Regence hosts panel on workforce health, data reveals burnout on the decline

By Regence
May 03, 2024
PBJ Panel 2024

Main image (L-R): Panelists Haley Potoczek, Patty Groman, Orlando Williams, Elizabeth Cole and Moderator Candace Beeke

New data from a recent Portland Business Journal survey shows burnout among the Portland area workforce has been cut in half over the past two years, dropping from 59% in 2022 to 26% in 2024.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon partnered with the Portland Business Journal to survey 172 Portland-area employees and executives on workforce health and wellness. Regence recently convened business leaders to discuss the findings and hear an expert panel share how employers can continue critical momentum for workforce health.

Panelists included Elizabeth Cole, SVP and chief human resources officer, Regence Health Plans; Patty Groman, SVP and chief people officer, OnPoint Community Credit Union; Haley Potoczek, healthiest employers program and campaigns coordinator, Springbuk; and Orlando Williams, founder and CEO, Motus Recruiting.

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The panelists offered their perspectives on innovative programs implemented to improve employee health and wellness and how often employers should update their benefits to meet employee needs.

Cole highlighted the importance of keeping up with your workforce’s evolving needs, “We can’t become stagnant when we know [health and wellness] is important to the new folks coming in. Leaders are getting switched on to wellness and the health and management of stress. We’re going to be competing with other companies that remain committed.”

The panelists highlighted that employee wellness goes beyond their mental and physical health.

“We have to think of health beyond just physical and even mental, financial wellness for example. Thinking outside the box and looking at other areas of wellness is what’s driving innovation,” said Potoczek

“Our strategy for the next five years is intentionally investing in talent. We need to go beyond just giving you the tools to do your job. It’s important to look at employees’ career aspirations. How do we empower them?,” said Groman.

The panelists also emphasized the importance of managing change.

Williams said, “Recognize that change is inevitable and while we go into this new world of artificial intelligence, whether your employees have told you or not, they are concerned about whether their position is going to be changed or eliminated. As our world changes, we need to manage change well and engage and listen to our teams."

Click here for recap of the panel discussion from the Portland Business Journal.