To fulfill this objective, EMH turned to Work Institute. Together, they implemented a structured process to collect regular feedback from new, tenured, and former employees to identify how to make EMH the most attractive employer in the area. The results indicated four main areas for development:
- Improve communication
- Revamp the retirement savings program
- Establish pay for performance
- Implement a comprehensive onboarding experience
In 2006, 10.5% of respondents indicated communication was the most important area for improvement. One respondent told Work Institute, “HR needs to keep the employees clearly informed about policy,” while another mentioned the need to “improve communication between staff and supervisors.” EMH installed flat-screen monitors throughout the hospital which display instant information. The monitors assured consistency of messaging and provided a more visual, real-time method of communicating, two attributes that employees emphasized in the verbatim comments. By 2008, not a single respondent specified communication as an area for improvement.
Additionally, employees indicated their highest benefits priority was the retirement savings plan. Therefore, EMH implemented a new, standardized plan with an enhanced matching formula that allowed an individual to have up to 8% of his or her pay matched by EMH. Because of this, the percentage of “Excellent” responses when asked about benefits increased by 47.8%.
While compensation was an area of concern, the open-ended questions revealed that Associates wanted a performance-based compensation system as opposed to a general economic adjustment. Following the institution of this system, the percentage of employees noting compensation for a reason for leaving dropped 16.2% in two years.
Lastly, EMH utilized new hire interviews to learn about employees’ assimilation into the company. A number of newly hired employees told Work Institute that their orientation process was not sufficient; some departments had effective orientation, while others’ were non-existent. A Departmental Orientation process was rolled out to provide consistency with new employees’ introduction to the health system. Ensuing surveys indicated remarkable improvements in orientation satisfaction. One employee noted, “Within 2 weeks, I knew where everything was and had all my questions answered.”