Typing is an important skill — but can it change your life? For Jean Claire Doyle, the answer is yes.
“I was working for my uncle’s insurance agency after high school, and I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t particularly care for working with family,” says Jean Claire, laughing. “A friend called and said, ‘Hey, BlueCross is hiring for data entry. You’re a good typist. Why don’t you go to this employment agency and take a typing test?’
“Well, that’s exactly what I did. I got an interview, I took the test, and I was hired.”
That was 43 years ago.
From days to decades
For Jean Claire, it’s hard to believe it’s been four decades since she started at BlueCross. Today, as a human resources business partner serving Memphis and Jackson, it’s clear that people are her passion — but it wasn’t always that way.
In the early ’80s, she was happily working as a claims processor when a new role was created.
“It was an assistant position in what was then called the ‘personnel department,’” she recalls. “I remember my manager calling me in and saying I had just the interpersonal skills the company needed.”
Jean Claire got the job, and she never forgot how important that one person was in helping her find her path.
“I’ve worked in some facet of human resources ever since,” she says.
“In each role, I’ve tried to help others succeed.”
Writing her story
Jean Claire’s story wasn’t without challenges.
“At the beginning, I knew nothing about the corporate environment, and I certainly didn’t have any knowledge of human resources,” she says. “Entering this department was a huge learning experience.”
Initially, Jean Claire’s duties were mostly clerical — answering phones, explaining benefits, tracking down answers to employee questions about policies. Over time, her duties grew, and today she’s done nearly every job in the human resources playbook. She’s processed insurance benefit billings, maintained workers’ comp files and managed employee recruiting. She’s served as backup for payroll processing, helped execute employee events, and overseen every part of the employee experience — from orientation to exit interviews.She takes a different kind of satisfaction from every aspect of her job.
“I especially enjoyed recruiting, hiring and conducting new employee orientation,” Jean Claire says. “It gave me the opportunity to interact with all kinds of people, and there’s nothing I enjoy more.”
Now, as a human resources business partner, Jean Claire puts her years of experience with everyone she’s met to good use.
She lends her expertise in areas such as diversity and inclusion, job analysis, and employee relations while, at the same time, delivering on the BlueCross mission of peace of mind through better health.
“I get to participate in many of the company’s beliefs and goals every day that support our mission,” she says. “My day-to-day duties include everything from ethical decision-making to developing our people so they can better serve each other and our members. I feel lucky to get to partner with such an engaged and diverse group of employees.”
‘It’s all about the people’
One program Jean Claire is particularly proud to be part of is a recent initiative to improve the BlueCross employee experience. Her team conducted interviews earlier this year to gather the stories behind employees’ meaningful interactions with members.
“The purpose of the project was to gain a better understanding of each employee’s experience by discussing their most memorable moments and where they felt they’d truly made a difference,” she explains.
One employee, for example, had taken care of a member for so many years that when the member died, she was asked by the family to speak at the funeral. The employee was touched by the request and was honored to speak.
Another employee recalled finding a way to replace clothing and furniture that a member had lost due to a tragic life event — and was thrilled to see the member so excited about their “new” items.
Moments like these were analyzed and categorized to develop ideas and action plans to improve our employees’ experiences across Tennessee.
Supporting an initiative like this comes naturally to Jean Claire, someone who’s always looked for ways to help others within the company succeed.
“I’ve had employees come back to me and say my suggestion — whether it was applying for a new position, finding a better work-life balance or taking advantage of benefits to help them reach their goals — was really helpful,” she says.
“Hearing someone say I provided the encouragement they needed is powerful and extremely satisfying.”
Indeed, Jean Claire’s favorite part of her job is clear.
“It’s personal interaction,” she says. “Whether I’m working through a problem or helping others come up with a solution that works for everyone, at BlueCross it’s all about the people.”