It takes a great leader to lead others in a way that makes them feel empowered and able to take on anything that comes their way. General Manager for Medibank’s Health Concierge Services and Workforce Planning, Pam Gavan, truly understands this and ensures she is leading her team in the best way she can.
Pam’s experience in a leadership role began in the recruitment industry, a field she is truly an expert at. Having spent the majority of her career here, it was during this time that she learnt from great leaders how to be one herself.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have had incredible mentors during my career. From them, I learnt that it’s important to be able to empower people and trust them to do just what they’re there to do but at the same time, be there for guidance and support,” she says.
“It’s about being able to navigate that balance of when to step in and when to allow the individual to work through situations on their own.”
For Pam, leadership isn’t just about leading teams, it’s about how we can encourage all employees to bring their whole self to work and positively impact their experience in the workplace
“I’m passionate about leadership in a sense that to me, it’s about how we, as leaders, can help to provide clarity and connection to what we are about as an organisation. I feel it’s important to connect what we do everyday to our overarching purpose and values.”
Having a holistic approach when it comes to leading her team is something that Pam incorporates into her day-to-day as the General Manager for Health Concierge.
“I put a lot of focus into understanding what drives my team or the person I’m leading. It’s about connecting what’s important to them personally, both with work and outside of it, as well as what’s important to the business.”
With the Health Concierge and support teams.
As with anything in life, there are challenges that may arise but for Pam, she sees these as opportunities for learning and developing in her career.
“A leadership challenge I’ve found as a leader is finding that perfect balance that works for everyone involved and learning that what may seem to be the best approach to reach an outcome may not necessarily mean the same to someone else. That’s certainly been a lesson for me.”
Despite this, Pam says the impact she’s able to have on individuals and their careers outweighs such challenges.
“It’s an extremely rewarding feeling knowing I’m able to play a part in shaping careers. And to be able to surround myself with such unique personalities and passionate people really does make all the difference.”
Pam and husband Jonny welcomed their second child, daughter Zoe, in August 2016. Coming back from parental leave this year, she took an opportunity to not only lead Medibank’s new Health Concierge program but also look after Health Support (WA) and Workforce Planning for Medibank Health Solutions. Although filled with leadership experience, this meant she would be entering new grounds, completely unfamiliar to her.
“I was apprehensive about moving from what I’d always known and loved, which is a people and culture environment. Going into an operational environment role was something completely new to me, something I was definitely nervous about,” she admits.
“In saying this, Medibank has been amazing with my transition. I was really lucky to have been provided with a coach who not only helped me find my way back into the workforce but into a new business area. The support has been incredible.”
Pam with Hunter, Zoe, and husband Johnny.
A new program by Medibank, Health Concierge contacts members either before they go into hospital and for treatments or afterwards to check up on them.
“It’s a ground-breaking initiative because we’re shifting the private health insurance story. We care deeply about our customers and their health so it’s important to us that we look after the community holistically, from the very beginning of their health journey, not just the end.”
Asked what advice she would give to current and future leaders in the workplace, Pam insists it’s all about finding the courage to try something new and giving it a go.
“One of the key things that made me hesitant about the change was moving from an area that I’m so passionate about, leaving a fabulous team and moving into a role where I was no longer a ‘subject matter expert’!” she says.
“I’ve reflected since coming back from parental leave and taking on all new opportunities that it’s been great to try something new. At the same time, knowing that if you find out later on that whatever it is isn’t for you, then at least you gave it a go. I’m so glad I took the chance as I’m absolutely thriving on learning something new everyday in my role and working alongside an amazing bunch of people.”