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3 min read

Aggressively authentic, committed to purpose

By Kathi Tourjee on 7/20/20 11:20 AM

Three weeks ago, Signify Health leadership shared with our colleagues a new set of corporate values. Having recently joined the company as Chief Human Resources Officer, I was looking forward to being a part of this discussion. I’ve been in human resource management for more than twenty years and have announced a number of corporate vision and mission statements, and their supporting values and behaviors, so I usually know what to expect. But, this time I was surprised. 

Our core values and behaviors are strong and action-oriented—exactly what you would want to see from a company that is dynamic, growing and driving change in our traditional healthcare system. The values are:  

  • Adaptive, drive change
  • Inclusive, be one team
  • Compassionate, lead with heart
  • Accountable, own the result 

However, it wasn’t our values that surprised me; but rather, our team’s reaction to them—particularly since Signify Health has gone through several significant acquisitions in the past year. We’re in the process of integrating colleagues, processes and teams, so this is a time of change, and potential disruption. I was prepared for a lot of questions or even skepticism.

Instead, our colleagues’ responses were overwhelmingly positive. We conducted a survey after our Town Hall where we introduced the values:

  • 96% percent of those who responded are proud to work for Signify Health and are confident in our future, and 
  • 92% percent believe the values are consistent with our culture and leadership behaviors

Wow—those are great results!

Like all companies, we have areas for improvement, but you rarely see this degree of team support and alignment so soon after the launch of new values and behaviors. My undergraduate degree is in Chemical Engineering, so I had to understand what was behind the data. I asked a lot of questions and concluded that the answer is two-fold: authenticity and the power of purpose. 

Earlier in my career, I read an article in Harvard Business Review* that criticized companies who viewed their core, operational values like they viewed a marketing launch—initial big splash; not a lot of authenticity or follow-through; just a “check the box” exercise. For core values to be effective, they can’t just be wishful thinking; the values must be woven into the company’s organizational fabric. 

Signify Health followed a disciplined and inclusive approach to identifying our values. We conducted many internal and external interviews, fielded team member surveys, held workshops and challenged our findings during multiple review sessions to select values that are aggressively authentic to who we are as individuals and, together, as a company. But, words only tell part of the story.

Our teams have clear purpose. We know that our healthcare system has gaps and needs fixing, and our colleagues believe we are the company who can lead that transformation. During the meeting where we shared the new values, our CEO, Kyle Armbrester, and members of the leadership team renewed our commitment to our vision and mission:

To build a healthier place for us all to live and age in by transforming how care is paid for and delivered, so that people can enjoy more healthy, happy days at home.

Additional responses from the survey showed that we are off to a strong start: 96 percent of our participating team members indicated that they understand our vision and mission as an organization, 94 percent understand the four key values and the behaviors required to support them, and very importantly, 92-percent indicated understanding their role in supporting the company’s mission. 

Despite only being part of the Signify Health team for just over a month, I am truly proud of this company and my colleagues. They are committed. They are passionate. They are people who will lead health homeward.  

And our team is growing! We are actively recruiting for a range of roles, so if helping people spend more healthy, happy days at home resonates with you or someone you know, please check out our current openings and reach out—we’d love to hear from you!

* “Make Your Values Mean Something” by Patrick M. Lencioni. Harvard Business Review, July 2002. https://hbr.org/2002/07/make-your-values-mean-something


Kathi Tourjee is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Signify Health.

Topics: Values Culture