Heather Hughes | Age 36, Manager, human resources, Delta Dental of Iowa
Saturday, February 20, 2010 7:00 AM
As Delta Dental of Iowa grew, it became apparent it needed an in-house human resource manager for its 70 employees.
Heather Hughes would be the first, as Delta Dental transitioned its human resource function from a shared management company. She hasn't disappointed.
"By bringing Heather on as a full-time human resources manager, Delta Dental and its employees have experienced an increased focus on human resources functions which has positively impacted our culture," wrote Donn Hutchins, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa.
Hughes helped review, update and revise all of Delta Dental's personnel policies and implemented several training programs for employees.
"These programs have helped our organization continue to adapt to the changing health care market and will help as we move to our new facility in 2010," Hutchins wrote.
Hughes, who calls herself a jack-of-all-trades, is most proud of her work creating a performance management program that is focused on developing employees to become more engaged and focused on the business's goals.
"So now there is a focused effort on making sure that employees know what is expected of them and that leaders are able to lead the employees through that," she said.
Hughes, who has also worked at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and Mercy Medical Center, said her main goal is to continue to improve performance management.
"I think performance management you can always work on, and you can always just take it up to the next level," she said. "You can always get better at developing people."
Hughes took lessons she learned from seeing her mother's active involvement in the community and has done her part to give back. Through Delta Dental, she has been actively involved with United Way of Central Iowa and was part of the Delta Dental of Iowa Race for the Cure Committee.
She also has been actively involved in the Central Iowa Society for Human Resource Management, and served as the organization's public relations chair during 2009.
Looking toward the future, Hughes, who majored in exercise science at Iowa State University, would like to get more involved with some children's groups or perhaps a wellness program.