benefitexpress September 20, 2017 3 min read

Standing Ovation Award: Kendra Stewart

A Standing Ovation is a special reward program at benefitexpress that honors two employees who have gone above and beyond in fulfilling our Community Pillars.

Each Quarter, nominations are tallied, read, and carefully considered before being awarded at our company Town Hall meetings where the final nominations are read aloud to highlight just how much the winners have done to deserve the award. Aside from the recognition, each winner also receives a check for $2500.

While her selection for the Standing Ovation was announced at our Town Hall meeting in our Sacramento office, Kendra is actually a remote employee. Despite working away from our offices, Kendra is anything but "out of sight, out of mind." She was one of the key leaders in creating and leading our culture committee and continues to integrate our four pillars of Accountability, Creativity, Engagement, and Empowerment into her work every day. From one of the multiple Cheers for Peers and Standing Ovation nominations submitted for Kendra:

"As a true advocate of the Culture Committee, she exemplifies each of our four pillars and lives, breathes, and reminds others of them constantly. As her peer, I too am now constantly on the lookout for examples of our staff demonstrating these skills, because she has ingrained them in our day to day interactions. benefitexpress is fortunate to have a Manager like Kendra, and her management style has only grown the adoption of the new company culture in all the best ways."

Kendra is a mini-celebrity with our client teams because of her Monday morning emails. One week, Kendra arrived in the office with "Manic Monday" by The Bangles stuck in her head, and she decided to pass the earworm along to her team - with a healthy dose of motivation for the week. Each week for a month, Kendra started her Monday mornings by emailing her team about one of our four pillars; why it matters in our work, how we can live it every day, and how we can continue to use those pillars to propel our work forward.

The emails caught on. Another manager asked to be included, then they were passed onto our CHRO, Korrie Bird, and now even our COO, Jocelyn Purtell is in on the Monday Morning fun. Kendra's enthusiasm for our culture and continuing to make a difference with our teams is what keeps her one of our most engaged employees, even in her remote position, and makes her an obvious choice to receive one of our first Standing Ovations.