The Carousel Culture Podcast

We work hard to create an amazing company culture. Listen as we explore the subtle details of what makes Carousel an amazing place to work!

EP010 - Valuing Employees with Amber Woller

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Amber Waller your first appearance on the carousel cultural pod. Very exciting. Um, and I'm sure everyone has, um, in some way, interacted with you, but, uh, you're in our shared services. And take care of most of the bookkeeping and a huge chunk of the HR.

Right. So you want to talk about valuing employees? Yes. Which is an interesting topic. Yes. Well, I think it's so important for each employee to feel valued. I mean, that's kind of why people stay around at jobs. I know I have left some jobs because. You know, it wasn't necessarily, I mean, yeah, there's some boring parts to some jobs, but when you feel really valued, you're willing to stick around even when the job is not maybe your most ideal.

Yeah. Kind of get through some tough slogs of a job when, when you feel valued. Yeah. There's, there's an interesting thing. When I think about the idea of value and in plays, cause like,

If you kind of look at like employee history, I'd say like industrial revolution times. Right. Um, as, as we, as our culture went through that period of time, it's like workers were cogs in a machine. Right. So I was just like, oh, we just like replace one cog of the machine with another cog and then swap people in and out.

And. And, uh, sort of employee relations during that period of time was probably twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, right. We're a little bit different. And it was kinda like, um, it seems like there was not a lot of it. Wasn't like a we're all in it together mentality. Right? Yeah, we own a factory, the people coming in out of the factory and they're like parts of the machine today, it's way different.

Right. It seems like everything we do, especially in our industry, super collaborative, um, everyone has to rely on everyone else. Right? So it's like a co like a communal thing. Like our, our tribal, it works. If everyone is like functioning well together, right. So how we look at employees and how we value employees is really a lot different than it was a long time.

Like during that period of time. Oh, I agree. I think so many employees previously, it was about getting the paycheck and they would go to a job. They hated every day they would work so hard with no breaks and doing all this stuff just because they knew they needed the money. And that was the focus. But now we are collecting.

Gone to where we want to have value. We want to do something that profits the rest of the world and others. We want to have enjoyment and fulfillment. Yeah. Yeah. Working for that paycheck is not even that, like that is not even that long ago. Right. It's like our parents' generation would definitely fit into that.

Like work the nine to five, come home, hang up the hat. Now I'm in, you know, family mode, but they're very. Separated. Right. And lots of people would have Blake go through that whole thing, their entire life quote, working in a job. Yeah. Um, I agree nowadays. Especially, um, I going to sound old, but like for our younger generation, it's like, I don't care about that.

They don't, they don't want to work at a job that is just a job, right? Yeah. They want to work at a job where they feel like they have an impact. Right. And part of having an impact is. Working on, you know, a service, a product of whatever that you think is important. And also the other side, I was feeling valued for the contribution you're making towards that effort.

Yeah. Well, we want to, we all want to be heard and work has become a place where we can be heard where our contribution does make a difference. It does matter. And all of us working together. Makes that shared product. Yeah. So how do you see, how do you see us? Um, how do you see carousel specifically valuing its employees?

Like what are the things just list the things that we do that fit into that category? Well, I think, um, the daily 30 is one for sure. Half-day Fridays, uh, the. I guess promotion of work-life balance of encouraging people. Like if you need to go take some time to do something and then come back to work, when your head's clear, go for it, or, you know, you gotta run a kid to the doctor.

During the nine to five hours. It's okay. We also, we tried to do some different fun things like our, um, the carousel Derby we had, uh, earlier this winter. Another thing that I think about is the core values channel we have in slack, where people give shout outs to different people for and recognize them for contributions they're making to the team.

Um, I was reminded just this week, uh, watching the Oscars. How an actor will get up and they start with other thank, and nobody really wants to listen to all their speech of all the people they have to think, but that actor could not win that award and have that stellar performance without all the people that play into that from the person who wrote the script with bad.

Script. You're not going to be able to have an amazing performance and the people who did the lighting and the film angles to capture, you know, the tear rolling down the cheek or whatever it is. There's so many people in the background who then make that actor's performance stand out. And I think at carousel, we have so many people all doing their little parts in the background, but it comes together to make a quality product, but without everyone doing their part.

Yeah. Yeah, no, that's totally well said. It's like a, those actors are more like an icon or like a representation of a huge amount of effort. And it just happens to be like their face in front. Right. But they're representing some lunch, um, kind of like, right. Like, uh, you know, even with our sales team, right.

They're kind of like on the front lines, interacting with the customer, but there's so much effort behind. Behind them orchestrating. Yes. All the little details that all come together. And just yesterday I was in a meeting with some people and realizing man, some of these details that I didn't even think about that are setting our sales team up for success when they go out and just, there's so many different pieces and moving parts and the people that are doing all those pieces.

They're unsung hero sometimes, but I think that carousel does a great job of singing the praises of all the people who are working behind the scenes. Yeah, I hope so. I actually I'll give a shout out to Chris Brahma because he does a exceptional, I got a job, a rap scene everybody's contributions and, and encouraging all of that.

Um, yeah, I was thinking for me, like, um, personality wise, Um, that like recognition is hard for me. Right? Like, I'm just, I don't know. It's probably because like, I was such like an introverted nerd as in high school. Right. Like, um, many years I like like 10 years ago or something. When we're all working at the office in St.

Paul. I remember like one time Brooke like complimented my haircut. Like I got a haircut and she was like, oh, Hey JJ, nice haircut. And I just like, I couldn't even take a compliment of our, like a recognition of my haircut. And I was just like, oh, I looked at my shoes and I walked away and she goes, he comes to me later that day.

She's like, JJ, when someone gives you a compliment, you can just say, I was like, oh yeah. Um, but that right there was like a huge insight for me, like a huge lesson from her. Um, because I realized like I have, I sorta like, struggle with that, but so I don't actually give that out to other people. Right. Yeah.

So I'm showing my appreciation and recognizing other people for all their great work that they've, that they do here has been like hard for me, because it's like outside of sort of like what I want. Right. Um, but, uh, so many, uh, like again, like Chris on has, it has done a really good job of like helping.

You know, like be better in that way. So sometimes I come across as like, I don't care or something. I do. I just, it's hard to express it. Yeah. Well, I think that brings up every person has different ways that they feel appreciated and those that comfortable. Cause I know my youngest daughter, like in seventh grade she was in a musical and she got, you know, comes out from behind the stage and people are like cheering her and she burst into tears and ran off because she was so embarrassed by the praise and that.

Yeah. And so being able to. I identify how you accept praise and recognition and then making sure that other people know, like, especially your manager, Hey, do you want me to praise you in front of everyone? Or do you want me to do with something, you know, behind the scenes? Or, you know, do you want me to just like do that silent nod?

You know, but you know, they know they're appreciated, but you've got to find those ways to make sure everyone feels appreciated and doesn't feel. Like they're put on the spot and it make him uncomfortable. Yeah. It's the, um, you know, everyone kind of knows the golden rule. Right. Do unto others, as you know, I'm doing it to you.

Um, but to me, like, that's, that's a little off, like, we've talked about the platinum rule. I've heard that before the platinum rule, one better than gold, I think, um, is do unto others as they want you. Oh, man, I'm going to mess it up, like doing others as they want you to do a PON them. The gist of it is like, like, just because you want to be treated in some way doesn't mean someone else wants to be treated just like you like treat them how they want to be treated.

Right. We just all like understanding, like what kind of recognition for people is appropriate for them. Right. 'cause I'll, I'll, I'll even call it out. Like, you know, John Riley, it's kind of like more like me. If you go like over the top praise with him and he'll just kind of like retreat, whereas, you know, others would be like, love it.

Right? Yeah. So we just kind of like, um, sort of be observant, like you said, about how, how people do want to be treated in that way. Yeah. Um, so back to just generally valuing employees. Yes. We value them. Right? I think so. Okay. That's why I make sure we're not completely off base

um, yeah. I, I really like the idea that especially our business it's, uh, it's so collaborative, right? We all have a part to play, to make, make all this magic work. Yeah, again, from like the front lines down to every little last detail of delivering the carousel service. Like that's kind of what for me makes it, makes it cool.

I hope everyone does like see their part in this whole like magical SAS business that we built. I hope so. You know, as a working in HR, that's what I hope. And that I can make sure that people are feeling that they do value and that their contribution is seen and it matters. Yup. It all, it all matters.

Cool. Well, um, if, uh, holy people caught up, but if for some reason you're not in the core values channel, get in the corporate values channel in slack, because a lot, a lot of good things are said in that channel. Um, and. Thanks for being a part of carousel. Yeah. I'm glad to be here.