Since David Gill, PHD joined Northwell Health in 2012, he’s been committed to making Northwell a great place to work by listening to our team members and ensuring they feel supported both professionally and personally.
Roles he has held during his tenure at Northwell include manager of Workforce and Patient Engagement, director of Talent Management and Engagement, and most recently, AVP of Experience Strategy, which he became in 2017. In this role, he is responsible for informing, designing and shaping a holistic experience for everyone in our organization.
David and his team’s efforts have helped elevate Northwell’s employee engagement, and today the organization is a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®.
We sat down with David to discuss the vital work of our Experience Strategy team.
What is the Experience Strategy team?
The Experience Strategy team is focused on creating the best team member experience from hire to retire. Our team’s goal is to deliver a world-renowned team member experience by driving a culture of innovation, inclusivity, and well-being to empower our team members to redefine the future of healthcare.
There are three interconnected groups within the Experience Strategy team that bring the vision to life.
- Listening and Insights is the team solely focused on always listening to team members by obtaining their feedback whether it is through an annual workforce and physician engagement survey, targeted listening sessions or even social media.
- Strategic design is the team that leverages the results from our listening methods to build tools and resources for our leaders and team members to help create an environment that fosters engagement. An example of their work is the development and implementation of our Employee Promise, Made for this™. This group had responsibility for rolling out the activities that exemplified what it is like to work at Northwell.
- Awards and Recognition is the team that builds monumental experiences that reconnects team members to purpose while recognizing, and celebrating team members by telling their story. This group oversees our recognition programs like the President’s Award, the Innovation Challenge, the Truly awards, as well as Northwell’s myRecognition platform. They have the responsibility of infusing recognition within every stage of the team member’s career journey. Additionally this team manages our application process for Fortune 100 Best Companies to work for.
Why is employee experience vital to Northwell as an organization?
In 2013 Northwell established a goal of becoming a best place to work on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list as well as being at the 90th percentile for team member and physician engagement and patient experience based on third party measurement from Press Ganey. For us to achieve those goals, employee experience had to become a strategic imperative. We had to look at how we were understanding our team members’ needs and how we were providing them with the resources for them to be most successful in their career and then importantly, how we were recognizing them for all of the great work that they did on a day-to-day basis. It is essential to create an environment for employees/team members to feel that they contribute to something greater than themselves, have an opportunity to grow within their career, and feel like a valued member of the organization.
For Northwell, it is critically important to create an exceptional experience for our team members, because we want them to create exceptional experiences for our patients and customers.
In this critical time, what extra steps are your team and Northwell taking to make sure that our healthcare heroes on the front lines are feeling appreciated and recognized?
Amid COVID-19 at Northwell, we were hyper-focused on ensuring that our team members had what they needed. Specifically, we were focused on ensuring that our team members were aware of the bountiful resources available to them to support their holistic well-being. For example, the Emotional Resource Call Center, which was recently implemented by Total Rewards, provides one telephone number for team members to call to meet their well-being needs. If a team member would like to speak with a chaplain, a member of the wellness team, an employee and family assistance program counselor, or other behavioral health practitioners from the Stress Trauma centers, they can reach them through that call center. In partnership with many groups across the organization such as the Office for Patient and Customer Experience, Total Rewards, and Behavioral Health, we stood up Tranquility spaces at many of our facilities. These spaces were designed to build awareness, provide team members with an opportunity to receive a light refreshment, as well as a place of respite activities which are critical during this period.
Lastly, we cannot forget recognizing our team members for their bravery, for their compassion, and for the focus on making our communities well. The recognition efforts were done in strong partnership with the marketing and communications team, the Office and Patient and Customer Experience, the Employee Experience team and HR to provide collateral and support in the form of what we call clap in and clap outs—which are a show of appreciation for team members during shift changes.
What is on the horizon for employee experience at Northwell?
When I look to the future of employee experience and even specifically the work our team is doing, I look toward four focus areas, listening, growth and empowerment, well-being, and life-long affinity. By focusing on always listening to our team members and partnering to build a simple, transparent work environment, this creates trust in leaders and the organization. The employee experience team will capture feedback more frequently from team members, through other methods of listening, not just an annual survey. Genuine engagement can not occur without a focus on growth and empowering team members to be their best selves. The employee experience team will focus on education and hands-on experiences that provide leaders with the necessary skills to foster an environment where team members feel empowered to own their careers and feel psychologically safe to share their innovative ideas. Team members should feel that working at Northwell Health helps them be well. Well-being is the responsibility of all teams. The employee experience team will work on training leaders on how to engage their teams through recognition and appreciation. Lastly, the focus on lifelong affinity is building pride for Northwell, and the work that we do even after a team member’s career journey has ended. Specifically, the employee experience team will develop an alumni program that will keep former team members engaged and lifelong promoters of Northwell’s team member experience.