Kim Coulter, Executive Assistant at SRC Holdings, talks with Steve about wellness committees, the role it plays in business and the impact SRC has had in her own personal health journey.
Episode with guest: Kim Coulter
Executive Assistant at SRC Holdings
(This episode was recorded in April of 2021.)
Key Episode Take-Aways:
1. It is important to make sure employees have a great quality of life at work and outside of work. (click to jump to this topic below) What we can do to help our employees also have a great quality of life, at home, and then also how that also affects their work life, too. You know, the better you feel about yourself, the better you're going to produce and be there every day.
2. Health insurance is undervalued and often not used. Awareness of health insurance for employees is important so they can take preventative measures. (click to jump to this topic below) But I also credit to for myself a wellness awareness of our health insurance to use it, it's there. That's what we need it for his stuff to be, you know, preventative measures, or to also catch it at an early stage.
3. You might think you're too busy for your health, but you're not. Make time for your health. (click to jump to this topic below) And I think that's the big kicker is that people think I'll never get sick, I'm healthy. I don't need this, you know, or I don't have time for it, you have to make time for it for you to be there for your family. It just if anything that to you want to be there for your family.
Continue scrolling to read the full episode transcription.
The "Change the Game" Podcast is sponsored by Prairie Capital Advisors, helping businesses think forward. For more information, visit prairiecap.com/ggob. That's prairiecap.com/ggob.
Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast, where we share stories of open-book management and highlight capitalism at its best. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "Change the Game" Podcast, with special guest Kim Coulter. In this episode, Steve and Kim, talk about wellness committees, the role it plays in business and the impact SRC has had in her own personal health journey. Here's your hosts Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker..
Steve Baker 0:51
Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast where we are changing the game by doing business differently and highlighting stories of capitalism. at its best. We believe that business has the potential to make a positive difference in the world. And then we can make a real impact with society as a whole. I'm Steve Baker, Vice President of the Great Game of Business, and co-author of our new book: Get in the Game: How to Create Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change. We are really excited today because we have a special guest for national employee health and wellness day, Kim Coulter and Kim has probably taken on one of the toughest roles that SRC holdings and that is to become Jack's Stacks right hand person after the retirement of Becky Lane. So those of you that know SRC probably remember Becky and you will probably always remember Kim. So, prior to coming to holdings, though, she worked at one of our sister companies, SRC remanufacturing, which is affectionately known as SRC heavy duty. And she served on the wellness committee for three years. Hi, Kim, thanks for coming on. How are you doing?
Kim Coulter 1:59
Good. How are you?
Steve Baker 2:01
Very well. So, our theme is all about employee health and wellness. And I know you have a very important and deep story to tell. But before we get into that, let's talk about how SRC utilizes our wellness committee because I think a lot of our listeners are looking to either create one for the first time or to enhance the one that they have created. Can you share some background on our wellness committee and how you got involved?
Kim Coulter 2:29
Yep. So, I started. I'll start with a little story from my first day back in ‘16. It was actually the first day for thin it to win it. Everybody can't forget, that was one that was hardcore. And it was my first day I'm like, they'd asked if I wanted to, you know, step on a scale and get in the contest. I was like, wow, you know, that's open book management to a level I never seen or anything to do with wellness. I'm like, okay,
Steve Baker 2:58
There's, that goes beyond transparency to ask, especially a woman. Hey, welcome to SRC. Let's weigh you!
Kim Coulter 3:08
I was like, all right, if they're going take this serious, I'll take it seriously. So, I had a baby a year before is like, all right, this is good. So definitely
Steve Baker 3:17
A good sport.
Kim Coulter 3:18
Yeah. And then wellness committee, just a kind of a high-level overview of eight is employee owners that from each of our divisions that to get together at our corporate office, and they meet with our Director of Human Resources and risks management. And we are also I'm not sure if everyone's familiar, we are self-funded with our health care coverage. And we kind of see the stuff that's coming up with risk. And we talk about tons of educational pieces of different things for each month walks and runs coming up.
1. It is important to make sure employees have a great quality of life at work and outside of work.
What we can do to help our employees also have a great quality of life, at home, and then also how that also affects their work life, too. You know, the better you feel about yourself, the better you're going to produce and be there every day.
Steve Baker 4:14
I think that's a great point. I do have a question for you. So, you mentioned meeting not only with the HR, but with risk management. And I think for folks out there listening, they might not even have risk management as part of their day-to-day thinking. Or much less a position of risk management. We just happen to be big enough to be self-insured, and we need risk management on a number of levels. Can you talk about that a little bit why risk management is involved?
Kim Coulter 4:42
Yeah, definitely. He is also our contact, mercy and all the different facilitators here in town, that overview of all our contracts and negotiates and looks at the level of buy in from us from them and also how do we also make sure that that bottom line decreases and does not keep going up substantially.
Steve Baker 5:06
So, it really comes down to health and wellness can have a bottom-line impact that's pretty substantial. And we've seen that happen firsthand haven't wait.
Kim Coulter 5:13
Right? Correct. Because that also, you know, it's a line on our income statement. If we are not doing well, or, you know, we've had too many claims on top of how much we have put into the fund, that it comes across on the negative side.
Steve Baker 5:30
So, when we think about HR risk management, health and wellness, I think that it does have a pretty big impact. We talked about financial, you mentioned something interesting, and that was, if you feel better, you produce better. And I remember talking with the, I think it was an ad agency several years ago, filled with creatives, you know, writers and photographers and video people and designers. And what they said was, they wanted to make sure people were in a good space, you know, whether it's, you know, with their health, with their finances. In other words, they were worried about the whole person because they said, we're in the creative business, I can't have people thinking about making rent, or a car payment or a sick baby, and have them produce their best creative work. Just because we do engines and engine components doesn't mean we don't have the same issues. I think it's something everybody listening could understand and appreciate, and hopefully implement something around it. Of course, awareness and education goes beyond just our health care costs. When we talk about organizational level or individual level, you've had a pretty serious story about health. And in the idea of having a wellness program really affected you. Can you talk about your personal story?
Kim Coulter 6:48
Definitely. And also, I had been on the wellness committee for about three years. And when I first got on it, it was kind of they were struggling to find people to actually be on the wellness committee to, so they was kind of wondering why was no one wanting to get on to this. And, you know, I had kind of seen, you know, all the GGOB training and been to all of it. And, you know, I was like, hey, I need a stake in the outcome for this as well. And also, you know, I'm a huge believer in human terms, putting everything in the human terms in maybe they're not getting the stories or not understanding it and thinking it'll ever happen to them. Because that's who I was too. Never thought I would ever be sick. I stayed up with my yearly exams, you know, my well visits, my physicals. But at the beginning of 2020 is when I started to not feel that great, where I was kind of just having some pain in my chest where it just wouldn't go away. I blamed it on hormones. I just thought it wasn't anything at all. Like this. Nothing. Nothing's wrong. And you know, a mom and an employee, I have so much going on. And then
Steve Baker 7:59
Just the feeling of maybe I'm a little older than I was last year. I know that feeling.
Kim Coulter 8:06
Yes, yes. Not thinking it was anything. And then you know, I started dodging my kids hugs to where I wasn't while I was avoiding. And I was like man, not happen not I knew something was up. And then it was around that same time that I had noticed that you know, a program on one of our news channels that was talking about buddy check programs for breast cancer and doing just a monthly exam just a one day, just check and just make sure you know, there's nothing concerning. And then that's when I found it to where I had found a lump on my left breast where it's like, oh, that's not good. And I still played it off. Like that, you know, it's nothing, it'll go away. And then COVID infamous COVID hit right at the beginning of March. And I was like, I have to get checked I need to get in. So, I scheduled my first appointment in mid-March. And then I wasn't able to get in till April, April 8 is when I've had my first doctor's visit, and then just kind of did the whirlwind from there to where, you know, they honestly thought it wasn't anything too concerning, but they're like, okay, we'll get you to a mammogram, we'll you know, we'll get you to the next step just to make sure that we don't think it is anything and but of course something wasn't right, something that came up and you know, you're all alone, your kids COVID you're not allowed to have anybody with you. Um, so I went through that and spoke with the doctor at that time. And, you know, they told me that it was concerning, you know, go to the next step and we did a biopsy and then they came back two days later said it was malignant said it was cancer. And I was just blown away. I had no you know, no family history, and nothing to say Watch for this, see what's coming out what could happen. And then a week later had surgery. And then well, yeah, and so right after that after I had surgery, and this entire time I was working, you know, we have the kids were not in school, the kids are at home. We're trying to find, you know, grandparents to watch the kids. We are both essential workers, my husband also works for SRC. So, we are both going back and forth. And at the same time, I have this on the back of my mind, and you know, thinking and worrying about all this started that in luckily, we got the results from the surgery, and came back, it was just still stage one, and non-aggressive, it hadn't spread to my lymph nodes. So, um, I was one of the lucky ones, they say that my age, I was 38 at the time, only 5% of women 40 and younger won't be diagnosed with cancer. And they will also they are more of them are diagnosed with such an aggressive cancer because they didn't know it was there.
Steve Baker 11:14
So, when I hear your story, I can feel the emotion coming up, I can definitely feel it. And I if I recap it, I'm going, you went from somebody else, it'll happen to somebody, it's not in my backyard, that sort of thing for then awareness, from not only the internal program, but then also with the KY3, local station, encouraging, you know, the buddy checks and that sort of thing. And then you did it. You kept up with your annual exams as well. That's the part I didn't hear. Did you have an annual exam scheduled in in there somewhere? Or is that.
Kim Coulter 11:52
I was actually in between? My yearly exams are in the summer. So, I had just had a yearly exam in 19. That summer, so we're talking no problems prior. None at all. Yeah. So, it was just dumbfounding to think that, you know, something could come on that fast.
2. Health insurance is undervalued and often not used. Awareness of health insurance for employees is important so they can take preventative measures.
But I also credit to for myself a wellness awareness of our health insurance to use it, it's there. That's what we need it for his stuff to be, you know, preventative measures, or to also catch it at an early stage.
Steve Baker 12:30
Exactly. And it's, it's better for everyone. I mean, it's better for your family, it's better for you, you can heal faster. And I'm really glad that this is the where the story is now. I presume that you're on some sort of watch list.
Kim Coulter 12:45
Steve Baker 12:46
From here for a few years. But man, what a wakeup call, right? I mean, I'm a big believer in in the annual physical too, because that's what everyone, all my brothers asked me, you know, when I found out the same things like how did you find I said, I didn't know I just went to my physical. But so, let's take it another direction at it for our listeners here. You also credit Great Game with helping you through this process, but I'm not sure what you mean by that. Can you talk about that? A little bit?
Kim Coulter 13:18
Yeah, definitely. Um, because now that I have, I had surgery, then it had 20 rounds of radiation. And so, I am now on a five-year plan with my doctors. So, you know, going back into that we talked about all the time here. Strategic Planning, high involvement planning, what's our next five-year goal? 5-10 years? Where are we going to be and it also, it helps me with knowing my five-year plan with my medical insurance and also my out of pocket, I will always look at that is to see okay, I know I'm going to max my out of pocket, how do I budget and also plan with my family to set the money aside? So, we know ahead of time that this is coming and not blindsided by it?
Steve Baker 14:07
Right. I love how you did that. I mean, that's a very proactive thing to do, which psychologically is very healthy. I mean, you're saying I'm going to take the bull by the horns here, I've got to be prepared. It had to be tough. I would think as a mom, both of you are working, your husband can't come into the doctor with you, your mom can't come. I mean, you're all by yourself because of COVID rules when you're going in and going to radiation probably every day for weeks on end to make it happen. But you kept yourself going and putting that goal out there to so is that part of what helps you also is just going I know I've got an end date here.
Kim Coulter 14:46
Steve Baker 14:47
Kim Coulter 14:48
You look at the future and you take, like I tell my husband helped me through the first days of it, and then the next day I'll kick its ass. Sorry.
Steve Baker 14:57
I think we got a good quote right there. That's a good soundbite I love it what an attitude. And I hope that more people that are listening, take that into effect. And you know, it's more than just healthcare in the traditional sense. It's more than just medicine, right. And these days, especially with COVID, one of the things that we sometimes overlook, I feel like benefits in general are really undervalued and way underutilized. And I'm surprised by that, that how common it is not just within SRC, or even the Ozarks or Missouri I mean, people I talked to all over the country. It's amazing how many folks that can't get people to go to the doctor, they can't get them to go to their annual physical, they can't get them to take advantage of an FSA or an HSA? How can we help people learn more about how to use and appreciate what they have available to them?
Kim Coulter 15:52
I think it's especially we talk about opening the books, open the books of your benefits, you never think that that something like this could ever happen to you.
3. You might think you're too busy for your health, but you're not. Make time for your health.
And I think that's the big kicker is that people think I'll never get sick, I'm healthy. I don't need this, you know, or I don't have time for it, you have to make time for it for you to be there for your family. It just if anything that to you want to be there for
your family and you want it if there is something, catch it early, catch it, to where you have a great life in the future with it,
Steve Baker 16:29
For sure. So, we just are wrapping up the National Center for Employee Ownership Conference here this past week. And during the conference, I did hear a lot about mental health and the use of Employee Assistance Programs during the pandemic, because mental health is such a real big issue with everybody being holed up and cabin fever and all that. I mean, I'm not trying to make it light. I'm just saying whatever you want to call it. There's a lot of mental health issues out there. It was a crisis before it's a real crisis. Now, have you heard any stories, or you know, anybody that has used an EAP, an employee assistance program,
Kim Coulter 17:04
I personally haven't heard of anybody that has used it. But I do give SRC a ton of credit for talking about it on a regular basis. We have it all over our bulletin boards, we have handouts. And we talk about it as openly as we do the numbers and want people to get help if they have something that's going on. Just like me, you don't know what everybody's dealing with. It's time to take care of yourself and to talk to somebody from the outside. And then also, I'll be first to say I asked for help. I asked for help during this. And that was hard. That was hard to say, hey, I'm not doing well with any of this and talking to my doctors and being able to get help. And I think that's kudos to just knowing that it's okay to ask.
Steve Baker 18:02
Mm hmm. Yeah. And we're a tough company. So sometimes we have a, you have to watch our culture and say, you know, we're very helpful to one another. But it takes a lot of courage for you to come on here and be this vulnerable and share your story. I hope that everybody listening takes an example from you, Kim, what do you think about SRC, as an employer has this changed this experience has this changed the way you see SRC as a company, as an employer?
Kim Coulter 18:29
Oh, 100% it is gratitude that I will always have to a company that takes the time to work on their policies to work on their health care to work on their employees and to put their employees first. That is something that I will always hold dear to my heart. And to also appreciate and know I will work a little bit harder, just knowing what is after and what's available. And that they did this for me, along with all the employees.
Steve Baker 19:02
Yeah, and we sure appreciate your extra effort. I mean, being on the health and wellness committee does not mean that you get like extra hours or anything, you still have a full-time job. And I know your boss, so I know. That's pretty intense. But it's really fantastic too. I mean, we talked about the actual medical part of it, I feel like we touched a lot on the family part of it, the emotional part of it, even the financial part of it and how it affects not only your finances, but the finances of the company and therefore you know, it rolls back into the community. So, I think we covered most of it. I always like to wrap up the podcast by asking one more question and that is what's the question? We didn't ask you. What should we be asking Kim Coulter?
Kim Coulter 19:50
Um, honestly, I think we covered it all. But I think if anything, I just a statement of what a year we have all survived I wish everyone could take a step back and realize that we have all been through so much this last year. Yes, I might have had a little bit more on my plate than others. So, with all survived this chaos and this, you know, this Covid, this pandemic that we never saw coming to this level, and to give each other credit for that.
Steve Baker 20:20
That's awesome. Well, I think everybody listening should do like I'm going to do which is take Kim's advice and like, reach out, get some help for the first few steps, and then kick its ass. Whatever the issue is. So, Kim, thank you so much. Really appreciate you being here.
Kim Coulter 20:35
Yeah. Thank you so much.
Steve Baker 20:37
You're welcome. Okay, guys, let's keep the conversation going. Send us your questions, your stories, your best practices, your ideas, your challenges, and your victories. Remember, we want to hear your stories. These stories are about capitalism at its best. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time.
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