[For your benefit, this is a direct transcription. Please ignore any typos.]
Pete: I say this today and I want to talk about wellness and that healthy employees make more productive employees and they miss less work. This doesn’t come out of Pete’s book of knowledge. I’m want to read you some facts and figures. There’s a lot of surveys out there in a lot of information out there that supports this. Now in a recent survey, I have to put my glasses on to read this too. It says employees who eat healthier, 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance. The same survey also found that employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week are 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance, and I’m just telling you from my own personal experience, I feel better. I look better, I miss less work and a more productive because I have more energy. You know, there’s. There’s a lot of supporting documentation. I’m not going to say that if somebody doesn’t go through all this, these things in a healthy person is always going to be more effective and productive. Now, I’m not saying that and I’m not gonna say that if somebody is too heavy for their weight, that they’re not going to do a good job at work. I’m not saying that. I am saying that the studies support that overall. You know, when they do a survey and they have thousands of people that participate overall healthier employees miss less work and they’re more productive. It’s says overweight employees cost to employers. 70 three point $1,000,000,000 a year and file twice is twice the number of workers comp claims. I mean this is tough and 61 percent of employee of employers say employees health habits are a top challenge to controlling healthcare costs.
Laura: It’s tough, you know, and employers have to step up and drive wellness programs to their people because a lot of times people get busy and eating becomes path of least resistance and exercise becomes something we’re going to get to at some point because I’m busy working, taking care of the kids, shuffling kids back and forth. Right? We’re all taxi drivers. I’m a worker, I’m a parent. And, and because of that, I’m a taxi driver, a chauffeur, I take my kids everywhere. That’s just part of it. But today, you know what I’m, I’m fortunate to have a guest on and our guest today is Laura Nolan. Laura, you were a health solutions sales executive with Humana. You know, I want to hear a little bit about your story and then let’s talk about Humana and some other things, but tell us a little bit about you and your career journey even.
Laura: Absolutely, I’d be happy to. So I’ve been doing this a long time. Oh, you know, I don’t know if I should say how long, so I’ve actually been at Humana and working as a health solution executive as a market leader, as a consultant at Humana for over 16 years.
Pete: You know, listen, I’m Pete the job guy and right now average tenure in a position is less than two years. So, when I hear career longevity, like 16 years, it’s fantastic. You know what that tells me as an employer. Humana has career tracks for people where you can grow into that next step. It also tells me that they do some things right to retain their best people. So I mean, hats off to Humana. That’s fantastic. Sorry to interrupt.
Laura: But that’s 16 years and you know, that’s really a lot of the reason that I’ve been there and I’ve stayed because certainly as an organization we have changed dramatically over the years. But the one thing Humana is very focused on its employees and the wellbeing of its employees. And so that’s very important to me. That’s one of my top priorities. I listened to your show, I’ve heard a lot of things about even sales individuals and oftentimes it’s not really the money that thereafter, right? It’s more of the experience organization, the solution that they’re offering to their clients and that’s what Humana has brought to the table for me.
Pete: So well said so People leave all the time. They leave their jobs for a number of reasons, right. And compensation usually isn’t at the top. Now some people leave to go make a few more dollars up the street. I get that, but people are employees that feel valued by their employer. Employers that think outside the box and put together programs to retain people and help people to perform better and also have, you know, a career track for them is exciting. You know, it. Tell me a little bit about some of the things that’s different or unique about Humana that that’s made you stay for so long.
Laura: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, Humana is really a disruptor in the marketplace. We’re a diverse company so there’s all different entities with our Medicare, our Tricare, our commercial divisions that Humana, but we also kind of disrupt internally as well. So, we like to make organizational change and oftentimes while it could be disruptive, it’s in a positive manner and so Humana goes above and beyond to change things for their employees and the employees benefits program. We offer things like volunteered paid time off. So, when I want to go to feeding northeast Florida and go work in that help to support them and you know, work in the pantry and do different things in the community, I’m actually paid to do that.
Pete: Well, that’s great. You know, and, and I’m telling you, that’s another thing, and I know because I’m in the employment business and I talked to a lot of candidates that are looking for a job and what’s important to them is a company that’s involved in their community and not only is a Humana allowing you to go do that, it’s not hurting you to help others. It’s inspirational.
Laura: Let me throw you for this one, Pete. Let’s twice a day I get an email that tells me to be mindful and to take a moment to meditate, to stretch or to do yoga and it’s linked to youtube videos, so right. They don’t want me sitting and stuck at my desk all day zoning out and becoming less productive because I’m in the zone, so twice a day I get an email.
Pete: That is fantastic. There’s a couple things that does right because sometimes, and I know — I mean, Arren is with us too, in the studio. I didn’t even introduce you Arren, Arren Mills everyone — but you know, a lot of times I get tunnel vision. I’m so just dragged into what I’m working on. I don’t even hear or see what’s going around me and hours I go right through lunch sometimes without even moving because I don’t have a reminder to just take a break, disassociate, clear your mind, take a break, meditate, whatever it is, and then come back at it and you know, that help me. Even if I get up, walk around the building, stretch, do some kind of exercise that would help me and that’s fantastic that an employer goes that extra mile to do that.
Laura: Well, I’ll tell you, you know what? Our go 365 Wellness team would say what sitting is the new smoking, right?
Pete: That wellness 365.
Laura: That’s on our team. We have wellness consultants all over the country.
Pete: Arren, check if that’s copyrighted already. [laughs]
Laura: I mean that’s how detrimental this year, how not moving and you know also your brain and the functionality of your brain. I mean that’s so critical. Pete, I don’t know that you have that much of a problem. I’m guessing you’re going to be hopping around even if you haven’t been around me. I have enough energy for about four people. You know, my whole day is spent like I’ve had 17 cups of coffee and I’ve just walked in. That’s just, that’s the way it is. Laura, you got a “Bold Goal” program that’s out there, that 20 / 20 / 20 program. Tell me a little bit about this because this is freaking exciting.
Laura: Well, one thing that, you know, Humana, I’ve really has acknowledged early on from it and we’ve been around for over 50 years, right? So it’s a one of these older companies, but really an innovator in the industry is we realized that there’s a shared value in the community. So when, when we support the community, we improve the health and the community, they are more successful. We have a better community and more and more profitable at the same time. So it really makes sense. So we have the “Bold Goal” initiative here in Jacksonville and we have other markets around the country as well. Our goal is to improve the health 20 percent by the year 2020, and now that’s rapidly coming up. But we have. What we are doing is we know we can’t do it alone right? So, we are collaborating with all the nonprofits in Florida and getting them together. The American Diabetes Association, Feeding Northeast Florida, Mayo Clinic, all the hospitals, baptist and St Vincent’s. We’re getting everyone to work together on this initiative and what we do is we’re trying to identify the social determinants of health.
Laura: Right. So you’re saying you love to exercise and eat healthy and move and probably go to a gym. A lot of times that cost money. So there is that other population out there and certainly in Jacksonville we’ve seen it where they have food deserts out there, right? They don’t have anything within a certain mile radius where they can actually get fresh fruits and vegetables. They don’t have transportation to the doctor’s office. They’re not getting their screenings or let’s say for example a doctor is giving them a prescription and saying, “okay, take this and when you get home, take it with food three times a day.” What if they can’t afford three meals? What if they’re food insecure and they only have access to one meal? Then what’s the efficacy of that prescription? The doctor has done all the checks and said, this is what you need, but that patient isn’t getting the care they need because they’re not eating with that prescription? And so you know, that’s a lot. I’m very passionate about it. I’m sure you can probably tell, but that’s what we all need to do in this community is make sure that we identify that and see where we can support our own population. Because I know like you, I’m raising my kids here, my family’s here, our company is here and we just really need to do whatever we can to help get people healthier. The next generation, and I talked at the beginning of the show, there’s a lot of surveys and America is getting unhealthy and for a lot of power it gets worse and worse if you travel abroad the way a lot of people see Americans as you know, we live in excess. You know, we eat enormous portions comparatively. If you go overseas and a lot of folks know I just went to Australia and then I went to Bali, Indonesia. Their portions are so different than what I mean.
Arren: Oh Yeah.
Pete: In America we supersize everything, it’s crazy,
Arren: And that’s the regular size for us in America.
Pete: and we’re conditioned to have food falling off the side of the plate and after that he dessert and here’s more. Well, what’s happening is our waistbands are expanding, right? And especially folks in some not so affluent areas of town. It’s path of least resistance eating. Maybe McDonald’s might be their only option, you know, for whatever reason, you know, it’s easier to just eat fast food because it might even be cheaper than going to the grocery store and try to buy groceries; the gas to and from, the groceries themselves, preparations. So again, you see the waistlines expanding healthcare costs skyrocketing because it puts such a tremendous burden on the healthcare industry because people are unhealthy and they develop problems. You know, and I know it, I see this happen with a lot of people and you know, and I’ve seen it in my own family and myself included, you know, I’ve talked about that. I weighed over 230 pounds for 10 years. It’s a long time. So you know, Hey
Laura, what are some of the other, like a wellness trends that are out there right now?
Laura: Well, so I mentioned Go 365 and that’s certainly a solution, as I said, Humana’s on the cutting edge. It is a standalone employer solution that employers actually purchase for their employees so they can focus on their employees well being and it’s an internet. It’s a high tech APP based program because we know when we look at all the diverse organizations around the country, a lot of people are working from home or they’re in the car and they’re selling. They’re not just sitting at their desk and a company. So they have access to a mobile device and on that, what we do is we set up a personalized individual plan for each and every employee based on the information they put into the APP. There’s an output that has recommended activities for that individual. It can be physical, it can be nutrition, it could be mental and spiritual and wellbeing and certainly preventive care. And so when the person starts working within go three 65, they’re incented to keep improving their health and we do that by rewarding them points which turns into Go 365 bucks and they get to go shopping in a mall!
Pete: I don’t want to get healthy and I kind of get paid to get healthy. Right?
Laura: Arren, you’re with me. My girlfriend just bought some Stuart Weitzman shoes through getting a gift card. I love it.
Arren: I really like how are you guys take tech — So tech is this thing where you sit in front of the computer, you’re engaged and you can’t see anything else. Like Pete was saying, tunnel vision, but you use it in a good way. So you’re using it to advance people in your community and your workspace so that, you know, they can become conscious about that. So I really like, you know, tech is becoming that thing where you, you work from home when you stare at the screen all the time and her taking it into the good light and you’re saying, you know, we can use this technology to improve our people here. So go, Humana!
Laura: Well thanks, I totally agree. Great. And we integrate with all the high tech systems out there, so fitbit and Garmin and um, my fitness pal, all of that integrates in the APP and you know, with Bluetooth all you have to do is link your accounts and so you can get rewarded just for using those other tools and get points for it.
Arren: You know what’s really funny is my husband was like, alright, we gotta go for a walk today. And I’m like why, he never — he hates cardio so much! I’m like something is wrong with you. And he’s like, look at these points that I’m making; I’m making money right now by walking you. And I’m like, what am I, a dog? [laughs] So, it’s so funny that it’s affecting not only like his, he leaves his lunch and he goes and walks around the building and now he comes home and he’s like, all right, get your shoes on. We’re going for a walk and I’m going to make some money.
Laura: I love it. That’s. So that’s why sometimes you know, tell my clients, I said, it’s like we’re all sponsored athletes out here, taking them to the next level. We’re getting paid to be healthy. We’re getting paid for preventive exams are routine physicals or eye exams or dental cleanings literally were sponsored to do that, so why not do it?
Pete: That is fantastic! I’m going to get into getting all your contact information and how people can get more information on some of these programs that you have, but one thing I love doing when I have my guests in here, I love asking them about their personal journey because you didn’t probably as a kid say, “you know what I want to get — I want to work for Humana to be an executive with Humana.” When I get older, And I say it all the time, it’s when I was a kid, I didn’t say I want to be a recruiter. I wanted to be a dentist. I wanted to get in everybody’s mouth and I want to take the plaque off and I want to fill your fillings and make your teeth white and yeah, I already. I already looked at all everybody’s teeth in here. I’m just going to tell you, you know what? I took a mental snapshot. I know what you’re with so. But you know, things change. I love what I do, but it was a career evolution, you know, once you go to school for what, what, what was your path before getting this dream jobs 16 plus years ago.
Laura: Alright, well I’m going to start out because I know I’ve heard, you know, I listened to your show and I’ve heard a lot of these great childhood stories that you have and everybody, all the gas. So the one thing I have to say is I think what my parents did, right? Of course, they always push, you know, good grades being honest, you know, all of that. But they kind of gave me grit, right? They weren’t so easy on me. They didn’t hand me everything. They made sure if I failed, that’s okay. You know you don’t have to get a trophy every time you failed. So, try again next time or try something different maybe know. Right. So I always say that’s great. So I kinda was inherited that. My Dad was in the navy and my mom was a stay at home mom that just worked so hard to make sure that we were doing everything right and that we had access to all the education in that activity. So that travel around a lot, like a deal or. No, not as a navy brat. And My, my dad actually, did a lot of the traveling. You went all overseas on a ship before my sister and I were born. He had my sister in Pensacola and worked through his master’s through the navy and then by the time I came around he was done. All right. Yeah. But they still have that passion for traveling. In fact, right now they’re in their RV heading all the way over to Oregon and back across.
Pete: I keep saying when are they coming back? Alright. So little laura grows up. Parents Instill Grit, accountability at a young age. It’s safe to fail, but you need to get out there and try to do something. Moved around a little bit, you know, the, the, you know, good values were instilled mom at home, dad traveling, but you know, good family unit. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Laura: You know, I wanted to work that I wanted to earn money right away right away. So I had that discussion with my parents and it’s funny, I have an older sister, she didn’t want to work as they kind of push her high school time to get a job if you want that gas money. I wanted to work, so I had to figure out what I could do when I was only 15 and get a job. So growing up in Florida I became a lifeguard. Oh, okay. That was easy. So it was a lifeguard. I didn’t have access to a car. So I walked to the pool, you know, everyday when I worked I walked to the pool and was a lifeguard at night. I enjoyed it, right. I loved it. It wasn’t too hard. Then while I was a lifeguard, I saw some folks coming in and teaching lessons and they weren’t getting $5 an hour as a lifeguard. They were giving like $30 an hour teaching babies to swim. So, I went back, I got certified and then I started teaching babies to swim and at 16, 17 years old, you know, the days I booked him I was getting $30 an hour and that’s when I got my car. I started going to people’s personal homes in doing that,
Pete: When they were home? I hope, just making sure, just making sure we made that about, I don’t know if I have a lot of things. So. And then from there, like how do we leap from that to Humana?
Laura: So I, yeah, I studied business communications at Florida state. Um, I knew I loved people working with people talking, you know, and kind of sharing stories and sharing solutions and looking for solutions. So I knew sales was probably my avenue, right. So directly out I started interviewing with a lot of tech firms. I was very interested in tech. I’ve always had a passion for that. And then some insurance firms that were recruiting me. And that’s it. I mean I graduated early, I graduated 20 years old. I had my first job at 20
Arren: at the Humana?
Laura: It wasn’t a Humana. I started somewhere right before, same industry, but they gave me a company car.Pete: Oh my gosh, like 20 years old company car!
Laura: I have the hand me down, Bonneville, Pontiac that my mom said it was a senior in college. I could have. So when they say company car I was sold.
Pete: Oh, alright. Laura. Stay. Stay right there. We’re going to take a break. We’re at the bottom of the hour. Let’s get a news weather update and then we’ll be right back. [break]
Pete: Hard workers want a great Sunday morning. We’re having him with me right here in the studio. It’s our own Arren Mills, but of course our guest today is Laura Nolan. We’re hearing all about her and Humana and we’re hearing a lot of great stuff now. Laura, we talked a lot about some of the great programs at Humana and Humana is a great employer. I am sure they have open positions right now. Probably of all types to a company the size of Humana. I’m sure they have triple digit, you know, hundred, hundreds perhaps of open jobs. Tell me a little bit about perhaps, know either what’s open or how job seekers can see what’s available at Humana for them to apply to.
Laura: Absolutely. Well, you’re right. I mean we have jobs across the country that are open right now. We have a sales jobs. We actually have quite a few clinical, so we have nurses, we have medical directors, MD’s, working for us, we have customer service. There’s all sorts of avenues that people can look at within our organization. It’s very diverse. Even with the roles I looked up the other day, we have about 85 jobs in Florida and I say in Florida because we have an agile workforce, most of our associates I would say like myself, we work from home. We do have a core office here, but we want to give people that flexibility to be meeting with our clients or to have access to the technology.
Pete: Oh boy. There are people right now just saying, wait, where do I sign up? Where do I sign up? So where can they see the jobs that you have? Okay.
Laura: So they can go to Humana.com and click on our career portal and they can search it by a key word. They can search by zip code or a state and they can pull up the full list of jobs and apply directly online through that portal. Fantastic. Okay.
Arren: Here’s the question. Does — do people get a company car? [laughs]
Pete: Well, ’75 Cadillac Eldorado drop top power blue with the white interior blue. I saw that.
Laura: I don’t want to speak for all roles, but yeah, I know right now I don’t have a company car, but certainly there’s expense accounts and car allowances depending on what role. Yeah,
Arren: I’m applying tonight, sorry, Pete
Laura: and everything can be negotiated right?
Pete: Don’t talk to Arren anymore. Okay. I need Super Aaron around. She’s very important. She’s the glue that kind of keeps all those things stuck together.
Pete: All right. Laura, you’ve given us a lot of great information about Humana. I appreciate you sharing information about yourself and how important wellness is and how committed your employer is to wellness. Any parting thoughts?
Laura: No, I would just say there’s with wellness, each and every employer should consider it. There’s nothing wrong, right? Even if they aren’t, they don’t have the funds with the budgets to purchase, you know, high tech wellness program for their employees. Anything that you can do to think outside of the box and that next generation, Pete I know as you’re recruiting them. A lot of people are recruiting this next generation. They’re actually really looking to be more flexible and agile. That’s their number one benefit that they’re looking for and so wellness is a key part of that. Right? And so that’s what I think, you know, employers and then those that are out there interviewing, stick with it because it’s not always going to be easy at your first job or second job, but have that grit and kind of keep working at it and you might fail, but startup again and do it and do it over and just stick with it long term.
Pete: Great message. Laura Nolan, health solutions sales executive with Humana. Laura, if people want to reach out directly to you to learn a little bit more about some of the programs that that Humana offers, how can they reach you?
Laura: Well, they can reach me at my email address at Humana.com. They can reach me at LNolan@Humana.com. Or if they want to find out more about “Bold Goal”, they can go online to a “Bold Goal” Jax the Jacksonville, and they can look up “Bold Goal” initiatives and just get involved with our community volunteerism and find out what we’re doing here in the community.
Pete: Great. Thank you very much. Laura, you have a great rest of your Sunday.
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