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Tracee Comstock | Executive People Leader

Tracee Comstock: A Highly Accomplished Executive Leader in the Field of Human Resources

An accomplished executive leader in the field of human resources, Tracee Comstock is Executive People Leader at Nature’s Sunshine Products. With a passion for building better companies, Tracee has a proven track record of implementing successful people strategies that improve employee engagement, create better workplace cultures, develop strong leaders, and ultimately drive results. Her expertise has even earned her multiple “Employer of the Year” and “Best Company to Work For” awards.

Tracee’s talent for recruiting top talent and leading teams to become billion-dollar organizations is a testament to her ability to create positive and productive work environments. What sets her apart is her unique approach to HR – she’s not a stuffy policy maker, but rather a fun and engaging person who values input from the front lines. Tracee’s ultimate passion is people, and she works tirelessly to ensure that every employee feels valued and supported. Tracee also served as President of the Salt Lake Society of Human Resources (SL SHRM) and was on the Board of Directors for ten years. She has also worked with Utah Vally University on the UVU Advisory Board mentoring students going into HR.

The interview with Tracee Comstock provided valuable insights into her approach to building better companies with engaged, happy, and motivated employees. The interview showcases Tracee’s strategies for creating positive workplace environments that drive results.

Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Nature’s Sunshine. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?

I joined Nature’s Sunshine over five years ago. Our CEO and Executive Team have been working for the past five years on transforming the business, through focusing on key strategies and aligning our priorities globally. We achieved the highest revenue in Company History in 2020 and 2021 during the middle of a pandemic.

As far as HR Strategies, I worked with our HR Team to create “best company to work for” strategies, by creating a better culture, better employee experience and total rewards portfolio to attract and retain top talent.  When I first arrived, we had one three-fold brochure about the benefits the company provided, there was no orientation or onboarding material to really engage employees and help them to learn more about our history, our mission, vision, values, and products etc. We set out to create better branded collateral to improve engagement and encourage our employees to participate in our new Wellness Rewards program, which is focused on living an active and healthy lifestyle, utilizing our products, learning more about our products and sharing our products with others.  We are a health and wellness company, and our employees’ well-being is a top priority. We want our employees to be productive, happy and love working for Nature’s Sunshine.  In addition, we have focused on developing our leaders to help them to multiply the talents on their teams and to help them to lead their teams more effectively.

Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision.

Our mission is to share the healing power of nature with the world, with a vision to become the nutritional supplement company of the future. As true pioneers in the modern herbal movement, we are passionate about the healing power of nature. We work each day to create and share the finest herbal and plant-based solutions for today’s health and wellness needs. We also manufacture our own vitamins and other nutritional supplements following rigorous quality standards. We test all our raw materials for heavy metals, pathogens, pesticides and herbicides, dirt, and other impurities to ensure they meet the strictest health and safety standards.

Enlighten us on how you have been impacting the herbal health supplement niche through your expertise in the market.

As the first company to encapsulate herbs over 50 years ago, Nature’s Sunshine is really in a unique position in our industry. We manufacture over 600 products and distribute them globally around the world. No one else has the knowledge, experience, or expertise that we have, particularly when you consider that many of our people have worked here for 20, 30 and 40 years, and the average tenure is 10.5 years. We translate that knowledge into crafting the world’s purest and most potent natural supplements available. And we see that in the results our customers experience.

Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.

For over 50 years, Nature’s Sunshine has been sharing the healing power of nature with the world. And as one of the first companies to encapsulate herbs, Nature’s Sunshine has a tremendous legacy that has been built by our incredible people.

We are committed to the success of our People. Our people matter, they contribute to and make a difference in our future success. That is why we are focused on creating a great place to work, where employees feel they belong; feel heard; feel well and balanced; and can grow professionally and personally.

Our community welcomes diverse talent and believes that our diversity makes us better, stronger, and happier in both work and life. We intentionally build a workforce of people with viewpoints and backgrounds as diverse as the customers we serve around the world.

Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?

Technology is moving to the forefront of our efforts globally, particularly as we expand on our omni-channel efforts to reach customers through multiple channels.

For over 50 years, we have supported our network of thousands of independent distributors—many of whom are herbal experts, which operate specialty retail shops or conduct personal health consultations to build personal relationships with their clients.

In today’s world of Amazon shopping, many consumers have transitioned to online e-commerce purchases. However, they still want a personal experience, and we are leveraging technology to help make their shopping experience better, whether it is in a physical store, on our website, through social channels, or through an email or text on their phone. We are using data more than ever to better understand both existing and potential customers and learn how to connect others with nature.

What, according to you, could be the next significant change in the herbal health supplement sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

Sustainability and transparency are among the biggest opportunities ahead of us in the natural health sector. As herbal experts, we have already taken significant strides in this area through our extensive commitment to quality, purity, and potency in all of our ingredients and finished supplements. With the push for sustainability in the broader market, however, we are now formalizing much of what we have been doing and exploring new directions in which we can take the lead in these areas.

Last year we took a huge step towards this by publishing our first-ever environmental, social and governance report. In preparing this, we have been able to prioritize our efforts in sourcing, manufacturing, emissions, packaging, energy usage, etc. and establish goals to drive our efforts.

Among those goals was the desire to power our manufacturing plant using 100% renewable energy, which we accomplished in June of last year. Now every Nature’s Sunshine product made in our facility is produced using only the sustaining, life-giving power of the sun.

We have also significantly reduced our greenhouse gas emissions, reduced plastic usage by updating our packaging and converting to post-consumer recycled plastics. And we have invested in and expanded our recycling efforts to reduce waste.

We understand that to share the healing power of nature with the world, we must protect and preserve that power, and we are excited to continue building out our ESG strategies and become a leader in this area.

Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Nature’s Sunshine?

Nature’s Sunshine has a very promising future. We have the best, most potent natural supplements in the world, and as we grow our global footprint and brand, we will continue to manufacture superior products and provide natural solutions to our customers—customized to their individual needs—around the world.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the herbal health supplement industry?

Be curious and learn all you can about natural herbs and how they can benefit the body. Secondly, get a good education. And learn about business, study competitors, learn more about cost accounting, finance and then your area of expertise. Third, learn from a great mentor; learn from them, they will help you to become better and to be more successful. Lastly, surround yourself with great leaders, and a great team. It takes teamwork to transform as business and to achieve results.