Coming Together After Merger

Bayhealth Medical Center: Speaking with One Voice After a Merger

Following the merger of two hospitals, executives at Bayhealth Medical Center in Delaware knew the organization needed to speak with “one voice” for the brand to thrive and patients to get the quality experience they expected. Through a strategic internal communication approach, the hospital identified messages that resonated with diverse employee groups and aligned them around a shared purpose. Importantly, listening sessions also unearthed many long-standing issues that would have inhibited the merger’s success if not addressed.

The goal of the effort was to drive employee understanding Bayheath’s mission, vision, values, as well as the behaviors needed to build a better culture. Central to the approach was helping each staff member know his or her role in contributing to the organization’s success.

The Grossman Group’s approach included primary research that involved management, the communications team and employee groups. Secondary research aimed to help identify how external audiences, including media and other hospitals, were telling the Bayhealth story.

From the research, we then shaped an internal brand and message that resonated across employee audiences — under a common theme of “Many Faces, One Mission.” Through a comprehensive communications plan, we engaged management, supervisors and employees in understanding the messages and what it means to them.

Results for this award-winning program far exceeded the communication goals, with most dramatic increases in understanding of Bayhealth’s mission, values and overall messages. Here’s a snapshot of the difference the effort made:

  • 16 percent increase in number of staff who understood all key messages (6 percent over goal)
  • 22 percent increase in number of staff who understood the Bayhealth mission (12 percent over goal)
  • 20 percent increase in number of staff who understood Bayhealth values (10 percent over goal)
  • 9 percent increase in number of staff who understood desired Bayhealth behaviors (4 percent over goal)
  • 2 percent increase in number of staff who understand their role in helping achieve Bayhealth mission (2 percent over goal)