Maximus employee’s passion for giving back leads to leadership role in new ERG
Janelle Peoples lives a life of volunteerism in and out of work. As one of the newest Black Alliance employee resource group (ERG) officers at Maximus, she helps to support, connect, and educate her fellow employees.
Peoples, who is a call center operations supervisor, helped start one of Maximus' first three ERGs earlier this year. She said she sees her ERG officer role as an extension of her supervisory job.
"A big part of being a supervisor is helping to build the team's morale," she said. "I try to do things to make it more exciting and come up with different ideas that get people excited to come to work."
Whether it’s supporting her team or customers, helping others is a passion for Peoples.
"Helping to develop agents and helping them reach their full potential is the most enjoyable thing about my job,” she said.
Peoples said her love for her culture drew her to the Black Alliance ERG.
"I thought joining and serving as an ERG officer would be a great opportunity because of the work that I already do outside; I can also make an impact at my job," she said. "How much more fulfilling could that be to be at a place where not only can you make a difference in someone's career path, but you can also help with their quality of life? I want to do anything I can to help people achieve a better quality of life. I want to be a part of that."
Being a founding member of the Black Alliance has allowed her and co-leader Nicole Terrel to build the group from the ground up.
"I had to become a part of it; there was no other option," she said. "I've never been a part of a company that cares so much about its people in this regard – where they are willing to set groups aside like this and dedicate themselves to allow us to build and create the ERG and make it our own. It's so special to me."
Peoples added that she is excited to begin offering discovery sessions, community conversations and other teambuilding activities with the widely dispersed ERG members.
"I'm so grateful for Nicole, and I believe she will help take this ERG to the next level," she said. "I'm very excited to bring initiatives forward to help people. I'm very grateful to Maximus for the opportunity to be here and coach and develop people and the trust they have in me."
Peoples' love for volunteering doesn't end there. She also spent more than 9 years in the U.S. Army, serving in human resources and transportation roles, and 10 years as a youth cheerleading coach. In 2019, she started a nonprofit, Sisters in Unity, Inc., a mentorship program for girls in grades 3-8 living in the Chesterfield, Virginia, area.
"The nonprofit is geared toward young ladies in urban and rural areas who are latchkey kids or may not have a parent around all the time," she said. "Sisters in Unity helps bridge the gap to give them the resources to help them obtain a better quality of life."