Employee Spotlight: Stacy Woodhead

Perfectionist. Outgoing. Determined.

Attention to detail is a must for Stacy Woodhead. As Senior Program Manager, she is the main contact for one of our largest clients and responsible for uploading merchandise to the site, running promotions and generating new ideas for the site. In order to manage their site, she works with merchandise, pricing, billing and trade shows.

Woodhead started at Hinda as a Program Manager in February 2007. Prior to joining the team, she worked in real estate and was introduced to Hinda through a mentor who knew the company well. She spent two years working for a client in St. Louis before moving back home to Chicago, where she later became Senior Program Manager in October 2010.

As for the move back home to Chicago, Woodhead admits it’s one of her fondest memories.

“When I come to work here, I feel like I’m working with family and close friends,” says Woodhead. “I’m not just another number.”

Outside of work, she enjoys coaching kindergarten soccer, swimming and hanging out with friends. She’s currently training for a 5K and planning her wedding, which will take place in September. As for which of those is the bigger undertaking, she doesn’t hesitate to say that planning a wedding is like a second job. It’s clear that she has her hands full, but she also has a lot of excitement to look forward to.

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Employee Spotlight: Adam Webber

Earnest.  Creative.

As the on-site designer for Hinda, Marketing Coordinator Adam Webber is responsible for clipping images and designing external communications. He also works closely with Helping Hand Rewards, assisting with design and new product rollout.

Webber started work at Hinda on October 11, 2010 and has experienced a fair share of excitement in his first few months. Occasionally clumsy in nature, he has already managed a visit to the doctor's office. While putting a frame together, he dropped a pane of glass on his wrist, which later resulted in six stitches. Adding insult to injury, on his second day of work, he accidentally left his car keys at McCormick Place during the Motivation Show.

Anybody who has been to McCormick Place knows that this is a terrible place to lose a set of keys.

Depsite the bad luck, Webber has proved to be a valuable addition to the marketing team, utilizing his skill set to help on a variety of different projects.

"Him being here has really helped me with sales presentations," says Benito Bustamante, Warehouse Manager. "One time I approached him at 4 p.m. and needed brochures created for a 7:30 a.m. presentation the next day. He got 'em done - and they looked great!"

Outside of working, Adam enjoys running and some triathlon training. As a fitness guru, health is a very important aspect of his life. His goal for the New Year is to compete in a Half IronMan triathlon in St. Croix. His other points of interest are the TV shows Scrubs and Seinfeld and used to love frequenting Hot Diggity Dog...until a recent food poisoning incident curbed his hot dog appetite.

Adam's recovery from a brief stint of bad luck and dedication to endurance sports has shown his tenacity as an individual. He's become a great addition to the Hinda team.

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Hinda Employee Spotlight: Charlene Reavey

Positive. Energetic. Communicator.

These words describe Charlene Reavey, who advises, supports and

oversees Hinda’s team of Program Managers in her role as Program Management Supervisor. Her day-to-day activities include sitting in on client conference calls, working on process improvements and assisting with problem-solving issues.

As one of Hinda’s newest employees, Reavey brings years of industry experience to her new role. Prior to joining the staff at Hinda, she was the Account Manager for the promotional products division at GatewayCDI and later ran their incentive division.

After determining she wanted to move to Chicago, she was eager to work for an industry leader. She began work at Hinda on October 4, 2010.

Outside of work, Reavey enjoys hanging with friends, shopping, reading, volunteering with
youth organizations andpreparing for her wedding in May.

Note: Hinda Employee Spotlights are our answer to the Twitter "Follow Friday." By highlighting different employees within our organization, we practice what we preach in terms of recognition. Our employee base is what makes us awesome - why not show that off?

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Motivate This: How Will Gen Y Change the Recognition Scene?

Generation Y. Millenials. Young whipper-snappers. Call them what you will but this generation is creeping into the workforce while trying to change the way we work. If our workplaces start evolving, shouldn't recognition programs follow suit? This article found here  talks about how recognition programs should be kept current. Let's take a brief look at how the workforce's next generation will change how we work and what it may take to motivate them.

The latest Kiplinger report talks almost exclusively about Generation Y and what to expect down the road. As a whole, this generation will have a greater percentage of college educated workers, more culturally aware due to study abroad opportunities, and most importantly - more technological savvy. They've grown up using computers, internet and adapt much quicker to shifts in technological advances. They expect to be able to leverage technology in their work in ways to make their work better and more efficient. However, this reliance on technology for communication has potential to result in a lack of conventional, face-to-face communication skills. 

What attitudes do they bring to the table. First off, according to Kiplinger, Gen Yers expect work to be meaningful and fun. They will not stick with a job for the sole purpose of earning a paycheck and over 67% of those workers expect to change employers at some point in their lives. In addition, time is a more valuable commodity to Millenials than base salary. Some younger workers are willing to take a job offering less pay if it gives more flexible scheduling options such as telecommuting or compressed work weeks. 

Knowing what we know about the attitudes and needs of the up and coming generation of employees, how will recognition programs shift?  Since enterprises that are involved in socially responsible activities are more attractive to Gen Yers, maybe companies will provide incentives for workers who give back to the community in addition to rewarding hard work. Another option may include rewarding based on teambuilding efforts, since most Millenials have grown up learning to work cooperatively in groups. 

Those are just a couple of ideas. Now the ball is in your court.

What changes do you all see for incentive programs to keep this younger generation engaged at work?

How will Generation Y shift the incentive industry as a whole (if at all)?

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Unselfish Leadership

What if for today we take a different view of incentive programs. Instead of looking at them as an expense or an investment, what if you looked at incentives as an act of giving towards your employees? There is always going to be (and should be) accountability, metrics and ROI of your incentive and recognition programs. However, for right now, let's take a brief look beyond the numbers and data.

Employees that are well treated are more likely to stay around, agreed? Rewarding your workforce for good behaviors, meeting company goals and an overall "job well done" does a lot more for employee engagement in an organization than just "taking" all the time from employees. Sure you give them paychecks in return for their hard work but then again... so does every other company. How does that separate your organization from a competing one?

In his book Tribes, Seth Godin discusses how leaders who are generous ultimately see more success than those who are always looking out for themselves:

"Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get. Even more surprising is the fact that the intent of the leaders matters. The tribes can sniff out why someone is asking for their attention. Looking out for number one is an attitude, and it's one that doesn't pay."

He goes on to describe leaders who sit in cubicles with their staff (aka Tony Hsieh of Zappos) or others who aren't in it for their own self glory but genuinely want to help those around them. As a result, people like Hseih have built successful companies - ones that their employees (or as Godin would call followers) remain fiercely loyal to.

Employee loyalty improves retention. Bottom line, better employee retention ultimately helps your bottom line. 

How are you giving back to your employees?


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Little Things. Big Results.

Last week on his company's blog, Tom Miller, President of The Miller Company, wrote about an experience he recently had taking a cab ride through downtown Chicago.  He chronicles riding in a cab driven by Moon S. Choi, who was recently voted as Chicago's Best Cab and Best Cab Driver in 2010. What makes him the best? It's all the little touches that Choi puts into his cab service. Miller describes the unique cab atmosphere in this way:

" My senses painted the picture in this order - classical music at just the right volume was playing on the radio, the inside of the car was immaculate (when I got out of the car at my destination, I noticed the handle of a small hand-held vacuum under the front seat), and there was a fresh bottle of water in the side of both back doors along with a pad of receipts."

In addition, Choi takes a quicker and roughly 25% cheaper route to Miller's destination than normal cabbies. As a result, Miller tips him more than he would a normal driver, takes a picture with him and takes time to write a post about the experience. Assuming that Choi has had similar reactions, that's a lot of success for a cabbie. The secret to the success? It's nothing big or elaborate about a simple cab ride that Choi does. It's all the little details like the music, cleanliness, bottled water that make a ride in his cab so enjoyable.

Rewarding Small Behaviors

It's easy to take the little things forgranted. Small behaviors that are often overlooked can make or break things for a company. These seemingly insignificant habits or attributes of a worker over time could have a significant impact on a business. Re-enforcing those small positive behaviors with recogntion or a reward will see a positive return down the road. Little behaviors added up create an overall image of an employee or company. Take a look at Choi. Playing soft classical music, a small bottle of water and the quick route were tiny little thing in of themeselves. However, combine those things and they create an overwhelmingly positive customer experience, paying off much larger returns for Choi in the long term.

It's a culmination of small behaviors and actions that help achieve company goals. In basketball, the ability to be able to shoot free throws seems insignificant in relation to ball-handling, size and footspeed on the court. However, free throws have helped make or break championship efforts for some basketball teams. An automaker employee's lack of attention to a certain detail can result in a recall costing millions of dollars.

How are you rewarding the little things your workers do right?

Does focusing on tiny matters help the big picture? 


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