Value #2: Humble Service to our customers, colleagues, and community

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

The Mindset & Why

Humble Service is a declaration that we will achieve our goals by thinking of others first.  [Service] As daughters or sons, as siblings, parents, spouses, friends, colleagues, caregivers, and so many other important roles in our lives, we never fulfill them – and THEY never fulfill US – more completely than when we serve.  There are cultures and value systems throughout the world that honor the notion of service to others over service to ourselves, on the principle that the path to our own rewards is found by helping others attain theirs. That is what we believe here.

[Humble] Service is a pretty commonly cited value….but why humble? A culture of service commits us to handling frustration, confronting forces beyond our control, and sometimes not getting the recognition or appreciation equal to our effort.  That’s just life as a hero, and staying humble will help us maintain that mindset without wavering.  We all have personal goals, desires, and reasons driving what we do, however most cannot be achieved in a vacuum. Our peers, our customers, our partners, the communities that we do our work in – all of these are part of what make HealthAxis Group a place where we can accomplish those personal goals. Humble Service compels us to honor those connections constantly, not just when they appear to suit self-interest – only by looking beyond ourselves will we ever accomplish something bigger than ourselves.

An organization or community committed to Humble Service can achieve unparalleled success in collaboration.  As Harry Truman said, “It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit”.  At HealthAxis Group, we believe that Humble Service is the best of humanity on display.  When we are in an environment where everyone shares a commitment to a goal, and where you look out for others and know others are looking out for you, great things are possible.

I think that when you reflect on why a person willingly chooses to do tough things in her life or his life, the motivation comes from one of our top two values – embracing a challenge for the sake of Intentional Growth or an act of Humble Service from the heart.

The Practice

A commitment to Humble Service means putting our egos to the sideline.  Ego can put us off from doing the right thing if we are unsure adequate reward or praise will follow; or if doing so could expose us to criticism or ridicule.  When getting something right matters more than being right, getting credit, or looking good, our other values can flourish– it allows us to accept Candor and Feedback with an open mind and without defensiveness; it helps us process the possibility of looking bad or even failing on occasion as we strive for Intentional Growth; and when Controlled Experimentation gives us insights that contradict our assumptions or the idea we advocated for, it will help us quickly and objectively Apply the Learning.

Humble Service entails awareness of goals – your goals, the goals of others, and the goals of what you’ve committed to be part of.  The spirit of Humble Service is sustained by understanding of and belief in what you are signing up for, and confidence that it lines up with what you believe is important.  Our vision and mission lean in to the idea that what we do can make healthcare more proactive, personal, and effective.  As an organization, our solutions can improve and save lives, and this company is full of people who believe it’s worth getting out of bed and working together to achieve.

What it Isn’t

Humble Service is not about:

  • Discouraging pride in one’s work or abilities or the absence of recognizing achievement.  We strive to honor teams for meaningful accomplishments, and we count on our people to take pride in the quality their work.
  • Ignoring your own responsibilities to contribute elsewhere.  With very few exceptions, the first and most direct avenue of service (and a keystone of living out Efficiency, another of our values) is to complete the responsibilities entrusted to you.
  • Blind obedience to instructions.  The best service is rendered when we don’t just react to a request, but strive to understand the context and goal of the request.  We can serve through offering new and useful ideas if we avoid the mental trap of thinking the request and the problem are one and the same.
  • Suffering pointlessly.  While Humble Service may urge us out of our comfort zone, it is not a pretext for people to impose hardship upon one another or abdicate responsibility presuming some safety net.

Our Values in Action

To move beyond rhetoric, these are some examples of what Humble Service looks like in our business:

  • Asking questions like. “what challenges are my clients and colleagues facing?” “what did I do for a client or colleague today”? Taking care of ourselves is important, but it is not what makes us important. Humble Service is about empathy and consideration.
  • Checking our egos. Coming to work with the intent to grow our potential and support our mission, vision, values, and our fellow human beings
  • De-emphasizing rank and hierarchy. From senior executives to fresh hires, it takes effort at all levels to turn one person’s work into a fully realized solution. Hierarchy in this business is about clarifying roles and responsibilities, not about defining relative worth.
  • Humble Service is also about a company serving its employees. While our employees focus on supporting others, HealthAxis and its leadership should be committed to supporting our employees
  • Going above and beyond for our customers and the people relying on our customers
  • Taking advantage of HealthAxis Group’s “Community Service Day” policy

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