Meet the CHRO at an org where 90% of employees can recite the company values

How does a company founded the year Abraham Lincoln became president attract a new CHRO interested in transformation? By sharing the power of purpose and the impact it can make on talent and culture, now and in the future.

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Stacey Hoin is that CHRO. The heritage business is The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian). Hoin joined Guardian in 2021 after a long tenure at GE Capital, serving in various leadership roles across the HR and legal departments.

Initially, Hoin planned to transition from human resource leadership to a career in executive coaching. However, her trajectory changed when Andrew McMahon, CEO and president of Guardian, invited her to join his team.

Hoin was drawn to Guardian leaders’ shared vision and thoughtful approach to the company’s purpose and future. She described the culture as “inspiring” and not just superficial.

A company with connection

Stacey Hoin, CHRO at Guardian (GTL Portraits)
Stacey Hoin, CHRO at Guardian (GTL Portraits)

In her role, Hoin is responsible for developing organizational and talent strategies, leading Guardian’s global HR team serving 2,000 employees in India and over 5,000 employees at its main sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York City and various smaller locations across the country.

She says the workforce is focused on “customer impact” and feels the job they do is important in a larger sense. According to the company’s website, Guardian serves 12 million people daily with insurance and wealth management products and services. “We are all connected to work and the customer’s life,” says Hoin.

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Hoin emphasizes that Guardian’s culture, talent and people are priorities, an initiative set from the top of the org chart. She highlights that 90% of employees who were surveyed on Guardian’s values can recite them. Today these values include: “We do the right thing. We believe people count. We courageously shape our future together.” and “We go above and beyond for the people we serve.”

Tradition and innovation

Guardian, a 160-year-old company, takes pride in balancing tradition learned with age with innovation brought on by new technology. Hoin notes that the company is investing in impactful AI tools, focusing on both employee experience and business goals. “We have to think about the talent piece as much as use cases,” she says.

The organization has developed several “workstreams” to leverage fresh technology, including a talent and culture workstream. Several digital tools are included in this structure. One notable initiative is the use of AI coaching, which is currently being tapped by 250 colleagues. “Early results have been positive,” says Hoin. Guardian also employs RippleMatch for talent acquisition, which she says is particularly appealing to early-career candidates thanks to the tool’s AI-driven job-matching functionality.

There are also new tech-driven offerings in the benefits package. Hoin is particularly proud of Guardian’s partnership with Spring Health, a digital platform that provides personalized mental wellness benefits to employees and their families. Guardian leadership is also concerned with supporting employees who are caregivers and has begun to offer a platform called Wellthy that provides personalized support to those with aging parents and spouses.

Hoin is proud that this company, started by German American businessmen in 1860, “didn’t become a dinosaur.” She says this is thanks to its talent, culture-driven decision-making, employee experience and values-based priorities. Our purpose is “not just about a poster on the wall,” says Hoin.

Jill Barth
Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of Human Resource Executive. She is an award-winning journalist with bylines in Forbes, USA Today and other international publications. With a background in communications, media, B2B ecommerce and the workplace, she also served as a consultant with Gallagher Benefit Services for nearly a decade. Reach out at [email protected].