Stephanie DeGrand has a simple strategy for human resource (HR) success. She puts herself in her employee’s shoes, and that makes all the difference.
Co-workers describe DeGrand, a human resources specialist for $1.4 billion asset Capital Credit Union in Green Bay, Wis., as positive, passionate, and supportive.
DeGrand always has had a tendency to view situations from multiple perspectives. Often teased about making valid points on both sides of an argument, DeGrand has relied on this ability to diffuse difficult situations with employees and build trust across all of the departments in her role.
“I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, the ones who intentionally manipulate a situation can make it harder to trust people,” DeGrand says.
Always committed to improving the lives of her coworkers, DeGrand started Capital’s wellness plan three years ago. Under the supervision of another team member, the program has grown to more than 90% employee engagement. DeGrand has leveraged the plan’s success to negotiate lower medical insurance rate increases two years in a row.
“She immersed herself into the details of the plan so that she would be able to help other employees,” says Patti Bani, chief culture officer at Capital. “It’s Stephanie’s attitude that makes her a rock star.”
DeGrand says she finds meaning in helping employees through personal issues.
“Whether it’s battling with a medical insurance issue or helping a supervisor with a tense situation at their branch, I love that I have the opportunity to pay it forward to honor the people who have done the same for me in my life,” she says.
DeGrand’s currently creating a database of employee feedback, using exit interviews, transfer interviews, and survey results to track trends and employee experiences at Capital.
She goes above and beyond to ensure each employee interaction is a positive experience.
“At the end of the day, it’s worth so much more to have built a positive relationship with that employee than it is to have a clean desk,” DeGrand says. “It’s such a great feeling to be proud of where you work.”