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The Talent Economy Podcast

Humanizing Human Resources: How Cardinal Health Prioritized People During the Pandemic

Season 2, Ep. 23

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all sectors to change, but perhaps none has been affected more than healthcare. To keep employees motivated, Cardinal Health, one of the country’s largest healthcare companies,  established a sense of belonging by creating a culture of transparency and communication. This led to a robust hybrid work environment, cohesive company mergers, and an increase in retention and diversity.

Ola Snow began her career with Cardinal Health nearly 20 years ago as regional director of the pharmaceutical segment’s human resources department. She continued to support other functions, including legal and public affairs, prior to becoming SVP of HR in the medical segment. After six years in this role, Snow became Cardinal Health’s CHRO in 2018.

In this episode, we discuss Snow’s passion for people that started, and continues, with her family. Her father ran local arenas and baseball stadiums and, as a child, she would accompany him to work. These experiences led her to embrace the power of vulnerability and authenticity—qualities that foster an inclusive workplace. Building on such personal anecdotes, Snow segues into Cardinal’s plans for diversity and inclusion, details how she has handled more than 25 mergers and acquisitions, and provides advice on preparing for the workplace of the future. 

Snow is also involved in many community organizations, including the Cardinal Health Foundation, Baxter Credit Union, Ohio State University’s Women and Philanthropy, and the Go Red for Women’s National Leadership Council. She speaks about her passion for Flying Horse Farms, a transformative camp for children with serious illnesses, where she presides as a board member. 

Some Questions Asked:

  • What are the biggest pivots you and your team have made since the pandemic started? (3:17)
  • How do you create a cohesive culture among people with such diverse roles and backgrounds? (9:12)
  • What is Cardinal Health doing to achieve gender parity? (12:29)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The power of listening to employees to increase employee engagement.
  • How to create a sense of unity when companies merge. .
  • How Cardinal Health’s “Midweek Moment” aids in retention. 

Links:

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