By Debbie Bolla
Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? No, I am not talking about cell phoneÂ service. I am talking about how todayâs employees want to provide feedback and feelÂ like their employers are listening to them. But in many cases, workers arenât beingÂ heardâor at least that is the perception. In fact, Gallupâs research finds that onlyÂ three in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that their opinions seem to count at work.
Such employers have A LOT to learn from Independence Health Groupâa companyÂ that makes employee feedback a priority. The organization actively listens to itsÂ employees through annual surveys and its very popular associate resource groupsÂ (ARGs).
âWe have 10 ARGs that are key components to our company, our strategy, and ourÂ engagement,â explains Executive Vice President and CHRO Jeanie Heffernan in ourÂ cover story, Insuring HRâs Success. The ARGs empower employees toÂ connect through shared interests while improving company programs and institutingÂ change.
Independence Health Groupâs ARGs include:
- ABLE (Associates Beyond Limited Expectations)
- Future Blue Leaders
- iLEAD (Inspiring Lifting and Empowering the African Diaspora)
- imPACT (Pan Asians and Allies Collaborating Together)
- Latinos con Proposito (Latinos with Purpose)
- Multicultural Menâs Group
- PRIDE (People Recognizing Inclusion, Diversity & Equality)
- Women of Independence
- AmeriHealth New Jersey Diversity and Inclusion Council (AmeriHealth New JerseyÂ is a subsidiary)
The catalyst for the first-ever ARG, âMulticultural Menâs Group,â is a good exampleÂ of empowerment. Heffernan shares that disheartening results from a data slice ofÂ the annual employee survey uncovered that the multicultural men demographic feltÂ disconnected from the organization, not seeing a future for themselves. HeffernanÂ executed a proactive approach by asking for their feedback in order to create realÂ change that was meaningful to them. And the ARG program has led to impactfulÂ results: âThis cohort was instrumental in driving the company and culture forward byÂ engaging [multicultural men] in business solutions,â she says.
In addition to improving connections between the company and its employees, thisÂ feedback-welcoming approach also boosts employee engagement scores. WhileÂ the organizationâs overall employee engagement rate of 89 percent is well aboveÂ industry standards, members of the companyâs 10 ARGs are even more engaged atÂ 95 percent.
And to hear more from Heffernan, be sure to check out our exclusive podcast on herÂ 2020 agenda.