By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Wages Funeral Home’s Don Railey... newly certified John Maxwell Coach
By Beth Volpert-Johansen

Motivated employees make for strong businesses. Strong businesses know that motivating employees must reach beyond the doors of commerce and stretch into the community.

For Wages Funeral Home, motivating their employees and volunteers is central to their business model that was established when Mr. Tom Wages first opened the doors in 1949. Keeping that motivation growing is the job of Don Railey.

Newly certified as a John Maxwell Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker, Don has been tasked with training, managing and motivating the staff and volunteers at Wages to become more than they are and all that they could be. “I had to grow myself before I could ask anyone else to grow,” says Don. “My biggest challenge was inspiring and training volunteers; I needed to be more before I could ask them to do more.”

As an ordained minister, Don has spent the last 40 years motivating a variety of people to serve here at home and overseas. When he began his job at Wages, CEO Rick Johnson asked Don to help them become a better company and to better serve the community. “We promote our staff’s efforts in their community service and want to help them be more effective in those roles they chose,” says Rick. “They are passionate about their local causes, but we can all benefit from leadership training so that we can all do more in all the areas in which we serve.”

In a business like Wages Funeral Home, staff and the bereavement volunteers are the people who bring comfort at stressful times to the community. In order to be better at their jobs, Don provides instruction using the John Maxwell training he has recently completed. “I have been a student of John Maxwell for years, but decided to complete my certification training in order to be more useful in speaking, training, and leadership,” says Don. “My passion is and my fulfillment comes from helping others succeed at their life goals while rising to the next level in their leadership skills.”

Becoming a John Maxwell Certified Coach has also improved Don’s skillset when it comes to the Wages Night Team. This special group is tasked with removing the deceased during the overnight hours. “Taking loved ones into our care is something that must be done with compassion,” says Don. “I train the team, schedule and handle anything that might arise from the situation.” Don feels that his own studies with John Maxwell have increased his sense of compassion and ability to convey that to the team members so that they are able to increase their own leadership abilities during a trying time. Overall, this leadership is indicative of the passion Wages shows in caring for all members of the community.

This passion for service fits well into the Wages philosophy of supporting leadership in the community. “Our goal is for Don to help us serve better each year,” says Rick. Don is in agreement. “Now that I have learned how much more there is to leadership, I am able to convey that and effectively demonstrate our caring and compassion for families,” says Don. “If we can do that, we will continue Mr. Tom’s (Wages)