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CEO’s Letter: That Which Unites Us

In November, we held the 2021 People in Healthcare Summit in Houston and, once again, it was a very successful live event (see page 47 for our editorial coverage). We had more than 30 CHROs in attendance as well as a host of other senior-level executives from the talent acquisition and learning and development parts of internal HR. We also hosted a healthcare industry CHRO of the Year Award program—congratulations again to the winners.

At the summit, we closely examined the issues present in the healthcare industry. As humans and as executives, we often retreat to our provincial corners and say “our problems are unique” or “other industries’ experience does not apply to our problems.” I am here to tell that, for the most part, that is just not true.

Yes, every organization has different personalities in leadership, different executive visions, and a unique history. But, we have mostly the same problems. How do I keep my employees safe while trying to provide a productive environment and manage performance? How do I deal with labor shortages? How do I address diversity? How do I make sure our culture is inclusive to all so that everyone feels respected and appreciated? Specific nuances aside, we all have these problems.

For example, safety concerns always existed. During COVID, we have just challenged our ability to react to a crisis level threat of this magnitude and category. Actually, a large part of what I learned at the 2021 People in Healthcare Summit is how similar the solutions were across all industries. If you do not think the challenges faced in healthcare are the same as other industries, you would be wrong. And, that is a problem in HR and other management professions. We are too provincial at times.

The healthcare industry can learn a lot from the technology industry about being hard-nosed and competitive in the approach to talent acquisition. The technology industry can learn a lot about getting people to feel motivated by corporate mission from the life science industry. All corporations can learn a lot about empathetic work cultures from the nonprofit sector. But, like the herd pre-hominid primates who lived in caves, we tend to want to hang out with “our own.”

I hope we begin to see other HR executives as “our own” not just by industry verticals. I recommend attending events that are not focused on industry or even going to conferences that are about unrelated industries so you can learn their best practices. How others approach issues and what the vendor community in those verticals can do may apply to your own organization. Cross-pollination of ideas and best practices is critical to new ideas and new innovation.

SharedXpertise Media, LLC, the parent company of HRO Today, has just completed a very successful year. We had a number of virtual events, but we were able to return to live events successfully with a lot of safety precautions! Our engagement with our digital media products and research set new records and we had significant growth with our CHRO affinity group, C-TEN. We hope our content and the networking opportunities we offered helped you do your jobs a bit better and contributed to your approach in a trying year.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers, partners, and members, and wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your support in 2021 and we look forward to being an even better version of ourselves in 2022!

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