2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling

by Courtney Roush

4 Signs
4 Signs

Click here to order the April 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


“Most people think trust is earned. Here, trust is granted. We wouldn’t have hired you if we didn’t trust you.”

These very words are spoken by Xyngular CEO Russ Fletcher to new hires during the company’s new employee orientation sessions, presented by the four members of its executive team. At Xyngular, one of this year’s Best Places to Work in Direct Selling (see special award supplement included with issue), that statement sets the tone for what’s to come: a culture and a host of perks and benefits that convey an implicit message of trust, a key component of employee engagement. So what kind of impact does it have when an executive not only takes the time to personally welcome a new employee, but also makes a declaration of trust right out of the gate? For starters, a 97.7 percent employee retention rate.

Employee engagement: It’s both a simple concept and a complex dynamic. On the surface, employee engagement refers to satisfaction and happiness, but it is so much more than that. It’s a science that puts hard data around “soft” variables like emotional investment and intent to stay. Examine any high-growth company, and you can count on finding employees who believe their opinions are heard, who know specifically how their jobs contribute to the company’s objectives, who have access to professional development opportunities, and who feel valued by leadership. All too often, a company first learns of an employee’s disengagement with a resignation letter. Earlier intervention through better onboarding, mentoring, professional and personal development, recognition and occasional, but regular, touchpoints with senior leadership could have made a difference.

Engagement is a critical topic because, according to our third-party vendor and research partner Quantum Workplace, which conducted surveys and compiled findings for the 2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling contest, those perceptions are directly tied to a company’s bottom line.

For more than 10 years, Quantum Workplace has been conducting in-depth surveys with organizations throughout the world. Along the way, a consistent theme has emerged from their findings: Companies with higher employee engagement see better retention, better productivity, better profits. Based on that knowledge, Quantum, through its in-depth research, has revealed some of the primary drivers of engagement, along with factors that can diminish it.

When we speak of employee engagement within direct selling companies, the contributors and detractors really don’t differ from the business world at large. However, it’s important to note the effect of employee engagement on our ultimate customer: the independent salesforce members we serve. It stands to reason that happier employees mean a happier independent salesforce.

The continued growth of the direct selling channel has created an exciting climate in which talented candidates have …

Click here to read the rest of the article at Direct Selling News.

 

 

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Forces Under 40 2017

by DSN Staff

Click here to order the March 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


DSN is thrilled to showcase the most outstanding young professionals working in direct selling companies today. These honorees represent all aspects of the business—from technology and marketing to finance and field services—and represent the fine talent of tomorrow. We know it is imperative to nurture and encourage the young leaders in our channel in order to secure the brightest future possible for all.

These dynamic young leaders are broadening the scope of the companies they work for as well as our entire channel of distribution. Based upon the enthusiastic nominations of the honorees presented here, the future is bright indeed. The program was open to all full-time professionals working in active direct selling companies who turned 40 years old on or after Jan. 1, 2017. The honorees are presented in alphabetical order with each profile including the thoughts and words of the honoree’s respective company.

We also want to thank our generous sponsors, Avalara and Fossil.


PROFILES:

…. Continue to the Honoree’s profiles.

 

 

DSN Announces the 2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling

Building on the positive results from its inaugural year, Direct Selling News has partnered once again with the employee engagement experts at Quantum Workplace to identify the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling. The contest was open to all direct selling companies headquartered in North America and having at least 50 employees.

The 2017 honorees for the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling are listed below in alphabetical order. All of these companies are equal honorees and are recognized collectively as the Best Places to Work within the direct selling channel.

Click here to view the honorees.

 

Nu Skin Reports Lower Annual Sales, Provides Soft Outlook

In the fourth quarter, a series of new product launches was not enough to counter the effects of a stronger dollar and lackluster sales at Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NUS—NYSE).

The maker of anti-aging products and nutritional supplements reported fourth-quarter revenue of $572.2 million, cut 7 percent by currency fluctuations. Though up on a sequential basis, sales fell 6 percent year over year. Earnings were down 20 percent to 62 cents a share. Analysts had expected a better performance on both counts.

The company ran three of its signature limited-time offers in the quarter, featuring its anti-aging ageLOC Youth and ageLOC Me products. In the Americas and Japan, the results were positive, while a new promotion in South Korea fell flat, largely due to a 12-month product subscription commitment bundled into the offer.

On a regional basis quarterly results were mixed. Constant-dollar revenue improved 26 percent in the Americas. Besides breakeven results in North Asia, sales in all other regions were down from the prior year. In the company’s largest segment, Greater China, revenue dipped 5 percent on a constant-dollar basis.

For the full year, revenue totaled $2.25 billion, compared to $2.57 billion a year ago. Earnings fell 28 percent to $2.25 per share. The company continued its share buyback program, repurchasing more than 5 percent of outstanding shares in 2015.

“We enter 2016 with a calendar filled with significant product launches,” said President and CEO Truman Hunt. “In the Americas, Japan and South Asia, where we have executed well, these product launches have generated positive results. In South Korea and China, we are moderating our expectations based on the December launch of ageLOC Me in South Korea and economic uncertainty in China.”

In 2016, the company expects revenue in the range of $2.10 billion to $2.15 billion. Management said its operating margin for the year likely will be 10.5 percent to 11.0 percent, with earnings of $2.40 to $2.60 per share, coming in well below analysts’ forecasts of $3.09 per share.

Nu Skin Stock Falls as China Troubles Weaken Sales Forecast

Shares of Nu Skin Enterprises hit their lowest price in more than a year on Wednesday after the company slashed its revenue guidance due to foreign-currency issues and lackluster sales in its China region.

In a statement released ahead of Nu Skin’s 2015 Global Convention, management stated that third-quarter revenue will amount to roughly $573 million. The seller of skincare and nutrition products previously projected sales of as much as $620 million. Analysts had set more optimistic predictions, with an average estimate of $622.6 million. One contributor to the downgrade was the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, which created a foreign currency headwind and negatively impacted revenue by more than $60 million compared to the previous year.

After climbing 6.6 percent this year, Nu Skin stock fell as much as 26.9 percent on Wednesday before closing the day down 25.7 percent at $34.62. The company’s expected third-quarter results would represent a year-over-year decrease of approximately 10 percent. For the last quarter, Nu Skin reported revenue of $560 million.

The shortfall also stems from weak sales in China, which accounts for 32 percent of Nu Skin’s total revenue. Lower-than-expected sales of the brand’s new cosmetic oils were a major factor, and may reflect economic conditions in the wider Chinese market, Nu Skin CEO Truman Hunt said in a statement.

“Given the successful launch of ageLOC Youth in South Asia/Pacific, we look forward to the introduction of ageLOC Youth as well as ageLOC Me in most of our regions during the fourth quarter,” said Hunt. “We forecast year-over-year constant-currency revenue growth of between 7 and 10 percent in the fourth quarter.”

In September, Nu Skin promoted one of its Asia executives, Ryan Napierski, to lead the company’s global sales organization. Napierski spent the past eight years in the region, most recently serving as President of both Nu Skin Japan and Nu Skin North Asia. Before transferring to Asia, Napierski helped to advance the brand in Europe as Vice President of European Business Development.

Nu Skin will release its earnings results for the third quarter on Nov. 5.

Nu Skin’s Ryan Napierski Named President of Global Sales and Operations

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. has named veteran talent Ryan Napierski as President of Global Sales and Operations, following the departure of Dan Chard.

In more than 20 years at Nu Skin, Napierski has held a number of roles across the company’s global operations. He spent the past eight years in Asia, where he most recently served as President of both Nu Skin Japan and Nu Skin North Asia. In 2014, North Asia accounted for 30 percent, or $783.0 million, of Nu Skin’s $2.57 billion revenue.

Napierski’s earlier roles within the company included Vice President of Global Business Development, overseeing Nu Skin’s global compensation plan; General Manager for the United Kingdom; and Vice President of European Business Development.

“With every promotion or new assignment over the years, Ryan has proven himself an able leader and has met each new challenge with excellence,” Truman Hunt, President and CEO, said in a statement. “I have every confidence that Ryan has the right experience and expertise to lead Nu Skin’s global sales organization.”

“While we are pleased to welcome Ryan back to our U.S. headquarters, I want to acknowledge Dan’s significant contributions to our company,” Hunt added. “On behalf of everyone at Nu Skin, we thank Dan for his years of service and wish him all the best for the future.”

Global Humanitarian Work Draws Accolades for Nu Skin

Photo: Nu Skin opens its 16th Nu Hope Library in South Korea’s Gyeongbuk province in April 2015.


The Direct Selling Association recently honored Nu Skin’s corporate social responsibility efforts with the 2015 Vision for Tomorrow ETHOS Award, but U.S. peers are not the only ones taking note of the Nu Skin’s humanitarian work.

The personal-care and wellness brand recently earned honors in Asia for its contributions through the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation. The foundation aims to help children by supplying healthcare, nutrition, education and economic opportunity. By the close of 2014, Nu Skin’s Nourish the Children initiative had donated more than 400 million meals to impoverished children. The company also contributes to disaster relief efforts around the world.

For the sixth consecutive year, national newspaper China Philanthropy Times has named Nu Skin Greater China one of the country’s Top 10 Charity Enterprises. Additional recognition came from the China Foundation for Disabled Persons, which presented Nu Skin its highest honor, the Charity Diamond Award, for the company’s support of the disabled.

In Korea, Nu Skin earned a Silver Stevie Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category for its Nu Hope Libraries initiative. Since 2008, the company has remodeled 16 libraries in rural areas and stocked them with educational supplies to further children’s education.

Utah Force for Good Day Honors Nu Skin Humanitarian Efforts

Photo: Volunteers take part in Nu Skin’s 11th Annual Force for Good Day.


Former DSA Chairman Truman Hunt, President and CEO of Nu Skin, has passed the gavel to Chairman David Holl, CEO of Mary Kay, but Hunt’s work to advance the industry as a force for good continues at Nu Skin’s Utah headquarters, where the Governor’s Office has declared today Utah Force for Good Day.

The statewide observance is a nod to Nu Skin’s Force for Good Day, now in its twelfth year. The company’s employees and distributors celebrate the day by participating in service projects that benefit children.

“Nu Skin’s annual Force for Good Day celebration has become a tradition where our global employees and sales leaders devote their time and resources to helping children in their local communities,” Hunt said in a statement. “It celebrates the company’s mission and efforts of the Nu Skin family to be a force for good not just on this one day but all year long.”

Local participants are supporting the work of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation by assembling 10,000 kids’ care bags and making 200 fleece quilts for children confined to a hospital stay. Globally, projects include donating and distributing education kits, serving children in orphanages, and sponsoring clothing drives.

DSA Unveils ETHOS Winners at Annual Meeting

Seven companies received industry-wide recognition Tuesday evening at the Awards Gala capping the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting. Held in San Antonio, the event revealed the winners of this year’s ETHOS Awards, as well as a new inductee into the DSA Hall of Fame.

Last month the DSA announced the ETHOS sub-category winners across seven categories. From those finalists, a panel of industry leaders and outside experts narrowed the selections on the criteria of excellence, creativity and innovation.

In addition to taking home the ETHOS Award for its Project Runway marketing campaign, cosmetics giant Mary Kay saw Senior Vice President Michael Lunceford join other direct selling luminaries in the DSA Hall of Fame. The award honors Lunceford’s longstanding support and leadership of the DSA, where he serves as Chairman of the Government Relations Committee, and the entire industry.

2015 ETHOS Awards

Marketing & Sales Campaigns: Mary Kay Inc., Project Runway/Lifetime TV sponsorship
Product Innovation: LifeWave Inc., Theta One and Theta Active
Excellence in Salesforce Development: Scentsy Inc., Idea Share
Technology Innovation: Rodan + Fields, self-checkout point-of-sale
Vision for Tomorrow: Nu Skin Enterprises, Creating Smiles
Rising Star: All’asta
Partnership Award: Step Into Success

Nu Skin Looks to China, New Products to Boost Earnings

Photo: Nu Skin’s corporate headquarters in Provo, Utah.


Despite weak first-quarter earnings, Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. is confident that its expanding China business and forthcoming product launches will pay off in the second half of 2015.

Quarterly revenue landed in the middle of the company’s guidance at $543.3 million, a 20 percent drop from $671.1 million a year ago. Excluding one-time costs, earnings were 72 cents a share. Analysts had estimated that earnings would reach 73 cents a share on revenue of $546.87 million.

Nu Skin’s active associate numbers continued to decline in all regions except South Asia/Pacific, where active associates increased 4.3 percent from the prior-year period. Greater China recorded the sharpest decline, down 23 percent from the first three quarters of 2014.

In its earnings call, Nu Skin disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a non-public investigation into a donation the company made in China in 2013. Executives said Nu Skin is cooperating with the investigation, but provided no further details.

President and CEO Truman Hunt said Nu Skin is working to expand its footprint in China despite regulatory challenges, including a review early last year that prompted Nu Skin to halt recruiting and resulted in fines for the company. Hunt noted Chinese officials have granted Nu Skin approval to operate its direct selling business in two new cities in Guangdong province.

The anti-aging brand is counting on new ageLOC offerings to drive constant-currency revenue growth in 2015. “Enthusiasm is building for our upcoming product launches that include ageLOC Youth, our most advanced anti-aging supplement, as well as ageLOC Me, an innovative anti-aging skincare system that enables consumers to personalize a daily regimen based on individual preferences and skincare needs,” said Hunt.

In July, the company will also roll out its Epoch essential oils line across the U.S. and Canada, where Nu Skin introduced the products in April through a limited offering. It will also introduce a sister line, ageLOC Essentials, to its Chinese customers.

Nu Skin reduced its revenue guidance for the full year by about 2 percent and said it expects earnings between $3.65 and $3.75 a share, compared to the $3.94 consensus from analysts.