Life at ZS

Our people build our culture: OUR ZS Day

By Kailah Peters

Sept. 26, 2022 | Article | 4-minute read

Our people build our culture: OUR ZS Day

A lot has changed at ZS. From expanding our team and global offices and launching ZAIDYN, to acquiring Medullan and working in a hybrid model, ZS feels different than it did a few years ago.


To respond to our evolving culture, ZS’s people and culture team (PACT) actively seeks to understand and advise leadership on what motivates and engages our people, what unites us as a firm and what passions we can channel to change lives in healthcare and beyond. 

Where passion changes lives

This summer, the PACT saw an opportunity for ZSers across offices to come together and reassess ZS culture. During this half-day event, OUR ZS Day offered ZSers an opportunity to Observe, Understand and Reflect on ZS’s culture, past and present. But more importantly, it allowed ZSers to have a say in how ZS culture can and should meet the needs of our evolving workforce. We know ZS is a place where passion changes lives and OUR ZS Day provided an opportunity for all ZSers across roles, levels, functions, tenures and locations to bring their passion and influence our culture in a way that positively impacts ZSers in our 35 plus offices, from Singapore to New York and everywhere in between.


A large team of ZSers across different functions and skill sets collaborated to make this firmwide event a reality, from ZSers in consulting (including Ben Altshuler, Mike Jakymiw, Jake Rosenberg and Tanya Shepley) to our enterprise staff (including Bree Simmers, Caroline Pottash and Sarah Petitt)—plus many more. This day was designed by our people, for our people and helped us to bring a deeper understanding of how we can live our core values of getting it right, treating people right and doing the right thing.


For more on this, we sat down with Josh Lacey, a strategy insights and planning consultant in Boston who played a pivotal role in planning OUR ZS Day.

With seven years at ZS under his belt, Josh started as a market research assistant before moving to the consulting track. During that time, Josh capitalized on his passion for helping ZSers by joining the PACT. He vividly remembers the moment where the idea for OUR ZS Day began.


“I was sitting in a conference room in Philadelphia when somebody had the idea to develop a ZSer bill of rights,” Josh says. “We wanted everyone to have a clear sense of what they're entitled to as a part of the ZS community.”


Over several months, the idea evolved. The team realized they first needed to hear from ZSers about ZS culture to not only ensure messaging stayed authentic to their lived experiences, but also created an opportunity for connections. “Knowing that people have been working from home, we saw this as a chance to jump start new collaborations and facilitate stronger relationships, especially since we have so many new ZSers,” Josh says.


The team iterated the plan several times to ensure the event was fun and engaging—while also capturing meaningful information to help direct the future of our firmwide culture.


ZSers attended a half-day workshop and provided input on how we can and should be bringing our core values to life through shared perspectives, behaviors and attitudes.


“What was really cool about this experience was the fact that we were able to pull in so many different stakeholders from different teams,” Josh reflects. “Planning a global event for 15,000 people is not easy. We had representation from our meetings and events team, communications team, marketing team—and folks from every single one of our ZS offices formed a team to help bring this to life. A lot of coordination was required over the course of six months to make that happen.”


And the event was an unprecedented success.

Once OUR ZS Day took place, Josh and the PACT collected insights from each office and uncovered many similarities in how ZSers experience and believe we should live our values.


“We had people from different offices, different tenures and different tracks,” Josh says. “Still, there was a lot of coalescence around key themes that identified what ZS is and what we should be. The best part is that these key themes are not far off from how we talked about our culture in the past. Collaboration, empathy, focus on impact: these are just some examples of themes that have defined ZS historically and still ring true despite all the challenges we’ve had in the past few years.”


The PACT is using this global feedback to revise ZS’s cultural hallmarks—what we use to define our core values—and embed them into critical organizational processes, like performance reviews, so we are held accountable in creating the culture we want to see at ZS.


To join a team where passion changes lives, explore our open roles.

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