Creating a great employee experience starts from an employee’s very first contact with a company and continues throughout their tenure.

The same is true of a great customer experience.

For many of our customers, the first contact they have with YouEarnedIt is in the form of a phone call from our marketing development team.

Our “MD Team” (as we refer to them) are experts at many things but first and foremost they are masters of what I like to call the art of conversation. They’re good listeners, they ask good questions, and they have empathy for the predicament many of our contacts find themselves in: being busy professionals in varying stages of a time- and budget-crunch who are seeking successful employee engagement programs.

Meet the extraordinary Jandee Speegle, one of the hard-working market development representatives here at YouEarnedIt. Let’s find out what makes her such an exceptional and informative first point of contact for our customers and learn about how she honed her impressive conversational skills.

Jandee Speegle on employee engagement and the employee experience at YouEarnedIt

Hi Jandee! I’ve felt a camaraderie with you from the get-go because of the similarity of our last names. In addition to your superb name, tell us a little more about yourself.

I was born in San Antonio but resided in a small German town called New Braunfels (home of the German festival Wurstfest). I attended New Braunfels High School, whose mascot was a unicorn. So yes, I am a true unicorn.

I am a “Germican” – my dad is a full-blown German and mom is Spanish. Some of my dad’s family still live in Germany. Growing up I was always a part of a sports team, very active, energetic, and always on the move! Most of my childhood we lived out in the country. I spent a lot of time building forts, teepees, hunting for the best pears and kumquats in the neighborhood, hiking, riding bikes, rollerblading, and playing nighttime games of capture the flag.

My first job was setting up pins at a local bowling alley down from my house. As a teenager I dabbled in break dancing as part of a group called “Born to Break.” I played sports, so was pretty well-known around school. I’m super social (you can probably tell) and I was friends with everyone.

My senior year I did not attend high school. I completed my senior year on computers and graduated early. I packed up and moved straight to Austin when I was 18. That’s when I started college. I followed many career paths until I landed on culinary school.

Being so optimistic has made me who I am today. My mom once told me, “pick your battles” and “if you can’t change it, don’t stress about it.” My mom has told me many things but those two always stuck with me. And I lived my life that way. Being raised with values was a nice start to a strong foundation my parents built for me. I live my life day by day. Spontaneously. Adventurously. I don’t think too much about anything that isn’t worth thinking about. And I don’t fret the small things.

How long have you been with YouEarnedIt? Describe your job for us. How does what you do impact our customers? What’s the thing you most enjoy about the work you do here?

I have been with YouEarnedIt for nearly a year and a half. To sum up my whole job, it’s basically living out our company’s core values every day. As a market developer, I develop relationships with prospects. I reach out and search for all kinds of companies. To pick up a phone, dial a number that is attached to a person I have never met nor know much about is tough and scary for many people. You never know if the company is a good fit until you get them on the phone. Trial and error. We have tried every vertical, industry and persona. I follow a strategic cold call and email process. I stay very organized, proactive, and motivated by seeing the process we have built actually work! That all comes along with staying professional, but true to my unique personality: determined, dedicated and accountable.

My job impacts our customers in many ways. First and foremost, having been an employee at many jobs and restaurants, I know what it’s like to have low morale, terrible culture, to never be recognized, to always be looked over. I understand turnover, being overworked and underpaid. So putting myself in their shoes, sympathizing with people just like me that could be experiencing all of these problems, it resonates with me, and makes me that much better at my job. And I love it! I don’t ever feel like a “sales guy” – I truly feel when I reach out to companies that I equip them with a way to provide a better workplace for their employees.

Building trust is key. Our prospects have people blowing up their inbox all day, everyday so to them we are just another cold contact bugging them. Most people we reach out to have no clue who we are, so educating them on who we are, our beliefs, why we do what we do, and how we set ourselves apart from all the many companies in the same space is powerful.

I truly feel when I reach out to companies that I equip them with a way to provide a better workplace for their employees.

My first step is to understanding why they took a call with me. From there, I listen to their story and ultimately show them that they’re not alone, that there is a solution, and whatever their goals are, they can be achieved.

It’s so easy to talk about YouEarnedIt and what I do and why I do it. What I love most about what I do is being here, being surround by genuine, interesting, and passionate people. I love the fast pace of it. Not knowing the outcome. Hammering phones and emailing personalized emails that show I’m not some robot on the other end. Adapting to new processes. Finding something that works but then finding a better way along the way. Constantly learning something new all around me.

I enjoy the gratification of hard work paying off. Whether that’s having someone I have been reaching out to for months finally reply to an email or answer the phone. Or having that perfect call that turns into a customer down the line. It’s eye on the prize. Never giving up. And always wanting to spread the word about the power of the employee experience, even if it’s only a conversation of curiosity and turns into nothing.

What’s the main skill you possess that makes you good at your job? How did you cultivate that skill prior to coming to YouEarnedIt?

I started working in restaurants when I was 15. From there I fell in love with food. Growing up Germican, I ate German food and Spanish/Mexican food. Both grandparents were awesome cooks, as were my parents. I would sit on the counter while my mom cooked and make homemade tortillas.

I worked as a chef for 11 years. Being a chef is basically giving up your life. Your life is the kitchen. It takes a special person to have a mind of a chef. To have the persistence, determination and dedication to keep going after 90-hour weeks. I started off as a line cook, bottom of the chain, doing all the leftover work that you were told to do, getting talked down to, yelled at, challenged physically and mentally. Many times you cry, but then your skin becomes tougher and your mind becomes stronger. You start to hold your head high and feel a sense of calmness. You grow very quickly and develop into a chef. Seeing hard work pay off. You then realize you are a force to be reckoned with.

YouEarnedIt has reinforced who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to live my life. I have grown into my role just as I did as a chef.

I always had these skills, but when I found cooking they grew more pronounced: attention to detail, creativity, fast-paced decision making, being a motivated, organized multitasker and team player. I have built myself into a person I am so happy with. The many skills I possess make me great at my job. My work ethic is like no other. And I pride myself on that. My passion for everything I do comes out in my work. And I truly believe I am the change I want to see in the world. If my contributions can make a difference, that is what I live for.

YouEarnedIt has reinforced who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to live my life. I have grown into my role just as I did as a chef.

What’s your favorite Behavior Bonus and why?

I would have to say volunteer on the weekend.

YouEarnedIt Behavior Bonuses help employee engagement and the employee experience

My girlfriend Dana’s mom is the executive director of Texas Mamma Jamma Ride, which is a yearly ride for breast cancer. I have volunteered for so many rides representing Mamma Jamma and spreading the work on the cause of the ride. It really sets the tone for my weekend when I can get up early to set up a booth with snacks to fuel the riders. Something I’ve discovered is that cyclists like their fruit cut a certain way; when riders compliment how perfectly cut everything is, I tell them they have a personal chef they brought in. I love to give back when I can and do my part in this crazy world.

What’s something you learned about a coworker during a recent Behavior Bonus experience?

I learn something every day about coworkers through the Behavior Bonuses that show up in the activity feed – where they like to eat, what physical activities they partake in before, during, and after work. But I have to say I love seeing and learning about my coworker Ted and the crazy workouts he does.

Behavior Bonus post on YouEarnedIt

No joke: he used to run a marathon before work and then bike to work. He is only short of swimming to complete a triathlon. He rides his bike every day and also runs, along with some extensive walks throughout the day.

What are your favorite types of rewards for employees within YouEarnedIt’s reward and recognition system?

My personal favorite is an Uchi gift card.
YouEarnedIt custom rewards improve employee engagement

I am a HUGE fan of the restaurant Uchi and of sushi in general. And I love that I can work hard and treat myself with hard-earned points! Such a great feeling. I like that there are Amazon gift cards because Ted uses those to buy the many shoes that he needs for his feet that take him many miles. I like that some of our rewards are so random because that gives everyone a chance to explore many options.

About YouEarnedIt
YouEarnedIt is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, YouEarnedIt grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact and appreciation. To request a demo, visit www.youearnedit.com/demo.

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Rebecca Beegle