Mayo Clinic is a magical place – where patients travel from around the world to finally find healing for their serious and complex health conditions. For over 150 years, the people of this organization have been guided by our primary value“the needs of the patient come first.”Today, Mayo Clinic is comprised of 65,000 people, and as leaders in HR, it is our honor and privilege to provide solutions through our services and strategies that help them be their best. 

HR operates with service excellence principles, striving to be accessible, reliable, experts, and “easy.”  However, two years ago, our employee feedback and performance compared with industry standards reflected an opportunity to improve our services.  With a new HR Services leadership team, a new vision was born that challenges the Treacy/Wiersema notion that an organization can be distinctive in only one strategy – rather, we are pursuing a service trifecta of Innovation, Operational Excellence, and Client Focus.

Mayo’s HR Services team knows that by providing services that meet the needs of our employees, our employees can better meet the needs of their patients. Consider these outcomes:

• 84% reduced wait time to reach our HR contact center

• 50% improved search capabilities of employee portal content

• 24x7 availability for services

To demonstrate the impact, last year we saved approximately 5,000 hours of time for our employees, providing them more time to care for patients and their own personal wellness.  More important, we took off their shoulders lingering concerns about their pay/benefits, interpretation of policies, and participation in people programs. 

So how did we do it?  From the HR Service vision, we created a realistic and comprehensive roadmap, which included dedicated focus and discrete investment for each element of the trifecta.

• Innovation is being pursued in two tracks – technology and service design.  In technology, we are experimenting with Artificial Intelligence and robotics to staff our contact center 24/7, and provide compelling personalized self-service.  Our automation roadmap is “evergreen” recognizing the constant introduction of new tools; currently, we are implementing a leading service management technology platform and pursuing RPA and BPA aggressively in our processes. In service design, we are flipping the model from today, where departments provide services to users, to a new approach where users procure services from departments.  Our user-centric design prototype is a central place with a consistent look/feel and personalized experience, where employees can request services and research information from any of the shared services – e.g., HR, IT, facilities, supply chain.  We are excited about the possibilities of this mind-shifting approach.      

• Mayo’s HR operational excellence is enabled with a new operating model, defined metrics and goals, and an investment in leadership development and staff training.  As all things at Mayo, our values direct our work – we need to balance financial stewardship with our desire for excellence; that’s why we worked with an external expert to design our approach, recognizing the value of best in class approaches in HR operations.

• Client focus requires our entire department to work as “One HR,” since HR Services would not be successful simply pursuing this independently. First, we embed our service excellence principles (high availability, high reliability, expert, and easy) in everything we do, including our hiring criteria, process design, communications, metrics, and performance reviews. Our organization is structured around clients – with a formal “client relations liaison” function that works closely with our HR Services teams and other centers of excellence.  We monitor and act on feedback using formal feedback loops with leaders and staff throughout the organization. Also important, we identify and address the barriers that keep us from helping our clients find solutions to their problems, a much higher bar than simply delivering routinized services.

Our journey involves significant attention to change management, relationship building, and teamwork.  We also need to be agile, since the needs and interests of our employees and Mayo continue to evolve.  We are fortunate to have HR colleagues with deep expertise and skills in all of these competencies.  We are highly attentive toward team engagement and individual joy at work, knowing this is our biggest strength and highest risk!

"Be attentive to team engagement and joy at work – you cannot sustain your journey without these"

So far, we’ve had many learning on this journey, including:

• Don’t compromise on the trifecta – dare to do it all

• Involve others – this is not a journey that can be successful doing it on your own

• Embrace agility– seek learning that can be incorporated into the roadmap

• Be attentive to team engagement and joy at work – you cannot sustain your journey without these!

With Mayo Clinic’s focus on our HR trifecta – innovation, operational excellence, and client focus – we are confident we will keep on track and continue to strengthen our service.