Search past winners/finalists

OptumRx - Richard Gross

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service

Company: OptumRx, Costa Mesa, CA
Company Description: What we do: OptumRx specializes in the delivery, clinical management and affordability of prescription medications and consumer health products. Our goal is to deliver high-quality, integrated services to promote optimal member outcomes, superior savings and outstanding customer service. 15,000 employees. OptumRx processes more than 1.25 billion adjusted retail, mail and specialty drug prescriptions every year.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Contact Center Leader of the Year

Nomination Title: Richard Gross

Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

“The servant-leader is servant first…It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” – Robert K. Greenleaf. As director of an OptumRx call center, Rick Gross, embraces this servant-leader philosophy and demonstrates the concept every day without hesitation.

Rick’s success stems from creating a family atmosphere and supporting his employees by putting their needs first. By arriving early to work and being one of the last to go home, Rick sets an example for his staff as a servant first but his humanitarian efforts go beyond the daily job. For example, an employee was left stranded with broken down transportation one evening after work. After no success in finding help, the employee called Rick. Without hesitation, Rick jumped into action, driving back to the office and arranged to have an Uber take the employee home. These types of actions show Rick’s compassion for his employees and contribute to developing a supportive culture. This supportive culture has allowed Rick to obtain a 30% reduction in attrition. He consistently performs well below the goal and has had the lowest attrition over the last two years. Not only has Rick’s staff proven their commitment to him but over the last two years he has had 20% -30% of his staff receive promotions, which is one of the highest compared to other company call centers.

Additionally, employees express their approval of Rick’s leadership through an anonymous employee satisfaction survey offered annually by our company. After Rick became call center director, survey results for employee engagement increased by 20%. In October 2017, Rick’s employees reported a score of 97% in employee engagement, which was the highest in the company and nearly a perfect score. He has led the company since 2016 with his Vital Signs scores, which is a true testament to how Rick and his servant-first leadership style continue to improve the workplace for everyone.

Not only does Rick’s staff appreciate his desire to serve others, but so do our customers. After each call, the customer is offered a survey to provide feedback on their experience with the call center employee recommending our company to others. Through this survey, Rick’s staff provided world-class service with a Net Promoter Score of 70 at the end of 2017. Over the last two years, he has attained the highest score in the organization. What an accomplishment!

Rick’s natural desire to serve others doesn’t stop at work. Giving back to the community is one of Rick’s passions. In addition to being an active board member for the ALS Association, he has facilitated over five fundraising events each year. His commitment and enthusiasm often carries into the workplace as he promotes volunteerism and rallies his teams to participate in various community events such as donating backpacks for needy children, adopting a family during Christmas and attending various walks to benefit organizations like the ALS and March of Dimes. In December, the site was recognized in the community as a top donor by the Family Support Services of North Florida Inc. for the Be an Angel holiday gift program.

Rick’s staff is committed to performing to the very highest standards in the industry because they know their director provides them with the very best of himself. He has achieved and surpassed all his key performance metrics over the last two years in areas such as Average Handle Time, Service Level, Quality and other results. He is our top performing director and ranks highest compared to other company call centers.

Even with all these accolades, Rick remains humble and supportive and gives all the credit to his staff. As a servant-leader, Rick continually asks his employees to provide feedback, listens to their suggestions and acts quickly to improve their work experience, but most importantly, he treats each employee not as a subordinate, but as a member of his family.