Human Resources

Spotlight: Teshia Davis

Human resources executive is passionate about employee wellness.

June 01, 2012
KEYWORDS employees , talent
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Who: Teshia Davis
What: senior manager, human resources
Where: SECU, Linthicum, Md.

Wellness is a key focus for SECU: Our wellness program, launched in 2010, focuses on the overall well-being of our employees: Health, nutrition, emotional well-being, estate planning, financial management and education, and retirement planning.

These events are important because: Employees are a valued asset to any organization. Offering a wellness program not only helps employees but also their families, and helps them all improve and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Additionally, promoting wellness in the workplace can help reduce absenteeism, lower health-care costs, improve employee morale and productivity, reduce employee turnover, and enhance our recruitment initiatives.

Some results we’ve seen since implementing our wellness program: Last year, alone, we had a 60% increase in participation in our annual wellness event from years past.

From 2010 to 2011, we saw an 11% decrease in the number of individuals with health risk factors, and among those with risk factors, 92% have fewer than two. We’ve also documented how employees’ cholesterol numbers improved, resulting in better claims experience with our health plans.

In my current position: I lead the organization’s efforts in talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, and human resource information system administration. I also have business partner responsibilities where I support corporate lines of business in all human resource matters.

I first realized CUs are the place for me to be: While interviewing with SECU. The experience was rewarding both personally and professionally.

Each person represented SECU’s core values in every interaction. It was refreshing to see these weren’t only written values, but were in fact practiced daily.

In 2010, SECU launched its new brand, allowing each of us to focus on our new set of core values—Service, Education, Commitment, and Understanding. All these traits are important to me professionally and personally; that’s how I know SECU is the place for me.

My job is gratifying every day because of: All the things SECU offers our employees to help enrich their lives. I hope these benefits, ultimately, will improve the quality of employees’ lives and the lives of their loved ones.

My favorite social media site: Facebook is at the top of my list. It has allowed me to connect with friends I don’t see very often, as it seems increasingly difficult to keep up with friends while life is happening.

Inspiring advice I recently discovered: When something bad happens, you have three choices: You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

Friends most likely would describe me as: A caring and loyal friend who takes time out of her everyday life to listen or provide help to people in need; a “home body” who enjoys spending quality time with a small, close group of family and friends; and a person who faces challenges with perseverance.

My faith is strong and helps me deal with adversity. I’ll tell you the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear.

Biggest lesson learned as an adult: You can’t plan your entire life. If I’d known what I know now, I would have listened more intimately to the wisdom of others early on.

Still, I have no regrets. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t traveled this path.

I find great joy in: Cooking for friends and family—especially when I make a meal healthy, yet faces still light up with enjoyment.

Also, I’m an avid spa-goer and I love to try new spa treatments. It helps me keep balance in my life and have “me” time in the process.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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