Worker Transparency: QoC Health Reinvents Quarterly Meetings
Transparency is a hot topic when it comes to doing business the right way. This week, B Lab is sharing how three different Best for Workers honorees are incorporating transparency into their workplaces—in radically different ways. Then, on Friday, we’ll share the lessons each company had to offer when it comes to starting new transparency initiatives in your own company.
Employees are the force that drives every company in the world. It would make sense to ensure that all employees have a voice within the company, right? QoC Health, a Best for Workers B Corp that co-designs cloud-based healthcare software solutions, has come up with a simple way to make sure their business is transparent to their employees. By using quarterly “town hall” meetings, QoC Health’s leadership has strengthened productivity, ensured employees’ voices are being heard, and helped the company to yield even better results.
Town hall meetings aren’t a unique idea— in fact, they came about from experiences that President Raymond Shih had with meetings at a company he previously worked at. The scripted feeling of those quarterly meetings gave him ideas for how to change things up. Instead of having preconceived topics determined by the executives, Raymond made QoC Health’s quarterly meetings an open forum where the staff can float ideas and set agenda items that are of interest to everyone. The meetings look in-depth at important internal topics like pricing and budgets, while also providing opportunities for education and professional development—as well as a Q&A session with the leadership team.
According to Raymond, leaving the agenda of the meetings to the employees lets them focus on information the employees really value, rather than only highlighting what the executives are interested in. For example, prior to one town hall, employees asked for a full breakdown on how the pricing of their products and services came about. While the leadership team was familiar with their margins and where the money went, employees weren’t—they learned that QoC Health was keeping margins lower than they thought, and more money was going back into the company’s operations than they assumed. Having a forum to ask those hard questions let the employees voice their anxieties, and get answers that they might never have otherwise found.
Raymond gave another example: “In the beginning, QoC Health could not offer full benefit plans the way larger corporations do. Instead, were able to offer the initial employees stock options, so they could participate in the upside of working at a startup.” What their executive team didn’t immediately realize, though, was that employees generally didn’t have enough expertise in the financial world to understand the value of these stock options or how to make the most of them. However, employees raised that issue at a town hall meeting, and management spent several hours breaking it down. Management would never have thought of that agenda item on their own, but because the employees had an open forum to voice their concerns they were able to ask about it and get the answers they needed.
This best practice seems deceptively simple—almost every organization holds regular meetings to check in on progress and set goals. However, by using those meetings as an opportunity for bottoms-up feedback and suggestions, rather than top-down instructions, QoC Health breathes new life into an old standard.
Tomorrow, check back to learn how Dharma Merchant Services approaches meetings from a very different angle.