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