4 Steps to Cultivating a Culture of Caring

Committees! Everyone’s favorite way to bring people together and accomplish little. Well, maybe we just aren’t doing it like Humana.

More and more companies are giving back to the community with the insights and wisdom of their staff at the heart of the decision making process. Unfortunately, you can’t bring 20 people into a room and expect productive work to happen without a structure and culture that supports its purpose.

Humana in Arizona saw a committee as an answer to a challenge it faced. With more than 2,000 employees and six locations in Arizona, the company lacked a cohesive approach to supporting the community. In addition, internal Network Resource Groups (NRG) were forming adding an additional community engagement element.

To create a cohesive approach across the state, Arizona leadership encouraged employees to combine efforts and increase the impact by forming a committee with representatives from each facility, NRG and wellness leads. Today, the Arizona Community Council has more than 20 people who meet monthly to increase the impact for the community while raising employee engagement. Humana locations in other states have since formed similar groups.

Here’s how they did it…

1.       Get Leadership Buy-In

We know that’s easier said than done, so look for our next article to address this topic!

2.       Invite All Stakeholders

For Humana, this started with one or two leaders from each NRG and site coordinators. It also meant identifying engaged employees and change agents in the company that might not already be tied to a group.

3.       Respect the Meeting

It’s important, act like it’s important. Pretend the CEO is silently calling into every meeting. With so many people involved, missing/rescheduling a meeting or not making the most of everyone’s time will kill the motivation in the room.

First, send an agenda out in advance so everyone can come ready with thoughts. Second, encourage idea sharing and participation. Have each stakeholder share what they are working on at every meeting. Third, take copious notes, send them to the committee AND copy leadership. To keep leadership buy-in, you need to make sure they are aware of the great work their team is up to and identify any impacts to the business.

4.       Share on Internal Social Networking Sites or Other Channels

Humana uses an internal social networking site to post photos of the team out in the community. It increases recognition of those participating and creates an opportunity for team building long after volunteer events are over. It’s a great way to also build camaraderie and a sense of belonging across so many locations in a larger corporation.




David Reno