Episode 381: Facilities of Excellence With Lisa Woods From Walmart


Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive office chief. Be a part of host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founding father of Workology.com as she sits down and will get to the underside of tendencies, instruments, and case research for the enterprise chief, HR, and recruiting skilled who’s uninterested in the established order. Now right here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:27.67] Welcome to the Workology Podcast powered by Ace The HR Examination  and Upskill HR. These are two of the programs that we, right here at Workology, provide for certification prep and recertification for HR leaders. This podcast is a part of a Workology Podcast collection that’s centered on the roles and obligations of the Chief Human Sources Officer or CHRO. The CHRO is typically known as the SVP of HR or the Chief Individuals Officer, and it’s an govt or C-level function that offers with managing human assets in addition to with organizational growth and implementing insurance policies of change to enhance the general effectivity of the corporate. Typically these insurance policies of change embrace advantages and wellness. The CHRO podcast collection on Workology is sponsored by the HR Benchmark Survey. Share your insights at HRBenchmarkSurvey.com. Earlier than I introduce at this time’s friends, I need to hear from you. Please textual content the phrase “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005 to ask questions, go away feedback, and make options for future friends. That is my group textual content quantity and I need to hear from you. That’s “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005. At present’s visitor is Lisa Woods. She is the Vice President of Bodily & Emotional Wellbeing at Walmart. She is a advantages skilled with broad-based information and has been acknowledged nationally as an innovator and thought chief within the healthcare house. She has a powerful dedication to making sure that greater than 1.6 million Walmart associates have entry to advantages. Think about 1.6 million staff. Lisa has performed a key function in creating a portfolio of progressive applications centered on issues like fee reform, lowering waste within the system, and making certain applicable care. As well as, she has been centered on bodily and emotional well-being applications, we’re going to listen to all about these, for all Walmart associates. Lisa was named Fortune journal World’s Best Leaders (#10) in 2019 and in 2020 awarded as one of many Prime 25 Well being Care Innovators. Lisa, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Lisa Woods: [00:02:39.55] Welcome. Thanks. Recognize and glad to be right here.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:02:42.79] Yeah, I’m so excited to have you ever on the podcast. Let’s discuss a bit bit about your background and what led you to this function. How did you get began in human assets and advantages?

Lisa Woods: [00:02:54.49] Yeah, so such an amazing query. Most likely not utterly fascinating. I began at Walmart about 33 years in the past and I’ve spent my complete profession inside advantages. I’ve labored actually in all areas, nearly all areas inside advantages. So I perceive all of the features inside advantages. About two years in the past, in most lately, the corporate requested me to guide bodily and emotional well-being, which has been only a privilege. We have now a possibility to serve about 1.6 million associates within the firm associated to their bodily and emotional well-being. And in order that’s actually the place I spend all my time at this time and now.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:43.22] I don’t know many HR individuals who have stayed began in advantages after which stayed all through advantages. You actually will need to have a ardour for for that aspect of the enterprise.

Lisa Woods: [00:03:53.78] Yeah, I at all times say we’re so lucky to have the chance to the touch 1.6 million associates and their households, nevertheless it actually comes all the way down to that one individual at a time, and that’s why I’m so passionate so far as what I do. And , on daily basis we will make a distinction for our associates, and that’s why I do what I do.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:04:18.70] I like that. Nicely, one of many issues I needed to verify we talked about was Facilities of Excellence. So I needed to ask you ways Walmart has used the COE mannequin of their HR group.

Lisa Woods: [00:04:31.69] Sure, an amazing query. We began our Facilities of Excellence initially about 25 years in the past, which is loopy to assume now. And we began it in partnership with Mayo Clinic associated to transplants. After which a number of years in the past, we have been actually interested by what we have been seeing within the business and the way can we be sure that our associates get the perfect doable care out there to them. And so we expanded our Facilities of Excellence to cowl issues like backbone surgical procedure and knees and hip, hip replacements, several types of most cancers, weight reduction surgical procedure was added, after which this 12 months we added fertility care. Typically, we, we’ve got centered on these totally different remedies simply because we noticed broad variation in care, broad variation in value. And we needed to make it possible for we have been getting take care of our associates the place they obtain the proper analysis and the proper remedy plans. The care that we’re offering largely for a lot of procedures, there’s no value for associates and their members of the family in the event that they’re on considered one of our medical plans, and we additionally cowl all of the journey and lodging for the affected person and one caregiver. I additionally assume it’s essential to say that since we began the surgical procedure, we’ve seen some nice outcomes. We’ve seen the place we, we had associates of their house communities that have been instructed that they wanted surgical procedure once they went to a Facilities of Excellence, they didn’t want a surgical procedure. We’ve seen decrease readmission charges, the size of keep within the hospitals have been decrease. And so, , we’ve got simply discovered lots of worth with the Facilities of Excellence with totally different procedures. One other factor I’d word is that when associates do want surgical procedure and it’s actually essential once they do want surgical procedure, that they get the most effective care. We’ve seen the place they wanted much less day without work of labor. With backbone, we’ve seen associates have three, about three weeks much less so far as staying out of of labor. And that’s useful for the affiliate. It’s useful for the corporate, for the affiliate households. And so it’s actually a win-win-win, , within the growth of this program and the way we’ve managed it.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:07:04.66] That is actually I’d say that Walmart and the Mayo Clinic have been in all probability one of many first organizations to possibly actually snatch that COE mannequin. For many who don’t know, Heart of Excellence is often a small group of devoted people who handle from a typical central level of a purposeful, purposeful space. And on this case, for Walmart, the Heart of Excellence mannequin is concentrated on actually that type of well being care worker and wellness expertise.

Lisa Woods: [00:07:35.98] Sure, that’s proper.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:07:38.41] I additionally consider Dave Ulrich is type of the grandfather of the COE mannequin when it comes to making use of it in a human useful resource context. I don’t assume we discuss it sufficient. In order that’s why I’m excited that you simply’re prepared to share the way you’re making use of COE. And it feels like actually making a distinction when it comes to worker expertise, but in addition with the ability to decrease prices, prices for the worker when it comes to what they must pay out of pocket, but in addition reducing prices for Walmart, too.

Lisa Woods: [00:08:10.06] Yeah. What’s fascinating about that’s there are occasions, many occasions that we really pay extra for the preliminary process. However what we all know based mostly on the care that they obtain, that we are going to see downstream financial savings. And so it, , it might must, have upfront prices initially, however you completely will see financial savings general.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:08:33.64] Financial savings general on the well being care aspect after which financial savings when it comes to tenure, as a result of if individuals are being taken care of, they’re sticking round. And retail is such a tough business. And to have folks such as you who’ve been at Walmart for such a very long time, that actually speaks to the tradition and the COE mannequin.

Lisa Woods: [00:08:54.37] Sure.

Break: [00:08:56.23] Let’s take a reset right here. That is Jessica Miller-Merrell, and also you’re listening to the Workology Podcast. It’s powered by Ace The HR Examination and Upskill HR. We’re speaking concerning the roles and obligations of the Chief Human Useful resource Officer. We’re speaking with Lisa Woods. She’s the VP of Bodily and Emotional Wellbeing for Walmart. The CHRO podcast collection, which is what you’re listening to now in Workology is sponsored by HR Benchmark Survey. Take our survey at HRBenchmarkSurvey.com. Earlier than I get again to Lisa, I need to hear from you. Textual content the phrase “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005. Ask me questions, go away feedback, and make options for future friends. I need to hear from you. It’s essential for suggestions, so ship me a message at 512-548-3005.

Break: [00:09:44.89] Benchmarking and knowledge is essential to HR leaders. Workology’s HR Benchmark Survey is an always-on survey and simply by taking the survey at HRBenchmarkSurvey.com, you’re signing as much as get complete quarterly outcomes, white papers, and different analysis from the survey proper to your inbox. It takes 10 minutes or much less to finish. Go to HRBenchmarkSurvey.com.

The Steps to Provide New Profit Applications

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:10.75] So I need to get again to you, Lisa, and discuss what’s concerned within the determination making course of to supply a brand new profit program at Walmart. What are, what are a few of the steps? Give us some insights.

Lisa Woods: [00:10:24.40] Sure, that’s an amazing query. You understand, as an innovator within the healthcare house, we’re at all times on the lookout for methods to enhance our applications and supply our associates with entry to high quality care that actually, actually helps them, ur associates and their households dwell higher. And so yearly, our aim and our mission is to offer a complete, inexpensive after which high quality advantages. High quality is an important piece of every part that we do inside our advantages. We begin off by listening to our associates, what’s essential to them? What do they really feel like they want from a advantages perspective? After which we assessment the market. We, we benchmark and we actually are checking to see what’s out there and what’s provided. After which we have a look at our personal knowledge simply to see, are there alternatives? Are there issues that we ought to be taking a look at? After which can we take a step again yearly and we have a look at the advantages that we’re providing and we, we do an evaluation so far as ought to we proceed to supply the advantages that we at the moment provide, Do we have to make changes or adjustments or preserve it the identical? After which we additionally take into consideration the gaps and the way can we fill gaps inside our advantages construction.

Lisa Woods: [00:11:47.77] After which the true enjoyable half begins the place we develop concepts, we innovate, we create designs and applications. We establish companions and key companions to assist us present advantages. After which based mostly on, on the innovation and after, after an approval course of, we begin to implement. After which there’s occasions the place we will implement advantages in, in the midst of the 12 months. There are occasions that it’s the primary of the 12 months, however the course of I’m sharing with you is one thing that’s an ongoing course of. All 12 months lengthy. We’re persistently on the lookout for methods to enhance the advantages for our associates. And an amazing instance of that’s the announcement that we lately had the place we launched our Facilities of Excellence for Fertility Companies. What we heard from our associates is that they actually needed to see companies like fertility, adoption, and surrogacy, which have been tremendous essential to them. And so we actually centered on this. We consider that family-building help is basically essential and is as essential from a well being care perspective, identical to advantages similar to dental or imaginative and prescient. And so we’ve got added and launched these fertility advantages and protection in addition to surrogacy and adoption, which is a monetary help for our associates.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:17.77] I’m, I’m blown away by, by this providing as a result of it’s really in my thoughts, one of many first provided in retail that, that provides this to such a big worker inhabitants. And I take into consideration all of the steps that you simply and the chief group and the remainder of your group needed to undergo to type of come to the choice to place all this collectively, to not point out all of the communication that, that needed to, to exit to the 1.6 million staff on the group. So for me, that’s the true half. The place my head is, is type of spinning and interested by, okay, how do you talk a change, such a large change like this in such an enormous change, an essential one to the staff in all the shop areas and, and in all places inside Walmart?

Lisa Woods: [00:14:14.32] Sure, it’s such an amazing query. As you’ll be able to think about, speaking to 1.6 million associates is an journey and a journey. Each day. Yearly we’ve got 5300 shops, which incorporates our supercenters, our golf equipment, our neighborhood markets. And it may be difficult, proper? Particularly as a result of we’ve got such a various workforce. I’ll say this we don’t talk one time a 12 months, , throughout our annual enrollment. It’s a one, it’s a possibility that we use to speak to our associates. However we’re at all times on we’re at all times on the lookout for methods to speak and join with our associates when it issues and when it issues most. And that might be via digital means, or cell, or social, in individual. We try to establish methods to speak to our associates in all alternative ways. We join our companions in order that they’re conscious of the totally different applications that we offer. And that’s one other alternative to have the ability to join our associates to our applications as nicely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:15:23.74] I like that you simply stated that this isn’t only a one every year factor, which is what typically I believe HR leaders, we get into this house like, oh, annual enrollments coming. I must work on the communication, nevertheless it’s steady conversations. And one of many issues that I believe is fascinating about Walmart is you all have so many various mediums to have the ability to reinforce that communication, whether or not it’s via the shop managers and different leaders throughout the group. However all these totally different, such as you stated, digital and media properties the place you’ll be able to reinforce that message.

Lisa Woods: [00:15:58.00] Yeah, completely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:16:00.04] I need to change gears a bit bit and discuss profession recommendation. You’ve been with Walmart for an extended time frame. However as you, you’ve decided to type of route into the ecosystem and the tradition of Walmart and make that your own home. Discuss to me about possibly the most effective profession recommendation you’ve ever acquired that possibly helped transfer you to make that call, to say that is, that is the place I need to be and actually construct one thing.

Lisa Woods: [00:16:29.41] Yeah. In order you’ll be able to think about, I’ve had so many various leaders with totally different recommendation, totally different ranges. And, , after I assume again earlier in my profession as a cornerstone. You understand, I I’m a person that concentrate on, focuses on areas to the place we will enhance, proper? Whether or not it’s enhancing our advantages enhancing myself. And I had a frontrunner one time share with me, Lisa don’t focus from a profession perspective a lot in your alternatives that you simply overlook concerning the strengths that you simply carry. And it was some nice recommendation as a result of I believe at that time in my profession, I used to be actually attempting to enhance on the issues that I believed I wanted to enhance on and had type of forgotten a few of the issues, to concentrate on the issues that I did do nicely. After which it’s fascinating, a number of years later, StrengthsFinder got here out and began sharing how you must focus and lean into your strengths. So it was some actually sound good recommendation for me on the time.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:35.65] I believe that’s essential. Typically we’re so centered on enhancing the, the areas which might be apparent. We overlook to actually hone in on the issues that, that make us actually robust or actually efficient at, at our jobs.

Lisa Woods: [00:17:51.76] Yeah.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:52.42] So it’s, it’s at all times a pleasant little reminder. And for those who haven’t learn the StrengthsFinder collection and brought the, the evaluation, I positively suggest that you simply choose up a duplicate and do this. It’s typically it’s simply enjoyable to revisit and reevaluate.

Lisa Woods: [00:18:10.63] Yeah, I’ll share with you. I had a possibility with a group that I used to be main a number of years in the past and all of us determined to undergo StrengthsFinder and we had all agreed that we might share the outcomes of our strengths. After which we went via every of the strengths and as a frontrunner, it helped me to assist lead every particular person throughout the group, nevertheless it additionally helped the general group work collectively as a result of they realized, , tips on how to faucet into one another’s strengths. So I believe there’s some actually artistic methods that you would be able to make the most of StrengthsFinders inside your groups, your organizations.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:18:54.02] I believe particularly now on the planet the place I really feel like we’re at all times transferring whereas they’re shifting, we’re at all times flexing. It’s actually essential to grasp the place your group is basically robust in after which as a teammate, how one can work with these totally different folks and assist drive outcomes.

Lisa Woods: [00:19:10.88] Completely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:12.56] One query I simply needed to ask you to return to the COE mannequin actual fast. Discuss to me about your group. How, what dimension is your group?

Lisa Woods: [00:19:21.80] Yeah, so I’m, I’m tremendous lucky to have a tenured group and we’re small however mighty. I’ve one person who manages our Facilities of Excellence, however all of us, , all of us chip in, we assist help, we design. However my group is, is pretty small. We don’t have a complete lot of associates which might be creating, innovating, designing, and particularly devoted to Facilities of Excellence. I’ve one affiliate that’s devoted to that program.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:57.11] I believe it’s essential to, to say this as a result of lots of people assume that Walmart, as a result of y’all are so massive that, meaning that you’ve got so many individuals in every division. However actually, this feels like a real partnership to me, the place you’re actually collaborating with and counting on totally different people all through the group to assist deliver this, your, the COE actually, actually ahead.

Lisa Woods: [00:20:23.75] Nicely, and we’ve got, sure. And we’ve got some actually nice companions, , exterior to Walmart. And the well being techniques that we work with are very supportive and assist help our associates, too. So sure, it’s an effort inside to Walmart, however it’s also an effort exterior, proper? With the companions that we’ve got recognized and work with.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:20:46.39] I like that. Nicely. Lisa, I actually respect you taking the time to talk with us. Earlier than we go, the place can folks study extra about Walmart careers?

Lisa Woods: [00:20:56.50] Yeah. So there’s in all probability two locations that I’d suggest if somebody is eager about a profession at Walmart. First, I’d go to Careers.Walmart.com and there yow will discover details about all of the out there alternatives within the shops, the golf equipment, tech, well being care, provide chain, house workplace. I imply, one of many nice issues about Walmart is we’ve got careers in nearly something. And so that might be the primary place. The second place I’d encourage everybody to take a look at is our working at Walmart web page and that’s Company.Walmart.com/working-at-Walmart. And there we discuss our advantages, our pay. We spend lots of time speaking concerning the pathways to our alternatives and careers at Walmart. And so I believe these are actually in all probability the 2, two areas and, and I can share with you. I labored with Walmart and have labored for Walmart for a few years as I shared earlier. And it’s a particular place. I’ve had alternatives that I simply can’t think about I’d have had in any other case. They supply an exquisite tradition function, unmatched alternatives, like I stated, and I’d encourage everybody to try Walmart.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:22:24.11] Nicely, we’ll hyperlink to the Company.Walmart.com hyperlink that you simply despatched in addition to the, the Walmart careers hyperlink, too. I need, if someone is considering retail and Walmart, I’ll say I’ve a retail background and actually, it’s such an eclectic expertise. You possibly can, as Lisa say, and transfer into many various roles and positions and the, actually, the the sky’s the restrict. And I believe a spot like Walmart is a superb place so that you can get some actually core human useful resource expertise in addition to simply management and enterprise expertise as nicely. So we’ll hyperlink to all these issues.

Lisa Woods: [00:23:03.98] Nice.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:23:04.73] Nicely, thanks, Lisa, a lot for taking the time to, to talk with us. We’ll hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile as nicely if folks need to join with you and all the opposite assets to study extra. So I respect you taking the time now.

Lisa Woods: [00:23:16.28] I additionally respect you interested by me and, and, , speaking to Walmart.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:23:22.40] Completely. I like listening to about totally different ways in which we’re utilizing circles of excellence and providing new and progressive advantages applications to staff.

Closing: [00:23:34.47] I liked this dialog. Thanks to Lisa and the Walmart group. It was so implausible. I used to be telling her after we stopped recording that info and assets on issues like Facilities of Excellence, I really feel like in an HR context are few and much between, so I actually respect her taking the time to share the COE mannequin, how they’re utilizing at Walmart. She has directed me some extra assets that are within the Workology Podcast transcript of this episode, together with an article that’s co-authored by her within the Harvard Enterprise Assessment that talks about Facilities of Excellence and the way they’re getting used at Walmart. This was an amazing dialog. Advantages, Facilities of Excellence, all of the issues I believe that specializing in what staff need and wish as a way to retain them and preserve them at a company is one thing we ought to be spending extra time on. Actually, Walmart may give us lots of nice insights into communication and orchestrating advantages and re-enrollment or simply implementing new applications and innovating in a advantages context when you may have 1.6 million staff. The CHRO podcast collection on Workology is sponsored by HR Benchmark Survey. Take our survey at HRBenchmarkSurvey.com. I additionally need to hear from you. Textual content “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005. Ask me questions, go away feedback and make options for future friends. I need to hear from you. That is my group textual content quantity. And thanks for becoming a member of the Workology Podcast, which is powered by Upskill HR and Ace The HR Examination. This podcast is for the progressive and disruptive office chief who’s uninterested in the established order. Let’s change HR collectively. My title is Jessica Miller-Merrell. Till subsequent time go to Workology.com to take heed to all our earlier podcast episodes.

Join with Lisa Woods.


– Lisa Woods on LinkedIn

– Walmart Careers

– Working at Walmart

– Walmart Pronounces Affiliate Fertility and Household-Constructing Advantages Nationwide

– How Employers Are Fixing Well being Care by Lisa Woods, Jonathan R. Slotkin, and M. Ruth Coleman | Harvard Enterprise Assessment

– A New Mandate for Human Sources by David UIrich in 1998 | Harvard Enterprise Assessment 

– CHRO Job Description

– Episode 275: Tendencies in Household Planning & Fertility for HR

– Parental Work Perks That Don’t Work | Workology 

– Episode 376: CHRO Collection – How Did You Begin Your Profession in HR? Half 3

– Episode 375: CHRO Collection – What Expertise and Expertise Do You Consider Are Absolute Necessities for a CHRO Position? Half 2

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