Sam Wageman and Scott Wehner began Fusion Medical Staffing in the basement of Wehner’s house in 2009. They were the only employees of the new company.
But the partners were confident they would soon have more people on their team, and they set about establishing goals that would make working at Fusion a pleasure.
“We knew we could have fun, treat everybody with trust and honesty and make the company grow,” Wageman said.
They moved out of the basement in February 2010 to a larger office in Omaha’s Miracle Hills area. Wageman is president of the company; Wehner is chief operating officer.
More than four years later, they are seeing their goal come true. The company won first place in the medium-size business category of the “Best Places to Work in Omaha” competition.
“There are things a lot of companies say they want to do, we’ve actually done. People love getting up in the morning and going to work,” Wageman said. “It makes me thoroughly love this job. The culture breeds trust, communication, teamwork, a desire to want to succeed, which in turn makes everybody want to work together to grow the company.”
Fusion employs allied health and nursing care professionals who travel to all 50 states. The company provides staff to hospitals and to skilled nursing facilities, home health and outpatient clinics, and occupational and physical therapy clinics.
Programs are in place to facilitate employees’ personal growth.
Corey Paulsen, manager of Fusion’s lab division, points to the “360 Review” program. “Employees sit down each month with one of the mentors. They look at numbers, talk about goals.”
“We review how the month went and what we want to improve on,” Wehner said. “The employee gives us feedback for the company. It’s not a top-down mentality.”
There’s ample support for that personal growth. Biweekly leadership meetings are held to discuss goals, vision and ways to improve. New employees receive mentoring with a leader from their division during the first month of training. The company also supports tuition reimbursement for employees’ continuing education.
The partners have an open-door policy. “People come to us with ideas that will make our company better,” Wehner said. “Our goal is to continue to grow, while we stay culturally sound.”
A wellness program sets long-term goals for each person. A new state-of-the-art workout facility and health screenings are part of the program.
“We try to motivate employees to get more physically active, with four to five runs or walks a year,” Wehner said.
Reminders about wellness are ubiquitous. “We might see a good recipe floating around the office with ‘heart healthy’ on it,” Paulsen said.
Families rule at the Fusion office. Children might be found running around or watching cartoons on television in the company conference room. It’s not unusual to have a kid’s toy section in the office.
“It’s a party every day here,” Wageman said.
Paulsen said, “It literally feels like we’re a family. That’s the whole concept. That’s what makes it successful. But with that comes accountability and responsibility. They trust people they hire are going to do what needs to be done to make it successful.”
Sometimes the office is empty as everyone takes off for a fun trip to a destination such as Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. Or the entire family might go to Werner Park and see fireworks after a game. Or perhaps employees are out of the office helping at a homeless shelter.
Employees serve meals at the YES (Youth Emergency Services) house. They clean up parks, do an MS walk or donate to ALS. For the Heart Heroes Super Run at Lake Zorinsky in October, Fusion team members set up a tent.
“We get stuck in a daily rut, but to take time on a weekend to see these people whose lives are affected by something more serious brings reality to life in general,” Paulsen said.
“Being ‘Best’ starts at the top,” he said. “Sam and Scott have given us an environment where we can thrive and be ourselves. It feels more like family than it does like work. That’s why so many of us are successful, and it’s the greatest place in Omaha to work.
“None of us were surprised that we received this recognition. We would have been more surprised if we hadn’t.”
Fusion Medical Staffing
First place, Medium category
Office: 11506 Nicholas St., Suite 110
Employees: 36 internal employees, all in Omaha
Primary business: Medical staffing