Helping Employees Embrace a New Strategic Direction

A national leader in healthcare innovation and evidence-based care, Geisinger is a regional integrated health system that has undergone rapid expansion to encompass 11 hospitals, myriad primary and specialty care providers, medical and nursing schools, a health plan, and renowned research capabilities. Under new leadership, it began implementing a new strategic plan in September 2016. Participation and buy-in to the plan is key to success -- among 30,000 geographically dispersed and diverse employees across numerous communities in central Pennsylvania and southeastern New Jersey.

The workforce had been impacted by multiple acquisitions and rapid change. The communications department was tasked to support growing marketing needs as well as internal communications, and needed perspective and experience with internal and change management communications.


Storytelling and Evangelism to Build Employee Engagement

Yes& was asked to work as an extension of Geisinger’s team to incorporate employee feedback into the strategic planning process, raise awareness of strategic direction, mitigate resistance to change, and deliver effective strategy, writing, design, and video production.

Our approach tied key strategic plan elements to employee input and emphasized storytelling to make strategic change and its patient benefits tangible to frontline personnel, while engaging managers in the communications process. We focused on mobile communications, infographics, and experiential formats, and prepared and deployed internal "evangelists" across the system to deliver compelling messages.

Yes& staff observed meetings of the strategic plan implementation team to develop insights on the evolving process and gather ideas for stories and visuals. We researched case histories, interviewed participants and related individual projects to the system-wide effort.  

Yes& produced content for a central strategic plan portal; plain-language articles and visuals to explain key initiatives; video staff testimonials; and presentations. We also developed a lexicon of terms, best practices for case histories, and templates for online resources to help communications personnel continue the work.


Appreciation of Strategy Helps Employees Feel Appreciated

The Yes& communication effort helped Geisinger enjoy substantial improvement in its employee engagement. As measured by Geisinger’s annual employee survey, employee willingness to recommend Geisinger as a place to work climbed 23 points, and job satisfaction rose 14 points.