Why Mary’s Center Is One Of The Washington Post 2016 Top Workplaces

Mary's Center is delighted to have been named a 2016 Top Workplace by The Washington Post!  What makes Mary's Center such a wonderful organization to work for? Carlos Marroquin, our Director of Human Resources, has the answer. 

Throughout my 12+ years in human resources, I have been lucky enough to work with many great people and for a few great organizations. When I first interviewed at Mary’s Center in March of 2015, I had a feeling there was something special about this place. When I was given the privilege of leading the Human Resources department a few months later, I got the opportunity to interact with the employees of Mary’s Center and my suspicions were confirmed: this is a special place to work.

As the new Director of Human Resources, one of the first projects on my to-do list was to measure the engagement of our workforce. Although I had only been at Mary’s Center a few months, I felt the difference in our employees compared to previous organizations I had been a part of. Still, I expected a lot of work ahead of me once the employee satisfaction and engagement survey results came back. After all, no organization is perfect, least of all one that had grown so much so quickly. In general, organizations that have such rapid growth rates experience quite a bit of turmoil within the ranks. Knowing this, I prepared myself for a lot of comments and action items to come as a result of our survey. What I got instead was something I have never seen before: a truly engaged and satisfied group of people, driven by their passion to serve their community, and with an overwhelming desire to support one another. 

According to Gallup, only 31.5% of U.S. employees were engaged in 2014. Engagement is defined as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work. In previous experience, I’ve seen engagement scores as high as 79% at an organization that truly put its staff first. As I reviewed the results of the employee satisfaction and engagement survey, I felt an immense sense of pride to be a part of an organization that scored an astonishing 90% in overall employee engagement. NINETY PERCENT. Even in my wildest dreams I did not expect a score that high. Looking at the demographics of Mary’s Center, where 60% of the employees are millennials - traditionally the toughest generation to manage and engage - I realized just how special this achievement was.

Dental services at Mary's Center   Lisle and Gwen of WIC


What set us apart and drove that high engagement score? In large part, it had to do with the reasons why Mary’s Center was founded in the first place, back in 1988 by our President and CEO, Maria Gomez. Of all the aspects of employee engagement and satisfaction, the categories our employees scored highest on by far were the relationships with their co-workers and the meaningfulness of their jobs. Ninety-one percent of employees said they would recommend Mary’s Center as a great place to work because we “are service oriented” with an “incredible mission” and “amazing co-workers.” Time and time again, employees commented on the mission of Mary’s Center and our work within the community. Additionally, many commented on the friendliness and supportive environment fostered by not only their colleagues, but also their supervisors and leadership.

As I analyzed the scores and read through the employee comments, it was no longer just a feeling: this was unlike any I had ever worked in.

I invite you to spend a couple of hours at Mary’s Center. Walk through one of our centers. Talk to some of our staff, whether it’s a member of the C-suite or a member of our environmental services team. Then you’ll see and feel why we were recognized as one of The Washington Post’s Top Workplaces.

Carlos MarroquinAbout Carlos Marroquin

Carlos Marroquin is the Director of Human Resources at Mary's Center. Carlos has over ten years of experience in multiple HR disciplines including recruitment, employee relations, benefits, compensation and strategy. He brings a consultative approach to HR, serving as an advisor to employees and the organization, ensuring legal and regulatory compliance, and working to maximize engagement and retention. Carlos firmly believes in the mission and vision of Mary’s Center. A native of El Salvador, he grew up in the neighborhood where Mary’s Center was founded and saw first-hand the mission in action and the organization's positive impact on the community. Prior to joining Mary’s Center, Carlos held management positions at both private and non-profit organizations. He is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). 


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