How good CEOs make personal connections with employees

When Anna Sharts began her first day of employment at Northwell Health in March, like all new hires she attended an orientation in New Hyde Park, NY.“I was not expecting to see the CEO of the largest health system in New York at orientation!” says the Brooklyn resident.

During pre-boarding conversations, she was informed that Michael Dowling, top officer of the integrated health care network — New York state’s largest provider with more than 68,000 employees — would make an appearance. She thought it would be to say hello, but he presented for more than two hours for “a world-class welcome.”

“I immediately felt connected to the organization,” says Sharts. “He described how each and every single job plays a major role in patient experience and the overall success of the organization. This was truly remarkable. Every single person matters. All of that coming from the CEO, on my first day — that was huge!”

Dowling’s involvement doesn’t end on Day One. He regularly visits Northwell’s 23 hospitals and nearly 700 outpatient facilities and is available for face-to-face meetings.

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