By Mike Prokopeak
Sep. 7, 2017
We are all technology companies now. Technology has taken over operations, marketing and sales at companies large and small.
We’re also all tech workers. From back-end systems that manage production to the front end that customers see, technology is impossible to extricate from work.
Human resources work is also tech work, the central theme of this issue of Workforce. Those who went into HR because they enjoy working with people now find themselves managing massive enterprise software systems and digital apps that administer benefits enrollment and deliver training.
But through it all, the human touch is essential. We’re not just tech companies. We remain people companies, too. The work of HR lies in making the most of the human resources that continue to make our digital future a reality.
—Mike Prokopeak, Editor in Chief
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Benchmark Senior Living launched its “I’m Engaged” campaign that puts employees front and center on direct-mail pieces, videos and ads. The campaign spotlights employees who exceed expectations and devote themselves to helping others and their senior residents. Bottom photo, director of community relations Lauren Stowell poses during the photo shoot. By putting a unique spin on an engagement “announcement” — which included a professional photo shoot with each “star” employee — the company hopes to convey the commitment employees have with the work they do.
One reader responded to Rick Bell’s Last Word column titled, “Take it Easy on the Boss; There’s a World to Save” in the July/August edition. Mary Ellen Wasiellewski had this to say:
There is a myriad of balls that must be kept in the air by the “captains of the ship.” They are the first to get blamed and the last to be acknowledged. Much has been written about the isolation at the top tier. The same human problems face the leaders who keep us all in employed positions: death, divorce, disease, burnout and chronic stress. What does HR do to support those high performance individuals who drive these ships during times of person adversity? They, too, are often expected to just show up and work through it.
Two readers commented on the Workforce July/August print story titled, “Contracting a Cure for Prescription Drug Costs.” F.R. Fogenberg wrote:
Good article based on MBGH Annual Pharmacy Program, and more information from the National Employer Initiative on Biologic & Specialty Drugs for employer plan sponsors available at www.specialtyrxtoolkit.org.
Reader David Moll added: As a pharmacist of 26 years, I would love to help other companies that self-insure do the same type of thing as Caterpillar has done. I am very much familiar with how PBMs work and have resources to tap to build a network for companies large enough to support their own benefits.
A couple of readers chimed in on the Workforce July/August story titled, “Change Jobs to Trim the Fat.” Reader Eli1mxp stated:
My company has a robust wellness program. They encourage us all to take steps to improve our health. I worked 13 hours yesterday. I don’t think I could do more.
HerHealthySelf responded to Eli1mxp, saying: That’s the conundrum most employees face — grinding hours, limp home, answer emails, crash in bed. Get up, rinse and repeat. Most people don’t work an eight-hour day anymore (and the shady looks you get if you don’t answer email while on vacation … sheesh), yet to read articles like this, you’d never know that was the reality.
Reader Bill Fotsch offered his thoughts on the Workforce July/August story titled, “Beyond Great: Features of Today’s Legendary Companies:”
I appreciate the author’s focus on successful companies. I have a different list of companies that have stood the test of time longer than the companies that he suggested. Southwest Airlines, Capital One and BHP Billiton and hundreds of private companies treat their employees like trusted business partners, enabling them to make more money for their company and themselves. They consistently see both profits and engagement soar.
We welcome your comments on these stories and others on our website. Be sure to follow us and give us a shout on Twitter at @Workforcenews, too. Hope to hear from you!
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