From Last to First for One Regional Health Insurance Provider

Challenge

A declining economy. A statewide population shrinkage. Our client, a regional health plan provider, was not meeting the customer satisfaction results set by their parent company. This company owned several other regional healthcare organizations, and all competed with a customer satisfaction program. Our client placed dead last among the field: underperforming in the areas of new member enrollments, claims processing, and inquiry resolution.

Solution

Our client knew their culture was holding them back. The question was how to untangle what wasn’t working, and see it clearly. They needed focus, and so started with role-playing a simple question. Each member of the leadership team was asked to imagine they were talking with a new hire who wanted to know, simply: “What’s it really like to work here?” 

Keeping themselves to a radical honesty, these leaders were able to pinpoint what needed to change in this organization’s culture. Some of the responses were very hard to acknowledge. No one wants to hear:

  • People believe that as long as you have a warm body, you will always have a job here.” 
  • We have quiet meetings that lack passionate honest dialogue.”

Getting to the truth that makes you wince is one of the first steps toward organizational change.

Owning that truth, without defensiveness, is difficult. Moving forward, this organization created new beliefs counter to their culture, including “Be Radical” and “Act Now.” Through a process of full-organization accountability and alignment, a new culture emerged.

Result

Two years later, the CEO stood in front of his people to report that, for the first time ever, they had outperformed every other health care organization in their parent’s company’s portfolio: achieving the top 100/100 score in the customer service program measures.

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