Employee engagement provides the foundation for any effective organization. True engagement means that everyone has the opportunity to share their perspectives, participate in problem solving, and gain a stake in the organization’s future success.

According to the most recent Gallup survey, “the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in a 23% difference in profitability.” The impact on turnover is also significant. Organizations with highly engaged employees see an 18-43% difference in turnover (depending on their previous rates of turnover) when compared to those with less engaged workforces.

Things are changing quickly at Vera Whole Health, now that we are part of apree health. But, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to employee engagement. We still engage with our employees in a multitude of ways: consistently discussing, prioritizing, measuring, and encouraging their involvement. 

Here’s what Vera and apree health are doing right now.


How we measure employee engagement 

We take a varied approach to measuring engagement, utilizing data from surveys and holding conversations in both one-on-one and group formats. This allows us to achieve a well-rounded understanding of employees’ experiences, feelings, ideas, and drive for change.

Vera has long relied upon the eNPS Engagement Survey, a tool that measures our employee net promoter score. This score indicates how likely each employee is to recommend Vera to friends and family while identifying which factors most impact employee experience. 

The survey asks questions to find out what employees are experiencing and feeling in terms of belonging, well-being, resilience, burnout, workload, and manager and team dynamics. Employees help us understand all facets of their experience by providing ratings on a set of factors: from career development and empowerment to culture and recognition.

How engagement data guides us through change

apree health will continue to utilize the eNPS Engagement Survey twice annually to create a baseline understanding of trends within the overall organization. Included in the current survey are also questions related to the merger, with the goal of providing the apree leadership team with a comprehensive understanding of employees’ on-the-ground experience.

This survey data will be utilized to guide strategic initiatives and company-wide programs, so we can build a company culture that truly represents the needs of our employees.


Introducing the Culture Collective

The Culture Collective is a team of apree health employees working together to influence and create internal culture. It’s made up of three committees, each with a specific focus. These committees are intended to act as resources and a collective voice for the departments and organizations within apree health.

Employees have the opportunity to join a specific committee, and/or they can participate in specific projects that they’re passionate about, such as the Diwali celebration hosted by the Events Committee. The Culture Collective has been an exciting way for apree health employees to work together toward a common purpose and get to know each other on a deeper level.

There are also two executive sponsors, Ryan Schmid, co-founder of Vera Whole Health, and Vijay Anand, EVP of Engineering at Castlight Health. Both have been enthusiastic supporters, helping to recruit individuals and link the work of the Culture Collective to the larger organization.

The Well-Being Committee

Mental health is a key area of focus for the new Well-Being Committee. Research shows that people working in the healthcare industry are more likely to experience mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety, and burnout. The committee is committed to providing wellness support in a multitude of ways, such as assisting once the Castlight Health connected navigation app is available to all employees, thus boosting engagement and experiences. The Well-Being Committee also helps integrate our full biopsychosocial perspective of health into campaigns and other efforts.

The Inclusion Committee

The need for diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion in healthcare is real and present. The Inclusion Committee is focused on creating a work environment and ongoing experiences where people feel their full identities are heard and seen. 

Outside and Inside Voices is a series where experts offer digital sessions on a variety of topics. These hour-long sessions are normally sponsored and introduced by an executive or senior leader of the organization and moderated by an individual from one of the committees. Sessions have included:

  • National Hispanic Heritage Month: Three Hispanic providers providing care to Hispanic populations spoke about the specific needs of the population and offered advice on how to effectively meet those needs.
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Three influential individuals from San Francisco’s arts industry spoke about the Asian American Pacific Islander experience.
  • Pride Month: A provider shared their personal experience as a transgender patient and a provider in the healthcare industry and spoke about queer health.

The Events Committee 

The Events Committee is focused on creating meaningful in-person experiences, virtual gatherings, and opportunities for apree health employees to give back to their communities. The upcoming Week of Giving, for example, offered employees support and resources as they raised funds for worthwhile causes.



As we move forward together

There's this huge picture of who a full person is, both in their professional experiences and their personal experiences. That full picture can influence how someone shows up, how they support their team, and how we all make one another better with our differences of perspectives and experiences. In our engagement, that's what we want to elevate—who the full person is, while also creating opportunities and resources and connections that help people work at the top of their scope.

This is only the beginning. Every day we collaborate to investigate new methods of engaging with employees. Together, we’re having important conversations, evolving as a group, and building programs and events to support each person’s ability to grow and thrive.

Vicki Hagen is Employee Engagement Manager at Vera Whole Health.

For information on joining a Vera care team, visit our careers page.


This is an updated version of a post that was originally published on November 19, 2020.


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