Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System) is the largest private employer in New York and one ofthe country’s largest health care systems with more than 61,000 employees. The organization is comprised of 21 hospitals, 450 physician practices, a renowned medical research institute and a medical and nursing school. The enterprise hires more than 10,000 employees annually, 80% of whom are Millennials and Gen-Xers. Its expansive workforce includes various types of professionals – from doctors and nurses to service, administration and maintenance personnel—each requiring access to content, information and organization communications.
In January 2016, North Shore-LIJ rebranded to Northwell Health. As part of a multi-pronged employee communications, engagement and rebranding strategy, the organization partnered with theEMPLOYEEapp to provide a mobile app that employees could download to their Apple, Android and web-enabled mobile devices, putting the new “brand in hand.” Given the importance of mobile technology to its workforce (many of whom are front-line and don’t have regular access to desktop computers and email), having a native app would ensure that employees would be the first to know about events and news surrounding the new brand; could easily and instantaneously access work-related content, information and workplace tools; and could conveniently be engaged through their mobile devices, “anytime, anywhere” – on or off shift.
Prior to launching the “myNorthwell” employee app, Northwell Health utilized a myriad of tools to communicate with its diverse workforce. Each served a distinct and important purpose but came with its share of challenges. For example:
- Email: While all employees are provided with a “@northwell. edu” email address, most are front-line workers who are on their feet throughout the day and night, and only periodically are able to access email via a desktop computer.
- Employee Intranet: The company recently overhauled its Sharepoint intranet – a massive and expensive undertaking. However, given the complexity of the intranet, with the information and tools not yet mobile-accessible, and sitting behind the organization’s firewall, it was not a one-size- fits-all tool.
- Print: Posters and flyers are hung in the employee common areas at many hospitals and facilities. However, print is not a sustainable model and clutter often becomes the norm. Also, since they tend to be grouped together on places like bulletin boards, there is no way to measure their effectiveness or determine who viewed specific messages.
In considering innovative and more modern ways to communicate with employees, the communications and HR teams at Northwell knew they needed a mobile solution to cater not only to its quickly growing Millennial workforce, but also the many other employees who were increasingly becoming dependent on their mobile devices and social media. The solutions provider needed to meet the following criteria:
- Core mobile offering in employee communications and engagement
- Turn-key, cost effective and quick to deploy
- Customizable in brand and content (Northwell required its own look and feel, to mirror its rebranding effort)
- Flexible enough to include a variety of communications tools and linkage to existing workplace portals, such as the HR self service portal
After evaluating numerous options, Northwell Health selected theEMPLOYEEapp.
“It’s time to turn front-line employee communications on its head, and we’re doing this by going mobile. Why? Because we know that’s what our employees need. Because they told us they want it. And, because our organization can’t afford to keep relying on traditional channels to connect with its workforce, particularly inside an industry that’s dramatically transforming before our eyes.”Ally Bunin
Definitely a huge time saver to have everything I need in one place and available anytime.”
This is a game changer.”
Great app. I don’t need a PC any longer – I am encouraging everyone to download it!”
Innovative thinking combined with common sense communication for mobile employees.”
myNorthwell – Anytime, Anywhere
In addition to using the myNorthwell app to communicate news and events taking place throughout the enterprise, critical workplace tools were incorporated into their app. The communications team realized that for the app to be successful, the information, content and resources contained in it had to be important and of value to its employees. To accomplish this – and keep employees engaged with the myNorthwell app:
- The company’s HR self service and Wellness portals are prominently displayed allowing employees to conveniently and easily log-in and access their benefit, payroll and other important workplace information;
- Discounts to retailers and local vendors are made available allowing employees to save money at the point of purchase simply by showing the discount coupon from their mobile device;
- Videos of the company’s CEO as well as “exclusive” primers of the company’s television commercials are pushed to employees before they’re aired;
- Surveys, polls and other interactive tools are incorporated into the company’s Facebook-like newsfeed as a means to engage employees with prizes and other “free” promotions offered to keep them coming back.
Since its launch in the beginning of 2016, the myNorthwell app has succeeded in becoming a mobile hub for employees that allows them to obtain easy access to information and workplace tools whenever they want. It also has allowed the organization to more directly engage with its workforce and, given the nature of mobile technology and the analytics that come with theEMPLOYEEapp, to quantify the effectiveness of the information being made available to employees. Key statistics since the company deployed myNorthwell:
- 11,000 employees are using the app in three months
- More than 600,000 page views
- Average app open time – 3 minutes
- Over 93,000 visits to mySelfService through the app
- Over 25,000 visits to new Wellness program through the app
myNorthwell has been adopted across all employee functions. The company attributes this to the fact that its mobile communications strategy allows it to push “just-in-time” content to complement its other employee engagement and communications strategies. After only a few months, the myNorthwell app is quickly becoming a critical and institutionalized solution helping Northwell Health better communicate and engage with its employees across the enterprise.