Vitals’ mission is to empower people to shop for healthcare like an expert.
We recently caught up with two of Vitals’ leaders – Jeanne Wisniewski, Chief People Officer, and Carol Ann Malinowski, Vice President of People Operations, Analytics & Rewards – to discuss how they’ve successfully worked with McLean & Company to implement key strategic initiatives in their high-growth organization.
What’s your HR background and what attracted you to Vitals?
Jeanne: I actually have a nursing background. I transitioned into HR, and helped one company grow from 70 to over 8,000 employees in just three years. After that, I joined Priceline at a time when the internet and the concept of an e-ticket was all very new.
I’m driven by the purpose of Vitals, solving for a complex environment and cost structure in US health care. I’m a sucker for start-ups, I like the complexity and challenge. It’s a high-growth company, which offers a very diverse experience.
Carol Ann: I’ve spent the balance of my career as a CFO/COO at non-profits, and I often had to be both the COO and CHRO. This involved lots of on-the-job training in performance management, HRIS implementation, employee relations, you name it.
What attracted me to Vitals? I knew people who worked here, which is a good endorsement; I could implement processes to help Vitals scale; I had an interest in healthcare and never held an HR-only role, so it was a good opportunity to round out my experience.
Any projects you’re proud of?
Jeanne: We had great success putting the 360 degree feedback in place for last year. Participants found the tool well designed and easy to use. I love how you can take a template and customize it so we’re not starting from scratch. McLean’s research helps shape our thinking about strategic decisions and strategic directions to take.
Carol Ann: We really moved the compensation structure along with help from McLean. Having a framework and process allows you to be more effective stewards of the organization’s resources.
Any key outcomes from these projects?
Jeanne: The 360 process allowed for a dynamic exercise without overcomplicating it. In some 360s, employees get frustrated by the process, questions, and how feedback is presented. This approach was succinct and easy to implement and wrap up.
Carol Ann: The compensation structure isn’t complicated. It’s market based and designed to reflect our business. Utilizing McLean’s resources to structure a market-driven process facilitated increased transparency and confidence in our salary communications with employees.
Where do you see Vitals in the next 3-5 years?
Jeanne: If Vitals impacts the healthcare community how we believe we can, it’s going to be exciting. I see Vitals having a huge impact on the cost curve of healthcare over the next 3-5 years. The employee population is growing, and there’s work to do around business processes and engagement with the strategy. I want to make this a work environment that people love.
Carol Ann: We plan to have an infrastructure in place that enables us to scale the business, deliver on HR needs, and drive a transparent and competitive rewards program. This will provide the foundation for HR to be more strategic and analytical, and drive incremental value for Vitals.
By Rachel Stewart