William Fleming, PharmD, is President, Clinical and Pharmacy Solutions, at Humana. He recently posted this piece on his LinkedIn blog.

Look to your talent, tone, and touchpoints

Every outcome in every organization is in some way, shape, or form the byproduct or result of decision-making. Sometimes decisions are relatively small and self-limiting, like a drop in a bucket, while others are like powerful waves that can take you to new heights or threaten to drown you. Ultimately, our decisions – good, bad, or indifferent – have an effect, so it’s important to take care in who we hire to make them (talent), the backdrop culture that supports them (tone), and where they fit in the overall architecture of impact (touchpoints).

Recently, I was reminded of the importance of decisions and, like so many insights in life, my wake-up call came after a not-so-great one. As leaders, we often encourage our teams to act quickly to ensure that our business doesn’t lose ground. “Test, fail, and scale!” is the mantra of the day, and we bolt at rapid speed to keep up with technological advances and the demands of the market. There is certainly merit to that approach. However, it is not the only nor always the best approach. Sometimes, it behooves us to put on the brakes, slow the pace, or even retract. It’s a balancing act, and if we do not have the right people at the right juncture points to effectively evaluate the situation, those crashing waves will be upon us.

Equally as important as who we’ve pegged to be our pivotal decision-makers is the type of climate in which they work. This is not just the overall corporate culture we set and maintain but the pockets of subculture that lie deep within our organization that may dictate behavior. Which teams are “on the clock”? Which ones have quotas or time demands? Which people are on the “front lines” and may have higher stress or turnover? By the very nature of their work, these groups may operate with hastier, higher-pressure decision-making or be so focused on the immediate that the forest becomes obscured by the trees. While not cause for concern in and of itself, it’s important to pay as much attention to these functions as our more “strategic” ones – especially when the decision touchpoints get closer and closer to our customer.

I often say that, especially in these areas, we need people who say, “no!” as much as people who say, “go!” This means establishing that perfect blend of individuals with personalities well-matched to their roles and a genuine belief that they are empowered – even if it means voicing an opinion that’s in the minority … even if it means halting a process or project for more thoughtful scrutiny … even if it means making an unpopular decision for the sake of the greater good. We must make them not only feel “safe” in speaking up but commend them for doing it.

 “We need people who say, ‘no!’ as much as people who say, ‘go!’”

Without a doubt, we all look at the numbers – the very obvious quantitative metrics that often drive what we do. However, we’d be remiss to ignore our ever-important customer experiences – the high touchpoints – which are just as easily shaped by our choices and speak to our ultimate success and longevity. If we get the right people in the right seats (who care and are curious) and set them up within the right decision-making guardrails (our tone and expectations), we will all rise together. Carefully choosing our decision-makers is one of the most important decisions we’ll ever make.

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Humana has again been listed among the Top 100 Companies with Remote Jobs, coming in at No. 15.

“Through an analysis of the remote job posting histories of more than 54,000 companies in the FlexJobs database, we’ve pinpointed the companies that offered more remote-friendly positions than any others,” FlexJobs said. “’Remote-friendly’ means the openings must offer some level of remote work (the levels on our site are ‘100% remote work,’ ‘partial remote work,’ or ‘option for remote work’).”

“The most notable change we’ve seen over the past year is not so much the growth in the sheer volume of remote job listings, but the growth in the variety of remote job titles these companies are seeking to hire,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs.

See the full list here.

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Humana has again scored well in the HACR Corporate Inclusion Index, an annual survey by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility that measures companies’ business practices and strategies and fosters dialogue around inclusion and diversity.

The HACR survey helps companies understand Hispanic inclusion needs and benchmark their progress. Participating companies help the HACR Research Institute assess practices and initiatives, identify areas of opportunity, and frame strategic plans to increase Hispanic inclusion.

Humana achieved five stars for Employment and Philanthropy and four stars for Governance.

“We’re proud to be honored in this way, because our inclusive, diverse workforce is a source of energy and inspiration at Humana,” said Maria Hughes, Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. “We know that in order to provide the best experiences to our members, we need to reflect the communities we serve, understand our customers’ needs, and create personalized services that matter.”

The release of the report coincided with the HACR CII Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. To access the report, please visit

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the nation, representing 12 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The HACR mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America at a level commensurate with their economic contributions. Through this survey, companies are able to better understand the needs of the evolving Hispanic community, develop Hispanic initiatives, and make significant progress toward greater Hispanic inclusion.

Watch this video to see how Humana’s culture thrives through Inclusion and Diversity.

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Creating employee well-being takes commitment — to employees and to a positive workplace culture, according to an article in HR Dive. “That environment can become a competitive advantage for attracting, retaining, and engaging a thriving workforce.”

The publication recently interviewed Humana’s Tim State, Senior Vice President of Associate Health and Well-being, for an article titled  From Wellness to Well-Being: The Evolution of Employer Health Initiatives.

It cited the company’s “bigger, more holistic approach” to associate well-being.

“What started as on-site yoga classes and smoking cessation programs has evolved,” the article said. “As employers learn more about the science of how humans thrive and other aspects of productivity, organizations can build a better foundation for well-being.”

Tim said, “We’ve moved from a narrow understanding of programs or slices of that picture into something a lot more holistic and fundamental.”  

The article said that at Humana, well-being “incorporates four dimensions: a sense of purpose in one’s life and career; health, including, but not limited to physical, emotional and spiritual health; sense of belonging, which includes relationships; and sense of security, which includes personal safety as well as financial security. These aspects provide the foundation for wellbeing, and the company’s offerings reinforce the direction.”

Read the full article here.

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