Humana: Self-Care Must Be at the Center of Care

When employees are cared for and find purpose in their efforts, they can do incredible things to care for others. I see it happen in my workplace at Humana every day.

You will see people take on leadership positions within one of our many network resource groups, hosting radio shows for our internal station or organizing large scale events for their team members that take hours of planning outside of the normal work day. I have encountered many of these examples during my time at Humana and am impressed by the dedicated individuals behind these “extra” roles and duties throughout the company. It is easy to assume that people are taking on this work only for development purposes, or to advance their careers in some way, but in all my conversations with these individuals about why they do what they do, I have received remarkably similar responses. They do it because they care. They do it for the sense of purpose it gives them. They do it because they like caring for the well-being of others. It is clear to me these individuals get as much out of these experiences as they contribute to the well-being of others. And while giving to others contributes to their well-being, it is equally important to ensure those who care for people are also prioritize good self-care for themselves.

Humana is in the business of caring for people. Our strategy has a layered approach and at the center is the health and wellbeing of each and every individual. We know that if self-care is not prioritized, none of our other objectives will matter. At the core of how we operate is the idea that the growth of the individual is what drives us, as a company, forward. Growth is different here. It is not solely defined as skills an individual acquires that contribute to our financial success or an increase in revenue. Instead, growth at Humana is viewed in every dimension – including emotional, psychological and physical well-being. We know that when our people are growing, when they feel like they belong and are supported, they will thrive in their actions and in our outcomes.

As the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer for Humana, I lead a team of individuals tasked with helping create a culture of belonging for every Humana employee. This is how we care for the collective health and well-being of all employees. We are working to make sure all employees feel they have a place in this company so that they can thrive and be the best version of themselves. Many other teams throughout the company work together to support our employees’ well-being. This is a communal effort that must be undertaken by all of us, every day.

Only when we have provided for the health and growth of each individual and of our collective community of employees can we provide the type of care for our members and patients that is grounded in our purpose. Providing outstanding insurance
options, health care delivery both in an office setting and at home, along with well-being support, are the keys to making entire communities healthier. We call it human care: the way we listen to our members, anticipate their needs, and go above and beyond to support their goals for their health, well-being and life.

While the value of care is primary at Humana, we also strive to remain curious and committed in all we do. Here are some learnings we have gained that have allowed us to incorporate curious and committed actions into our everyday operations:

  • Be an empathetic and active listener. This allows us to understand what others truly need and value and helps us to understand perspectives different than our own.
  • Lift each other up and celebrate each other’s wins. We are all in this together, focused and working cohesively towards the same goals.
  • Be transparent, vulnerable and judgement-free so new ideas and creativity can flourish.
  • Nurture a growth mindset. Accept challenges as welcomed opportunities to learn and develop.
  • Own your commitments and make decisions to benefit the collective good of employees and customers.
  • Share challenges, differing opinions and openly exchange ideas to get to the best outcomes.
  • Promote and protect the psychological safety of others. Speak out against behaviors, words and actions that cause harm to an individual or the collective good.

It is a common saying that you must put on your own oxygen mask before you help others around you. At Humana, we are diligently working to make sure that self-care is at the foundation of the way we do our work. Providing care only works if we make sure we reciprocate and prioritize care for one another as well as for ourselves. We must all be a part of the outcome.

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