At Gundersen Health System, 80 percent of employees say their workplace is great.



This review is based on 1037 employee surveys, with a 90% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 2.36. It was published on Feb 27, 2017. 2139 Visitors

What Employees Say

I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
I'm proud to tell others I work here.
I am given the resources and equipment to do my job.
I believe management would lay people off only as a last resort.
Management trusts people to do a good job without watching over their shoulders.

What They Do

We asked Gundersen Health System to explain what they do. Here is what they had to say.

With more than one million patient visits each year, Gundersen Health System and its more than 7,000 employees celebrate 125 years of clinical excellence and community care in western Wisconsin, northeast Iowa and southeastern Wisconsin.      

About this Company

Website: Industry: Health Care
US Headquarters: La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601 US Sites: 74
Major Locations: Onalaska, Wisconsin, 54601; Whitehall, Wisconsin, 54773; West Union, Iowa, 52175; Boscobel, Wisconsin, 53805; Hillsboro, Wisconsin, 54634 US Employees: 7,826
US Revenues: $2,554.8 million Worldwide Revenues: $2,554.8 million
Corporate Structure: Non-Profit Founded: 1892

Stepping Out in Pink Cancer Walk

Perks and Programs

We asked Gundersen Health System to share a few programs they feel really capture what's unique about their workplace. Here is what they had to say.

  • An Intrinsically Motivating Workplace: Gundersen is on a multiyear journey to create an intrinsically motivating workplace. We offer many ‘extrinsic’ benefits like PTO, 401k, health coverage etc. We believe, however, that most employees come to work at Gundersen for the intrinsic rewards, the opportunity to be a part of something that matters. Our staff confirmed this when we asked them “what do you value most about working for Gundersen?” They resoundingly identified two things: contributing to our mission of care-giving and their team/coworker relationships. We are investing in building a motivational workplace to create an even better workplace for staff.
  • Life-Long Career: Gundersen partners with staff to help them realize their career goals while within our system. Our staff often have multiple careers with us; the average employee works here for eleven years. Our talent development efforts support growth and development through certification, education and degree opportunities. Our career coaching and preference to promote from within also support these efforts. Last year, 43 percent of our new hires were internal applicants. For example, when we faced a workforce shortage of Medical Assistants, we developed a training program, recruited interested staff, and successfully met our workforce need for that role. In addition, our Exploring Front-line Management Series is designed to identify, attract and prepare future front-line managers.
  • Health and Wellness: Gundersen is committed to supporting our staff’s health and well-being through wellness and prevention strategies. We offer no-cost fitness facilities, indoor walking routes and outdoor walking trails for staff. We offer healthy eating choices at both our main campus dining room and vending machines system wide. In addition, we reward staff for living healthy lifestyles through our MyHealth Reward program, offering a maximum $500 cash reward to participating employees. Each year 10 percent of staff use our Employee Assistance Program to support them with personal and work- related struggles.
  • Resiliency: Given the pace of change in healthcare today, it’s important staff have a sense of resiliency. To deal with stress and build resilience, Gundersen offers a virtual renewal center. This center offers HeartMath exercises, poetry, Mindfulness exercises, and soothing videos. We also offer instructor-led HeartMath training to help employees manage stress. To date, over 4000 employees have received this HeartMath training.
  • Sharing Talents and Giving Back: To support our staff’s passion for caring for the underserved, Gundersen developed Global Partners, a program to inspire volunteerism throughout Gundersen Health System and local communities. With trips to Nicaragua, Ethiopia, and South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, our staff volunteer and bring their passion alive. Every year, our volunteers serve on fifteen different medical mission trips to these areas. Our staff ‘give back’ to the community in many ways, including volunteering for the scores of agencies, schools, and churches that help our local communities thrive. We work closely with a neighborhood school in which employees can serve as individual mentors, or entire departments can ‘adopt-a-classroom’ and provide a combination of financial, material and human resources throughout the school year
  • Recognition and Celebration: We believe our superior organizational performance is a direct result of our dedicated and exceptional staff. To honor that we have designed robust reward and recognition programs. This includes our ‘High 5!’ peer-to-peer recognition program. Last year our 7,800 employees received almost 18,000 High 5’s from their co-workers. It’s equally important that managers recognize staff; every year about 1 in 3 employees is recognized by their manager with a gift certificate. We have two themed annual events that bring together employees and their families from across the organization. In addition, each department receives $20 per employee every year to allow them to spend time together having fun and building team.
  • Saving for Retirement: Recognizing the need to help employees save for retirement, Gundersen offers a generous 401k program. Every year, the organization contributes up to 11 percent of an employee’s wage to their 401k. On top of that, we match 100 percent of the employee contribution up to 3 percent of wages, and then we match 50 percent for the next 2 percent contributed by the employee. Altogether, the organization can contribute the equivalent of 15 percent of an employee’s wage.
  • Touchstone Groups, Employee Input and Townhall Meetings: To create an intrinsically motivating workplace, it is key to regularly gather input from employees to gain insight into their experience at Gundersen. In turn, this helps us shape our decision-making. 85 percent of our employees respond to our annual engagement survey; employees believe we are listening. But we don’t stop there; there are many more specific topics on which we need to hear employees thoughts. Our ‘Touchstone’ groups are ongoing panels of employees that meet quarterly. There are nine different groups each representing a different employee demographic. In addition, every year our CEO holds over 20 town-hall sessions in 13 locations to share organization strategy and learn first hand about the employee experience.
  • Leadership Pipeline: Gundersen believes by developing internal talent for leadership roles, we help ensure success in the role. This improves our retention, provides growth opportunities for staff ,and provides a solid internal bench for leadership roles. The annual talent review process provides a systematic way to engage in performance/potential discussions for every level of leadership. The process helps us identify high potentials, create development plans and prepare successors for critical roles.
  • Leadership Development: We utilize a broad range of development opportunities at Gundersen including leadership assessment, training, coaching, mentoring, learning communities, stretch assignments and project work. Through our efforts we have seen a growing percentage of internal hires for leadership roles; two out of every three leadership hires are internal applicants.


89% Company-paid health coverage for employees (for Employees working .75 FTE or above) 87% Company-paid health coverage for dependents (for Employees working .75 FTE or above)
83% Company-paid health coverage for part-timers 20 hours Weekly hours required for part-timers to receive health insurance
$1,445 Average Tuition Reimbursement $3,000 Maximum Tuition Reimbursement


24 days Paid time off after one year of full-time employment 17 days Paid time off after one year of part-time employment
24 days Paid sick days after one year of full-time employment 17 days Paid sick days after one year of part-time employment
5 weeks Paid sabbatical after 10 year(s) of employment


  • Flexible schedule
  • Telecommute option
  • Compressed work weeks
  • Subsided On- or Off-site Fitness (100% have access)
  • Medical facilities (at all locations)
  • Onsite Amenities (Cafeteria healthy food options everyday. 25 cent fruits and vegetables. Fitness classes at nominal fee on our 2 campuses Massage therapy and acupuncture available; Credit union Free parking; Inside and outside walking routes/trails Stress/relax/resilience spaces; Online renewal center; Bike barn (indoor shelter) Neighborhood home purchase incentive Lactation Room Starbucks-like coffee shop Lending library for bestselling novels ATMs On-site pharmacy)


60 days Job-protected maternity leave (including FMLA/STD) 60 days Job-protected paternity leave (including FMLA)
60 days Job-protected parental leave for adoptive parents (including FMLA)


  • On-site or near-site backup childcare center
  • Lactation room(s)
  • Paid sick leave to care for a child or relative


  • Mental health care
  • Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or chiropractic)

Community and Environmental Impact

$1,131,000 Philanthropic donations in last year Director of Environmental Compliance Leads environmental impact team
Self-Conducted Environmental impact audit 6 LEED certified building(s)
Yes Sustainable commuting program Yes Renewable energy program
Yes Carbon offset program Yes Recycling program
Yes Locally-sourced food program


  • CEO is responsible for the success of formal recruiting and retention diversity goals
  • Written policy prohibits discrimination based on (at a minimum) age, disability, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and sexual orientation
  • 10 events a year connect employees with peers from different racial/ethnic, religious or country-of-origin identities

Leadership Diversity


Workforce Diversity

Health Fair


Inpatient Care

How to Get Hired

We asked Gundersen Health System for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

To be a successful employee at Gundersen Health System, candidates must have an innate sense of caring, compassion, and patient-centeredness, while valuing innovation, being inclusive and adapting to the rapidly changing healthcare industry.  They must be highly competent in the role, strive for excellence, and possess an understanding of the impact their work has on our patients, no matter the level of position.   We also look for professionalism, a positive attitude and a sense of empathy.

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

Prospective employees gain our attention when they show genuine interest in our organization and can align themselves with our mission, vision and values.  If prospective employees are motivated by our initiatives and show a strong desire to help us achieve our goals, they set themselves apart from others.  Showing a passion for what they do and background knowledge on why they chose to pursue their profession is always helpful.  Enthusiasm is contagious, and if they are enthusiastic about what they do or the position they are applying for, they stand out.  Prospective employees should also fill out their application as completely and accurately as possible, providing details about previous positions that show transferable skills and explaining key projects or initiatives they’ve led or had a hand in completing.  

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

Hiring registered nurses continues to be a priority to build our nursing workforce.  In this coming year, we are focusing on bringing in experienced registered nurses to our inpatient areas. This will allow us to maintain and continue to build a knowledge base in our medical surgical units. Positions that require a technical program completion and specific certification, such as our medical assistants, are an important focus as well.  We are also looking for entry level staff to continue to build our workforce while also attracting passive candidates who may not be actively looking for alternative employment.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

Interested candidates can visit the Careers page at to learn more about our organization.  Candidates can also contact Gundersen Recruitment Services with general questions and inquiries at (608)775-4743.  All open positions are listed on the Careers page.  Interested candidates should also create or update their candidate profile on the site and attach an updated resume. 

hiring Outlook

2,297 Forecasted positions to fill in coming year 4% Job Growth
13 Average applicants per opening 27,778 Total job applicants
43% Openings filled by current employees 6% Voluntary turnover for full-time employees
12% Voluntary turnover for part-time employees
* All figures refer to 12-month period prior to reporting, unless otherwise noted.

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