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Delta Dental Case Study

Delta Dental Unites Their Team with
Betterworks Engage

Delta Dental

The Situation

Delivering smiles via dental insurance is a surprisingly tricky affair in the United States, where people move often and every state has its own rules. To operate in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and other territories, Delta Dental has 39 subsidiaries and thousands of people who need to be cared for just as well as their patients.

Delta Dental


Delta Dental is the largest dental insurance provider in the United States. They sell coverage to employer groups as well as individuals and families on a state-by-state basis through their national network. All of their holding companies and subsidiaries operate under the unified Delta Dental brand.


Health Insurance


5,000 – 8,000


Los Angeles, CA

Delta Dental is the nation’s largest dental insurance provider and just like the nation, it is remarkably diverse. The business is divided into many departments with their own established cultures and attributes which don’t always align. Divisions serving employers differ in habits and terminology from divisions selling to families, and there is even variance within states. This led to friction between offices and degraded the company’s ability to present a single unified front to customers, as well as an engaged and thriving culture attractive to both employees and new hires.

The Challenge

When leadership launched an initiative called “Unite the Team,” CHRO Kathy Claytor began looking for better practices around measuring engagement. The company was in the habit of conducting a single annual employee survey which took months to analyze, meaning news of issues came too late to address them. The survey also lacked granularity into offices and regions. Deeper insight, they were certain, would provide the HR team with clues as to how to culturally unite the company.
In addition, some of the data the company gathered around culture was qualitative and Scott and his team found it difficult to know how to confidently act upon it without visiting offices to first verify.

The Action

Staley and the HR team at Delta Dental looked at several different feedback and engagement solutions. They ultimately found that Betterworks Engage was the only one that exceeded all of their criteria. It provided the HR team with a flexible tool for sampling employee sentiment on a more frequent basis.


  • Need for more actionable data → Real time feedback
  • Need to identify trends → Frequent surveys 
  • Need to report sensitive issues → Option to report anonymously
  • Need to act on survey insights → Action plan and task management functionality

Being able to prioritize employee engagement through a tool like Betterworks Engage was a game-changer for us. Communication, sentiment, and overall employee strategy have all improved as a result.

Kathy Claytor

CHRO of Delta Dental

The Outcome

With Betterworks Engage, Scott and the team were able to gauge engagement down to the individual meeting level, such as town halls. Periodic pulse surveys provided them with episodic data sampling which allowed them to pinpoint trends and address emerging issues long before the annual survey was in. With Betterworks Engage task management features, Scott and the team were able to use the data to guide managers. For instance, when morale in certain offices seemed low, they could investigate and create joint action plans in Betterworks Engage. The platform would then track progress so they could verify that changes were actually implemented.

The Impact

The result was that Delta Dental’s HR team got a birds-eye view of engagement across the company and a dashboard from which to draw divisions together. Survey response rates averaged 85% in the first year and manager action plans increased employee sentiment 20%. People felt better understood, and reported being better able to communicate with other departments.


The HR team also began to innovate. They developed a “regrettable turnover” metric centered around employee favorability ratings, which in turn gave them better insights into recruiting and onboarding to ensure that messages aligned with company-wide culture and values.


With access to fast and accurate people data, Delta Dental took a big step toward uniting the team.

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