The belief that one’s work and career is valuable and impactful can be an energizing, even transformative force. By gaining a sense of purpose, everyday tasks take on a deeper meaning, while the bigger picture always remains in focus.
According to a 2020 McKinsey survey, respondents who found their desired amount of purpose in their work reported higher levels of satisfaction, energy, engagement and achievement than those who had found some purpose but desired more.
At Carrot Fertility, a comprehensive fertility care platform which provides its services to multinational employers, health plans and health systems, it’s easy for team members to find purpose in their contributions — no convincing or mental gymnastics required.
“I can easily say, Carrot’s mission — fertility care for all — is one of the easier ones to get behind,” said Vice President of Member Success Kelsey Gustin.
Fertility for All
Through fertility preservation, male-factor infertility, pre-pregnancy, IVF, pregnancy and postpartum, adoption, gestational surrogacy or menopause, Carrot supports members and their families — regardless of age, race, income, sex, sexual orientation, gender, marital status and geography — in many of the most memorable and meaningful moments of their lives.
In her role, Gustin sees the direct impact she and her team members have on people during their fertility journeys. These are defined by joyous moments as well as formidable challenges, and Carrot Fertility’s team members remain steadfast in their commitment to helping members through thick and thin.
“We are with them on their fertility and family-forming journeys, talking through the highs and helping them through their lows, all of which directly impact our team’s culture,” said Gustin.
In the lexicon of words that companies pull from to describe their company culture, ‘life-changing work’ would rarely make an appearance. But at Carrot Fertility, it’s what drives employees to build upon each achievement.
Gustin went in-depth about her personal experiences at Carrot and how its mission-driven company culture empowers team members to leverage their strengths to make a difference.
What's your role? What are your responsibilities?
At Carrot, our mission is to make fertility healthcare accessible and affordable to all. We cover more than 2 million lives globally, supporting our members on their lifelong fertility healthcare journeys. That includes everything from fertility preservation, male-factor infertility, pre-pregnancy, IVF, pregnancy and postpartum, to adoption, gestational surrogacy, menopause and low testosterone.
As the vice president of member success at Carrot, I oversee three key business lines to ensure our members have the best possible experience. Our care navigation team is on the front lines with our members answering emails, taking phone calls and ensuring our members have all the information they need to feel supported, regardless of their fertility or family-forming journey. Our payments team manages member inquiries surrounding all things financial. Last but not least are our medical experts. These are registered nurses, lactation and doula specialists, certified nutritionists, and other medical experts that support our members. They host face-to-face video chats with members to support them with any specific questions they may have while on their fertility and family-forming journey.
What’s your vision for leading your team? How is your organizational approach unique?
I lead through transparency and trust, while driving a high-performance environment. Leaning into the ‘why’ and our larger organizational impact has been essential in navigating these challenges and building continued trust within our team.
It’s also really important to lead with empathy. Many studies have shown that fertility challenges are among the most stressful healthcare experiences in people’s lives. It’s important for me, as a leader, to focus on an empathetic approach, and we encourage all of our team members to do the same. Our members value that we take a compassionate approach to how we communicate with them.
“Studies have shown that fertility challenges are among the most stressful healthcare experiences in people’s lives. It’s important for me, as a leader, to focus on an empathetic approach.”
What structures or policies support the company’s values, culture and mission? How?
Getting the opportunity to support Carrot’s members puts the member success team in a unique position. Every day, we get the opportunity to live out Carrot’s mission, ensuring our members receive the support and care they need. Our soon-to-be 24/7 support model, inclusive of phone, email and video chat, global representation and multi-language support, allows us to truly walk these journeys with our members and meet them where they are at.
How do you build team culture? What does that look like at your company? Why is that important for the work that you do?
Having a team that believes in the work they do is instrumental to the overall success of the organization. For member success specifically, we have the opportunity to truly impact the lives of our members; we talk through the highs and help them through their lows, all of which directly impact our team’s culture.
How do you help your team grow their careers? What tools and support do you offer to allow them to stretch their skills?
We have spent extensive time and energy building our career framework and growth rubric on our team. My sole goal as a leader is to foster employees who want to grow and excel in their roles, ultimately leading to future advancements. Between our framework roadmap and ongoing knowledge building, team members have the tools and resources they need to take control of their careers.
What role do your team members play in building, strengthening or celebrating your company mission and culture?
One of the best things about the member success team is that we interact with our members every single day and help them on their fertility and family-forming journeys. From this comes real-time member feedback and user experiences. This feedback follows a direct path of impact to the appropriate team, ultimately resulting in an overall more positive experience.
There is one specific piece of feedback we recently received from a member that 100 percent captures how member success feels about what we do. After years of struggle and heartache, a member gained access to the Carrot benefit, where they obtained the financial support to start their IVF journey. After a successful cycle, the member reached out to us and said, “You all are like fertility fairy godmothers, sprinkling joy across the world.” Hearing how we’ve helped not only this member, but all Carrot members, through an important life moment is incredibly rewarding and further motivates our team.
“Hearing how we’ve helped not only this member, but all Carrot members, through an important life moment is incredibly rewarding and further motivates our team.”
What is the employee value proposition for those thinking about joining your company? What impact does working there have on someone’s career?
Carrot has a lot to offer candidates. Not only are we doing life-changing work here, but we are doing it in a way that will create long-lasting impacts in this field. Employees show up knowing that their work directly impacts our members and their fertility and family-forming journeys. When you join Carrot, you have so many opportunities to learn and grow, rather than stepping into the status quo.