Jesse, bottom right, along with many of the Rippl Changemakers she serves
Culture doesn’t just happen. It’s built—passion by passion, choice by choice, person by person, moment by moment. As Rippl’s Chief People Officer, my job isn’t just taking care of the amazing crew that works here (though I love doing that!), it’s also to consciously create an environment that cares for them too.
I’ve spent my career at household companies like Nordstrom and Dunkin’ Brands, where I honed a deep commitment to the power of personal development and corporate character. The people principles I forged throughout my career are the foundation I need to break new ground, strengthening our ethos while spearheading a revolution.
Because here at Rippl, not only are we clinician-obsessed and innovation-centered, we’re changing the way the world treats seniors living with behavioral health challenges. Here’s how:
1. Ownership Mentality
At Rippl, our beliefs guide us. We believe seniors deserve better. We believe that building a different kind of healthcare company can help make a difference. And we know each and every one of us can make this happen. That’s why everyone here is a “Rippl Changemaker”, not just an employee or team member.
Part of my role is figuring out how to bring our values to life on a day-to-day basis—what we believe has a direct impact on how we behave. At Rippl, we believe in transparency, ownership, flexibility, the power of an open door, the far-reaching benefits of servant leadership, and that together, we can move mountains. Those aren’t things we just paint on a wall or put in a PDF and forget about. We use them to start conversations, as a framework for employee recognition, as guideposts to make decisions. They are baked in as we build a culture centered around the people closest to those we serve —our clinicians and caregivers.
Rippl in Action: One Rippl, a newly introduced internal portal that brings instant access and transparency to every employee. One Rippl is the single source of truth for news, policies, core values, report backs, connection, and support.
2. Constant Connection
Connection is core to the Rippl culture. Alongside the leadership team, I work to foster that camaraderie by setting aside time to talk to people directly, both one-on-one and in group settings. We approach each opportunity with relentless curiosity and a recognition that great ideas come from everywhere.
To do that, we make it a priority to connect with teams on an ongoing basis, including coffee chats with each clinician. It’s an informal initiative, but a great way to stay connected on feedback and ideas. It’s a perfect opportunity to ask ourselves: What decisions have we made that are right? Where should we tweak? The answers are a patchwork quilt of ideas we get from keeping those lines of communication open. We are a learning organization, building ourselves from the ground up. I truly believe that’s not only the best way to grow, but the best way to succeed.
Rippl in Action: In our coffee chats, leadership heard directly that clinicians were craving more flexible benefits. In response, we introduced Level, a benefits solution that provides wellbeing and remote work stipends so employees can choose how to spend their benefits.
3. Clinician Obsession
Our clinicians are the heart, soul, strength, and inspiration of Rippl, and that’s why they’re our priority. When they are thriving, everyone benefits. Our caretakers don’t do what they do only because it’s a career—they do it because it’s calling. The more supported and empowered they feel, the better care they can provide to the people who need them.
Three different behaviors help describe our approach to clinician obsession. One is collaboration. We crave feedback and focus on two-way dialog. Two is curiosity—we always show up with an empty cup and ask our clinicians how they are, what they need, what matters. Three is actively searching for and finding solutions. We are in a space of constant growth, and our clinicians are growing with us. It’s a results-driven partnership.
Rippl in Action: Every time a new clinician joins Rippl, the whole company pauses whatever they are doing to join a welcome session with the sole purpose of meeting the new clinicians and welcoming them to the team.
4. Future Focus
Good culture can make a day successful. Great culture can make a company successful. With sights set on both today and tomorrow, we’re empowering our employees and powering a better future for seniors.
We know there’s a stigma around dementia that needs to be dispelled, because seniors deserve so much more. That’s the goal, and to reach it we’re very open and agile now so we can make sure that in 10 years we will have scaled exponentially to help more people. Aging affects everyone, all families in all communities, and there are real challenges ahead. But that’s where growth comes from, and we’re making change happen a little bit each day.
Rippl in Action: The next small step forward: fireside chats! These unique opportunities give Rippl changemakers the chance to hear from partners, investors, and even celebrities while learning about different perspectives on mental and behavioral health for seniors.
Jesse Schlueter is the Chief People Officer at Rippl