by Carolyn Kick | Jan 17, 2020 | Employer Brand, Employer Branding
Just about every company these days has a mission, vision,
and set of core values. But all too often, these documents are reviewed once a
year by leadership then filed back away in a drawer. In these cases, they
remain hollow ideals rather than a reality of life at the company. Sometimes
this happens because the company followed the trend without really knowing what
it meant. Other times, businesses want to live their values, they just don’t
know how to realize their values in their business goals and day-to-day
Through our role as HR and benefits consultants, we’ve
gotten to know hundreds of companies over the years who struggle with this exact
challenge. And we’ve had the chance to guide them through the process of
integrating their values into everything that they do, particularly by crafting
values-driven benefits packages and human resources processes.
We’ve seen what works, and we’ve also seen what doesn’t. And
we have also seen how businesses transform and grow when they start realizing
their values in their day-to-day work.
This is one of the best things about being part of the
Launchways team. We’ve taken the lessons we’ve learned from working with our
clients to heart and live our values every day, in every way.
Our values shape who we are as team members, collaborators,
and consultants. They fuel our personal growth and make us invested in the
success of our coworkers, our company, and our clients. And we get the chance
to help our clients live their values and build more productive, engaging, and
Let’s take a look at what it means to live our values at
- The Launchways Core Values
- How We Make Our Values a Reality of Life at
- Values-Driven Customer Relationships
- Helping Our Clients Live Their Values
Launchways’ Core Values
Before we dive into how we live our values, here’s a quick
overview of what our values are, as
described by CEO Jim Taylor:
We are a resourceful organization. We take initiative, we
own the challenges that are set before us, and we embrace the work of finding
solutions, no matter what it takes.
We are a driven enterprise. We’re passionate about what we
do, and we strive to always go above-and-beyond for our clients and each other.
We’re a disruptive business. We’re unafraid to do things
differently, especially when we think it can yield better results. We’re
confident in our ability to improve the industry.
We’re a reflective and honest brand. We value constructive
conversation and believe that differences of opinion can make conversations and
We’re a community-minded team. We’re always looking for new
ways to support members of our Launchways community while also engaging with
the greater Chicago community.
How We Make Our Values a Reality of Life at Launchways
A values-driven workplace starts from the bottom-up. No
amount of cajoling from the C-Suite can make a company’s values a reality.
Every employee has to buy into the values and make them an intentional part of
how they interact with their work, their coworkers, and their clients. Only
then will a company’s values become a driving force in the company culture.
That said, there is a lot that a company’s leadership can do
to get employees to take ownership of company values. Unsurprisingly, with over
fifteen years of experience consulting with thousands of businesses, Jim knows
a thing or two about how to build a values-driven organization. And he built
Launchways around our core values from the ground up. Every process is shaped
with the company’s values in mind – how and who we hire, how we run our
meetings and share feedback, how we talk to each other across every level of
the Launchways team, and how we are encouraged to grow and advance within the
And it’s worked. Our values are an integral part of what we
do and how we do it. They help us treat each other with honesty and integrity,
encouraging us to be our best and most authentic selves, to genuinely care
about our fellow team members, and to be deeply invested in our clients’
It makes all the difference in the world to go into the
office every day and work alongside friends and peers towards common goals with
a shared vision, mutual respect, and open communication.
Values-Driven Customer Relationships
At Launchways, we know that we do best when our customers
thrive. And our values define every aspect of our relationships with our
customers. We become an extension of our clients’ teams, as invested in their
success as we are in our own.
One of the main expressions of our values-driven approach to
our client relations is our consultative sales model. Essentially, we provide
our clients with solutions rather than products. We never go into a client relationship
with the plan to “sell them” on specific products. Instead, we identify their
needs first and then find the HR technology, benefits, and business insurance
solutions that meet those needs and that help our clients accomplish their business
At Launchways, “out-of-the-box” packages are out of the
question, and it would be anathema to us to suggest that a client adopt a
product if it isn’t the absolute best solution for their business.
This approach doesn’t just deliver better results for our
clients, it also makes our work a lot more rewarding and engaging. We approach
each new client with a fresh perspective, using our skills and experience to
develop unique solutions and solve their specific challenges.
In short, we get to be strategic problem-solvers rather than
succumbing to the uncaring monotony of the hard-sell.
Helping Our Clients Live Their Values
A significant part of living your values is making sure that
the way you treat your employees aligns with your company’s core values. That
means that your benefits and human resources processes need to be aligned with
In our role as benefits and HR consultants, we get to help
our clients align their people-processes with their values. For example, we’ve
helped companies who value employee safety overhaul their workplace safety
practices and we’ve helped companies who value diversity and inclusion
implement more inclusive benefits packages.
Even after we’ve implemented the initial values-oriented
solutions, we continue to help our clients live their values over the long run.
Because we deliver scalable solutions, we build long-term relationships with
our clients. Our clients regularly turn to us as they face different business
or human resources challenges, and we guide them towards the strategies and
solutions that will keep them faithful to their core values.
This is a unique aspect of our client problem-solving that
goes beyond reducing their costs, expanding their benefits, or streamlining
their processes. We don’t just get to help our clients succeed – we empower
them to make sure their employees succeed as well.
If there’s anything we’ve learned from our years of guiding
businesses through the process of maximizing their human potential, it’s the
importance of company values. That is why we live our values in every aspect of
how we work and do business at Launchways. Here’s what living our values looks
like at Launchways:
- Putting our values at the center of everything
- Developing relationships with our coworkers and
clients that are based on trust and honesty
- Delivering meaningful solutions for our clients
through a consultative sales process
- Helping our clients live their values by
aligning their benefits and HR processes with their company values
by Carolyn Kick | Dec 20, 2019 | Employer Brand, Employer Branding
Here at Launchways, we take our core values very
seriously. They aren’t a list of aspirational ideals that we wrote
up on a wall. For us, they really are the soul of our company and are at the
heart everything that we do. This is largely because our team members own the
values as much as company leadership does. We take the time to review the
values every year and allow our employees to shape the values and hold
leadership accountable to live up to the values.
One of our most important values is the idea that Launchways
is driven on an individual, team, and company-wide level. We aren’t content to
just show up and do the minimum. We’re determined to win big for our clients,
our team members, and for ourselves too. This sense of drive has ripple-effects
throughout our organization. It is a cornerstone of our vibrant company culture
and employee community and the foundation for our innovative people-focused solutions.
Without our drive, we wouldn’t be able to fully live our other core values.
So what does being driven look like as an employee at
Launchways and how does it set our experience apart from working at other professional
service firms? In today’s post, we’ll cover how we:
- Own our work and are dedicated to professional development
- Fuel collaboration through shared purpose
- Foster mutual trust and a sense of community
- Respect each other’s intentions, empowering diversity and growth
Owning Your Work and Professional Development
One of the most significant impacts of living our “Driven”
value is the extent to which it allows us to own our work and development as a
person and as a professional. We don’t do what we do because someone higher in
the organization tells us to. We don’t do it to impress our coworkers. Rather,
our drive comes from within and is nurtured by our peers who value the same.
That might sound a little idealistic but it really boils
down to the Launchways principle of putting the right people in the right
seats. We carefully vet potential employees so that our team is made up of
similarly driven and dedicated individuals across all departments. And we know
that no one is going to be good at everything – but that everyone is good at
their own areas of expertise. So we take the time to identify aptitudes and put
people in the roles that let them take advantage of their skills. And our
employees have a unique amount of leeway to shape their roles to suit their
personalities, work styles, values, and talents so they can do and be their
Because we get to work on what we’re passionate about and
good at, it’s much easier to build and maintain our drive. There is so much
room to grow within the organization that there is no limit to our ability to
grow ourselves and our careers as we work on many different types of projects
to serve unique client needs. As our Senior HR Consultant Christine Lewis put
“Something that is really unique about working at Launchways is the ability that each of us has to explore different areas in our career and participate in projects that we would not be able to at another company. Our roles are not very siloed so we get to work with many different teams. Tackling HR issues in so many different environments has allowed me to grow my career much faster than I could working in-house.”
It also means that we get to take ownership of our projects.
We feel comfortable and encouraged to come forward with ideas for projects or
solutions and we help each other realize those ideas. Our mutual drive allows
us to have more control over our work and a greater impact on the results we deliver
for our clients. Our driven team is the key to Launchways’ innovative
Fueling Collaboration Through Shared Purpose
At Launchways, we’re not just driven on an individual level.
There’s a sense of energy as soon as you walk through the doors and become immersed
in the team environment. We’re each passionate about our own projects but we
also get to work together to realize the goals on an individual, departmental,
company, and client level.
This mutual drive gives us a sense of shared purpose. And
because we openly acknowledge our different strengths and backgrounds, we can
easily reach out to coworkers to fill in any gaps we might have and deliver our
solutions to the client. There’s no foot-dragging or complaining about
diverting resources from other projects – people are happy to get involved and
help each other succeed. One of our Client Success Advocates, Hannah, said it
best when she told us,
The team atmosphere is my favorite part of working at Launchways. There is always a sense of support and there is a lot of trust. You can really trust your teammates to back you up and we are all in it together. It makes me feel really safe, capable, and ready to be myself.
Earning Trust and Respect to Foster Community
At Launchways, we all have a shared passion for always doing
what’s best for our clients while growing and learning new things.
And no one questions each other’s dedication. We know how much our work means
to every single person on the team and how hard we all work to make great
things happen for our company and our clients.
And when you get so many passionate people together in an
office and give them the resources they need to take ownership of their work
and do what they know how to do best, something truly remarkable happens. You
don’t just build a company culture. You create a community.
Our mutual drive creates the kind of genuine trust and
respect that is necessary for deeper connections and an organic community. All
of the realizations and benefits of our “Driven” value we’ve covered so far add
up to make Launchways a special place to work. Launchways is where people are
comfortable sharing their true selves and appreciate each other for who we
really are. And this environment isn’t just individually rewarding, it also
gives us the space to forge meaningful relationships. As our long-time team
member Maribel Espinoza says,
“Everyone here gets along so well that I call it my second family. Coming to work with great people in a great atmosphere makes my work even more rewarding.”
Respecting Intentions Empowers Diversity and Growth
Working in an environment in which every person is driven
and passionate about their work allows us to avoid many of the kinds of
miscommunications that can derail teamwork, growth, and innovation. Because it
creates the trust and respect that allows for community, it also lets us have
full trust in each other’s intentions. This means that we listen to each other
seriously without taking anything personally: enabling us to realize one of our
other core values of being “thoughtfully candid.”
Once you trust your coworkers’ intentions implicitly, you
open up a whole new world of possibilities for productive collaboration and
personal growth. Everyone is comfortable to be themselves and share their
genuine opinions and perspectives even if, and sometimes especially if, they
differ or conflict with those of others. Having so many diverse perspectives at
the table allows us to think outside of the box and truly innovate as a team
and as a company. It fuels our individual and mutual drives and allows us to
push each other to help us do and be our best. All without causing hard
And this diversity, equality, and willingness to push each
other applies at all levels of the organization. Our CEO, Jim Taylor, had this
to say about how our team drives his work:
“What I like about the Launchways team is that, simply put: they’re good at what they do. They make me driven because they hold me responsible to be the best I can be and there is a level of mutual respect that exists that has taken me to a place that I have not been before in my career. We’re not afraid to disagree on things and know that these different opinions will take us to the best possible place. And our relationships are authentic and rewarding, so we don’t take disagreements personally.”
Here are some of the key takeaways of what being driven
means for us at Launchways:
- We own our work and our professional development, which makes it easy to be passionate about what we do
- Our mutual drive helps us work together to accomplish goals on an individual, team, and company-wide level
- Common purpose and dedication to our work does more than facilitate productive collaboration: it builds vibrant and meaningful community
- With everyone sharing the same sense of drive and purpose, we trust each other’s intentions, which lets us share our diverse opinions to maximize our outcomes and growth
The truth is that the core value of being Driven defines who
we are and what we do at Launchways. It makes our office somewhere that is full
of passionate, dedicated individuals who are hell-bent on being successful and
really making a difference in the work that they do. And it builds a community
based on trust, respect, and deep relationships.
Are you interested in joining the Launchways team? Learn more about our career opportunities here.
by Carolyn Kick | Nov 21, 2019 | Employer Brand, Employer Branding
One of Launchways’ core values is to be a Community-Builder.
Our team is community-minded and constantly looking for new opportunities to
foster a richer community within Launchways and in the Chicago ecosystem. This
common vision of bridge-building helps us form stronger bonds with our
coworkers and more productive partnerships with other businesses in the greater
We approach our role as community-builder in two fundamental
- Fostering the Launchways community
- Building a community outside our office walls
Fostering Community at Launchways
Why We Believe in Building a Launchways Community
In our mission to help our clients build thriving teams of
top talent, we often address the topic of how to create a vibrant, engaging
company culture. But within our organization, we believe in taking it a step
further and creating not just a culture but a community.
Companies have a culture, whether they take steps to shape
it or not. Letting it lie fallow can cause that culture to become toxic, and
tending to it can help engage team members and make work more meaningful. A
company community cannot exist without consistent and dedicated work by company
leadership and every single team member. The risk of not putting in this work
is not a toxic community, but the lack of any sense community at all. People
will still come into the office, log their hours, and go home. But they won’t
care about their cubicle-mates or see their work as helping themselves, their
coworkers, and their company succeed. Simply put, they’re employees, not team
For that to happen, companies have to foster a community in
which everyone is invested in helping everyone else grow, succeed, and pursue
what matters most to them.
How We Foster Community at Launchways
We know that as an employer, you need to create
organizational structures that will become the foundations of an organic and
employee-owned community. So, we have implemented several systems at Launchways
that help fuel our community and allow it to take on a life of its own. Each
step seems simple and inconsequential on the surface but, added together, they
completely transform how we interact with and think about each other as teammates.
Meetings are the main formalized touch-points that employees
have with each other and with the company as a whole, so we have focused our
efforts on creating community-minded meetings. We start each week with an
all-hands-on-deck meeting where each team member discusses their number-one
project for the week and any roadblocks they need help on. These meetings allow
us to see what everyone is working on, celebrate their accomplishments, and
seize opportunities to help each other whenever possible.
Another large part of a community is having a sense of
working together for a common goal that everyone shares. As we advise our
clients, we have integrated our values, mission, and vision into every policy
and process in our organization so our team members can become their stewards.
But we also hold quarterly all-company meetings to review our goals and
progress towards those goals together as a company. These meetings drive home
the reality that we are all working together to accomplish the same goals.
Beyond meetings, “shout-outs” are a core part of the
Launchways community. Front-and-center in our office is our “Shout-Out Board”
where we can recognize our coworkers on a daily basis for doing an awesome job
and representing our core values. We also share highlights from the Shout-Out
Board at our Monday all-hands-on-deck meetings so that we can celebrate each
other’s accomplishments together. You would be surprised at how much a whiteboard
builds a supportive and engaged community.
Stepping Outside Launchways: Fostering the Chicago Business Community
Launchways is constantly forming new partnerships with
businesses and organizations in the broader Chicago ecosystem so that we can
engage business leaders in a strong community. Some of our key business partners
have included Hyde Park Angels, FinTEx, and the Illinois Technology
Over the past year, we have worked with our business
partners and organizations like FinTEx and ITA to host educational events for
business and HR leaders in Chicago and the whole of Illinois. Just this
October, we brought together five business leaders and HR experts for a panel
discussion on tackling key diversity and inclusion challenges at our D&I
Summit. We welcomed over 60 HR professionals for a complimentary dinner and
open bar, which certainly got folks networking and community building. And the
panel delivered an incredibly comprehensive look at D&I strategies for
businesses going into the 2020s.
We also worked with our business partners to host a CFO
breakfast that brought growth-minded financial leaders from around Chicago
together to learn new actionable strategies to take back to their business,
especially around the increasing role that CFOs play in their company’s HR
strategy. And on the other side of the same conversation, we partnered with ITA
to host an “HR Now” summit for HR leaders to help them form stronger
collaborations with their finance counterparts.
Beyond hosting events, Launchways also partners with other
businesses and vendors to provide additional resources and value for our
clients. This isn’t just the right thing to do to help our client community and
form the best relationships we can with them, it is also a great way to create
a symbiotic community of businesses in related industries, all working together
to meet the whole range of companies’ HR and benefits needs.
Launchways takes its role as a community-builder very seriously
because we know that being part of a genuine community makes work more
meaningful and rewarding and that every company has the responsibility to help
build and uplift their local business community. This core value impacts just
about every aspect of how we work and do business at Launchways. These community-building
initiatives contribute significantly to our community-building efforts,
- Leveraging weekly and quarterly meetings as community-building touch-points through open communication and judgment-free discussion of projects, challenges, and successes
- Publicly celebrating coworker accomplishments on a daily and weekly basis
- Hosting events for business leaders in our ecosystem
- Partnering with businesses and vendors to bring our clients the best range of services possible
If working in a community sounds as good to you as it does
to us, we would love to welcome you to our team. Check out current openings and
get started with your Launchways journey by heading over to our Careers Page!
by Jim Taylor | Oct 31, 2019 | Employer Brand, Employer Branding
At Launchways, we know that what makes us different is what
makes us strong and that our team members thrive when they can be and share
their full, authentic selves at work. Supporting and encouraging each of our
team members as whole people, not just as productive employees, is one of our
top priorities and fundamental values. We think it’s not just the right thing
to do, but also the best way of creating a positive work environment and a
So what does living this principle look like at Launchways,
and what effects does it have on our work? Here are some of the key points I’ll
- The reasons behind our approach and how it fuels our creativity
- Authentic communication between Launchways employees
- Work styles as unique as our team members
Why We Value the Individual at Launchways
Many companies are talking about diversity and inclusion
nowadays and language about inclusion is making its way into more business’
value statements and employee handbooks. But how many employers put these words
into action and do everything they can to support each employee and what makes
At Launchways, we understand the struggles that companies
face tackling D&I and building a thriving, productive team. We’ve seen first-hand
what works and what doesn’t. We know that divisions and conformity are toxic to
a company’s culture and that businesses do better when they make sure that
every single employee feels comfortable to be themselves without fear of being
judged or penalized. We know that helping your employees succeed is the best
way to make your business succeed, and that means supporting their growth and
fulfillment in all aspects of their lives and all facets of their
Now, we know that saying we want all of our employees to
feel comfortable and encouraged to be their 100% authentic selves may sound cliché.
But living this value every day and in every aspect of our business makes an enormous
difference for our team members, our culture, our clients, and our bottom-line.
Communication is clear, morale is high, and we all work together to build up
ourselves, each other, and Launchways.
From an employer perspective, this approach makes good
business sense. Having diverse voices at the table is a surefire way to develop
more successful strategies and initiatives. Studies show that greater gender
and racial diversity leads to increased
profitability and value creation. But to see the business results of
your gender, racial, sexual, and culturally diverse team, you have to create a
safe space where every employee is free to be and express themselves. When
people are comfortable being themselves, they bring their whole selves to work
and share their unique perspectives that can result in innovative solutions.
And bringing your whole self to work doesn’t just increase
your value as an employee: it also results in a positive workplace and culture
that is as vibrant as its members. Who wants to work somewhere that you can’t
be yourself? A culture of lived openness invites the human back into business.
We can genuinely communicate and build richer, more valuable connections with
each other and with our partners and clients. At Launchways, our dedication to
openness and authenticity is what makes our jobs so meaningful and makes going
into work every day worthwhile and enjoyable.
How Launchways Encourages Employees to Share Their Authentic Selves
Simply put: just saying that you value something won’t make
it a reality at your business. That is why at Launchways, we have taken
concrete steps to shape our practices and policies around the value of making
our employees feel comfortable sharing their authentic selves.
Communication is the key to encouraging our team members to
share their authentic selves at work. After all, communication is how we
express ourselves and our perspectives and if an employer does not support open
and individualized communication, they won’t be able to foster a truly
At Launchways, we go out of our way to acknowledge and
encourage different communication styles. Our team members value intent rather
than presentation, which prevents plenty of common office misunderstanding and
interpersonal drama. If someone tells it like it is, we acknowledge and support
that without taking it as a personal attack. And if someone has a hard time
voicing their opinions, we recognize that as well and try to amplify their
voice and pick up on the messages they are sending. Now, there are still
standards regarding acceptable and unacceptable behavior, but we work hard to
acknowledge a wide range of communication styles.
This philosophy goes hand-in-hand with another of our core values,
candid. We don’t just believe in personalized communication, we also
support open and honest communication and feedback: being candid. But we also
stand for keeping the humanity and feelings of our coworkers in mind, being
thoughtfully honest rather than brutally honest and always speaking from a
place of trust.
It’s just as important to us that our team members are
comfortable sharing their needs and struggles. We want to know the difficulties
that our employees are facing and make every reasonable accommodation possible.
We understand that our team members will be more productive if they are
comfortable speaking up when they need help personally or professionally. We
don’t want people blustering and covering up the fact that they are having
difficulty on a project: we want them to step up and get the resources they
need to get the job done. So we always encourage our team members to be
comfortable telling their managers when they are going through a tough time,
having a family emergency, or need additional help/support in the office or
outside of it.
Work Styles as Unique as Our Team Members
At Launchways, we have implemented two main principles
regarding our work that help our team members thrive as their authentic selves.
The first is that we get to work how we feel most
productive. We have an enormous amount of flexibility regarding when, where,
and how we work. While it’s important to have face-to-face interactions and
meetings, we have flexibility determining our daily work hours so long as we’re
getting the job done. And we can work from home when necessary: whether it’s because
our kids are sick or because we just need to take a break from the office chatter
to be our most productive selves.
The second principle is that we get to work on what most
interests us. Launchways provides our team members the opportunity to pursue interests
and passions. That means that if any of us has an idea for a project or
initiative that we care about and think will contribute to the Launchways
mission, we get the space and resources we need to make it a reality. You’d be
surprised how many game-changing strategies develop when all team members are
free to exercise their creativity.
At Launchways, our workplace environment, culture, and
communication styles are all designed to allow us to share 100% of our true,
authentic selves. This freedom has an impactful ripple-effect throughout all
aspects of life and work at Launchways and makes us a better, more successful
company. As we’ve explored, for us, the dedication to supporting employees’
whole selves means:
- Our team members can grow and succeed as individuals, which helps our team and company succeed in turn
- Employees share their unique perspectives, generating diverse conversations and innovative solutions
- Everyone can communicate in their own way without causing misunderstandings
- We can be open about our challenges and get the support we need
- We work how we want, on what we’re passionate about
We think that our way of doing things is pretty great. We go
into work every day to collaborate with our friends and fellow humans, forging
deeper connections and producing unique solutions that we get to own as ours.
If you’re interested in joining the Launchways team, view
our current openings here.
by Jim Taylor | Oct 3, 2019 | Employer Brand
At Launchways, we believe in doing something radical in the
business world: telling the truth. We have seen clients succeed and fail based
on their ability to foster a vibrant company culture and engage their people
power. And we have found that honesty, transparency, and respect are the keys
to positive business outcomes.
We have taken this experience and ingrained it into every
part of our business. Our people-powered approach to HR and benefits requires
deep honesty and respect between our team members, with our clients, and
between our advisors and our clients’ employees.
So, one of our fundamental core values is being thoughtfully
candid. We think we’ve hit upon something special with this value and the way
we live it in our day-to-day work. Here’s what we have to say about being
- What it means to be thoughtfully candid
- Why we value thoughtful candidness
- How being thoughtfully candid helps us be better
What Does it Mean
to Be Thoughtfully Candid?
What does it mean to be thoughtfully candid? Well, you can
break it down into its two parts: candidness and thoughtfulness. Being candid
boils down to honesty and transparency while being thoughtful encompasses
empathy and respect. Let’s take a look at each part:
The principle of candidness is simple enough: just be
honest. But putting it into practice is a lot more complicated because it goes
against what many of us may have been taught.
That’s because we tend to think that honesty is, in some
way, bad. The truth hurts. If you don’t have anything nice to say,
don’t say anything at all. Ignorance is bliss.
But what we’re really saying is that we don’t trust the
other person to handle our honest opinions. The misconception is that it’s
better to pretend that we agree with them or that they are doing a better job
than they really are just to spare their feelings or avoid conflict. But at the
end of the day, this simply isn’t a good way of doing business.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should be outright
rude or mean. And by being thoughtful, we can make sure that the truth doesn’t
hurt. But, even without being thoughtful, being candid is still the best
Take this example: imagine you get called into your
manager’s office tomorrow. You walk in expecting praise for your work. After
all, they told you how well you were doing when you asked them only last week.
But instead, they tell you that you are being fired because of your poor
performance. Were they doing you a favor by sparing your feelings until your performance
became a serious issue? Or would it have been better for them to come to you as
soon as there was an issue so that you could improve or address underlying
What does candidness look like at work? The key to
candidness is giving and receiving truly honest feedback and opinions without
taking them personally or trying to spare (or hurt) coworkers’ feelings. It
means giving your honest opinion in all cases, knowing that people will respect
it as such and will respond with equal honesty.
With absolute candidness, there’s no room for
passive-aggressive behavior, backstabbing, and office ‘drama’. In their place
are open communication, mutual respect, and radical problem-solving. But candor
is most effective when it is paired with an equal emphasis on thoughtfulness.
When you are being candid at work, it’s important to
remember the humanity and intentions of the people you are working with. And to
bring your humanity to bear when forming and sharing your opinions. For your
candid input to be accepted and to foster a productive, energetic workplace, it
has to come from a place of respect and empathy for your coworkers. If you want
them to succeed and be happy, and they know that to be true, then they will
welcome your honesty rather than seeing it as a threat.
So that’s the first aspect of thoughtfulness: empathy.
Knowing where coworkers are coming from when they share their opinions and
feedback, and thinking about their challenges and best interests when forming
your own. Empathy is the basis of mutual respect, and it is also the key to
developing strong, productive relationships with your coworkers.
But there’s more to being thoughtful than being empathetic.
Thoughtfulness also requires that you act intentionally and with an open mind.
We don’t just give our honest opinions: we give our considered opinions. We
think before we speak and try to make sure that our positions are both correct
and truly the honest reflection of what we believe in. This stops haste from
causing miscommunications and gives us even greater trust in what our coworkers
say to us.
We also try to keep as open a mind as possible. Because
everyone is being honest and operating with good intentions, there’s room for
real compromise, consensus, and understanding. There’s even room for people to
change their minds!
Why We Value
At Launchways, we know that sustainable business success is
built on the success of each employee. Helping our employees become the best,
most productive versions of themselves is just good business.
In our experience, people want to be challenged. They want
to grow and add to their value as an individual and as an employee. Which
sometimes means pushing them to improve and equipping them with the skills and
knowledge to become better employees.
When we come up with a business strategy or initiative, our
first step is to identify the challenges and issues that we are trying to
address. Without an honest evaluation of the status quo, we cannot develop an
effective strategy. And without honest review of the initiative’s progress,
success or failure are impossible to measure and progress is significantly
We believe that employee careers and personal growth should
be approached in the same way. An honest appraisal is also necessary for our
employees’ professional growth. It’s the only way that they can discover what
they need to work on and get the advice they need to effectively address any
issues or skill gaps.
Being candid allows our executives, managers, and team
members to talk to each other honestly, enabling valuable feedback on all
levels (we want our new hires to be just as candid with our CEO as our managers
are with their team members) and empowering our employees to encourage each
other to succeed. We believe that it is not just the morally correct way to
conduct our business but that it is also one of the main factors behind our
And we believe that thoughtfulness is just as important as
candidness. Being thoughtful in our interactions fosters deeper connections
between the people who make Launchways special. It allows us to trust that the
candid feedback and opinions coming from our coworkers come from the best of
intentions and are meant to help us grow as professionals and do our jobs as
effectively as possible. Mutual respect isn’t just an ideal: it is a reality of
life at Launchways.
Thoughtfully Candid Helps Us Be Better
As one of our core values, thoughtful candidness shapes just
about everything we do at Launchways. It makes us a stronger team and helps us
develop innovative solutions for our clients.
Being thoughtfully candid begins with our weekly roundups
every Monday morning. We start the meeting by giving genuine shout outs to
coworkers we think did an exceptional job the previous week. We then go around
and have each team member share their goals and projects for the week as well
as their roadblocks that they need help on.
These meetings allow us to celebrate each other and share
our projects and challenges. They set the tone of thoughtful candidness and set
up spin-off conversations throughout the week in which we share ideas to help
solve roadblocks and accomplish projects collaboratively.
Of course, being thoughtfully candid is also especially
important to our review and feedback process. Our culture of openness and
respectful honesty allows consistent feedback. That means that everyone knows
where they stand, reducing stress, increasing engagement, and creating consistent
opportunities for improvement.
There’s no simmering resentment or fear of secretly falling
down on the job. If there’s an issue with our performance, we find out right
away. But we’re just as quick to share strengths and successes, so we’ll also
know if we’re doing a good job and feel genuinely appreciated for it. And being
thoughtfully candid allows us to give more than qualitative feedback: it lets
us genuinely help each other succeed rather than focus on raw performance.
Honesty lets us get to the root causes of our challenges and successes.
Best of all, being thoughtfully candid lets us collaborate
more meaningfully. We can work together to solve not only our own challenges,
and those of our coworkers, but also develop better solutions for our clients.
We make realistic plans, execute them more effectively, and track our progress
to create the best possible outcomes. And our clients respect us for our honest
approach and open communication with their internal teams. These collaborations
make our work more meaningful and more successful.
Being thoughtfully candid is integral to how we do business
at Launchways. It is one of our five core values that guide our decisions and
culture. As we’ve laid out in this article, being thoughtfully candid means:
- Being honest at all times, but also having respect for coworkers and coming from a place of empathy and considered positions
- Open communications between coworkers, managers and team members, and leadership with employees
- Consistent feedback, personal and professional growth, deeper relationships, and productive collaboration
We think that our way of doing things makes our work more
enjoyable, meaningful, and productive. If joining a team based on thoughtfully
candid communication sounds interesting, check out our career page for current
by Carolyn Kick | Sep 25, 2019 | Employer Brand
At Launchways we take a drastically different approach to
benefits and human resources. We believe that we do best for ourselves by doing
best for our clients and that our clients thrive when they do right by their
employees. We know that benefits and effective HR are some of the best tools
that growing businesses can use to attract, engage, and retain the talent they
need to not only survive but thrive and grow.
By taking a personalized approach, we can find unique
solutions that reduce costs while actually improving the value that our clients
provide for their employees. Our team is deeply involved in our clients’
business and that’s why we act as partners and problem solvers instead of
salespeople. Which has not only helped us rapidly grow our business but also
makes it genuinely rewarding to come into work each day.
Here’s how we do things differently at Launchways to ensure
we’re always doing what’s best for our clients:
- A consultative sales process means we find the solutions that work best for our clients
- We help people first to empower business results
- Our team becomes an extension of our clients’ teams so we act as experts not only in benefits and HR but also in our clients’ industries
- Constant innovation helps Launchways and its clients thrive
- Scalable solutions mean that we build long-term client relationships
Consultative Sales: Finding the Solutions that Work for
One of the best things about what we do at Launchways is
that we get to be problem solvers instead of salesmen. Our business thrives by
always providing our clients with the solutions that best meet their specific
needs and budgets. That means that we take a consultative
sales approach with our clients.
What does a consultative sales process entail? Essentially,
it means that we are selling solutions instead of products. Our sales team
members serve as consultants for our clients, guiding them towards the
insurance plans, benefits, and technology partners that will work the best for
them and their businesses.
We use our industry experience to advise our clients about
which options we think are right for them and build connections with premier vendors
to provide our clients with the best possible options. This unique approach
means that we don’t bring our clients “out-of-the-box” packages and ask them to
pick one. Instead, we craft custom, strategic solutions that are tailored to
each client’s unique needs. While we have formed numerous strategic
partnerships with insurers, benefits providers, and technology companies, we
don’t pitch our clients on their solutions. Instead, we leverage our
partnerships to deliver unique savings, greater support, and customized
solutions to fuel our clients’ businesses.
Helping People First to Deliver Business Results
Our business model is based on the essential truth that a
company is only as strong as its people and that businesses perform best when
they do best by their employees. Growing businesses might come to Launchways to
control costs, increase employee productivity and retention, and achieve other
business results, but our solutions are ultimately grounded in helping our
clients build and maintain a team that fuels business success.
What does that mean for Launchways? For one thing, it means we
are extremely strategic in the way we help our clients control costs at their
businesses. Reducing costs is important for most of our clients. But we understand
how to balance cost cutting with maintaining employee happiness and building an
attractive employer brand.
Growing businesses can often achieve the cost-savings they
need by reducing bureaucracy, rather than reducing the quality of employee
healthcare. We streamline processes, generate savings through strategic plan
design, and identify real employee healthcare needs to increase the benefits
that matter most to employees while eliminating waste.
A Business of Partnership: Consultants and Advisors not
Launchways is a growing business that understands the pain
points that our fellow scaling businesses face. We understand that benefits and
HR are very personal topics and should be addressed with personalized
solutions. Launchways takes a uniquely boutique approach to benefits and human
resources. Our team serves an extension of our clients’ human resources and leadership
teams, helping steer their companies towards sustainable growth and scalable
Under this approach, our advisors serve as partners and
problem solvers. Our team embeds itself in our clients’ businesses to create custom
solutions for unique challenges. We get the opportunity to work not just for
Launchways but for each of Launchways’ clients.
Because of our dedication to doing everything possible to
help our clients and their employees succeed, Launchways is always searching
for new ways to empower our clients’ benefits and human resources. Whether it’s
a new benefits management software platform, unique wellness benefit,
telehealth program or innovative approach to prescription savings, our job is
to find out what the cutting-edge solutions are and determine how we can
leverage them to help our clients.
At Launchways, we always have our eyes on the horizon so we
never get stuck in a rut. We are constantly pushing forward, never content to
rest still and implement the same solutions over and over again until they
The focus on innovation to fuel client results fundamentally
changes the nature of our organization and how we operate. From our trendy office
space at the heart of Chicago’s startup district, our work-life balance, and
even the way we handle our internal communications, Launchways lives-and-breathes
like a tech startup rather than a traditional benefits broker.
Human resources and benefits should be exciting and
rewarding. The Launchways approach cuts through the usual bureaucracy to bring
the focus back on people and innovative problem-solving.
Scalable Solutions Mean Long Term Relationships
Businesses’ needs change as they grow, their employee
demographics and priorities change, and the market shifts. And the solutions
available to address business challenges are changing just as quickly.
So while Launchways is dedicated to implementing solutions
and strategies that can scale with our clients’ growth, we know that truly
scalable solutions require continuous feedback and revision. We know that we
won’t do right by our clients if we just sell them a new benefits package and
then move onto the next account. Instead, we forge long term relationships in
which we make our expertise, resources, and strategic partners available to
meet any issues that our clients might face. Ongoing service and consultation are
an integral part of our business at its core.
Launchways was founded to provide a better model to tackle
the benefits and human resources challenges that growing businesses face. Our
mission has led us to take an unconventional stance for a successful benefits
broker: we always do what’s best for our clients and their employees. This has
a ripple effect that changes just about everything about how we do business,
- Our sales team takes a fully consultative sales approach that focuses on building solutions, not selling products
- We get to help people because we know that businesses succeed when they help their employees succeed
- Launchways’ benefits advisors become an extension of our clients’ teams, getting to know their businesses and working for them as much as for Launchways
- Technological advancements and changes in the healthcare market mean that Launchways is constantly innovating to deliver the best results possible
- There is no one-off solution for benefits and human resources challenges, so we take a long-term approach to our client relationships that makes our work more productive and rewarding
Do you like the sound of doing what’s best for your clients,
forming deeper relationships with clients’ teams, and developing solutions that
help people? The Launchways model has proved successful and we are expanding
our team to meet the growing demand for our business model. Check out the open
positions on our careers page.