Change Management

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You’ve invested considerable time and money to build a strong future for your healthcare organization – a future that demands change and evolution.  To be successful, your team must see your vision, understand the “why” and be motivated to participate in the journey.

Change management

Whether you are moving your organization to a new strategy or integrating newly combined assets, our proven approach to change management communications has resulted in more than 85% employee engagement rates and allows change to happen faster.

Our method empowers an aligned leadership team to tell a compelling story, confidently engage, actively listen and adjust the cadence of change so your organization can absorb, respond and succeed. Through this work, your team:

  • Is inspired by your vision and understands each person’s role in achieving it
  • Agrees on upcoming priorities
  • Enables change to happen faster
  • Is ahead of the curve, anticipating challenges to maintain momentum

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During this transformative time in healthcare, employees are hungry for clear information. Learn how top communicators at health systems across the country are arming their managers, exploring new tools and engaging employees to improve patient care.

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Change Management Case Studies

THE CHALLENGE

A not-for-profit public health system was growing rapidly. But while planning to announce a new trauma center, children’s hospital, cancer center and more, leaders realized that employees were suffering from whiplash, having been hit with a series of major changes that created a feeling of chaos and uncertainty. Leaders worried that without a compelling vision to bring employees on board, they would lose their way as a system.

THE SOLUTION

We began by listening. We spoke with more than 100 health system leaders over two days to learn how they perceived the organization’s strategy.

We did two things in parallel – we culled the most important pieces of the existing strategy and built cohesive branding around it. We settled on four pillars that formed the foundation of the health system’s growth goals. We turned a cloud of obscure documents into a clear, branded one-pager.

Leaders liked the concept of a compass to anchor the branding. We used it to illustrate materials we made – badges, posters and a new intranet. The intranet was crucial – we built a portal to be a reliable source of truth for employees looking for information about change. Over nine months, we leveraged these tools to explain how specific changes aligned with the health system’s purpose.

THE RESULTS

After two years, the system continues to share major announcements through the messaging platform we built. To this day, more than a thousand employees per month visit the portal.

The organization has also kept its employees engaged during significant change. About 81 percent of employees responded to the 2017 engagement survey, almost 750 more responses than the previous year. The average employee satisfaction score is around 82 percent, up from 2016. This, we believe, is
a testament to a solid communications plan that informs employees and reinforces the health system’s four pillars that drive patient care.

TACTICS

THE CHALLENGE

Leaders of a major not-for-profit system needed to disrupt its care model to focus on population health. But employees were burnt out on change. Recently, the health system had rolled out a new EHR system, landed a $250 million campus expansion, redesigned its compensation structure and more. With significant transformation on the horizon, leadership feared that employees wouldn’t see how it could improve patient care and, eventually, the work environment.

 THE SOLUTION

First, we cased the communications infrastructure and employees’ feelings towards change. We polled employees, scheduled listening sessions and used other tactics that provided valuable information and elevated their voices.

They told us they needed to understand the reasons for change before buying in. They wanted to know how change would affect patients and their own livelihoods. They needed one source of information about change—plus opportunities to discuss it with their managers.

So, we got to work. We crafted a story about why and how change was happening. Then, we put that story in the hands of 1,000-plus leaders from across the system at a half-day training event. We gave them specific tools: a one-pager and a video that showed how changes would improve patient care. We also launched a new intranet – a single source of truth.

We coached leaders on how to communicate, then held them accountable for talking to employees.

THE RESULTS

Nine months after we began our work, 94 percent of leaders reported that they felt completely prepared to communicate the health system’s new strategy to their teams. The same survey showed that 87 percent of the health system’s employees were aware of the strategic plan and vision for the future and 97 percent self-reported as engaged.

Perhaps most importantly, the communications plan we created for the system continues to evolve in step with its three-year strategic plan. We didn’t just solve an acute problem; we built an infrastructure to manage change.

TACTICS

THE CHALLENGE

Leaders of a regional health system were centralizing operations when they realized employee engagement was low. They decided to address the problem by searching for gaps in their internal communications efforts. Quickly recognizing they needed more resources to do the research, they brought us on board to conduct a thorough audit.

THE SOLUTION

We began by polling employees and interviewing managers about their communications styles, knowledge and use of tools.

Results from those efforts were clear: Employees were receiving information that wasn’t relevant to their work, didn’t connect with the system’s mission and came from a variety of sources. Managers, meanwhile, varied markedly in their comfort and ability to communicate. 

To address this, we built a plan to flip the organization’s top-down communications strategy into a two-way relationship between employer and employees. Elements included:

  • A new protocol that drastically reduced “All-Staff” emails, ensured that content was relevant to specific employee populations and was properly curated with the most vital information at the top
  • Creation of a new intranet portal to serve as a single, easily accessible, updated source of truth
  • Development of a training program for managers to help them communicate clearly to their teams

THE RESULTS

Measured by surveys, the strategy yielded dramatic results. One year later, 77 percent of employees responded they received the appropriate amount of information from the system, versus 54 percent the previous year.  Another 58 percent said they received information pertinent to their day-to-day work, versus 45 percent the previous year. Finally, half of the respondents said they felt engaged, up from one-third of employees before we began our work.

TACTICS