Zuyderland is a large and unique care organization in South Limburg with 9.500 employees, which provides hospital care, elderly care, mental health care, home care and domestic help (JGZ switched to the GGD on 01-01 this year). We spoke with Wideke Nijdam (member of the Board of Directors), Karel Hulsewé (surgeon and member of the Board of Directors) and Esther Urlings-Willems (head of P&O) about this process.
Zuyderland: Looking for a personal face and a fresh common perspective
After a merger period and a difficult financial time it turned out that the involvement of Zuyderland employees could use some attention. For us reason to look for our own story; the story of Zuyderland, after what binds us. And to do that by formulating from the strength of our organization and where we want to go together. In order to increase the involvement of employees at Zuyderland. Something that is always important, but especially in this time of labor market shortages in healthcare.
We knew Branddoctors from a previous brand positioning trajectory. Based on that previous experience, we were convinced that we should look for a face of our own, because of the positive effect it has on the recognisability and involvement of employees in your organization. It helps to get employees enthusiastic and to successfully implement your strategy.
Being heard paves the way for progress
At the start of the process, we noticed that not everyone was equally willing to participate. There was still some frustration in people and also pain from the merger. Relocating care and related staff has had a considerable impact. Add to that a difficult financial period in which not much was possible for employees. That meant that employees also felt like: let's just do our work, just leave us alone.
In the sessions with employees, Branddoctors gave a lot of space to that frustration. They did not shy away from it, but listened to it seriously. That has largely been the strength of this process. Employees were pleased that for the first time in all these years they had the opportunity to tell their story. They felt heard.
“We have a Zuyderland identity for the first time. It really belongs to us all. It is not just the story of Zuyderland and 3 values. It is so much more. "
At the same time, the frustrations that have been expressed have been translated into the impeding behavior patterns in our organization. For these patterns, we have mapped out how we can convert these into realizing more energy. These insights help us to really move forward.
The precise approach emerged during the process. From day 1 there was a sounding board group for the process, containing a cross-section of our organization. From carer in home care and nurse in the hospital to manager and medical specialist.
Together we determined which steps we took and with whom. Which working methods we were going to use and how we would transfer the information. Not only is the outcome of the project typical Zuyderland, but so was the approach. And that was critical to success.
In total, more than 350 employees participated in this process, in the form of interviews, work sessions and information sessions. It has been a fairly intensive search with a lot of discussion. But it was really important for us to involve as many people as possible. Of course, a cultural change does not only apply to a certain group of people in an organization. It applies to all of us.
“Branddoctors was able to touch the individuality of the organization in a fantastic way. These values really are. I notice that every day. "
A common denominator as a new starting point
In the end, we now have a wonderful result, namely a new identity for Zuyderland. The promise we have formulated is: The care of a lifetime. And that includes 3 core values:
- With attention
- Refreshingly everyday
- In conjunction.
With this, Branddoctors has really been able to touch the individuality of the organization again. It really is these values. We notice this every day. We are also really challenged with this result to give substance to this. To enter into a dialogue with each other and to have confidence in each other.
We advise everyone to look for what makes your organization your own. With the aim of creating genuine employee involvement. Investing in this is investing in your organization. For us, we now have a Zuyderland identity for the first time. Who really is all of us. It is not just the story of Zuyderland and 3 values. It is so much more.