Healthcare Organization Doubles Down on Employee Recognition to Boost Engagement

Young healthcare worker shows a thank you message on tablet

Learn why this not-for-profit organization's leadership decided the time was the right time to improve its overall employee engagement process.

Like most organizations nationwide, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. (MHM) could not escape every challenge the COVID-19 pandemic brought to employers.

According to Alejandra Padilla, MHM's team member experience manager, when the not-for-profit organization began its recovery from turnover driven by COVID-19's impact on the workforce, it also decided the time was the right time to improve its overall employee engagement process.

So MHM — a private, faith-based organization dedicated to creating access to health care for uninsured/low-income families through direct services, community partnerships, and strategic grant-making — sought a more effective way to strengthen its employee engagement and communication strategies. MHM is based in San Antonio, Texas, and operates in 74 south Texas counties with about 485 employees spanning the entity's two main clinic locations, in the field regionally and in the corporate office.

"We had engagement efforts in the past, like recognizing team members through nominations, but during COVID our recognition process sort of fell off. We simply weren't doing as much as we wanted to," Padilla says.

MHM, an ADP Workforce Now® payroll client, turned to ADP Marketplace, a digital storefront of HR solutions that integrate with ADP®. While browsing employee engagement and recognition platforms, Assembly grabbed Padilla's attention.

Padilla filled out a request for more information, and once she saw Assembly in action, she recommended it to her team at MHM.

"Once our president and CEO heard about Assembly, he was very excited and wanted it to be implemented," Padilla says. "We decided to launch it in November, around Thanksgiving. After all, Assembly is about giving back and being thankful and grateful, so why not launch our new recognition platform around that holiday?"

All MHM employees can access Assembly and are encouraged and incentivized to offer recognition to others. To that end, Assembly helps surface not just the big wins, but the little wins that often go unnoticed. Recognition received from coworkers comes with points, which can be redeemed for gift cards directly via Assembly.

"If a team member wants to recognize a project, they can give a shoutout," Padilla says. "It's a great way to say, 'Thank you for the work you've done." As part of the process, team members describe why they're sending the recognition, linking it to MHM's core values. Along with engaging employees, Assembly saves time for administrators. MHM's integration pulls details of active workers from ADP and moves them to Assembly.

Recognizing coworkers and their effort to make people's lives better is why Assembly is making a difference and a perfect fit for MHM.

Alejandra Padilla, team member experience manager at MHM

MHM team members can access Assembly either via the company's intranet or through its Microsoft Teams platform for mobile users. Each new hire is automatically enrolled, and at least half the organization was enrolled in the first two months post-launch, Padilla says.

"We're currently only using the workforce-wide recognition piece, but we're also looking into expanding Assembly as a way to revamp our anniversary program," she says.

A couple of months after implementing Assembly, MHM used a gathering of about 100 leaders to spread the word about the new recognition platform. Padilla says the platform is especially helpful for "top-down" scenarios. "During a presentation at the meeting we actually recognized our top five leaders who had used Assembly successfully," she says.

With Assembly, the goal is for employees to feel even more appreciated and acknowledged for their hard work by bringing communication and collaboration to center stage, Padilla says, adding that she often signs into Assembly to see recent employee recognition posts, which resemble a Facebook feed.

"Recognizing coworkers and their effort to make people's lives better is why Assembly is making a difference and a perfect fit for MHM," she says. "It's fantastic to see team members honoring each other, with everyone potentially hearing about the 'above and beyond' work done by fellow MHM team members. It really creates a buzz for all the right reasons."

Quick facts

  • Company: Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.
  • Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Employees: 485
  • ADP Marketplace Partner: Assembly

About Assembly

Assembly is an employee recognition, engagement and collaboration platform designed to make employees feel valued, appreciated and connected to their workplace. With an extensive catalog of rewards including gift cards, custom swag, culture rewards, and charity donations, everyone will feel appreciated and engaged. Learn more about Assembly and download the full story here.

About ADP Marketplace

ADP Marketplace is a digital HR storefront that enables you to connect and share data across all your HR solutions. Simplify your HR processes, reduce data errors and drive your business forward with easy-to-use apps that integrate with your core ADP platform. Easily discover, try, buy and implement ADP and third-party solutions, all with the simplicity of single sign-on, single data input and single billing. Learn more at