Currently serving as vice president of human resources for Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut, Tanya Taupier is responsible for providing consulting services to business leaders and organizations. As a professional businesswoman, Tanya Taupier has received training in several human resources management programs, including being trained in change management at Prosci Solutions.
Started in 1994, Prosci began as a way to provide more effective project management and technical solutions by training employees in better business procedures. Prosci features several business programs to help train professionals, using webinars, research programs, and the thought leadership library. Among the business programs, Prosci includes training in change management.
Change Management training helps business leaders with the steps necessary to effectively lead employees through changes in company policies and procedures. The program helps professionals understand how to guide employees through the changes by providing support and preparing them to adapt to the changes. The change management program happens in three phases: enterprise change management capability, organizational/initiative change management, and individual change management.
Tanya Taupier has amassed a wealth of experience guiding the human resources teams of companies such as UnitedHealth Group. Now the vice president of human resources at Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut, Tanya Taupier supervises various aspects of employment for the insurance company.
The first batch of Generation Z (people born between 1995 and 2010) is now graduating college and entering the workforce. However, many employers may not be positioned to attract the top talent from this generation.
A recent survey by the World’s Most Attractive Employers polled 300,000 students around the globe to find what they wanted and what was important to them post-graduation. What researchers found was interesting:
– 33 percent of Gen Z fear they won’t get a job that allows them to grow professionally, and only 38 percent believe college is adequately preparing them to join the workforce. Employers offering continued learning opportunities such as tuition repayment and on-the-job training are better positioned to attract talent from this young pool.
– 50 percent of Gen Z are interested in starting their own companies. However, they are also attracted to stability. This means many will first enter the workforce and later start their own businesses. Employers who offer startup school programs or intrapreneur workshops will be very attractive to this group.
– 83 percent of Gen Z are open to being contacted by companies through social media. Companies that digitize their recruitment efforts are better placed to attract top young talent.
Talent Bench Strength
Human resources executive Tanya Taupier has worked with Aetna for more than six years, first as executive director and now as vice president of human resources. In her current role, Tanya Taupier provides support to Aetna’s senior leaders on a wide range of talent management practices, including building talent bench strength.
An analogy from the world of sports, “bench strength” refers not only to the talent of a team’s (or a company’s) leading players, but also to the quality of the people on the sidelines. The idea is that by having plenty of top talent “on the bench,” a team (or a company) will be well equipped to react and adapt to change and adversity, like the star quarterback getting injured (or the CEO suddenly leaving for a new position).
Given that bench strength is what helps companies go the distance and remain viable over the long term, it’s important that organizations of all sizes know what to do to build their bench. Strategies include:
Hire for cultural fit. Too many companies focus only on skills when hiring, and ignore the all-important question of cultural fit. The fact is that employees can always be taught new skills, but it’s much harder to mold their personality and values to better match the company.
Encourage distributed decision-making. One of the best ways to ensure that bench talent will be ready to move up the ladder when necessary is to build a workplace model of distributed decision-making. Not only does this help the organization scale more quickly because information is flowing more freely, but employees will already be accustomed to making and taking ownership of difficult decisions before stepping into leadership positions.
A well-established Connecticut executive, Tanya Taupier emphasizes best talent management practices as Aetna’s vice president of human resources. Among the areas in which Tanya Taupier has extensive knowledge is succession planning, which helps ensure that businesses thrive even when the company head steps down.
Stepping down from an active day-to-day role in any company requires trust that those already in place can capably take over operations. This begins with designing a business that is not dependent on a single leader.
Set a target date for convening with successor candidates and properly planning the transition months. Identify those roles that are critical in the company and how they can best be filled, given existing workforce capacities. Also take time to identify situations in which available competencies are lacking, such that vetting outside candidates will present the best pathway forward. This may be advisable in cases where the successor should be objective, change-focused, and not tied to social dynamics and hierarchies within existing teams and divisions.
Mergers and Acquisitions
A respected presence in the human resources sphere, Tanya Taupier engages with Aetna in Connecticut as vice president. Among Tanya Taupier’s competencies is the complex process of integrating disparate workforces and corporate cultures following mergers and acquisitions.
Integrating an acquired business begins with taking a close look at the unique objectives of the acquisition itself. In cases where competencies are closely aligned, compliance and functional issues may take precedence, with a focus on retraining all employees of the merged entity to support existing procedures. Accelerating value-creating activities through building momentum within an already well-defined system is the priority.
In situations involving emerging and disruptive technologies, the value presented by the merger may involve harnessing differing entrepreneurial thinking and innovation capacities. In these cases, processes and corporate culture dynamics that have been essential to success in the acquired company may be preserved until key development milestones have been cleared. A key to successful integration is continually monitoring processes within integrated entities, and ensuring an optimal mix of autonomy and workforce integration.
As vice president of human resources at Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut, Tanya Taupier maintains responsibility for delivering effective leadership development and coaching programs. Tanya Taupier focuses on creating programs that align with the expectations of Aetna leaders while driving the organization’s success. One of the most important aspects of an effective coaching relationship is the chemistry between mentor and mentee.
When executives and their coaches do not have good chemistry, they may butt heads so much that no one benefits from the encounters, meaning that each meeting is an unproductive use of time and resources. Executives should have respect for their coaches and ideally will resonate with their general philosophies and approaches to work. To determine compatibility, potential coaches and executives should have a preliminary meeting.
In advance of these meetings, both parties should understand that compatibility and chemistry are not equivalent to comfort. When both parties share too much in common, there may be little productive work that the two can do together. Individuals grow when they are allowed and encouraged to venture out of their comfort zones, but they need to do so in a safe environment. Good personal chemistry provides such an environment by enabling the development of trust and respect.
An experienced human capital professional, Tanya Taupier serves as vice president of human resources at Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut. One of Tanya Taupier’s focuses in this position is on developing the optimal corporate culture at Aetna. Often, cultural fit becomes an essential part of the interview and hiring process, but it is important to balance this natural impulse with the need for workplace diversity.
When recruiters emphasize culture too much, they may end up only bringing in people who reflect the existing culture. This approach can lead to homogeneity in the workplace and ultimately weaken performance, since it can also create pressure for existing employees to fit in with everyone else. When this happens, creativity and innovation are stifled.
Companies tend to drive diversity and inclusion when their hiring processes look more at concrete values rather than the more vague notions of culture. People with values that align with those of the company will help develop culture in a more inclusive manner.
In addition, companies can balance the need for cultural fit and diversity by ensuring that the hiring managers, recruiters, and other involved employees represent different groups. Not only does a diverse hiring team drive efficiency, it also helps generate a more inclusive environment.