Learn how compassion drives a more connected company culture, employee satisfaction, and good business
Joanne Rodriguez was born in Duarte, CA and is first generation American, born to a Salvadorean mother and Mexican father. She grew up both in El Salvador and in the U.S., moving frequently from place to place. Her upbringing was anything from conventional as she was raised by eight different relatives all at different times, and attended over thirteen different schools before the age 12.
Her mother, being a single mom was unable to provide stability and a home where Joanne could grow up in. This led to constant moving from home to home, where Joanne was able to experience a multitude of cultures and personalities. From a young age she quickly learned how to adapt and work with different personality types. This fostered a curiosity on human behavior and psychology. She wanted to better understand why people acted in the way they do.
As she became older, she pursued an education in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. This helped her gain a better understanding of herself, as well as the people around her. She worked with her own personal Life Coach, experiencing the incredible transformation and healing that took place as she continued to walk the path of personal development and self-discovery. This ultimately led her to pursue a career as a Life Coach herself.
Joanne currently serves as a Life Coach for the Pegasus Possibilities Program. This 1:1 Life Coaching program was developed to help everyone in the Pegasus family identify and create action plans to help them achieve their dreams.
Through this program, many Pegasus employees have become first time home buyers, lost unwanted weight, improved their financial situation, and much more.
What drove you to join Pegasus and play such an integral role in helping people make their dreams come true?
Personally, I feel that this is a Dream job for me. I get to make a meaningful contribution by supporting people in making lifestyle changes that will improve not only their own lives, but also the lives of their close family members, their immediate peers and colleagues, and ultimately the company they work for. When the opportunity presented itself I sprinted to the occasion, excited that a company would offer such an incredible benefit to their employees!
We know that employees want a sense of connection and to be valued. What is a compassionate workplace to you?
A compassionate workplace for me is somewhere where people feel safe to be themselves and can trust that they will be met with kindness and understanding. It’s a place built upon trust, transparency and caring for the well-being of one another; it is a place where we are met with support rather than criticism, understanding that as a team no one person can fully succeed if their fellow team members are struggling.
Studies have found a strong link between productivity and compassionate workplaces. Where do you see the future of Life Coaching within the corporate setting?
I see Life Coaching becoming an integral part of business, where owners and shareholders will soon begin to realize that in order to continue to grow and prosper, they will need to begin to implement programs such as the Pegasus Possibilities Program. Benefits such as these, along with Life Coaching provide employees with a sense of appreciation; knowing that they are truly appreciated and valued not just for their productivity, but because they matter as a person.
People want to be acknowledged and know that they matter, that their life matters regardless of what “role” they serve in the company. We are all part of one unit — the CEO has as much value as the person working the front desk. Why? Because a company does not function properly without each other.
Employees that participate in the Pegasus Possibilities Program are called Dream Managers. Gives a few examples of Dream Managers and the dreams they have realized?
I had a participant of the program who was looking to start a side business. We worked together for six months, and nine months later they have taken their first step towards creating that business. They were able to purchase equipment required, and have gained the confidence to proceed with this dream.
Another participant of the program was dealing with low self-esteem and a bit of depression; through the program they were able to make some changes and implement a healthier perspective of themselves and of life in general.
Each experience is different to the individual, but essentially each person is stepping into living their dream. Whether that dream is to create a business, or to feel more at peace with themselves will depend on the individual. Ultimately, it all leads to opening the possibility of living a better life.
Covid-19 has been particularly difficult for essential workers and many of Pegasus employees fall in this category. What role has the 1:1 coaching played in helping people navigate these unprecedented times?
No doubt that these times have been very challenging for so many, especially some of the essential workers at Pegasus. Having the support of 1:1 coaching has provided many with tools and resources to learn how to manage stress, grief, anxiety and depression. Coaching has been a pillar of support for those who have experienced extreme challenges and can feel supported and hopeful even in uncertain times.