I read an interesting Fast Company article the other day about how companies are increasingly focusing on the ways a strong corporate culture can create winning results. It’s a concept that has sparked a lot of talk, with many people arguing that strategy will always trump culture when it comes to prioritizing efforts.
This article really stuck with me because I’m constantly thinking about how our own corporate culture impacts our ability to deliver a unique consumer experience. This is especially important at this moment in time, when the culture of the healthcare industry itself is fundamentally changing: from clearly defined silos to cross-sector collaboration; from autocratic decision-making to consumer engagement and accountability; from complexity to convenience.
At Bloom Health, we are taking a laser-focused approach to changing the culture of healthcare as it relates to employee benefits. Really, we’re changing the entire health benefits ecosystem. This requires a seismic shift in the way employers think about their employees’ healthcare. And if we’re going to do it right, we’d better make sure our own culture is as innovative and creative as the solutions we are bringing to the market.
That’s why I don’t think it’s a question of which is more important—culture or strategy. I believe culture is part of the overall strategy.
When we launched Bloom Health two years ago, our business strategy included a “no jerk policy.” We didn’t want to work for jerks, and we didn’t want to hire them either. That’s just one example of how we made sure our business strategy included our vision for the culture of the organization. Here are some other ways we are integrating culture into our business strategy:
1. Create a personalized work experience.
Since what we do at Bloom Health is create a more personalized benefit experience for our customers, we try to extend that custom setting to the work environment. This means flexible schedules, remote positions, and a number of other perks designed to let our employees shape the workspace that best suits their personal needs.
2. Not everything needs to fit in a neat box.
We’re pushing the envelope when it comes to health benefits. We are innovative and not afraid to try new things. We recognize that sometimes the best ideas come from unlikely places. That’s why we don’t hire exclusively from the healthcare industry. Many of our team members have had distinguished careers in other industries, and they are applying new and fresh insights to healthcare.
3. Clear and open communication produces the best results.
We believe that our customers deserve straightforward communications. After all, we are helping them with their benefits, and so all of our communications are geared toward the customer. To foster this open dialogue, we practice what we preach at our headquarters. This means no offices—even for the CEO—to help keep the lines of communication wide open.
4. Technology powers innovation.
We aim to be on the leading edge of the industry. That’s the only way to truly reinvent the insurance ecosystem. And so we are using leading edge technology ourselves, from all Apple computers to Cloud technology.
As a new company in an emerging space, working to reinvent an antiquated industry, we can’t underestimate the importance of culture. While the strength of the solutions and insights we bring to the market are critical in helping us achieve success, it’s who we are that we think will make the biggest impact.
- Jill Prevost, Head of Marketing & Consumer ExperienceTweet