Featured TRUST Member
Samantha Hanson is Chief HR Officer for Children's Minnesota. She is responsible for the workforce experience at Children’s Minnesota, including driving significant process improvement and reinvention of the people processes that support a multi-year strategy to re-imagine pediatric health care in the upper Midwest. She established a clear vision to deliver essential and differentiated experience for associates that enables a resilient and innovative workforce able to succeed in the face of strong industry shifts. Samantha was recognized with the 2017 TRUST Mentor of the Year Award.
In my tenure, we’ve launched a new HR service model to retire existing service standards and unveil new values; engaged leadership in values creation and integrated new model into all people strategies and a 'kids first' culture experience. We led cultural transformation with a focus on value realignment, leadership development, customer experience and innovation for the health system.
This dramatically improved productivity, engagement, diversity, and retention workforce metrics through re-designed HR capabilities (Leadership Development, Succession Planning, OD&L, Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Acquisition including professional staff, Total Rewards, Leave Administration including employee health & safety, Employee Service Center, Labor Practitioners (3 unions), and HR Business Partner & Consultant team.)
Have you ever had a mentor? How did he/she help you most?
I was fortunate from very early in my career to have mentors who helped me shape my development through stretch roles and coaching. In the last 5-7 years, I’ve been far more proactive in seeking out mentors who are in the roles I aspire to, and then providing goals and a structure so we both maximize our time together. This has been enormously helpful and is the model I use with those who I now mentor.
Why did you join the TRUST? What keeps you involved as a TRUST member?
I believe in the power of community. We cannot predict the many challenges that will confront us as professionals and as people, and just knowing that there is a community of talented women on whom I can depend — and they can depend on me — is very powerful. We are all in our roles to make a difference, and no one can do that alone. The TRUST is genuinely one of the best professional communities to which I belong.
What is the best career advice you've received?
The two most powerful pieces of advice I’ve received are: 1) Take the risk. You’re capable of doing more than you think; and 2) Build the skills and abilities that help you to assess situations and people, design solutions, and drive change positively. These are leadership skills that, when well-developed, will help you succeed as a leader at any level.
What support do you need now to evolve your development as a leader?
I am continuing to build my ability to lead senior leaders. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to provide clear direction and support, and then see these leaders drive outcomes through their own teams and departments.
How do you want to support other women in their leadership journeys?
I make it a priority to mentor others — it is the very least I can do in gratitude for those who have supported, encouraged, and helped me over the years. I consider it an honor to be a trusted resource for women who even years later, reach out for career advice and coaching. I wouldn’t be the leader I am today if it weren’t for the strong support and influence of the women leaders in my life.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired daily by those who face challenges with grit, grace and determination. It’s all around us every day – all you have to do is really look people in the eye and talk with them. Whether it’s in the grocery store line or a co-worker …. All it takes is a “how are you today?” and then just listen.
What is something that not many people know about you?
I was recruited twice to Minnesota from Florida. I guess that makes me a reverse snowbird!
Any words of wisdom to live by?
“You are enough.”
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