Why the employee experience is everything in health care

June 21, 2022 SmartBrief Season 2 Episode 3
Why the employee experience is everything in health care
Show Notes Transcript

Customer experience is only as good as the employees who deliver it. In this episode, Wellframe's Michele Gabron and Chief Customer's Ingrid Lindberg describe their vision for employee experience, including efforts to create authentic connection and the importance of fair compensation. They describe bright spots, explain why it's long past time for a life-work balance paradigm, and share thoughts for leaders whose teams have worked the front lines of the pandemic.

This episode is brought to you by Wellframe.

Additional Resources

Global Benefits Attitudes Survey 2022 - WTW (

STOP asking your employees if they want to go back to the office. - Chief Customer, LLC

The future of work - Chief Customer, LLC

Melissa Turner  00:03

Hello and welcome to Touchpoints, a conversation about care connection and costs in the US healthcare system. I'm Melissa Turner. In addition to co hosting touchpoints, I'm also Content Director for healthcare and life sciences at SmartBrief. SmartBrief is a publisher of digital newsletters for professionals, and creator of this and other shows in our series of smartpod podcasts.


Doug Harris  00:24

And I'm Doug Harris. I'm a custom content editor for health care and life sciences at SmartBrief, where I create content for payers, providers and other health care stakeholders. In addition to our work, hosting Touchpoints and at SmartBrief, Melissa and are of course also consumers of health care, just like those of you listening. Together in each Touchpoints episode, we'll explore the issues that make health care hard for all of us.


Melissa Turner  00:45

We'll also discuss how health plans, health care providers and their partners in the health care ecosystem can make it easier. Thank you for joining us on the Touchpoints podcast.


Doug Harris  01:08

Wellframe empowers health plans to become trusted advocates for members. Their team believes that health plans are in the best position to lead the charge into the world of digital health management. Let Wellframe be your partner in improving member engagement and outcomes. Learn more at


Melissa Turner  01:26

Today we're exploring a topic that is top of mind in many industries, although it has particular importance in health care right now. We're talking about employee experience in the age of a pandemic. And in an industry where burnout was a serious concern even before the pandemic, the importance of employee experience is hard to overstate. Let's go ahead and meet our guests.


Melissa Turner  01:45

First up is Ingrid Lindberg. Ingrid is described as the country's first CXO, and today she's CFO at Chief Customer, which helps companies transform their own CX, providing soup to nuts support with customer experience and employee experience. Chief Customer's services range from design, VOC and strategy to implementation and culture change. Find Ingrid and Chief Customer at Welcome, Ingrid.


Ingrid Lindberg  02:11

Hi, Melissa. So good to be here.


Melissa Turner  02:13

Very glad to have you again. I'm also pleased to welcome Michele Gabron of Wellframe. In working for and with health plans, Michele's digital health experience spans telemedicine, wellness, and now digital care management as a senior customer partner Wellframe. She helps health plans drive digital member adoption and engagement. Welcome, Michele.


Michele Gabron  02:32

Hey, Melissa, thanks for having me.


Melissa Turner  02:35

Absolutely. Very glad to have you both. Well, let's go ahead and jump into our conversation. I want to acknowledge that typically, in this podcast, we spend most of our time talking about health care through the lens of member experience and member health outcomes. Of course, these are areas where you both have background. Today our conversation is a little bit different. We'll be talking about employee experience. But I want to kind of keep at least to start the lens of member experience and member health outcomes. So thinking about that, why does employee experience matter in health care? And Ingrid, you actually inspired this topic. Last season, when we spoke about customer experience, we decided to definitely come back and talk about employee experience. So I'm going to ask you to start us off.


Ingrid Lindberg  03:19

I think this is one of the most underrepresented and yet important pieces of customer experience, employee experience, right? We've been talking over at Chief Customer for almost a decade now about what we lovingly call EX drives CX. And whether we're talking about the insurers, whether we're talking about pharma, whether we're talking about the actual health care professionals who are delivering care every day, day in and day out. When you think about health care as an ecosystem. I can't think of another industry in the world where the people who are delivering that care -- once again, soup to nuts, whole ecosystem -- are so important to how people feel about receiving that care. So at the end of the day, right, you cannot have customer experience in health care without having incredible employees. And the only way you get incredible employees is by offering a great employee experience.


Melissa Turner  04:20

Great place to start out this conversation. Michele, what would you add?


Michele Gabron  04:23

I think that I would actually echo what Ingrid is sharing. And I think that what's important to call out is that employee experience has always been first and foremost prominent in health care, right. From a health plan perspective, employees of health plans, through either customer support or care management, are typically the second impression that a member has with the brand. And those interactions typically will influence whether they perceive the health plan to be positive or negative, thus overall influencing satisfaction and retention. So employees are critical to the success of any organization. But more specifically in health plans, given that they have that member touch. And I think when you think about employee engagement, the themes are really similar to member engagement and more specifically, member engagement within a solution or experience. Whereas you can be really actively engaged, meaning that you know what to do when you want to do it. Or conversely, you could be actively disengaged, knowing that you know what to do, but don't feel a real connection and do the bare minimum. So, engagement is really important, again, to just drive out any kind of experience within any kind of universe.


Michele Gabron  04:23

Yeah, absolutely. And it certainly makes a lot of sense in a space as personal as health care. Obviously, this is a diverse industry, and when we talk about health care, we're talking about, you know, hospitals, practices, of course, health plans, as well. But we know that industry consolidation and integration have blurred some lines between those types of organizations as well. I'm just wondering if we can make any kind of generalizations about the state of employee experience across health care, and then maybe talk about health plans? In particular, Michelle, what have you seen in your work with health plans?


Michele Gabron  06:05

Well, I think that a lot of clients are looking at transformation, and transformation overall from an HR perspective. And I think it really resonates because they know that they need to really get people centric within their organization, as well as really enable their workforce to be digitally capable to thrive, especially as we're dealing with the pandemic and those who are still working from home and really haven't been able to get in the office. So a lot of our customers -- more specific, again, to care management -- are focused on addressing the HR issues of having like a multigenerational workforce, how to balance different places where people are at and maximize their efficiencies, especially when they're looking to implement new things in response to the pandemic like new care models, or better leveraging digital solutions to help onboard and manage members. And then, you know, at the end of the day, how do we help them always keep at the top of their license. So it's no small feat, we're still living through COVID, obviously, and burnout's still here, but everyone's looking for who's doing something the best. And as it relates to motivating and supporting people to achieve their goals.


Melissa Turner  07:13

we'll come back to that -- who's doing well -- to try to get some inspiration from some success stories. We'll go there in just a moment. Ingrid, I want to get your take on kind of where the state of employee experience is in health care. And then if there's anything you want to say about health plans, in particular relative to other organizations?


Ingrid Lindberg  07:30

So, Melissa, I think this is the trickiest question, right? Because when we talk about health care, once again, we've got so many different pieces. And if we're talking about those who actually provide care, versus those who are, quote, unquote, kind of behind the scenes making the machine work, we see such different pieces. And I have such different answers because of that, right? So I mean, when we start talking about the great resignation, or the great shuffle, or the great reshuffle or all of the kind of trite comments that people have come up with around this massive move, you look specifically, or at least I look specifically at health care, in those two buckets, right, the people who proactively were providing care throughout the pandemic, versus those who are, you know, on the insurer side, on the administration side, on the pharma side, all that kind of back office. So if we look at back office, right, and I hate using those terms, but that's we're going to do for today, if we look at you know, the kind of ecosystem pieces that were not directly providing care, you know, we've always talked about why people stay. You know, they stay because they feel valued. The top five reasons I would stay would be feeling valued and wages and benefits and job security and flexible work. Okay, great. That's all fabulous. That's all fine. That's no longer the case. Right? We know that 44% of people who are in kind of white collar jobs are actively job seeking right now. That was a Willis Towers Watson global benefits survey, they did, I don't know, sometime the last four months. So we know people are looking, right, we know people are looking and right now they are looking for a different set of reasons and a different set of answers than we have historically seen. That value piece is still huge. And we know that if you are on the care providing side, frankly, you were not able to do your job the way that you wanted to do your job for the last two years because of 1,000 things. So that value equation is just shot in so many different places when we're talking about those who provide care. When we go back into the administrative side, right, the back office side those who are not directly providing care, what we're seeing is that top pay is what's actually making people leave. Right we're seeing that 56% of people who are looking for a job are actually looking for a job with more money yet they know that people are being hired into their existing companies getting paid more money. So I mean, it's just such a complex question. Sorry, Melissa, a little offshoot there, but this is such a complex question, depending on what part we're talking about, right? We're talking about back office, are we talking about the people who are providing care? Are we talking about people who had to hand you know, handhold through the crisis literally? Or are we talking about people who didn't have the same kind of experience? Right, lots of different pieces there.


Melissa Turner  10:18

Yeah, just a follow up on the point about the great resignation and kind of sticking with this sort of back office side of things. Would you say that health plans are being hit by that in the same way that, you know, we're seeing just kind of generally across the economy? Are they feeling it?


Ingrid Lindberg  10:33

I have not seen specific data to health plans as a vertical, what I have seen whether it's through the Towers work, or Gartner has done some work as well, right, you've got lots of people who are studying this right now. And frankly, all of my clients across all verticals, but health insurance as well, are struggling to find, right, they're struggling to find talent. And the questions that people are asking, and the things that employees are looking for are not the things that health plans have historically offered, right? We've always seen this super high altruism driver for people who go to work within health care much more so than any other industry that's out there. But frankly, what we're seeing, or at least what I'm experiencing with my client base, is that the altruism driver is now meeting a very different interior driver set, which is around I need to take care of myself and my family. And there's just a lot of unanswered questions about what the world of work is going to look like. And I'm not seeing most of the insurers really rise to the forefront of thinking about how to do things differently.


Melissa Turner  11:39

Yeah, we'll go into some advice for them. Now, I think I want to just sort of talk about, backup a little bit and zoom out, talk about employee experience in general, kind of if we could define the elements of employee experience, things that leaders should be looking at. Let's explore this question. Now. Michele, why don't you start us off? What would you say makes a great employee experience?


Michele Gabron  12:02

So it almost sounds cliche, right. But I think anybody in any industry can, and I can say that it always starts with leadership. And I think it's, it's more importantly supported by culture, right? And the inclusivity. People want to know and feel the mission for the customers they serve, and they want to feel a connection. And they want to feel like they're being supported by the company that they're working for, and that they're invested in their success. So I think health plans have had a pivot around ongoing waves of COVID, keeping many employees working remote, and long term that can be really hard to manage. So it's critical that the health plan leaders remain connected and transparent, that they set realistic expectations and keep that inclusivity at the forefront for many of employees who've relied on working in a team environment before. And now we're doing the job essentially, on an island, finding ways to keep employees engaged actively and providing them with the tools they need to do their job. And whatever it helps them keep their pitch high is critical, not only to retention, but keeping them at that high quality member experience, right we talked about earlier. So it's, you know, really how to find solutions that for those who have been around the opposite side less engaged and helping them to remove barriers as well.


Melissa Turner  13:15

Thank you, Michele. Ingrid, you work with clients on this topic? Where do you start with looking at building an employee experience?


Ingrid Lindberg  13:23

So we used to be very focused. And when I say used to be I'll say, four or five years ago, pre-COVID, we used to be very focused on kind of the very traditional, the human aspects of what this should look like, which was leadership and the benefits and how do you make people feel valued and connected? And we've pivoted a bit since the pandemic and through the pandemic, and some of the work we've been doing. And there's really five components that we ask people to rally themselves around. The first is really all around connectivity, right? So how can you help your team still feel connected to their peers, to their leaders, to the executives to the mission. The second is all around work life balance, right? We've spent years especially our human resources partners, trying to figure out how to give people a better work life balance. Now, it's really about a life work balance, especially for those who are still sitting at home. So how do you figure out how to get people to walk away and turn off and to actually get to have a life when they are now working from their home? The third is really all around the physical workspace, whether it's in my home, whether it is in an office again, right, these are kind of the components of what a real employee experience looks like. Fourth is obviously voice of employee, right? People have a lot of things to say and listening and talking and learning and pivoting is more important than it has ever been. And last but not least, the fifth component we talk about is performance, which is interesting and a sticky one for people right? So if you're in a care facility and you're providing care, hospital, long term care facility, whatever it may be. We've moved performance into, you know, all sorts of outcome based and it's very clinical. And it's very driven. Right? Performance within back office has historically been output in efficiency. We talk a lot about that. There's always that kind of soft skill piece for performance for back office folks, which is how did you behave in the meeting? How were you at the water cooler, right. And for both of these pieces of the ecosystem, the direct care delivery and the back, we have a whole new way that we're going to have to figure out performance, how are we going to assess who you are, and how you behave, and what you're like and how you're doing? So performance is something that we're asking people to spend an awful lot of time rethinking in this new world. But those are the five components that we like to talk about with our client base.


Melissa Turner  15:53

Wow, really interesting stuff there. I love the reframing of work life balance as life work balance, that's incredible.


Ingrid Lindberg  16:03

We have to, right? We absolutely have to. I mean, we all know people, myself included, I went from having an office and I walked into every single day to having a space in my home. That's my work, right. And I think that if there's anything as leaders we can do, it's about helping people to figure out how to turn that computer and that phone off. Because the connectivity is not going to help us.


Melissa Turner  16:29

Yeah, I just have to ask, what is the most important thing to do there? Is it modeling? Is it just being really clear, I do not expect you to work weekends? What are some of the most powerful things that someone can do around that question?


Ingrid Lindberg  16:46

Modeling is key, right? Modeling is key. I worked for a boss who when we would go on vacation, he would confiscate our laptops, and at the time, we all had separate cell phones for work, but he would take them away from us. And his line was, if you cannot go on vacation for two weeks, without the world falling apart, you should be fired. And I have taken that. It was 1997. I have taken that and have rolled that forward. Right. So modeling the behaviors, stop answering emails in the middle of the night, on weekends, stop working outside of traditional hours. There's a lot that we've seen, you know, Cisco has done great work with mandatory days off, right? Mandatory days off, shut down the company, finding ways to give your team members of break from home. Right? Can you do a distance happy hour outside? Can you schedule breaks on calendars for people? Can you force breaks onto people's calendars? And you know, last but not least, we talk a lot about helping leaders to stop worrying about when the work gets done and focus on the work getting done as long as it's being getting done, right. Not in the middle of the night, every single time. But if I've got a bunch of kids at home, and I don't have care right now, and I'm doing the work between you know, 12pm and 4am. And that works for me, then maybe that's it right. So unfortunately, it's not one size fits all. But there are lots of tools out there that we're seeing, primarily, frankly outside of health plans, implemented to help really navigate that life work balance they've got to find.


Doug Harris  18:22

Wellframe powers health plans to become trusted advocates for members. They believe health plans have the knowledge and resources to support more people across more touch points in their health care journey. Wellframe solutions for digital care management and digital customer service and power members and health plan staff to achieve their best in the most wonderful human way possible. Make sure your members feel confident, cared for and supported by their health plan. Don't miss this moment. See how a digital health management strategy would benefit your plan at


Melissa Turner  18:52

That's really interesting. Michele, I want to pause and invite you to comment on this in particular, you know, anything you've seen, perhaps at Wellframe or at health plans on this particular point of life-work balance? Really interesting.


Michele Gabron  19:07

Yeah, I think I'll agree with Ingrid that it's probably more a trend that has risen more out of the non-health plan sector, right in terms of having generous PTO or PTO policies that say that you can't bring your laptop on your European vacation with you or at Wellframe specifically, we have the lunch hour blocked on every one of our calendars across the organization, because then it's time that we could be using to run out and walk the dog or maybe you know, go pick up medication, you know, obviously again, as we still navigate working from home being more of a normal now. Right? And I think that those are just themes that will that we'll see bleed into other organizations. And I agree to Ingrid's point also, it's more about when you get the work done versus when you're doing it.


Melissa Turner  19:53

Let's go ahead and talk about some success stories. And you know, these you've both alluded to trends outside of healthcare and maybe some organizations leading a little more on some of these questions outside of healthcare, so we can be within or outside of healthcare, but just really want to talk about any bright spots where employee experience is being done well, and what it took to build that experience.


Ingrid Lindberg  20:18

Oh, goodness, where do you want to start? There's so many great examples, right? I like starting with talking about the ones that don't make as much sense to everybody because we forget about them, right. And one of my favorite ones to talk about right now are the people who are on the road 100% of the time until COVID hit, myself being one of those people like our lives were lived on airplanes, and in hotels, and at events, and oh my gosh, you know, you traveled to clients, and you did sales, and you did client visits, and you did all these things. And when the travel stopped, and COVID arrived, that was really, really earth shattering for a hunk of people who worked in this industry, right, a large chunk of people who worked in this industry. And I was talking to a friend of mine who works at one of the big consultancies and he has decided, because they're not traveling to meet their clients right now, because most of their clients still don't want visits, which makes sense. He's bringing his entire team together in a different city every month. So he's creating connectivity. He's giving them some business travel. Now it's not I'm on the road five days a week, right? I mean, it's not that horrible Road Warrior thing that so many of us did for so many years. But it's a great example of figuring out a way to a create connectivity, giving these people a sense of normalcy for their world, right. And so you just get some work done and see how people are doing. I love that one. I love what Deloitte did. Deloitte granted every single one of their employees, and Google's done the same and a bunch of others, 500 bucks to purchase anything they needed for their home office space, right? I mean, just some really interesting ways of figuring out how to make people feel better about where they are, we have a client that we've done a bunch of work with, where we have actually figured out how to do matching of colleagues who live near each other for physically distanced/Safe Walks, right, so we've taken the entire ecosystem of all of their employees across the country. And you know, you might get matched as a customer service representative with a senior vice president who lives two or three blocks away from you. And it's just all being done. And you have matching dates now. So it gives you skip levels, it gives you an opportunity to get some exercise, it gives you connectivity, right? So there's all sorts of things that are happening. And I will shush after those three examples. But there are all sorts of things that are happening, that are really trying to help people find a better way to live in this environment that we're currently in. I love those three, though,


Melissa Turner  22:52

The last one, I thought was so cool in particular, because and, maybe there are aspects of the others as well. But that kind of connection, your example of the customer service representative and the executive down the road, that might not happen in person in the office, like in the old days.


Ingrid Lindberg  23:11

It's funny, because we used to call it speed dating, and it was something we would set up for our clients, right? So we take the president of the division, and we block out two to three hours on your schedule every week, and then you would open that up to the entire organization, 15 minute speed dates -- in and out, right? Well, can't really do that as well. And frankly, it's hard to hang up on someone on Zoom. It's easy to have an admin come in and kick someone out of your office, right? I mean, let's be really honest. But the walks, the matching and the walks and just the randomness of it, right? Because if I live in downtown Chicago, and I, you know, on Miracle Mile, and I've got an employee who lives a couple of blocks away, why am I not spending some time with them, even if they're not my direct report is just really been pretty beautiful. So that's a great matching, speed dating, you know, success that we had, and it's still running, and it's doing really well.


Melissa Turner  24:02

That's so cool. Michele, what would you say in terms of success stories, and again, this can be you know, inside of health care, outside of health care, but where employee experience is being done well, and kind of what it takes,


Michele Gabron  24:16

I think back to the company, I worked for before Wellframe that really had a very tight quote, culture and a very tight connection. And I think some of the themes that that I saw there are also actually applying over here at Wellframe that I like to see is that, you know, in these times where we're becoming more remote from each other, and we're, we're less face-to-face and real person, you know, seeing real openness to collaboration with other areas of interests outside of work being incorporated into work platforms. So an example would be Slack, right? A lot of us use Slack as a communication tool. I love when I see an organization have slack rooms that are not on topic with the organization but within you know, commonalities between people. So I I think everybody who has Slack has a pets room, right, where they're sharing their animals, and they're building that connection. And I think what I love is that the openness of the company to allow a non work, you know, topic, right to be sort of a network platform really shows kind of the flexibility, right, and really meeting people and expanding beyond just, you know, making work tools for work only. So, I think that really helps build, you know, camaraderie and connection. And I think that's one way that I think is a successful kind of a peer to peer connection thing, in terms of health plans. And I think in terms of performance, and I think we mentioned earlier, I don't know that anybody's doing it to the point that everyone's measuring towards a model for success. But I think, back to the theme of how do you meet people where they're at to drive performance success, right. And as we look at care management, and we look at how to help our care staff really work again, to that top of license and top of their abilities. Some players are getting creative with ways to kind of identify how to help figure out where they're at. So we've seen plans build personas based upon different kinds of performance types. And, you know, one persona could be person A, who is the ultimate worker who stays late, who sacrifices her weekends, you know, and she works to this. And we know that we need to develop a work plan that serves X for her right, or somebody who may be struggling and challenged and is an adoptor and is having a hard time, but we know that they're a quality employee, we want to be able to, to help support that experience, we have a different persona and track. So that's just one one measure of you know, how when you're looking to be successful in terms of actually, you know, empowering their employees and putting them first, other plans are helping drive the employee experience by having the employee help define the goal, right, having them set the goals and the targets and set anything that might be stretch metrics beyond that, as it relates to their compensation and bonuses, right? Have them be a little more accountable, as well as more be more invested in the actual outcome and the sense of accomplishment. So just in different areas, each one's kind of doing it differently. But again, like I mentioned earlier, everybody, I think still is looking to see who's doing it best, and see if it's applicable to their plan.


Melissa Turner  27:19

Yeah, certainly some interesting ideas there. I just want to ask a follow up about the personas point, Michele. So if I heard you correctly, that that's about customizing things, like schedules, but also like professional development plans. Is that right?


Michele Gabron  27:32

Absolutely. Yep. How to help map that persona to each employee to give them more targeted training and guidance, and really help them achieve that more actively engaged state.


Melissa Turner  27:43

Cool. I want to ask Ingrid to talk about this question. Now, Ingrid, obviously, you work directly with organizations on employee experience, can you just sort of take us through a little mini consulting session, perhaps talking about, you know, the resources that leaders need, the support they have, and maybe an early win or two that you can put on their radar?


Ingrid Lindberg  28:04

Sure. So mini coaching session, here we go. So I'll start by saying we've written about this pretty extensively. So you can read about a lot of what I'm talking about on our blog on Chief Customer, one of them was called Stop Asking Your Employees if They Want to go Back to the Office. So what I'll start with, and I think this is usually where we start having a conversation with a client, is you have to stop thinking about people in buckets, you have to stop thinking about people in buckets, right? It's not binary, it's not Do you want to go in? Do you not want to go in? Do you want to be graded on this? Do you not want to be graded on this? We're in this incredible flex spot? Right? Where the questions just as an example are? Do you feel like you need to be in the physical office to do your job? Do you feel like you're getting what you need from us in order to do your job? Right? Do you need us to figure out ways you can come into the office? What are things you need? Are you caring for someone in your home that's still high risk? Right? I mean, there's there's this whole kind of world around humans, that we've now had a view into as everyone ran home or a vast majority of people ran home. That world is now front and center in a lot of people's lives. So the conversations around how do we actually meet people where they are? I think historically, we've really loved to generalize. You know, there's three or four different places where we can meet people where they are, right, we've done it in health plans for years and engagement land, right. I mean, I used to give a speech on stages about the five different personas we built at Cigna back in the day and you know, Tony was this guy and Eaton was this woman and you know, the whole shtick and spiel. I think what we're trying to help people do now is to understand that obviously, in order to make something operational, you are going to have to do some categorization. But you're going to have to start with a conversation that is to person to person across your entire employee base about what they need, in order to a feel safe,  want to stay at your company and do their job well. And I think that we've gotten pretty good around, how can we make you feel safe? How can I make you feel safe, but I think we've not done as good of a job around A and C. Right? So what do you need from us? What do you need in order to do your job well? are you caring for people at home, I keep going back to that one, right, this humanity that we've kind of forgotten about, in a lot of ways. I keep seeing the term post pandemic. And I gotta tell you, I've got tons of people in my life right now who are COVID-positive. Right now, we are not post pandemic. So getting that one on one conversation and setting that up throughout your organization, and throughout the entire infrastructure of your organization, is where we help people start, because if you can figure out ways to solve for your individual employees, you're going to win. Number two, and this one is just so basic, and everyone was rolls their eyes at me, but it's true, you actually have to check in, often, authentically and with empathy, right? You've got to do a lot of talking right now. And when I say you, I mean you, as a leader, you as a leader all the way across through up your organization, you have to do that constantly. And last but not least in that starter kit, Melissa, is you need to do the comp reassessment. Because if you're paying someone brand new more than you're paying one of your existing people, the amount of money you're wasting replacing people is just egregious, right? So right size your comp, right size your comp. We're seeing wages go up not nearly as fast as inflation. But the game is right now I can go I can get a job offer, I can use it to negotiate a higher salary. Why are you making people do that? Just right size.


Melissa Turner  31:55

That is very compelling. I'm curious, what is your take on transparency around compensation? I know it's a little sticky.


Ingrid Lindberg  32:05

You know, I am a firm believer, and this will be our next one, Melissa, we're gonna talk about being a female executive at a health plan, and the only one. I am a firm believer that transparency would get us a heck of a lot farther. I remember finding out that I was making about 25% less than someone who was less qualified than I was in a peer role. And I'll tell you, that was one of the reasons that I left one of my jobs, right. I was perfectly happy. I was doing great work. I loved my leader, but holy mama, 25% less, you got to be kidding me. So I think that if we can get to a place where we are actually very clear and very transparent, which a majority of Silicon Valley has done, health care has been very slow to adapt and adopt. And if we can get to that place, frankly, it'll stop a lot of churn. Right? I know my value after five years in this role. I know my value after 10 years in this role, I know my value after 20 years in this role. That's stuff that we just need to start talking about at a whole different level. And health care is pretty far behind a lot of other verticals.


Melissa Turner  33:05

Yeah, really interesting stuff. Michele, I'm wondering if you see potential for healthcare to get where it needs to go in terms of things like transparency, but some of the other things that we've discussed as well, empowering employees really getting clear on sort of not just putting people into one or two buckets, but those sort of more informed personas that your were discussing, what do you think, Michele?


Michele Gabron  33:29

I think it's a big topic. I think that, to your point, you know, healthcare has been traditionally slow to move forward. But I think that there's, there's no more runway to drag anymore, right? The great resignation has taught us that people will size up and go someplace else for that for that brass ring. And, you know, if you want to keep the good talent to Ingrid's point and reduce your costs when replacing them, you really need to do that individual look, you know, I think health plans are facing the reality that -- I think it's estimated that a person is going to spend a third of their life at work, right? So keeping in mind, now, you know, working through a pandemic, people want to really make sure that the place that they're working at, and that they choose to spend their time aligns with their values, aligns with their goals, and it shouldn't take somebody an entire year to wait to find out whether or not they are air quotes good enough for the next level or the comp increase, you know, and really shouldn't be hindered on, you know, the company's goal versus their own specific goals and targets that relate to their direct contribution. So, I think there's obviously opportunity. I think it's going to come. I think it has to come, like I mentioned earlier.


Melissa Turner  34:37

Thank you both. I don't want to close our conversation without acknowledging the extreme sacrifice made by so many health care professionals through the pandemic again. As you both noted earlier, hospitals, health plans are very different organizations. Back office is very different from in the ER or the ICU. So I guess I'm I'm really thinking about those folks on the frontlines right now. So you know, of course, burnout is widespread in many areas, but it's really alarming in some of those frontline areas of health care. Just wondering what advice you would share for leaders who are dealing with this kind of challenge. You know, if there's any kind of one thing that's most important for them to do, we can go there. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. Michele.


Michele Gabron  35:21

No rocket science here, but I think, you know, good leaders recognize and show appreciation, and they're always looking for ways to improve the employee experience and build connections. And I think, you know, a few questions that that leaders would be asking of their own HR teams would be, how are we looking at our organization and redesigning it to be one that's more people centric? How are we empowering our management team to make sure that they are allowed to make changes within their own their own unit to address burnout? And really support their teams? You know, are we thinking about incentives, more and more incentives around time off specifically? And are we really doubling down on any mental health benefits, especially in light of, you know, current international and domestic incidents? So I think, you know, do you really understand your workforce state? And do you have a plan to address each need really is something that I think leaders are looking to leverage.


Melissa Turner  36:14

Thank you, Michele, what would you say Ingrid?


Ingrid Lindberg  36:16

I am a huge fan of roadmaps as you know, Melissa, but I think when we're just getting to the, what can I do right now? What can I do today? That really is just about check-ins, right? It's about sitting down and connecting with each of your direct reports, at least every week, and asking, really asking them, how are you mentally, physically, emotionally? How's your family? How's your community? What do you miss most? What can I do for you? Right? And I think at the end of the day, humans are just so starved for connectivity, and they need our leadership and our empathy more than ever. So bringing your humanity to your team and to your job as much as you possibly can is completely key. And then of course, you have to take care of yourself too. Because if you're not taking care of yourself, there's no way you can actually take care of your team.


Melissa Turner  37:05

Well, that is as good a note as any to end on. Thank you, Ingrid Lindberg of Chief Customer, Michelle Gabron of Wellframe, really appreciate your time sharing your ideas and experience. It's been a pleasure speaking with both of you.


Michele Gabron  37:19

Thanks, Melissa.


Ingrid Lindberg  37:19

Thanks so much, Melissa.


Melissa Turner  37:20

Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's conversation and learned something too. You can check out SmartBrief healthcare newsletters by going to and hitting the blue subscribe button. Be sure to spread the word and subscribe to the Touchpoints podcast. Finally, a huge shout out to our friends at the Shift.Health content network. We'll be back here in a couple of weeks for another episode of Touchpoints.


Doug Harris  37:52

Wellframe powers health plans to become trusted advocates for members. They believe health plans have the knowledge and resources to support more people across more Touchpoints and their health care journey. Wellframe solutions for digital care management and digital customer service empower members and health plan staff to achieve their best in the most wonderfully human way possible. Make sure your members feel confident, cared for and supported by their health plan. Don't miss this moment. See how a digital health management strategy would benefit your plan at