“Collaborative Autonomy” – How Zelis’ Culture; Supports Your Culture

"Collaborative Autonomy” and what it looks like is a culture where our Associates can support our clients in an independent (autonomous) and group (collaborative) manner. Both of which are essential to our success as business partners.

by Jim Jeffers, Vice President, People Operations, Zelis Healthcare

I’ve been asked what kinds of companies I liked to consult with and my answer has always been, “the ones with people in them”.  Every company; every organization; every gathering is a group of people.  Yes, there are technical and tangible products but most organizational successes and failures are the result of people; not things.

When we think of organizational cultures we often think of them as systems and it was Geary Rummler who said “If you put a good person against a bad system, the system wins every time.”  Having spent any time in business; inside any system; around any culture; you know how correct Geary’s observation is.

So what is a good system?  What is a good culture?  And what does it look like?

For Associates at Zelis it is a system called “Collaborative Autonomy” and what it looks like is a culture where our Associates can support our clients in an independent (autonomous) and group (collaborative) manner.  Both of which are essential to our success as business partners.

The Cost Management business requires the absolute interdependence of many contiguous parts.  For example, before a claim is reviewed by a Nurse or renegotiated by our Out of Network team, our Certified Coders will analyze a claim to see if any Edits should be applied.   Also, these experts rely on integral teams, such as Document Retrieval, to obtain all necessary information prior to a claim being reviewed.  This collaborative and detailed approach ensures that we are achieving the maximum savings on every claim, every day.

For our success, we need engaged Associates who can demonstrate their various strengths both individually and collaboratively to better serve our clients in a thorough, timely and competent manner. Each of these levels remains dependent upon the other.  When our performers need help; there is another performer there to help them from in or outside their group.

At Zelis, we encourage our client’s feedback on how our culture supports theirs.  Always continue to feel free to make suggestions; share your observations and put forth recommendations at any time and to any level of our organization.  Our job is to make your job easier; so always let us know how we are doing.

Our goal is a universal goal.  A performance culture based on having the right people; doing the right things; in the right roles; at the right time. Our Associates perform well in this culture and it is our hope that our clients benefit from this performance every day.  A focus on collaborative autonomy helps remind us of the aspirational goal for every organization – “especially the ones with people in them”.