Olivia Liu

IT Product Owner, Commonwealth Care Alliance

Supernova Award Category: 

Future of Work - Employee Experience

The Organization: 

Based in Massachusetts, Commonwealth Care Alliance® (CCA) is a not-for-profit, community-based healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being for individuals who are dually eligible for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Medicare with significant medical, behavioral health and social needs, including those with disabilities. As a healthcare organization, Commonwealth Care Alliance strives to provide a transformative approach to care delivery by innovating, coordinating and providing the highest quality, individualized care.

The Problem: 

Commonwealth Care Alliance struggled to take full advantage of their organization's knowledgebase. Within this challenge, there were several distinct pain points that limited employee experience and productivity:

1). Accessibility: More than half of their workforce is comprised of clinicians working in the field to ensure that the enterprise’s 37,000 members receive an unparalleled standard of care. Field workers struggled to connect to Commonwealth Care Alliance’s intranet platform, as it was only accessible via their company network. Consequently, every employee was tethered to the VPN for network access, thus limiting the efficacy of the platform and the information available to clinicians working in the field.

2). Poor navigation: Even when employees were able to access the solution, poor search functionality limited the platform's impact. It was difficult for users to take advantage of the organization’s full knowledgebase because navigating to document libraries, previous announcements, and news items was near-impossible. Similarly, a lack of governance led to information overload, making it even more challenging for users to pinpoint key resources in an efficient manner.

3.) Segmentation: A long-lived complaint from employees was that they never knew who was responsible for what. Frequently, users needed to forward emails several times to identify the appropriate collaborator, causing productivity to suffer.

The Solution: 

Leaders determined that a comprehensive intranet platform could hold the key to unlocking the enterprise’s fullest potential by reducing segmentation, breaking down boundaries, and empowering users to reach peak productivity. They opted to replace their legacy platform built on SharePoint 2010 with a cloud-based solution that could be easily accessed via mobile to accommodate remote users.

The forthcoming solution, CommonGround, was devised to level up employee engagement by cultivating a sense of community that would eliminate silos, encourage collaboration through an interactive org chart and social functionality, and optimize output levels.

All employees were involved in every step of CommonGround’s design and launch process. Using input from focus groups, the organization created a checklist of must-have features that would serve as the solution to common problems. Content Champions were nominated to oversee department pages and drive adoption from the start.

The Results: 

To drive collaboration, CommonGround includes a Knowledge Hub which provides clinicians with streamlined access to key intel. The document repository supports employees in their daily duties through Decision Support Tools, Standards of Practice, and Reference Guides. With an intuitive user interface and advanced search capabilities, resources are now at employees’ fingertips. This translates to optimized and consistent member and patient experiences, as clinicians are equipped with the knowledge needed to deliver top-of-the-line results. In the past, the efficacy of this resource would have been limited, due to accessibility issues. CommonGround is fully mobile responsive via branded apps, in turn ensuring that all employees can access the solution from any location and at any time.

To put a stop to segmentation, CommonGround also includes an interactive org chart. Instead of a trial-and-error approach to collaboration, users can now determine contacts with niche expertise and efficiently contact them through a searchable People Directory. Employees looking to learn more about specific teams can navigate to department pages designed to provide insight into key functions, recent updates, and frequently-used resources.

CommonGround also includes multiple communications pathways to bring users together. Social channels drive authentic conversation amongst employees in different departments while video content shines a spotlight on members of the leadership team. 


CommonGround has revolutionized employee experience by arming all users with the tools and capabilities needed to reach their fullest potential while building lasting bonds with their teammates. Many metrics point to the platform's widespread success, including an adoption rate of 98%. In the month of May alone, more than 1350 users logged onto the platform, generating close to 55,000 sessions and nearly 120,000 views.

Aside from simply logging onto the platform, users are actively engaging with the new intranet and utilizing communications channels to connect with peers and share expertise. 95% of Commonwealth Care Alliance employees have a profile picture on the new solution, versus just 65% who added a photo using their previous platform. An uptick in participation indicates that users feel comfortable navigating the solution and are empowered to personalize their profile and readily exchange information and interact with their peers.

The Technology: 

CommonGround, Commonwealth Care Alliance's intranet, is the primary technology utilized to drive lasting change. While their previous platform was built on SharePoint 2010, leaders opted for a cloud-based solution that could be easily accessed via mobile to accommodate clinicians working in the field. Commonwealth Care Alliance selected Unily as its Intranet-as-a-Service provider and collaborated on a futuristic solution that would drive communications and collaboration.

Disruptive Factor: 

While CommonGround's features were devised to improve collaboration and cultivate connectivity, the capabilities would have been rendered useless if employees failed to adopt the platform. To streamline the transition from their legacy solution to CommonGround, leaders devised a one-of-a-kind launch strategy that put end-user experience at the forefront.

To build buzz around the forthcoming solution, the organization's Digital Transformation and Internal Communications teams used a combination of peer-to-peer messaging, email, and poster campaigns. 56 different staff members who were enlisted to act as ambassadors to the platform got the chance to preview the features themselves and conduct their own demos of the new solution.

Launch week started with an email and video from Commonwealth Care Alliance’s CEO, describing the features of their new intranet. The experience was gamified through daily contests throughout the first week that delved into different features of the intranet, thus encouraging employees to explore and get familiar with the platform. Additional activities included a scavenger hunt, a quiz, a bio contest, and even an Ode to CommonGround contest, where employees professed their love for the new intranet through poem or song. The contests encouraged staff to explore the site and really see what the new intranet was all about. Many employees also expressed gratitude at being able to express their creativity through these contests.

Shining Moment: 

CommonGround has been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. An Emerging Concerns site centralizes FAQs, a link to CDC information, and insights from senior leadership. The homepage was populated with wellness resources and a virtual Spirit Week was launched to boost morale. Activities included pet photo opps, employee recognition initiatives, and recipe shares to encourage colleagues to connect, even while working remotely. 

About Commonwealth Care Alliance

Based in Massachusetts, Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) is a not-for-profit, community-based healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being for individuals who are dually eligible for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Medicare with significant medical, behavioral health and social needs, including persons with disabilities.