Episode 13: An Interview w/ Lauren Gagne, Director of Merchandising at C.A. Short

CA Short All-In Employee Podcast

Nelsa and Scott have a lively conversation with Lauren Gagne, Director of Merchandizing with C.A. Short about her role with the C.A. Short point-based reward program, and how thinking has shifted, since so many people now work from home, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Challenges and successes in celebrating employees during COVID-19 are also discussed. Listen to the podcast below, or continue reading for the full transcript.


[00:00:07] Welcome to the All-In Employee podcast, I'm your host, R. Scott Russell, and I'm right here with my co-host, Nelsa Webber, and we're from C.A. Short Company and you can find out more about us at cashort.com

[00:00:28] And welcome back, everyone, to our second show of the new season. Scott, can you believe it? We are already on show number two, show number two of 2021. And yes, I know, I'm excited. We have an awesome guest today. I am so excited about who's coming on the show.

[00:00:46] But first, hot topics. Hot topics! Hot topics are back, ladies and gentlemen, this is by popular demand or at least because, Scott, and my love is based on art, and it was based on the fact we like talking.

[00:00:59] So what do you got for us today? You got one for us Nelsa.

[00:01:01] So I do. I looked in LinkedIn because I just enjoy just scouting around seeing what is going on in everybody's industry. And Jeff Bezos is coming down as CEO of Amazon. That is, huge news. He is stepping down. According to the article, his I.T., I guess, is AVP over Cloud Solutions is going to be taking over so that they can start looking at ways in which they can improve in the space. So, you know, most people are commenting that this is a very calculated move. He will go to the chairman of the board, of course, so he won't be gone from Amazon, but taking on a new role. So, what do you think about that, Scott? Like can a person who, which I think his name is synonymous with the brand, you know, so when somebody who is that close to the brand, you know, can he move into a different role and everybody put their trust in a new leader that, you know, is coming up out of the ranks?

[00:02:08] Of course. But what do you think?

[00:02:11] Well, I think when you've got a trillion dollars or something, you can pretty much do whatever you want. And so when you're like the top five richest people in the world, you know, I'll have to say this; at first, I probably would have told you several years ago, that it would be a very difficult transition. But I think one of the things we learned from Apple was that, when you think Apple, you still think Steve Jobs, right? I mean, yeah, they just come together, and he had such a driving mental force for that organization. However, I would say, they've been able to transition and continue on, without his leadership, and still be extremely strong right? Now, things have changed in that market, and I came from that area myself. But obviously, smartphone penetration is now like ninety eight percent, which means almost everyone has a device. And you see that today, right? It's not all new and shiny. It's not the next iPhone, the next this, the next that. But they built such a brand. This really goes along with our guest later today that they've really built such a brand, that no matter who their leader is, that brand is still thriving. But you are right. Hopefully, I would think, there are some improvements that can be made because, you know, Amazon being such a large company. And, yes, I think a lot of us do use them, but, they get some negative headlines. In and out about scheduling and workers’ pay and work conditions. So, this might be an opportunity, for them, to improve their employee engagement model, right?

[00:03:55] All right. Contact us, Amazon. Reach out. C.A. Short can help you. CAShort.com. We use them for cloud services, they need to come back and use us.

[00:04:05] But I do think it could be an opportunity for a new person to shed light and make change. Where sometimes, the way we think about it is: realistically the common person has a very difficult time connecting to a Bezos, right? And so even though the next person is also going to be, I'm sure, a very wealthy leader, they're not going to be Bezos. They're not the starter who is now worth just multi-fortunes. So, I think it is an opportunity there. It'll be interesting to see where that goes. You surprised me today. I do not know that.

[00:04:48] Yeah, I read it the other day and I was like, oh, I hope we get to talk about this on hot topics.

[00:04:54] It must have been when I was off skiing somewhere.

[00:04:56] Right.

[00:04:56] You must be still celebrating.

[00:05:01] It's great that it goes along with our guest too. You know all about the brand.

[00:05:07] You can see coming up later.

[00:05:10] I know our brand secret guest. One of the things that I was reading about, we talked about in our in our last episode. Covid still here, right? I know we want to get past it. It's going to be here for a while. In upcoming episodes, we're going to talk about the vaccine and maybe incenting the vaccine. We're going to be talking about a lot of those things in upcoming episodes. Today's news, one of the things I've been seeing is we've we have gained back about half of the jobs lost in 2020 due to the pandemic. But sadly, what that says to me on the other side, is that if half the glass full, that means the glass is still half empty; that there are still millions of people out there who are not working. It's hard to be all in, Nelsa, when you don't have something to be all in for. I really hope that we focus on recovery this year. Doing what's right and what's best for those people out there that are truly struggling, and for the companies that are struggling. I think we all know there are brands disappearing, that we've seen our whole lives. They are going away too, and they're never going to come back. I know people myself who have been displaced and are really struggling to find another job equal to what they had previously. I did just go; I know most people are not traveling and I don't travel a lot either, but for the first time in a year, I flew, and I went to a ski resort. They were extremely safe. I felt safe the whole time. But some of the feedback I got from them while talking to them was how down their business was. I did a little excursion with what's called a Snowcat, I don't know if you I've seen it, but it's in the movie The Shining. If you watch The Shining toward the end and I love those, it's a big old machine. And they took us up on top of the ski mountain where all the skiers were. They basically gave us a tour and drove us around the top of the mountain. It was beautiful. It was safe. Very private, small group. She gave me great feedback that she was so thrilled that we had chosen to do this, because normally they stayed booked for the majority of the year and she goes "we're not getting a third of the business. So, I was really blessed that you came and did it." I just felt wonderful to do that. I know everybody can't do the things that all of us do, but I have found myself being more generous in the last year. I definitely tip in upscale a little bit more now. I am trying to do things for people when I can that I previously probably just wouldn't have thought of. I think you need to do that now in our lives. I think you need to connect and engage. It has definitely made me realize that we've kind of lost a year and I don't want to look back and say: wow, two years of my life were spent worrying about this pandemic. I'd rather say I spent two years making alterations and changes to my priorities, but yet still lived a wonderful life still had great love. I still had great experiences. That's what I'm really trying to do now, and I hope more of us can do that, as we get through this. I hope that if the same jobs aren't there for people, that there are other great opportunities for them to take.

[00:08:50] It goes along with that whole idea of rebranding, with the companies, rebranding yourself. Knowing that just because what you used to do, that part of your life may be gone, being able to reimagine yourself in a new way. There are so many online education courses like certificate programs online, stuff like Google and Coursera and some of those. For people to be able to take the opportunity to use the time, while you're off or out of work, to really reimagine; what do you want your life to look like? Not get lost in the past and what's gone, but how do you forge ahead? That's the same thing for companies. Instead of focusing on the losses, what can you learn from that? What can you do to reinvent, to pivot, to rebrand, to reimagine? Just like we talked about earlier last season, companies that could not sell alcohol became hand sanitizer creators with their distilleries and whatnot. So it's a matter of seeing what are your skill sets? How do you repackage and rebrand and promote what you do, in a different way? There's so many new small businesses cropping up, that's what excites me. Being able to see people who are doing things differently, doing things in a new way. You might be at ground zero, but there's nowhere to go but up.

[00:10:28] There's other things opening. You know, I love my bargain stores. I'm going to give my shout out to Bargain Hunt. Some of those places are doing well, right? Because that's where people are shifting, to shop. That's where I go. So, I love all of those kinds of things popping up. I would just say, you know what? Take the time to appreciate, engage with people. I probably say thank you more today, than I've ever said in my life. People really need to hear that and be appreciative because there's a lot of difficulty out there right now, and animosity. So much political strife. I even saw it at the airport and I and I just thought, man, these poor people, they're just trying to do their jobs and people are really giving them a hard time, sometimes. I hate that. Take the time, take today and at least, if nothing else, look back on your life and say, wow, I focused for a couple of years and was really appreciative of everything I had, and the people around me.

[00:11:26] Listen, not just for a couple of years, Scott, let that be the start of your whole life.

[00:11:31] If you can't do that, focus for two years.

[00:11:33] With Tabitha Brown, "don't you go and mess up nobody else's, ya hear."

[00:11:42] I know this show, Nelsa, is not going to play until after the Super Bowl. We are recording it right before it, so who are you rooting for?

[00:11:50] OK, so this is going to sound crazy. I just knew Tom Brady was going back. He just has his expectation is so high for himself that even though he went to a team who did not look Super Bowl ready at all when he started. Wow, that guy has got some sort of law of attraction and power. Positive thinking is off the charts. So, while I do love my Mahone in Kansas City, I think Tom Brady's going to pull it off just because he wants to prove to people, he's not too old for the game. His mentality is so strong, I have to go with it.

[00:12:30] You're going with Tom.

[00:12:33] Not because he's my favorite though, let me put that out there.

[00:12:35] I will say this: I've been rooting for the chiefs, but I will say that if Tampa Bay pulls out the win, I think Tom will have solidified his "greatest of all time" title. I don't think it'll be impossible to say that he is not that guy at that point. Guess what, Nelsa? That leads us right into our guest because our guest is from New England. Our guest is a big was a big Patriots fan. I think one of the things we're going to ask her is, has she decided to follow Tom, or did she stay with the Patriots? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to our show today. She's our director of merchandizing. She has an amazing experience in this industry, and we're going to be talking to her about it. Miss Lauren Gunya.

[00:13:29] Hello. Hi,.

[00:13:31] Welcome, Lauren, to the show.

[00:13:33] Thank you.

[00:13:35] Before we talk about you, we really want to know, are you rooting for Tom?

[00:13:41] Oh, my goodness, absolutely, 100 percent, yes.

[00:13:45] Yeah, I knew that's what she was going to say. 100% yes, long time Patriots fan, rooting for Tom. OK, well, you know what we're going to know soon enough, and then, Nelsa, we'll have to talk about it in the next episode. Let's see who won that game. So, Lauren, thank you so much for joining us today. We're really excited to have you on the show.

[00:14:04] Thank you.

[00:14:06] We're going to let you talk more than us, but one of the coolest things is: you, like myself and a few of us, you've been in our industry for a long time; in the industry of appreciation, recognition, engagement. You've done several things in that space. First, why don't you tell our listeners just a little bit about your history. Kind of where you come from, what you've done in the past. Then we'll talk a little bit about what you're doing today for C.A. Short and your important role.

[00:14:36] Thank you. I've been having so much fun. I've kind of lost track on how long I've been in this industry. I've really enjoyed my journey. It's been about 25 years. So, I started with a company. Like Scott said, I'm from New England. There's a company in New England that focused on years of service and other recognition programs, to a smaller degree. But I had an opportunity there, I worked there for 15, 20 years, recognizing years of service, then moved into a role where I was the director of merchandizing, there, as well. I also got involved in engagement strategies and went on the road and interfaced with some of the major clients. Detroit was a big area for us. I got to meet with the people at GM and Ford and DaimlerChrysler, helping them to mold and shape the best possible program from a communications standpoint, product offering, and the whole nine yards. That was really fulfilling. I then moved into another company where it was sort of the reverse, which was more recognition programs. I did a lot more client facing and engagement strategy initiatives there. I just have a passion for it because I feel like what I'm doing is really making a difference in people's lives, every day. Every element of what I am involved in, I know the impact that it's having, so it's been wonderful. I've gotten into a lot of different, and this may sound a little bit strange, but one of my areas of concentration, in my last job, was focused on loyalty programs, for casinos. That's a little different behavior to drive.

[00:16:39] I like casinos, Lauren.

[00:16:41] I love casinos, my mom and I.

[00:16:43] I got to merchandise the casino retail stores and, the pretty windows. Trying to connect with the audience and really understand what brands that they're emotionally connecting to. Understanding the demographic that you were appealing to, so that you can make the offering in whatever venue, the most appealing.

[00:17:10] It's a tough crowd to get away from the slots is probably yes, yes, yes.

[00:17:16] It's a loyalty program, they earn a lot of points and they want to spend them.

[00:17:23] Let me tell you what, I use those I use those today, I'm not ashamed to tell everybody. I'm a Harrah's loyalty member and there's another one that I belong to as well. I look at those mailers every week or every month when I get them. I want to look at what my offers are. If I show up on Saturday between five and ten, I get "this." I've done that I went just to get my toaster. I'm not joking, I have. I went to do it. That's interesting. One of the things you're kind of bringing out that I love to hear; you've had a long career in the appreciation industry, but you had sort of a, I wouldn't say a singular focus, but you had a very straight line focus on the things that are your expertise and what you do very, very well. Coming to C.A. Short it's been great having you here. What are you on, your fourth year now? I think, with us.

[00:18:23] I'm working on my fourth year, yes.

[00:18:28] We have worked together closely since day one, that you've been here. We do quite a bit together now. I want to definitely talk about what you do here, for us, but something I want our listeners to know too, is you are what I would call an "analytical queen.".

[00:18:46] I was going to say data guru.

[00:18:50] Some people say guru, but I was trying to give her a little above. When it comes to pulling information and data, you actually love that, which I respect so much, because I'm a creative and I'm all that side of things. Data, for me, can be very overwhelming, but for you it's almost exciting. I see you light up when you're pulling data. You do an immense amount of that for us, working with our account managers, working with the sales groups here, and figuring out the data behind our programs and what's working and not working. What are the positives, what changes need to be made? I want to give you a shout out for that. Tell our listeners what you're doing here at C.A. Short, now, because while your title is director of merchandizing, you really do have a broader role here.

[00:19:42] Yes, I do. That's because I have so many passions and I really navigate towards where my strengths are, and how they can contribute to where we're trying to go as a company; how it could make us get there faster. Data was not new to me, not a new passion at C.A. Short, it's threaded throughout my career, because a long time ago I realized as merchandizing specialists, you cannot pretend to know what people want just by "oh, I like that. I think people like that." Really, the data will tell you what's trending and what's being selected. All throughout any of my merchandizing efforts, you really do need to look and be cognizant of what's being selected as well as offering things that are relevant, that people are emotionally connecting to. If you carry that through into program data analytics, it really is understanding that, as well as how the programs are performing. What makes me light up is seeing the insights and digging and manufacturing that data to show you what you're trying to find. So, you want to know this, you want to know that, and pulling that all together and getting the insight. Because then what that really does is that it empowers you to be able to come up with strategies to improve your program over and over again. Not only that but take a look at the efforts that you've done on a recognition front. Are those working or are those not? Then measuring those all along the way because you're going to repeat what worked. You're trying to drive certain behaviors and you're trying to hold people accountable. The data just really gives you the proof that what you're thinking is is true, but it also guides you throughout the journey of the program and the life cycle of the program.

[00:21:51] In the last few years, of course, we do a lot of point-based systems. We do, of course, years of service, recognition, safety incentives. Each one, they have a different award models, and traditionally there's a lot of product involved. What are you seeing right now is sort of the hot things on the market, like what are people rewarding themselves with, today, that that might be different than it was five, ten years ago?

[00:22:18] Yeah, that's a great question. People are really well, I can tell you, due the pandemic, people are cooking a lot. So, our cookware and anything related to that, has been very hot, flying off the shelves. People are looking to get out and stay healthy and bike riding any kind of activity, getting them out of the house. We have a diverse offering and we've branched into offering at- home experiences, since travel is limited. Virtual, at home experiences include music lessons, cooking lessons and life coaching. The relevant offerings that we've come up with, people have migrated towards, for instance a lot of virtual, zoom meetings, people working from home. We've got relevant offerings for your office space at home. What are those things that, you know, whether it's monitors or it's webcams or it's, you know, TV bars and all that?

[00:23:34] Yeah. Exactly. Or, people are going back to work, so assortments of welcome back kits and safety and healthy things. I think people also are migrating towards the brands that they love, the brands that they trust. To that point I'm very proud of our diverse offering in our online catalog because it really does provide something for everybody. Everybody connects emotionally different to this brand, versus that brand. We tend to organize our offering to have relevant themes. So, if it's Valentine's Day or Mother's Day or what have you, we've always got a relevant offering to look at, as well. We have a plethora of latest and greatest items. Our catalog is not stale, people will migrate, and our top category is what's new, the latest and greatest.

[00:24:43] Lauren, I was just going to say, before you move on, the category of the life coaching experiential, I haven't got enough points to do that yet because I always spend mine too soon.

[00:24:57] I think that one is one of my favorites out of the newest offerings. I just want to say that to you because I felt like we’ve gone into such a Zoom world where everything is telecommuting now. To be able to offer that to people who may not be comfortable, or may not have the opportunity, depending on where they live, based on the restrictions we have right now, with Covid, I thought that one was really one that was so relevant and so meaningful, right now. And it's more than just one type of thing. You did really cut across a diverse group of people with those offerings. Can I just ask where did that idea come from? Was it based on Covid or was that something that was already in the works before the pandemic?

[00:25:52] It was just accepted at that time when Covid hit and became much more relevant and needed because of Covid. We knew we had to and wanted to have that offering because we did come out with our events and experiences. What's really cool about that, you can take a trip to Italy or you can go online and get a ticket to a concert in your local area. But given the fact that that was that was going away as well, we took a look at, and we were sensitive to the fact that the workforce is going to migrate into a higher percentage of the millennials. They're really looking for experiences, all types of experiences. We are sensitive to the employee base.

[00:26:45] I'm really excited about, and you know this, when we were able to bring event tickets into our redemption model, that was huge for me because I'm that guy, right? That's me. Sadly, of course, Covid kind of hit us and I haven't been able to do anything since, I think last, February. But I think within the first year of us having that, I went to probably four or five concerts and that creates a great memory for me. Vicki Lawrence, of all people, from Mama's Family, and the old Carol Burnett Show, is who I saw last February. I know that sounds crazy to most people, but that just takes me back to my childhood. So it really created that moment for me.Then I think I think I saw Hart last year, and I'm a big Hart fan. I really look forward to that day when those come back, when we can do that again. I love the option that we can get tickets to Disney Land, we can get tickets to Universal. It’s just the time in our life. So, it's going to be a moment. But I do love that you brought some incredible at-home experiences into the mix this year., I'm excited to kind of feel those out myself. I love to cook like you do and want to try out a little something. See if I can learn to make something better myself. I see myself doing something like that, this year. What else do you think is going to be hot this year. What are you looking, as well, to bring into the mix, in your role this year?

[00:28:18] Into my role.

[00:28:20] You mean merchandizing wise?

[00:28:24] Yeah, what you're thinking about for 2021.

[00:28:28] 2021, so we are looking to bring on the Kinkade's, which is an awesome offering. Scott, I know you know you're very passionate about that. I think that'll be, it's volunteering. Volunteerism coming to you. Redeeming for something, that's a low point value. Like you said before, Scott, you know, you find yourself in this state where you want to do things for people. You're more giving and you're more generous. I think the world is becoming a more generous place and compassionate, so this fits in fits in with that. We're going to continue to expand. We have some very great strategic vendor partnerships. We’re always looking to bring the latest and greatest from all of our name brands products. So anywhere from Tag Heuer, Bang and Olufsen to Samsung, whatever's out on the market there that people are getting excited about, we want to be able to bring that forward into our offering, so that if you're out there shopping and you want to you want this this item and you can't wait to have it and all of a sudden you discover it's in your catalog and you can use your points for it. I mean, what's better than that, right?

[00:29:49] You know, and you can always buy up if you don't have enough points, like, I do.

[00:30:00] One of the areas that's important to some of our clients is having an offering within the Redemption Mall, as you call it, is customized items. Your brand logo is on the client's brand logos on the merchandise. That's very strong for some of our clients. Our employees love to have that mug that has the company name on it, so we have that offering and that's very popular for specific clients. We do have the buy up feature, as well. We have the ability to have a corporate store where if you don't have any points at all, you can go into a shopping area and get your logoed merchandise and pay with your credit card. So we're expanding upon that for 2021, for those clients that might like that. So, it's pretty cool.

[00:31:00] I’m excited to see what's coming this year, because in the world of appreciation, and I know how we do it, but you are rewarding people for their performance, for their longevity, their loyalty, their behaviors that are positive. We allow those people then to take, they're taking the points they earn or the award they earn and you're doing something for yourself. I think right now, gosh, that's one of the most important things we can do, or that we can provide an organization to help them, right? Because, gosh, we need it now more than ever.

[00:31:38] Yes. I think what's the heartwarming stories that you hear about like people who have used? I've done a fair amount of events at a client’s location and you hear about these stories where they used their points to get their child a bike for Christmas. Or somebody else needed something, so they used their points. Those are those feel-good stories and it's just kind of makes me smile. But again, in 2021 as well, some of the things that we're looking to do is for those periods throughout the year where there's Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, we want to have some promotions around that. We want to bring forward some special offerings, "great deals" kind of section in our shopping area. With our strategic vendor relationships, we can manage to that. That's exciting.

[00:32:48] I’m excited about bringing the KindKids on, especially in February, random act of kindness, it's the perfect time for us to do that. Like you said, they're low point. It doesn't take very much to get these. and it's such a great item to have that give back moment. We're going to be doing those here at C.A. Short. In fact, we're going to be doing that coming up later this month with our employees here. So, I'm really excited that we're going to be doing that give back moment. I think that's fantastic what you're working on there.

[00:33:23] With the spirit of the season, I was going to say, you know where we are. How awesome that we have something on our platform. People don't have to go look for a good volunteer opportunity. It'll be right there on the platform.

[00:33:35] Yes, exactly. Exactly, and you know, the thing about our offering in the diverse offering, it goes back to what you said, Scott, about, experiences bring meaning to you. If you have a manager who knows their employees and they've gone above and beyond, the manager can go in and get something for that employee. So, Scott, if you know your manager got you an event ticket to someone you loved, that would be a really meaningful recognition moment. Our catalog has everything.

[00:34:15] I think that's really awesome. Now, listen, you don't just do these things. You actually have a few other responsibilities that you do. I know that you do because we all do, right? One of the things I love about what we do here at C.A. Short is, we all have our primary role. We all have our priority role, but we also diversify and work with our clients one on one. You do that as well?

[00:34:39] Yes, I do. So, I am managing an account, one of our health care clients, a very large account in Ohio. It's health care, it's a hospital with twenty-six thousand people. They have a wonderful program that started in 2015. Scott said, I love my analytics. So not only do I manage it on a day-to-day basis, but I’m involved with a client on a day to day basis, growing their program and evolving it. They have a very great vision, so it's been it's been delightful to work right alongside them and partner with them, making their program all it can be. We had an opportunity, they decided to to apply for the RPI Best Practice Award, last year, and not just go for one of the seven stanzas, they went for all of them. I was working with them to submit that, and did the measurement piece, and they ended up winning the whole thing. So very, very exciting and proud moment for them.

[00:35:56] I think that's awesome, and we're always proud to have award winning programs. Sometimes we're asked what awards we've won. The truth is, it's not about what's C.A. Short wins, right? It's not about C.A. Short recognition. It's really about what our clients get recognized for, to be able to work with them and support. So, I commend you for that, because that was a major undertaking, and we were thrilled to see that giant win for our client. So, I think that's wonderful. You provide a lot of support for others as well, working with the account management team on a consistent basis. You also provide data on our own internal recognition and engagement program. Your actions, just in that program, have moved the needle quite a bit, even with our own engagement. We face the same challenges every company does. I think that's pretty impressive, and we're not even done, you also manage our NPS process.

[00:37:05] Yes, the survey going out on a quarterly basis, surveying all our clients and the NPS score that comes back and aggregating all of those responses and comments and disseminating them out to the appropriate sales manager.

[00:37:29] This is a great time to talk about that. We've also seen some great improvement just in our own NPS, over the last four or five years since we launched it. You know, we're in a pretty good spot there. I feel really good about seeing that for C.A. Short. That our score, we run NPS. If you don't know what that is, please look that up. It's net promoter score. You'll find it easily, on Google. It's a way for companies to measure performance and its apples to apples. It doesn't matter what company you are, doesn't matter what size you are. It truly is the same question is asked of everyone and you get a score from that. I think it's been impressive with the work that you do. A big chunk of that is what you've been responsible for. I think you've really helped us make some great movement there. I look for more, even in the years to come. I think we're going to keep raising that NPS score. That's fantastic.

[00:38:29] What I would say to that, also, is I've noticed a trend upward, as a result, that I correlated internally to our meetings, holding people accountable in our own program, and then measuring our program and moving the needle. As far as engagement and recognition. There's a lot that comes back, a lot of comments about how great our customer service is. I know that specific area has a lot of recognition being given and being done well. I think, like I said, Scott, meeting and meeting regularly and really understanding what's going on in the organization, and taking action, and the awareness that happens. I think it's the NPS score is a direct reflection of that. Especially in that area.

[00:39:26] That's awesome.

[00:39:27] Very proud. Yeah, it's great.

[00:39:29] Awesome. So, one of the questions we ask all of our guests, Lauren. I think we're about ready for that Nelsa. So, you ready for that question? We're going to lay it on her today.

[00:39:40] Yes, Lauren. All right. You ready? OK.

[00:39:44] Put your thinking cap on. What does an all-in employee look like for you?

[00:39:54] That's our 2021 question, so anybody who's coming on, get prepared.

[00:39:59] Well, I think that employee has an emotional attachment to the company, to what they're doing, what their position is in the company, and their fellow employees, and has a connection to the company culture. You know, I think they put their best foot forward day in and day out, and they go all out. I think they're really committed to doing all that they can to be in alignment with the company's mission and the goals, and the core values, and really living the core values, day in and day out, day out. I really believe that person goes outside their boundaries, the responsibilities, to help others or do something that is innovative, that's going to align with our vision and the direction that we're going. I think participating in companywide activities is just, one thing as well. I think when times get tough, I think helping another employee reach their goal. Not sitting on the sidelines in their own little world. I think it's the teamwork and the dedication to helping our company be the best that we can be. I really feel that we have a lot of employees that kind of embody that.

[00:41:38] That's awesome, that's a great thing. I think that is something you said that I haven't heard everyone say, is the fact that being all-in really means you're not just about yourself. You truly care for everyone else. Good answer, Lauren, good answer. What a great show

[00:41:55] That's great. So, what do I get? A gold star.

[00:42:01] I'll send you an e-card as soon as we get off.

[00:42:04] That's right, we'll send you an e-Card that you probably helped design.

[00:42:06] There you go.

[00:42:09] I'll tell you what. This has been a great, great episode. Loved having you here today, Lauren. I'm thrilled. Also, let me say this, folks. I am the past president of RPI at recognition.org. I was last year's president and I have rolled off the board this year. Lauren has joined the board of RPI, so we're very happy she's representing C.A. Short on the board of RPI. With your wealth of knowledge, I know you're going to make a great difference to that organization. You're going to bring great insight to our industry. So very much looking forward to what you do there.

[00:42:44] Yeah, very excited.

[00:42:46] I was there almost 10 years, so I'm thrilled Lauren is well into that spot, and look for great things to come. So, Nelsa, I guess we're about to close out episode two.

[00:42:59] All right, we are coming up with some more amazing guests, so everybody, please make sure you stay tuned, 2021. We're on fire, Scott, on fire.

[00:43:08] Don't forget, Employee Appreciation Day is Friday, March the 5th. We would love to help you with any kind of project you have for that day, so reach out at Cashort.com and I guess we'll see you in March.

[00:43:25] Until then.

[00:43:26] Until then, thank you, Lauren, and goodbye Lauren.

[00:43:37] Thank you for joining us on this C.A. Short all-an employee podcast. Scott and I will see you next time.

Topics: Employee Engagement, Healthcare, Communication, Community Engagement, Culture of Engagement

R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

About the Author
R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

R Scott Russell is a video host, public speaker, and a sought-after thought leader in the world of employee engagement and recognition. At C.A. Short Company, he is responsible for producing engaging content, helping clients maximize the effectiveness of their programs, and providing ongoing training and education.

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