PEOPLE 1ST

#004 October 2019

A Champion is Needed

Open the Cookies “Put a bag of cookies in the break room and it might sit for days. Open the bag and leave it out, and within an hour, all the cookies will be gone.We are happy to take a tiny slice off the thing that’s being shared, but we hesitate to open the bag. The same is true with all of the initiatives in our culture. Design, movements and ideas are all trapped, waiting to be opened, and then the rest of us will happily pile on. Open the bag.” 

Seth Godin has an enviable way with words and if you don’t subscribe to his daily blog, I encourage you to do so.  

All initiatives within your organization need a champion-someone to drive it’s success.  Without a champion, even the most noble and potentially impactful programs may go unused. 

As Seth said, many of your best programs can be sitting in plain sight- in the breakroom or on the benefits portal- but without the “bag” being opened, they run the risk of going unused.  

Determine which programs your people need, then champion their success.  Your employees need your leadership. Open the bag or choose someone else to make it happen. 

#003 September 2019

I was talking with a good friend who is the CPO for a 200 person company.  The topic was her engagement and wellness initiatives and she lamented about some negative feedback she’d received; feedback like “stay out of my personal life!”  The initiative in question was diet and exercise related.  

Now, negative feedback always feels lousy. That being said, 8 people out of 200 (the number of people who provided less than positive feedback) is 4% of the total population and, while a vocal minority should be heard, it shouldn’t deter or stop your engagement and wellness efforts. 

I’m constantly talking “needs versus wants” as it pertains to budgeting but I wanted to get into what I’ve begun calling “level two.” 

When it comes to children, friends, mentees, coworkers and employees, it can be hard but necessary to give people something they don’t want, but very much need.  This is why retirement plan features like auto-enroll and auto-escalate are so effective; you opt people in automatically. Long term results reinforce the efficacy of these features.  

The same is true for all of your efforts to help your people become the best possible versions of themselves.  It’s hard but necessary to give people something they don’t want, but very much need. 

Fight past the apprehension of feeling overly parental.  Reinforce why you’re working so hard and keep your org’s core values top of mind.  Remember that real and lasting change will come incrementally and that you’re on the right track. 

This is a story of commitment-you’re committed to a great culture, to YOUR people.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Persist!

It does mean you need to put a program in place and be intentional about implementing it.  In today’s world with the technology and resources we have, most everything is within reach.  Schedule 15 minutes and let’s talk about making it happen at your org!

#002 August 2019
We want happy, healthy employees, an engaged community and a thriving culture.  Commiting to that means playing the long game; starting and sticking with a program, planting seeds today that you may not harvest for several years.  That commitment and patience is how you’ll get to where you want to go as an organization and how you’ll help your people get to where they want to go.  

Playing the short game, something we’ve all fallen victim to, results in broken New Year’s resolutions and brand new initiatives year after year with little traction or results.  

Helping adults break bad habits and create good ones isn’t easy, but neither is having a great culture.  

The opportunity exists with the vast majority of your people.  There are 15% who are proactive and already doing the right things and there are 15% who may never do proactive planning.  It’s the 70% in the middle- that’s where you’re going to have your greatest impact. Imagine if you were able to change the behavior of 15% of those people every year; would that change your organization?  Three years from now, that would really move the needle.  

We need to position people for success.  It’s not a carrot or a stick thing, it’s a matter of inviting them to participate and empowering them.  

Employee engagement and benefit programs are so important.  According to AARP, employees with access to a retirement plan are 15x’s more likely to save for retirement than those without.  That’s just an example to demonstrate the power of offering a benefit, it doesn’t mean you need to offer a 401(k). It also doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money or time.  

It does mean you need to put a program in place and be intentional about implementing it.  In today’s world with the technology and resources we have, most everything is within reach.  Schedule 15 minutes and let’s talk about making it happen at your org!

#001 July 2019

So many of us struggle with finances.  Almost half of us are living paycheck to paycheck.  Part of the problem is a lack of education and knowledge.  Even with increased education, a gap often exists between what we know and what we do.  

But at the same time, there are organizations bringing about real and lasting change.  Think Weight Watchers. Think CrossFit. Why have these orgs succeeded where others have failed?  The answer is community.  

The combination of proper information and training, combined with a supportive and accountable community can make all the difference.  

This can also be true for your organization.  

Through your existing culture, you can help to bring about positive changes in your people- you just need to be intentional about it.  Great organizations know this and work to make it happen.  


This monthly blog is designed to give you the necessary tools to make great things happen within your organization. 

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