Empathy Honorable Mention: The Red Thread


About the Finalist

Accolade connects the widest array of personal health data and programs to present a single point of entry to the most effective health and benefits resources, using a unique blend of compassionate advisers, clinical experts and intelligent technologies. This combination of high touch and high tech works to address the whole person – behavioral, social, lifestyle, and community.


The Story

Accolade aimed to disrupt the silod processes and subsequent hand-offs that prevented the talent and development team's fluid build of the hire to retire journey by using a consistent “red thread” of collaborative approaches.


Accolade began by building the scope through journey mapping two specific personas—Clinical and Business Support Candidates-Turned Employees. Then, functional buckets were created including:  awareness (sourcing), consideration (interviewing), commitment (hiring), onboarding (training), learning + growing (development and performance), and retire (offboarding). Finally, they empathized using B2E (business to employee) and B2C design thinking methods.


The mapped word streams answered questions such as:

·         “What is the end user thinking/feeling and what are we the program owners thinking/feeling at X, Y, Z, steps?”

·         "What questions are they likely asking/what questions are we likely asking?"

·         "What tools are they (end users) aware of and using or unaware of and not using?"

·         "What risks are present?" etc.


Many easy wins appeared where teams could pro-actively close knowledge gaps, eliminate redundancies, and bring their skills to functional steps outside of their day to day scope.


The biggest win was psychological: not only creating an affinity to the team’s mission across all members, but through larger employee engagement showcased by both appreciation in the work and increased visibility into the ability and results of collaborating outside their functional area.


The application of the thinking was to first to visualize the red thread that can make or break impression management, consistency, authenticity, and ROI from all steps of the candidate journey into reality as a new hire. This transformed into a shared goal diagram of new team goals, rules, and ideas from offsite & design thinking exercises. The content appeared less siloed than ever before, drove collaboration and team engagement, but also allowed for prototyping of new experiments based on a one team framework. Telling a story with anecdotal, emotionally intelligent and historical, business intelligent metrics laid out in colorful and informative journey maps gave the leadership comfort for new experiments ahead.


This resulted in a few measurable metrics for success:

1.        Quality of hire- (Job Performance + Ramp-up Time + Employee Engagement + Cultural Fit) / Number of indicators (qualified out of a common scaled score)

2.      ExNPS - for voluntary terms, what reasons pulled you away that we could have solved for and would you be willing to return

3.       "Thread Count" - Per our red-thread initiatives, did what we described during recruitment meet your expectations after 30 days?

4.       Time on Site - does our more proactive talent brand produce for richer content and increased engagement? If/when they drop off, where and how, and what are they thinking/feeling?