Entries by Amanda Hammett

Next Generations Rockstars: Season 2 Wrap Up

Season 2 brought leaders from a variety of different industries and company sizes. The one thing they all had in common was their focus on their people. That focus on their employees has made these leaders and these companies some of the fastest growing and best places to work.

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The Transcript - Next Generations Rockstars: Season 2 Wrap Up

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Welcome to the Next Generations RockstarsHoward Behar podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

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Hey and welcome to this week's episode of The Next Generation rock stars podcast. So this episode is actually a wrap up of the entire season too. And what an amazing season this was. This season has brought about leaders from all different companies and there have been some big names that we've brought in Howard Behar from Starbucks. There was Horst Schulze who is one of the co-founders of the Ritz Carlton known for their culture known for their customer service. Then there was Fran Katsoudas who is the chief people officer at Cisco Systems globally.

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Matt Schuyler who is the Chief H.R. officer over there. Hilton Hotels again a massive global company. But then there are also people that you may not have heard of before their episode came out. People like. Ben Wright at Velocity global making a huge different difference over there.

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Alan Cherry was the former head of H.R. at Tesla. Now he's at a company called our planet earth and they're doing some amazing work. But then you also have someone like Crystal Khalil at Pausch North America and of course Cassie Buckroyd of Columbia Sportswear. All of those people whether they're a big household name or you know people you might not have heard of before their episode went live. These people are making a difference in their early career talent. And I would venture to guess it's not just their early career talent that they're making a difference for it's really everybody who's lives that they're coming into contact with.

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And the third touching and making a difference on because you know what you source in each and every one of these interviews is that they are creating an environment within their company or a culture within their company or people want to come to work. And when people want to come to work you see a big difference in the type of work that they're doing in the fact that they're giving it their all. They want to innovate. They want to make a difference. They want to be more productive and in the end, companies tend to see increases in productivity profitability.

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You know just a few important things that CEOs like to see on bottom lines. But do you know why they're doing it. It's because these employees feel supported. They feel that their company but more importantly their leader. They feel like they see them as more than just this cog in the big corporate wheel. They feel that their leader and their company sees them holistically as a real person with actual real things going on in their lives. And that's really important. That has made all the difference. Every single one of these leaders is making that difference every single day.

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And I think that is something that each and every one of us can learn from. You know maybe we don't implement everything that my Schuyler at Hilton is implementing across you know a massive global workforce. Maybe it's just we pick out one or two things as lessons learned that we can implement today or maybe you take the lead from someone like Cassie Buckroyd at Columbia Sportswear where she is taking in things and saying OK you know what. This was a great lesson learned. We listened to our employees and this is how we're implementing it.

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You know she's taking in that survey information and then she's taking action and making a real positive change for her employees. So these are just some small things that different companies have done. But what can you do as a leader as an employee of a company maybe as a CEO of a company? What can you do to make a difference for your employees or for your team or maybe your entire company? What are some small things that will have large ripple effects so that the people sitting around you day in and day out know that you see them?

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Not just as someone who gets work done but you see them as somebody who makes a difference you see them as somebody who's human and it has all the emotions and things with being a human that are all involved. We've really seen this massive integration between work and life. It's no longer two separate entities. It really is. An integration. There's no balance to it. It really is integration with all the technology that we've introduced besides cell phones besides email. We really have. Integrated work life and personal life.

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And I feel like that's going to. That trend is going to continue it's only going to become even more integrated as we go along. As more technology is rolled out. So what are you going to do as a leader to stay in front of it? What are you going to do in order to help your employees master that integration? And as a leader what are you going to do for yourself to master that integration.

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So Season 2 was pretty amazing. We had some great guest and I think that you will see season 3 brings about even more amazing guests. Season 3 will be all about young employees so millennials and if we can find some Joneses who are now leading teams maybe for the first time maybe they've been leading teams for a little while now. But we're gonna learn about their lessons learned. What did they learn along the way what was maybe some of the mistakes that they made? And how did their leaders support them how did their company support them as they made that tradition or a transition from individual contributor to leader of a team.

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So looking forward to seeing you in season three of the next generation rock stars that will be launching early 2020. All right see you then.

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So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

REPLAY: Building High Performing Teams with Fran Katsoudas

Employee retention is on the minds of every leader from the C-Suite down. But what if the conversation about #employeeretention is focused on the wrong things? Learn from Fran Katsoudas, Chief People Officer at Cisco Systems as she shares the importance of being more proactive and designing programs that bring out the best in your employees thus making them want to stay and become high performers.

Francine Katsoudas is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer of Cisco. As the leader of Cisco’s People Strategy and Human Resources Organization, Katsoudas is helping to accelerate Cisco’s transformation through leadership, attracting and retaining the best talent and building a culture of innovation. A major priority for Katsoudas is focusing on how Cisco wins in the talent marketplace while creating a compelling employee experience.

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The Transcript - Building High Performing Teams

Welcome to the next generation rock stars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent or you are in the right place.

Hi and welcome to this week's episode of the Next Generation Rock Stars podcast. I am your host, Amanda Hammett and I am thrilled to have you today. Today's episode is a really special one because I am sharing this episode. It is a joint interview between myself and my husband, Gene Hammett, who is the host of the popular business podcast "Leaders in the Trenches". And together we had the opportunity to sit down in person and interview Fran Katsoudas who is the Chief People Officer at Cisco Systems. Now, one of the most interesting things that came out of this interview and trust me, there were multiple, but just the focus on developing leaders in the way in which Cisco is doing it and trust me, they are doing it in some really innovative and different ways. There were a few stories that Fran shared during this interview that both Gene and I were really taken aback and just awed at how they're approaching developing their leaders. So I think that this is something that each and every leader should think about and take notes from because Fran is, she's a leader, she is a pioneer. She is looking at developing teams. She is looking at developing individuals for 75,000 employees around the globe. And she is doing a fantastic job. So I hope you take lots of notes. And here is Fran Katsoudas with Cisco Systems.

Gene Hammett: 01:43
Hi, this is Gene with leaders in the trenches. And also we have Amanda.

Amanda Hammett: 01:48
Hi, this is Amanda Hammett and this is with the next generation of rock stars.

Gene Hammett: 01:51
If you don't know Amanda's my wife. So, she's been on the podcast before and episode 100 but we have a very special guest today. We have a friend cut us with Cisco. She, I will let her introduce herself because the title is not that hard. It's the chief people officer, which is much easier to say the chief human resources officer. Fran, tell us a little bit about you and who you serve.

Fran Katsoudas: 02:16
Okay. Yeah. Thank you so much. So that my title changed about four years ago and I think that's part of the shift to really focusing on people and experience. And so, I think the people that I serve are all of our employees at Cisco and I take that incredibly seriously. I think it's one of the most amazing jobs. And in my role, I'm helping to hopefully create amazing careers for 75,000 employees.

Gene Hammett: 02:42
I think it's a much better title.

Amanda Hammett: 02:44
I do too. I think that it really reflects the culture that you guys have built at Cisco.

Gene Hammett: 02:51
I, you know, I'm going to let the audience know a little bit more about my research and you too, Fran. The key thing is I study growth companies and I over 300 leaders about what's the most important thing to grow. Is it a customer first or employee first? And 94% of smaller companies will say it's employee first. So I probably know where you are on this, but where do you, where do you rank in that?

Fran Katsoudas: 03:13
Okay. Yeah, you know, this, um, these things go hand in hand. And I, and I think if you asked the question, uh, five or seven years ago, the 94% could be customer first. It could have been, right. I think now all of us realize that when you take care of your people, they take care of the customer and they do the right thing, not only for the customers but for the community as well. And I think that's a little bit of the shift even for large companies like Cisco.

Gene Hammett: 03:38
Well, we're talking to you because you made the list and how many years in a row have you made the great places to work list?

Fran Katsoudas: 03:45
So we've been on the list for 22 years.

Gene Hammett: 03:49
Okay, that's, they put people first.

Amanda Hammett: 03:52
Apparently yes, very much so. I mean, 22 years. That's amazing. And I, has anybody else ever reached that pinnacle?

Fran Katsoudas: 04:00
I do think that there are a few other companies that have. But you know, I'll tell you because I feel it's important to say in 22 years, we've had some really phenomenal years. I think the highest that we've been is number three. And then we had years that were more challenged. And we talked about this the other night. We were at number 90 at one point. And so it's been fascinating for us to be at those numbers and with each year and every level of recognition. I think there was a question around what do we need to do? And sometimes that's been harder and sometimes a little east.

Gene Hammett: 04:36
Well, I want to direct our conversation into a topic that a lot of companies are struggling with it. This is big companies, medium-sized companies, small companies, and that's retaining key employees. So this is, you know, other words retention. Why is retention so important for business today?

Fran Katsoudas: 04:53
Yeah. Cause we know there's nothing better than having amazing people in teams. And so I think we all talk about retention because we don't want to lose that. And especially when you have something that's working, it's just so critical. The other thing that we recognize, there are really unique skills that are out there and from a technology space, skills are changing. Like the life of skill at this moment is becoming shorter and shorter. And so I think that's an element of why we talk about retention.

Amanda Hammett: 05:22
So Fran, in your journey of all of these 22 years on the great places to work list, I would imagine that over the years you guys have put on some key projects to really help you retain that talent and not only retain it, but also rescale it as those skills change.

Fran Katsoudas: 05:40
Yeah. It's interesting because I hesitate a little bit when I think about retention because there's something about that that if you're not careful, you can be on your heels a bit. And so rather than putting in retention programs, what I want to put our amazing programs that allow people to be at their best. And for every employee, they have some very unique things going on at work and at home and there are different paths that we have. And so I feel like our job is to architect these potential paths for people. There was a point probably about seven or eight years ago where I was spending so much time talking about retention and I don't think it was the right dialogue. What I needed to be talking about is how do we help people be at their absolute best? How do we help them work on teams where they feel like their work is having a tremendous impact. So that's a little bit of the shift that we've been through.

Gene Hammett: 06:37
It seems like that's more of a shift from retention is like kind of a reactive to what's going on, whereas you're getting more proactive.

Fran Katsoudas: 06:44
That's what I should have said. Yes,

Amanda Hammett: 06:46
You did. You did. You said that.

Gene Hammett: 06:49
A key question, you just came off the stage great, conversation kind of panel of what Cisco is doing, um, to move forward in the next 22 years. But you mentioned a project and I don't know what it's called, but you ask employees about what do they love and what do they loathe. So how often do you do that and why do you do that?

Fran Katsoudas: 07:10
Yeah, so there's a technology that we put in place. I think it's almost three years ago that Marcus Buckingham created, um, ADP recently acquired this company. And so every week, um, we go on our phones, there's an app that we have and we share our priorities for the week. We share what we loved and what we load from the previous week, and then how we feel about whether or not we're really. Really working in a way that demonstrates our strengths and then the level of value or impact that we think we're having. And it's something that candidly will take me about five minutes. Um, I do it weekly and Chuck Robbins, our CEO reviews my check-in and then he'll provide feedback. And so if you think about it, at its core, what it's doing is it's allowing us to quickly connect on the work. And then there's something a lot more powerful as it's giving chuck insights through what I love around what really fuels me as an employee.

Fran Katsoudas: 08:07
And then what I load, which was those things that drain. And I think as our role as leaders is to really do more of the love and help our employees on the load side of the house.

Amanda Hammett: 08:16
And I will say that I, you know, I've worked with some of your leaders and they have all had that exact same response to, to that APP and to that feedback on a weekly basis and that they really have enjoyed being able to see, okay, where am I missing ball, where can I help my people more? And I think that that's a major cultural just benefit that everybody's enjoyed.

Fran Katsoudas: 08:37
That's so funny Amanda, because um, everyone's different. Right? And so, as a leader, you start to understand your people in different ways. Like there are some members of my team where they rarely put anything in load. So when something is there, I need to get to them. I need a call them, I need to meet him cause I know there's something really heavy for them. So it's kind of fun because as leaders I think you get to know your people and I would never expect that they use at the same way. I think that's wonderful. But we learn a lot.

Gene Hammett: 09:07
It was good. How often do you do it?

Fran Katsoudas: 09:09
I probably do it three out of four weeks, so I will sometimes, if I'm traveling I'll miss a week or if I'm with chuck, but we ask people to do it at least. We try for weekly, at least every other week. And it's just a powerful way for us to connect.

Gene Hammett: 09:26
I want to be clear about this cause for, and you talked about you filling out this and you report to the CEO. Um, but how many thousand people are actually doing this program?

Fran Katsoudas: 09:35
Yes. So we've rolled it out to all employees around the globe. Now I'll tell you the number I, I really, really care about. Um, when we first rolled it out, we were seeing employees enter their information and we could see that in some cases a manager wouldn't read it. And that's pretty heartbreaking. Like, think about it. You go through this, this exercise of putting in your priorities you love and loathe and you're probably like sitting there going, I'm not going to say like, what are they going to say to that? And we worked with our leaders and now that rate is 92%. So 92% of the checkins are red. And we know that for the 8%. Sometimes they're red after the week. but that's really important. I call that the attention rate. And it's a question around our leaders paying attention to our people.

Amanda Hammett: 10:20
Absolutely. And that's one of the biggest things in my work that I see with next generation talent is that they want to have their voices heard. And this is a wonderful, beautiful, almost immediate way to do that.

Gene Hammett: 10:32
I'm going to switch the conversation a little bit. Back to my research. I study fast growing companies and one of the core factors of that has been, um, transparency and the word I actually use because a lot of these fast growing companies or adamant about it and as they use radical transparencies, and that's what you guys said on stage. So what is radical called transparency in terms of leadership?

Fran Katsoudas: 10:55
I think it's sharing what's not working. I think it's sharing those places where you perhaps did something wrong. I think it's just driving an honest discussion sometimes. I think it's actually more about the listening part for us from a senior leadership perspective in January of this year. And it was important to us. We wanted to kick off the year again with, with a signal of what was important to us. We actually shared with all of our employees at a company meeting, we do the monthly, all of the employee relations cases that we've had for the first half of our fiscal year. And we shared with them, you know, cases like cases around bullying and harassment, cases where perhaps I'm, someone felt like they were not being heard. And then we shared with our employees what we had done as a result of those cases. And the response to that, I think will drive more transparency from our employees in their own stories. And it's funny, I've had situations where I'll get out of the elevator and employee will say, Hey, that story that was real. Like I've had that happen to me. And so that's a little bit of what we're really pushing towards. Cause I think when we have that will be better as a company in every way.

Gene Hammett: 12:09
Follow up question. That is a lot of people are interested in transparency and some people are committed. What would you say to those people that are just merely interested?

Fran Katsoudas: 12:17
Well, I get it. I get it because it's hard. It's really hard. And um, we were just on stage with Mark Chandler who is our general counsel at Cisco and he's an amazing partner in that because I think what you have to be willing to do is understand that in some cases, transparency will lead to more conversation and work to be done. But the issues are there. Um, and so I would say that the faster that you can address the issues, the more that you're gonna be able to move on. And so I think we have to move to committed in this regard.

Amanda Hammett: 12:55
So I'd like to switch gears a little bit. Um, something that came up on during that panel was brought up by Amy Chang. Um, but it's something that I've actually seen also in heard from the leadership that I've worked with is the caring, the culture of caring that you have cultivated. But Amy's specifically said it comes from you directly and your team and it trickles down. And I love that. And so I, I'd like to, I'd like to know a little bit more about what benefit do you feel that that's given not only to you and your team, but also overall to your 75,000 employees?

Fran Katsoudas: 13:28
Well, she was very kind. I mean, it really does start with our CEO, Chuck Robbins. I think he's someone that in every engagement you see his passion and caring. Um, and it comes from our employees. And I'm a big believer in this magic of when things happen at the top and then throughout the organization, a lot of times I refer to it as the sandwich. Um, when we were doing work in August, identifying our principles as a company, we went around to, all of our employees around the globe are to focus groups and, um, what came out is they feel that we're a caring company. And so one of our principles is all around how we give of ourselves. I think, you know, my team sets a tone, which I absolutely love and I, and that's something I'm incredibly proud of and I think they do an amazing job. What we work really hard at is how do we connect the business strategy, um, to everything related to culture and people in organization and at the same time be there for one another.

Gene Hammett: 14:36
How do you transform leaders to really think about an increased to caring?

Fran Katsoudas: 14:43
I think leaders need to see it in action. I you know it's really hard. I mean, I think we've all been in situations where perhaps you see someone saying something on the stage and you think, hmm, I don't think that's really how it is. Right? And there's nothing, there's nothing worse than that. Um, and sometimes I feel really fortunate. I, um, I started at Cisco in the contact center. Um, I came in early in career and I answered phones. I remember talking to like 80 customers a day about their technical issues. And I think sometimes when you start at a company at a very entry level, you see so many different types of leaders, um, and you see some really good examples. So the first thing I would say is that leaders have to see it role model at, at every level in the company.

Fran Katsoudas: 15:32
And there can't be an exception and you have to call it when there is, which is incredibly hard. And you have to teach something that we've done recently. It sounds really funny. We've brought actors in to a leadership class and we've had the actors hand an employee a card that says your employee is talking over everyone in a team meeting. Go. And basically you have to have a conversation where you're helping your employee understand that that's going on. And so these are real life experiences. And so we're trying to coach and help and talk through as much as we can and make it real.

Amanda Hammett: 16:08
Awesome.

Gene Hammett: 16:08
That's pretty interesting. I've never heard of...

Amanda Hammett: 16:10
I have literally never heard of that.

Gene Hammett: 16:12
That's bringing actors.

Gene Hammett: 16:24
So let me take this one friend you talked on stage about some work you've done on forming of teams and what makes good teams. I've read some studies from Google as well. I'm sure you've probably read these as well. What can you tell us about best teams?

Fran Katsoudas: 16:44
Yeah, so for us it was really fascinating. We went out to the business about three years ago and we said, identify your best teams. And they identified about 97 teams across the company and we studied the 97 teams and then we studied a control group of 200 teams. And sure enough, we could see a difference. And, and honestly we didn't know if that was going to be the case or not. And so the delta that we saw was in three key areas on the best teams. We could see that employees were playing to their strengths and when employees play to their strengths, there are a lot more creative, there are a lot more productive. So it's pretty amazing for us. The second thing that we saw, and I think this was in the Google study as well, is that on teams where teammates feel like, hey mate, my teammates have my back.

Fran Katsoudas: 17:30
There's a big difference from a safety and trust perspective, that's incredibly important for growth and innovation as well. And then the last thing that we saw is on our best teams teams were aligned on how they were gonna win together. They, they had some shared values as it relates to where they were going. And so those were the three differentiators between the best teams in the control group. And then that became really the philosophy for a lot of what we do from a teams and leaders.

Amanda Hammett: 17:59
I think that, I think that that's really important, especially from my perspective with the young talent, is that finding those good leaders, because that is one of the things that I coach university students to think about is really look for that good first leader. That person that can really help you play to your strengths are figure out what your strengths are. Because coming out of college you may not know exactly what you're good at or you may develop new skills. And being with a leader who can help you do that and can guide you is beautiful. It's wonderful.

Gene Hammett: 18:27
So, Fran, we've been guiding most of these do questions is, is there something that we haven't asked you about that you feel like really would improve the employee experience?

Fran Katsoudas: 18:38
You know, there's something I'll share with you that we're focused on at the moment. And it's something where we're learning a lot and we're developing and there's this, um, there's this belief that we have in something called conscious culture. And the belief set is that when you have a conscious culture, every single employee is a leader within the company. And every single employee's conscious of their role in shaping the company and shaping our culture. There there's three things that we're focused on within this. The first is the environment. This is why, by the way we shared the employee relations cases because we want to have a really honest dialogue around the environment. The second pillar is all about the characteristics and the behaviors. And this is where our principals live. And then the last piece is really around what's your day to day experience. Cause I think if you have amazing principals, but again, your day to day experience is different. That's a big problem. And so for us, that's going to be our focus, but we're doing a lot of experimentation and pilots and we're learning. And it's something that we'll be happy to talk about in the future as well.

Amanda Hammett: 19:47
That's really fantastic.

Gene Hammett: 19:49
Well, we're gonna wrap this up. I one final question. I've heard a lot today, something that I don't hear much in a corporate setting, which is a mindset. I have heard this from my beginnings of becoming a coach. It was like, I guess nine years ago, and I didn't know what it was before that because I was sort of an engineer and I, you know, just get the work done and that's the kind of leader I was. But when I, when I went through this, I realized that the way I was thinking had a huge impact on what I saw and what I did and how I engaged. So what do you do to talk about mindsets and how do you work with your leaders on that?

Fran Katsoudas: 20:30
Yeah, I do think it's incredibly important. You know, one of the things that we do is we talk a lot about servant leadership and I think that's how you start to shift the mindset because basically what you're saying is that as a leader you are in service to the people around you. And that is such a different Lens than get the work done. One of my peers, she did this first and I loved it. Maria Martinez, she showed an org chart and she was at the very bottom of the org chart. And that's a great example of how you start to shift mindset by just signaling no, no, no. Okay. All of the people that I support, they are the important folks in this. And so there are things like that that I think are incredibly important. And then again, yeah, I think just being willing to have conversations that make us think to ask questions that'll make us really pause. I think those are all elements of how you change a mindset.

Gene Hammett: 21:22
So this wraps up a special episode of leaders in the trenches and the next generation rockstars.

Gene Hammett: 21:28
Thank you Fran for being here.

Fran Katsoudas: 21:29
Thank you.

Amanda Hammett: 21:30
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the next generation Rockstars, where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The 5 Types of Workers Hurting Your Employee Retention

Employee retention is one of the biggest and most expensive problems that companies have. If you have an employee leave before you are ready for them to leave, you know the cost of replacing that person is going to be expensive. Employee retention for some roles can be higher than 50 percent in a 12 month period. My special guest today is Gene Hammett, my husband who is a Speaker, Author, and Host of the Podcast "Growth Think Tank".

In this special episode, we look at employee retention in a fun way. We analyze the five types of workers that are hurting your bottom line. Gene and I share specific types of people that will cause a turnover. We talk about why employee retention matters.

Gene Hammett is a Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, Proven Business Consultant and Founder of Growth Think Tank (formerly know as “Leaders in the Trenches”) recognized by Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com for being a top podcast for leaders.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - The 5 Types of Workers Hurting Your Employee Retention

[00:00:00.060] - Amanda
Welcome to the Next Generation Rock stars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

[00:00:14.940] - Amanda
So today's episode is gonna be a little bit different than what you're used to seeing from me today. I've partnered with my hubby right here my hubby, my business partner Gene Hammett.

[00:00:25.590] - Gene
Well glad to be here with you. I run a podcast called Growth Think Tank and I work with the founders and leaders of the INC 5000 companies growing fast as one percent of companies in the world.

[00:00:39.510] - Amanda
Absolutely. So we are going to be taking a look at where our work collides and that happens to be in the world of employee retention. So this episode today is talking about the five types of workers who are hurting your employee retention. So follow along with us as we tell some comical stories from our own personal work experience or maybe from some of the companies that we've worked with previously where we talk about each type of the employees and how it's actually hurting your employee retention. But in there we're also going to be offering up a free framework that Gene and I have perfected over the years through our own work as entrepreneurs but also in working with other companies.

[00:01:24.360] - Amanda
And this framework is called the "Stay Framework" and it is super simple. It's something that we use to keep employees happy fulfilled and motivated at work. And let me tell you some of these things are so easy that you can implement them to day and see major major results out of your employees because that's all what we want. We want our employees to be productive. We want them to be efficient. But we also want them to stay. So sign up to get the free stay framework and with it we'll be offering up a free training that we've partnered with a company called Velocity global.

[00:02:01.950] - Amanda
Now velocity global CEO Ben Wright will be on doing this training with us. And Ben actually runs a PEO company which is a employee benefits company. And this is global so companies that are small medium sized that are struggling with those benefit pieces those are pieces that can trip up any company Ben's company velocity global will swoop in and help you fix it.

[00:02:26.400] - Gene
So where do they get that report?

[00:02:27.540] - Amanda
So if you go to AmandaHammett.com/Stay you can download that report to day. All right here's the episode.

[00:02:37.260] - Gene
Employee retention I really love this conversation because it really is one of the biggest things going on in our workforce. What do you think about employee routines.

[00:02:46.200] - Amanda
This is something I hear over and over and over again. Anytime I'm at a conference speaking or if I'm working with employees there are companies they're always saying how can we keep more of our employees.

[00:02:58.680] - Gene
There's a war for talent. You probably feel it because you want to have the best workers You want to have the most talented. You want them to to be a part of the culture and you want to make sure you're very intentional about creating a kind of work experience that makes it so that they really love to come to work. But employee retention is something that a lot of people kind of like it's too fluffy right. Because it's not something that is on the balance sheet or the panel. If you had a number on your financials that said exactly what it's costing you because of employee retention you'd be surprised and you'd pay a lot more attention to it.

[00:03:37.770] - Amanda
Absolutely. The cost of employee retention is staggering. If CFO knew exactly how much this was costing it would change the way that companies around the world would operate because right now employee retention is broken up into so many different buckets whether it's training or management or recruiting cos it's it's all broken up so it's not one specific number. But the thing is that actually according to Gallup they estimate that every single year the cost the American economy over a trillion dollars just in employee turnover.

[00:04:16.290] - Gene
Let me jump in here because that's a big number. Like a trillion is really big. But you know let's talk about it from a sense of what is it costing you right now.

[00:04:25.780] - Amanda
So sure, which is the society for Human Resource Management estimates that it actually costs between one and a half and two times that person's salary in order to replace them. So that is the recruiting cost that is the more soft cost. So like the manager training time getting that person ramped up. But let's be honest a lot of the industries that I work with they have employees that have been there 30-40 years. They are that amount of corporate knowledge that walks out the door. It's going to take years and years and years to replicate that into a new person. So that to you know two times their salary I think is easily done.

[00:05:07.640] - Gene
That's really for knowledge workers. Like if you had someone that was an hourly employee it's going to be less but there still is a cost to to employee return.

[00:05:16.070] - Amanda
Oh absolutely. But even in the hourly space you know there are a lot of situations where you have people that have been there 20, 30, 40 years and so they're taking with them a lot of that knowledge. So it is an ongoing issue.

[00:05:29.750] - Gene
I had a workshop a few weeks ago that you attended and one of the clients in there talked about losing. Things at twenty five employees in one month. Yeah. And I said know what do you think that cost you. He goes I know exactly what it cost me because I had to get temporary workers. These are hourly paid. And it cost him a quarter of a million dollars.

[00:05:49.360] - Amanda
In one month.

[00:05:50.040] - Gene
In one month. So It is costing you a lot of money not really understanding this employee retention. So that's the reason why we put together this episode we've come together. You know I focus on a different set of clients which you've already explained and Amanda has the corporate side of this. But together we've seen this and we want to share with you and make this a little bit fun. So we're going to talk about the five types of workers that are hurting. Your employee retention. So. You're ready.

[00:06:21.050] - Amanda
Your lately. Yeah. That's her. These are some good ones. And we've all seen each of these. Play out in our own careers. So the first one is the micro manager. I mean come on we have all seen this time and time again.

[00:06:36.610] - Gene
I'll be honest I've probably been a micromanager from time to time. It's easy to be a micromanager because if you're an A player if you've done the work before you know exactly what to do and you can actually just tell them and that's the easiest quickest thing for you to do is to tell them the exact steps. Is that right.

[00:06:59.430] - Amanda
Right. But I think a micromanager there's there's more to it. It's standing over. It's like constantly like in their face. What are you doing now what are you doing now. And it gets to the point where the employee can't even do their work because they're so focused on responding to you or answering to you that they end up having to spend a lot more time and anxiety invested in just calming you and dealing with you.

[00:07:23.880] - Gene
This reminds me of a story of one of my clients who you know before he became an entrepreneur was talking about. You know his manager and this this guy was the traditional micromanager. He was hired to do some marketing for the company and the the owner of the company knew a little bit about marketing enough to be dangerous as they say. But he would second guess everything that that was suggested as important or the next steps. And he would you know. Talk about the newsletter and the open rates and why did it happen. And I remember one specific details he was like well I didn't get it and it was back and forth back and forth and he's like Did you check your spam folder.

[00:08:03.540] - Gene
He goes It's not in my spam folder. And then all of a. Guess what it was in the spam folder. So you know there's a lot of different types of managers out there but the micro manager. Probably is one of the worse because you think you're doing the right thing but usually you're not.

[00:08:20.170] - Amanda
Yeah absolutely. So you know I do a lot with the younger employees those under 30 early in career and this is something I hear consistently over and over again is this micromanager and how it's just devastating to your career in a lot of ways. I had a young lady come up to me at a conference recently and she told me about her manager her former manager. She said that he's basically. Had her sit down at the end of the day not during the actual workday but at the end of the day.

[00:08:54.070] - Amanda
And she had to write out everything that she did that entire day broken down into 15 minute increments. Now keep in mind this young lady was not an hourly employee. She was a salaried employee and he expected this to come to his email box no earlier than six 15. Now the office closed at 6:00 but she was not to work on it during the day. And she had to do this every single day. And if she didn't I mean there was consequences the following day. And now I don't think it's going to shock anybody to tell you that she did not last even a year at this company before she was gone and it all had to do with this micromanager.

[00:09:35.080] - Gene
I want to make sure we connect the dots here because the micromanager you may thinking you know how is that hurting retention. Well you may have heard this before. I think it's just so appropriate but people don't leave jobs they leave managers. Absolutely. And we probably all had bad managers that we reported to. That caused us to leave companies. And that is the reason why it's number one in the list. It is probably one of the most common. And it really is something that we wanted to kind of draw you into this because some of the others are gonna be a little bit more maybe even fun to talk about because you when we came together we had a lot of fun putting all these together and just for you.

[00:10:18.760] - Amanda
All right. So the second one is not a micromanager but a clueless boss. Now I want to talk about this from my own personal experience. I had a boss one time and I'm not going to name names. However. Every single day or every single interaction I had with this person I would just sit back and ask myself How in the world did you become a manager. How are you in charge of leading people and not just one or two. I mean 50 or 60 people and I was flabbergasted daily. You remember those days.

[00:10:55.670] - Gene
I do. They were stressful because you cried a lot. But I I've been through this too. I mean mine was a little bit different. I've I respected this manager but the way they showed up had no regard for the company growing and moving forward. It was just a place for them to kind of I was more like a hobby than it was anything else and I say clueless because it really did feel like I'm pushing forward the business harder than the owner of the business was. And it really. Really allowed me to reflect on what kind of boss I wanted to be in this whole thing and I wanted to be the exact opposite.

[00:11:35.380] - Amanda
Absolutely. But I think in that situation I mean she actually had personal shoppers coming in. She had no clue literally what was going on in the day to day.

[00:11:44.860] - Gene
She she said she did but she was just checked out the most of it. You know it's hard to get that kind of work done in a couple of hours. It was a small operation. I grew a lot because I was forced to think self which was good for me because I had that drive but it really is just as clueless bosses is. The people that you really have no respect for.

[00:12:06.970] - Amanda
Yeah.

[00:12:07.270] - Gene
Is that fair?

[00:12:07.880] - Amanda
Absolutely. But in my case I mean he was smart in a certain way. But he would ask questions of me and meetings or of anybody and everybody was just staring at him and you could tell that they were like. Kind of an idiot here and I felt really bad but at the same time I eventually just had to start saying hey this is how it is. This is this is the decisions that we need to be making this is the direction that we need to be taking. And he actually asked me in the exit interview if I had listened to you would would you be leaving. And I said. Probably not.

[00:12:42.150] - Amanda
At least not now.

[00:12:43.290] - Gene
Well I'm thinking about this right now and we could put this together. We we talked about stories that could fit along with it and we we picked two personal stories here because. We thought you could relate to them but also we we left both those jobs so we quit. And that really drives into you know you want to make sure you pay attention to this clueless boss character if you will because it will impact your employee retention.

[00:13:11.910] - Amanda
I will actually say that this particular boss situation that I was talking about the turnover there was enormous. I mean it was a constant churn of employees in and out in and out in and out some roles. Obviously a lot more than others but it was like you you almost got to the point where you didn't want to invest in getting to know somebody new because you knew that they'd be gone within you know six months at the most.

[00:13:39.500] - Gene
Let's hold up here for a second because we're talking about these types of workers that are hurting your employee retention if you want to be a better manager and you want to really create the kind of leadership that people admire then you want to have a simple framework that we've developed over a few years of working with leaders that will help you increase the employee retention. We call it the stay framework.

[00:14:00.770] - Amanda
Absolutely. And this framework is super easy and it's super easy to implement and use every single day with your employees because again at the end of the day you want to keep them. So we have boil this down to one page one simple page you can just easily implement. So sign up and get it below.

[00:14:19.820] - Gene
There is one thing in there that we have seen that almost every manager is leaving out. They don't even know to include it. They're actually opposed to it but the power of this one little thing that's inside there that takes about five minutes is really a game changer when it comes to employee retention.

[00:14:37.580] - Amanda
Absolutely. I mentioned it when I spoke at a conference recently and it was just profound to everybody in that audience. So if you want to get the framework to help you retain your employees be sure to go to AmandaHammett.com/Stay and download that today. All right. So the third type of employee that is chilling your retention. It is the loafer.

[00:15:07.300] - Gene
The loafer is the person we all know that tries to seem like they're working. But they're never really getting anything done.

[00:15:14.380] - Amanda
Yeah. They are doing the bare minimum in order to survive in order to continue to collect that paycheck. And it's really frustrating for everybody else because they're actually having to pick up the slack because you know this person didn't get things done on time or they're wondering around the office drinking coffee and talking to people. And what are they actually doing. What are they actually accomplishing. It's fascinating.

[00:15:38.710] - Gene
Everyone knows that social butterfly. And they seem to never be really doing the work that they're supposed to be doing. I don't know how when a manager sits down with that person that they can actually. You know not just find them on the spot.

[00:15:52.860] - Amanda
I think what it is is a lot of times they're able to hide. They're able to find themselves into situations with managers who are not having these. Constant conversations about what's going on. How can we help you.

[00:16:07.050] - Gene
Well this reminds me of a story that I was involved in the company that went through a merger and you bring over two cultures and they combined together and that happens from time to time. And in this case this this founder was talking about you know bringing over a group of people that just didn't seem to fit and those people were told to to really operate in a different way than what they were used to. And it really taught cause a lot of them to just kind of switch off and so they just collected a paycheck.

[00:16:40.980] - Gene
They showed up day in and day out. They were at the meetings they were supposed to be at. Everything looked from the surface like they were doing what they're supposed to be doing. But we both know the truth. They were just loafing around.

[00:16:52.350] - Amanda
Oh absolutely. I mean you know I have. Plenty of stories about this. You know whether it's my own personal work history or dealing with companies that I've worked with. But one stands out in my mind and this person wandered around drank coffee checked Facebook regularly. I mean constantly was updating Facebook or social media and it was just it was fascinating because everybody knew who this person was and loved it when they stopped by and chatted for a minute. But at the end of the day what did this person actually accomplish. I'm still baffled by that.

[00:17:29.070] - Gene
So we're talking about employee retention. I want to be clear you want the loafer to leave.

[00:17:35.010] - Amanda
I was so frustrated with the loafer.

[00:17:39.860] - Gene
But that's exactly the reason why you need to be tuned into this because. That kind of person that loafer is driving others away if you don't have a high enough standard for the work then others won't take the whole job very seriously and they'll be looking for a place where they can can really be a self starter that can really be appreciated for doing the work and they want to be surrounded by others that are doing the work.

[00:18:05.310] - Amanda
Absolutely I mean this the low four wheel drive away you're eight players. Absolutely. They can't stand to see this. And so you know a players want to work with other players not with loafers. Got to lose the low.

[00:18:22.600] - Gene
All right so let's go into number four because it is this is a fun one. We had to put it in there because it happens from time to time. I think you've had more experience with this.

[00:18:32.930] - Amanda
I have.

[00:18:34.150] - Gene
But the fourth type of employee that is killing your employee retention is the hired. That one person that flies off the handle way too quick. They they really overexaggerate certain things. And I'll be cleared here. You want them to leave too. But you also want to make sure that you're creating a place and employee experience where these people don't exist.

[00:18:58.870] - Amanda
Absolutely. I mean for one in this day and age we need to you know employees sense of safety needs to come. It's paramount to everything else. And in certain situations these hotheads can get pretty extreme and can make you feel unsafe. Now I worked with a certain hothead and we found ourselves always walking on eggshells around this person constantly tiptoeing Oh how is he going to react to this. And you know some situations he would be great. In other situations it would just explode. One day he actually threw a chair in a conference room up against the window it bounced back and almost hit somebody.

[00:19:40.660] - Amanda
But that was actually the day that myself and a few other people decided we were out but cause of this hothead.

[00:19:47.500] - Gene
The one of the number one factors of team success is psychological safety. This comes from the air startle work at Google. It's done with many times over with companies looking at this. So creating a place where this hothead doesn't survive doesn't the last is a really important part of your leadership.

[00:20:07.870] - Amanda
Absolutely. And you know it really is up to the leaders to recognize this kind of behavior and nip it in the bud. Move that person out. This is not something that you want to continue because other people are. Are constantly thinking about. I've got to go. I've got to get out of here. I can't continue to work with this person.

[00:20:30.850] - Gene
All right. Number five I think this one's the hardest two to really get your head around but it is a game changer when you think about this. If you value your culture then this is the type of person that you must let go of. Number five is the toxic superstar. Yes. We we all have probably work with people that have rubbed us the wrong way but they were good at what they did.

[00:20:57.280] - Amanda
Absolutely.

[00:20:58.660] - Gene
I had a client once where we were sitting around with the CEO and the CEO of this small company about 30 people and we were talking about you know give me the name of two people that really give you frustration as a leader.

[00:21:13.780] - Gene
Well, two ladies came up the names came up I won't share the names but one of them cried all the time. And I get it. Like you don't want to have these conversations and it seems to me daily that she was crying and I asked why was she crying. Well that gets us back into number two which is the toxic superstar in this in their world. She was a high performer she was. She was in recruiting. She was really able to do the work of two to three employees.

[00:21:41.470] - Gene
Which is impressive. But if it comes at the cost of her being toxic and driving others away because it was truly what I listed through how many people had she drink driven away it was like four in the last like three four months really a very expensive decision to keep that high performer on.

[00:21:58.900] - Amanda
Absolutely. And not only that. Let's be very clear she was specifically named in exit interviews as this person is the reason I'm leaving.

[00:22:07.660] - Gene
I got I asked details because I was curious about this and there were some expletives that were discussed about how she showed up. There was also the fact that she lied to to get work and she would work extra hours on the weekend to cover this up. This toxic superstar is seducing in the sense that they are performing at a higher level than others but it is at the cost of the culture. You as the leader or a manager has to really make some hard decisions because. It is hurting your employee retention.

[00:22:40.900] - Amanda
Absolutely. And just think about the team or the people in her environment. I mean they are constantly thinking about I've got to get another job. I've got to get out of here because you know this is not an environment that they want to spend eight hours a day and plus. Every single day.

[00:22:59.830] - Gene
So these are the five types of employees that are hurting your employee retention. We went through this. We want to have fun with you because you probably got some of these in your workspace right now.

[00:23:10.760] - Amanda
Absolutely.

[00:23:11.460] - Gene
And I want you to think about this. You. Sit down maybe make a jot a few names down you know where do they fit in this. And are they really hurting the employee experience overall. And are they truly costing people to lead the company.

[00:23:26.410] - Amanda
Absolutely. And I think that when you're really honest about this and you really start thinking about the different people that would fall into these five categories. It might scare you a little bit. Honestly.

[00:23:40.770] - Gene
So you may be thinking about what do you do with all this because this is not our traditional episode where we're interviewing people and this is not your traditional episode where we're giving you the step by step because what we wanted to let you know this we've created through a partnership a training about employee retention and it really is something I'm really proud of. It comes along with the stay framework that we've mentioned that stay framework will help you be a better leader tomorrow. You can literally Download it today and use it in your next conversation and you will see impact right away.

[00:24:13.630] - Amanda
Absolutely, this is something that we have put together through trial and error over the years working with. Our own company working with other companies and really seeing what are these managers and leaders that are the highest performers that have melded together a team that is just trucking along and is just super efficient and really seems to just go at it every single day. What are they doing so what are some of their best practices. So we have pulled them together and let me tell you some of these are ridiculously easy. And it is shocking to me every single day when I see leaders and managers not doing this and then yet they're also complaining I can't keep my people.

[00:24:58.180] - Amanda
Well here is the answer and it is super easy. The Stay framework can be downloaded at AmandaHammett.com/Stay.

[00:25:06.190] - Gene
Well that wraps up this episode really excited to be able to share this work with you to come together with my beautiful wife. I really have a lot of respect for what she's done in the corporate world and really wanted to share something with you because I feel like you could be the leaders that you really wanted to be by understanding these types of employees. But more by getting that stay framework so make sure you go ahead do that.

[00:25:29.350] - Amanda
Absolutely. And of course join us for the free training that we will be doing along with that and we'll be including our partners velocity global. So thank you again for joining us. And we will see you in the next episode.

[00:25:41.250] - Gene
As always lead with courage.

[00:25:43.510] - Amanda
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of The Next Generation rock stars where we have discussed all about recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case don't keep me a secret. Share this episode with the world but really share it with your friends with your colleagues because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward.

[00:26:24.470] - Amanda
Now of course I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Cassie Buckroyd: How Holistic Wellness Programs Can Take the Stress Out of Your Employees Lives

Our lives our busy and stressful these days. But what if our employers helped us face those things that are stressing us out? Things like #studentloandebt or becoming a #1sttimehomebuyer or finding the right doctor for your new baby? Cassie Buckroyd of Columbia Sportwear is leading the way for companies to take a holistic approach to employee well-being. Cassie knows that employees who are healthy and happy are more productive, efficient, innovative and tend to stay with their employers longer!

Cassie (Romano) Buckroyd is the Manager of Wellness Programs. As the first person to fill the Wellness Program Manager role in 2014, she spent 4 years building a comprehensive, robust corporate initiative focused on holistic wellbeing and employee development through self-care. Her programming is centered on physical, social, financial, career and community health.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - How Holistic Wellness Programs Can Take the Stress Out of Your Employees Lives

[00:00:00.060] - Amanda Hammett
Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

[00:00:14.490] - Amanda Hammett
Hey, this is Amanda Hammett and this is the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. And today we have an amazing gas. Her name is Cassie Buckroyd and she is with Columbia Sportswear where she is the manager of wellbeing programs. Cassie welcome to the show.

[00:00:29.790] - Cassie Buckroyd
Thanks for having me.

[00:00:31.230] - Amanda Hammett
Wonderful. I'm super excited to talk to you today.You guys are doing some really amazing things you you guys are really meeting your employees where they are in life and in their professional lives. And we're going to dive into that. But before we do much to tell the audience a little bit about you.

[00:00:50.310] - Cassie Buckroyd
Sure. So I am a native Oregonian born and raised near Portland which is where Columbia is headquartered just. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors which is of course aligned with our brand. So it's great to work at a company like Columbia where I can live my my interest. I've been at Columbia for about five years now where I started as a wellness program manager really a bit of an individual fellow lone lone wolf. I like to call myself I was the first person in that position tasked with building wellness initiatives and kind of determining what that looks like.

[00:01:29.730] - Cassie Buckroyd
And so I've done that over the last five years about a little over a year ago we changed our model of how we look at total rewards and I was then promoted to manager Wellbeing Program. So that includes many of our total rewards programs that would benefit wellness. Leave of absence. And we've got a new H.R. tool digital communications arm that we're building up right now.

[00:01:55.830] - Amanda Hammett
Very cool so just just a couple of things that affect people's lives not busy at all not at all at all. So let's use a little bit about this Total Rewards program.I mean before we turned on the recording you and I were having a little bit of conversation about it. But know tell us about the pillars and tell us all about it.

[00:02:14.370] - Cassie Buckroyd
Yeah it's super exciting. I developed it based on rap and Hadas five elements of well-being which is from Gallup really well research lots of data to support kind of the different components that that factor into an individual's well-being. So we modified them a little bit based on our population and who we are the company. So the five are physical. Social emotional community financial and career. So we really bucket our programs into those five areas. And I think it's important to know also that you know that my team is not running all of these programs.

[00:02:57.180] - Cassie Buckroyd
So for example community is a pillar that we really work a lot with our corporate responsibility team on. They're very active in the outdoor community. There's all kinds of sustainability programs going on that really that are important to employees. So we really work with them on stuff like that. There's a volunteer program and then career is. Things that are tied into compensation and career path as well as learning development and how we're doing performance management and things of that nature. Financial for one K compensation again I mean there's a lot that goes into all of these things and then social emotional.

[00:03:38.070] - Cassie Buckroyd
We're really into kind of. Building community here. Creating those special connections within our employee population and giving people the opportunity to get to know each other outside of the meeting room for example that we have a number of programs that tied to that as well as things like traditional ERP programs and the physical is really kind of where we've got it dialed in. I mean we're we're active brand. We're an active Albany one. Yeah. One of our core values is to enjoy an active life. So you know I walked into a situation where there was already a lot of fitness programs and outdoor excursions and things like that. So that one's been dialed in for a long time but we're really focused on building the other four.

[00:04:17.610] - Amanda Hammett
That's amazing. So I mean you guys have a lot going on but give the audience a little bit of some context here because your your employees are age wise maybe a little bit different than some of my other clients who are on the older side.

[00:04:36.490] - Cassie Buckroyd
Yeah well. Absolutely. I I've been working in corporate wellness for 13 years and have. Before I came to Columbia I was more on the consulting side and program management and so I worked with. I've worked with lots and lots of employers. And the thing that really struck me when I looked at our data was how young our population is and the fact that we have so many of the people who would be considered millennials and our population and now we've got Generation Z coming up. So it's really important to look at kind of the things that appeals that that population and the other thing that I noticed is that because we're younger we are healthier we don't have things like chronic conditions that impact our employees so we want to keep them healthy and we want to look outside of the box of traditional well-being which.

[00:05:26.400] - Cassie Buckroyd
Typically. Includes. The physical aspects of well-being and maybe emotional. And I think that's really what today's workforce is looking for is kind of that holistic view into wellbeing. So including the other pillars are really important the community the financial and the career pathways. And so because our our employees are so much they are younger than than your average workforce. Those are the things that we're really focused on to show value as an employer and attract our barber force.

[00:05:56.490] - Amanda Hammett
Absolutely. Oh gosh. So I have a lot of questions and I'm trying to just dial in school one but let's actually let's share some stories about what you are doing under each of these pillars because you know you mentioned five and obviously you're working with some of the different teams on different things but let's focus in on on some of the ones that would be most important to this younger workforce like oh I don't know the financial piece of it.

[00:06:21.850] - Cassie Buckroyd
Right. I think that's a great example and that's something that we've really been focused on. So. We're financial. We've got our 4 1 k program things that are more traditional. Compensation and things like that bonus all that. So but really today's workforce the younger workforce they're entering with things like student loan debt they're looking at potentially you know buying a home and then, we do. People are pretty focused on the phone game saving for retirement so how are you today. Our workforce is looking at how to how to balance all of that.

[00:06:59.970] - Cassie Buckroyd
So we've got. A lot of resources that we've put in place to help support that. So anything from onsite classes on home buying and retirement planning. And things of that nature to a race a tool that we've put in place where that helps employees prioritize how they're going to pay down their student loan debt and it type in their personal situation into the platform. So really understanding that yeah retirement is important but our workforce. Probably has other things that they are concerned at before they can look at. Putting away money for Fraulein K so paying down the student loan. Debt. Yeah.

[00:07:40.820] - Amanda Hammett
Absolutely. I mean I can tell you from personal experience just traveling across the world and all across the country in this particular case and talking to students or talking to young people. This is a number one concern for them and it's keeping them from you know. Buying a house or being able to move and do the things that they want because they're constantly. It is built into this emotional fear and it manifests itself physically and and it just becomes a nasty spiral. So a great head on and giving them the resources to do that. It actually affects other pillars that you guys talk about. So. Yeah right.

[00:08:22.130] - Cassie Buckroyd
Yeah. And then from our other pillars so one of my favorites his career and we worked really closely with our learning and leadership development team to look at. What. Classes are being offered and how we can tie well-being into the classes. But they've done something really cool where they've worked with our senior leadership team to identify what are the key. Skills that our workforce needs to kind of build for the future to make sure that work for the company of the future that we want to be and I think that the younger workforce are these days are looking for things like that they want to be developed and they want those opportunities to expand their skill set and so the learning and leadership development team has developed or has identified twelve.

[00:09:07.640] - Cassie Buckroyd
Capabilities that they work with our senior leadership team to kind of hone in on and they're now building out their curriculum on these top capabilities so that no one where we're providing opportunities for employees to develop themselves. And then we're also building that workforce that we need for the future. So I think that's a really cool program. And I think it's a good example of how my team. Works functionally with other teams within each hour that are. Impacting employees.

[00:09:37.130] - Amanda Hammett
Yes absolutely. And I think that's really important because some companies they really do silo their their H.R. functions and it's really almost to the detriment of the employee long term right. Circling back though to the to the leadership and development that you just talked about. So these programs are the individuals selected to go into these programs or can they self select like oh I have an interest in X how does that work.

[00:10:07.700] - Cassie Buckroyd
Well there are a number as leader. There are a couple of different programs and so there is a leadership. Program that people are nominated for and it's a year cohort cohort but they go through and they have these capabilities they're woven into the curriculum along with other things that's really meant to develop the leaders here. But then there is I know that the team is developing classes that can be offered ad hoc that people can go in and sign up for. And it really you know they're creating kind of a blueprint that's help people determine where they fit in based on their level and where they're at in their career and the things that they want to develop. And kind of create that. Blueprint or that path. And so people can just select into different classes.

[00:10:52.430] - Amanda Hammett
That's really really cool. I love this. I love everything that you guys are doing. All right. So we talked a little bit about the financial and the career. Let's talk about the the community pillar because that is. Uber. Uber important to the young employees.

[00:11:10.790] - Cassie Buckroyd
Yeah.

[00:11:12.230] - Amanda Hammett
All the time. So how are you guys really taking that in and helping them do that.

[00:11:18.050] - Cassie Buckroyd
Well I think so I mentioned that we have a corporate responsibility team here and they work on things from sustainability. And employees really care about that. So I think in that. Regard making sure that employees are. Aware and we're telling the stories that that team is working on is one component of that. But then we also have a team that focuses on kind of our relationships with different nonprofits that are working on issues that tie into our brand. So environmental issues are national parks things of that nature.

[00:11:54.410] - Cassie Buckroyd
And so again that that's really important to our workforce. We work with one nonprofit and the name is escaping me right now. But recently that team sent out a survey and employees got to give their voice to which environment environmental issues that nonprofit was going to focus on within the next year. So having a voice and and what issues are being worked on is really important. And then we also have volunteer a volunteer program where employees can use hours and long those hours toward volunteering with a nonprofit of their choice or the issue or you know. What have you of their choice. We have 15 hours a year where employees can can do that.

[00:12:42.930] - Amanda Hammett
How many hours so your did you say.

[00:12:44.990] - Cassie Buckroyd
15.

[00:12:46.110] - Amanda Hammett
All right. I mean that's that's a sizable. Well those are paid days so they can take and do any kind of volunteering that they choose. Careful I love that I love companies that do that and that really put their money where their mouth is really there because a lot of times companies are like oh yeah we want you to be involved we want you to volunteer and give to the community but you guys are really actually enabling that to happen because we do. Such busy lives between work and haul. It's hard to really kind of step away from it all and be able to be supported in that way to do that. So thank you for doing that. Thank you for enabling the wonderful.

[00:13:27.040] - Amanda Hammett
All right. So we've talked a lot about some of the different pillars some of the different programs that you guys have going on. And I'm sure that we could sit here all day and talk about other wellness programs that have in motion and but how are you seeing this affect the younger employees. I mean have I know that you guys are just really starting to get this kicked off but right effect.

[00:13:54.800] - Cassie Buckroyd
Know I think we hear stories and things like that from employees who get emails. But I think you know. Is a feeling I suppose and the relationship that we have with employees that they're feeling supported. So for example with our paid parental leave program we just launched that last November. When we launched that it was done in an employee meeting and employees applauded and danced in their chairs and were excited. And so I mean those those types of things mean a lot to employees. And then.

[00:14:31.660] - Cassie Buckroyd
For me it's important to have relationships with with our employees and so I just I mean I get employees walking up to me and telling me how different programs or initiative or what have you affect them personally. So we don't I don't have a lot of data. I do have some. We do surveys every once in a while but it's really those kind of anecdotal qualitative things that we have right now. And I think you know. That.

[00:14:59.760] - Amanda Hammett
You know I love that. So since you brought up parental leave or parental policies let's dive in and because this is a hot topic in the United States. Unfortunately. And so I'd love to hear what you guys offer from the beginning stages of parenting are you just a parenting through to support parents as their children are growing.

[00:15:26.720] - Cassie Buckroyd
Right. Well so, In addition to at the time that we launched our paid parental leave program which offers time off paid time off to all new parents. So men and women. Those who adopt children or obtain legal guardianship as well as birthing parents. There's that and then we put a resource in place with a new program where employees are supported from the from the time that they're planning to have a family. So this platform supports employees through fertility and things of that nature. We've also put some benefits in place to support employees through that and then pregnancy.

[00:16:14.040] - Cassie Buckroyd
And it ties into it's very personally that ties into our benefit programs. And so this platform knows for that specific employee what health plan they're on and direct them directly to the resources for the benefit program that they've enrolled in. That's really useful during pregnancy so that they can look at things like where do I go to get breast or something like that or where can I go if I'm if I'm having you know postpartum depression where do I go for emotional support and things of that nature. And then there's the new parents and so the platform supports new employees on the return to work and integrating that that new family life with their work life and things of that nature.

[00:16:59.600] - Amanda Hammett
Wow. Well I have a feeling that people are going to hear this upswing in applications to. That is that's wonderful support that so many companies aren't offering but it is a struggle for young millennial families that the two. Dual working parents and Something's Got To Give. Yes it's unfortunate. And you've got to meet your employees where they are. We don't live in an economy where you can just dictate. This is how it is. It's just not the world we live in anymore. So all right I applaud you guys for even thinking about and doing something about that. That's really wonderful stuff. And I'm sure the employees appreciate it tremendously.

[00:17:47.070] - Amanda Hammett
OK. All right. So as we have mentioned we could probably talk all day long about those. But do you feel that. And my question I guess is for someone who is looking to start a brand new program a brand new wellness program. Do you have any use for them that they have. Let's say nothing in place or what advice would you give to them.

[00:18:15.550] - Cassie Buckroyd
I will. I'll just talk about how I started here and I really think that if I were to go back and do it again I would do it exactly the same way. Yeah. And so really there are a number of. Wellness corporate wellness oriented organizations out there like Alcoa hero and they have different checklists and kind of assessments that you can measure your organization again. And so I think kind of conducting that initial needs analysis based on you know you can use the pillars of wellness. From wrath and harder and gallop or you can use you know other pillars of illness but really kind of looking at what is there and what is not there and then prioritizing.

[00:18:58.350] - Cassie Buckroyd
So for example when I did this assessment way back when. I mentioned that we had physical health dialed in but I noticed there were some kind of foundational pieces that were missing. Like a good communication strategy a branding and things like that. And so I really kind of started there with kind of our communications and things like that and then built the programs and things of that nature. And I did because we were so dialed in and we have a healthier workforce than what I've seen in the past. I looked at topics that were a little bit outside of the box.

[00:19:36.850] - Cassie Buckroyd
So I remember I launched in that first year with a mindfulness program and financial wellness and things that I really thought our employees would value and kind of latch on to. And so I think that that needs analysis is critical to understand you know who your employee population is what their needs are what you already have in place and what you can leverage as well as who you can collaborate with within your organization. So partnerships have been really critical for me here at Columbia. You know I mentioned our Corporate Responsibility team learning and development and then even our facilities team has been a really critical partner for me and getting our fitness room you know improved and holding events and getting rooms set up for lunch and learns and things like that. And so I really don't know that I would have been able to get things where they've gone without those partnerships.

[00:20:31.610] - Amanda Hammett
And that's wonderful. I love that you have been able to launch these things and get these cross-functional teams these different departments really on your side. Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to start something like that within their own company and how to approach a different department about about forming a partnership.

[00:20:54.780] - Cassie Buckroyd
Yes I do. Actually I think it's pretty. I think it's really critical to listen and a lot of times folks are very engaged. Their wellness is cool it's something that people want to be a part of and they see the value in it. But other times they may not and they might feel like you know you're just adding to their already huge workload. And so I think going in with a curious mentality and really listening to what they're trying to achieve and then figuring out how a wellness initiative could kind of leverage or augment but they're doing. I just I really think a protein with curiosity and listening is critical.

[00:21:39.030] - Amanda Hammett
I think that that's critical in a lot of things. If we see a lot. OK wonderful. Oh yes. This has been just a wealth of knowledge and I really really do appreciate it.

[00:21:52.740] - Amanda Hammett
I mean you've just thrown so much out there and I you're actually kind of thrown out a gauntlet for other companies that need to take a look at this and say how can we do better for our employees. So thank you for setting that standard. I appreciate it. And I know that your employees are doing so well thank you for being on the show.

[00:22:12.510] - Cassie Buckroyd
You're welcome. Thanks for having me.

[00:22:14.160] - Amanda Hammett
Wonderful. And thank you guys for joining us today. And we will see you in the very next episode of The Next Generation Rockstar podcast.

[00:22:21.630] - Amanda Hammett
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of The Next Generation rock stars where we have discussed all about recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case don't keep me a secret. Share this episode with the world but really share it with your friends with your colleagues because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now of course I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Crystal Khalil: How Mentoring Changes Early in Career Talent

Mentoring is something many leaders and companies say they do. Unfortunately, many mentor programs are inefficient and waste time. Crystal Khalil of Porsche Cars North America shares how she is using mentoring to encourage diversity and inclusion of the next generations of talent.

ARE YOU READY TO MOVE UP?HARD WORKERS WORK HARD, AND NETWORKERS MOVE UP!: Accelerate Your Career 10X Faster

Get this Book from Crystal Khalil on AMAZON!

Crystal Khalil is the Director of Procurement at Porsche Cars North America. She works with PAG Global Procurement to set and implement global strategies in North America. Define and implement local directives. Responsible for all indirect spend including $100MUSD construction of Porsche's new headquarters in Atlanta, GA, Marketing, PR, IT, HR, Logistics, and Financial Services.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - How Mentoring Changes Early in Career Talent

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: 00:14
Hi and welcome to this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. I have a pretty special interview for you today. I got to interview Crystal Khalil who is the director of procurement for Porsche North America and everybody loves Porsche. They think they're super cool cars, but I personally happen to think that crystal is pretty amazing. She talks a lot about diversity and inclusion and as well as mentoring and the effects that those things have on the next generation of talent. In fact, I actually reached out to a few of Crystal's mentees and they shared with me some really from the heart words about what her mentorship has meant to them personally and professionally. So tune in and learn tons and tons from Amanda Hammett in Porsche North America.

Amanda Hammett: 01:12
Hi and welcome to this episode of the Next Generation Rock Stars podcast. I have a fantastic guest for you today. Her name is Amanda Hammett and she is with Porsche North America. Crystal, welcome to the show.

Crystal Khalil: 01:25
Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Amanda Hammett: 01:28
Well, I am so excited to tell you. I just shared with Crystal right before we hit record that I may have been Google sleuthing her, um, before we actually met in person and it was a total accident that we've met. Crystal, why don't you tell the audience a little bit about the list that you were put on?

Crystal Khalil: 01:52
So I was recently selected as one of the top 25 impact women impacting diversity and diversity plus magazine and that was launched at the weekend conference this year. So I'm really excited about that.

Amanda Hammett: 02:06
Yes. So, Crystal and I met at we bank, which is a phenomenal organization and it was funny because when the list came out, before we banked the conference, I actually printed it out, which I never print things. I printed it out and I circle and I watch it, Crystal because she was local to Atlanta as well as major Dixon from Accenture. And I just so happen was introduced to Crystal. I wasn't actually pursuing you, but I was introduced to you regardless. And I was so excited.

Crystal Khalil: 02:41
It worked out perfect.

Amanda Hammett: 02:45
It really, really was. So Crystal, why don't you tell the audience a little bit about you?

Crystal Khalil: 02:52
So I have been in procurement and supply chain for over 30 years. Out of those 30 years I've been with Porsche for about 18 years. I am currently the director of procurement for North America. Um, and that's where we do all of the purchasing activities for all of the North American affiliates and subsidiaries of Porsche here in North America. And that's all of the indirect spends. So it's everything on the operational side. We are the customs in Porter Group for North America though we import the vehicles and then get them out to our franchisee-owned dealers in North America. So all of the backend, the logistics, HR, IT, everything you can imagine to make that happen. My team supports those activities.

Amanda Hammett: 03:43
So just a little bit. I mean, not y'all don't do that much. So Crystal, you know, what I'm really excited to talk to you about today is two things, which are major for next-generation talent, the first being diversity and the second being mentoring. So why don't you tell us a little bit about how you see the world of diversity affecting the next generation of talent, whether it's recruiting or developing them. What is it?

Crystal Khalil: 04:17
I say diversity. I, I'm really excited about all of the diversity and inclusion that's, that's happening now. Because I think that as the, as the world changes and, and we're rapidly growing and the demographics are changing, it's important to have the talent in your organization that looks like your customers and you know, that can help give you a different perspective. So I'm really excited about, you know, the efforts here at portion, all the other companies that I'm seeing. I'm reflecting on it being, being intentional about the inclusion of diverse talent. I have for my entire career been the only African American in the room or the only woman in the room. And still to this day, I find myself being the only, you know a diverse person in meetings and in rooms. And I think it's important for them [inaudible] focus on how to make people feel included in those conversations.

Amanda Hammett: 05:18
I agree with that completely because it is one thing to actually be in the room, but it's a completely different thing to feel included in the conversation. And I think that that's something that really we're doing better on diversity, but it is something that inclusion piece is so, so very important.

Crystal Khalil: 05:37
Exactly. And it, and it's a two-way conversation. So one of the things that I expressed to my mentees is inclusion is a two-way conversation. You know, organizations have to make the effort to include you, but you also have to be open to that conversation and you also have to be transparent and allow yourself to be engaged in that conversation.

Amanda Hammett: 06:01
I really love that. I think that's great advice for both sides of that conversation. That's wonderful. So let me ask you this when you're thinking about recruiting or I know that you don't specifically have that role in recruiting, but you do bring people onto your team. So when you're thinking about your team and the dynamics, how big of a, how big of a conversation is diversity? on the day today?

Crystal Khalil: 06:27
So when we we're recruiting, we want to make sure that we have a diverse group of talent and we also, um, we do panel interviews here. So we make sure that also the people, um, that are helping us with the interview process are a diverse group of people so that the talent can see people that look like them in the room as well. So, and you get a diverse perspective.

Amanda Hammett: 06:50
Yes. That's really fantastic. I love that you're able to actually pull in that diverse diversity on the panel because it is so very important, especially for young talent, for them to see someone that they can see themselves in up there. So that's I love that you think that through because so many people would miss that one integral piece. So I love it. I love it. All right. You, you mentioned this just a second ago, but I'd like to circle back to it. You mentioned to you, your mentees. So tell us a little bit about how you see the world of mentoring before we actually deep dive into your mentees for a second.

Crystal Khalil: 07:34
So as I've grown up the corporate ladder and open doors that were perceived to have been close to me or you know, keep through glass ceilings I've always felt that as I opened the door, it's my responsibility to hold that door open and not close it behind me. So I'm very intentional about when I learn something new, sharing it and, and helping others that are coming behind me to, to navigate, but do a lot of mentoring and sponsoring to, to help our young talent and our diverse talent. Find your way in the organization. Just sharing with them. I strive to be the leader that I always want it. And I know that you know, for many years I didn't see anybody above me that looked like me. So it's very important for me to use this platform to help young people coming up in the ranks and help them to understand what it takes to get to the next level.

Amanda Hammett: 08:38
I love that so much. I really, that really touches me. Um, so thank you for doing that on their behalf. So I really want to emphasize for those in the audience who may not know exactly what mentoring is, but would you also share with them like you, how do you see the difference between mentoring and sponsorship?

Crystal Khalil: 09:03
Absolutely. Good question. So for me, mentoring is showing you the way you know, showing you how the gangs are played. Because whether you know it or not, there's always a game being played, right? You're playing or you're being played. So showing them how the game is played and how to navigate the corporate structure is mentoring. Sponsoring is when someone speaks for you when you're not in the room. Monstering is when, when I can say, have you considered this person for this opportunity? Or when you get the tap on the shoulder for an opportunity. So I think you need a sponsor for every new level. Every new level requires a sponsor.

Amanda Hammett: 09:47
Now I would assume, and I may be very wrong and please, please correct, but I would assume that you've probably had some pretty great mentors as well as sponsors throughout your career.

Crystal Khalil: 09:58
Absolutely. I wouldn't be here without the great mentors and sponsors that have helped me along the way. And it has it's cause it's been a challenge, you know, you know, growing myself, learning what is required to get to the next level. Learning the difference between being an individual contributor, a manager, and a leader, you know, and in that growth process, what the sponsors along my way to have challenged me or that have spoken up for me. My current CFO, I'll forever be grateful for him because sponsors a lot of times have to put their own credibility on the line to bring you to the next level. And so I'm so very appreciative of those people in my career and in my life that have stood in the gap for me and given me a hand up.

Amanda Hammett: 10:50
I love it. That's wonderful. And I just want to note something really quickly here. We were originally scheduled to talk, was it last week or the week before, and you were actually asked by your CFO to go represent him at a meeting. And I think that that speaks for you.

Crystal Khalil: 11:07
Yeah, no, I'm so appreciative of those opportunities and of the trust, you know that he has in me.

Amanda Hammett: 11:14
Absolutely. And, and I mean, you sent me the sweetest note like, I'm so sorry. Can we reschedule it? And I was like, girl, please. Absolutely. So you're currently doing a lot of mentoring. I actually at Webank had the opportunity to meet a few of your mentees and they were raving about you. I mean, just raving about you. But I actually went to a few of your current mentees and have them write something for me and I'm not gonna read everything that they said because we'd be here for the rest of the day. Um, but they had a lot to say. And I think that this is really something that's important for everyone to see is that you are pouring into them and they are so incredibly grateful and appreciative and they're sucking it up like sponges and really using it to better their lives.

Amanda Hammett: 12:12
But I'd really just like to read it, just a couple of little comments that I highlighted and pulled out. This is from a young man who's in his late twenties to early thirties, and he says that you have been instrumental in my development as a leader and a team player at Porsche. The lessons you have taught him have carried on past the workplace and have allowed me to be a better husband, friend, and citizen. I mean, come on. That's you. Your care, your enthusiasm, and charismatic nature have made her an important asset to our company. And to my personal network. Wow. I mean I'm like, I'm tearing up. Another, another woman who's in her late thirties, she said, this is no joke. My experience with Crystal has been life-changing. Like she really doesn't need to write anything else, but she does you have some raving fans here.

Amanda Hammett: 13:20
She said working with you has been the best thing that I could've done both for my professional and personal life. She said when she was working with you to Dah, Dah, Dah, I received one of the largest salary increases that I have ever received.

Crystal Khalil: 13:39
Wow.

Amanda Hammett: 13:40
Life-changing. That's life-changing. And she said crystal has been a Godson and it definitely changes the blueprint for women here at Porsche North America. And we celebrate her daily.

Crystal Khalil: 13:51
Oh, come on.

Amanda Hammett: 13:55
I mean like, this is crazy. I mean, crazy good. One last one. This is a woman in her fifties and she says a lot. But one of the things that really stood out was that crystal has pushed me to come out of my comfort zone and what I consider normal. And she's not allowed me to settle for less than. And my professional and personal journey have been easier because of her brilliance, patience and consistent encouragement.

Crystal Khalil: 14:27
Wow. That's overwhelming.

Amanda Hammett: 14:30
Yes. And when you read all of it in, in their entirety, it really will be. But what this says to me is that you care about them and it goes far beyond just a checklist. You care about them and they feel it. And I think that it's obviously changed their lives for the better.

Crystal Khalil: 14:50
That makes me proud and it makes me happy.

Amanda Hammett: 14:54
Yeah. I'm absolute. I mean, and that really is the power of mentoring. That is the kind of difference that a good mentor makes.

Crystal Khalil: 15:04
Yes, yes. And I, and I do, I care deeply about them. I want to see them grow professionally but also like in there, in their personal lives. Because a lot of the lessons that I teach them can be applied to other areas of your life as well. And it's about just being a good person, just doing the right thing every day, being a good person, doing your best. And I love when we have our mentee sessions and I get that Aha moment from them where it's like, and I can tell that they're really processing it. And then they come back and they tell me, Oh, I had this thought and I applied it this way and this is what happened. It just, it makes my heart overjoyed because ultimately, you know, what I always tell them is I want to see you be successful, whether it's here at Porsche or anywhere else in your life. I want you to be happy. I want you to be successful. I want you to grow because growing people grow companies, you know, if you're happy and you're, and you're doing what you love, you will, you will grow the organization, whether it's Porsche somewhere else or you're even your own company. I want them to see happy and successful no matter what it is they decided to do in life.

Amanda Hammett: 16:17
Well, they have gotten that message loud and clear from you. But for the audience here, I think that there's a lot of, I feel like misinformation out there about mentoring, about how to structure it. And there are a thousand different ways you could structure it, but could you walk the audience through how you A pick out mentees and B, how do you structure that time with them?

Crystal Khalil: 16:46
So there's a couple of different ways. So I'm a John Maxwell certified trainer, so I use a lot of dime Maxwell's techniques and my mentoring. And then just everyday life, you know, and, and the lessons that I've learned in the last 30 years do it, you know, doing what I do in procurement and supply chain and just throughout my life. But the mentees tend to select me and it's, and I can't turn anybody down. So I'm like right now I have 32 active mentees here at the organization.

Amanda Hammett: 17:19
When did you work? I mean, we'll do you have time?

Crystal Khalil: 17:23
Everybody else goes home, Huh? What I do, I have 32 and I do, um, I meet with them in groups of 10 to attend to 12. And we have regular scheduled sessions for one hour where we talk about a particular topic. And it's just, it's based on trust, truth, and transparency. And my model is excellence and but my brand will be service excellence and humility. So I, you know, it's, it's focused around service excellence and humility in your everyday life. And so we take a little bite-size chunk of one of those three and we meet for an hour and it's just, I'm transparent with them. I tell them the struggles I've had in my career and how I overcame and, and I allow them to be truthful and what, what, what we say in the room stays in the room. And I'd give them my best advice, but even better, they laugh from one another.

Crystal Khalil: 18:24
So what when it, when I know the class is most successful is when I talk the least amount and they talk the most and they are answering questions for each other and they're having healthy debate and they're collaborating and they've started to become, they, it's, there's like a, a network of them within your organization where they, it's a positive support group. So you know, if they can't, if they can't get me in, they have a pressing issue, they know that they can go to one of my other mentees and they're all on the same page and they're all encouraging and positive and there's nobody that's going to sit there and soak with you. They're going to tell you to get up and do what you need to do and you know they're going to give you positive reinforcement and encouragement to do whatever it is that needs to be done. So I'm really proud of that when I see them together and I see them networking. And the other thing is they come from all areas of the ordinance organization. If some of them come from some of our affiliates and subsidiaries, most of them are very different departments. So it's created a network within. So, you know, whereas they used to be hard workers sitting at their desk just doing their job. Now they're meeting people from other areas of the department and it's helping them to understand where they fit in into the big picture.

Amanda Hammett: 19:40
Oh, that's a beautiful side benefit that I feel like most people probably didn't see coming. I didn't see that coming.

Crystal Khalil: 19:50
Exactly.

Amanda Hammett: 19:51
That's beautiful. I love it. I love it. So I mean if you were to advise a young employee right now, um, outside of, of, of your company that is looking for a mentor, someone that can really give them this kind of guidance, what advice would you give them?

Crystal Khalil: 20:11
Look for people that you admire in, in, um, in leadership and you know, as be gracious enough to ask people to sit down and if you can, if you can have a coffee with them, a 30-minute coffee or something, not a lot of time. And be curious about, you know, how did they get where they are today and, and learn more about them. I've never reached out to someone and asked them could I sit and talk with them and been turned down because people like to talk about themselves. Right? So if you just wanna hey, I just love to, you know, learn more about you and how, how you achieved what you've achieved in your career. And you know, if we can just sit down for a 30-minute coffee and I won't take a lot of your time, but I just wanted to learn about you, people will generally say yes. I've never had anybody tying me down for that. And if you do that with a couple of people, sooner or later you'll start to build connections with people that can become your mentors.

Amanda Hammett: 21:08
Absolutely. I love it. So, um, do you generally think it's a better idea for people to have a mentor inside their company or outside or both? Or what is your advice on that?

Crystal Khalil: 21:22
I would say you should have as many mentors as you can. It's great to have one in the organization because they will help you to understand how to navigate your corporate culture in your organizations, culture, but then also externally because you want to build that network outside of your organization as well. Your network should be three 60, so you'll find people in your church, you'll find people in industry associations, you know, that, that can help you to navigate to the next level. So I would say is, you know, as many mentors as you can find that are willing to invest in, you, don't turn anybody down.

Amanda Hammett: 22:04
I love it so much. So great. Crystal. So you know, you have said so many great things about the world of diversity and inclusion, the world of mentoring. And you know, for me it's all about the young employees. So next generation of talent, whether it's millennials, whether it's Gen z, but what would you say to a young employee who is going to be a leader for the very first time? What advice would you give them?

Crystal Khalil: 22:35
The first thing I would say to them, it is known the difference between a manager and a leader. So more managers maintain systems and processes, right? Leaders are strategic and they look to take the organization to new levels. They're problem solvers. To understand which one do you want to be? You want to be a manager or leader. Leaders are more valuable to the organization. So focus on your leadership skills, your people skills, invest in yourself and never stop learning. You know, really take the time to enhance your knowledge of people skills. Take, you know, if there's training offered by your organization, take full advantage of that. But if it's not, go outside of your organization and get what you need to be the best leader possible.

Amanda Hammett: 23:27
I really don't have anything to add and we have quickly come up to the end of our time. So crystal, I'd like to thank you so much for being on the Next Generation Rockstars podcast, wealth of knowledge, wealth of knowledge. So again, thank you so much.

Crystal Khalil: 23:43
Thank you.

Amanda Hammett: 23:44
Thanks so much. Joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars, where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader, and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the Next Generation Rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Tonia Hau: Leading Early in Career Talent

Developing early career talent is a struggle for most companies. Yet, some leaders, like Tonia Hau, seem to be able to do it with incredible ease. Learn from Tonia as she explains for a simple method for developing early-career employees.

Tonia Carty Hoy is the Marketing Communications Account Director at Communiqué for Chick-fil-A, Inc. She has an amazing experience leading marketing programs and projects in Restaurant communications, project management, and vendor management.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Leading Early in Career Talent

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent, well you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: 00:14
All right, so today's episode of the Next Generation Rockstars podcast has a very special interview. This is actually the leader of two of our gas from season one, two of our rock stars from season one. So today I interviewed Tonia Hau who is an account director at Communique-USA here in the Atlanta, Georgia area. And she talks about how wonderful it can be to be a leader of early in career talent. So everybody on her team has less than five years of business experience, less than five years, and she really pours into them and really develops them and turns them into some amazing employees that will go on to have phenomenal careers. So I hope that you get out your pen, your paper or you take lots of mental notes if you're listening to this while you drive into work because Tonia Hau is going to break it down for you on how to be a phenomenal, authentic and transparent leader for that early in career talent.

Amanda Hammett: 01:16
Hey there and welcome to this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. We have a really fantastic episode with you today. We have Tonia Hau who is with Communique-USA where she is an account director. Welcome to the show Tonia.

Tonia Hau: 01:30
Hi. Thanks for having me.

Amanda Hammett: 01:32
No worries. So I knew I had to talk to Tonia last season. So season one, I interviewed two of her direct reports in the latter part of the season. So if you haven't checked it out, definitely go back, check out that episode. But they raved about their leader, their manager who happens to be Tonia. So Tonia, tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

Tonia Hau: 01:58
Hi, yes, as you mentioned, I'm the account director at Communique-USA. I report to the vice president of client services, Stephanie Thompson, who is a fabulous leader. And models leadership well for me. Um, and she reports to Shawnee Godwin, our CEO, and president. And it's just, I've worked there for five years. It's a wonderful organization to work for. They focus a lot on work-life balance which makes my job a lot easier and more fulfilling. And I have two teenagers. I have one boy in college, she's getting ready to start his sophomore year and I have a daughter who is starting her senior year of high school, very recently engaged and going to be married. So yes.

Amanda Hammett: 02:53
What's going on in your personal life there? That's amazing. That is fantastic. So I just have a lot of questions for you honestly, because I think that when people get a leadership role for them whether it's the first time or it's their first time really managing, you know, early in career, those right out of college employees, they want to pull their hair out, they don't get it. And it really is a test of a lot of things. But empathy, listening, development leadership in general. So really, can you tell the audience a little bit about what is your specific or general ideas around leadership around developing talent? How do you see the world?

Tonia Hau: 03:43
Okay. I mean I was a little bit, not embarrassed, but just take him back that my direct reports have great things to say because it is always hard to know how you're being perceived by your direct report. And it was, they were incredibly generous and kind with their words and it was very humbling and I feel very honored. Honestly. I believe that leadership is not about something that you do, but I believe it's about really who someone is and how they just see the world and how they interact with people. So for me, I don't think it's anything that I'm doing. It's more of just my personality, my character and what I value and how that comes out in my leadership skills. I believe that very important, and being authentic and transparent, I believe you should highlight successes as well as failures.

Tonia Hau: 04:42
And I think the biggest thing that I value that I've valued in leaders above me and I've tried to make the best of leaders that I have had, such as Stephanie, who's a phenomenal leader and I'm trusting over suspicion I think is absolutely crucial. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, allowing people to make mistakes and giving them a safe place to make mistakes. I think that creates a very innovative culture that can try new things and learn from your mistakes. I think that's the only way to grow and be innovative. And so I very much know that my employees know that they can come to me and share with me anything that's going on and just try to be completely open and transparent with them. And I guess the only other thing I think that's really important is just surrounding myself with complementary talent.

Tonia Hau: 05:44
I look to build teams that complement each other with their strengths and their weaknesses. I think it's been very important for me. When I was interviewing my direct report that you interviewed, both of them have strong skillsets in areas that I'm extremely weekend and so I'm embarrassed in the leap does say that because I think that's what builds strong teams. They have, I am more of a big-picture strategic thinker when they have attention to detail like nobody you've ever seen. And so that actually was one of the things I was looking for and building my team because I know that it's essential to have a well-rounded team.

Amanda Hammett: 06:29
Oh, that is so interesting that you say that. But also I'd like to commend you on being incredibly self-aware. I think that that is something that can be missing the time at all levels, at all levels. It does not just say if it's across the board. So I commend you on that. That's really fantastic and I think that it's helped you build an incredible team. So that's great. Now let me get, let me ask you, and not to be rude, how long have you been in the working world, Tonia?

Tonia Hau: 07:04
I have been in the workforce for over 20 years. I took a little bit of time off to be at home with my kids when they were younger. And so then I had to get reestablished back, um, into the work environment. But overall over 20, probably about 25 years.

Amanda Hammett: 07:24
Okay. Perfect. All right. So I would imagine that in that time you have seen a young talent coming to the workforce in different waves. What have you noticed as the biggest influence millennials and Gen z's are bringing into the workforce or have brought into the workforce?

Tonia Hau: 07:44
Well, absolutely. Hands down. I can tell you this, just from having teenagers myself, I know for a fact they could run this house on their knowledge of technology with or without any assistance. So it's definitely the rise in technology being tech-savvy. And I really see how that's influenced our company with the offerings that they bring. Just, you know, assessing that are our software and our offerings and providing suggestions and improvements has been really helpful.

Amanda Hammett: 08:19
That's awesome. So have you, besides the tech, you know, have there been any shifts in, well you did mention the offerings, but you know what has really been the surprise that has come with these shifts? Has it been a positive surprise or negative, anything like that?

Tonia Hau: 08:37
No, I would, I mean, that's just my personality. I always try to look for the positive and I try to always look for learning opportunities. So I definitely think it's been helpful that our leader has provided the work-life balance. I think one thing that's very important to millennials is that their outside passions fuel them. And so I think the work-life balance that we provide is just been an easy actually beneficial for them.

Amanda Hammett: 09:07
Absolutely. And I'd like to say, I mean, just, I know Shawnee personally, I have met Stephanie, I don't even know how many times and hung out with her and they really, they don't just say it, they actually practice that every single day. And I love the rule that you guys have in place as far as answering client emails. What is it like after five or six o'clock? Don't expect a response. And I mean, how many other companies do that?

Amanda Hammett: 09:36
Right? Oh, go ahead.

Tonia Hau: 09:42
Oh, I was just going to say we're very fortunate and well handpicking the clients that work along well with that culture and that embrace that culture and appreciate it. I know a lot of our clients, um, if they're checking emails after or doing work after business hours, that it's predominantly to just get, you know, their inbox cleared out and just so they're not holding things up because they're in meetings all day. So typically they don't expect a response at that time. They're just trying to get things off of their plate. So it's been great.

Amanda Hammett: 10:17
That's awesome. So when you're looking at young talent in particular because you do lead a younger team, you know, what are some of the things that you're looking for? What are some of those foundational pieces that you want someone to come in? They may not have a lot of experience, but what is it that really says, okay, this person's got potential. This person can be a rock star.

Tonia Hau: 10:44
Absolutely. I think, um, you know, at that level we don't expect anyone to know everything or to have all the answers I think, which is hard for anyone, not just millennials. When you go come into a new role and instantly people are trying to prove themselves and show their value that you made the right choice in hiring them, which can really be, I try to sit them down immediately like day one and say, we don't expect you to know everything. We don't expect you to prove yourself or show your value. What you are here to do at this moment is to learn and observe. And so we, I think someone that has rockstar potential that we see a lot is someone who asks a lot of questions, who doesn't pretend to know at all and who is just a great observer, not trying to add value that just, we very much encourage them to observe more in the beginning. And to be proactive. They ask for more work when you're slow to ask for what you need if you don't have the resources that you need to do your job and just not to be afraid to ask a lot of questions. But one thing that is an absolute bonus for sure, it's a positive, encouraging spirit. Someone who just is very enthusiastic who is happy to be there, willing to be there and just willing to help out wherever they can and be a team player.

Amanda Hammett: 12:19
Okay. I love all that and I think it's something [inaudible] okay. That you know, you see a lot of in, in other companies that it's like, oh, it's all about the resume. What's on the resume, what's on the resume? And at this point, they don't have a lot on their resume or at least not a lot that's really applicable. And it's really about getting those specific characteristics as specific traits that are going to translate well into your environment. And it sounds like, you know, you guys are looking for that inquisitive spirit, but also just that like, Hey, I'm going to be proactive. I'm going to go after things, whether it's, you know, in this specific area that is in my job or willing to, you know, spread myself out and help out where needed those are important things. Now, how do you spot that on a resume though?

Tonia Hau: 13:13
I mean, it's tough. I mean, a resume I think is for looking at the skillset and it's in the interview process where you assess the soft skills that are incredibly important. And so that's why it's important to have both really.

Amanda Hammett: 13:27
I agree with that. I do agree with that. So we've already kind of touched on this and maybe you have some other experiences outside of communique. But have you ever felt the pressure from higher-ups at any point in your career to focus more on numbers and metrics and KPIs and less on real people?

Tonia Hau: 13:51
I think that's a common pressure with every business. I don't think anyone, I mean every business focuses on profitability and growth. I think that's important. I mean, that's a common pressure, but again, we're just, I think I'm very fortunate to work a Communique that values people. And the work-life balance, I think as Shawnee mentions her joy economics, it's about making work as enjoyable and happy to go to as it is at home and your personal life. And it's a balancing act, but at get, at the end of the day, we're not, we don't want to sacrifice people or values for money or for profitability. I mean, it's equally important, but I think as a leader, it's just natural to me in the disc assessment of dominant influencers, steadiness and conscientious. I'm an influencer. So it just comes naturally to me to place emphasis on influencing others, openness, and relationships over tasks and profitability. So I do get, I have to get reined in every now and then on, on that. But for me, people always come first.

Amanda Hammett: 15:13
I think that's really, I think that's important. I think that unfortunately, sometimes we do tend to focus too much on the numbers and not enough on the people who drive those numbers. But I understand there's, there's a balance. it's delicate. Right? All right. So I, there was something that you said earlier that I really wanted to, to circle back to if you don't mind. You said trusting over suspicion and giving people a safe, a place to make mistakes. And I think that that's really beautiful and I think that it can be very scary for some leaders to do that. Because it's so, you know, making a mistake. In a lot of instances, people automatically assume that that's a terrible thing. It's a bad idea. I don't, that would reflect badly on me as a leader, you know? What do you have to say about that? What do you, what are your thoughts?

Tonia Hau: 16:09
Well, again it's about the types of mistakes obviously. Um, we prefer smaller mistakes over the larger, more costly mistake. Regardless, I mean, we, none of us are perfect. Everyone is going to make mistakes, especially when you're new in your career and to have an environment that is open to that, that you can come to immediately and say, Hey, I messed this up. I take full ownership. What do I need to do to fix it? In the end, is going to be more beneficial because the sooner I can get in and provide leadership and try to help navigate the process thereafter, the fewer mistakes and the less costly it is in the end. It's the people that work in the environment. And I know because I've worked in that environment and especially when I was younger, I'm trying to cover it up because you're so afraid of your boss finding out or someone finding out and you spend so much time and effort trying to fix it, that sometimes you just make it worse and it just goes down a path that it's almost to the point that you have no choice but a phone up to it. And I just, I think the sooner they feel safer to come to me, the better it is for everyone.

Amanda Hammett: 17:33
So how do you actually help them feel safe in that environment? That they can come to you? I mean, it's one thing to tell people, oh, it's okay to make a mistake, but I think that we've all been in situations before where we've been told sure can make mistakes. Nobody's perfect. Right? But the reality is not, doesn't always match up with that. So how do you make sure that you're direct reports actually feel that, hey, Tonia has got my back no matter what? How do you, how do you do that?

Tonia Hau: 18:05
I mean, I think it's by being authentic and vulnerable with them. I mean I will constantly when sharing examples of mistakes that I've made, whether it's in the past or current, I'm sharing with them, hey, you're not the only one. I've done this. Other people who've done this and just being very transparent about assuring them that they're not the only one that's ever made it, it's not the end of the world.

Amanda Hammett: 18:33
I think that that's really important that you do that. Um, that is the, I see the number one thing that young employees don't see is, you know, bosses that take responsibility or ownership of their own mistakes because then if they, if that is the example that you set one time you're done, you are done with that team because they all decided, okay, I've got to hide my mistakes. I've got to like run from it or whatever. And that's just you're setting yourself out to make it, you know, for a disaster. So I love that you do that.

Amanda Hammett: 19:10
That's really tough. Thank You. Plus I think as a leader it's important for them to know that. I mean, I take responsibility for the team, so I will be the one to step up and take it the responsibility for any mistakes and let them know that that's on me. It's not on necessarily on them every time that they can, you know, share that with me. But I will take the full responsibility for the team and for the mistake if the team isn't on me. So I think for taking the, not really the broad, but just taking the ownership of that and then providing them action steps. Of how to improve, what to do next time, how to make sure that this doesn't happen again. What do we learn from this is incredibly important because to just tell someone they made a mistake, they can just sit and feel bad about themselves, but actually to give them action steps gives them ownership and power and show it shows them to embrace the learning opportunity.

Amanda Hammett: 20:12
I love that because it's, yes, you see a lot of times people and companies talk about learning opportunities, but actually, you know, showcasing that and highlighting it in a positive light versus you're going to get fired light in a world of.

Tonia Hau: 20:30
I mean, and there are mistakes that I, yeah, I can't help or take ownership of. And there have been those opportunities, unfortunately, that I have had to let people go. And that is very unfortunate and it's a very tough, difficult thing for any of us. Of course, no matter how many times you do it, it's still tough.

Amanda Hammett: 20:50
Oh, of course. So let's, let's switch gears a little bit more. Let's, let's get a little away from the [inaudible] failure and mistakes world. Talk a little bit more about educating and developing your people. I mean a lot of your teamwork. Let's talk a little bit first about your team right now. Is it all fresh out of college or what do we look like?

Tonia Hau: 21:15
Right. I think we're very well balanced, but we do have a lot of millennials and early in their career, I wouldn't say fresh out of college, but I would say in the first five years of their career. Yes.

Amanda Hammett: 21:30
I mean, I listen, I think those first five years are a critical mass. Like that is like the toughest, special time. And so I'm really pleased that they have a great leader in you because I think that sets up the rest of their career. So, all right. So let's talk about educating and developing that early in career. Do you know what, what do you see as the benefit first of all, like overall to actually spending that time or those resources developing talent?

Tonia Hau: 22:01
I think it's very crucial to our business. I mean, obviously, sort of cliche to say, but it's the, I mean, the feature is in the future is in their hands. Our future is in their hands. So it's important to develop them. And I start off all of our, one on one meetings by saying, look, I know that it's not likely that you're going to stay with this company for the rest of your life. But I do want to make this a very valuable time for you to learn and grow and I want you to go into your next position, whatever that might be with whatever company that might be saying, Aye. You know, I gained a ton of knowledge and great and honed and on my strengths and weaknesses and was able to use that in my next position. I mean, I think so.

Tonia Hau: 22:57
I said, I tried to take our one-on-ones as a time to less develop you as a person and what can we do to grow you in your career where you are and try to get them to think about their strengths, to think about their weaknesses and then provide action items and action steps to develop them. I think if we don't do that, we're gonna lose great talent. That has a lot of opportunities. I think when you have, you know, any turnover, you risk losing client relationships and losing client business and I mean, and I think it keeps us on our toes as an organization to fine-tune our skills and to grow in our business and grow our opportunities.

Amanda Hammett: 23:45
All right. I couldn't agree with any of that more. Basically. I do have one just quick clarifying question. Uh, how often do you do your one on ones with your team?

Tonia Hau: 23:55
I do them biweekly. Okay. and I mean it doesn't always happen based on, you know, but I at least try to touch base with them once a month.

Amanda Hammett: 24:03
Okay. And then are those usually what, how long?

Tonia Hau: 24:07
30 minutes. 30 such space. Right. And then, you know, and then we'll provide, like, you know, a yearly review, which is a little bit more in-depth than we're meeting.

Amanda Hammett: 24:19
Yeah, absolutely. Okay. But it seems like you cover a fair amount of ground in those 30-minute meetings, which, you know, 30 minutes out of your, you know, every week or every month. Not that much time, but you also are very hands-on with them should they need it. But it seems like you have a very open door, I guess, policy, where they could come to you and them, feel comfortable coming to you even outside of that 30 minutes.

Tonia Hau: 24:50
Yes, absolutely. They texted me all the time.

Amanda Hammett: 24:55
So I'd also like to highlight one thing that you said in that last statement. And it's more at this talks more to the financial ramifications of developing your team or maybe not developing your team, but you actually mentioned the potential for when there's turnover, actually potentially also losing clients. I think that's huge and I don't think that people make that connection enough. So, okay. I'd like to, let's see, are there any other ways that you see how this financially benefits you guys in developing your team? Or is it mainly because you guys are pretty customer-facing? Is it mainly just that piece? Okay.

Tonia Hau: 25:40
I mean, I'm sure there are others. I just that's a big bulk of what we do is I'm nervous and account management. So that is the number one thing that comes to mind. I mean again, not developing talent. Ah, woodwork also, I mean lots of mistakes cost money, it costs clients money. So we try to be very hands-on and provide great, you know, development and mentorship to them to avoid as many client mistakes cause those can come back to bite us as well.

Amanda Hammett: 26:18
Oh goodness. Yes. And I mean your entire team is just client service. I mean that is all you guys do. So that would be, I think the biggest, the biggest piece of that. But I mean obviously you want to build up those skills in case, you know, you eventually have somebody move up into a different room, part of the company or you know, whatever you want them to have built those skills under you, which it sounds they're doing.

Tonia Hau: 26:44
Oh, absolutely. And there's the rare instance. I mean, but it does happen where we've had clients that just fell in love with our talent and our employees and have hired them on. And so then someone that was working for us is now our client. So it's great to have that positive rapport in that relationship already established.

Amanda Hammett: 27:11
That is great. That is great to have. I mean that's, of course, you hate to see them go, but at the same time, you know, you want them to have great careers and it's a logical next step. This is the logical next step.

Tonia Hau: 27:23
Absolutely.

Amanda Hammett: 27:24
So wonderful. All right, so let's, let's circle back a little bit and take a look at something from a different perspective. Tonia, what would advice would you give, I know that you have a son currently in college or, or maybe some of his friends, so let's talk to that to them specifically. What would you tell them to look for in their first boss or their first company? What would be the most important things for them to think about?

Tonia Hau: 27:55
I think they need to focus on, which I think really comes naturally to millennials anyway, is just development and growth opportunities. It's very important in your first career too. Just learn as much as you can and observe as much as you can. And so I think for them to look for those opportunities in companies that invest in their people and invest in that long term growth strategy. They companies that provide great leadership, um, look for ways to build on that. I think for them to identify their strengths and passions. And just again, it's kind of like what we're looking for in employees they should be looking for in companies and leadership or just, you know, positive and enthusiastic people that are happy to be there, that are very knowledgeable that they can learn a lot from.

Amanda Hammett: 28:55
Awesome. All right, so the last question and then I'm going to let you go. What, do you have a favorite leadership book?

Tonia Hau: 29:04
Oh, absolutely. I have two actually that I mean there's a lot that I've read, but too, I have, I'm courageous leadership by bill Hybels is one of my absolute favorites. He talks a lot about vision, creating fuel for leaders, um, and passion for followers. And so I think it's incredibly important for leaders to cast vision and cast it often and frequently. And the other is a next-generation leader by Andy Ali is my other favorite that he talks about the five cs mark and shape women and men for the future, which is courage, clarity, competence, coachability, and character.

Amanda Hammett: 29:58
[inaudible]. Yup, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, fantastic. Well, Tonia, it has been a real pleasure having you on the show. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences being that in the trenches like early in career leader. I think this is going to be some great takeaways for the entire audience.

Tonia Hau: 30:18
Oh, thank you so much and thank you so much for having me. It's been a true honor. I appreciate it.

Amanda Hammett: 30:22
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the next generation rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

DeeAnn Turner: Selecting Talent

Have you ever wondered why some companies can't seem to keep employees while other companies hire employees and then they stick around for years? According to Dee Ann Turner, former head of HR for Chick-Fil-A, it all comes down to selecting talent versus hiring people.

Dee Ann Turner is a Communicator, Consultant, and Coach. She began Dee Ann Turner, LLC after serving 33 years at Chick-fil-A, Inc. An early architect for Chick-fil-A's well-known culture and talent systems, she was Chick-fil-A's first female officer. Most recently, she was Vice President, Sustainability, launching and leading Chick-fil-A's first sustainability strategy. Selected as Chick-fil-A's first female officer, she previously served as the Vice President, Talent/Human Resources, a role she held for nearly 20 years.

Her first book, It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture, reveals the lessons she learned and taught during her long tenure at Chick-fil-A as the company grew from $175M to $10B in revenue. 

More info about her: https://www.deeannturner.com/

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Selecting Talent

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: 00:14
Hey, good morning and welcome to the next generation rock stars podcast. I'm your host, Amanda Hammett, and we have a phenomenal leader for you today. Her name is Dee Ann Turner and Dee Ann used to be with the one and only Chick-Fil-A. Dee Ann, welcome to the show.

Dee Ann Turner: 00:31
Thank you so much. It's really my pleasure to be here, Amanda.

Amanda Hammett: 00:34
Wonderful. Like we have a lot to talk about because of Dee Ann well, I'll actually, why don't you go in and tell us a little bit about you.

Dee Ann Turner: 00:43
Sure. Well, it's quite a story. I did spend 33 years at chip full lie in the majority of that time. My responsibility was to lead talent and human resources and then later social responsibility. And I retired last year. I'd written my first book, it's my pleasure in 2015 and had the opportunity to just start speaking and robbing, consulting and coaching. And so I speak about 50 times a year globally. And I Baker publishing picked up, it's my pleasure and asked me to add content to it. Then we redid the work and it will come out on September the third Az bet on talent. How to create a remarkable culture and win the hearts of customers.

Amanda Hammett: 01:29
Perfect. Perfect. Well, you know, for those from my audience that is not familiar with Chick-Fil-A as a consumer, I will say this Chick-Fil-A is known not only for, you know, fast food, wonderful chicken, but they're known for their service. That is why for people like myself, that's why you go to Chick-Fil-A is because you know the service that's going to be good. You know, the food's going to be good, but it's the service that sets it apart. And I would imagine that you might've had a hand in that being over HR and talent for so long.

Dee Ann Turner: 02:04
I'd like to take credit for that. But there are actually a native so many people and number one is actually the Chick-Fil-A life franchisees themselves. See Chick-Fil-A is now, Oh, I guess about 2,500 franchisees and 10 and a half-billion dollars in sales. When I first went to Chick-Fil-A, I believe that we were at about 175 million in sales with 150 restaurants. But those franchises are totally responsible for selecting their own talent and training them and developing them. And so I think the secret sauce, if you will, of Chick-Fil-A is in the selection of that Franchisee. And that was one of the things I really did. In fact, it was my favorite job at Chick-Fil-A was selecting those franchisees. Now there are about 50,000 people who required each year for 120 opportunities to be a Chick-Fil-A grand chassis. So actually people say it's easier to get into Harvard than it is to become a Chick-Fil-A for the like franchisee.

Amanda Hammett: 03:07
Wow. I had no idea. I mean, I knew it was difficult. I actually know a few franchisees and that the process that they put you through is incredible. But I would like for you to say that stat again. What was that again?

Dee Ann Turner: 03:21
It's about 50,000 inquiries each year of people who would like to become a Chick-Fil-A like franchisees for only about 120 opportunities. And let me take it a little further. Two-thirds of the people who are selected actually come from somewhere within the organization. Most of them have been a Chick-Fil-A team member at some point. So now we're talking only about 35 or 40 that are even available to those apps.

Amanda Hammett: 03:50
That is insane. That is, those are some crazy numbers. So you, you actually just said a few minutes ago that this secret sauce to Chick-Fil-A was really the selection of those franchisees. So I, you know, that's something that we haven't really talked about on this show. Because usually, it's, it's specific to, you know, in house corporate, you know, hires, but this is a little different. So I mean, what makes it so different? What makes it so difficult, but what makes it so special?

Dee Ann Turner: 04:22
Well as I, you know, and of course this was my role a few years back, so I'm, you know, I want to be, I want to be sensitive to the fact that, you know, things maybe even a little different right now, but as it was when I had that role, um, you know, we look for three things when our candidates, and this really came from Truett Cathy, the founder, the first one is character. And he always said character first. And when we talk about character, we're talking about an individual whose values and purpose and mission-aligned with the organization. It doesn't, it doesn't mean it matches perfectly. It just means that they understand what those characteristics are and they're comfortable with that. So, along with the chick-fil-a purpose met mission and values would be one part of the Franchisee selection. And the second part is competency.

Dee Ann Turner: 05:10
And you know, the interesting thing that changed so much over the time I told you that we're not started doing that work. We had 175 million in sales and those were all mall restaurants. You see 86 Chick-Fil-A started opening free-standing locations will over time the volumes of those restaurants have become very complex. And by the way, about 500 of those phones, Chelsea's operating with two restaurants and a dozen or so operate three. So we're talking about, you know, very large, small businesses that these frames, same with these franchise needs or are running. So competency of what was required in 1985 to run a mall restaurant versus what's required in 2019 to run a freestanding restaurant with the kind of average sales that chick like produces. And then, and then to look at people and say, you know what, in a few years, we want them to have the capacity, the competency to actually operate more than one restaurant.

Dee Ann Turner: 06:08
So when we select for competency, it should flight, not just selecting a for what's available right then, but thinking is this the leader that has the capacity to do more later on? And then last week looking at chemistry, you know, how well does the chemistry matched the team, the franchisee market team that they're part of the people that they'll work with at the support center staff. So what we look for and what we look for at Chick-Fil-A is the number one character that matched the organization competency to match the role in chemistry that matches the team. And that's true of Franchisee selection at Chick-Fil-A. It's also true of the support staff.

Amanda Hammett: 06:52
Oh, absolutely. I am very good friends with several people that actually work at, at corporate headquarters and also the process to be hired there has, you know, it really is a long process, but it's also a very rigorous process and you guys have done an incredible job of leading through who's going to be successful. Because everybody I know that comes into work for check for like corporate, they're there for life there and they, they're very proud of that fact. And that's not something that you see a lot in other companies and other corporations in other industries. What do you think it is? what is it in that recruiting and hiring process that really makes you say, okay, this person is going to be a rock star here?

Dee Ann Turner: 07:43
Well, to start with, one of the things that I like to say is I don't hire people. I select talent. And there's a difference when you hire people, you, I think of quantity. Now think about in the restaurant environment, are there enough employees to cover the shift? Are there, you know, do I have enough people in the dining room to have enough people in the back of the house to prepare food? But when I think about selecting talent, it's like do I have the people with the character, competence, and chemistry to fit the organizations the role and the team. And so that first difference is a huge difference. The difference between hiring people and selecting Tamar. And I think the other part, um, and over time, especially with the millennial generation, you know, they want faster decisions and faster opportunities. So cheerful life might adjustment overtime in their selection culture around that.

Dee Ann Turner: 08:33
You know, when I came on board, it wasn't uncommon to take six months to be selected. And now that time has had to shorten. But one of the things that, that chick-fil-a doesn't cut corners on is making sure that it's a match both ways. Making sure that the candidate is not just the best candidate for the job, but that the candidate sees chick-fil-a is the best organization. Yeah. So the selection process includes opportunities not just to evaluate the candidate, but most clearly for the candidate to also evaluate Chick-Fil-A. And while, you know, you made the comment, you said they're there for life and you know, I was there for 33 years, there are 40-year veterans. It's a common thing, but the reality is is that business is changing and generational differences in. So now, you know, as I was particularly, we would say, we'd like longterm decisions.

Dee Ann Turner: 09:24
So we hope that people will be with us longer than what you would expect somebody to be with an organization. But we recognized that things were changing and not necessarily was that a lifetime anymore, but it very well could be. The reason is after the selection of that talent, they just, the way Chick-Fil-A stewards their talent and the opportunities that they have. And you know, every person at the support center, positive development plan, everybody has a budget for their own personal development and then work with their supervisor and in their self-identified needs and like can use those development dollars in all kinds of ways to improve not just as an employee and a leader, but also I'm personally in areas that would help them personally to better develop, to be more effective in their role. And chick-fil-a and franchisees helped the same opportunity is part of their agreement is they're able to use funds for their own development too. So it's an organization that truly believes in lifelong learning, provides those opportunities to steward their talent well. And that has a lot to do. One stay so long.

Amanda Hammett: 10:35
Oh, I would agree. I, as you know, as my friends have always said, you know, that is one of the things that they have enjoyed the most is that they have been encouraged to continue to learn. There's a lot of companies out there that say, Oh yeah, yeah we will, we provide these opportunities. But actually, it is really something that is important. It's in the day to day culture and it's very much encouraged to for everyone to do that. And that is something that is so important, especially for millennials, especially for Gen z employees. They're looking for that investment in them and they're looking to be able to continuously learn and grow and push themselves in different ways. So I love this. You guys are way ahead of the curve. This is wonderful.

Dee Ann Turner: 11:21
Alright. You know, as I said, it's growing constantly and chicken lady continues to add a lot of talent in this area of their business and I'm sure that that will help secure that for the future as well. And you know, part of my work in the last year since retired particularly is traveling around to a lot of other organizations too and seeing some of their remarkable cultures and I continue to find that organizations that are willing to invest, you know, a lot in their selection process and then also in the stewardship that those employees are able to keep them around a lot longer. You know, one of the things that were kind of funny, I'll have to tell you, when I first came to Chick-Fil-A and I started this work, I didn't have a budget for real key item in human resources.

Dee Ann Turner: 12:07
I didn't have a budget for separation. It's amazing. And the reason I did is that the truth, Kathy really getting intend on making any changes. I had a very nice budget for selection and I had a pretty healthy budget for stewardship, but it had no budget for separation because he didn't really believe he believed if we did those other two things, well we really wouldn't have that money. Now, of course, is Chick-Fil-A grew from a, like I said, $175 million when I came there, the 10 and a half billion when I left, we obviously needed that. But to that very day that the selection and stewardship project always outweighed what we, what was invested separation.

Amanda Hammett: 12:51
So let's talk about that all talents. And that is coming out when?

Dee Ann Turner: 12:54
September 3rd.

Amanda Hammett: 12:56
September the third. So for those of you watching or listening is already available to be pre-ordered pretty much everywhere. Correct?

Dee Ann Turner: 13:06
Here, go to my website and get it too.

Amanda Hammett: 13:09
Okay. All right, we'll put a link to that below this interview, but so why was bet on talent so important for you to write? Because writing a book is not easy. It is sometimes a very painful process, but why was it so important for you to write that on top?

Dee Ann Turner: 13:26
You know, the funny thing is is that I wanted to be a writer since I was eight years old. I was a journalism major. My first trip to college and when I got out of school when I realized was two things. One is I didn't have the life experience and anybody was going to read more, read about everything after a drive. And secondly, I could live again. So I took off in a little bit of a different direction, but that love never left me.

Dee Ann Turner: 13:49
And finally in 2014 when two things have happened, the year before my dad had passed away. And in 2014, Truett Cathy passed away and they had really been two significant business mentors in my life. And all of a sudden I started writing down all of these lessons, all of these things that I had learned and principles around growing remarkable culturing around selecting extraordinary talents on started his blog posts. And the next thing I knew I had 16,000 words. I was on my way to a book. And so it came important to me to publish the book for two reasons. One is I didn't want the things that I had learned I didn't want the people that were on that journey with me is on the earth. Those early days of Chick-Fil-A lady learn directly from true it. I didn't want us to ever forget what he taught us. And secondly, all the thousands of people that would come after me, I wanted there to be some record of what we learned because, you know, true, it said people decisions from the most important decisions a leader makes. And Ben on talent is really, the encapsulation of how you make those great people decisions. And I just felt like it was something very, very important that lots of people would benefit from. And so that's why I've written it.

Amanda Hammett: 15:06
That's amazing. Cool. I love, I love that because I think that a lot of times companies can be a little shortsighted when it comes to recruiting. Now I'm a former recruiter, so I understand that what I'm about to say is probably not very popular. But a lot of times it's more about filling a role, filling a role, and they're only looking at that immediate need. And I liked that you guys are Chick-Fil-A specifically focused on the person as in a very holistic way. And not only just the person and what they're capable of then, but where they can go eventually as long as everything, values, and character align that can take you really far, but it's not, but it's gotta be something that you've got to have the vision for. Now let me ask you this. What have you guys found or what have you seen, whether it's a Chick-Fil-A or some of the other companies that you've been working with since you're retired, since your retirement? Have you noticed any financial benefit to really focusing on talent and getting the right talent the first time?

Dee Ann Turner: 16:18
Well, there's not a question about when you talk with other organizations about this too, but that the when you focus on selecting the right talent from the beginning, I mean just the cost savings of what it takes to resect and retraining and so forth with people. So even though it's painful, especially in this full-employment economy, we're all in. I mean, that's everywhere I go to, that's what we're talking about is this cool employment economy. And you know, I'm just, I'm lucky to get a warm body much less, you're talking about this extensive selection process, but in the recruiting process, you know what I encourage employers and companies always be recruiting talent is around you all the time. Don't wait too. You have a role to be recruiting. Recruiting is about relationships and developing those relationships so that when you have that opportunity, it's right there.

Dee Ann Turner: 17:15
You've got that person there, you've built that relationship and they're ready because they have a personal relationship with you. They're willing to make that change. Even in economy, in full employment economy that we're in now. Now think about an executive on work with three years. He was five when I, my role was heavy recruiting. Amanda, what? I loved this executive because a lot of other executives is like, that was my job. You know, go find the people. That's your job. And but he was different. He saw that it was a partnership and that was very much a part of his to always be recruiting. And that guy never had a problem finding talent. In fact, to this day, some of the really outstanding young leaders, I'll see a Chick-Fil-A as this executive selected them and here they are growing and so forth. But it started in relationships, some of them when they were still in high school. And I saw the same thing. I was with a client recently in speaking at their conference and I was watching some of their success stories and you know, they had one of their leaders was very involved in the community and she spent a lot of time developing those relationships and all of her counterparts were talking about how they couldn't find any talent. She has people waiting in line waiting for an opening in her organization.

Amanda Hammett: 18:35
That's an amazing thing to see. But it's, it's also very amazing to me that people want to complain, but they don't want to put in the work to build those relationships, which are so valuable.

Dee Ann Turner: 18:49
Well, wait here that, I mean, you know, when you have a job, you know, you think about all the other roles that people, that leaders have. I mean, and they have this main thing they're being held accountable for in the organization, which is why it's so important that as organizations select leaders, they select people who can be talent, mammals who can attract people who are great. They're not great managers, they're great leaders that people will want to follow. Because they do have other responsibilities. But this is key for their success in those who do it well, know that they know the better talent they select, the easier their job will be. And actually, when they have great talent, they can spend more time on finding work tower.

Amanda Hammett: 19:32
That's true. So let me ask you this, you kind of talked about the new kind of, you know, talked about this just a second ago, but let's say we have a team, young team, millennials, Gen C's, and how do you recognize when you're looking at this team, who has the capability of being a great leader? Is there something that you're looking for when you look out at this group?

Dee Ann Turner: 19:59
Cool. For me, I'm looking for a track record and you know, a strong track record of leadership. Even in the youngest of candidates. I started, I'll tell you a story about this young man. I'm super proud of him. I started recruiting him when he was in the 10th grade to be a Chick-Fil-A support center staff member. Now he was years away from being eligible, but he was well-rounded. He was, I can I sign on the football field. He was the leader, he was a great student. He had ambition and dreams. And so he happened to be a friend of one of my sons and I just developed a relationship with them. Impala. His first year out of Georgia tech when it was a time when jobs were a little bit more scares. But you know, most organizations want freshman interns in there.

Dee Ann Turner: 20:49
They're high, they're selecting, excuse me, junior year. Well, some of them are adding, but we would be selecting juniors and seniors, you know, that could come on board with us afterward. But I was able to convince the group that he would work with that he was just a really exceptional talent. And so he came on board and he worked that summer and did a fabulous job. Went Back to Georgia Tech and the next two summers he spent at ups and Halliburton and we competed to get him that final summer. And he came and he's still there today. He's been there for a number of years now. I want to say maybe he's, I can't say six or seven, but leading in his function, doing a great job, bright future. And you know, that's, that's not uncommon about how to look at talent. It's like, so, you know, he had that leadership track record, that strong character, even for the few responsibilities he had, even as a teenager, he shoulda a lot of competencies there in his relationship strength, the chemistry with other people.

Dee Ann Turner: 21:52
It was really obvious. So if you know what you're looking for in your talent that you're looking for that character competency and chemistry and what the traits are in that, then it's, that is a whole lot easier to identify it. So the first thing you asked me the question, what are you looking for? Well, the first thing I'm looking, I'm looking for is a leadership track record because I know that these people decisions that eventually, even if it's not a leadership role, right then I'm going to need leaders and great source of getting leaders would be from the bitch that I've already created. So I'm trying to bring those walls. The second thing I'm looking for, I'm looking at there for people who are here to serve. Now, I've spent my career in the hospitality and service industry. So obviously that would be part of what I would be looking for is people who are wanting to serve others.

Dee Ann Turner: 22:38
ou never want my sweat to a corporate staff member. Their whole job was to serve chick-fil-a franchisees. Our franchisee's job is pretty obvious. They're serving customers and even their own employees. So I'm looking for people who have a real heart for service was always important to me. I look for people who were showing good judgment and good decision making. You know, we all make mistakes. I've made my full share of course, but when you see a pattern of that is probably not the best talent you could select. So I'm looking for somebody who's made a strong track record of good decisions. Those are some very general things above and beyond what's required for the job. But that's the when I'm looking for the diamond in the rough, so mine doesn't have a lot of experience. Those are the types of things I'm looking for.

Amanda Hammett: 23:28
That's amazing. I love that. And I love that you have this completely laid out. This is your very specific that is I think a skill that a lot of hiring managers at whatever level you may be a need to really develop. Is this being able to say, okay, it's more than just what's on a resume? It's like, it's got to be more than that. I am not a believer in the warm body recruiting process is what I call it. I'm more in they've got to fit your culture and it sounds like you've got that down pat. I love that too.

Dee Ann Turner: 24:03
Warm bodies are just hiring people, but when you find a match that's working talent.

Amanda Hammett: 24:08
Absolutely. Absolutely. Well wonderful. Well, Dan, I have enjoyed this time with you so, so much. We could actually go on for another two or three hours, but I try to be very mindful of my audience members time and effort. Where can you tell everybody where they can find your book? Remind them again when it's going to come out and yeah, let's do that.

Dee Ann Turner: 24:34
Right. Bet on talent. How to create your remarkable culture that wins the hearts of customers will be released on September 3rd is now available for preorder just about anywhere anyone would order books online and it'll be in bookstores on September the third I'll say, visit me at my website, which is at DeeAnn, excuse me, DeeAnnTurner.com. You can order the book directly from retailers off of that one. Also, I might ask your listeners to please follow me, especially on a at Linkedin, at @DeenAnnTurner, on Twitter, at Instagram at the Internet and then finally my Facebook author page. I would love to interact with them there.

Amanda Hammett: 25:16
Perfect. Well, wonderful. Well, thank you guys so much for joining us. I hope that you took a tremendous amount of notes and learned a lot from Dee Ann and we will see you in the very next episode.

Amanda Hammett: 25:28
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the Next Generation Rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Ralph Barsi, Round II: Mentoring for Impact

Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to teach and guide young employees. But what does it really take to be a great mentor? I asked Ralph Barsi, who mentors some of our very own Rockstar guests.

Ralph Barsi is the VP, Global Inside Sales at Tray.io. Ralph Barsi leads the worldwide sales development organization at ServiceNow. Ralph regularly speaks and writes about sales and leadership and is recognized among the top inside sales leaders in the technology industry. He publishes most of his material at https://ralphbarsi.com/show-your-work/.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Round II: Mentoring for Impact

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent or you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: 00:14
Hey there everybody. My name is Amanda Hammett and today on the next generation rock stars we have round two with Ralph Barsi. Now if you have been following us, you know that Ralph was on a couple of weeks ago and he shared with us just all kinds of knowledge bombs so you need to go back and check that episode out if you missed it. But today we have Ralph Barsi back from service now. Rob, welcome to the show.

Ralph Barsi: 00:38
Thanks, Amanda. It's great to be back. Thanks for having me again. I appreciate it.

Amanda Hammett: 00:41
No worries. Well, I will tell you, Ralph, you are the only person who has been invited back for a ride.

Ralph Barsi: 00:48
Okay, that's awesome.

Amanda Hammett: 00:53
So there was snow there. The whole reason I originally reached out to you was to talk about mentoring because I know a couple of people that you mentor, but we had so much to talk about the last time. We didn't even get to it. So we had to do around two.

Ralph Barsi: 01:08
Here we are. You're right. We had a good conversation last time. So I would encourage any of the viewers today. Go back and take a look at our first conversation before you continue on with this one and a, you know, you'll see how we're picking up where we left off. I'm glad we can talk about mentoring and mentorship. It's an important craft and it's, it's something that I think more people need to take advantage of on both sides, both the mentors and the mentees. So I'm looking forward to getting into it.

Amanda Hammett: 01:33
Awesome. So let's start at a basic level. So how do you define mentoring for yourself?

Ralph Barsi: 01:42
To be a mentor. Well, let's start first an on the mentee side, you know, someone who is a mentee looking for a mentor, someone who wants to level up, they want to improve, uh, in their profession and their craft in life. And they are vulnerable enough to ask for a guide or a coach or a teacher or someone who could shed light and share insights based on their experiences to maybe shine the spotlight in places that the mentees not considering or even thinking about. And so it's a combination of that teacher coach guide in my definition that kind of rolls into what a real mentor is.

Amanda Hammett: 02:28
That's a great, great definition. I love that you started out with the leveling up, but also the teacher-coach guide. I mean I think that word guide I think is really key.

Ralph Barsi: 02:39
Absolutely. You know, it's a, there's a great zen saying, I think it's a zen proverb. You know, when the pupil is ready, the master appears. Yes. And it's the exact same law that states seek and you shall find. So if you really want to level up and you to start finding a guide or teacher or mentor to kind of walk the path with you, they won't appear until you start looking for them. So you have to decide first on your own that you're committed to finding that person or those people and you'll be amazed how they surface, they will show up, the universe will conspire to put them in your path. So it's a super optimistic, positive thing to think about if you really want to go that route.

Amanda Hammett: 03:30
I love it. Yes, you're absolutely correct. Now, I would assume that you have had over the years, some pretty amazing mentors that have really modeled this for you.

Ralph Barsi: 03:43
I have a personally and professionally, I've had mentors that I didn't even ask to have as mentors, people who've just kind of noticed that I was looking to improve in certain areas and they were able to offer some wisdom and knowledge. And I'm pretty open and transparent and candid anyway. So I can always get better on my listening skills and I can always get better on how I hear and accept and apply the feedback that has been super tough for me throughout life and still is. But I think I've improved quite a bit over the last several years. And just hearing people's feedback of me and about me and how I can, you know, turn the dial in certain spots to just be a better person.

Amanda Hammett: 04:36
I think that we could all use that feedback and sometimes it is, it's tough to take and it hurts a little bit.

Ralph Barsi: 04:43
Totally. And a lot of people will say feedback is a gift and, you know, sure. Thank you. I appreciate the gift, but I don't like the gift all the time.

Amanda Hammett: 04:56
You're right. I've had those moments where people feel me, but it's a get back like,

Ralph Barsi: 05:01
oh yeah, it's things a little bit. But so, you know, let's talk about mentoring and let's, let's talk about it, whether it's personal, professional, and maybe you can share too with the audience, you know, tell us about your mentors and your experience with mentoring.

Amanda Hammett: 05:16
Absolutely. You know, it's funny that you mentioned a little while ago that, you know, what was it, the proper, basically when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear. And that really resonated with me because that has been the case for me, especially the past five, 10 years of my career where I felt like I was in this area and I felt like I had something extra to give, but I didn't, there wasn't really a defined place for me. And so I was really reaching and trying to find that place. How do I start this place? And I was searching and searching and she did, she appeared and she has been a pioneer in her own field. And, and she was like, this is, she really helps me wrap my head around it and it's been a beautiful learning and teaching experience for me. And now I'm just really fortunate that I, you know, she's come to me recently and said, I am so proud of what you have been able to accomplish. And to me, that is like it, you know, the best. Yes, I could have gotten because she's recognized like how, how hard I've had to work to get to where I am.

Ralph Barsi: 06:30
Yeah. It means the world, you know, especially to mentors really care. They really care about you moving the needle in your own life and when you can illustrate that progress and then, you know, you've got the gratitude and the awareness of how far you've come. That just, that means the world to mentors. And that's what it's all about. And it's not uncommon, Amanda, what you mentioned, how, you know, you're just, you're trying to wrap your head around it. You know, you need some help in some areas, but you're not quite sure how to get started. What's step one is et cetera. So many people feel that way. So what's really important for those listening and watching who are just contemplating whether or not they want to take that leap and kind of get into a mentorship relationship, write it out, you know, you, I mean, just spill it all out onto paper and you know, use the concept of beginning with the end in mind.

Ralph Barsi: 07:25
What, what short, mid and long term outcomes are even important to you. And you and I started to talk about this in our last talk, you know, kind of do a thorough self-assessment and identify what those short, mid and long term goals are. And also identify how you define what's short, mid and long term means it means something different to all of us. And I would highly recommend, again, spilling it all out, really writing it all out, what's bothering you, what challenges you're encountering over and over again, what patterns you've identified and what you want to fix. And then boil it down to the essentials so that when you do have those initial conversations with your mentor, it's concise, it's simplified, it's a clear path to where you're trying to get and that's going to help them help you have. So yeah. Otherwise, you're going to experience what both you and I have experienced. You're like, um hmm. I think I need help. I'm just not quite sure where and what. Well, hey, if I were a mentor listening to that, I don't even know where to start either. So, yeah, help me, help you that it's that simple.

Amanda Hammett: 08:39
Absolutely. And you know, one thing that I would add to those, those short, mid and long term goals and really be looking at yourself where you are is being honest with yourself, with where you are. Because it is very easy in today's world to really start to compare. It's like, oh no, you know, I can do this well. And it's like, well, can I, you know, is it world-class or is it, I can get by.

Ralph Barsi: 09:06
What will come from that? Those types of questions and assessments are, you know, perhaps you create smart goals, you know, what are what's the acronym again? Help me. I think it's simple. It's measured. It's actionable. A reasonable or realistic and timely. Yeah. So if you think about those categories when you're writing down your goals and you really you know, make it easy for the two of you to measure your progress, that's a huge step that you could take. Perhaps it becomes a plan on a page. A lot of businesses do this. We do it all over service now. For example, we have a plan on a page with what are top three to five initiatives are and kind of what rolls into accomplishing those initiatives and perhaps one page on yourself and your assessments and your goals is really gonna help the two of you get the conversation started and that's where your mentor can really weigh in and help you kind of tailor it or, you know, frame it up in a more proper way for the two of you to move forward on.

Amanda Hammett: 10:13
I agree. So let me ask you this, and you've kind of touched on this a little bit. Um, but what really as a mentor, what is your role? What is your role?

Ralph Barsi: 10:28
Wow. What a good question. What a broad answer I can give you for that. The way I see it number one, I'm here to listen. I'm here to listen. And ultimately what I'm to do is help you connect the dots to get to where you want to go. Oh yes. You know, and if I see some obstacles that are on your path, I have to help mitigate the obstacles or make the obstacles appear smaller than they are. Because you're so focused on producing high-quality work, moving forward. You have an intensity level of focus. You have a set time that you are going to invest in working towards your goals. And I help you get there. Ultimately the best mentors ask questions, they ask questions so that you, Amanda can arrive at the answer yourself. We don't parachute in and go, hey, look, thanks so much for the smart goals.

Ralph Barsi: 11:32
Here's what you're going to want to do for A, B, C, and d. Instead. We'll ask them, well, why is that an important goal of yours? And if you were to stack rank these top three goals, what would be the first one you'd really want to accomplish versus the last one and why? you know what w w how can you visualize yourself having already accomplished these goals? What type of person would you be like how would you be talking to me if those goals were already accomplished? Who would you pay this forward to? Who would you go help knowing what you don't know yet?

Amanda Hammett: 12:06
Yes.

Ralph Barsi: 12:07
So that's how I see a mentor. That's what mentors do. That's the best mentors do.

Amanda Hammett: 12:11
All right. I would agree with you. I would agree with you. Yeah. And I, you know, another thing that my mentors have done for me is they have challenged my thinking and you know, sometimes there have been times where I've been thinking maybe too small and this one mentor, in particular, she was just like, yeah, you can totally do that. But, and I always knew when she said that I knew like she's about to give me a mental buck kicking. And I knew it was, it wasn't, she really pushed me to be uncomfortable in a lot of ways. And it was, it was a wonderful gift because now I live a lot of my business life in a state of Semyon comfort and that's okay. I've gotten really comfortable with it.

Ralph Barsi: 12:57
Well, that discomfort equals growth is on its way. And, uh, if I were your mentor, for example, I'd want to make sure I kept you accountable on what you said you were going to do. Yeah. And just kept your focus on it. There may be instances where you bring up areas that you're trying to improve in and I might know people in my network that are gonna do a way better job of kind of teasing out the best in you than I would in those areas. So I would broker introductions and make sure that you're, you know, expanding your network and adding value to it at the same time. As we've talked about before, the more value you add, the more valuable you become in the process. And it's just really important to add value even in the smallest of increments.

Amanda Hammett: 13:46
Absolutely. So what I've been seeing a lot lately are companies who have been coming to me to either help them create or tweak or completely revamp an internal mentoring program. And it's always really interesting to see that dynamic within a company. I assume that Sarah's, now, you've kind of alluded to one earlier, I assume that you guys have one. So what do you think is the benefit to a company to have an internal mentoring program?

Ralph Barsi: 14:16
Sure. A great question and yeah, we'll just focus on professional for a minute. Okay. So I read a study recently, now, I read it recently, but the study is probably two years old. And it said that 71% of the fortune 500 companies have formal mentoring programs. So that's a good thing. That's a good thing in that over, you know, two-thirds of them are, are believing in this. And it also means that just through simple Google search, you could start to find the frameworks that these fortune 500 companies are using to drive their mentoring programs. And you can, you know, take pieces or parts of it and create your own mentoring program in your own company. You don't have to be a fortune 500 company to, you know, to drive it. So I have seen it not only in service now, but in the other companies, I've worked with, not only at the macro level where the company offers a program but at the micro-level where, for example, the development of my sale organization, we too have our own mentorship program within the company.

Ralph Barsi: 15:21
The benefits are boundless really. I mean, number one, you've got employees who are engaged. They are, they, they feel like they're in a place where they're celebrated, not tolerated. They feel like their accomplishments are being recognized at the very least by their mentors, right. They feel like it's a place that they can grow and thrive. So, you know, from a company's pulse standpoint, you've got killer retention rates. Yes. And you've got killer promotion rates because you have employees who believe in themselves and are actively working to improve their game. So they're staying in their companies, they're being promoted within their companies, and then ultimately they're paying forward the great experiences they've had with mentors to help others grow in their own. Right. So, I mean, and that's just a couple benefits. It just goes on and on. But I can't emphasize enough the importance of having one in your company or starting one. If there isn't one, maybe that's a sign that you need to I'm light a fire or under yourself and get that mentorship program started. Be that be the one carrying the torch.

Amanda Hammett: 16:35
Absolutely. Well you know, and, and something else is really interesting. I there are some studies out there that actually suggest that not only does the mentee really benefit but the mentor themselves actually benefits and when there is a solid mentorship program in place, actually the mentee is 84% more likely to stay with the company.

Ralph Barsi: 17:00
Yup. I believe that.

Amanda Hammett: 17:01
I'm sorry the mentor is 86% yup. No, I mean the mentor. So the person actually you know, helping and guiding and teaching and coaching, they tend to stick around for those types of things. And that is, that is something that is a beautiful thing that companies are always coming to me like, oh you know, we have this whole between 27 and like 47 how do we fill it? I'm like, let them to let them guide. Let them go actually.

Ralph Barsi: 17:28
Right. There's a great, yeah, there's a great business leader and thought leader out there. His name is Rameet Satie.

Amanda Hammett: 17:35
Oh yes, yes. I follow him.

Ralph Barsi: 17:37
So he's the author of the book. I will teach you to be rich. So his background really stems from finance, personal finance. Anyway, Remeet has written a ton of great content material on mentorship programs. And there's one article I wrote down and the title is why successful people don't want to mentor you. So I suggest you look that one up and read the details behind it. And then another great article he wrote was met my mentor Jay Abraham, who's a marketing master and learn how to find your own mentor. So I would recommend people searching for those two and maybe in show notes, Amanda, we can include links to those articles, but it really offers great tactical advice on how to approach mentors for the first time, how to ask for their time. Another great concept I think about is Simon Sinek golden circle. You know, Willard, the Bullseye is why and then how, and then what, those are some questions you should be asking yourself before approaching a mentor. And if you are a mentor, being approached by a potential mentee, have them answer those questions. Why are you coming to me? How are we going to do this? How's it gonna work? And then what is it going to entail? And I think it's just a great, a beginning, middle end to think about for both parties to really establish a solid long-lasting relationship.

Amanda Hammett: 19:06
Absolutely. So, you know, I would imagine that you know, you're the type of guy that's probably approached to be a mentor a whole lot. And how do you decide who, you can't take them all on it, you just can't? And so is it really when they come to you and they've already got this kind of outline or is it, do you take on the cases where they're just spinning in their head? Or how do you make that decision?

Ralph Barsi: 19:33
It's more the former than the latter. If someone comes to me and they are personal, they are specific and they at least offer a skeleton of what it is they're trying to uh, get out of this relationship. I will absolutely take it into consideration. You also have to think about, we're all crazy busy, so if I can serve and accommodate them through my schedule, then I will absolutely. Even if it's an initial phone call and we decide together that, you know, you might want to talk to Amanda, I'm going to connect you with her. She might be somebody who's going to have the bandwidth and is also going to have the expertise and experience in these specific areas since you called them out. It can probably be a better help than I can. In fact, that recently happened. Somebody reached out to me on Linkedin, asking if I'd consider mentoring them and they're based in Germany.

Ralph Barsi: 20:31
And time zones alone are going to be tough. And then you talk about language barriers and just you don't want things lost in translation. So because they provided some specifics on, you know, what x to y means to them. I've put them in touch with some my leaders and colleagues in Frankfurt and in Munich because I already know that these leaders can bring so much value to the table for this individual and there in Germany. It's just a lot more effective for that person than I could be living in the San Francisco Bay area. So those are two examples. I, you know, the best mentors and even the best mentees are very resourceful mentees are ones that really do their due diligence to find out why do I want to contact Amanda or why do I want to contact Ralph? And in turn, we need to do our due diligence to see, well, what is this person's linkedin profile look like?

Ralph Barsi: 21:28
If I Google this person's name, what will I learn about this person? Some of them, you know, I'll learn nothing. I'll hear crickets chirping because they've done nothing in the marketplace or in their community to add value. And that might be a very good first topic for our first talk, right? You know, hey, you're trying to build your brand. Well, I'm, it's very hard to learn about you. And what it is you bring to the table. Let's start there. And that's usually a pretty good, good talk long answer your question. But those are some components that I consider someones to approach me.

Amanda Hammett: 22:00
Absolutely. Well, I, you know, as I've told you before, I happen to be familiar with a couple of people that you've mentor two people, Nicolette Mullinex and Morgan Jay Ingram, they are both rock stars in their own right.

Ralph Barsi: 22:15
Yes, they are.

Amanda Hammett: 22:16
And Nicolette actually was the one who initially was like, you know, you might want to speak with Ralph. And she told me she'd walked me through how she really approached you because she does not work with you nor Norris Morgan. And it was really in, she seemed to have a very systematic approach to how she, I don't know how it came across to you, but how she went about approaching you to be her mentor and me, you know, she's killing it. So I think she's doing okay.

Ralph Barsi: 22:46
Yes. She and Morgan are both killing it and we'll continue to, they've got that Moxie. Yeah. And they've also got that fire in them that just wants to be better all the time. They hold themselves to very high standards, higher than I can hold them too, or you can hold them to, and there's a lot of their there when you've got a potential mentee who's just got that fire burning. And if you don't help them, they will go find someone else who will. And you just gotta love that. And yeah, Nicolette and Morgan are both rock stars to use your words and there's just, there's no question they're going to continue to be very successful in their career. And what I love is both of them will continue to help others as well. They'll give back and, uh, they'll, they'll impact lives along the way, which is really what it's all about.

Amanda Hammett: 23:34
Absolutely. I mean, Nicoletta's is running a fairly substantial team these days and Morgan has a quite the linkedin following Ricky calves you know, and tricks on, on being a sales rep and, you know, it's, he's just, I'm always amazed at the stuff that he puts out and just the way he looks at things and just his positivity on it just on a day to day basis.

Ralph Barsi: 23:57
Yeah. It's infectious. Yeah. That enthusiasm is infectious. And, you know, as you said, I mean, both Morgan and Nicolette are, they're placing more souls every single day into the community. And those more souls are there to help others. And not everybody will gravitate towards some of those nuggets. A lot of people will and those who do and actually apply what they're learning from, from those too, we'll do a lot of good in the world and that just warms my heart.

Amanda Hammett: 24:29
Absolutely. So will you actually kind of segue into my next question. What really is the benefit for you to become a mentor? How does that benefit you besides warming your heart?

Ralph Barsi: 24:44
Wow, that's a tough question. We're getting a little personal here, which I don't mind, but I have believed for a very long time that that's why I'm here. This is the this is my vocation. You know some people in the professional world see me as a sales development leader. Okay, great. If that's the channel or the vehicle that I'm going to use to impact people in a very positive way, then so be it. But I do feel like that's, that's why I'm on this planet is really to serve others and to lead by example and illustrate what servant leadership really is. Everyone's got their opinions on it. Some people aren't fans of it. Some people think it's a lot of fluff and I'm okay with that. I actually respect everybody's opinion. We all have different experiences and insights and we come from different places in the world.

Ralph Barsi: 25:37
That's okay. As long as you are using your unique strengths and gifts to, uh, make the world a better place, that's, that's really why we're here anyway. So, I dunno if it's, you know, the process of leaving behind a legacy. If I think globally act locally, I'm going to start thinking about my three boys and being a, a great leader by example for them so that they can grow up to be men for others. That's, I'm fine with just that, but if it positively impacts others in the ripple effect, then that's even better. But I hate to break it to you Amanda, but yeah, it's because it just warms my heart.

Amanda Hammett: 26:16
No, and that's, that's perfectly okay. But I mean, you really are, you know, leaving a legacy. You really are creating that, that ripple that will go out. You know, the Morgans of the world, the Nicolette's of the world are, they're taking your teachings and they're spreading that, you know, with their own spin and their own take on it. But they're spreading it and they're touching other people's lives. And I think that you're, you know, not to say you can hang it up, but mission accomplished, like doing that. You're accomplishing your goal with, you know, with what you set out to do in this world. So

Ralph Barsi: 26:48
Thanks, Amanda. I appreciate that about the bed. Candidly, you know, I'm not really the source, I'm simply replicating goodness I've seen from others along my career path and in my life that, you know, just so many different people I've just taken examples from and said, yeah, that's, that's the way to do it. That's the way to rule. And so that's great to hear. And yeah, I want to make sure Nicolette and Morgan see this and I want to make sure that people who don't know who they look them up and even reach out to them and tell them, you know, thank them for the impact that they're making.

Amanda Hammett: 27:22
Absolutely. Yeah. And they both, they both are. And I, cool. I'm Morgan on the show last season. I'm going to have Nicolette on a show next season, so absolutely there people will be hearing from them for sure from this platform. But you know, I want our, you know, wrap this up with just this, you said in the last episode that we did together that players want to play with other a players. The way that I see it is that you are a player because you are not only great at your job, but you're great at developing others to be great at their job, whatever that means to them, whatever that success long term, short term means to them, you're great at it. And we see that in Nicolette, we see that in Morgan and there are others out there just like that. So I, for one like to say thank you. But I would just encourage you to keep on doing what you're doing. I know that you will or you don't have to hear that from me, but thank you. Thank you so much for me and from the world as a whole.

Ralph Barsi: 28:24
Thank you, Amanda. I appreciate that very much.

Amanda Hammett: 28:27
Well, wonderful. Well, thank you guys for being with us and thank Ralph for the impact and the ripple effect that he is having across the world and changing lives every single day. And thank you guys for joining us and we will see you in the very next episode.

Amanda Hammett: 28:42
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars, where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader, and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the Next Generation Rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Malin Ohlsson: How Empathy & Understanding Can Change an Employee’s Productivity

When employees are not living up to the expectations you had for them in their role, most companies simply let them go and begin looking to refill the role. But what if you could do something as a leader to turn that employee's performance around? Learn from Malin Ohlsson on how she helped an employee go from being fired to award winning.

Malin Ohlsson is the Operations Manager at IT Garden (Sweden). IT Gården was founded in 1999 and has worked with operations, hosting and cloud solutions since its inception. Their vision is Stressless IT where we deliver the latest technology at a fixed price per user per month. We have over 100 employees, 8 own data centers, Swedish local support and take a great deal of environmental responsibility.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - How Empathy & Understanding Can Change an Employee's Prodcutivity

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent or you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: 00:14
Hi, this is Amanda Hammett and this is Next Generation Rockstars. And today I have a fantastic guest for you. She is joining us from Sweden. Her name is Malin Ohlsson. Malin, welcome to the show.

Malin Ohlsson: 00:26
Thank you for that introduction. I'm working at this small company in South Sweden.

Amanda Hammett: 00:33
Okay. All right.

Malin Ohlsson: 00:35
About 100 employees? And well operation manager during the next six months. I'm also HR. That's a good thing to work in a small company. You can do whatever you want to and a bit more. Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: 00:56
So how did you get the six months of being HR? How did that come about?

Malin Ohlsson: 01:03
Oh, HR manager on the panty leave.

Amanda Hammett: 01:06
Oh, okay.

Malin Ohlsson: 01:06
In fact, I have done it already for six months and we'll do it for another six months.

Amanda Hammett: 01:12
Oh, okay. Well, fantastic. That must be nice to have that lengthy parental leave and in Sweden.

Malin Ohlsson: 01:20
Yeah. It's a very nice benefit. It's all good.

Amanda Hammett: 01:24
Wonderful. I'm a little jealous of that. So. All right, well let's dive in. You've already told us a little bit about you, but what the audience doesn't know is that you know, I'm not a frequent visitor to Sweden. So I actually met you through someone else. I had the good fortune of speaking at a conference, in Europe and severe Spain. And I spoke with a young man who was just a real go-getter and he really impressed me. And his name is Marcus Backstrom. And as I was speaking with Marcus, I asked him, you know, I'm really curious as to who was influential and you're in your career, who has really helped to drive you to where you are today? And that person was you.

Malin Ohlsson: 02:12
That's a great mention because I've only known him for, I think I met him the first time for a year ago. On the training I h M business school. And then he seems, interesting person. He had some challenges around, uh, the most things about the staff. And I think the thing was, I don't hope he mind by that they don't ask the staff, the colleagues what I think, what they want, what they wanted to do if there was satisfied because they don't want to have the answer.

Amanda Hammett: 02:54
Absolutely. And sometimes it's hard to hear the answers from your staff on what they want or what they think.

Malin Ohlsson: 03:01
Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: 03:01
That can be difficult. But it's so important because you can't fix it if you don't.

Malin Ohlsson: 03:06
Yeah. And the only thing that will happen if you don't fix it is that they will leave. They may not the ones that should be okay. The only company, but the high performing. Yes. People, they will leave. Because they can have another job.

Amanda Hammett: 03:26
Absolutely.

Malin Ohlsson: 03:30
So we'll see. That's miss slows now are amazing. He took it from a hard result. No results, both on employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. He has done a great job.

Amanda Hammett: 03:45
That's wonderful. That means he did the work, he listened to you and he did the work.

Malin Ohlsson: 03:49
You have done lots of work. Yes. So let's talk a little bit about you for just a second. You told us a little bit about what you're doing right now. But I would imagine that in your own career, throughout your entire career, you've witnessed other forms of leadership that are different than your own. How did that, how did those styles of leadership shape who you became as a leader?

Malin Ohlsson: 04:20
I think I have seen both do the less good examples, but what shaped me the most is one of the first managers I had in my first leadership role a long time ago. But what he told me, and it's not due to translated to English, but he told me that always lead according to for these, if I should translate it in, it's like, we always want to be nice to each other. Which decision I ever might take. I always hope to play on my colleagues best. I want to have a nice life in the company or outside the company. And he showed me how you can show concern and hot, but was careful that I was responsible for my development and created my own conditions. You can do that for me. And he was really obvious about that.

Amanda Hammett: 05:23
Oh, that's wonderful. I mean, I think that a lot of leaders sometimes forget that. You know, you're not just, it's not just about producing numbers, it's really about producing the next generation of leaders. It's really about building them up. And sometimes that involves hard lessons to learn, but it's there. It's about treating people. That's what, that's how people want to be treated. That's wonderful. Yeah. So have you ever, I mean, besides this one boss that you just mentioned, have you ever felt pressure from other bosses or superiors in your companies to focus more on numbers and less on being kind to people?

Malin Ohlsson: 06:08
Yes, absolutely. And sometimes I feel less pressure. Even now then we are a company that delivers competency of assessing, which means that we have to recruit people with high skills. Yes, I calmed down. So in this company, I haven't been here for 15 years. Where all this had a focus on employee satisfaction, well, the last maybe four or five years, realize that employee satisfaction is the figure. And since three years ago, this is one of our main goals. We have three main goals for the company and employee satisfaction is one of them. So it's not, it's not only money but had to work hard to prove it at that it will be a difference if we focus on people. And the Swedish cones.

Amanda Hammett: 07:10
Yes, Yeah. I agree with that wholeheartedly actually. So within my own company, we, my other, my other partner, uh, he focuses on studying high performing companies and teams. And the biggest finding that has come out of that research is that they put employees first employees over the customer. And that's the most important thing. Actually 94.1% of all the companies he has the high performing companies that he has, surveyed and you know, research, they have all put employees first.

Malin Ohlsson: 07:49
Can I please get part of that thing?

Amanda Hammett: 07:52
Yes. I'd be happy. I'd be happy to share that research with you. Yeah, that's really good stuff. I mean, there's a lot of other good findings, but that's the one that always out in my head is, I mean because that's not even close. That's a huge number.

Malin Ohlsson: 08:06
Yeah, it is. And I think the, my generation and younger, I think you have a bigger capability to take that information with us and do something with it. I think that the ones, the older generation has a little bit more to struggle with and calling that

Amanda Hammett: 08:29
Well, you know, it's, it's always about changing and, and going, you know, accepting that change is coming whether you want it to or not, it's coming.

Malin Ohlsson: 08:39
So, let's see.

Amanda Hammett: 08:41
So, all right, well since you brought this up, let's, let's dig into this. What is the difference or what is the influence that millennials have brought into a company culture specifically? You know, I know that you guys work through Europe, not just in Sweden.

Malin Ohlsson: 09:00
That's true. I think if I should take it in some of it. So a greater focus on personal development together with work-life balance. I think that's the pressure that they put Sonos as leaders. Yes. This younger generation is a, they're smarter than my generation because they have a much bigger focus on work-life balance. And on the self self-development that's the thing. Accept anything else. So it has changed us a bit from our annual employee surveys and annual goal meetings. Now we do it every month. They have an interview with all employees and we do our surveys every week with want, but every week. Yes. Because feedback, no, don't live very long for this. These guys who, who've grown up now because they used instant feedback.

Amanda Hammett: 10:12
Absolutely. I agree with that completely. And it's interesting how if you're having an issue with just one, it could be something very minor, but if you, if it's not addressed and I fairly, you know, quick manner, it can fester and it can grow and it can spread and it can not only take over the one employee, but it can start to spread to others. Yes. Yes. It's very toxic. And so it's like one bad apple ruins the whole bunch.

Malin Ohlsson: 10:44
Yeah. It's will like that.

Amanda Hammett: 10:47
So yeah, I love that you guys do that once a week. I think that so many companies depend on that one time a year annual survey. And I'm like, that's just not enough.

Malin Ohlsson: 10:58
No, it isn't. We do once a year. A bigger survey.

Amanda Hammett: 11:01
Yes.

Malin Ohlsson: 11:03
Not a lot of questions, but every week we have a question. Yes. How do you feel this week? What was your week? And you have to click four, a four smileys too happy and too sad. And when you click them, your nearest leader get an email. Yes. Sad. He has to get you a hug something...

Amanda Hammett: 11:29
Does he have to give you a hug?

Malin Ohlsson: 11:30
Yes.

Amanda Hammett: 11:32
I love it. Okay.

Malin Ohlsson: 11:36
He wants a cup of coffee.

Amanda Hammett: 11:41
All right. Okay. That's awesome. I love that. I love that. And that's just through an app on your phone, right?

Malin Ohlsson: 11:48
Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: 11:48
Ah, that's great. So as soon as millennials started coming into the workplace, how did that change your own personal leadership style or did it.

Malin Ohlsson: 12:02
I don't know if it changed me so much. It's hard to see, but I find it easier now to open the show, show more heart. I don't think for 10 years ago I should never ever wrote and male for one of my colleagues that they have to give another colleague a hug. I do. It's exactly what it says. I like when things happen fast and quickly and this generation can handle that better than the older generation. In my point of view. They can have the information. So I don't really know how it changed me. Okay. I have to, I have to be a more instant wait as it could for 10 years ago. It's not possible anymore.

Amanda Hammett: 13:02
I see. Yes, you're right. You're correct on that. Now, what about, I happen to know that you are a very big believer in accountability and you know, can you give the, can you give the audience an example of what that really means to you?

Malin Ohlsson: 13:22
I think I have civil examples. We'll see. I believe that that old people want to be the best self and perform well. That's why I had to challenge my colleagues and me all the time. For example, I have a colleague who one role and it didn't work out really well. We almost agreed about that's her and employment should end. But when I realized what she really said between the lines, I realized that she loved people, not it. So, I also taught to be one of our team leaders a couple of days after we had a conversation about ending her employee comment. It's a bit strange, but today she's one of the all-stars.

Amanda Hammett: 14:29
Really?

Malin Ohlsson: 14:30
She, yeah, she is. She had an award from a service desk. Fuel means Sweden and we'll go in the middle of May to Stockholm B. Yeah. An audience about why she was the year support employed. Yeah. She will. She's one of my best, but I listened to her when she spoke to me. I listened to what she said, not between the lines. And that was my mistake. I'm glad that I had had the opportunity to think over it.

Amanda Hammett: 15:17
Right. That's awesome. That is amazing that you know what a turnaround because she was about to leave your company. Yes. And I'm sure, you know, it was, it was upsetting for her and for you, but you recognize that there was something else there that you were, you were missing. And so congratulations to you for, you know, recognizing, but also for taking that risk because a lot of people would not have taken that risk. But congratulations to her. I mean, that's amazing.

Malin Ohlsson: 15:49
That's all. That's my id. All the responsibility. Well, she got an opportunity and she took it. She has done. So I like that.

Amanda Hammett:16:00
I love that. I love that. That's all the please pass along my congratulations.

Malin Ohlsson: 16:07
That's why I love my work.

Amanda Hammett: 16:09
That's amazing. That is great. That is great. And again, I want to recognize that you, you recognize that and you acted on it. A lot of times we see leaders that, you know, they see, okay, somebody is struggling and maybe they, this isn't the place for them, but that's where the thought process ends. They don't think about where else, what other seats do we have that need to be filled that this person has skills for. So wonderful. That's awesome. I just took a couple of months. That's okay.

Amanda Hammett: 16:45
That's okay. All right. So tell me about, um, do you think that I mean, this question almost a no brainer at this point, do you think that your leadership style and your, you know, belief in, you know, accountability for everybody, do you think that that really helps you retain talent?

Malin Ohlsson: 17:05
Yeah, I think, I think so. Yeah. No, I'm convinced about that. I am, they're too lower the garden. I really care about my colleagues. So I think that's one of the thing and I have the courage to asked the unpleasant questions and to listen to answers and do what it takes. So, yes. Thanks. So

Amanda Hammett: 17:30
Very good. That must be what Marcus learned from you.

Malin Ohlsson: 17:35
I will ask him.

Amanda Hammett: 17:41
Well, obviously, I mean, listening to those answers and what's not being said has actually given you an edge to retain top talent and retention of talent is such a massive issue for company role, but it's also a very expensive issue for companies around. Yeah. Yes. That's very good, I love this. So what I'm, you know, mailing, what do you find are the benefits of really focusing on your people and developing your people? What benefits to accompany are there.

Malin Ohlsson: 18:14
Company perspective? It stays longer and I don't know about, um, your country, but here it's, it's very easy to get a new job if you're a good technician. So we were called for ghetto stay and develop to be the best ones. So I think that's the main reason. And we have customer satisfaction that's really high.

Amanda Hammett: 18:46
Yes, absolutely. Well, if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. Absolutely. Yeah. And you are a testament to that as well apparently.

Malin Ohlsson: 18:58
Yeah, I know. It's like that now our board or comments too. So in that way, in the same direction.

Amanda Hammett: 19:08
That's good. Very good. Now what about I, you know, we've talked a little bit about your influence on Marcus, the young man that I met. But what other advice would you give to an early career employee? Somebody who's just starting out, maybe their very first job. What advice would you give them?

Malin Ohlsson: 19:29
Okay. It's a bit hard, I think, believe in yourself and make mistakes. I think that making mistakes is a good, good way of growth. I think if you take responsibility for a mistake, it's a good thing.

Amanda Hammett: 19:49
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars, where we have discussed all about recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader, and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the Next Generation Rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Ralph Barsi: Attracting & Developing “A Players”

If you have ever worked in an environment where you are celebrated and not tolerated, you know it increases your productivity, profitability as well as overall engagement and loyalty to your company. Learn how Ralph Barsi of ServiceNow approaches attracting and retaining early career "A players".

Ralph Barsi is the VP, Global Inside Sales at Tray.io. Ralph Barsi leads the worldwide sales development organization at ServiceNow. Ralph regularly speaks and writes about sales and leadership and is recognized among the top inside sales leaders in the technology industry. He publishes most of his material at https://ralphbarsi.com/show-your-work/.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Attracting & Developing "A Players"

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent or you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: 00:14
All right, so today's episode of the Next Generation Rock Stars podcast. I interviewed Ralph Barsi of service now out in Silicon Valley and man, he brought it to this interview. So you need to go ahead and just get your pen and notebook ready because you're going to have to take lots of notes. Ralph really believes in developing that early in career college. Uh, and, and he doesn't just believe it and say these things. He actually is doing it in the trenches like day to day. And he gives you some really practical and actionable steps that you as a leader can take and implement within your company today or your team today. And I think that leaders who have been leading, you know, who are brand new leaders, leaders who've been leading for 20, 30 years, I mean, this is some really good stuff that Ralph brings to this interview. And I really hope that you really listen and take it all at.

Amanda Hammett: 01:07
I in fact loved this interview so much that after the interview I asked Ralph like, Hey, can we do around too? I really wanted to talk to him about mentoring. That was the original reason I reached out to him was to talk to him about mentoring because I personally know some of his mentees and they are killer and we'll talk a little bit about them during the interview, but man, we didn't even get to it. I mean we just didn't have time so I expect to hear more from Ralph Barsi just beyond today and I hope you enjoy this interview.

Amanda Hammett: 01:40
All right, welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. I have an amazing guest for you today. His name is Ralph Barsi and he is my service now, so let's all welcome Ralph, welcome to the show.

Ralph Barsi : 01:51
Thank you so much Amanda, how are you today?

Amanda Hammett: 01:53
I am fantastic working on a little bit low level of sleep, but otherwise great.

Ralph Barsi : 01:59
Oh good to hear. Good to hear. Well, I'm looking forward to talking with you.

Amanda Hammett: 02:02
Me Too. So this has been a long time coming. You were actually nominated to be on the show by two people. One was a rock star that I had on season bond Morgan J Ingram, who is if anybody watched the show last season, you know, Morgan knocks it out of the park every day. The second person will actually be on the show next season for season three and her name is Nicola and I don't want to give anything else away about her, but she's awesome.

Ralph Barsi : 02:29
She is.

Amanda Hammett: 02:30
So let's hear a little bit about you Ralph.

Ralph Barsi : 02:34
Sure. Hello everybody. My name is Ralph Barsi. Today on the global sales development leader at service. Now we're a cloud computing company. We're based in silicon valley. We started 2003, 2004. Our focus was on servicing it departments and streamlining the workflow of help desk environments. But over the years we've really evolved into servicing all business units in the enterprise. So essentially our technology digitize those workflows and makes the experience of fulfilling reclass pretty smooth and simple. My job in service now is to oversee roughly 200 what we call atrs or account development reps. They have a two fold objective. Number one is they drive revenue pipeline for the company by booking qualified meetings for our field organization on their second objective is to become our future sales reps for service now. So we really drive a revenue pipeline as well as a talent pipeline. And it's a blast. I've been here just about four years. I started here in Q four of 2015 and it's gone very quickly. As you can imagine. prior to that I have a little over 20 years experience close to 25 now in sales. The first half of my career was spent as an individual contributor, whereas the latter half has really been leading and scaling sales and sales development teams.

Amanda Hammett: 04:08
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, one thing that I know about you in the sales world that I'm actually gathered from, you know, looking at sales organizations and, and associations, but also the people that are really influencing the market, is that when I'm talking to those influencers in particular, those younger influencers, I'm like, well, who are you looking at? Who are you following? Who, who's mentoring you? And low and behold, it is Ralph Barsi.

Ralph Barsi : 04:35
Wow. That's flattering and humbling. Thank you. I hope I'm adding value to the marketplace. I appreciate it.

Amanda Hammett: 04:42
I would say so. I would say so. So, um, so let's talk a little bit about your role and how you see it. Because I would assume, and I'm making an assumption here and let's clear, clarify this for the audience, but particularly when you're driving that talent pipeline for service, now you're looking primarily at early career, correct?

Ralph Barsi : 05:04
Oh, sure. For the most part we have a relatively young group of atrs and when I say on, so if it helps, I'm 48 years old today. And so young to me is between 20 and 30. And that's largely the demographic of our account development reps. They're relatively early in their career as well as that service now. So we feel that, you know, the leaders here, we feel this time is precious and it's finite and it's a, it's a privilege to be able to develop the skills and the competencies and the accusation that these future salespeople and leaders need to succeed. It's quite a project and exercise, but we're blessed and excited to be the ones to do it.

Amanda Hammett: 05:50
Okay. I love this outlook. Because I know that so many people struggle with the attraction of young talent, but also keeping it. I don't, I think that they're missing a few important foundational items. One is really getting that attraction piece correct, but also the people who are leading them, once they're there, they need to be the right people. So let's talk first a little bit about how do you go about attracting the right talent?

Ralph Barsi : 06:22
Sure. So of course, Amanda, there's different levels of talent that we need to attract. And I'm really happy we're talking about the word and the whole concept of attracting. I think a lot of companies and teams who struggle with finding talent are focused on pursuing that talent. They chase people down, they spray and pray their job descriptions all over the internet and they just hope great candidates come in. Instead, they need to reverse that whole process and they need to focus on them. And I don't, I don't usually say that I'm usually talking about focus outward versus inward. This is different when you want to attract top talent, you have to keep in mind that a players want to play for a player. Coaches, yes. And they want to go to environments where they are celebrated, not tolerated, and they want to learn while they're in these companies so that they can add value and be the best versions of themselves in the workplace.

Ralph Barsi : 07:24
So you as a leader, you really need to focus on what's that bad signal that you've just cast into the sky for people to learn more about. You learn more about your team, learn more about your company and your industry. You know, what's your branding effort like whether it be on Linkedin, whether it be out and about in the marketplace. Can we read some of your content? Can we see you on Youtube? Can we learn about you as a leader to make our decision and discern whether or not we even want to apply to a job on your team at your company? And I think a lot of leaders, I don't think I know a lot of leaders really miss that they are out there focusing on their own brand for whatever reason and top talents going elsewhere.

Amanda Hammett: 08:11
I would agree with that wholeheartedly. And one of the other things that I see in, you know, maybe you agree with this, maybe you don't, but a lot of companies especially, and I don't understand this in a sales organization, but they rely on HR completely. Yes. The machine. And I'm like, I don't understand if your numbers depend on the talent, why aren't you driving this process?

Ralph Barsi : 08:35
Exactly. I mean a lot of, I mean a lot of leaders with all due respect are heads down driving the revenue that they're primarily responsible for. And also people have a hard time writing content, being on youtube, appearing on podcasts like this one because there's maybe a, an inherit fear that they're going to be disliked by the marketplace. So a lot of people out there feel that what I'm doing right now is very self-serving. It's all about Ralph Barsi when it's the complete opposite. I'm just trying to shed light and expose the good things that we're doing at service now, particularly in global sales development, in hopes and with an intent that top talent out there is going to say yes, that's the type of team I can add value to and I can also learn from how do I get there?

Amanda Hammett: 09:28
Absolutely. I would agree with that wholeheartedly, but I would like to add that additionally, I think that other leaders can learn from you whether they're in sales or not. I think that this is something that every leader at any level needs to hear.

Ralph Barsi : 09:43
Awesome. That's even better. Great.

Amanda Hammett: 09:46
All right. So let's talk a little bit about, um, you've done the work. You've done the background work that you needed to do to attract that talent into you and you get in this new early-career employee. What happens from there?

Ralph Barsi : 10:03
Sure. So a great question. A lot of it has to happen preemptively before they even come in. So during the recruiting phase, you have to, first of all, think about the job description that you have out there in the first place. You know, what's the size of the job description? It's okay to have a long job description if it's a killer copy, you know, and it's enthusiastic and compelling and informative and has calls to action where someone can't wait to apply. So think about the verbiage you're using. Think about what audiences that, that verbiage will resonate with or not. So be very mindful of the language that you're using. I mean, for example, some companies who are looking for people to come in and just crush quota, that's going to appeal to a much smaller audience than

Ralph Barsi : 10:56
Then words that would say, hey, come here and grow and develop in your career, sharpen your skills and your competencies. Be surrounded by people who have very high standards and want to move the needle from a to B. That's way more exciting and compelling than the former verbiage. So think about that kind of stuff. And then when they do come in the door, hopefully by that point, during that recruiting phase or interviewing phase, you've all really already talked about the well-lit career path that's ahead of them. If they put some skin in the game in this very role, you know, if they, if they really optimize and maximize the time they have in the role they were hired for and really work to master that role, knowing that it's going to carry them forward in their career and more opportunities will surface the better they do in this existing role.

Ralph Barsi : 11:49
You have to have those types of conversations very, very early on. And then of course when they come in the door, you got to teach them, you know, specifically for sales development reps, the average tenure is maybe 15 to 24 months as an SDR, ADR, BDR, whatever you want to call it before they're up and out into hopefully in other business function within your own company, and even if they go elsewhere, leaders have to recognize that, look, everybody on your team today is eventually going to be an alum of your team. So when they go out into the world, whether it's in your company or elsewhere, they're going to be representing you and they're going to be representing your team, your brand, your company up from the time that they worked for you. So you want to put your best foot forward so that they learn enough to go on and pay it forward down the line. And remember you and the time that, that they had on your team and all the great insights they learned and the experiences they had while they were part of your team. And you want those little reflections and rep represent representations of view out into the world doing good versus the opposite.

Amanda Hammett: 13:04
I just have so many questions.

Ralph Barsi : 13:06
It's right. I mean I'd like to talk about it all day. Say you're in dear to my heart. It's really important.

Amanda Hammett: 13:13
I think that this is super, super important. I think that one of the things that really struck me about what you just said was that about really taking in developing that, you know, first time, you know, this is their first job out of college or university or whatever. That is a hard leadership role and a lot of people are not well suited for that role. And I was wondering if you could share with the audience. What kind of characteristics, what traits would you say would be somebody who would make a good leader for someone who is just right out of college or university? This is their first maybe the second job.

Ralph Barsi : 13:52
Someone who would be a good leader would have a fabulous attitude. They're enthusiastic about the work they're doing and life itself. They walk into a room and they light that room up. They don't suck the life out of it. They see the good in everything and you know, they stay in the sunlight that said they're living by very high standards, high standards that they, they themselves set for themselves versus standards I'm going to set or anyone that I work with is going to set a, they work harder on themselves and they do on their job. They are selfless. They are humble. They are teachers and coaches. They love the people that work with them and for them, they see everybody on their team two years out and they picture them as already successful account or successful team leaders or successful business owners five, 10, 15 years from now.

Ralph Barsi: 14:58
And they understand that in this little pocket of time that they have, they've got to give those people the best up from their experiences. You know, their best insights so that those people can, can go on and pay it forward later. It's attributes like that that I look for when I'm hiring leaders. And then there's the flip side. We're running a business, so you have to have an understanding of the outcomes we're after, how we measure our progress against those outcomes, how to be decisive, how to have intestinal fortitude to sit at a conference room table with a bunch of type a executives who also have numbers to hit and understand that there's a many times throughout your day that you must detach from the emotional aspect and the sunshine, beautiful time that we have here. Developing people to get to work and to understand the performance indicators that we're measuring against, et Cetera, on how you're making a contribution to the business. Let's not lose sight of the business side of things as well.

Amanda Hammett: 16:05
Of course, and that's the whole thing that makes everything move and continue. You can't continue to develop people. There's no business that you're putting them into. So...

Ralph Barsi : 16:15
That's right. So I find myself referring more and more to Ray Daleo his principles and what he speaks about in that book and what his philosophy is, is that you have to almost see yourself as well as your business or your team as a machine. And you are an engineer that simply operates that machine gene. And oftentimes that machine's going to break down in certain areas. Certain parts of the antigen are going to become faulty and you have to be able to identify those faults or gaps and you have to build systems that allow you to look at problems as, oh, we've seen this situation before, we have contingency plans in place based on our experience. So we're going to pull a lever a, lever B, Lever C and we'll get through this thing. No problem. Versus completely freaking out at the gap or the fall and going, oh my God, all hell is broken loose. We're going to slide off the rails here at any moment. It's really just having the wherewithal and the understanding of going, okay, this is a quick little recalibration or modulation that we need to make. And we're back on the rails and we're heading north again. It takes leaders like that to be at the helm.

Amanda Hammett: 17:33
I agree with that. I agree with that and we've all had leaders in the past, or at least I'll speak from my own experience where any tiny thing goes wrong and they are just losing their mind. It's like, how did you get in this role? Really?

Ralph Barsi : 17:46
We've all, unfortunately, we've all been, well, most of us have been exposed. Those leaders in, I avoid them and people like that at all costs. All of a sudden, all of a sudden I'm getting blamed and all of a sudden I'm being berated in front of others and it's just, it's such a whack way to lead people and in fact, over my career, I've kept journal notes in a document that I've kept for many, many years now that I add to on a daily basis on what not to do as a leader. So when I've been exposed to crummy leaders, I've written it down like, hey, Barsi don't do this. Don't do that. Approach it this way. Do the opposite and I'll refer back to it more often than not to just remind myself, you know, how, how you're coming across. You've got to be very self-aware of, of the brand and, and how and a persona that you're showing up with on a daily basis. Because whether you like it or not, you are setting an example and people are taking note. Whether they tell you or never tell you, you're setting an example. So set the best one you can.

Amanda Hammett: 18:51
Absolutely. You know, that's funny you brought up self-awareness. I was actually with a sales team just last week and we did a self-awareness exercise where there's like 400 sellers and you know, you, they have different categories of impression. Little Post-it notes that they had to go write one word and their impression of another person. So somebody, they work with, somebody that they know but don't work with directly and then someone they have seen in the halls but don't actually know what is their impression of that person. And it was funny because people were very like, oh, everybody said I was quiet and shy and I'm not at all. And it was just like, well, what, what are you putting out there? Because it's not just the people you work with, it's your clients, it's your higher-ups. It's everybody. What are you putting out there?

Ralph Barsi : 19:37
Yeah, absolutely. And it's that it's duly noted that, you know when you walk into the workplace thinking that everybody knows something that you don't, or everybody carries a little nugget of value that you can learn from and grow from. It just, it completely changes your perspective on the people you work with. You start to see yourself as really a member of a team that you need to make a contribution to and add value to. And it's just, it's a game changer. Once you realize that, that people likely know something that you don't or have gone through something that, that you have it and are just a little wiser than you think they are. Yeah, it definitely makes a difference.

Amanda Hammett: 20:18
It does. So I'd like to switch gears just a little bit and I'd like to talk about, you mentioned this briefly earlier, but I'd like to talk about those career development conversations.

Ralph Barsi: 20:31
Sure.

Amanda Hammett: 20:32
When do you start having them? How often do you have them? What walk us through, what, what that looks like for you.

Ralph Barsi: 20:39
You start having them at the very beginning of the relationship. So for leaders on the front line, for example, with sales reps or sales development reps, it's important to earmark a one on one per month or per quarter. I recommend maybe once a quarter where we actually talk about, you know, personal and professional development. A lot of the other one on one should focus on day to day operation, et Cetera and getting to the goal. But early in the relationship, you know, have the rep do a self-assessment, have them talk about and literally write down, they could share what they'd like or just share excerpts of this exercise because it's personal. But what are your short term, midterm, and long term goals? How do you define short term versus midterm versus long term? Short term could be two to four weeks for some people you know, or they could be six to 12 months.

Ralph Barsi: 21:34
It's important to identify what they mean by short, mid and longterm. Because a lot of sales development reps, six to eight months into the GIG, they're approaching their leaders asking about getting promoted and it's way premature. It's way too early. There's still a lot more development and experience and time that needs to pass in order for them to incubate if you will, and really become masters of the role they're in and add way more value in future roles. So identify what those time frames are and then ask the person in this self-assessment, hey, who do you admire in the world professionally or personally? Who do you want to emulate? Tell us why. What characteristics or attributes to those people illustrate on a regular basis that you want to model that's going to give the leader a really good understanding of, you know, how this person ticks what this person likes, dislikes, what they're trying to accomplish or who they're aspiring to become.

Ralph Barsi: 22:35
Another thing in the assessment is, and there's really, there are four questions. It's like, you know, what are your career aspirations? Short, mid, long. Who Do you admire? Who do you want to emulate? That's number two. Number three is what do you need to learn and work on to get where your going and then lastly, how can our company, how can me, how? How can we, how can I, how can others around you really help you get from here to there and you'll realize more often than not that, like you said, college students coming into the workplace. They have no idea what north is to them or where they want to be in five years or why they want to be there. A lot of people, especially in the sales world, they'll come in and go, I just want to make money. I want to make a ton of money.

Ralph Barsi: 23:21
Okay, well that's a trigger then for the leader to ask. Awesome. That's fabulous. Let's fast forward. Let's say the stars have aligned and you've earned all the money that you want to earn. What are you going to do with it? Now the leader's going to get a really good understanding of is this a person who's trying to care for alien parents? Because if somebody who wants to get married, do they want to invest in properties? Do they want to run their own business someday? Do they want to donate to a charity? And you know, put forward a philanthropic effort to do better in the world. Once they've got that money discussion aside, they can really get to the root cause of why they want the money in the first place, right? So I highly recommend doing those assessments, sharing them very, very early on and then doing, you know, periodically start, stop, continue exercises, Amanda, you need to start doing A, B, C you're not getting out there and networking enough. You're not on the phones enough. You're not falling on your face giving yourself enough experiences where you have to get back up again and dust yourself off. So do that. Here's where I think you need to stop doing. Here's what you need to continue doing because you're awesome at it. Like, let's get after it, let's go get it. And I think discussions like that pretty simple, not that difficult to have they just need to happen and they need to be put on the calendar to happen or they will not take place.

Amanda Hammett: 24:43
I think that that's, that is a really good point. They need to be on the calendar and almost like a standing appointment quarterly or monthly or however you do it. Because they're so easy to get, Oh, you know what, I've got to take care of this. And they're so easy to get pushed aside and then you don't ever do it. But especially in that early career, things are shifting and they're learning so much about themselves as who they want to be as a professional, who they want to be as a person, where they want to go. That that is shifting and changing and evolving quickly, much more quickly than at other points in your career that the leader really needs to be there to kind of develop and guide that. And if you're not doing it, you don't know and you're losing them basically

Ralph Barsi: 25:27
100% oh and keep in mind, as we just talked about, most of the people that are coming into the sales development world are recent graduates. So what does that mean? They have been on a schedule for their entire life. That's like semester-based. You know, they finish a class, it's onto the next class. They get graded in that class and they move forward after one year they go to the next grade. And so they've been on this cadence their entire life and they come into a company and a company is like, oh dude, you're not getting promoted for like two years. That is an unbelievable news to them. And they really have to adapt and you know, recalibrate how they're approaching their day to day work because they're just not used to that. So create an academy so that as soon as they come in, they understand that there are six month time frames where they're going to learn A and they're going to learn B, then they're going to learn C and over those six months timeframes they're going to be graded in this academy, for example, at service now we have a global sales development academy that's broken into guessing what?

Ralph Barsi : 26:34
Six-month chunks and we call it liftoff, launch an orbit, and by the time you're in the final six months or even a six month period after that, you're learning the competencies that are going to make you successful in the next role. So you're learning about the t's and C's of contracts. You're learning negotiation with high-level executives and committees who are making decisions at big companies. You're learning how the legal process works when lawyers red line clauses in a contract and what that means. You're learning about the time that it really takes to close a deal, especially in our world, in the SAS B2B world, selling into the enterprise sales cycles could be two years long. So you have to understand all the components and mechanics of moving a deal over the line. There's a lot of studying that needs to happen, and so we incorporate that into our academy.

Ralph Barsi : 27:33
Secondly, we talked about this at the very beginning of our call today. Mentoring is critical. You have to have a coach or a teacher that's not the direct manager that can have those offline conversations with you. How are things going? Hey, if Amanda shows up like this, don't take it too seriously. This is probably why she's responding like this. Instead, focus on this. So we built a global sales development mentorship program here as well, where we have account executives and solution consultants and people from other business functions volunteering to mentor our Account Development Reps. It's a two-way street. The arts have to put, frankly, more skin in the game because what you put into it is what you're going to get out of it, right? But nonetheless, relationships are created that last way beyond the mentorship program. You make friends in the process and people that you'll probably lean on throughout your career. So it's a joy to watch, but it's so important to share that with other leaders that may not have stuff like that in place in their own organizations.

Amanda Hammett: 28:38
Absolutely. And I think that for some reason I think mentoring programs have, you know, they were put into place for a lot of companies, but they were in a lot of ways I feel over-managed. They were very, they were too systematized and it didn't allow for that organic growth of what that individual needs. And you know, what they can do together as a mentor, mentee. You know, I worked with one company and it was just very like, okay, on this meeting you talk about x on this meeting, you talk about why. And I'm like, but that's not what she needs. So what is your philosophy when you're mentoring someone? Let's say that you want to mentor me and that would be great. And I'm just, what would be your philosophy forgetting that relationship going and how would you judge on what do we need to talk about? What do we need to work on?

Ralph Barsi : 29:29
Sure. We would, you and I would first need to establish, okay, Amanda, how are we going to communicate with one another? Is it going to be like this where we're looking at each other, right? et Cetera, et cetera. How often are we going to communicate? I'm extremely busy. I'm sure you are too. So to avoid and mitigate any, you know, email, tennis back and forth, trying to figure out dates and times when you write to me, be very specific. Yes. Give me multiple-choice questions that I can just tick the box on and we can move forward. Let's see. Be Mindful of your writing. So if you're, if we agree that we're okay with texting one another, again, ask a question in the text so that it evokes a response. Otherwise, it's just information for me to read. When you're emailing me, made sure, you know, just like we tell sales development reps when they're prospecting into big accounts, you know, have a subject line that tells me what this email is about.

Ralph Barsi : 30:36
Make a brief, concise, break up your paragraphs, get into the detail of, of writing. You talked about, hey look, there's a lot of companies out there and I couldn't agree more that systematize this and that. It's very robotic if you will. However, if you really want to elicit that organic relationship, it's okay to preface a form that you're going to send the mentor and the mentee. If you're the owner of a mentorship program and you might want to say, hey, here are some guidelines that we've seen work in the past for people who are having a hard time getting started. You may want to do this, you may want to do that versus do this, do that and let people kind of figure it out on their own. Those are just a couple tips. Again, this is another one we could talk about all day.

Amanda Hammett: 31:22
It is, and unfortunately we are coming to an end of our time and I feel like we need to have a part two for this and start this whole conversation on mentoring because it is such an important part of developing particularly young talent, but I think it's valuable across across the entire employee life cycle. But Ralph, I want to thank you so much. This has been incredibly insightful. I took lots of notes today, but I want to thank you so much for sharing and being willing to share with others you.

Ralph Barsi : 31:54
It's my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me, Amanda. I'm always open to a part two. If you want to pin that on the calendar, we'll make it happen.

Amanda Hammett: 32:03
I'm going to take you off on that. All right, well thank you guys so much for joining us with Ralph Barsi today on the next generation rock stars podcast and we will see you in the very next episode.

Amanda Hammett: 32:14
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars, where we have discussed all about recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case, don't keep me a secret. Share this episode with the, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the Next Generation Rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.