People First International Press

People First International provides proven, practical consulting services that promote excellence and equip our clients for personal, and professional development. Our press release archive for the current calendar year and past years can be found below.

2017

Connections Quarterly | Spring 2017
The People First Philosophy
In today’s competitive global market, American business leaders are learning to ask the best questions for creating greater market share and long-term profitability. Many leaders have reduced all their questions to one vitally important question: What is our single greatest competitive advantage?

2016

The Best People at the Table | March 14th
At City Furniture, building a company that aims to better the world starts with purpose-driven growth led by Janet Wincko’s human resources team.

BY JACQUI SHINE

Janet Wincko takes furniture very seriously. “We are not just a company that wants to sell a table and move on to the next customer. We are helping our customers make memories,” she says of her employer, City Furniture, a furniture retailer with a chain of fifteen stores and eleven Ashley Furniture HomeStore showrooms throughout southern Florida. “It’s not just about sitting at the dining room table eating,” she adds. “It’s about Thanksgiving dinner—sitting around the table laughing, having fun, and making memories.

Janet Wincko for City Furniture

Janet Wincko, City Furniture
Wincko should know: she now leads human resources at the family-owned company where she’s made her career. She joined the company shortly before graduating from Florida Atlantic University in 1989. Her commitment speaks to the company’s dynamism. Founded in 1971 as Waterbed City, the company has undergone multiple transitions, not least of which was its expansion to City Furniture in 1994.

The latest change to City Furniture involved transforming the product line, business model, delivery model, and associate mix, according to Wincko. “It was a massive undertaking,” she says. “And I wanted to be part of this really cool transformation.” Several years later, the company expanded into manufacturing with its own exclusive line of furniture, case goods, and mattresses through its proprietary brand Kevin Charles.

The company has always had a larger purpose in mind. “When we talk to applicants, we say that our purpose at City Furniture is to enrich people’s lives and make the world a better place,” Wincko says. Human resources, she adds, is intimately involved in building a company that exemplifies this enormous commitment while also keeping an eye on strategic objectives. “It all starts with hiring the right people who will do the right things for the customers and will truly invest in our purpose,” Wincko says.

Paired with this selective process is a thoughtfully designed onboarding program. “Onboarding is truly our first opportunity to make a lasting impression and make sure that our people understand who we are, what we do, and why it matters,” says Wincko, who points out that this integration process is vital to retention. “If people don’t feel welcome from the very beginning, you are at risk of losing them right away.”

City Furniture regularly evaluates and adjusts the process. “We are constantly asking what messages we are sending to associates, how we are ensuring that they fit in and feel comfortable here, and that they are accepted into our organization appropriately,” Wincko says.

“ONBOARDING IS TRULY OUR FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A LASTING IMPRESSION AND MAKE SURE THAT OUR PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE, WHAT WE DO, AND WHY IT MATTERS.”

City Furniture is also committed to offering its 1,300 employees rich opportunities for professional growth and personal development. In 2014, the company began partnering with People First International and offering the People First twenty-four-hour leadership development course. The approach, developed by leadership and personal development consultant Jack Lannom, takes as its premise the idea that “the personal drives the professional”—that employees are human beings, not assets.

Wincko explains: “Before you get into the doing of leadership, People First really says, ‘But what do you believe as a leader? Do you believe that people generally want to do a good job? That they want to have a relationship with you? That they should be recognized and celebrated?’”

Over the past fifteen months, 250 City Furniture leaders from the president and senior level managers to entry level management have completed the People First program. “It is eye-opening,” Wincko says. “It is transformational. People First—what our associates need and want—drives a lot of our decision making: not what does the process say, but what do the numbers say? We don’t make decisions in those respects at the sacrifice of not being respectful and not being truthful with our associates.

The company is now looking to find ways to wrap the program principles into associate training. “At some point everybody in our organization will be exposed to People First at some level,” Wincko says.

Even after forty-four years, City Furniture continues to evolve, and there’s always plenty for Wincko to do. “We are focusing on different talent management initiatives,” she says. “A lot of organizations, including us, are moving away from the old traditional performance review. We are shifting to focus on individual development programs that allow us to support associates’ goals.”

Wincko is also working on an internal mobility program that offers City Furniture associates clear information about what they need to do to advance in the company. In 2016 and 2017, the company will be expanding into the Orlando area, with several showrooms and a small distribution center. “Orlando is a big market,” Wincko says, adding that human resources will be play an essential role in the expansion effort.

At City Furniture, where a table is more than just a table, human resources is more, too. “Really, my job is to be kind of the culture-keeper,” Wincko says. And after twenty-five years at the company, it’s a responsibility that she’s got down pat.

2015

HR & Employment Law Conference | November 13th
MEA’s 8th Annual HR and Employment Law Conference will cover everything you need to know about recent legal and HR developments. Come join other HR pros for a day of learning and networking.

Click to view external link: HR & Employment Law Conference

Engaging Through Culture Talent Conference | November 12th
Today, more than ever, employers are looking for every edge to engage and retain their most valuable resource, their people. Join us for this unique opportunity to hear from experts and leaders who have used culture and values to achieve business success and engaged employees.

Click to view external link: Engaging Through Culture

Close More Sales by Building Trust! Wednesday | May 19th
Get the Most Out of Your Sales Efforts. Join the South Florida Business Journal for our 4th annual Sales Crash Course, part of the BIZEDGE Development Series. This sales seminar will give you the resources to grow your sales in 2015.

Click to view external link: BizEdge Sales Crash Course

2014

A day of celebration for Essex | April 21st
Monday, April 21 was a day of celebration for Essex, as the first one hundred employees completed the People First Leadership Development program.

Click to view external link: A day of celebration for Essex

Nurturing Capabilities for Extraordinary HR | May
¿Quieres aprovechar la oportunidad de escuchar y compartir con expertos en los temas de compromiso, ejecución y pasión por nuestra vida personal y profesional?

Está a tu alcance, acepta la invitación de la Sociedad para la Gerencia de Recursos Humanos, Capítulo de Puerto Rico (SHRM-PR) y conoce a estos expertos en la Conferencia Anual 2014 que se llevará a cabo del 17 al 20 de septiembre en el Hotel El Conquistador en Fajardo.

Click to view external link: Nurturing Capabilities for Extraordinary HR

2013

2013 AAIM 2013 Leadership Conference Tips from Jack Lannom!!
http://theodcg.blogspot.com
Motivan a empresarios en Expo ANTAD | March
Jack Lannom, fundador de People first, presenta conferencia en la que involucró en dinámicas motivacionales a decenas de empresarios que se reunieron en la sala 3 de Expo Guadalajara

Click to view external link: Motivan a empresarios en Expo ANTAD

2012

Consultant Lannom teaches businesses to put people first | August
Jack Lannom has a simple message for readers of his 15 books, attendees at his national seminars and keynotes, or students in his People First courses: If you want to improve customer engagement – and the business’s bottom line – you’d better first improve how you treat your employees.

Click to view external link: Consultant Lannom teaches businesses to put people first

People First seminar hosted by WCI Communities benefits United Way | August
The People First leadership training program focuses on personal and professional growth creating engaged high-performance cultures to increase company profits, leverage potential of staff and associates, attract and retain the best people and make the competition irrelevant.

Click to view external link: People First seminar hosted by WCI Communities benefits United Way

2011

Enhancing Employee Training & Development | MVP Seminars
Jack Lannom is a dynamic, engaging speaker who is a recognized expert on:

Leadership, Learning and Memory…and much more. He is an award-winning author, TV personality, corporate leadership and learning consultant, and a grand master in the martial arts.

Click to view external link: Enhancing Employee Training & Development

2009

KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL: United Stationers Magazine | June
What would corporate life be like if people came first, diversity was celebrated and everyone felt their work and ideas were appreciated? Would profits evaporate? Or would business performance actually improve?

Click to view link: KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL: United Stationers Magazine Article

2008

Jack Lannom interviewed by Spero Canton of Comcast Newsmakers
Jack Lannom on Comcast Newsmakers talking about his new book “People First”.

Click to view external link: Jack Lannom interviewed by Spero Canton of Comcast Newsmakers

Ray Southern, Division CEO for Balfour Beatty Construction, Leads His Florida Division to Become a People First Certified Company
“People ask me why I chose to implement the People First(R) Certification Program. My reply is simple: I truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of our employees. Now that we have completed the program, the next question might be, did it make a difference? It absolutely did!

Click to view external link: Ray Southern, Division CEO for Balfour Beatty Construction, Leads His Florida Division to Become a People First Certified Company

2006

Mark McCleary, founder and president of Community Engineering Services
Because of his passion for and commitment to excellent service, Mark McCleary, founder and president of Community Engineering Services, engaged Lannom, Inc. to provide a 12-week leadership and personal growth training program for his employees called People First.

Click to view external link: Community Engineering Services

2005

What's new with ELP?
People First Core Courses by Jack Lannom.

Click to view external link: What’s new with ELP?

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