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By Lori Smith, PHR

April 28, 2021

Editor’s note:  Who we are as a company has been on our minds lately here at hc1. It’s just as important as what we do, because each individual on our team contributes something of themselves to the solutions we deliver. So we asked Lori Smith, PHR our SVP of Talent, to share her perspectives on the team and talent that are hc1. 

A Moral Imperative

As a Talent Executive in a data-driven tech organization, my purpose and vision are to nurture an environment where our team members are able to thrive in a values-based culture focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and holistic wellbeing. Early on, my team and I recognized the connection between holistic wellbeing and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) but were overwhelmed with how to even begin embedding DE&I into our culture. We didn’t want to overpromise and underdeliver on such an important priority. 

What we did know is that diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are no longer a set of proactive initiatives managed by “HR” but rather a moral imperative and a competitive response to the shifting expectations of the current workforce. The next challenge was deciding where to start.  

Traditional Metrics Don’t Work—We Needed Our Own

My background in finance taught me how important metrics are when charting a path forward, promoting transparency, enhancing employee wellbeing and holding each other accountable—but what I learned is just because something is an easy measure, doesn’t mean it’s the right measure. 

The tech industry has historically been white and male-dominated, and our company is no exception. On the surface, traditional metrics focus on representation. We didn’t want to lose sight of how we viewed diversity—the breadth of our experiences, backgrounds and visions of the future. It felt counterproductive to rely on metrics and risk an “us vs. them” mentality. Each white male new hire would only add to the denominator of our diversity goals.

Keeping It “CACE”

Committing to diversity for the sake of meeting business goals wasn’t going to be the answer, so we used our core values to refine our approach. When an inclusive culture exists, employees are much more likely to see themselves as part of a high-performing organization that embraces collaboration. 

hc1’s core values:

  • We are Curious. We ask why things work the way they do. We ask what people need. We ask how can we make things better.
  • We are Accountable. We have fun, but we work hard, too. We do our best, and we stand behind our work.
  • We are Collaborative. We’re not just coworkers. We’re family. We succeed together. We celebrate together.
  • We are Ethical. We do our work with honesty and integrity. We set a high standard, and we meet it.

Deepening our team’s sense of belonging and fostering more opportunities for an inclusive workplace aligned with our objectives and felt like the right strategy for our team. We also discovered belonging is the strongest and most consistent driver of engagement; diversity is not.

hc“1” Team

Our first initiative was to restructure our engagement survey platform by removing all the departments and putting everyone into a single group. We realized this structure was a more inclusive and equitable approach, and “One Team” was born. 

Through “One Team” we all get the opportunity to truly live our core values. Our Talent Team is curious to hear everyone’s insights and accountable for taking appropriate action on the team’s feedback. Being collaborative, we can work together to uncover issues and find prescriptive solutions. It is only ethical that we do all we can to enhance an inclusive and equitable environment and ensure each and every voice across hc1 is heard. Because at hc1, we truly are  “One Team”!

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