideration back. So I think it has made a difference for everyone.”

Essentially, employees can reduce their regularly scheduled work hours for up to a period of 8 weeks without adversely impacting their benefits.

“Employees have taken advantage of it to spend more time during the summer months with their young children, or during the holidays to be with their friends and family who may be from out of town. In addition, it’s really impacted our employees who have been able to use it to take care of their elderly family members who they may have obligations with,” says Rowland.

One employee who has benefitted immensely from it is Laura Griffin, Medical Legal Analyst.

“The CTP has helped me so much with meeting a lot of needs of my family members, especially the elderly ones. With their changing health needs within the last year in particular, including my dad with his increasing health issues, the CTP allowed me to reduce my work hours so that I could be with him as an advocate and a comforting presence,” say Griffin. “This not only helped reduce his stress level, but mine as well. It allowed me to balance my work and family life and enabled me to know that I could still be a productive part of Excelas in additional to helping my family.”

Working from Home

One trait Excelas prides itself on is its ability to allow its employees to work from home. 60% of Excelas employees work from home full time, while the rest can still work part time at home while coming into the office the other days.

“Allowing employees to work from home allows them to do the work when it’s most convenient for them, which for the company means they are working to their greatest potential at all times,” says Rowland.  “Our employees are incredibly satisfied with the fact that they have the ability to be able to work from home and at a time that fits their needs.”

Connie Walsh, Health Information Specialist at Excelas, says that being able to work partially from home has been a great opportunity for her. “It has helped immensely with my work-life balance and wellness in general. Just something as simple as not sitting in traffic, which is one of my biggest stressors, helps me have a better balance in life. And the best part about Excelas is because they are so flexible with me, I am more flexible with them.”

Excelas says that in addition to its work from home program, it has allowed the company to retain its top employees.

“When employees are faced with personal issues, concerns and challenges, anything that comes up, we have been able to work with them. Whereas at another place of employment, they may have had to leave their position because of what has come up,” says Rowland.

Bourgeois adds that, “Companies may be skeptical about letting employees work from home, but my feeling is if you train with best practices, give people the resources they need and then focus on results, it can be extraordinarily successful.”

Wellness

Even though a majority of Excelas’ employees work from home, that doesn’t stop them from participating in wellness initiatives while being away from the workplace. With its employee led wellness team, it’s on the fast track to a healthier workplace lifestyle, inside and out.

“We have a ‘Walk out of Work’ program, where Excelas provides all the employees with MovBands.  We ask our employees and encourage them to track their moves and steps, with a 10 thousand step a day mark in mind,” says Rowland. “The program lasts for a period of 3 months, and at the end of the program our employees earn paid time off, so they are essentially walking out of work.”

Employees at Excelas love the wellness focused initiatives it takes and hope to see it continue to grow in the coming years.

“At Excelas, wellness is a huge focus. We strive to grow in our wellness perspectives--to learn more about fitness, about nutrition, about stress management--as it touches so many parts of what we do at Excelas,” says Walsh. 

As a part of the wellness initiatives, Excelas employees are also encouraged to see their physician on a regular basis where they can receive their blood pressure and cholesterol results, and start measuring and tracking them.

“It’s important for us to measure wellness because we certainly want our employees to be as healthy and well as possible. It means they are more productive and less absent, but we just also want them to have fulfilled lives so they are happy and continue to be engaged for the company,” says Rowland.

Excelas=Family

Even though Excelas employees may not be in the office all the time, they still get together for regular staff meetings and activities. But as Walsh puts it, it all comes down to trust.

“I love working at Excelas because we are trusted professionals. We are trusted to work diligently and to account for the hours that we have worked, and because of this, we all work well together,” explained Walsh. “We are all unique, but we all have one thing in common which are our standards. We are all working toward the greater goal, which is to provide excellent work and to help our clients and company grow.”

Along with trust and standards, Rowland couldn’t have summed it up better then when she describes all of the aspects of why she loves working for Excelas.

“I enjoy working here because it’s truly a company that values their employees. Jean feels that her employees are her most valuable asset. We are an incredibly collaborative environment and we all work together and strive for the same goals. The environment here is very much a second family. The flexibility that’s allowed is great, the focus on wellness is fantastic and when it comes down to it, Jean just really values each employee and really wants everyone to be the best that they can be.”

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