The Square
News and perspectives from Covia.

Covia has been ranked as one of the 2020 Best Workplaces for Aging Services by Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE magazine. Covia took the number 17 spot on the list, the second time it has been rated in the top 50.

Kevin Gerber, President and CEO of Covia, says, “We have always been proud of Covia’s employees for their excellence. It is our employees who make us a Great Place to Work. We want to thank them for this honor, and for being part of Covia.”

In July, Covia administered the Trust Index survey, designed to measure aspects of trust in the organization, such as respect, fairness, pride, camaraderie, and credibility. With a participation rate of 94% of employees, Covia received an overall Trust Index score of 75%, and 83% of employees said Covia is a great place to work.

“Having a response rate of 94% of employees makes this year different,” says Gerber. “We can feel confident that we have a clear picture of our strengths and opportunities as an employer of choice.”

Covia scored highest on the statements “I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community” (88%); “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome” (87%); “I’m proud to tell others I work here” (86%); and “This is a physically safe place to work” (86%) – especially notable this year as COVID-19 has disproportionately affected senior living.

The Best Workplaces for Aging Services stand out for excelling in a competitive industry. “In addition to physical safety, the overall well-being of our employees is important to us,” says Prab Brinton, VP of Human Resources. “Along with ensuring appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE), we created an Essential Support program to help with unexpected costs, adjust and accommodate time off needs, provide additional funds, and help make sure our employees were finding ways to recharge.” The program, which started in April, was developed based on feedback from more than 600 employees.

“Everyone knows the greater cause as to why we’re here and that is for the residents,” one employee commented. “Especially in the strange times that we’re all experiencing, I have witnessed how everyone pulls together to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for the residents and us as employees.”

“The value of creating great workplaces for all is a clear competitive edge in the Aging Services sector,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “When organizations like Covia treat their own people with care and respect, you can expect their staff to treat your loved ones with that same care.”

“The effect of engaged employees has magnified in the aging services sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Activated Insights, the senior care data analytics company for Great Place to Work. “We have found that organizations that have maintained or increased employee engagement during this year’s challenges have been able to be more resilient, provide enhanced care, and perform better.”

The Best Workplaces for Aging Services™ is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE based on employee feedback from Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations.

For the third consecutive year, Covia has been certified a Great Place to Work™, based on results from the Trust Index survey administered to all of Covia’s employees. In addition to being certified as an organization, 12 of Covia’s communities and programs also certified on their own.

Overall, 83 percent of Covia’s employees say that Covia is a great place to work. 88 percent agreed with the statement, “I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community” and 87 percent agree that “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome.”

One respondent commented, “When I first started people were so nice to me and so accepting, and now I get to be the same way when new people start too.” Another said, “I genuinely feel that people care about each other and want to make it the best possible workplace. This is paired with genuine care for our residents, participants, volunteers, and employees.”

“Great Place to Work certification is more than a badge,” says Prab Brinton, Covia’s VP of Human Resources. “We conduct the survey to learn, develop, and grow because we want to continue making our environment one that we all enjoy coming to every day.”

“We applaud Covia for seeking certification for the third consecutive year,” says Dr. Jacquelyn Kung of Great Place to Work’s senior care affiliate Activated Insights. “These ratings measure Covia’s capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace for high performance.”

Almost 950 employees responded to the survey, a response rate of 94 percent – Covia’s highest response rate ever. Prab Brinton and Nelia Mori, Human Resources Business Partner, made special visits to Covia’s communities, setting up separate and appropriately distanced booths with individual screens where employees could take the Great Place to Work survey safely and securely.

“The Great Place to Work Survey Road Show allowed us to show appreciation for the employees,” says Mori. “Not only did they have the opportunity to express their opinion, they also enjoyed the socially-distanced snacks, the games, the raffles. Then they went back to their departments and told their coworkers about it.”

“Completing Great Place to Work certification in the midst of COVID-19 shows a commitment to listening to employee feedback and striving to be an elite employer, regardless of current challenges,” notes Dr. Kung. 

Covia’s profile is listed among other certified companies here, and the organization is now eligible for the Best Workplaces in Aging Services list, which will be announced by Fortune Magazine in December 2020. Covia previously ranked #29 in Best Workplaces for Aging Services™ in 2018.

For the second consecutive year, Covia has been certified a Great Place to Work.

Great Place to Work™, an independent research and consulting firm, evaluates an organizational culture brief as well as more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job. These elements include pride in the organization’s community impact, employees’ belief that their work makes a difference, and a sense of respect, fairness, credibility, and camaraderie. Together, these items are called the Trust Index.

The certification process at Covia considered almost 700 employee surveys from across all of Covia’s California communities and locations. To be certified, an organization needs a participation rate of over 50%, and a Trust Index score of 75% or greater. Overall, 66% of Covia’s employees participated in the survey with a Trust Index score of 77%.

Being certified makes Covia eligible to be considered for the Fortune Great Places to Work list, including Great Places to Work in Aging Services. Last year, Covia ranked 29th on the list. The 2019 results will be published late this summer.

Survey results will be used to create action items to improve the employee experience. After reviewing the results, Covia will determine an action item that will be applied to the organization overall, and each community will also develop an action item that is specific for that location.

“The Great Place to Work certification is a testament both to the quality of our workplaces and of our employees,” says Prab Brinton, Vice President of Human Resources. “We want to take this moment to celebrate this achievement as we strive to become the best workplace we can.”

The company overview is available online at the Great Place to Work website.