April 01, 2017
The Best Places to Work in Direct Selling 2017 Honorees
by Andrea Tortora
Table of Contents
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.”
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.