In 2007 Paul Spiegelman astonished the corporate world with Why is Everyone Smiling? The Secret Behind Passion, Productivity, and Profit, a book about the rewards that come from developing a corporate culture that builds employee loyalty.
Smile Guide is that concept’s proof of value. From recruiting and branding to leadership and communication, Spiegelman addresses each aspect of successfully establishing and maintaining a personalized, beneficial, and efficient company culture. As the CEO of the perpetually successful Beryl Companies, Spiegelman’s Smile Guide—a collection of essays by Beryl employees— vividly demonstrates how a company’s refreshingly welcoming culture can encourage and inspire staff members to deliver success to their employer because they actually want to.
“The Beryl employees who you will hear from in this book are the ones we trust with our most important stakeholders—our patients. The Beryl culture translates into our patients and their families feeling cared for, listened to, engaged with, and ultimately healed.”
David T. Feinberg, MD, MBA
President, UCLA Health System CEO, UCLA Hospital System Associate vice chancellor
“Spiegelman has captured the essence of the things that really matter the most in business—providing an environment where your employees are engaged and inspired. Very well done, Paul!”
Chairholder, the Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship Associate professor, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, MTSU Author, No Man’s Land
“The most important responsibility of any CEO is to set the culture of the company. Smile Guide is a rich testament to the culture that Paul Spiegelman has created at Beryl —a culture that has made it a leader in its industry.”
Founder CitiStorage Coauthor, Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs
“If you want to know what makes a company great, the answer is here.”
Editor-at-large, Inc. Author, Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
Jason Armour: Creative Director
Job Description: I generally handle creative for the four Beryl companies as well as champion quirky culture things, like the photo booth or our Traveling Bear wall. Any given day I’m wearing a number of different hats—I may be hard-coding to build an interactive website, taking photos of a golf tournament, filming our CEO acting like a fool, or performing more serious marketing efforts.
“I was honored and excited about being able to share some stories from my time here that may inspire other businesses to improve their workplace cultures. Every other company I worked for had some “corporate office” in another state that was making decisions that affected our lives. There would be some policy that didn’t make sense being enforced by an absent presence. At Beryl, we are the headquarters. If something doesn’t make sense, we change it. Also, when the “owners” at other companies came to visit, we’d all have to clean our desks, no personal items, dress up nice, etc. It was intimidating. Paul puts on a bear costume.
Melissa Barnes: Director of Patient Experience Team and Strategic Account Executive
Job Description: I work with the client facing team and customers to impact and measure employee experience, patient experience, and various healthcare initiatives.
“Beryl has a “family” style approach with genuine compassion for team members. Every one of us truly understands the ultimate purpose: helping patients receive the care, information, and tools they need to feel better and be in better health. But also, I truly appreciate the team I work with, the customers we partner with, and the real impact of what we do. Just as with our callers, we want our team members to receive the care, information, and tools they need to feel better and be better.
Melissa Bloom: Strategic Account Executive
Job Description: I have the privilege of working closely with one of Beryl’s top clients. My primary responsibilities include managing and growing the relationship.
“My first meeting at Beryl was a business review led by Paul. Our management team was collectively discussing the pros and cons of keeping a particular Beryl client. I have been in management and sales for my entire adult career and I had never before experienced anything like that meeting. Paul genuinely cared about how others were treated and our continued challenges with that client, and he involved the whole team in reviewing the state of the relationship. It blew me away. There continue to be other examples of leadership, but that first experience stayed with me. We don’t have the best equipment, furniture, computers, or facility. The people make it special. I have been overwhelmed by the willingness of others to pitch in, do the right thing, solve an issue, and connect with me on the deepest level. Amazing people.
Lindy Butterfield: Vice President of Operations
Job Description: I lead the best team in the organization! We are responsible for communicating with patients every day via phone, e-mail, and chat on behalf of our clients. We refer patients to physicians, register people for classes and health seminars, schedule appointments, and provide discharge services, which helps patients returning home understand their discharge instructions. I have the privilege to work with a management team that focuses on coaching and development of their team members, while ensuring the business runs proficiently and productively. Finally, I oversee the support team—including the quality department, performance support specialists, and the workforce management team. They are here to support the advocates and management team, as well as the rest of the organization, to deliver a quality and timely experience at each encounter.
“I love working for a company that has given me the autonomy to develop a strong management team and implement more efficiency and quality measures within the department, all while being creative and enhancing the culture. I have the best work–life balance that I have ever had in my career. Beryl rocks!
Tina Clay: Data Specialist
Job Description: I am responsible for transcribing physician, class, and service data into databases and coordinating daily support activities for designated clients. I provide support to both clients and account managers for daily account management activities. I also work with clients to ensure that information is accurate and adequate for executing their marketing initiatives.
“Beryl has instilled my commitment to accountability. I must be accountable for all that I do in every area. I have been encouraged to reach out to others. I smile all the time. I greet every person I encounter with a smile and a “how ya doing?” It’s taught me that it’s not always what I do or say, but how. Our core values are implemented at home as well. My husband knows each of the values just from reading our Beryl Life magazine. When I have my “down” days, he reminds me of those values and encourages me to look at situations with a new set of eyes.
Glenda Dearion: Talent Manager
Job Description: I am responsible for managing our recruiting team as well as delivering all facets (internal and external) of the recruiting success throughout the organization.
“I felt honored to know Beryl wanted my voice to be heard. Anyone who knows me understands how important loyalty and family are to me. Beryl is truly a place I can call my home away from home and my second family. Beryl has proven how important it considers my health and well-being. Even with a busy schedule or a crazy work week (or month), Beryl demands I take time to enjoy myself and my family. I am thankful to be a family member of Beryl!
Patrick Gonzales: Patient-Experience Advocate—Marketing Services
Job Description: I help people find physicians and classes in their community.
“I think what sets Beryl apart is the family feeling that you get from your coworkers. It doesn’t matter if you work on the phones or IT or management—you get the sense that they really care about you. I had barely finished training when I became sick and had to spend two weeks in the hospital. To my surprise, I received a get-well card from Paul. It really made an impression on me that Beryl was a company that cared.
Miguel Hernandez: Lead Senior Software Engineer
Job Description: I develop new and innovative software solutions that will connect people to healthcare.
“I’ve been working for Beryl for nine years and it’s been a great experience. I’ve seen the company grow so much that I don’t know half the people working here! Hiring new employees and increasing profit in a down economy does say a lot about the company. Being the premier premium provider and nine-time “Best Places to Work” award winner makes me feel that I made a great decision in working for Beryl. I work with a great team and they are the reason I stay and work hard in helping the company achieve its goals. Beryl has given me the opportunity to provide my family with a better home, better activities, and most of all, family time. Seeing the smiles on my kids’ faces makes the thousands of lines of code I’ve written throughout the years well worth it.
Jhan Knebel: Senior Instructional Systems Designer
Job Description: I am responsible for analyzing training needs and identifying solutions. I then develop and deliver those solutions to the organization and our clients. I also mentor others in the area of instructional design.
“I love working at a company that really focuses on improving the lives of all with whom we interact. From the commitment to educating coworkers to each and every patient we speak with, we make a difference every day in people’s lives!
Nancy Lecroy: Vice President of Marketing
Job Description: I am responsible for the development and implementation of marketing and communications strategies with the aim of growing the business and enhancing Beryl’s brand and awareness.
“As marketers and brand managers, we’re always looking for that diamond in the rough—that one thing we can promote that will set the organization apart from the competition. At Beryl, I had the opposite challenge. I had so many to choose from: service, product innovation, industry leader (just to name a few). But the one thing that rose to the top was the people. A brand is only as good as the person delivering it to the customer, and my coworkers at Beryl take that job very seriously. They live by the brand principles and use them to guide their actions throughout the day. They take pride in delivering on our brand promise and recognize the important role each person plays in bringing the brand to life. At Beryl, we say to each other, “You are the face of Beryl.” And it’s true!
Aubri Levens: Director of Executive Wrangling
Job Description: Essentially, I am the executive assistant to our glorious founder and CEO, Paul Spiegelman. My responsibility is to keep Paul on the right track and organized on a daily basis.
“I love to come to work, I love my coworkers, and I believe in Beryl. That’s the difference to me—like night and day from where I came from. I feel more engaged in my life now . . . I am able to enjoy my time with my family and not stress about work. There is no price on the freedom that Beryl has provided me. One final thought: the people and views in this book are genuine. We are not doing this to sell books, get famous, or make money; we wrote these words because we love this company and the people that make it great every day.
Jennifer Limon: Human Resources Manager
Job Description: I am responsible for managing our benefit and compensation programs. I strive to ensure that Beryl offers a great benefits package that is cost-efficient for everyone.
“I have worked at Beryl for ten years. I am very blessed to say that I still look forward to coming to work each day. Being in the position that I’m in, I get to see a lot of things. We are not perfect by any means, but I truly feel in my heart that we care about our employees and have a strong focus on maintaining our core values in all that we do. I completely stand behind this company and what we stand for.
Elaine McCullough: Patient-Experience Advocate—RedBrick Health
Job Description: I work with employees of Fortune 500 companies to take charge of their health through proactive and consultative telephone and e-mail lifestyle management support.
“Being asked to participate in Paul’s book was such a wonderful honor, and in fact, it was very interesting to be part of its development. There are two key things about Beryl that have affected my work life as well as my personal life: we help people, and we make a difference in lives. Beryl also values the people within its own four walls and allows us the creativity to shine.
Jennifer McDonald: Instructional Designer and Trainer (a.k.a. Instructional Activities Artist)
Job Description: I am responsible for creating and training new and existing curriculum based on business needs. I have been privileged to be involved in everything from team building for support staff to new-hire training for our advocates.
“Beryl is like no other place I have ever worked. I feel truly blessed to come to work every day and work with my Beryl family. People here believe in each other and visibly uphold the Beryl values every day. We work hard but we play hard. The people are what make Beryl great!”
Jennifer Mills: Data Specialist and Member Management Administrator for both The Beryl Institute and Small Giants Community
Job Description: I am responsible for member relations for The Beryl Institute and the Small Giants Community, serving as the first touch point for member and guest inquiries. I manage all day-to-day operations and member information, and I serve as a resource in ensuring an unparalleled experience.
“I am in a unique position of being able to work for multiple entities under the Beryl umbrella. My commitment to Beryl’s culture and team camaraderie has guided my growth at Beryl. Right before I started working at Beryl, I moved thousands of miles away from my family. Finding Beryl has become one of the biggest blessings of my life. Beryl is my family! I am extremely honored to contribute to the Smile Guide!
Lara Morrow: Queen of Fun and Laughter
Job Description: I manage all programs and activities around the culture in the organization: events, parties, community outreach, onboarding, recognition and morale, internal communications, and the program that helps employees through personal struggles or celebrations.
“There could never be another job like the one I have at Beryl. I have a front-row seat to see how Beryl impacts others’ lives. It doesn’t get much better than that. When an employee is going through a crisis, part of my job is to jump in and help him or her through it. Most companies say things like, “Don’t bring your problems to work!” At Beryl, we want our employees to know that we are here to support them. Our loyalty toward them results in their undying loyalty to the company.
Andrew Pryor: Vice President of the Department of Great People and Fun
Job Description: I am responsible for the recruitment, development, and retention of our outstanding performers and world-class talent.
“The main difference at Beryl is that I am empowered to care for our coworkers on a personal basis—to respect them as individuals and look at each coworker’s unique set of circumstances and career aspirations. Beryl’s culture reminds me every day that in my role as a leader, I am empowered to help others, enable career opportunities, encourage talent to take a chance on a new role, and guide young or inexperienced coworkers toward their career goals. I see my role as a leader at Beryl as an opportunity to impact the lives and careers of our coworkers.
Rochelle Revel: Patient-Experience Advocate—Post-Discharge Services
Job Description: I call patients recently discharged from the hospital to find out how they are doing now that they are home, and what kind of care they received at the hospital. My call is either the last or one of the last contacts the hospital will have with the patient, so the patient experience on that call is very important.
“The biggest difference at Beryl is the attitude of your fellow employees. Most everyone here looks forward to coming to work every day, and that affects the outlook of the day, conversations between employees, and the work attitude. Being around happy people helps me want to do my job better. I felt completely honored to participate in the writing of the book. At my last job, they didn’t care what I thought. I really can’t thank Paul enough for all he does to make sure that I have a happy, safe, encouraging place to work. Thanks, Paul!
Sandy Reyna: Data Analyst
Job Description: I work on various projects that require pulling data from different resources, analyzing it, and putting it into a format that can be useful for the client or for management to make decisions.
“Working at Beryl is different from other places because of the value it places on the employee. There is a true sense of family, and when one member is hurting we rally around for support. Because of this, employees are passionate about doing their job to ensure Beryl is successful.
Maricela Rodriguez: Director of Operations
Job Description: I manage the business. I am responsible for ensuring there is staff available to answer incoming calls from customers across the country. I coach, counsel, and motivate managers to meet or exceed our business metrics. I also partner with internal customers to ensure we are meeting our clients’ expectations daily.
“At Beryl, we value our employees, we value our customers, and we celebrate success. It’s a very simplified point of view, but it’s what we do!
LaToya Robinson: Senior Data Specialist
Job Description: I am responsible for assisting my team lead with managing the day-to-day operations of the data specialist team.
“I have been able to grow and learn how to build long-lasting relationships. My family looks forward to helping out in the community. And I believe Beryl’s culture has allowed me to motivate and encourage others in a caring way. Beryl realized that I love to see others smile and that I have a personal connection with my peers. I know that I am not Beryl’s perfect employee, but when I was asked to be a part of this book, I finally realized that Beryl values me as a person. I am not just a number or just an employee. This company truly cares about my well-being, and for that I am humbled and blessed.
Lance Shipp: Chief Operating Officer
Job Description: I oversee all the day-to-day operations of Beryl—and fill in for Paul quite a bit.
“I tell every new class of coworkers this observation: “If your personal values align with Beryl’s five core values, then you have found a home.” I have worked for companies both large and small, good and bad, but it is energizing to come to work every day knowing you can help people grow, succeed, and be an instrument of change. I am proud that readers will get to hear the voices of so many of the coworkers who make Beryl a special place.
Greg Williams: Operations Manager
Job Description: My coworkers and I are responsible for all operational aspects of client relationships, through ongoing communications with account contacts (internally and externally) and promoting customer goodwill, loyalty, and confidence. This includes the coordination of department responses, managing teams to client-specific requirements by demonstrating a genuine concern for the quality of work performed for the client, and assisting in the nurturing of team members. I also provide development for the team leads to ensure they are able to support business goals. My team and I strive to provide exceptional patient experience to make each of our clients a client for life!
“Beryl is the first company I’ve worked for where the pyramid is adamantly managed from the bottom up. Generally, the focus is on an individual basis; at Beryl, however, each and every one of the employees matters. The way my coworkers spring in to action to help each other is mind-boggling. We all have our own personal struggles, but that’s all out of the window in a moment’s notice when one of our own is in need. It is this type of commitment to each other, our clients, and the organization that makes me proud to be the face of Beryl!
Bob Willey: Leadership Development Consultant
Job Description: I am responsible for ensuring that all support staff employees at Beryl receive the necessary learning opportunities to maximize performance. I am also responsible for developing and maintaining a leadership platform based on core competencies for success.
“I am proud to be associated with one of the most forward-thinking companies in America. Beryl’s commitment to excellence is evident in every department and the actions and attitudes of everyone who works here.