HR Healthcare 2020

June 23 - 24, 2020

Hyatt Regency Austin, TX

Here's How Northfield Health Is Engaging Its Employees to Transform the Communities It Serves

Brought to you by WBR Insights



Employee engagement is a top goal for most human resources departments, but can also prove one of the most challenging to achieve.

Most often, organizations try to get employees to partake in training exercises or engage with ongoing assessment and career development programs. Many companies use technology or gamification techniques to achieve this.

However, not-for-profit healthcare provider Northwell Health is looking to get its employees engaged on a deeper level by helping them to find new ways of supporting the community and the people who live in it.

Outpacing the Impossible

The first stage of this new level of engagement took the form of a companywide fundraising campaign. Dubbed "Outpacing the Impossible: The Northwell Campaign", the initiative aims to raise $1 billion to put to work over the next seven years improving healthcare outcomes in the local community.

The public launch of Outpacing the Impossible was a gala event which brought together 600 of the organization's highest-level benefactors - a group which has a history of supporting initiatives such as this across the Northwell Health organizational footprint.

Outpacing the Impossible aims to support capital projects, improve hospitals and clinical programs, and advance funding endowment for teaching and research initiatives. A significant portion of the funds raised by the campaign will also be put to work developing Northwell Health's various front-line locations on the island of Manhattan.

Northwell Health runs 23 hospitals and over 665 outpatient care centers across the New York area and beyond.

"Outpacing the Impossible includes all funds given by individual donors, corporations and foundations," reports PRS Newswire. "Donors to Northwell have given nearly $500 million since the campaign's inception on January 1, 2016. Along with - and as part of the public campaign - Northwell has launched its first enterprise-wide employee giving program, which enables employees among all levels throughout the organization to participate. More than 5,000 Northwell employees - including 99 percent of Northwell's leadership - have already given over $7 million to support projects and programs across the health system."

What Matters Most

The employee giving part of the campaign - What Matters Most - is designed to get Northwell Health's staff more deeply involved in the company, whether that's through monetary donations or engagement with one of Northwell's fundraising exercises.

Employees who wish to give money can have it deducted via their payroll, meaning they don't have to pay tax on the money they donate. Those who donate can also choose which part of the organization their money will benefit, giving them greater control to support the causes which are important to them.

"We know our team members already give 110%. The late nights, the early mornings, the tired eyes and the aching feet. Donating can help fund more of the things that matter most to us - our patients and communities," Northwell Health explains on its website. "As a non-profit organization, we invest back into improving the health and wellness of the people we serve. Donations are an important part of our ability to operate at full potential and keep our communities well with life-changing treatments and breakthrough innovations."

Employees can donate at a level which is affordable to them, or they can choose to make a one-off donation if they don't feel they can commit to regular amounts. They can also use points accrued in Northwell Health's employee reward program - My Recognition - to make donations if they so choose.

Encouraging its people to get involved with the organization beyond their day-to-day roles is a great way to foster a sense of belonging and commitment among employees. This will then be reflected in the work they do, as they will see themselves as a more integral part of their organization.

Final Thoughts

Employee engagement is crucial to the long-term success of a business and its workforce. Whether that engagement takes the form of training and career development programs or, as with Northwell Health, getting employees more deeply involved in the organization itself, human resources departments must find ways to encourage and facilitate it.

"We believe in the power and potential impact of taking on challenges and going where others won't," said Northwell Health President and CEO, Michael Dowling. "Our ambition is to innovate, and it's part of everything we do. We don't settle for the norm in health care, and through the generosity and support of our communities, and each other, we will push our standards even further, for the best care to better the lives of every person we touch."


Employee engagement is set to be a hot topic at HR Healthcare 2019, taking place in June at the Hyatt Regency Austin, TX.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.