In our NantHealth Voices series, we share a collection of leadership and employee community perspectives and recently caught up with Arlyn Small, Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Arlyn began his NantHealth journey in 2021 and leads our recruitment, development, and employee management programs. He has worked across several industries and has held senior-level human resources roles at Qlik Technologies, Amazon, Tyco Electronics, and Microsoft. We chatted with Arlyn about his leadership experience, company culture, the value of diverse perspectives, and the importance of self-care.
Why is health, both mental and physical, an integral part of your leadership and organizational excellence?
Mental and physical health is an integral part of leadership and organizational excellence. People tend to perform better and enjoy the work environment when there is a healthy balance between mental/physical health and being prepared to tackle the day-to-day issues in the workplace. I encourage everyone to make space to ensure a healthy mental and physical perspective. NantHealth provides several resources to assist employees, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), unlimited PTO, and hybrid work arrangements.
Do not focus on accomplishing ten different things. It is better to pick the top three or four issues with the biggest impact and do those extremely well.
We see company culture and employee value as driving forces during the great reshuffle. What shifts are you seeing as an HR executive during these times
Employees are more open about their needs and expectations. Work-life balance continues to be a top priority, and the need to offer a hybrid working arrangement is now a necessity. Also, working in a positive, fun culture is important in today’s reshuffle. There are more choices, so employers are required to be more open about non-traditional ways of getting work done without seeing employees face to face. I expect these trends to continue post-pandemic.
When people talk about your leadership, what would you like them to say?
I want people to say that every interaction with me was positive and balanced. I hope people walk away from our interactions with a unique perspective, mindset, experience, and/or feeling. I want people to believe that I really do care about their issues and concerns.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Did you take it?
The best advice I ever received was “Major on the Majors and do not Sweat the Minors.” I interpreted that to mean: Do not focus on accomplishing ten different things. It is better to pick the top three or four issues with the biggest impact and do those extremely well. I try to practice that in leading the HR functions and by setting direction and prioritizing what is important, and then recalibrating if needed.
Leadership is easy when things are going well, but the true test of leadership is how you behave and manage through adversity.
What is the most impactful leadership lesson you have learned?
The most impactful leadership lesson I have learned is that: Leadership is easy when things are going well, but the true test of leadership is how you behave and manage through adversity. The true mantle of a leader comes out when things are not going well. If they have strong leadership, values, and skills, navigating through tough times is the perfect opportunity to reinforce those skills.
Talk about the one significant event in your career that you feel changed the course of things for the better?
Living, working, and traveling to other countries is the one significant event(s) in my career. Working with multiple cultures forced me to see things from all perspectives before acting. Also, it has improved my abilities to communicate and interact with different styles and experiences.