Vice President, Organization and Human Resource Development
PacifiCare Health Systems
PacifiCare, a managed care health insurance company with millions of clients nationwide, faced severe challenges to the survival of the organization three years ago. The company had three CEOs during the span of a year, had no strategic plan to speak of, was dependent on a product line (HMO) that was no longer lucrative enough to support the business and had many unmotivated, disengaged employees.
Carol Black, vice president of organization and human resource development for PacifiCare Health Systems, led the development and implementation of a CEO-inspired program to change people management in order to support PacifiCare’s overall goal of getting the business on the right track. In doing so, Black worked with the Office of the President, a team of PacifiCare senior executives, to turn around the underperforming company by transforming its culture.
Many steps were taken to transform the practices and policies related to employee learning and development. A performance planning and management system linked individual performance goals with organizational objectives and established a culture of achievement. The organization implemented an online LMS and management training curriculum, which contains content related to corporate competencies and learning. In addition, PacifiCare was able to build a career and succession planning database that encourages the placement of a diverse assortment of talented employees in key positions.
These measures have yielded a more productive, loyal and satisfied workforce. In a 2003 “Employer of Choice” poll, more than 80 percent of employees said that they were proud to work at PacifiCare and intended to stay with the company, compared to less than 60 percent three years before.
The initiative has also affected PacifiCare’s bottom line. The company saw a 134 percent increase in operating income and a 42 percent rise in operating cash flow in 2002.