HR Career Breakthroughs: Colleen Hughes, SHRM-SCP

Vice president of human resources, CompTIA

By Mark Feffer Jun 1, 2016
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​Colleen Hughes. Photograph by Bart Harris for HR Magazine.
Before joining CompTIA in 2008, Colleen Hughes spent most of her career rising through the HR ranks at several health care organizations; some were nonprofits, while others were international businesses.

Breakthrough Moment
After joining a corporate-owned psychiatric hospital near Chicago as director of employee relations, Hughes devoted much of her time to rebuilding a culture that had been upended by employee-management tensions and a successful effort to unionize. Her collaboration with the corporate office, her peers and the facility’s executive team paid off. “We’d done so much good work and had such a good culture again,” she recalls. “Everyone was happy.” 

Then a new hospital administrator arrived, an executive who measured performance not by results but almost exclusively by the number of hours an employee put in. As the workplace atmosphere soured, Hughes realized it was time to move on.

Lesson Learned
“I saw it was very important that I work with people who have the same philosophy as I do—that colleagues should respect each other and be honest with each other—and that you should never work in a place where you want to keep your head down.”

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