June 2019
Enabling Growth and Balance
Growth is our focus and engagement is our strength.
Auxin Group is a self-directed, professionally guided Career (Re)Engagment Development Program
Our Team
Steve Merkin
Meet Board Member Steve Merkin, Advocate for (Re)Engagers

Steve Merkin discovered a career in human resources brought together his interests in people and business. Now, he’s using his professional HR experience as a member of the Auxin Group Advisory Board. “I’ve always believed in supporting employees in transition,” he said.

Steve is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at RoundTable Health Partners. He met Laura Morgan , Auxin Group Founder and President , through the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC) and thought Auxin was a great idea. “I see employees lose confidence because they’ve been away and feel they can’t go back to where they were, and that's unfortunate,” he said, adding, “ I think people should be able to return to where they left off.”

In addition to his full-time job, Steve is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign where he teaches a graduate level course on change management. He has adapted his curriculum for a series of Auxin programs on the same topic. The first session provides an overview of change management and presents the idea that “change needs to be planful.” The second session dives deeper into the topic and looks at how to handle communications and stakeholders in the midst of change.

As an HR professional, Steve recognizes the specific issues women face in today’s world and has seen companies finding creative ways for women to have flexibility around their family and their career. Steve is also the father of two daughters, ages 23 and 21, and has offered them some advice that’s helpful for men and women:

  • Try to understand other people’s perspectives.
  • Don’t take work too personally.
  • Follow your passion.

Above all, he says, everyone’s situation is unique, and you have to do what’s right for your family.
Auxin Group is always looking for great people.
Click here to let us know you are interested
or to refer candidates to our Talent Management Team.
Learning & Development
Successful Strategies to Grow Your Nest Egg
If you're returning to work, certainly your financial situation is part of the equation. Will you be earning a significant salary or bringing in less than when you left the workforce? What about your expenses? Work clothes? Commuting? Child care? During a recent Auxin session, Greg Bielak , a millennial who started investing on his own right out of high school, shared his strategies:

  • Know where your money is going. Research companies to find out about their products, projects, and outlook.
  • Avoid fees on your bills by making payments on time.
  • Use an auto payment service so you don’t risk late fees.
  • Always compare prices on any major purchase.
  • Review bank and credit card statements. Mistakes can happen.
  • Live within your means. Before you buy something, consider if you can REALLY afford it.

Greg recommends these resources:

Greg suggests getting started by making two investments. Then, add some money each year, maybe around tax-refund time. 
Greg Bielak

Greg Bielak graduated from UW-Platteville with degrees in Mathematics and Physics with an emphasis in Secondary Education while also pursuing a third degree in Electronics Engineering. He currently works as a Test Engineer II at Intermatic Inc. in Spring Grove.

Greg started investing after the economy collapsed in 2008 and turned a 400% profit on his savings of a couple thousand dollars. Ever since then, he’s been fascinated with investing. He's also interested in technology and 3D printing and is an avid runner who has completed four marathons. Here at Auxin, we are impressed at how Greg practices W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. in a natural and effortless way.
W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. Reminder

The ability to manage both short-term and long-term needs leads to Financial Wellness . It results from the ongoing practice of striking a balance between living responsibly today and planning wisely for tomorrow. The focus is not just on creating a plan but also managing it over time.
Click here to review all the components of W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. and set your own goals. We believe when we combine these components with associates who are actively involved, they will (re)launch successfully.  
Join Auxin’s Speaker’s Bureau

Our Learning and Development program covers a wide range of topics related to career re-engagement as well as growth and balance. Our sessions run virtually and in person. 

Currently, we are looking for presenters to discuss:

  • Life & Energy
  • Leadership
  • Earning & Spending

Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Spread your message
  • Present your program
  • Get some feedback
  • Build your network

If you have a topic you are passionate about, email Kelly Greffin , Auxin Engagement Director, with your subject, bio, and headshot. 

We’d love to put you on our calendar!
Thank You for Being Late
Coming up in July...
Thank You For Being Late
Ever feel like the world is moving so fast that you just can’t keep up? In Thomas L. Friedman’s book, Thank You for Being Late , he looks at the forces creating our supersonic society, how you can deal with it, and why it makes sense to slow down and dare to be late. Watch his presentation on this topic or read or listen to the book and join us for a discussion.
July 18, 11:30am -1pm, Onsite & Virtual
July 23
What You Need to Know to be an Independent Contractor
If you want to become a self-employed consultant, you need a solid plan for your business and the knowledge to set it up. We’ll help you take the first steps toward starting your own business.
July 23, 10am-11:30am, Virtual
Visit our events calendar to sign up for this program and learn about others.
Our clients are welcome to attend our programs and workshops.
We hope you will join us!
Project Work
Is Auxin Group Right for Your Project?

If your next business problem has you scratching your head, perhaps a team of Auxin Group Consultants can help. 

Our consultants are:

  • Driven to take on your challenge and deliver solutions
  • Creative, strategic thinkers who know how to collaborate and communicate
  • Connected with and trained to utilize modern tools and resources
  • Motivated to (re)establish their credentials as results-oriented achievers
  • Organized and efficient

We will take your project from beginning to end and present a conclusion that is guaranteed to impress.
 Auxin Group is an “on-hand” team of multi-skilled and motivated specialists
who have flexible schedules, experience, knowledge
and collaborative tools to get the job done quickly.
On Laura’s Mind...
water drops on leaf
Pause & Pivot: A Strategy for Growth

If you’ve spent time with me, you know I’m a big fan of hitting the pause and pivot buttons. It can make a difference in the moments that are challenging and those that call for celebration. 

During difficult times that press your hot button, it’s valuable to take a moment for yourself and those around you. It may seem nerve-wracking and time consuming to stop in the middle of a tense situation to talk through an issue. However, in the long run, everyone will benefit from taking a breath, acknowledging the issue, and figuring out how to proceed - perhaps even pivot - in a direction that works for all.

In the course of a recent team call, I had the opportunity to pause a colleague who sounded unsure about a project despite evidence that indicated there was no reason to worry. I stopped her mid-conversation and reminded her to stand proud and feel confident. In other words, I paused the discussion and encouraged her to pivot to a more positive mindset. It’s a strategy that encourages self-awareness.

Pausing and pivoting is not just for the workplace. Try it at home with your family. Just be sure to let everyone know what’s happening. Announce that you are changing lanes and trying something new. We all know that one idea isn’t going to be the right idea forever. We have to display flexibility, develop agility, and create a culture that can handle change. It’s how we grow.

Laura Morgan is the Founder/President of Auxin Group.
Her 30-year career in Human Resource Management has taught
her to embrace growth and balance. Her recipe is simple: work, volunteer and play. She launched Auxin Group to teach others to do the same.
Articles of Interest
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Auxin Group, a division of MorganHR, is a unique benefit program that provides relevant training and collaborative project-based experiences to encourage ongoing growth and development.