Wendy Hanson 0:24
Greetings, everybody, so happy to be with you all here today. Many companies and organizations are dealing with the challenges happening all over the world. We want to help turn those challenges into opportunities for change. On the BetterManager podcast, we like to spotlight strategies, tools and tips that other organizations can model to create positive work environments. We really want people to thrive at work. Today, I have two fabulous guests who will share with their organization has done to foster unity, energy, excitement and hope. We will also discuss diversity and inclusiveness and the impacts it makes for all team members. So let me welcome our guests. Nicole Anzuoni is the Executive Vice President Chief Legal and ppl officer and corporate CEP secretary for the ultimate Medical Academy.
Nicole is Executive Vice President and she oversees UMA's people and culture division, including its legal human resources, facilities, talent acquisition, and organizational wellness teams. Wow, that's a big that's a big swath of the organization. Nicole's work supports more than 1800 New ma T members who in turn support more than 10,000 students, more than 72,000 graduates and healthcare partners nationwide. Under her leadership, UMA has implemented and grown effective programs focused on key areas such as cultural continuity in times of change, mental wellness, diversity, equity and inclusion and manager support.
And along with Nicole, we have Crystal Lauderdale, the Director of Communications and Public Relations for Ultimate Medical Academy. And by the way, they are located in Florida, Crystal and her team use an ever expanding toolkit of written visual and interactive strategies to inform engage and unite more than 1800 team members of U ma across the country. Crystal also oversees You amaze community involvement, which includes volunteerism, philanthropy, and community partnerships. Giving back to its communities is a big part of UMHB team culture and exemplifies its commitment to creating a ripple effect of care. And we will talk more about that as we go on. So welcome, Nicole and Crystal, I am so delighted to have you on here today.
Crystal Lauderdale 3:11
Thanks, Wendy. Great to be here.
Wendy Hanson 3:14
Oh, thanks. Can you tell us a little bit about UMA like what the organization does, who does it serve? Because you've done that you have such a great mission. And I want people to understand the our baseline of what we're coming from.
Nicole Anzuoni 3:29
Sure, thank you. I'm happy to do that. I've been with UMA, Ultimate Medical Academy for over 11 years. And we are proud to be a nonprofit higher education institution. And our mission is to equip and empower adult learners to excel in health care careers. We've been in operation for almost 30 years. And as you mentioned, we have more than 10,000 students mostly online across the country. 72,000 graduates and 1800 team members. And as we'll probably talk about later, a lot of those team members are located also across the country, given our switch posts, the COVID 19 pandemic from a primarily in office organization to a primarily remote office environment with some hybrid elements. So that's kind of the the gist of what UMA does. As I noted, we primarily serve adult learners who have been in the workforce for some time and they're usually balancing childcare, a job, other home responsibilities, and trying to go to school to improve their lives as well as the lives of their families and future generations. And, you know, you referenced the ripple effect of care and Crystal we'll be able to talk more about this, but we really do believe Care is the other half of education. And we pride ourselves in providing a an individualized approach for our students. So those learners who come to us can feel supported in receiving education that might be different than what they last experienced the last time they were in school. And we understand that folks need additional and individualized attention to get through this as they balance all the things that I just referenced that they can be balancing. So
I am very proud to have worked at USAA. For this long, I really enjoy the work that we do, I think that we are creating a community in our organization that I hope spills into the rest of the community to create greater good, and I know that that's what your company Wendy is, is focused on his everything getting better. And so we hope that the way that we engage with our team members and our students in our little corner of the universe makes things better, which can then yes, have a ripple effect out into the communities that we live in serve as well as that our students and graduates live in, sir. So that's a lot. But I'll let Crystal chime in too, because she is our voice at you, ma and I often say that she's my greatest partner, because there's so many things that we can do. And we do do for our team members and for those we serve. But it doesn't help anyone if no one knows that we're doing that. So Crystal is a phenomenal communicator and a phenomenal partner in helping us spread the Good News of UMA. So Crystal, what did I miss?
Crystal Lauderdale 6:50
You didn't miss anything, Nicole, and thank you, thank you for the kind words, I love our partnership. It's one of my favorite things about working at UMA along with everything that Nicole mentioned about our mission and vision, which gets us all out of bed in the morning with that with a skip in our step. You know, maybe a segue into what I know we're going to talk about today, Wendy's is kind of anchoring in that belief that cares the other half of education and that we really believe in this ripple effect of care, but starts by caring for our team members. And Nicole talked about our partnership, my role in the partnership is it communicating? Certainly, and a lot of times that has to do with our words, whether they're written or in video or various formats. But we always talk among the two of us that, you know, importantly, words only go so far. So it really matters that our actions as an organization match what we're saying. And that's where team members and the students and graduates who serve in the communities we ultimately serve, will really, you know, believe in what we're saying, because it's true and authentic. And I think that that's where Nicole and our people and culture team are having a big impact.
Wendy Hanson 8:01
Yes, and I love you know, when I was introducing you, Crystal, and we talked about, you know, the the things that were happening and volunteerism in the community philanthropy, you know, it sounds like as an organization, you certainly practice what you preach on that bigger level. And then as we all know, you need to take care of your team and your staff the way you want them to take care of your students. That's how every company should work, right?
Crystal Lauderdale 8:29
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And that, you know, the community and philanthropic work that we're able to do in the organization is, you know, it has multiple suit a multitude of benefits, certainly serving the community. And that's a big part of it. But it also brings our team members together. And I know Nicole can talk about that. That's been something that's been brewing at una for years, and years and years. And I'm fortunate to get to work with it now.
Wendy Hanson 8:55
Those kinds of activities really do bring people together collaboration, you get to see the real people behind the people that you work with every day. That's wonderful. Like so many organizations have you've mentioned in in 2020, UMA went from having a largely in office workforce, and to operating remotely to maintain business continuity during the pandemic. But you also did some things differently, which I'm very as we kind of prepared for this call to maintain a cultural continuity. And now you've decided to remain a hybrid, mostly remote team. Can you tell us about that experience, because I'm dealing with so many companies all the time that are having this same challenge? And I think we learn from each other. If we hear someone else's experience, we can say, I might be able to take a piece of this or this is what's happening to us. So what works so well during that period of change that you decided to continue working remotely? And how now do you keep all of your team members in gauged?
Nicole Anzuoni 10:01
That's a great question. And I think maybe if it makes sense, I can provide some context of what we did during the pandemic that got us here. And I'd love your approach of if someone else has done something that is work, let's share it. Someone who I respect greatly, recently said to me, the purpose of life is not money, it's not titles, it's not that the purpose in life is to gain wisdom and share it with others. So to the extent that we can do that here, I'm very grateful. So let me start with an important date in UMA history, which was March 17 2020, was the day that our president Tom Rametta, who I've worked with for over 11 years, looked at our values, one of which is commit to team member success, and said, with a global pandemic on the horizon, I have to keep everybody safe. And the only way I can keep everybody safe is this, they all go home. He was scared, he admits it. It was a very brave act that we didn't know what would happen, that on that day, we moved, you know, our 1500, local Florida, team members from an on site, work environment remotely. So it was a tremendous effort of everyone, you know, Tom was was loading computer equipment into people's trunks. And we had a really great assembly line of getting all of those materials out to people's homes. And he, he looked out and he just said, I just sent all of the company's assets in 1500 different directions. I mean, that's a brave move. But it was based in our values, which just made it an easy decision for him. So how does that then translate for us going forward? Okay, so everyone's at home, we at UMTS buildings had a very vibrant culture, it was palpable, when you walked into the buildings, how excited people were to be there to be with each other to help. We have a lot of very altruistic team members. And that excitement in helping people was just electric. Now we lost it's not there. How do we recreate it? So one of the first things we did is we created a cultural continuity committee, we wanted to take that culture and ensure that it could translate into a remote environment. So we gathered team members from across the organization, all departments were represented in some way. And we developed a series of different initiatives and activities that we hoped would keep people connected. And I definitely want to throw this to Crystal because so much was based in communication. But some of the things that our cultural continuity committee developed were things like spotlighting team members and short videos, short fun videos, having executives and other leaders have luncheons or and allow team members to bring their own questions about whatever they wanted to talk about, we developed a hub of remote work in resources that people could access, how to entertain your kids where to go in a safe way to to get out of your house during COVID. I remember taking advantage of one of them, where someone just said, you know, Tampa is filled with beautiful murals. Just here's this, here's a route of murals that you can go on. I remember taking my kids and thinking that that was a really cool thing to do. We had those resources for our team members. We developed a wellness and mental health hub, because so much as you know, during the pandemic, was challenging for folks who were feeling isolated, so making sure that they had mental health resources available was very important to us. Another thing that we did, as part of the cultural continuity committee is we created an award called one una, how do you how do our team members embody that sense of unity that brings us and keeps us all together. So those are the few of the you know, the tactics that we undertook. But again, we couldn't have done this without Crystal and her team. So Crystal, again, please add and edit and do all the things that you do to crystallize what we say.
Wendy Hanson 14:26
Yes. And I love I just want to comment, Nicole, that you, your President looked at the values and said, we we have to do this, like, you know, how many presidents CEOs, like go to make a big decision and pull out the values or know them in their head of course, but say, Okay, this is really important to us. So we're gonna treat it like that. That is courageous, that is brave and when you know you have a good team behind you, that's going to help make it happen. And I love the specific things that you mentioned and some of them aren't Ever heard companies going, like far and above like the mural trip in Tampa, like help people figure out how to deal with this time? You know, that's because it's more than being able to be better at work. And that's what you're really demonstrating here. It's like the whole person, the the ripple effect. Crystal, you have lots of things you can add to this, what would you like to add?
Crystal Lauderdale 15:22
Well, you know, maybe I want to start by underscoring because I think, like many organizations, an initial focus is, is what could be labeled as business continuity, how do we keep operating in the midst of this crisis? But you know, what, one of the things that I think is really commendable for Nicole and her team, is that we did add this focus on cultural continuity, which it could be out there, but I haven't heard it elsewhere. And I love that focus. And we've maintained that focus that UMA ever since that cultural continuity teams still exist. And I think a big piece of committing to that, that really shines for our team members, is, you know, what that looks like, on the back end is that team meeting on a weekly, twice weekly basis, especially at the start and maintaining a constant focus, not just making an initial list of things, here's what we're going to do, let's do them. Okay, now we're done back to business, but maintaining that focus on cultural continuity and continuously adding to it. And, and yes, you know, communication was a big part of it. And we partnered really closely, members of my team sit on the cultural continuity committee just to stay in touch. And I think this is true for a lot of organizations. But we all probably noticed when we shifted to remote work, the ways in which we communicate, had to change as well, you know, passing each other in the hallways, and communicating verbally and waving and saying, Hello, that wasn't an option anymore. So we had to very rapidly get accustomed to our new technology. And I think in a lot of ways now that we have gotten accustomed to that all of the flexibility and the tools that the technology of remote work affords has actually made us better communicators, because it opens up pathways for communications that I think that different personality types. So video conferencing, I think, is really comfortable. For those of us who are extroverted, I have noticed more introverted team members are more likely to engage in chat, whereas if we were in in person meetings, they might be sitting quietly at tables. And so it's opened up communications platforms. I know one of the things that Nicole was alluding to, and it's something that we started doing at the very beginning of our transition, partly as a business continuity measure, but it's become a huge part of our culture, is we started sending weekly memos from the president from Tom, who Nicole mentioned, to UMA, that every Monday morning without fail at nine o'clock, tea, new ma would get an email from Tom. And at the beginning of this transition, it was it was very operational, it was about the transition, it was about us monitoring the pandemic. And we quickly realized that that regularity of communication directly from the top was something that was really reliable and consistent for our team members at a time that was really uncertain and inconsistent. And it was a steady pulse that really anchored everyone. So we kept it going. We're like, oh, just kept going through this year. And they weren't always pandemic related. As the year unfolded. A lot of times they were about events happening internally, sometimes events happening externally, because 2020 was a difficult year in a lot of ways. And it's really built this connection from Tom directly to our team members, people will reply directly to him, he will respond directly to them. You know, people love Tom. And we've continued them to this day, Tom's Monday memos are a thing that we do, we will keep doing. And he is directly involved in each and every one of them. And we've also heard from team members who are new to the organization and receiving those memos that, you know, they never heard from the President or the CEO, in their past organization so regularly. And usually, if they did, it was something bad was happening. So they kind of learned to fear the voice of their top most leader. And that's not the case at UMD. They hear from Tom for all sorts of reasons, most of them very good. And that's that I think that's been a huge thing that we've learned and adopted from this experience that we might not have otherwise.
Wendy Hanson 19:31
Yeah. And I think if companies have a great communication person, like you, you know, that can take this on. And I love the fact that you keep it going now and it's like, every Monday I can, I can know that I'm gonna get on there and hear from Tom at nine o'clock and, and it keeps me connected to everybody else in the organization. I also I certainly love the cultural continuity committee, and for anybody who's listening, it's not too late to start One of those now, you know, you did it early on, but we're having, you know, so many new issues that pop up. And tell me a little bit more about the makeup of that committee, because it sounds like you, you really get a lot of voices in there,
Nicole Anzuoni 20:14
we did we really try to incorporate a representative from every department within the organization. So it wasn't a small group it it was, you know, 16 to 20 people to ensure that voices were heard from each part of the organization. So for example, you know, our marketing team, and our IT team had representatives, and they might be different than they might have different needs than team members who worked, you know, admitting our students or helping them get their financial aid in place. So just ensuring that we had representatives that really were an amalgamation of all the voices of of team members and the team member needs was important to us. And, you know, when he I think you asked the second part of the question that I don't think we've addressed yet is, how are we doing now as a hybrid remote workforce? And I would say we're still working at it. Right? So, yes, Tom showed a lot of faith in our team members, in sending everybody home we had, prior to the pandemic done some early work on flexible work arrangements, we had worked with some legal teams and consultants, to help us figure out how we could make that work. But it was very early stages. Well, we dusted that off, right. And when we when we went home, and,
and our team members, I think, in turn, responded to Tom trusting them by continuing to perform at high levels. And so it was a reciprocal trust environment. And so because of that, we have seen that yes, we can allow our team members to have the flexibility that they need to balance their lives, like we talked about our T our students, and what they're balancing. Team members in any organization are always balancing things. They're balancing families, children, parents, pets, whatever it may be, and allowing folks the flexibility to attend to those things in a meaningful way, while continuing to provide the resources and the tools for them to do their best work for UMA, I think has proven to be a successful recipe. I don't think that we're there yet in terms of being completely efficient and effective, from an operational perspective, but we are working on that. So I have been working with a number of our leaders on something that we've called the Workforce Management Task Force, it's not a particularly good name. But the essence of what we're trying to do is look at what it means to be a manager of people at UMA and what then it means to be managed at una and what what are the things that we need to show leadership and professionalism, to show that people are experts in their people, they're experts in their processes, and they are drivers of the culture. So we recently actually renamed our human resources team, our people and culture team to really emphasize the focus. We're not the principal's office, you go to HR, it's not for something that we're here to take care of our people and ensure that the culture that starts with Tom and focuses on our values is inculcated in everyone who works with us for however long they work for us. Management in any capacity, but especially in a remote environment needs to be purposeful and intentional. And it has to be done in different ways through different communications, you cannot walk up to someone's desk and see that they're having a bad day. So we've created a pie chart basically, of how we think our team, our team leaders or managers spend their time and there's a lot of time that they need to dedicate to one on one's team huddles, ensuring that team members have time to read the communications that Crystal is talking about creating that vibrancy. So I was at a friend's daughter's graduation last week at a middle school in Tampa. And I saw someone there who had on a una t shirt, and I didn't know this person. But I went up to them and I said hi. Do you work for you? I mean, she said yes. And I introduced myself and she's like, Oh, hi, I see your name on a lot of things like yes, yes, yes. I said, How are you and I had seen her name on other communications as well. Well, she works in our Learner Services Department. That's the group that works closely with our students as they're working through their education to ensure that they have the support that they need to succeed and overcome obstacles and challenges that might prevent them from finishing their education. So I said to her, I said, so what can we be doing at UMA to make your experiments better. And she did say she's like, I love you. Um, I love what I do. I love being with my students. She said, I miss being in person, I miss people being together. And I said, I gotcha, I hear you. And we're going to try going forward to find purposeful and intentional ways for us to gather. So it's not going to be just to do work, if you would like to go into an office space to do work, we will have that opportunity available to people. But most of our physical space is going to be used to gather, to train, to learn to connect, and to be inspired. So that use of our space that intention and purpose in gathering, as well as the being intentional and purposeful in the way that we ask our managers to, to work with our team members. That I think is the the next phase of coming of the pandemic and how our flexible work arrangements will be even more successful than they have been. But I do want to note, it was all based on trust to start,
Wendy Hanson 26:26
that's the word that keeps coming up in my head, it started with trust and to, to take and load computers in the back of cars and just say, Well, we hope this experiment works. And when you trust people, they often rise to the occasion, because you have trusted them. And I know a lot of companies in the beginning were like, how are we going to know they're working? You know, they could be And my experience has been hearing this from so many people, they're actually working a lot more, we have to balance this now. Because it's hard to turn it off when you're sitting there remotely. And I love that you're in this next phase now, and I've been hearing this from a lot of companies is now we need more collaboration, and we actually need to have some fun together. You know, there's, there's that piece of it that I think we're in this phase. So that's, that's fascinating. Anything you want to add to that Crystal. And then I want to talk a little bit more about your diversity, equity and inclusion work, because I think that is really very fundamental to who you are.
Crystal Lauderdale 27:29
I think Nicole sums that up so well, and would love to spend some time talking about our DEI work, because I think that that has been a big part of the last couple of years and even years before that it's something that is, is growing and has continued to grow at your man. It's part of who we are.
Wendy Hanson 27:47
Yeah, yeah. And many companies are trying to take this on, and they're not sure again, how to quite do it. And I think you have really done some good work on trying to measure the impact of your efforts and see what the results are. And I think that's what a lot of companies are looking for. So maybe you could share a little bit about what you're doing in that area. And then what what are you noticing? And what are you surveying to be able to find out if it's making a difference.
Nicole Anzuoni 28:17
So I'll start with kind of the historical backdrop and current state of our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. And then Crystal, maybe you can talk about our measuring and survey results and some of the things that we've seen in measuring our work. So in 2017 2018, our Board of Trustees really inspired us to develop a diversity, equity and inclusion effort at Ultimate Medical Academy. And we started with just some foundational level work to see where we are, and the foundational level work so that we really want to engage in a more formal DNI effort. But we don't know how. So first thing we did is we engaged with some consultants who who do have a lot of experience, we did have a lot of experience in diversity, equity inclusion efforts, and we went through a lot of trainings as an executive team as a leadership team. And that culminated in the launch of diversity equity inclusion Council. And that council similarly to our cultural continuity committee is made up of voices from around the organization that represent different constituencies, if you will, and different identities and different perspectives. And I think that the council has really evolved its efforts to not just I'm having a calendar of events that celebrates diversity in different months, which is important, because it's important to be visible. And to note those things. What we're now trying to do with our diversity equity inclusion director who has a tremendous impact player at USAA. Her name is Sabrina Jackson, she and the DNI counsel and a number of folks throughout the organization, are really trying to weave diversity, equity inclusion into every part of our organization, in a way that you don't even notice it, it just is because it's the way we all think the way we all interact. And I think that, you know, as I referenced earlier, Tom, it does start with him. And he wants us to build a community that values every voice, that allows people to bring their whole selves to work that is authentic, because when you are authentic, and can bring your whole self to work, you do better work. And we want to be that that type of community at UMA, that we can then have an effect throughout the communities we live in serve, so that we see DNI, not just as something that you should do, because it's the right thing to do. But it's, it's good for all of us, it has value in illuminating our blind spots. I don't I haven't walked in the shoes of various people, and they haven't walked in mind. And by all of us being able to share those views together, we make better decisions as an organization, we make better decisions as humans. And so being able to, you know, take that kind of thesis and bring it to bear in in tactical, tangible ways, has been really one of the most exciting things I've been working on at UML. And Crystal can now maybe talk about some of the results we've seen from those efforts in terms of our engagement scores with our team members, you know, how people view us from a DNI perspective and the like so, so Chris, I'll hand it to you.
Crystal Lauderdale 32:20
Thanks for call. And, you know, I want to, you know, once again, to underscore a point that you've made here and a point that we started this conversation with, Wendy, which is, you know, it's not just about what we say it's not just about what anyone says, right? It's also about what you do. And so one of the things that I think makes my job easy and communications here at Ema is that we really are trying to walk the walk and do the things to support. It are things that have become buzz terms, in a lot of ways as they should Dei, those words are words that are being heard more and more often, thankfully. But it's really nice to be able to communicate when we are also putting so many actions behind those words, thanks to Nicole's work and the work of Sabrina and the council. And, and it's showing, it's showing in our latest engagement survey, we have questions around DEI to gauge the perception of our team members around those efforts. And in the latest survey, 90% of respondents said that our DEI focused internally had created an environment where people of diverse backgrounds can succeed 92% consider UMA to be a diverse and inclusive culture. And I know this is a big one for companies these days. 81% in that survey said that You amaze recognition and support with the EI impacted their decision to stay with our organization. And I'll share more of an anecdote. So you've got some some qualitative, quantitative results there from our survey. But there's a moment in time last year that stands out in my memory. And I was so proud to be part of UMA, especially in this moment. So we have an annual all hands meeting, as a lot of organizations do. And since we've been working remotely this time, that was a virtual experience. And we actually had to divide this into two sessions. So we had half of the organization meeting and going through the agenda in the morning and half going in the afternoon. We were trying to find creative ways to keep team members engaged in a virtual setting. So we had a chat feature. We use polls, we did some word clouds. And one of the word clouds that we put up was we invited team members in those sessions to describe in one word, you amaze culture. And in both sessions with nearly 1000 people in both sessions, smack dab in the middle of this word cloud appearing in real time was the word inclusive both times and I think that to me was the big indicator that we're on the right track. We absolutely need to keep doing what we're doing and keep adding to it. But when you're when you're communicating and when you're acting, and then when you're, you know asking for that little bit of feedback from Team USA. And that's what comes up front and center. That's, that's a good feeling.
Wendy Hanson 35:06
I can imagine what a good feeling. And, and to have those kinds of results, you know that, that D and I focus has really made people feel included. And it is a big thing for retention, you know that people want to work with an organization that, that respects them. And, and as Nicole was pointing to, too, we don't know our biases, you know, we do a big DNI program at at BetterManager. And, and we did one for our internal staff then. And it was interesting, because even some of the sales folks are like, wow, I didn't know that I had these biases. And we all have biases, and to keep a focus on this is just so great. And I love that both of you keep going back to your words are nice, but actions are what really make things believable. And then that comes back always to your values. So you, you leave a very good crumb trail of how to be able to do these things. And I so appreciate that. And, yeah, and just the way that you think through even how to take these remote meetings and make them really fun so that people are engaged, you do so much work on that. So anything else any any final thoughts that you want people as they're as they're listening to this to take away? I'd love to hear from both of you on that. Like, what's the takeaway you want for folks and, or something that sometimes when we explain things we actually have AHA is ourselves? So? Nicole, you want to start?
Nicole Anzuoni 36:39
Sure, this is this is something I've been thinking about for a while now. And I've shared this with Crystal and a few other of my colleagues is that, you know, we think about our team members. As you know, our most important asset when I was describing Tom saying, as we sent everybody home at the beginning of the pandemic, and that he's sending all of the assets of the organization in 1500 different directions, he didn't mean 1500 computers, even 1500 team members, right? So our team members are so valuable to us. And I know that being able to work in an organization for any period of time is important to someone, we want to make that time as valuable to our team members for however long they stay with us. And that's asked me made me ask myself, well, how do we get people to stay? Why would people want to stay with you? Am I versus going someplace else. There are other opportunities, of course. And I think for me, it's coming down to this is like, it isn't
an amplification of the golden rule that we treat people the way we would like to be treated. That is an excellent starting point. But we need to nuance that, because I might not want to be treated the way you want to be treated or the way Crystal wants to be treated. And we need to be able to understand our team members so well that we know, they don't like this team, this particular team member does not like to be recognized in a public setting, they would prefer if you communicate with them on a one on one basis that they've done a good job, or this team member really likes it when they hear from their leader in a public setting that they've done a good job or this team member really cares about career progression. And we need to make sure that we can show a career path for this person. So I think that the the pandemic, as I said, has really put these words purposeful and intentional in in stark relief. And I think that no more so than how we treat our team members.
You know, we talk about, you know, that our team members, our greatest assets, and I have recently asked my people in culture team to read the book setting the table by Danny Meyer, who is the restaurant tour in New York, who focuses on hospitality as a business concept. And I and he said, You know, it's not that the customer's always right, that's that's not enough. And I'm kind of analogizing this to treat people like you would be treated. That's not enough for the customer to be right. You can't even treat your customers right until your team members believe in what you're doing, feel valued feel that they can be heard and seen and do their best work to serve your customers. And so we're really trying to take that concept and build on that hospitality for our team members at UMA and treating our team members the way they personally would like to be treated. So that's some ramblings of someone who's been thinking about this for a bit and if it's helpful, great. I don't have any real solutions just yet. But it's definitely a framework for how we're approaching our people and culture work.
Wendy Hanson 40:07
But the fact that you're thinking through it like that, I've actually heard that called the platinum rule, you know, because it's more than treat people the way, you know, the way they want to be treated in your examples. So specifically, is just amazing. And we don't need, we almost don't need solutions, we need just that vision. And that, if we ask that person, they'll tell us what they need. But oftentimes, we're afraid to ask them. So that's not so good. Crystal, any closing thoughts from you, the two of you have just like shared so many good, wise experiences that you're doing and having and growing? What would you like to add, as we close up today?
Crystal Lauderdale 40:49
You know, Nicole and I were talking recently, and kind of voiced something that I think has, has just been naturally at the heart of our work together. And when we said it out loud, we realized that even though we hadn't, I think spoken those words out loud to each other, it's where our minds are, always are. And it's, it's kind of going back to this concept of actions, matching actions and words, but we realized, you know, in the things that we're doing, it's really about how we make people feel, and in this case, how we make our team members feel. So in my case, as a communicator, it's not just about what we are saying. But it's about how the communication and the message makes them feel. It's not just about the business strategies and tactics that Nicole has described, but it's about how it makes our team members feel. So when I think about our communications, and when I think about our team's communications, and we're, we're tying it together with everything that our people and culture team is doing, it's it's even something as as simple as seemingly simple as the frequency of Tom's Monday memos, right. The frequency of those memos, make people feel like they're important to the President, the action of letting our team members transition to remote work in the face of the pandemic made people feel trusted. And so that's always kind of at the heart of our discussion, not just what are we doing, but how is this going to make our team members feel? And I think it's important to go back to that, especially for you know, for any organization that is taking a close look at their strategies and their tactics. And it's, it's good to ask, What should we do, but I would say, you know, close, close that thought with Okay, now how is this going to make people feel? Right,
Wendy Hanson 42:33
that'd be your litmus test. Yes. That's wonderful. Well, this has been a joy. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and some very concrete things that people can do. And if they haven't done them yet in their organizations are looking for some more things to do. That's wonderful. Now, if people want to reach out if they have questions, who's the best get? What's the best way for them to learn more about what's happening at you, Ma? And these projects? Crystal, would you communicate?
Crystal Lauderdale 43:06
I'm your gal, you're welcome to reach me at and I don't know if you can share this. I'm happy to voice it here when they even see Lauderdale at UltimateMedical.edu like Crystal Lauderdale like before at ultimatemedical.edu.
Wendy Hanson 43:21
Great, and they could also find you on LinkedIn, probably if they get Crystal Lauderdale. Yes, they can't they don't get the email.
Crystal Lauderdale 43:30
Yeah, they can find me there. I think they can find a call there as well.
Wendy Hanson 43:34
Good. And we'll put some of that in the show notes, everybody, so that you will know to be able to reach out and ask questions, because that's how we all learn and grow as if we share this information. So thank you for your willingness to share this. The folks that that work for you, ma are very lucky to have such dedication and people worrying about how they feel. That's my big thanks for inviting
Crystal Lauderdale 43:55
us, Wendy, I should have added at the end this may be too late. But I should note that you and I have known each other for for quite some time. And you have been a huge influencer for me, especially and I've enjoyed getting to introduce you to Nicole. So really appreciate your leadership and guidance do when they
Wendy Hanson 44:12
Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yes. Well, let's keep let's keep going at for another 20 years. Crystal. Yes. Wherever our last iteration was we will Yes, Nicole, thank you, Crystal. Everyone out there, have a wonderful day and make a difference and think about how people feel when you make changes in the organization. When you look at things. Think about what you want to do. Have a wonderful day.
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