The Best Places to Work in Direct Selling 2017 Honorees


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Congratulations to all of our 2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling Honorees! The companies, listed in alphabetical order, are:

  • AdvoCare
  • Isagenix
  • It Works!
  • LegalShield
  • LifeVantage
  • Nu Skin
  • Plexus Worldwide
  • Team National
  • Xyngular
  • Younique
  • Zurvita

Each company above is profiled in this supplement, with employees and executives sharing why they believe their company is a Best Place to Work in Direct Selling. All of the profiles were written by Andrea Tortora. Quantum Workplace, our third-party vendor, conducted the research and compiled the results for this program (please see page 30 for more information about Quantum and the contest).
The Best Places to Work in Direct Selling contest was designed by Direct Selling News with several goals in mind:

  • To spotlight the channel as a positive job-creating engine
  • To recognize and honor companies that have created positive work environments and become employers of choice
  • To identify and share best practices with the wider direct selling community
  • To provide valuable feedback and data to participating companies that will assist them in measuring levels of employee satisfaction and engagement

We all know that direct selling is a people business. Measuring field engagement is critical to any company’s success, and consistently delivering on that is a hallmark of the channel. But the field is only part of the people equation. Best Places to Work in Direct Selling celebrates the important role companies play as employers in the marketplace and highlights those companies that are setting the bar for establishing and nurturing work experiences and environments that bring out the very best in people.

Our 2017 contest was open to direct selling companies with at least 50 full-time employees based in North America. Any employer or employee could have nominated their company during the open period last fall, which ended on October 23, 2016. Each nomination included a contact person who received all of the communications from Quantum. After the nomination period ended, Quantum sent out an official invitation to each company to begin the survey process.

Employees were invited to complete an anonymous and confidential survey. A certain percentage of employees at each company, based on size, had to complete the survey in order for the company to reach the threshold to be included. After the survey period was over, the team at Quantum calculated the responses to determine overall scoring and ranking. Only companies who met the threshold determined by Quantum as the baseline for a Best Places to Work environment were announced as Honorees for 2017.

We plan to run this contest again in 2018 , and hope you will join us!


FAQ

How are the honorees selected?

Direct Selling News has partnered with Quantum Workplace, an HR technology company that has been collecting Best Places to Work data for more than a decade and currently supports 40 programs across North America. Their software enables companies to discover the strength of their employees, culture and leadership. For the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling program, Quantum Workplace asked employees of nominated companies to complete an online survey designed to measure workplace engagement. Next, Quantum Workplace compiled and evaluated the responses, ranking the participating companies based on their overall composite score. Honorees were selected based on the results of this survey. This same process will be conducted for our 2018 Best Places to Work contest.

What is the science behind the survey?

Quantum Workplace’s survey was developed by a panel of thought leaders in the field of employee engagement and is validated annually against more than 1.5 million responses across 5,000 companies to continuously recognize trends in the evolution of engagement.

Is the survey confidential?

The employee survey is always strictly confidential. Each company has access to survey results at the aggregate level to help them understand and build engagement. However, the individual identities of employees are never revealed. In fact, companies are not even able to see who has or has not completed the survey. All full-time, permanent, corporate headquartered employees are eligible to take the survey.

Do all of the employees at my company need to complete the survey?

All eligible employees must be invited to take the survey. To reach a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent, a company will need to achieve employee participation based on the following percentages per size of organization to be considered as an honoree:

  • 50 employees or fewer = 85%
  • 51 – 150 = 70%
  • 151 – 500 = 50%
  • 501 – 1,000 = 30%

Will my company receive the survey results?

Yes, all participating companies receive a free Overview report showing the company’s overall score compared to the finalists, summary of the engagement category scores, demographic information, and some comments from the open-ended questions. Surveys can also be customized for varying fees. Customizations do not affect the way results are scored for the purpose of the competition. Custom questions are excluded from the calculations.

What if my company does not make the Best Places to Work list?

All companies that participate receive access to a free Overview report and have the opportunity to purchase reports to help improve employee engagement, but the company name is not placed on any list and is not printed in the special publication. There is NO RISK to participate. All companies that have reached their participation goal will be contacted as to their status as a finalist or non-finalist.


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


AdvoCare

Employees say there is never a dull moment at AdvoCare.

Even as the company grows into a larger firm, it manages to maintain a family feel and build strong bridges between those at the Plano, Texas corporate office and distributors working in the field.

“Things move fast here and there is always something new taking place,” said Stephen Whitwell, Sales Vice President. “I always say that the one thing that separates us from everyone else is our company culture. That is our secret sauce.”

AdvoCare’s culture is that of a caring and a close-knit community. Founder Charles Ragus genuinely cared about others and felt great joy out of making others happy, said Jenni McGaha, one of his three daughters. That focus on helping people remains strong today.

The environment is built on making a positive impact on people’s lives throughout the company, said Allison Levy, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer.

“We use the culture to build a relationship between those at corporate and those in the field,” Levy said. “When both sides of the equation have the same appreciation for what we are doing, and a mutual respect, it only strengthens the business and our ability to be successful.”

Whitwell sees it in action every day. He serves as a liaison between distributors and internal employees, keeping corporate apprised of the pulse of things across the country and taking important communications back out into the field.

“We set the pace and the tone for the culture at corporate but in the field distributors also see and feel it, and we’ve built a foundation of trust between the two,” Whitwell said.

Employees and distributors at every level must do their part for the entire business to be successful, McGaha said. That’s why AdvoCare provides excellent benefits and numerous recognition and rewards to show employees the company cares about them and to acknowledge their hard work.

“It instills loyalty so that people come to work wanting to do their best and are always on the look out for ways to make improvements—and feel comfortable offering those suggestions,” McGaha said.

When those in the warehouse pack boxes so that the products arrive in good shape, they are adding to the customer experience.


“We’re always looking to improve every part of our culture. We may be good today, but how do we make it better tomorrow?”


When employees in customer service (where McGaha worked for a long time) spend time talking to distributors every day, “they get an earful of suggestions that they can pass along,” McGaha said. That includes everything from ideas for new products and product names to rewards and promotions.

AdvoCare pays close attention to the benefits it provides to employees, which include a generous health plan, a 401(k) retirement savings plan that is 100 percent matched up to a certain percent and tuition assistance.

As a health and wellness company, AdvoCare also encourages employees to stay fit. Benefits that promote wellness include a monthly $50 allowance for gym membership, onsite fitness classes, access to AdvoCare products, and an onsite Front Porch Pantry that provides healthy food options.

Not to mention the annual Crawfish Boil, which honors the founding family’s Shreveport, Louisiana roots and is just plain old fun, especially since there’s usually someone who’s never had a crawfish, McGaha said.

“We love rewarding people for good work, and we do give bonuses, but sometimes that is not always as meaningful as showing appreciation through other ways.”

Executives and HR pay close attention to employee suggestions for improved benefits, too. “We’re always looking to improve every part of our culture too,” Levy said. “We may be good today, but how do we make it better tomorrow?”

Newly revealed perks include eight weeks of paid maternity leave for moms and two weeks of paid paternity leave for dads. Nursing pods for breastfeeding moms soon will be added.

While HR and management can’t grant every request, they make an effort to “answer suggestions in a real way,” said Katie Cassady, HR coordinator.

The new year is always the busiest time at AdvoCare, as many people resolve to get fit and healthy. But many employees wanted to have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day off, so leaders and employees found a way.

“They broke their backs and made it happen,” Cassady said. “Those little changes matter and that is really important. That is why people stay.”

Many AdvoCare employees have worked for the 24-year-old company for a decade or longer. Of course, employees do leave when a spouse gets transferred or to pursue other opportunities, but quite a few come back, too, McGaha said.

“That says a lot about your company.”


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Isagenix

When employees at Isagenix speak up, executives listen—and then they take action.

It’s all about working with the utmost integrity, says Travis Ogden, President and Chief Operations Officer. Executives ask employees for feedback at quarterly “What Drives Us” meetings, where everyone at corporate gathers for updates, to share in accomplishments and to discuss ideas for the future.

When employees asked for more vacation time, Isagenix gave everyone an additional week of paid time off. When staff expressed the desire for a more relaxed dress code, executives expanded Casual Mondays to every day of the week.

And in February, Isagenix announced new paid maternity and paid paternity leave policies for new parents.

Ogden says, “When you give people autonomy and show them what you are trying to accomplish, they buy into the vision and they do what’s right without having to be told what to do.”

Kevin Neale might just be the perfect example of that. He joined Isagenix when he was 21. Married and working two jobs to make ends meet, a friend suggested he apply at the Arizona maker of health and wellness products.

Neale started in the call center and quickly advanced to his current position. With a third child on the way, Neale, now 26, is starting to take college classes through Isagenix’s tuition reimbursement program.

He can’t say enough about the company’s family friendly atmosphere and the way it helps everyone grow and develop. “Managers see the potential and they believe in you,” said Neale, who also volunteers to lead many of the facility tours given to visitors.

While Neale was working in VIP customer care, the team of eight became a team of three when some individuals were promoted out of the department. Neale talked with some customers on a daily basis and didn’t want any of them to fall through the cracks. So he decided— on his own—to work when the call center was open, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., until the team was back up to its normal numbers.

The experience gave him an intimate understanding of all Isagenix programs and promotions, which led to his current job as Sales Program Coordinator.

“When I do tours, I talk about what the company has done for me and my family,” Neale said “I have had a promotion every year and I get compensated for it every year.”

When he returns from a work travel trip, Neale’s manager often tells him to take time off to be with his family. When a supervisor notices that Neale’s working long hours, they help clear his slate and then talk about time management and how to work more efficiently.


“Our leaders are always trying to get better and improve the corporate and work environment, and they are open and receptive to what anyone has to say.”


“My managers offer tips on things I can work on and steps that I can follow to make improvements,” Neale said.

Sara Richter reports a similar experience. The product education manager joined Isagenix right out of college and didn’t know much about the company.

That was six years ago. Today, Richter is responsible for educating distributors and customers about Isagenix’s products and “teaching people how to eat better and be healthier.”

Working at Isagenix has been life-changing for Richter, whose job allows her to visit Asia, Australia and many countries she said she would likely never see on her own.

Richter earned a master’s degree in nutrition education with the tuition reimbursement program. And she excels at public speaking now, too, thanks to leading sessions at Isagenix conventions and meetings.

What keeps Richter coming back to the office is the dedication from the top. “Our leaders are always trying to get better and improve the corporate and work environment and they are open and very receptive to what anyone has to say,” she said.

Company owners Jim and Kathy Coover, and their son, Erik Coover, strive to maintain a culture focused on family and helping people be their best selves. One example: When Isagenix runs its annual Isabody Challenge contest, a competition takes place internally, too.

In her 10 years at Isagenix, Deborah Matthews, Vice President of Human Resources, watched the company grow from a startup to the global force it is today. Matthews built the HR department, drawing on her experience at Fortune 500 firms.

Isagenix offers traditional benefits, including affordable health insurance and a 401(k) retirement savings plan, plus holiday parties and bonuses.

It provides deep discounts on Isagenix products and free products each month. After so many years, Matthews is still surprised when new people come to Isagenix and feel its energy.

“When people start and they circle back and say, ‘I can’t believe how friendly or nice or helpful everyone is,’ that tells me we are doing our job of keeping the culture, even as we grow globally,” Matthews said.


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


It Works!

Step inside the Bradenton, Florida headquarters of It Works! and you can feel the genuine and heartfelt passion employees have about being one team with one mission.

“We embody that,” said Pamela Mercado, Vice President of Marketing. “We have each other’s backs. We are one family, so we will pull up our sleeves and get to work and help each other out.”

CEO Mark Pentecost does his best to make it easy for every employee to go the extra mile. The waterfront corporate building takes things to a Whole ‘Notha Level—literally.

A rooftop sanctuary includes waterfalls, putting greens, a fire pit and wet bar and plenty of room for meetings, socializing and celebrations, not to mention the view.

“We built the building so that what we say on the outside matches who we are on the inside,” Pentecost said.

Fun takes center stage in the design. A slide replaces the elevators between the third and second floor. And every day at 3 p.m., a high five session gets people up and moving and celebrating the day’s good work together. “We don’t want people to be in their seats, in their own silos,” Pentecost said.

The building also features wrap-around exterior decks designed for outdoor meetings and a bistro on every floor, complete with coffee, drinks and small tables to encourage employees to get together.

“We are not stuffy,” Mercado said. In fact, every office has a glass wall to help build and strengthen the team feeling.

Many employees cite their coworkers as the thing they enjoy most about coming to work every day. Charlie Lersch, Director of HR, said that while the response “sounds like the easy thing to say, it is the truth. We are a merit-driven company, and we want people we know will be right there next to us in those foxhole moments, working with us and punching through.”

To celebrate the wins that come from such a dedicated workforce, management strives to create a fun and rewarding environment. Frequent team-building outings include bowling or cookouts.

All-company events may be checking out a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game from the stadium’s party deck or a day at the Pentecost ranch to experience another side of Florida, “seeing the Spanish moss and being on a swamp buggy,” Pentecost said.


“We have each other’s backs. We are one family, so we will pull up our sleeves and get to work and help each other out.”


At the golf course Pentecost owns, management members get privileges and employees have frequent opportunities to improve their game, including free Saturday lessons for those who’ve never golfed before.

Meetings also might take place on a boat or on the island Pentecost and his wife, Cindy, purchased as another option to entertain and reward staff in a stress-free setting.

At the heart of these outings is Pentecost’s desire to know his employees and thank them for their work. He makes sure every employee feels they are a part of it all, especially as employment jumped from 30 to 180.

“When a company is growing fast and hiring a lot, sometimes you lose that culture,” Pentecost said. “So I made sure HR knew that I did not want to walk out of my office and say, ‘Who are these people?’ I wanted to know them.”

When he’s visiting with Presenters in the field, Pentecost spends time entertaining and inspiring them, and he makes sure he doesn’t lose sight of that inside the walls of his office, either.

“We try to really make sure the office is not just between the walls here at the corporate headquarters,” Pentecost said. “We want to make sure we conduct business everywhere. That builds up the tank of feeling that we care and knowing that we can all laugh and have fun.”

The perks, the unified culture, and the fact that Pentecost is always stretching to see what else he can offer to employees, builds tremendous loyalty, Mercado said.

“Employees work harder and achieve more, even managers,” Mercado said. She shared a Maya Angelou quote that describes the It Works! atmosphere: “I do my best because I am counting on you counting on me.”

The leadership team takes such sentiments to heart, Lersch said, noting that Pentecost puts no limits on them. “He has given us no restrictions on being creative, innovative and trying things. It’s OK to fail,” Lersch said.

It Works! employees are not just committed to the business. They also are dedicated to giving back. Those activities such as school supply drives or street cleanups round out the work experience and make it even more fulfilling.

“Working here has changed so many people’s lives, thanks to the giving heart that Mark and Cindy have,” Lersch said. “We really want to be intentional about pouring that into our people and making this a wonderful place.”


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Legalshield

As the big employer in a small town, LegalShield knows a thing or two about creating and maintaining a family atmosphere at work.

For the second year in a row, the company has earned the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling achievement. It’s no surprise then, that many who work at the Ada, Oklahoma business consider themselves a tight-knit community, where everyone sees each other at church or at school functions for their children.

Today, the company employs about 750 people in Ada, and it maintains offices and remote employees across the country, from Seattle to New York.

“Now that our family has grown, we do a lot of video conferencing,” said Jeremiah Brooks, Director of Desktop Services. “That really helps the personalization with new coworkers. We get to put a face to the name and the voice, and we get to talk with lots of different people with different work backgrounds.”

From a home office situated on a hill that overlooks town, LegalShield connects individuals, families and business owners with a network of provider law firms who assist members with a variety of everyday legal issues.

For many employees, the chance to make a living close to home is a blessing. Stacy Whelchel grew up in Ada but moved away to work as a journalist.

Eventually she and her husband returned to raise their children near family. “Due to the fact that we have all chosen to live and work in a small city, having a strong, supportive atmosphere at work makes it nice to be there,” said Whelchel, a senior writer and editor.

Ada is a town of about 17,000 people. So many employees already know one another from their life in town. That just adds to the family atmosphere.

“There are lots of family members who work here, but not in the same department,” Whelchel said. “If you’ve lived here for a long time, you’re related to somebody and we definitely recommend working here.”

LegalShield is powered by a desire to do good, improve people’s lives and improve society, said John Long, Senior Vice President of People and Leadership Development.

To accomplish all of those things, the company provides its employees with many opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Employees can complete up to 400 online training courses or sign up to take college classes at nearby East Central University or other institutions.

LegalShield provides tuition reimbursement of up to $2,000 a semester for undergraduate and graduate classes, including a master’s in management program designed in collaboration with ECU, Long said.

CEO Jeff Bell encourages employees to explore career options in other departments, too. Employees benefit by learning new skills and gaining new experiences and the company gains more highly trained, well-rounded workers and managers.

Long is a great example of the opportunities available within LegalShield. In his 18 years with the company he worked in marketing and communications, corporate development and compliance before jumping to HR.

“I still feel like I’m going through my own orientation,” Long said.

Many LegalShield employees have long tenures, including Brooks. He’s been with the company for 19 years, having started in distribution while going to school before moving to IT.

He cites work-related travel as a great growth opportunity. He’s been to Hawaii, Toronto, New York and Los Angeles—many big cities he said he would not get to see on his own.

To retain employees and uphold its status as a desired employer, LegalShield offers rich benefits to employees, including many onsite services.


“Due to the fact that we have all chosen to live and work in a small city, having a strong, supportive atmosphere at work makes it nice to be there.”


An onsite restaurant offers healthy meals. A doctor’s office provides convenient health care and an exercise facility is available, too. Family members can also access all of these services.

“This all ties into a healthy lifestyle approach that we want to advocate and foster,” Long said.

Other benefits include frequent recognition for good work, plus monthly and annual employee awards.

Employees can earn referral and performance bonuses, too. Other perks for employees and their families include discounts on cellphones and other services, a LegalShield membership, access to Teladoc for 24-hour medical care, free parking and a casual dress policy.

LegalShield also is an early adopter when it comes to technology, using advanced web and cloud-based services to improve the customer and employee experience.

What LegalShield really offers is a marriage between customer service and the practice of law, as it works to bring legal access to those who need it.

“We are growing and we are moving up and looking to advance in all ways so that we can to help support our clients,” Brooks said. “We are ready for the challenge.”


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


LifeVantage

There is a large team of people who work diligently behind the scenes at LifeVantage to make sure that every experience with the company is the best it can be.

This group of corporate employees looks out for one another, and ensures that everyone succeeds.

People typically only see the “forward facing” part of LifeVantage (and most other direct selling companies), which is the sales team and distributor support.

“It’s important to know that there is a partnership among fellow employees,” said Robyn Reed, Quality Assurance Manager. “There is a sense of encouragement and support between the departments.”

For many workers like Colton Smith, Regional Sales Manager, coworkers are close friends and supporters. “With these relationships, working together as a team comes naturally.”

Employees say they know that executives care about them and are willing to act on their feedback. The culture at LifeVantage is described as one of unity, appreciation and accountability.

Employee access badges are paired with a card that outlines the company’s strategic plans so that everyone can see how they are helping the company move forward.

“We are constantly asking ourselves how we can help our distributors have more success, and it shows,” said Jared Haddock, Creative Director. “We know their names, they know ours. Some have our personal numbers on speed dial.”

Forging close ties with people working in the field only strengthens the business. Inventory Clerk Diana Romay says that employees get to know distributors when they come to the office or at events.

“They too are a part of our LifeVantage family,” Romay said. “As a collective, we do what it takes to look out for one another both in the field and in the office.”

This symbiotic relationship paid off when LifeVantage was experiencing growing pains.

“We all banded together to overcome obstacles and create new solutions to problems that had never existed before,” Romay said. “A lot of respect came from past and present challenges, and it drives our desire and dedication to continue to achieve new heights.”

And when employees go above and beyond, managers and executives are quick to provide rewards and recognition, not to mention generous benefits.

Employees enjoy great health insurance, company stock, bonuses, floating holidays, phone reimbursements, “awesome” break rooms with access to popcorn machines, soda machines and snack drawers. The company also pays for half of each employee’s membership to Lifetime fitness.


“At the end of the day, I go home feeling fulfilled and satisfied knowing I’ve made a contribution to our company’s growth.”


The gym membership is a popular benefit among employees, who say they otherwise could not afford to belong to such a prestigious gym.

LifeVantage also provides frequent company outings to movie premieres or a go-kart track. And as a sponsor of the Real Salt Lake soccer team, employees get the opportunity to attend the games.

“There’s nothing quite like getting spoiled with the delicious LifeVantage Real Salt Lake suite,” Smith said.

There are also smaller, unexpected perks, such as having free massages in the office and the added bonus of work travel that exposes employees to new places and people.

At staff meetings, managers, directors, and executives recognize their teams and publicly praise their performances in front of the rest of the company. Employees might be rewarded with a gift card, an iPad, or even $100 in cash.

Flexible work schedules and an unlimited paid-time-off policy round out the team philosophy at LifeVantage. When Smith was pursing a degree, LifeVantage created a work schedule that paired with the school schedule.

“They trust employees to get their work done and they know that work-life balance is important to get the best results,” Haddock said.

Opportunities for career and professional development are plentiful. Employees are encouraged to attend conferences, symposiums, workshops and trainings that they feel will assist them in their work. “They really invest in employees,” Haddock said.

Being a public company also lends credibility and responsibility. “It means we hold ourselves to a higher standard and I can count on us always doing things the right way,” Haddock said.

What keeps employees coming back to work each day? It’s a combination of the culture and the people at LifeVantage, Romay said.

“I have fun and hardworking coworkers who challenge me and make me feel a part of something bigger,” Romay said.

“At the end of the day, I go home feeling fulfilled and satisfied knowing I’ve made a contribution to our company’s growth,” she says. “Even on my birthday, when I could easily request it off with a paid floating holiday, I still prefer to come in and spend it with my friends being productive instead of staying home.”


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Nu Skin

A mission to make a difference in the world is at the heart of how Nu Skin Enterprises creates fierce loyalty among its employees.

This fierce loyalty has earned Nu Skin the achievement of a Best Places to Work in Direct Selling for the second year in a row.

“Our company believes in who we are, and we treat people with respect,” says David Daines, Vice President of Human Resources. “That doesn’t mean we don’t disagree or have issues or conflicts, but we all feel like we are in this together.”

Often, that difference is made very close to home.

Daniel Rhodes, a distribution center supervisor, can’t say enough about Nu Skin’s Giving in Your Own Backyard program. The effort lets employees donate funds to help colleagues in need.

A few years ago, his daughter was diagnosed with a tooth condition that required extensive care. “Her mouth was destroyed and we had a gigantic bill,” Rhodes said.

Not long after, he was called into the HR office. Rhodes said he was worried when he was taken into CEO Truman Hunt’s office next. Truman told him the company was paying for his daughter’s medical bills.

“They wanted to take care of it for me so that I didn’t have to use my bonus to pay for it,” said Rhodes, whose daughter is now doing well.

That kind of caring is common at Nu Skin, a Provo, Utah-based company that makes and distributes anti-aging skin care and nutritional products. When Daines joined Nu Skin from Intel, he looked at the mission statement of being a force for good and improving lives and “at first I didn’t believe it.”

“I thought it was a great marketing statement,” he said. “Then I found out that I was completely wrong. It is the way we live our lives here.”

Russell Gray, a clinical research manager, says Nu Skin has improved his life as well as
the lives of many others. He joined four years ago after working as an Army nurse and a clinical researcher.

In his time at Nu Skin, Gray earned a master’s degree in clinical research to go along with his bachelor’s degree in health care. He takes advantage of the available health coaching to help him meet fitness goals. And he praises the company’s health insurance benefits, which he says are a boon for his family.

“The benefits, the pay, I love my team and we all work great together, and it’s fun and exciting every day with always something new to work on—that’s what keeps me coming back every day,” Gray said.

Rhodes echoes those sentiments. He joined Nu Skin 10 years ago after going on a mission and then temping at various warehouses while taking college classes. His brother was temping for Nu Skin, so Rhodes applied with the intent of working at Nu Skin until he completed classes at Utah Valley University.

What he found was a modern warehouse operation where everything was digital. He moved up after just a few months into a team lead position. Then he took advantage of leadership classes and management development classes.


“Our company believes in who we are, and we treat people with respect. That doesn’t mean we don’t disagree or have issues or conflicts, but we all feel like we are in this together.”


When a supervisory role became available, he was ready and prepared to take on the next challenge.

“I never really thought I would stay this long, especially not in a warehouse, but I love it here,” Rhodes said. “It’s hard to turn your back on this.”

Many employees continuously recruit friends and family to the firm that has treated them so well. At Nu Skin, part-time employees receive many of the same benefits as full-time employees, such as the chance to earn points to make purchases at the Employee Product Center.

Many employees find they save money on household hygiene products like toothpaste and shampoo, because they can get those items at the company store.

Nu Skin also offers paid time off so that employees can volunteer, generous holiday parties and gifts, and a bonus at Christmas. Employees might receive a bonus equal to two-weeks’ pay, a $100 Costco gift card and a $500 American Express gift card (or $250 for part-time employees.)

“When I started these were my Christmases. That was the only way I had money to provide Christmas for my family,” Daines said.

“Yeah, it is an expense for the company, but what it does for families is take the pressure off the parents for the holiday season, and it lets them provide things for the family that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.”

Employees and families are also treated to group outings and events, such as a day at a local theme park.

The company works to educate employees in ways that will help them be better prepared for life whether or not they remain at Nu Skin. Daines cited the financial education offered around saving for retirement and smart budgeting strategies as two examples.

Still, it all comes back to the culture and inclusiveness of Nu Skin. “Mostly people talk about the friends that they have here,” Rhodes said. “They want to be a part of this community.”

 


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Plexus Worldwide

The atmosphere within Plexus Worldwide’s Scottsdale, Arizona office is a feeling of everyone being on the same team.

Employees at all levels and the company’s brand ambassadors support one another on a daily basis, as well as when someone is in need. The company culture is all about improving lives and being as approachable and as transparent as needed to make that happen.

Emphasis is placed on treating people with dignity and respect every day, and on fostering relationships with a personal touch.

“It’s a team culture,” said Pam McTague, Senior Manager of Incentives and Promotions at Plexus, which makes and distributes nutrition and wellness products and supplements. “The one culture, one Plexus, mentality means we are all working together for the good of the company.”

That culture is why people stay at Plexus and why they recruit friends and family to work there, too. The welcoming environment adds to the family feel.

“This is a very supportive and amazing group of people, and I feel blessed every day to have found this opportunity, but more importantly, this family,” said Crystal Thudium, Human Resources Director.

Thudium recently had to leave the country to spend time with her father, who was hospitalized. The timing of his illness occurred right before a long-planned vacation.

“I’ve had so much support from my coworkers, offering everything from help at work, help with household chores and taking my two sons under their care,” Thudium said.

Thudium’s experience is a perfect example of how employees live the company culture every day, McTague said.

From executives down to the newest employee in the call center, Plexus operates with an open- door policy where everyone is approachable and “it makes the business more successful in the long run. It’s something people appreciate,” McTague said.

The corporate culture at Plexus is what differentiates the company from competitors, says CFO Steve Howard. It’s also what retains employees, more so than other company benefits.

As a relatively young company founded in 2006, Plexus initially “was a bootstrap organization” that had gone through a lot of growth. Today, the company provides health benefits, a 401(k) plan and a full-fledged Human Resources department.


“This is a very supportive and amazing group of people, and I feel blessed every day to have found this opportunity, but more importantly, this family.”


Howard helped CEO Tarl Robinson implement all of these benefits and more, such as a health and wellness program complete with a full-time, on-site health coach added this year.

The two men knew each other socially and often talked about how Plexus was doing. As the company began to expand, the need for a professional finance department arose. “I asked Tarl what kind of firm he wanted to build, and what he said surprised me,” Howard said.

Robinson’s vision is that when employees or Ambassadors are out and about and someone asks what they do, and they say they work at Plexus, the response will be, “Wow, I have heard so many great things about that company. What do you do there?”

It’s really all about helping people, which goes back to the corporate culture. In fact, people stay at Plexus because of the culture and often recruit friends and family to join them.

Thudium’s mom works in the warehouse and Howard’s two sons have spent summers working in the warehouse, too.

Employees also enjoy weekly meetings with Plexus executives, where updates are shared, questions are asked and answered, employees are rewarded for jobs well done and upcoming challenges are addressed. Plexus also celebrates its team with special outings to baseball games or company barbecues and generous holiday parties.

Robinson is committed to making sure there is no schism between those at corporate and those working in the field. For employees, the company provides an opportunity for interesting work as it continues to grow and expand.

For Ambassadors, corporate managers as well as employees strive to support them as they build perseverance, resilience and passionate commitment to distributing Plexus products.

Each week, Plexus executives spend time talking with an Ambassador about their issues and concerns, and also to share what’s new at corporate.

Howard remembers the first time he went to a convention. He was surrounded by thousands of Ambassadors, and he said he felt the compassion and love in the room.

“There is a higher calling to it,” Howard said, and that’s why he sees no problem spending money on company events, recognition items, prizes, and awards and trips.

“All we do is designed around the Ambassadors,” Howard said. “Ambassadors put everything they’ve got into Plexus every day, and the least we can do is put all we’ve got into them. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Team National

An intentional focus on personal growth is one benefit employees at Team National say they really appreciate.

Clearly, it’s one benefit among many that fosters a great environment, as Team National has garnered the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling achievement for the second year in a row.

As a regular practice, CEO Angela Loehr Chrysler shares blogs or articles with employees on a regular basis. Once a month employees gather for an hour-long session led by one of the company’s executives. The topic might relate to a business book or a blog or a personal experience.

“Not only are they promoting it, but there is an invested time for it—on company time—to develop ourselves,” said Derek Bley, Manager of Business Solutions.

The sessions also encourage employees to further investigate topics on their own. Liseth Acevedo, Manager of Factory Direct, said many employees take it upon themselves to read more or watch videos and then interact with one another to discuss different topics.

She appreciates the monthly sessions because, she said, “you get paid while learning and growing. It is unique and it makes you become better because you learn things that maybe you would not do on your own.”

Recent discussions have centered on The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, which focuses on the ways personal choices control an individual’s energy, output and attitude toward certain situations.

Shentelle Hamilton, Customer Service Manager, recalls a meeting centered on the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.

This book is about having determination, being able to sacrifice to accomplish a goal and being able to move forward from your past. Hamilton said the presentation led to a very moving group discussion about what it takes to be a strong person.

It is these kinds of little gestures that make a big difference in the company culture at Davie, Florida-based Team National, which sells memberships that give customers access to savings on a wide variety of products, from furniture to energy and cell phone service.

Acevedo said these programs shows that managers care about the personal and professional development of employees.

“I look forward to it now,” Acevedo said. “I even subscribe to short videos that I get every day, and as a manager I will share it with my team when I think they will enjoy listening to it or learning from it.”

With a mission focused on changing lives, the personal development sessions only made sense. “This is a company that believes in servant leadership,” Hamilton said. “There is a love of charity work, and no one is looking for recognition. It is done from the heart.”


“This is a company that believes in servant leadership. There is a love of charity work, and no one is looking for recognition. It is done from the heart.”


When extreme weather damaged many members’ homes in Louisiana, Loehr Chrysler asked employees for their ideas on how Team National could help.

Bley said everyone thought about how they could help people rebuild their homes with the services the company already provides to members and reached out to partners.

“We used our relationship with a furniture partner and we donated hundreds of mattresses,” Bley said, adding that the work was an easy reminder of how Team National works to improve people’s lives every day.

The regular, everyday work environment is pretty rewarding, too. Greeting and talking with visitors to the office or traveling to work conventions are welcome changes to the daily routine, Acevedo said.

Bley and other managers also work to give their teams projects that stretch their skills and talents.

“They may think they are not prepared for it, but we know they can do it if they take that extra step or accept more responsibility, and we trust that they will know how to work through it,” Bley said.

And then there are the benefits. The company pays 100 percent of health insurance and offers a supplemental plan to help pay deductibles. Bley equates this to “a big raise that allows us to spend our money on something else.”

There are numerous paid holidays and limited restrictions on when employees can use paid time off. As a mom, Acevedo really appreciates that flexibility, plus the Monday-Friday office hours.

“They value family here,” Acevedo said. “They want you to work hard, but they don’t want to overwork you, and I really appreciate that.”

And while employees wear company shirts or sweaters, they are available in a variety of colors, which speaks to the diversity of the Team National workforce, Hamilton said.

Rewards are plentiful, too, from $250 gift cards for every employee at Thanksgiving and Christmas, to special dinners, weekly pizza and wings lunches as well as regular staff outings (a barbecue or a day at the beach), each foster fun and team building.

There are even events for staff and their families, such as family bowling nights. “Working here is more like giving back to the community and treating all of us like family,” Hamilton said.


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Xyngular

When Marc Walker founded Xyngular in 2009, he built his company on a foundation of love and caring. As the firm grew, an expanded executive team organized that love and developed values to create a framework for attracting distributors that shared Walker’s mission to empower change.

Steve Elder, COO, likes to describe it this way: “The energy that creates the power is the true love in caring. This power has existed since the beginning and now it’s coming into its own.” Xyngular operates on six core values, and the company’s hiring process is designed to find people who align with these core values, Elder said. The values are:

  • Excellence. This means consistently exceeding expectations.
  • Completion. In other words, actually delivering things, not just talking about it.
  • Ownership. Taking personal responsibility for results.
  • Rewards & Recognition. Good pay, profit-sharing and regular reviews to ensure alignment between team and team members.
  • Clarity. People are encouraged to make sure they understand what is expected, in order to avoid wasted time and effort.
  • Courage. Everyone is expected to speak up and ask questions, to know that there are no stupid questions or ideas. The goal is to unleash the power of the organization.

When Jamie Bowden interviewed at the firm she interviewed with all four executives—CEO Russ Fletcher, President Marc Walker, Elder and Executive Vice President of Sales Curtis Call.

“When I walked in, it was like sitting with friends and family,” says Bowden, Director of Member Services. “They were super welcoming and nice and they talked about being a family and keeping the culture pure.”

Bowden sees the culture in action every day, in many different ways. She says she feels empowered to make decisions, knowing that it will be OK with managers if mistakes are made. “I have never once been scared to try something new or to take a risk because I know the company would back me up,” Bowden said.

That attitude emboldened Bowden to use part of her departmental budget to create a tiered agent program that rewards employees for completing certain steps along a professional development and leadership training hierarchy. As employees graduate to higher tiers they can qualify to receive a raise six months earlier than usual. “It’s motivation to get people to keep growing and developing,” Bowden said.


“I have never once been scared to try something new or to take a risk because I know the company would back me up.”


That fits right into the promise of the Xyngular brand, which is “to create the power to become,” Elder said. And that applies to corporate employees and distributors.

Opportunities for leadership training and mentorship abound. “We know people may not stay here for their whole career, so we hope their time with us allows them to become more and better, and to look back at Xyngular as a place where they grew and developed into something they wanted to be,” Elder said.

Michelle Luchansky-Marostica said the atmosphere at Xyngular is one of constant learning. Employees are encouraged to take classes and attend conferences and summits. “There are great opportunities to better yourself while doing the things you need to help the firm move forward,” said Luchansky-Marostica, Senior Communications Manager.

The energy and caring is palpable, she says. Benefits include unlimited paid time off and reimbursements for “healthy life benefits,” such as a membership at a rock climbing gym. “We jealously guard our culture,” said Luchansky-Marostica. “There is a deep integrity from the leadership on down. It is a great place to work and we are in that really exciting phase where things are crazy every day and we get to learn something new all the time.”

In the Member Services department, the “Wow Stories” are a pretty big deal. The strategy zeros in on several of Xyngular’s core values. Bowden teaches her team to look for a personal or emotional connection with members they talk with on the phone. For example, if someone calls to cancel or put an auto-ship on hold, employees find out why. It could be due to a death in the family, a cancer diagnosis, the birth of a new baby or a house fire.

The Member Services employee will certainly express a caring attitude, but they also go the extra mile. The department might sign a sympathy card, send a care package for someone undergoing chemotherapy, ship out swaddling blankets for a new born or a Home Depot gift card to aid recovery efforts after a home disaster. “We want to let them know that we are more than just trying to get their business,” Bowden said. “We really do care.”

All of these efforts—the culture, the strategy of how Xyngular positions itself and the talent the company can attract and retain—strengthen the framework to empower change. “If all of those are working, it’s just accelerating our success,” Elder said.


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Younique

Even in the midst of a hyper-growth stage, Younique puts a premium on hiring people who will add value to the cosmetics firm both now in the future. Randan Manuela, Distribution Center Director, watched the company grow from 280 employees to 600 since joining Younique in January 2015. He recalls a meeting with Younique Co-Founder Derek Maxfield.

“Derek said, ‘We hire hearts, not heads,’ ” Manuela said. “He talked about how we could hire and add people as fast or as slow as we wanted, but we want to hire the people who are the best fit.”

In many cases, existing employees refer new hires, which only makes sense to Kim Clegg, Senior Manager of Customer Care. The general thought is that people love to share what they love with the people they love. “Everyone wants to feel like the work they do matters and is making a difference,” Clegg said. “Every decision we make goes back to our mission to uplift, empower and validate women around the world.”

Younique’s mission applies to employees, too. Clegg said every employee is treated with respect and rewarded for their work. She cites the call center as an example. Typically a call center manager is expected to be on call 24/7. Not so at Younique. “They talk about family first, and they want you to have work-life balance,” Clegg said. “And it is not just talk. They enforce it. They make sure you take time off to be with your family. And when you leave the office, that is your time.”

Slowing down to hire smart is proving successful for the Lehi, Utah company. Located in an area dubbed the Silicon Slopes for the many top-notch firms nearby, the region has a very low unemployment rate.

To attract the best, Younique’s executive team purposefully designed a campus brimming with perks and an employee compensation plan packed with benefits. “You have to position yourself as an employer of choice,” said Tracee Comstock, Vice President of HR. “Some people who want to work here may wait up to one or two years to get hired.”

Once people land at Younique they tend to stay. Comstock attributes the low turnover rate to building a great culture and loving the mission. “We focus on living our mission, as well as creating a great culture for our employees. We focus on serving our Presenters and customers globally. We work together and collaborate in cross-functional teams. We are all part of the Younique team,” Comstock said. Employees are also motivated to contribute efforts to the Younique Foundation, which helps women who experienced childhood sexual abuse.


“They talk about family first, and they want you to have work-life balance. And it is not just talk. They enforce it.”


Manuela noted that leaders treat every employee as one of their own, not just those people on their teams. While there are work-related goals to accomplish each day, “we want people to succeed and move up and maybe take our spots one day,” he said.

To aid employees in doing their best work and in being their best selves at work and at home, Maxfield and sister and Co-Founder Melanie Huscroft created a campus designed to meet many employee needs.

Rob Morris, a former NFL player with the Indianapolis Colts and a standout at Brigham Young University, directs Younique’s robust wellness program. It features access to many fitness classes, including strength and conditioning, Muay Thai and yoga, as well as nutrition workshops held regularly throughout the year. Classes are held at various times during the day in order to accommodate different shifts so that all employees, including those working nights, are able to attend. Facilities include a gym with weight room, basketball and racquetball courts, a yoga studio, and group training area. Full locker rooms with steam room and showers are available to employees around the clock.

Employees enjoy a full service salon and spa, including massage therapy, haircuts, beauty treatments and makeovers using Younique’s quality cosmetic products. These services are available at the salon for employees and their families alike. An onsite café features breakfast and lunch prepared by premier chefs. Kiosks are filled with meals that can be reheated for those who work swing or graveyard shifts. Family members are welcome to join the employee for breakfast or lunch and enjoy the top-qualify food in the café.

Employees also love the ability to work a flexible schedule when needed. This allows them to take care of a child’s doctor appointment or run an errand. Manuela said managers create schedules that work for those going to college, for single parents or for someone working two jobs.

“You are allowed to do the things you need to, so that when you are at work you can focus on work,” Clegg said.

Employees also enjoy Younique’s excellent benefit plans. They enjoy affordable health care, dental, vision, life insurance, and disability plans, as well as a company-matched 401(k) plan.

The entire benefits and wellness package is “about getting that work-life balance a bit more in balance,” said Matt Cooley, President. Cooley said what really shines through, and what employees most often mention to managers is an “even deeper aspect to that sense of purpose of wanting to contribute to a mission greater than you.”


Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


Table of Contents

Story of the 2017 Best Places to Work and FAQ
AdvoCare
Isagenix
It Works!
LegalShield
LifeVantage
Nu Skin
Plexus Worldwide
Team National
Xyngular
Younique
Zurvita


Zurvita

There is power in the group. This is supremely evident at Zurvita, where the corporate office is one big open space with no walls, no offices and no doors. The openness clearly creates a positive experience for the company, which has earned the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling achievement for two years in a row.

The set-up also “fosters open communication,” said Luis Rodriguez, a compliance and business analyst. “We brainstorm a lot between departments and we have team consults all the time, especially if we have a doubt or need more information from another department.”

What Rodriguez likes most about working at Zurvita, a Houston-based maker of nutritional and weight management products, is that managers truly listen to ideas and observations of their employees.

That kind of corporate culture is the embodiment of Zurvita’s founding principles:

  • To build a company that honors and glorifies God
  • To develop a company with humble leadership
  • To create an environment where people can win at every level

Co-founders Mark and Tracy Jarvis and Co-CEO Jay Shafer set the tone for what Brian Altman, Senior Vice President of Business Operations, describes as an environment where employees can grow personally in their faith but also professionally.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership and the focus on Jesus Christ and the Christian values is a very refreshing way to conduct business,” Altman said. “There are a lot of business basics in the Bible and that is practiced here.”

At Zurvita, people are the priority. “We lift people up and mentor them at all levels,” said Debbie Travis, Vice President of Customer Service.

In fact, customer service is a bit like the farm team for the rest of Zurvita. It’s where many employees get their start and the training they need to grow, develop and move forward. Case in point, all but one employee in the sales department started out in customer service, as did everyone in the commissions department and several from IT.

Training and development is ongoing and managers “really have a heart for their people,” Travis said. A Vice President of Ministry Services is always available to talk with employees about any issues they face, whether it is personal, spiritual or professional.

Employees enjoy generous health care benefits, access to Zurvita products, gym memberships, company lunches and many rewards and recognition events.

A special focus this year on leadership development saw Zurvita buy John Maxwell books for every employee. Each department is reading it together and discussing the ideas in their own way. But the common belief is that “if we can grow our people than we can grow our business,” Altman said.


“Here it is people first and work second. I don’t feel like I have a job, I have a purpose.”


Adriel Thurston is Executive Assistant to Mark and Tracy Jarvis. She started in marketing and worked her way up. Now she manages Zurvita’s philanthropic efforts through Zurvita Ministries, including the Feed 500 program, which helps Consultants create volunteer efforts in their own backyards to feed the hungry. “Here, it is people first and work second,” Thurston said. “I don’t feel like I have a job, I have a purpose.”

When Thurston travels to a market to organize a Feed 500 event, she coordinates a fellowship meeting on Friday night, to discuss with Consultants and volunteers how to reach out to others in the community to sustain the Feed 500 efforts. On Saturday morning volunteers gather to prepare box lunches. Sometimes those lunches are delivered door-to-door, other times they are distributed from a central location.

Very often, other needs arise that the Zurvita team handles, such as helping a family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, restore its electrical service and or providing Thanksgiving dinners for 20 families in Houston, Texas.

Thinking about one’s relationship with Christ, as well as one’s personal journey and spiritual walk helps put life in perspective. That’s something Zurvita’s three executives model every day, Altman said. “It definitely made me take a step back and look at how I conduct myself with people who report to me and how I serve them,” Altman said.

Altman noted that even when things might not go as planned, he is able to maintain his competitive drive in a way that does not steal the joy from work. Instead, he encourages his team to look for the best solutions to meet their goals.

Which gets back to the power of the group. When work needs to be done, like moving dozens of boxes into a hotel before a large meeting, executives and warehouse employees are often up together at 5 a.m. to unload a truck.

“It’s about being able to step in and to understand that to become the greatest you must become the least,” Altman said. The philosophy is one that Altman has tried to ingrain within himself. “It’s opened up my heart to serve others and to help them get what they need to do their job.”

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