Cigna is one of the largest insurance companies in the country, with 100,000 employees spread across the United States, Europe, and Asia. And, like many organizations of their size, connecting employees to each other in relevant ways is a challenge. While some are natural networkers, able to easily meet and engage peers, others don’t enjoy the activity and aren’t good at it. And though this might not be an issue under normal circumstances, the COVID pandemic has forced approximately 90 percent of employees to work from home, causing feelings of isolation and disjointedness.
To make matters more challenging, Cigna merged with two other companies right before the start of the pandemic, which brought in many new faces and doubled the number of offices. This can be overwhelming for both veterans and new workers under any circumstances, making them feel like they don’t know anyone they work with anymore. Jaime Hegeman, an HR Agile Product Owner, knew she needed to find a better way to connect employees to each other.
"Zenvoy’s algorithm provides our employees with the opportunity to create thoughtful connections that solve key strategic needs."
Unfortunately, Hegeman’s search of over 20 vendors did not yield the functionalities required. These firms often tried to sell Hegeman a large platform far beyond the matching scope and introduction functionalities she was seeking.
Zenvoy was one of the only vendors that agreed to just sell me the functionalities Cigna was looking for. That sealed the deal!
Cigna launched NetWork, the white labeled Zenvoy deployment, just as the pandemic first hit. It couldn’t have come at a better time. With the majority of employees being sent home in just a week and a half, many felt scared and lonely. Some even found themselves working from home in less than ideal situations. Hegeman knew the product needed fast adoption in order to both be successful, but also to create a sense of community for Cigna’s workforce.
NetWork was launched very quickly across the entire United States,” says Hegeman. “Zenvoy built the algorithm virtually overnight!”
To get started, NetWork was set up to connect employees based on business unit, but also region, family situation (married, children, etc.). Additionally, the algorithm was designed to introduce workers at similar levels across departments to each other; for example, matching and introducing IT managers to sales managers, senior leaders to senior leaders.
It hasn’t taken long for Cigna’s employees to start using and enjoying NetWork. Anecdotal evidence—informal conversations with HR and among employees—reveals that Cigna’s workers are really enjoying using the platform.
Our employees see amazing value
What’s more, employees have naturally gravitated to some of Zenvoy’s more community-focused features, setting up private community groups based on common interests—veterans, women, African American, and others. While these groups already existed prior to COVID, they weren’t as community-oriented. But with Zenvoy, group members are able to share more information and hold substantive discussions, allowing them to be an important point of engagement.
Another interesting use for NetWork: Interns. Under normal circumstances, interns are employed across business units at Cigna’s headquarters. But with COVID and the mandate to work from home, that was obviously untenable. Instead, Cigna connected its interns to other Cigna people as well as each other, some of whom they wouldn’t have even met in person were it not for the pandemic and NetWork.
All in all, Cigna and its employees have found Zenvoy to be a real lifeline during the pandemic, connecting coworkers to each other for professional reasons, but also to form friendships that are helping them manage the crisis.
This is a great program to really spread your wings and find colleagues that you would probably not have interacted with. It was also nice just to take some time and re-focus outside of working demands and COVID-19 updates to just chat with someone.
This was refreshing; I am so glad I signed up and I really enjoyed meeting and speaking with my match.
I had a very enjoyable discussion with my match. She is the first employee from the Express Scripts merger that I have engaged with. We had a great conversation about our backgrounds both professional and personally. We agreed to reconnect in a couple months to continue our dialogue.
My match is personable to speak with. There weren't any awkward moments and I felt like she could be someone I could keep in touch with outside of the networking quarantine.
We had a nice conversation about each other's background; our career journeys; and some of our hobbies and favorite activities. She is a delightful individual. I enjoyed speaking with her and sharing.
I'm on my third match and have met some really amazing people. We are continuing to touch base monthly or quarterly and feel I'm finally growing my Cigna network through this program. Please keep this one going as it is so beneficial for non-managers at Cigna!
This was a great conversation and I enjoyed learning about my match; her role and more about Cigna. Based on our conversation; we both think that our paths will cross based on our background and current responsibilities. Our plan is to continue our conversations.
It was very nice meeting! We had a great conversation; sharing our career journeys; talking about what inspires us within our roles; and even personal information. It was very casual; and we were respectful of each other's time and attention; as the conversation was very casual. It was a good match for the 1st networking exercise.
It was great to get a chance to talk to someone in our international market. She was interested in learning more about how we operate.
Cigna is one of the largest insurance companies in the country, with 100,000 employees spread across the United States, Europe, and Asia.
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