Yogesh is working as a Director of Product Management in our Product Engineering and Data Services team. Read the blog to learn what’s it like being a Technology Professional at UnitedHealth Group and get insights into the growth & development opportunities you get here.
1. What is your current role and how long have you been working with us?
I am the Director of Product Management in our Product Engineering and Data Services team. I have recently entered the 3rd year of a journey that’s been incredible to say the least.
2. What is one thing that inspires you to do your life's best work on a daily basis?
The biggest inspiration comes from our value of making the health care system work better for everyone in everything I do. Each product ideated, developed and delivered by my team touches the lives of millions of people each day either directly or indirectly. I derive huge satisfaction from the fact that I have directly or indirectly contributed in helping a person through their happiest moment (say a couple that has just been blessed with a baby) or their toughest moment in life.
3. How do your passions or hobbies outside of work contribute to your role at UnitedHealth Group?
I am an avid runner. I just recently completed my 25th full or ultra-marathon (i.e. distances greater than or equal to 42.195kms). Running teaches you to strive for PB (personal best). This is true in the context of work we do at United Health Group where we continually strive to help people live healthier lives and make the health system work better for everyone. Given the people facing role that I have, my passion for running has made it incredibly easy to strike friendship and focus on our core value of ‘Relationships’.
UnitedHealth Group sponsors and supports several marathons. In Hyderabad, we sent the largest contingent of runners (over a thousand) to the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in the year 2015. Again in Delhi, we had the largest contingent at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. I feel fortunate to work for a company where so many employees share my passion.
4. What makes the culture at UnitedHealth Group different from other employers?
Our culture is defined by our values. The differentiators in the values tie back to us being in the space of health care. We see a million health care records in our job. One way to look at these could be in a totally cut-off manner and treat them as line items on a computer screen. Our way of looking at it is to feel compassion for someone and their family going through a tough time.
We are encouraged to be innovative in every little thing we do, this leads to things like shorter cycle times, faster settlement of genuine claims, lesser errors by health care providers and more. We cannot be innovative in silos; we are encouraged to build relationships without worrying about organizational boundaries. These relationships could be with someone settling claims in Manila or with a helpdesk person in the next room. Being in the health care industry also means holding ourselves to the highest degree of integrity.
It’s a wonderful culture and it is best experienced than described. Please join us and experience it for yourself.
5. What are some ways employees can feel value from working at UnitedHealth Group?
Some of the many ways where employees feel value are: 1) Contributing to health and wellbeing of humanity, 2) Making the health system work better for everyone. An example of this is: providers can see more patients, payers making speedy and accurate payments. 3) Opportunity to work on some of the latest technology products and solving incredibly complicated problems
6. What are some of the other ways we acknowledge great talent at UnitedHealth Group?
UnitedHealth Group has a ‘People First’ philosophy. Our employees are at the front and center of everything we do and our biggest asset. There are several ways by which we acknowledge our talent. This includes awards from all levels of the leadership team. In my opinion, the biggest acknowledgement of our talent happens through peer recognition. Many of our employees say that the best recognition they get is from this recognition system which is given by the teams who they work with. UnitedHealth Group uses a formal recognition system to do this and its usage is closely tracked by the management teams.
7. How important is employee engagement for you as a leader? And what are some of the ways you engage your team?
If there’s one factor that all our leaders swear by, it is the employee engagement. UnitedHealth Group uses a globally uniform and consistent system to measure this each year. Each leader here is actually held accountable for the same. There are several things we do to engage with the team. I try to set goals, try to stand at a respectable distance and allow them to run independently. I step in when they either reach out to me or when I feel they need help. We normally set a pretty high bar for our hiring, the bar ensures that everyone in the team is an independent thinker and has an ability to run fairly independently. We also have budget for conducting offsite and other similar events.
Success in leadership is not about being a great ringmaster of the team, but being a humble servant of the teams that you lead.
8. What kind of growth & development opportunities one gets at UnitedHealth Group?
There are several opportunities available. Most notably, we have training programs that focus on hard and soft skills. So, one could attend a PMP certification class followed by a communication program. We also have buddy system on engineering side where teams work side by side. In fact, even our seating arrangement is such that people are constantly talking to each other and learning from each other.
9. How do you mentor your team for greater growth?
There are two ways I do this – one is when they come to me the other is when I go to them. A good portion of our employees reflect and reach out when they need help or direction. There are times when they are not aware they need help. I spend a good portion of my time interacting with the team. I am watching for areas where someone may need help. When I see such a situation, I reach out and try to help them.
10. What’s it like being a Technology Professional at UnitedHealth Group?
It’s very exciting. One is constantly challenged to do better and deliver high quality results. Part of the excitement comes from knowing that you are helping make the health care system work better and trust me, that is no ordinary challenge. In most countries, health care happens to be THE big ticket item. Even a 0.1% saving in time and/or cost ends up making a huge dent in the system working better for all. Combine this excitement with the satisfaction of working on some of the latest and coolest technologies out there – be it big data, mobile or IOT. A technology professional at UnitedHealth Group is limited by just one thing – his/her appetite to deliver high quality work.
11. What types of technology roles are there at UnitedHealth Group?
Name it and we have it. We have all kinds of roles in delivering software services and products. Of course, the common denominator between services and products are the technology areas like Java, .NET, etc. Beyond various roles in hard core technology, we have various technology management roles like project management, product management, etc. An exhaustive list of roles can be found at our career portal. I request you to kindly explore and apply at http://uhg.hr/Ysaqw8.
12. What do you see the role of technology in health care in the coming 3 years?
There are several large shifts going on in the world of health care – be it Care Delivery, Health Care Administration or Life Sciences. Technology is a very important role to play in all these areas. The biggest shift is the focus-shift from Cure to Prevention. This would involve identifying population that are vulnerable to illness and keeping them from falling ill in the first place by running targeted programs. The second shift is the changes in the reimbursement models. The final shift is the life science change that requires digesting large quantities of data and running analytics. All these changes will require technology to play a front and center role.
13. What advice would you give to ANYONE in today’s job market seeking a career in IT or Software Engineering?
I can’t say it better than the character Rancho from the movie, 3 Idiots, “beta, kamyaabi kay peechay math baagho, kaabil bano, kamyaabi to jhak markey tere peechay kudh baagh aayegi”. Don’t chase success; chase excellence and competency, success will come running behind you.
14. Tell me a reason that a technology professional might choose UnitedHealth Group over another employer?
There are several, but here are the top few:
- a. The biggest one is the satisfaction gained by making the health care system work better for everyone.
- b. UnitedHealth Group is many different companies rolled into one. We are a technology company, an insurance company, a BPO company, a care delivery company, a bank and much more. I don’t think one can see the entire health care value delivery chain (or as they say, from soup to nuts) in one place like they can over here. You can literally pick up the phone and converse with your user from the operations team. I don’t think this can happen in many other companies out there.
- c. We have unlimited growth opportunity both vertically and horizontally. One could think of rising through the rank and file of one’s own department. One could also start with product, move into services and then move into claims settlement operations. The biggest testimony to this is the number of people who have had a long tenure with us, many greater than 25 years.
15. What advice would you give to a candidate who is applying at UnitedHealth Group?
Buckle up for the best ride of your life!