Delta Dental 2017-06-29T18:46:02+00:00

Project Description


While every industry is facing disruption due to digital transformation, the healthcare industry isn’t just facing change – it’s facing a perfect storm. New technology, government legislation and the usual pressure on productivity and profits are creating a challenging, highly complex environment for every company in the healthcare industry.

Delta Dental isn’t just another company in the healthcare industry – it’s a leader, America’s largest benefits carrier, providing dental benefits and insurance to a wide variety of employers, groups and individuals. As Delta Dental continued to grow in its stormy landscape, it realized it needed to re-examine its own internal operations to keep pace.

Many of Delta Dental’s processes were driven by the needs of internal business functions – not its external stakeholders and customers. This was especially true in its HR department. Managers weren’t taking a centralized, systematic approach to leading their teams. HR strategists were spending too much time and energy on lower-level tasks. And the HR function as a whole was being consumed by the administrative needs of the business functions – taking away from its time to build a function that produced measureable business outcomes. That’s where Oxygen came in.


Our work started where it often does – by focusing on the company’s vision and mission, and understanding how its business functions, particularly HR, were designed to drive toward them. All too often  functions get caught up in day-to-day business and lose sight of the role they play fulfilling the company’s vision and mission. We then worked closely with leadership across the HR function in a three-stage process: We aligned roles in HR teams to the business outcomes, we created blueprint learning journeys for these roles, and we launched, measured and maintained high-touch experiences that activated the learning journeys we designed.


The strategic work we did with Delta Dental HR leadership to clarify the way different HR roles advanced the company’s mission and vision paid off. It created a more structured HR organization to better support every business function. We developed an entirely new role, the Director of Training, that gave our learning journeys a long-term home in the HR function and larger company. We instituted a new program for coaching some of the most valuable people with deep knowledge base and tenures of 25+ years. And a notable byproduct of redefining roles in the HR function was an increase in employee morale across the department – which in turn improves employee retention.

By reestablishing, and redefining roles in the HR function that would help achieve the company’s vision and mission, Oxygen helped strengthen the inside of the company so it could continue to grow in a very turbulent outside environment.