KEEPING EMPLOYEES ENGAGED AND CULTURE STRONG DURING GROWTH
The CEO of HealthLinc, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center, understands that during times of rapid growth and change, employee engagement and the overall culture of an organization can suffer. Yet, highly engaged employees are critical to success. In fact, research has demonstrated that a strong culture accounts for a 20-30% differential in corporate performance.
Prior to our working with them, HealthLinc had been aggressively growing, adding both new locations and new service lines at a rapid pace. That level of change had made it difficult to keep a close eye on the pulse of the culture. To get a good read on how their employees across seven locations were experiencing these changes and to measure the impact those events were having on culture, Strategic Innovation was retained to conduct a series of focus groups. The groups were designed to explore the six key elements of culture defined by John Coleman in Harvard Business Review, which include the following:
Two focus groups were held at each of the five cities where the organization has operations, with an additional session where Senior Managers were brought together at a central location. Participants were randomly selected to represent the population as a whole. The use of Jane as an outside facilitator, along with a third party scribe to record detailed notes, ensured that the information shared by individual employees would remain confidential. As a skilled facilitator, Jane was able to ask questions that encouraged participation by all, exploring the feelings and issues that ran beneath initial, broad comments. This deeper level of conversation provided a clearer understanding of how events, experiences, and reactions shape what employees experience.
Based on the content of the discussions, Jane prepared a detailed report, which revealed an extremely strong commitment to the mission and to patients, but also some areas where employees may have misunderstandings or currently experience frustration. These areas were shared with the CEO and her Senior Team in a working session to explore actions and interventions designed create visible change and boost employee engagement.
Two years later, the client repeated the process again and we were able to compare the progress made and target areas for further action. Those finding were shared in small group meetings by Senior Management at each location, using an infographic to make it easy to see where they were making progress and where they still had work to do.