Broker Check

Trust Your Employees, Be Yourself, and Enjoy Life - An Interview with Justin Severson from Paylocity


Michael Sayre 0:04
Welcome back to In your business where Michael Sayre the production of CUI Wealth Management. In this episode, we interviewed Justin Severson with Paylocity. You may recognize Justin from the sour chatter videos that he posts on social media. Justin goes over the importance of enjoying life, trusting your employees, and being genuine in your community. I hope you enjoy it.

Hey, Justin, thanks for joining us today. I appreciate you taking the time. Oh, no problem. I love podcasts. So I'm glad beyond and do a little bit of talking. Justin, you mind introducing yourself. Give us a little bit of your background and some of your deepest darkest secrets.

Justin Severson 0:41
Yeah, my darkest secrets. my credit card number. I'll give it to you all. I'm just an open book here. Okay. Justin Severson. I was born and raised here in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was born right, I guess, I was raised in Riverton, Utah. I went to Riverton High School, go Silver Wolves! I've been married now to my significant other, my wife for 11 years in September.

Michael Sayre 1:09
Just jumping in. So you got married in September? What dates?

Justin Severson 1:15
September 17.

Michael Sayre 1:17
Dang, we were married on the 18th. And it will be 11 years and in September as well.

Justin Severson 1:27
Oh, we're just twinsies. I know we chose 17 because my favorite number is 12. Born raised here in Utah, John Stockton and my birthday is August 12th. So I've always had a fascination with 12. And my wife's number is five. And so, that's why we got married on the 17th is because the 12 and the five.

I'm so glad we got married in September, because of the anniversary trips. I think last year we went to Disney World, and it was a ghost town because, in September, you have all those families and all those kids that they're going back to school. And so whenever we plan an anniversary trip, it's been awesome. Looking back, we were smart for getting married in September just because of the anniversary trips. So I love it. But, other than that we have two little boys. We have Knox and JJ. We enjoy spending time up in the cabin at Bear Lake. We enjoy being outdoors. During quarantine, this has been tough not to go out and play on the playground and things like that. But we just enjoy spending time together baseball, golf, really anything sports-related. That's kind of me in a nutshell. In the summertime find us outside and in the wintertime find us cooped up inside because we don't do anything in the wintertime.

Michael Sayre 2:48
You were big into baseball growing up, right?

Justin Severson 2:51
Absolutely. Yeah, I've been in Luckily, I'm still able to play. There's a men's league here in Salt Lake, wood bat league, and so it's still over-hand baseball. I've been playing... I mean, I started playing when I was four. And so, this is going to tell you guys how old I am. So I've been playing for about 29 years. It's a blast. I've been blessed to have a decent arm, so no arm problems. I'm a catcher, so luckily no knee problems. I'm going to just keep going until I can't walk anymore. I'm going to try that route.

Michael Sayre 3:30
Tell us a little bit about what you do.

Justin Severson 3:33
I work at Paylocity. It's a payroll and HR company. So we're a software company in the payroll and HR space, and I've been here, it'll be three years this month. I'm lucky enough and blessed enough to go out and meet with organizations here in Salt Lake and talk to them. When it comes to HR and payroll systems and trying to help mitigate a lot of the manual processes and manual tasks that companies. I'm lucky enough to kind of be like that consultant where I work with companies and say, "Hey, here are some of the systems you're currently using" and try and figure out some ideas on what we can do to help streamline and automate processes. We're not spending a lot of time doing data entry type of work.

Michael Sayre 4:24
So Justin, what's your story there? What got you into that area of business?

Justin Severson 4:28
Yeah, so really, what drove me into it is is the technology aspect of it. I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to the technology and some of, just the cool features that we've seen throughout the past 10 or 15 years. When Paylocity, reached out to me a few years ago and said, "Hey, this is kind of the role and what you'd be doing. Here's the technology that you're gonna be orchestrating." I was like, man, this is, this is pretty cool. And just seeing how companies have utilized it. I'm not saying our technology, but just technology in general, to make life so much easier because like, let's say 15-20 years ago, companies were still filling out time cards on with pen and paper. Now they're able to do it from a mobile app or a computer. It's pretty cool to see how technology's impacted organizations and help them grow.

Here in Utah, we're called silicon slopes. We're able to see all these startup companies and all these tech companies and see what they're doing within the industry is just very cool. And that's what just drives me is watching the technology and how it's impacting not only from a business perspective but then personally as well. So I thought that's kind of a long answer from what drives me and what I'm doing.

Michael Sayre
Justin, what are the values that motivate you?

Justin Severson
Yeah, so probably the biggest value so when I'm meeting with companies and organizations, the coolest thing that I hear is, "Hey, what can we do, really to bring value to our workforce?" You know, the biggest thing that we're talking about is Hey, employee engagement, employee retention. That's what gets me motivated, because these companies nowadays are trying to figure out, hey, what can we do to set ourselves apart from the competition and bring that value? Because nowadays, know that the free lunches, the couches, the foosball tables, that's all fun. I think, if a company has that, that's awesome, because it's a good little break. But I don't necessarily feel that that brings added value on why someone that's going to want to come to work you work with you, you know, some of the values that people look for, in my opinion, is the culture.

The manager who they're working for, the products that they're going to be working on, you know, that's a huge value because if you're not enjoying what you're doing? I feel you need to get out of there. I think that's, we're here on this earth to live to be free to have fun. And so if you're not doing something that you enjoy, then you kind of have to take a step back and see, hey, what do I want to do? And how do I want to add value to those certain things? So just being able to see companies implement those types of tools of, hey, here are the managers we're working with, here's the product that we're working with. And helping those employees understand, hey, here's where we see you're going to be able to bring value and then just have them bring their strengths to the table, which is just, which is awesome. And so that's where I think from a value perspective, that's what people in companies are working on.

Michael Sayre 7:45
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So what do you see are some of the greatest opportunities then for some of these companies to engage their employees and to and to get, get retention by? Yes, just like what you were talking about there.

Justin Severson 8:02
If I can talk to companies that are just starting or companies that are established, I think the biggest thing that brings value, and to help engage those employees is just to be genuine. I think a lot of times people out there, they put on the second face and say, Hey, you know, this is what you're going to be working on, this is what you're going to be doing. And then when they start doing, it's something that they weren't aware of the type of thing. And so being able to bring that genuine mindset to the table, and letting them be free, instead of like, micromanaging and checking in every day, "Hey, have you accomplished like that?" That's great and all but I think for me, that just feels like you're in some sort of a working prison.

We're all humans. And so if you hire someone you're going to trust them. And so until they break that trust, I think you need to allow them to spread their wings a little bit, and just know that they're going to get the job done because everyone's gonna have their unique ways to complete that job. And so being able to bring that trust factor to the table and say, hey, look, here are the projects that we need to be working on. This is what you're going to be focusing on. And just being genuine and not being fake. So, you know, for me, I don't have a filter. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm an open book. You know, I started to think and I know we've talked about it, and I think people have seen that that sour chatter,

Michael Sayre 9:24
Yeah. I think that was a great idea.

Justin Severson 9:29
Yeah, and the reason I was doing it is because we have so many cool, genuine different people here in Salt Lake that I wanted to do it outside in an office setting. So that's why I'm always doing it in my truck, right. I wanted to do something a little bit different. But I'm not dressing up. I'm not being you know, the professional Justin and whatnot. I'm just being myself and asking fun questions because I think it's cool and people ask questions to peel back that onion a little bit and get to know someone. And so I was like, you know, I want to start something here in Salt Lake where we can have fun because who doesn't like candy. But, also in the same time, it's really getting to know people outside of the office because, I think people should act the same as they would in an office as they do outside an office just to get to know them, there's no need to put on a separate face, you know,

Michael Sayre 10:22
kind of along those lines, a couple of my thoughts when it comes to that. I think that's one of the reasons why it's so important to hire people that have the same values as a company and that match that culture. Because if you have someone that's their game faces to be a stuffy kind of person or whatnot, and they're in a super relaxed environment, that's not going to be a good fit. I think you're right. People have to be real. They've got to be who they are. And instead of putting on a mask,

Justin Severson 10:54
Yeah, we try to enjoy life too.

Michael Sayre 10:57
How did you get that idea to do that? Sour chatter,

Justin Severson 11:01
I love comedies. And so Kevin Heart, he's one of my favorite comedians like the movies is in and some of the things that he does, it makes me laugh. And so he has a series on YouTube called cold as balls. And basically, what he does is he's interviewing athletes and celebrities in ice tubs. So he said, He's sitting in ice tubs. And so it's, it was just a funny environment. So I was like, What can I do to be similar to that? And so I some of the things that I was thinking of is, hey, maybe I can sit in the sauna with someone or do something to that extreme, but I'm like, Well, I don't have access to a sauna unless I go to the gym. Plus, I don't know if people want to sit there and sweat in front of a camera. And so I was just really taken out. You know, what are some different ideas that are not too extreme. And I just remember warheads and I hate sour things like it just Oh, yeah. I just like my face. I can't Yeah. Go to the extreme with a sour and so my wife's like, "Hey, what about kind of doing something with warheads?" And I was like, you know, that's a good idea. And so we just try to structure it to say, Okay, let's just start with warheads. It's honestly taken off, like, I'm shocked by how big it's become. It's been fun. It's a good way to interact with people that I'm maybe not that familiar with. But then also, at the same time, make people laugh like that. That's one of the main goals of this is Hey, what can I do to go out there and make people laugh? I'm sure I've mastered my face when I put warheads in. But that's just part of the game because yeah, I don't do good was our thing. So that's where we kind of got that idea is branching off of what Kevin Hart was doing, but try to make it not as extreme as his.

Michael Sayre 12:44
Justin, thanks again for joining us. I enjoyed our conversation. You brought up some really good points, and I think this will be helpful for the listeners.

Justin Severson 12:53
Yeah. I appreciate you letting me come on and bend your ear for a few minutes.

Michael Sayre 12:57
Well, you take care out there.

Justin Severson 12:59
Thanks, Michael.

Disclosures 13:01
securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services Inc. Member FINRA SIPC, registered investment advisory firm insurance offered through ci Wealth Management Seaway Wealth Management LLC and Woodbury Financial Services Inc. are not affiliated entities. Justin Seaver sun and paylocity are not affiliated with COI wealth management or Woodbury financial services. See why wealth management is located at 5965 South 900 East suite 150 Salt Lake City, Utah 84121