UnitedHealth Group is one of the largest American companies that provide medical insurance packages. The comparator group consists of two other major healthcare insurance providers, which are Cigna and Anthem. Both companies possess comparable revenues and operate in a similar market, but there are key distinctions between the comparator group and the UnitedHealth Group, which are manifested in the distinctive factors in employee relations and human resources posture.
Benefits and Compensation
Both Anthem and Cigna provide their employees with a wide range of benefits and compensation options. The majority of workers get health insurance and a 401K plan, where the former covers most of the health and well-being-related expenses, and the latter is designed to conduct the retirement plan. In addition, there are options for maternity and paternity leave to allow the employees to take care of their children and families. Lastly, there is a vacation and paid time off, which can be used every year. The main difference between these two companies is the lack of proper employee discounts in Cigna compared to Anthem. In general, both the comparator group UnitedHealth Group follow a similar pattern in providing benefits and compensation.
Business Leadership and Strategy
The leadership structure of both Cigna and Anthem is the same, where both companies are governed by the central CEO, who manages and monitors all essential operations and business processes. Strategically, Cigna and Anthem are not segmented as UnitedHealth Group into a number of different businesses. According to form 10K of Anthem, there was a failure in the merging process between Anthem and Cigna (“Form-10K: Anthem,” 2019). Such a merger would result in a strategic restructuring of the given comparator group. In addition, it is important to note that Cigna is in more direct competition with the Optum branch of the UnitedHealth Group, whereas Anthem primarily competes with UnitedHealthcare.
Modern human resource management requires new qualities from the leader in the health insurance industry. CEOs of the comparator group are visionary strategists, authoritative leaders, social partners, courageous innovators, and spiritual mentors. The leader’s behavior and management style largely determine the motivation and achievements of his subordinates. Based on the activities of the leader, employees draw conclusions about which results are rewarded and which are not, and what follows from each mode of activity. It is the values of the leader himself or herself that mainly determine the ethical standards and organizational culture of the enterprise.
In regards to the diversity aspect of the comparator group, it is evident that Anthem’s and Cigna’s diversity politics are more advanced than and UnitedHealth Group’s. Although Anthem does not employ as many workers as the latter company, the inclusiveness is reflected among its five critical values, such as diversity, agility, integrity, community, and leadership (“Form-10K: Anthem,” 2019). However, Cigna’s diversity metrics are also respectable because it is among the top 50 companies for diversity, and it scored 100 on the Human Rights Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (“Form-10K: Cigna,” 2019). Therefore, both members of the comparator group possess more developed diversity due to having five to six times fewer employees.
Employee relations is one of the most critical aspects of the comparator group. The main reason is the fact that both Cigna and Anthem encourage professionalism and strict regulation on employee interaction. The group practices a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination against disability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, and age. In the case of Cigna, the company possesses elaborate channels for employee complaints that allow them to report any violations of rights (“Schedule 14A: Cigna,” 2018). In the case of Anthem, the system is similar to UnitedHealth Group’s policies, where a specially assigned department of employee relations oversees these activities.
Ethics is highly valued in the comparator group, and all employees and directors are forced to comply with the rules. The code is present in both Anthem and Cigna, and they provide outlined statements regarding ethical business conduct standards. It is important to note that the comparator group primarily focuses on corporate governance-investor relations rather than employees. However, the latter group must also adhere to the ethical standards to properly operate within the organizations.
In the comparator group, corporate ethics is a system of values that regulates ethical relations in a given organization. In contrast to the universal, organizational ethics is determined by the characteristics of the activities and goals of this organization, as well as the prevailing stereotypes of behavior in this organization. For the group, it is important to create material values in all its variety of forms is considered as an initially important process, and profit and other production incomes are considered as a result of achieving various socially significant goals. For them, the priority in resolving problems arising in the business world is also important, should be given to the interests of interpersonal relations, and not to production.
Corporate Social Responsibility
In the case of corporate social responsibility (CSR), Anthem is not as proactive as the UnitedHealth Group, but Cigna takes its CSR seriously. Anthem only states that it oversees environmental sustainability initiatives and controls its corporate social responsibility (“Schedule 14A: Anthem,” 2017).
However, Cigna is the first United States health insurance company that signed United Nations’ policy initiative on environmental responsibility, integrity, labor standards, and human rights called the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) (“Schedule 14A: Cigna,” 2018). It is evident that Cigna outperforms both UnitedHealth Group and Anthem in adhering to the highest ethical standards of business conduct, and it is the most prominent in promoting corporate social responsibility.
The priorities of the company’s social policy are the main documentary directions for the implementation of the company’s social programs. Social programs at Cigna are voluntary activities by the company to protect the environment, develop people, create a good working environment, support the local community, philanthropy, and good business practices. In this case, the main criterion is the compliance of programs with the goals and strategies of business development. The social activity of Cigna is expressed in carrying out a variety of social programs, both internal and external.
Distinctive features of social activity programs in Cigna are the eagerness of their implementation, systemic nature, and connection with the mission and development strategy of Cigna. Cigna’s Fair Business Practices is a corporate social program that aims to promote the adoption and dissemination of good business practices among its suppliers, business partners, and customers (“Form-10K: Cigna,” 2019).
For the comparator group, environmental protection and resource conservation is the direction of the company’s social programs, which are carried out at the initiative of the company to reduce the harmful impact on the environment. For the comparator group, it is important to develop local society through the direction of the company’s social programs. This is done on a voluntary basis and is intended to contribute to the development of local communities.
Organizational and Employee Development
The comparator group is an active proponent of organizational and employee development because they both provide continuous training for their employees. Such pieces of training can vary depending on the department’s objectives, but both Anthem and Cigna are fully committed to developing their workers professionally. Organizations such as Anthem and Cigna were challenged to find the most effective ways to improve productivity and efficiency. The comparator group is interested in having highly qualified and competent personnel able to create goods and services that could successfully compete with products and services.
The training is designed to prepare staff for the correct solution of a wider range of tasks, and to ensure a high level of efficiency in work, to increase the labor potential of employees. In addition, Cigna ensures that directors acquire the necessary education at the expense of the company (“Schedule 14A: Cigna,” 2018). This key feature of the company allows it to have highly competent managers in conjunction with well-trained professionals in the form of employees.
In today’s talent management environment, Anthem and Cigna focus on building a strategic level of enterprise competitiveness, which necessitates finding ways to ensure the company’s sustainable competitive advantage, based on core competencies. Competency management is currently one of the main competitive advantages of the company. The basis of the concept of key skills is an orientation not towards material resources and market position, but internal intellectual resources. The competencies of an enterprise do not appear by themselves but are achieved by conscious effort, as a result of long and effective work.
The main goals of the comparator group are the selection of personnel with the necessary knowledge and skills and the organization of teamwork to achieve better results. Thus, the basis for the formation of key competencies is the personnel and the intellectual capital of the enterprise created by them. In this regard, current, and especially strategic personnel management is of particular interest.
HR strategy in modern enterprises is often viewed as a theoretical component, far from reality.
However, today the effectiveness of developing a personnel management strategy has been proven by the practice of its implementation at the largest advanced enterprises in the industry, construction, electronics, and other areas of activity. Strategic personnel management is a new direction in modern management, directly arising from the concept of strategic organizational management. The principle of correspondence between the general development strategy of the enterprise and its personnel policy, expressed in personnel strategies, is the main axiom of modern management. The optimal ratio of the business strategy of the enterprise and its personnel policy contributes to the increase in the efficiency of both parameters. The personnel development strategy is nothing more than an indicator of what kind of personnel a company needs and what level of efficiency the company needs to achieve its business goals.
At Anthem and Cigna, the management workflow is about developing a complete incentive system to improve productivity. Certification and assessment of work activity in Cigna are systematically carried out by utilizing advanced technological tools in information processing and interactive employee coordination (“Form-10K: Cigna,” 2019). On the basis of the results obtained, the question of the expediency of retraining and advanced training of personnel is being resolved. Human resource management technologies represent directional influences that help achieve specific goals. When recruiting human resources, the objective of a manager is to determine the basic qualities required to perform a specific activity. In Anthem, staffing is an important element of the management system, where technology is used in accordance with the company’s objectives (“Form-10K: Anthem,” 2019).
The effectiveness of the organizations’ work depends on how correctly and professionally the employees are formed. Competent selection of personnel allows both Anthem and Cigna not to spend additional economic resources, because highly professional specialists with work experience do not need training and payments for advanced courses.
Human Resource Management
A distinctive feature of Anthem is the mastery of modern personnel management technologies and their effective implementation in their professional activities. HR shows an excellent knowledge of the mechanism and methods of strategic personnel management and the ability to apply them in practice, and understanding of the tools of workforce planning and the ability to use them in practice. There is the ability to calculate the number and professional composition of personnel in accordance with the strategic plans of the company. One of the distinguishing features of Cigna’s HR is knowledge and proficiency in interviewing skills in the selection of personnel and competence in the methodology and techniques of conducting management competency development training.
The comparator group is especially distinguished by knowledge of the principles and methods of forming a system of motivation and incentives for the organization’s personnel, including remuneration, and the ability to apply them in practice, and knowledge of the features of the application of labor legislation in solving professional issues in the field of personnel management. In this group, it is important to know and master the techniques for conducting training of personnel in a remote format, and knowledge of the features of the implementation and application of professional standards in the organization. The increasing role of human resources in Anthem is driven by the use of modern innovative technologies in personnel management (“Schedule 14A: Anthem,” 2017).
The concept of innovative technologies and innovative systems is a set of methods and tools that are aimed at supporting the introduction and implementation of a specific innovation. In the narrow sense, change can be called any technology that has not received mass distribution to minimize costs and increase productivity.
Innovation in Cigna is a set of the optimal combination of the minimum possible resources of the organization to create and promote an innovative product in a limited market environment to achieve the highest possible financial result or other benefits. In the comparator group, there is an organized solution, system, procedure, or method of management that is significantly different from the established practice and is used for the first time in other organizations. It should be noted that novelty correlates with management practice in this particular organization. In the field of the personnel formation process, such technologies as headhunting are leading, which should be understood as direct search, targeted selection of candidates for key positions of middle and top managers, that is, employees whose activities depend on the achievement of the company’s final results and e-recruitment.
In conclusion, the comparator group, which is comprised of Anthem and Cigna, possesses a number of key differences and similarity points with the UnitedHealth Group. Both of them are smaller for-profit organizations that operate in the industry of medical insurance and healthcare provision. Cigna has an outstanding record in ethical business conduct and corporate social responsibility. However, Anthem is more active in talent management and employee development. In other aspects, both the comparator group and the UnitedHealth Group share a wide range of similarities in the operation of their business.
Form-10K: Anthem. (2019). Web.
Form-10K: Cigna. (2019). Web.
Schedule 14A: Anthem. (2017). Web.
Schedule 14A: Cigna. (2018). Web.