Medibank Health Solutions is a division of Australia’s largest integrated provider of private health insurance and health solutions.
Headquartered in Sydney, Medibank Health Solutions is a pioneer in health call center delivery for governments and the public across Australia and New Zealand. Its call center division has more than 600 phone-based clinicians providing free health care information and advice to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Challenge: connecting disparate remote staff for cohesive employee engagement
Medibank Health Solutions operates a unique ‘Work at Home’ model for its call center. The call center receives over two million calls per year from the public, the majority of which are handled by remote workers. Currently, 85 percent of staff in the call center operations work from home.
The ‘Work at Home’ model enabled faster growth of the call center—by employing registered nurses and clinicians across Australia who wanted flexible working hours—to handle increasing call capacity. As a mandatory part of the induction process, all new staff members were required to complete a two-week in-person training session. However once established, engagement with remote staff was limited to scheduled phone calls and long-term employee engagement started to become an issue, negatively impacting staff attrition rates.
“Our staff loved the idea of working from home and having the flexibility to work a variety of rostered shifts that suited their own personal situation. However, we noted early on that this particular style of employment wasn’t for everyone,” explained Dave Buckmaster, IT manager. “Despite all of our staff being registered nurses and clinicians, this type of work would sometimes be emotionally trying, for example, if a staff member was working through a call with a patient that was distressed. Our staff needed a better support network to get through situations like these.
Medibank Health Solutions wanted to address how the organization could better communicate with its staff and encourage more meaningful communication between employees themselves, and subsequently went in search of a technology solution that would help to bridge that gap.
Solution: implementing GoToMeeting for ongoing staff support and training
Medibank Health Solutions had trialed other online solutions, but was never fully satisfied, as they were complicated or lacked the features required to engage with staff. The organization was already a user of Citrix XenApp across the division before being introduced to GoToMeeting.
“With GoToMeeting we now have a call center operated by 600 remote workers that are more connected and engaged than ever before.”
- Dave Buckmaster, technology manager, Medibank Health Solutions
Buckmaster had used GoToMeeting previously in another role, so he was already confident in the high standard of service associated with the Citrix brand. After implementing GoToMeeting, he quickly saw the value in the collaboration features, enabling remote staff to connect with peers and managers and be supported—in real time.
Web-based training improves employee relations
With GoToMeeting, Medibank Health Solutions has transitioned a significant proportion of its training and inductions to online delivery. For Buckmaster the biggest benefit of online meetings is having the ability to offer a collaborative training experience for remote staff living in a variety of locations across Australia and New Zealand.
“With GoToMeeting, we now have a call centre operated by 600 remote workers that are more connected and engaged than ever before,” said Buckmaster.
Through its ease of use and screen-sharing capabilities, GoToMeeting provided a more collaborative learning environment for the nurses. “Our trainers are tasked with showing new staff how to use their PC kits and make the most of the technology provided for their remote offices. Screen-sharing is perfect for this,” said Buckmaster.
“Using the technology means our trainers can show our new nurses and clinicians what they are doing right or wrong in real time. The real-time learning environment helped employees to feel engaged with us and the training material.”
The move to web-based training has also reduced the induction time and has saved the company thousands of dollars in travel costs alone. “In 2009, we were looking to send nurses from Christchurch to Wellington in New Zealand to do a two week induction course. It was going to cost the organization a considerable amount in travel and accommodation expense, not to mention costs relating to the induction program itself. The return on our investment in GoToMeeting was almost instant.”
Enhancing the monitoring of staff performance—for continually improving customer service standards
GoToMeeting is an integral component of Medibank Health Solutions’ performance monitoring toolkit, which provides a more comprehensive ability to monitor and review calls. It has allowed the company to manage its remote workforce in a more holistic and effective way. Buckmaster explained, “In the past, it was difficult to monitor our remote staff in real-time. Performance monitoring is critical to the business as it ensures our remote staff are administering the correct triage on patients. Doing this in real time has helped to ensure that staff performance is consistent, ultimately reducing our operational risk in the long term.”
Each session is recorded and staff members are encouraged to revisit the screen recording for training purposes. The aim of this is to enhance the overall learning experience of the individual staff member.
In addition to this, Medibank Health Solutions also offers extended one-to-one coaching sessions via GoToMeeting. These sessions enable individual staff members to focus on areas they wish to improve. “With GoToMeeting, our resource nurses are able to initiate a GoToMeeting session at any time. The technology has allowed us to provide excellent ongoing support to our remote staff.”
Supporting long term employee engagement and business success
The ongoing support of staff has improved the perception of the business with remote workers. “When staff are struggling with working remotely, technologies like GoToMeeting help to create a more interactive environment, which helps to build morale,” said Buckmaster.
The rollout of GoToMeeting has been so successful for Medibank Health Solutions that the business has started using the technology across the Asia-Pacific region with international clients. “GoToMeeting is an invaluable solution when working with our external clients and partners across the region, it enhances our ability to conduct business in real-time. In addition, GoToMeeting has proven that we can accelerate the training process cost-effectively when required. This model and new way of working has put the business in a strong position to deliver large scale online training services in the future.”
“GoToMeeting is an invaluable solution when working with our external clients and partners across the region, it enhances our ability to conduct business in real-time.”
- Dave Buckmaster, technology manager, Medibank Health Solutions
- Increased employee engagement
- Simplified employee training process
- Delivers a simple, online learning experience