Sometimes recognition can be a funny thing. Let’s say you have a stand-out, industry-leading company. Say this company consistently strives to create a happy and healthy work environment for its employees.
Let’s even say they produce tested and award-winning products on a daily basis. With such an amazing hypothetical company, recognition for the business as a whole and the employees who create and market its products will practically fall from the sky.
This hypothetical company is USANA, of course.
But wait a minute. Aren’t we forgetting something? What about the people who keep all of these award-winning employees working together effectively and efficiently? The group that usually stays “behind the scenes” in order to keep an elite force of USANA employees informed, satisfied, and healthy? Don’t these people deserve just as much credit for being an intricate part of such a reputable company?
I am, of course, referring to the spectacular department that is USANA’s Human Resources team. Let’s set aside a small part of our busy day to recognize this particular group of professionals.
Surprisingly, this well-oiled machine/department manages to keep hundreds of USANA employees organized with only a small group of 12 HR professionals. Let’s break it down into simple math:
1 – Vice President of HR
1 – Director of HR
2 – HR Managers
4 – HR Generalists
1 – Administrative Assistant
2 – Managers of The Lean Café
1 – Wellness Coordinator
(I’m no math expert, but that adds up to 12…right? Someone call a math wiz from the accounting department.)
Each member of the HR team serves a unique purpose, and they work together to complete the many duties of the department. They compile benefits packages, keep up with tricky employment laws, manage all USANA employee events, address employee complaints, oversee the hiring and termination process, and most important — turn company standards into practices that help establish a culture which keeps USANA employees healthy and happy.
A Change for the Better
In 2011, the department discovered a better way to interact and communicate with USANA employees.
Previously, HR generalists were designated to work on tasks that matched specifically with their own area of expertise. Each was a champion in a different area of HR, and employees were sent to whichever generalist was best suited to handle their inquiry. While the HR team still has these individual champions, now each generalist is assigned to his or her own specific department within USANA.
With this new structure, generalists feel a personal responsibility to a specific group of employees, and it gives each department a “one-stop shop” for all HR related concerns. It also creates a way to demonstrate accountability on each generalists’ part.
This restructuring, plus new health benefits and new leadership trainings for management, are what keep the HR team excited for 2012. One month into the new year, and they’re already feeling good about the newer practices they’ve put into place.
You May Not Know
USANA’s Director of HR, Michael King, takes great pride in the HR department. He wants to stress the talent within the HR team.
“Yes, we are the ones in charge of all the exciting events USANA employees attend, but we’re also a group of human resources professionals,” Michael says. “We’ve got a lot of talent and skill with the educational accolades to back it up.”
The education Michael refers to comes in the form of (caution — more math ahead):
3 – Masters of Business Administration degrees
1 – Master of Organizational Management
1 – Master of Human Resources
3 – Certified Human Resource Professionals
1 – Certified Benefits Professional
1 – Certified Compensation Professional
1 – Certified Personal Trainer
What an impressive list of educational accomplishments. It’s no wonder USANA runs so efficiently.
If there is one lesson Michael wants people to learn about the HR department, it is this: “We are protectors of the company and advocates for the employees, but in general, we are here to help. We want employees to remain content in their jobs and satisfied with the work environment USANA provides.”
Oh, and also, for any employees who might be reading this: “I know the informative e-mails HR sends out aren’t the most earth-shattering messages you’ll get all day, but I promise they’ve got some good stuff in there if you give them a chance! Resist immediately moving them into the trashcan just because you see Human Resources as the sender.”
Got it Mike. Now please excuse me. I have to go sort through some messages I deleted earlier this week. (Just kidding!)
Inside USANA is a monthly series in which we check in with various departments to help you get to know them a little better.