Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 92: Employee Financial Wellness with Will Peng

March 29, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 2 Episode 92
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 92: Employee Financial Wellness with Will Peng
Show Notes Transcript

Will Peng is the CEO and Co-Founder of Northstar, a financial wellness and benefits platform.

Prior to founding Northstar, Will worked in Venture Capital and his firm was an early investor in Coinbase, Guideline, Even, and Oscar.

Financial wellness starts at work. Northstar is the comprehensive financial wellness and benefits platform. By combining the best of financial advising, fintech, and benefits, Northstar helps diverse teams make financial decisions and optimally utilize their benefits.

Clients include Zoom, Snap, Invitae, ServiceTitan, Discord, and more!

Inspired by the positive change fintech can have on people’s lives, Will set out to solve the inequality of financial guidance.

As a Taiwanese immigrant, Will is passionate about supporting underserved communities to help them achieve financial stability and reach their personal goals.

William’s Profile

linkedin.com/in/williampeng

Websites



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Will Peng:

How can we provide customized personalized advice year round proactively to the employee rather than this kind of top down push approach where it happens only perhaps once a year or twice a year, I'm a big fan of the ways that technology can enable us to provide those types of solutions rather than static displays of information.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe from your favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, rebel HR listeners extremely excited for the conversation. This week we're going to be diving into financial literacy. With us today we have will Pang will is the CEO and co founder of Northstar a financial wellness and benefits platform. Prior to founding north star will worked in venture capital and his firm was an early investor in coin base guidline. Even and Oscar, inspired by the positive change FinTech can have on people's lives will sell set out to solve the inequality of financial guidance. Welcome to the show. Well, thanks for having me. Absolutely. With us today. We also have Molly per desk. Molly, as always welcome. Thank you for bringing your insight and expertise. So want to start out will by understanding a little bit about what led you to found North Star?

Will Peng:

Sure, and thanks for asking it. North Star is really the confluence of a couple of different things, the personal story as well as where my career led me up to this point. Sometimes I sometimes tell people that this is the only thing that I really could be doing. I started my career as a product designer. So we're for a couple of different startups in Silicon Valley, and actually was a hobby of mine that I turned into a career. And after I was a product designer, I spent some time in venture capital, as you as your introduction said, and had a front row seat to investing in great FinTech companies. And it was there that I built a thesis around what technology can be doing to create change with financial well being. But also, how can we solve the classic problems in the financial services industry, for personal finances in a completely new way? And these are the problems around how do you democratize access to financial advice, so that it's not something for people who are already wealthy? You shouldn't need money to make money. But it's also even if you have access to that advice, how do you take action on it? There's a behavioral psychology aspect to personal finances where it's sometimes described as like the vitamin versus painkiller problem. Or it's not fun to eat vegetables, if you're a kid. And so how do you balance long term planning with short term decision making in especially in the consumer society? So really had a front row seat as I said, to how we can solve this problem in a completely new way? How can we automate people's finances and use technology to be able to scale audibly provide financial advice to everybody. And this is a problem that's personally very important to me. I was born in Taiwan, and I am one of six kids. And my parents moved their family to the US when I was pretty young, for the classic Asian American dream, and I have a lot of respect and admiration for them for taking that risk, not knowing much English and not having very much money in the bank account, and was lucky enough to go to a great college. But as a result, graduated with a lot of student debt as well. And the average in the US these days is around 35 $36,000. And when I graduated, I was kind of thrown into the real world with nobody to turn to, to figure out how to pay off that student debt most efficiently, let alone balanced out with saving for the first time, contribute to my retirement plans, choosing the right health insurance policy, all the different things related to adult life, that our education system just does a really poor job preparing people for. So I learned the hard way. Google's what the best solutions were but still made all the mistakes. And so, it was this recognition that not only are many people behind when starting off their careers, but also as they move through their careers and lifetimes. But it's also people's personal stories behind it. It's not just about dollars and cents. So often there's an emotional aspect to personal finances that influence our the relationship that we have with our money. So it's really important to me that we're able to not only give people the advice, but also recognize the emotional aspect of it and help them take action and create change in their behavior.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, when you're talking about personal finances, to a lot of people, it's not the sexiest thing to talk about. And Kyle, I'm sure you can relate it to many other HR professionals listening is a lot of my employees. And granted I'm more entry level, but they've really struggled with this type of stuff.

Will Peng:

Yeah, it's something that I've actually found is rising in popularity, especially with Gen Z and my peers in the millennial generation, it's becoming much more of a popular topic, which is great to hear, because there's so much shame around talking about personal finances. People are always comparing themselves to each other and especially for somebody who's a high spender maybe is more outwardly seems wealthy, but but but they actually may not have their, their their kind of financial situation in order. So it's a really, really complex topic that I'm glad to see. There's more conversations around it more openly around around basically all aspects of personal finances.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, and also sorry, Kyle there. But I have seen in the last year I have seen more people either come to us off of a full time like personal investing, they were personally individually investing in Bitcoin, or whatever the case may be, and or leave us to do that full time. And part of me is that is terrifying for them. But I it's become a thing that I have seen multiple multiple times over this past year.

Will Peng:

Yeah, it's a it's a really exciting industry. Now, some of definitely with a lot of things that you mentioned. But another area that I find really fascinating is thinking about the ways in which employers can support their teams more holistically where we've we've shifted from the a world of defined benefit pension plans to where my dad still has a pension from having worked for decades in the state pension system, to to now defined contribution world where the bat combined with the explosion of new FinTech tools and apps, from the robo advising space to Student Loan Refinancing Personal Loans paycheck to paycheck advances, it's really exciting to see all the innovation in point solutions in the FinTech space. But with that innovation comes in additional paradox of choice, it creates complexity around how do i around which of these tools should I be using, and the responsibility is now unfairly put on the shoulders of the individual. And to my earlier point, there just there's just not enough education, education has not caught up, to equip people to make the best decision for themselves. So I think it's really interesting to think about employment as not only the primary source of wealth creation, but also supporting employees lives holistically as they move through different life stages. And so I think employers are recognizing more and more that there's a bit of responsibility that the employer has, as a really unique relationship with the employee to make sure that they're set up for success, regardless of whatever life stage that they're in.

Kyle Roed:

I think it's really interesting. And, you know, as I think about, I think about the change that's happened in the industry here, just even over the last decade. Yeah, I mean, when I when I came out of school, which wasn't a dud, I mean, I guess it doesn't feel like that long ago, but I actually had a pension at my first employer, that they they actually phased out the year after I started. So which was kind of a lucky coincidence from my standpoint. But you know, it was like, it was just this, this pile of money that just grew and you didn't really know how, you know, and then shifted into, you know, a defined contribution plan, where it's like, oh, you know, Am I just supposed to put this into this fund that, you know, sounds fine, like this Real Estate Fund? Okay. Well, what, what does that mean? What does that actually entail? And it's, if you don't actually take the time to understand what you're investing in and where it's going, you know, it's, it's it's a huge risk, but I think about it in the context. As an employer, you know, what are you actually doing when you give someone a job you are get, you're essentially entering into an agreement, where they trade their time for your money. Right. And, and as you think about that, in the simplest terms, if you can give them an opportunity to keep that money and keep more of that money, then the long term benefits, they're the, you know, the mental health implications of, of living beyond your means are obviously drastic, as well as the empowerment that you give somebody who's even in a maybe in a lower wage position. But if they manage that appropriately, they can still live and have have gainful employment and live live a pretty good life, if they have the education. What you said, it reminded me of the meme, it's the, you know, come tax season, it's like, you know, I'm really glad that I had this, this education come parallelograms season. But but nobody ever taught me how to do taxes, right?

Will Peng:

Or the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, thank goodness, you know, thank goodness for that. So

Will Peng:

you make a really interesting point, which is not only around the empowerment and the improvement in mental well being but also your your first point, which is kind of employment as a place where you get a salary in a retirement plan and your health insurance and whatever benefits that you that you receive. And at the end of the day, if you think about it from a transactional point of view, which is just one point of view, one, one way to look at it, but if you think about it purely from a transactional point of view, we employers pay employees as a form of retention, or attracting retain the best talent. And the reason why we're seeing the explosion of kind of ancillary perks is another form of attracting retain the best talent. And it's exciting to me to see that companies are shifting away from especially in Silicon Valley of ping pong tables as a form of talent retention, to a more kind of nuanced understanding of their employees for needs. It's been awesome to see the emergence of fertility and infertility benefits or backup childcare benefits, especially with so many people working from home. And another trend with COVID is the highlight on people's finances. So many people have lost their jobs one of our clients. They did a survey of their employees when COVID hit I think where they were six months in. And they found that even though this company did not have to layoff anybody, they found that half of their employees, partners or spouses were affected by layoffs or pay cuts. So this is also a full family issue as well supporting an employee's entire family. And so when you think about the ways that a salary or a 401k or so on health benefits, can support employees holistically. It's also how do you as an employer, communicate these benefits to employees, let alone advise them on how to best utilize them. And that's a huge challenge. It's It's time consuming. And it also requires specialist advice. And from a regulatory perspective, employers can also are also restricted from what they can say to employees. So I think it's been really exciting to kind of be at the center of all this Northstar, where it's being able to provide each individual employee with access to a Certified Financial Planner, so that they can work one on one build that relationship with them. But this CFP also understands our client's total compensation and benefits packages, so that we can really be an extension of their team. So when we think about it, I think financial literacy and financial wellness from this holistic perspective as part of the employee experience, I think that's really made a big difference in what it means to work at any of these employers. It's no longer just a transaction, but rather something where there's a lot of care that goes into the the employee experience and showing the employees that we truly believe in and want to support their success in retrieving their life and financial goals.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, I think on top of the mental health and just the wellness and doing it for the employees, I mean, if you're going to make a business case for it, I think we're all just trying to get our employees to appreciate the benefits we do offer. So understand and appreciate it and to help us combat some of the gig economy, right? Like, great, you can go do that. But what are you doing for health insurance? What are you doing for retirement? What are you doing for all these things? And we're I have tried things like total reward statements. I've tried to invite spouses to health insurance meetings, benefits spotlights, you know, we've tried marketing it in 1000 different ways to try to make it a little bit sexier. But what other things are you seeing employers doing to help their employees understand and appreciate and improve their own situations?

Will Peng:

I love all those verses that you talk. And I think it's those kinds of kind of creative solutions that well make a difference. And I think some things that we've always are. So I'll start with kind of a strategy, which is that it seems like traditionally, a lot of benefits communications happen, or even compensation changes, performance reviews, raises and bonuses happen once a year. And oftentimes, it's during open enrollment. And the format in which these changes are communicated, are oftentimes also through a PDF, or maybe you have a benefits portal. But I've always found that a bit archaic because people don't make life decisions or financial decisions one time a year, let alone during open enrollment. So I think strategically, it's interesting to think about as an employer, how can you expand communication and support around total rewards year round. And not only that be they're almost proactively reach out when they do when they are looking for that advice? So I think like, to your point of the total reward statements, I'm actually curious about your experiences and the results that you've seen with the total reward statements.

Molly Burdess:

mine personally, they're very hard for us to put together just because we don't have the systems in place. And then once a year, I just, we haven't had the best success, I think they can be impactful. I haven't figured that out with the systems that we have. Kyle, what do you think?

Kyle Roed:

Okay, so I have a perspective, it might be I don't know, maybe not everybody agrees with me on this one. But the feedback that I heard when we did a total compensation and reward statement at a previous employer, it's not my current employer, the feedback we got from our employees, many of whom were maybe lower wage or entry level, or recent new hires was, oh, you're just trying to convince me that, that you're paying me enough. But I don't believe you. And that that was kind of the feedback. And you know, the intention, I think was was good. And it made sense to many people, but but in the specifically individuals who maybe had some concerns, they were not being compensated fairly from a base wage perspective, we actually got negative feedback, which was, which was pretty surprising. We only did it one year, and then we didn't do it again, if that tells you. That tells you anything. But But I think, you know, if I peel back and I look at that situation, I think it's that was more of a symptom of a problem with the compensation structure, as opposed to as opposed to a problem with the tactic of a total compensation statement. Right? It was we had people who felt like they weren't being paid fairly. And we didn't go in and proactively address that. Instead, we just tried to convince them through a total compensation statement that they were paid fairly, which didn't work.

Will Peng:

Yeah. Yeah, that's that's the feedback that we've heard as well. And I think the key word here is intent. And that you mentioned and I think it's unfortunate that the delivery method hid the intent, which sounds like it was positive. And to your point, and like fact that you're saying that it's the it's a symptom of a broader broader problem with the compensation structure shows the type of leader that you are and how do you think about kind of the overall employee experience in the compensation structure, but the way that is communicated, unfortunately hid that and I think like, what I'm not to talk my book too much, but we looked at that and saw a lot of overlap with financial wellness, because every single piece of the total reward statement or your compensation or benefits is related to a financial decision. And we returned to first principles around the intent which is not that we're trying to convince you that you're paying us you enough but because we just They think that there are these set of benefits that are underutilized and you weren't aware of that we're going to show you. And so we've built a version of a total reward statement. But rather than having a big number that combines your salary with like, some notional value of your benefits, and that never made sense to me, because benefits are not cash, in most cases. So we don't do that. We keep the salary separate from the benefits, but because you have the ability to talk to your advisor. And here's an example that I've heard our approach be really impactful. I was talking with Chief People Officer, and they were lamenting the fact that they, most of the time, their employees were not utilizing their fertility benefits and their family planning benefits. And the first time that they were finding out that they were having a child was when the employee would apply for leave. And so I think that goes to show the perhaps awkward relationship between the employee and the employer in terms of the confidentiality of life stages. But when they started working with Northstar, the employees, were able to talk directly to your advisor saying, hey, like, I'm actually thinking about starting a family maybe like nine months from now. I'm just starting to think about it. What should I be thinking about in terms of the finances, my finances financial plan that I should build? How much should I income should I be making? What health insurance policy should I choose? And with this approach, we've been able to proactively recommend various benefits that are relevant to their situation, help them choose the right health insurance plan ahead of you when they apply for leave, which is kind of like one of the final steps. And so that that's goes to my earlier point of the theme, which is that how can we provide customized personalized advice year round proactively to the employee rather than this kind of top down push approach, where it happens only perhaps once a year or twice a year? That I'm really I'm a big fan of the ways that technology can enable us to provide those types of solutions, rather than kind of static displays of information.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it was, it was a PDF, by the way. So you know, I think you were, I think you're on the right track as to, as to that I also I want to circle back to something you mentioned earlier. And I thought it was, it was it was a really interesting statement. And it, it just made a ton of sense to me. And you use the term that, you know, it's the paradox of choice. And I think that's a great example, for what we deal with so many times in human resources, where I've got an employee who is maybe they're looking at a major life change in the near future, maybe they're getting married, maybe they're starting a family, maybe they're looking at retirement. And they're thinking about these benefits selections, and they come to us and what can we say to them? You know, I can't give you advice. You know, I'm not a CFP, I'm sorry, I really can't help I legally cannot give you advice, I can tell you what I do. And you can take that for what it's worth, but my situation is totally different than yours. And and I can't tell you how many times I've had those conversations. And then I've also had the conversation where somebody picked the wrong thing. And now I'm having to explain to somebody, yeah, you picked a high deductible plan, you know, with a, you know, no coverage until you hit this deductible. You know, you need to have that money available to pay for it. And if you haven't been investing in, you know, in an HSA, for instance,

Molly Burdess:

you might need read my emails or listen, yeah, play meeting this,

Kyle Roed:

that that was in page 17. On the 56 page PDF benefits. So you know, we're covered from a compliance standpoint, I'm sorry, can Oh, yeah. 100%. So as you as you look at your at your program, and as you as you think about, you know, the opportunity that FinTech provides us, how do you look at, you know, some of these innovations that are entering into the financial space and tying that into a workplace benefit?

Will Peng:

Yeah, it's a great question. I think there are. So there are a few different aspects that technology comes into play. First and foremost, is scalability, while balancing that with personalization. Those are the reason I said balancing is because those are, in many ways contradictory to each other. We've all seen solutions that are scalable, a one size fits all solution, but the issue is that one size fits all solution are generally generic. So they're oftentimes educational content, articles that you can read. But as I experienced myself, when I first graduated from college, I read all the same articles as well, but I still made the mistakes. So there's I think education is only one piece of it establishes a great foundation. But it's only a piece of the solution here. It's important to balance scalability with personalization, because and the personalization piece is really important, because personal finances are personal. There's, I think, if you were to assign arbitrary percentages to it, there's 75% of personal financial advices. Pretty standard, right? Like, pay off your high interest debt. First, there's kind of this flow chart that you run through. But there's a remaining 25% of it that is quite personal. What's your risk tolerance, myself, I as an Asian American immigrant, I'm generally risk averse, which is ironic as a founder of a startup. And but that's because of my upbringing. And my immigrant background. debt is bad, rather than them being a tool. So there's a certain aspect of personalization that needs to come in play as well. So if, if so, we do have full time financial advisors on our team. But if we just, if that was our core business, you can kind of do the math simply if there's a certain number of hours in a day. And you can calculate how many different phones how many phone calls that I can take on. So but but by recognizing what are the aspects of personal finances, that technology can do better or more efficiently, and more skillfully or tirelessly, and let technology do that. And then think about the things that human beings are uniquely good at doing empathy, and kind of leaps of judgment and emotional understanding and complex situations, you kind of get the best of both worlds. So that's, that's one key area where FinTech comes into play. Another key area is around data integration. So we love working with employers, not just because of the opportunity to reach a large scale of people very quickly, and kind of sharing the responsibility to improve financial wellness, but also because of data. There's so much interesting data around total rewards, compensation and benefits that we're able to incorporate into our financial plans that help employees achieve their goals faster, or more efficiently, and also make the jobs of HR leaders more easy, where he no longer need to scale up your HR team and increase your headcount to provide that advice, assuming you can even provide that advice within the regulatory balance. But we're able to basically be that extension of your team, snap and zoom. They're both our clients examples of our clients. And they often ask us to do the new hire onboarding sessions, info sessions. So it's not I don't think snap actually has as lead those sessions because we become experts in their total rewards details. So it's really awesome to really be a partner to HR leaders in that sense. And so the data integration is a big piece of it as well, especially when you talk about the full reward statement earlier, it's really tedious to generate those total word statements, let alone allowing individuals to connect their bank accounts. And then that leads us to the last piece, which is, this is the kind of most cutting edge Fintech is building personal financial management tools. So I think of the best app like the new mint clone that exists out there, and take that one step further. So it's the ability to connect all your different bank accounts, to Northstar. But it's also the ability to move money between bank accounts. So let's say one of our recommendations is to make a certain payment to your student loans, or make a transfer to an emergency fund. It's, we actually have the ability to move money between bank accounts for you. So solving that behavioral psychology challenge that I mentioned at the beginning of this conversation, so you don't have to log into the individual bank accounts, set up the manual transfer. It's kind of putting your money on autopilot once you had that financial plan in place.

Molly Burdess:

You mentioned student loans. And I looked into this, oh, gosh, it's been several years. So I might get some of this wrong. But basically, there was a technology and a benefit that we could choose to contribute. Basically, we'd give everyone let's just say $100 benefit, and they could choose to contribute that to oh, sorry, let me back that up. Basically, they could either pay off their student loans and us as an employer would match that on a monthly basis up to a certain month, or they could contribute to 401k. And we would match that and I know there's A lot of like legalities and compliance issues with 401k. But we ultimately didn't because we were concerned or at least this was our thought process, would that deter people from contributing to their retirement accounts early? Do you guys have thoughts on that?

Will Peng:

Yeah, it's a great question and goes to the earlier point about like, there are multiple different point solutions out there and the paradox of choice. The reality is that financial decisions are really difficult, because they're often about trade offs, should I pay off my student debt faster? Or should I invest in retirement? And especially with something real like retirement? There are tax benefits as well. And then now you layer on more things like should I save to emergency fund? Like how do I balance this in my day to day spending in like, people's heads just explode? So you ask a really interesting question, because oftentimes, we all kind of get get to my point in a roundabout way, but I'm currently one of the few ways that employers have to improve employees financial wellness, is by turning on auto enrollment in 401k plans. From behavioral psychology perspective, the power of default states is at play here, where if somebody is automatically contributing to their 401k, and made, they're not even aware of it, they're surprised by how much did they can save them, then if you just ask them how much they thought they could save. And so put, but oftentimes, when we talk to employers, maybe somebody has a ton of credit card debt. And so this is more of a cut and dry example, compared to student debt. But with credit card debt, interest rates are usually incredibly high. And this is not financial advice, but will generally say you should pay off your student loan or pay off your credit cards first, before you can put money in your 401k. But if an employer used retirement contributions as the only measure of financial wellness, then those employees would look like they have really horrible financial wellness. But in reality, they're paying off the biggest threat to their long term financial health, which is their credit card debt. So for student loans, and for 401k match, it's a little bit more of a nuanced point, right? Because it depends on whether this individual student loans are private or public. What are the interest rates? What funds do you have available? And what are the fees and your retirement plans. And so there are a lot of factors that go into this that make it more nuanced decision, which is why it's so important to be able to provide that kind of holistic advice. Because choosing a point solution, like student loan benefits or student loan matching is you as an HR leader saying kind of taking more of a sort of approach saying, like, this is something that's really important to us, we're almost like crossing into the line of like being a financial planner for your employees. And we're making that decision for you. As opposed to kind of having this just like in real life, right? You have a financial planner who's like your, your, like your primary care physician, and they're the one who's, who's telling you which medications to take, and which specialist to go. See, it's kind of the same analogy that we're we have the role that we play, is if you had a student loan benefit and a 401k match, we would be able to work with each individual employee to say you should put money in these different areas.

Kyle Roed:

Well, you sound like a true HR professional, because your answer was well, it depends. But but it's it's a great example of the you know, the the challenge, it's it's not a binary decision for an employee to figure out. Okay, which health plan should I be in? Should I do dental? Should I do vision? What do I do for a 401k? And so, you know, I just think it's a really interesting approach to try to allow them to get the most out of the benefits package, which ultimately is all of our goal. And then, you know, I, I can only guess I'm assuming you probably have some statistics or thoughts around this, but my assumption is offering a benefit like this, is it adds to the stickiness. Right. So like, you know, my employer actually gives a rip. What happens to me and, and, you know, so So have you seen any, any impacts with some of your your customers as it relates to, you know, retention and the, and the employees response to this type of benefits offering?

Will Peng:

Yeah, I mean, I have mostly anecdotal evidence, it's really hard to attribute actual impact on retention. But we've heard everything from people, people's spouses, being jealous that they work at a company that has a benefit like this to people who understand and that they have incredible health insurance plans. And that actually is a big motivator for why they decided to stay. Because maybe because they're actually looking to start a family. And health insurance is one of those things, that it's just a significant cost. But most people don't understand what did they get until they quit their job and they get their Cobra bill. And it's $1,000.

Kyle Roed:

What

Will Peng:

if we have so many different actors around that around this themes of both appreciating and understanding the benefits that they're receiving, but also understanding that, Hey, maybe I really love my company's culture and mission. And before I thought that I would increase my salary was the only path to achieving my goals. But by understanding how to more efficiently allocate my finances, but also seeing the benefits that maybe I get backup childcare benefits, now, it actually saves me a ton of money, that actually frees it up. And actually, I get to stay at the company that I that I want to. So we're seeing we're seeing impact on that. But also, several different employers, we've done surveys now have, we've saved them 1000s of hours of time that they would normally have to sit down with each employee and, and speak to them. So it's been pretty awesome to see that kind of feedback. And at the end of the day, this only matters if people use it. Right. So we're really proud that over half of employees actually use Northstar when it's when it's offered. And we think we can get the number even higher. But that's just really shows how foundational that something like this can be when when it's when it's implemented as a holistic program in the employee experience, rather than just another perk.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I love that. And I think, you know, one of the things about benefits programs, that I think is really critical, and if if you haven't given this thought, as an HR person be thinking about this, but, you know, benefits are personal. You know, it's, it's how do people get care? How do people, you know, to take care of their family? You know, what are some of the what are some of the reasons to work in an organization and ultimately, the benefits package for an employer is a reflection of how much that employer cares about the employee, whether you like it or not, you know, if you have a junky benefits package, and you don't offer good, holistic benefits, you are going to struggle to attract and retain talent. That's just that's just the equation of the market we're in right now. So we'll really appreciate you sharing that perspective and a little bit of a different way to think about total benefits package. I want to shift gears and we're going to shift into the rebel HR flash round. Are you ready? All right, here we go. Question number one, what is your favorite people book?

Will Peng:

Yeah, the one that our team has been reading recently is a book called The Making of a manager. And I, myself am a big proponent of executive coaching, I, myself have an executive coach, but especially as our team continues to grow, one of the biggest challenges is when individual contributors are promoted to being managers. And they're promoted because of their success as an individual contributor, but not necessarily because of our manager skills. And so, of course, there are so many great ways to equip new managers to be successful through coaching services. But this book was written by a former head of product at Facebook. And it's it's really tactical advice on for managers on how to be a great manager. And so I highly recommend it. And maybe a bit of a unconventional wrecking recommendation. Because I but I think it this is perhaps one of the most impactful recommendations because the success of your managers is one of the biggest ways that you can improve your company's culture. And that's how you scale as a business.

Kyle Roed:

I guarantee you, you just had had hundreds of HR professionals nodding their head and saying, Yep, when you said the challenge of an individual contributor going to a management role. I feel I feel that statement in my bones lately. Alright, question number two, who should we be listening to?

Will Peng:

Yeah, I'll continue on the same thread here. So there's, there's a, there's a gentleman named Jerry Kelowna, and he is a an executive coach. He started his career in venture capital, but has over the past few years to a decade, really be on one of the key projects sense of executive coaching. I'll add this to I'll add this to my answer to the previous question as well. He also has a book. It's called reboot. And it I really enjoyed him the book and his approach because it um, it encourages leaders to be introspective about our own personal insecurities, biases and things that drive our decisions. And the better that we can be in touch with our own emotions and our motivations, the better leaders that we can be.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, absolutely. Last question, how can our listeners connect with you?

Will Peng:

Sure. Our website is Northstar money calm and my email, feel free to email me directly is will at Northstar money.com.

Kyle Roed:

Awesome. Well, well, thank you, again, so much for spending some time with us. We will have all that information in the show notes. You know, if I could say one thing in closing, you know, if this is something that you think sounds interesting to you, you know, we've offered a financial wellness benefit just recently in my organization to a wonderful employee response. So it's something that I'd strongly consider you to, or asked you to consider in your benefits package. It can, it can mean a lot to a lot of people in your organization. So well thank you for continuing to innovate and drive these types of benefits programs forward. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Thanks for having me. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by revelry Jr. Podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe