Podcast

034 – Building a Mission Employees Follow | Steve Long

Steve Long is the President and CEO of Hancock Regional Hospital, where he has helped develop a unique culture of inspired and engaged employees. Before taking over the reins at Hancock, he served for 20 years in various healthcare leadership roles across the country.

The motto at Hancock Hospital is, “what a blessing it is to work in a place where we love people for a living.” This motto, coupled with their goal to be nationally recognized for kindness, has created a special culture of caring. A culture that is so tangible, you can actually feel the difference as you walk through the doors.

Steve is a strong believer in creating and living by a core mission statement—in your organization and also in your personal life. Ask yourself what your personal mission is by asking what kind of legacy do you want to leave?

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Hire the right people. The key to hiring is to focus on selecting individuals with strong character, attitude, and aptitude. These traits are hard, if not impossible, to teach. Technical skills, on the other hand, can easily be trained.
  2. Track goals and progress. Create accountability by implementing a system to break down objectives into measurable steps. In Steve’s system, every leader has a visible metrics board for their team, and each team has unique goals and a 90-day action plan. This action-plan is broken down further into the KPIs that track for individual and team clarity. Adopt a similar system for your organization to ensure everyone is clear on their role and how it fits into the goals of the company.
  3. Build employee ownership. Take some time in a quiet place to think about ways you can help employees feel like owners in your organization. After individual reflection, block time to brainstorm ideas with the entire leadership team. Then, actually put your ideas into action and measure the impact regularly. The more ownership employees feel, the higher the engagement and the stronger the culture will be.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • Emplify – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.
  • Purple Ink – Purple Ink’s customized HR services will help you make your workspace JoyPowered. Whether you’re looking for help with recruiting, compliance, or leadership training, they listen to what you need and tailor their solutions to you. And look for The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!

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033 – Burnout: A Leading Indicator to Low Engagement | Pete Atherton

Pete Atherton (@PeterC_Atherton) is the President and Founder of ActionsProve, a company dedicated to maximizing the growth of high-performing organizations. He’s also the author of Reversing Burnout, a blueprint that teaches professionals and business owners how to engage top talent.

Pete became the ‘burnout expert’ after experiencing it himself. Before starting ActionsProve, he was a civil engineer at the peak of his career—a major stakeholder in his company with all the makings of what would be considered objectively “successful”. For some reason, he just didn’t love what he was doing. After seven-years of self-reflection, he finally understood why.

On this week’s episode, Pete shares his discovery and how you can keep your organization healthy.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Be aware. Self-awareness is key; it’s the foundation of emotional intelligence. So individuals, focus on learning and getting better at awareness. And leaders, bring teaching to the table to foster this ability to be more self-aware. Emotional intelligence training is something I can’t recommend enough.
  2. Maintain Balance. Make sure you’re taking enough time off work. Take advantage of your PTO time. Think about sabbaticals to rest and recharge. Incorporate personal time out. This is something we can be doing daily or weekly to build in personal breaks, even if it’s just a couple of minutes, to really regain and refresh.
  3. Know Your Seasons. Build in the time needed to refresh and maintain self-care. We all go through different seasons in life. Sometimes our work compliments these seasons, other times there’s conflict. Anticipate the busy seasons that come with your work life and plan ways to minimize potential conflict.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • Purple Ink – Purple Ink’s customized HR services will help you make your workspace JoyPowered. Whether you’re looking for help with recruiting, compliance, or leadership training, they listen to what you need and tailor their solutions to you. And look for The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!
  • Titus – in their conversations with CEOs and hiring managers, they hear frustration with traditional recruiting. From outrageous fees to focusing on candidates before clients, the process was broken and needed to be fixed. Enter Titus Talent. Titus Talent Strategies serves its clients using passionate people, a proven process, and unparalleled performance.

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032 – Grateful Leaders Inspire Cultures of Gratitude | Nikki Lewallen

In this episode, host Nikki Lewallen focuses on gratitude and how to incorporate it into your life, your leadership and your culture.

Listen to this episode to learn how to relate this idea of gratitude to people. People in the workplace crave meaning. It’s the number one driver of engagement. So, if our leadership and fellow co-workers show their thanks, appreciation and kindness, it brings just a little bit more meaning to our work.

Do more of this. Your people will thank you. Your business will thrive. And you as a leader will more fulfilled. 

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Take daily 5 minute breaks for reflection
  2. As a leader, focus on what you DO to show your gratitude and appreciation of those around you.
  3. To build a culture of gratitude, remember, it’s all the little things that leadership does to influence the rest of the tribe to smile more, bring positivity and kindness as a norm.

Sponsors:

  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.
  • Emplify  – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.

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031 – Creating a Company Plan Your Team Will Rally Behind | Pete Honsberger

Pete Honsberger (@PeteOhWait) is the Integrator and Lead Facilitator of Culture Shoc, a company whose mission is dedicated to driving engaged teams that produce shocking results. Through his experience working with companies of varying sizes and leadership dynamics, he has become a specialist in breaking down a company’s goals into actionable plans—and then creating a cohesive culture of employees who rally behind them.

Pete is a firm believer that the key to success in any organization is having a focused plan to execute on. When creating these plans, he uses a “reverse engineering” approach, starting with a 10-year goal and working backward until he’s broken it down into quarterly (or even weekly) benchmarks.

Once he breaks a company’s goals down into bite-sized pieces, the next step is knowing how to fire up employees and get them to buy in. Learn the exact methods he uses to do it in this week’s episode.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Healthy Accountability. Too often we think of accountability as a negative term. Holding your team accountable doesn’t mean they’re in ‘trouble’. Instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity to achieve goals together. So when you think of accountability, first think of buy-in. What are the things that need to happen in order for us to achieve your goals? Once that’s answered, then your role as the leader is to help them reach their goals by holding them accountable for doing what they set out to accomplish.
  2. What do you stand for? In order to foster an engaged team, you have to first know your company’s values. Otherwise, you won’t know if you’re hiring the right people. You want the people who join your team to be obsessed with your company’s purpose, mission, and goals. Starting with the right-minded people is half the battle.
  3. Don’t just have a meeting to have a meeting. In our conversation, Pete shares his insight on how to hold effective meetings so that time isn’t wasted and issues are addressed. The cadence of when you have meetings doesn’t have to be prescribed. It’s not about a right or wrong amount of meetings; it’s about effectiveness in those conversations. Regardless of when or how often you meet, Pete still encourages leaders to meet with their people once per quarter. Doing so allows you to identify potential issues and pivot for improvement rather than waiting for an annual review.

Nikki’s Book Recommendations:

Sponsors:

  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.
  • Emplify  – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.

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030 – Empathetic Onboarding | Sue Joyce

Sue Joyce is the VP of Employee Success at Terminus, where one of her main responsibilities is designing an onboarding process focused on the employee’s experience. Her dedication to boosting employee engagement seems to be working, as 72 percent of Terminus’ new hires come through employee referrals.

Sue experienced her first taste of Terminus’ “full force” onboarding experience while applying for her current position. As she waited nervously in the lobby for her interview, she remembers employees stopping by to introduce themselves. They took the time to ask what she was doing, if she needed anything, and more. Among those employees was the founder of the company. It was then she realized great onboarding starts long before a new hire’s first day.

In addition to Terminus’ unique and effective onboarding process, Sue believes a key ingredient to the strength of their culture is transparency. By openly sharing your company’s struggles and the attempts to overcome them, you are showing vulnerability and honestly. This creates a trust and cohesiveness among employees, which leads to higher engagement.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Remember What It’s Like to be a New Face: Put yourself in the shoes of your new hires. Imagine what their first days are like. Who is everybody? Who can they go to with questions? Where is everything located? Your job is to provide a clear roadmap to make the transition as painless as possible. Don’t make them figure everything out by themselves.
  2. Start the Onboarding Process With the First Interaction: If you want to hire engaged employees, don’t wait for their first day to start onboarding. Engaged employees have values that match with those of your culture. So, during your initial phone interview, ask what “culture” means to them. This will weed out anyone with a “culture disconnect” and make the rest of the onboarding process easier and more effective.
  3. Make Onboarding a Full Force Effort: Onboarding shouldn’t just involve your Operations or H.R. Department. It needs to be a culture-wide process. Create a culture that is welcoming to new hires and allow them to introduce themselves to everyone. Have them share not only who they are professionally, but a personal interest as well.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • Titus – In our conversations with CEOs and hiring managers, we hear they are frustrated with traditional recruiting… From outrageous fees to focusing on candidates before clients, the process was broken and needed to be fixed. Enter Titus Talent. Titus Talent Strategies serves its clients using passionate people, a proven process, and unparalleled performance. Oh, did we mention they guarantee the PERFORMANCE of their candidates for 12 months?
  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.

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029 – Healthy Company Cultures: More Than Standing Desks and Yoga Classes | Rachel Druckenmiller

Rachel Druckenmiller (@Rachel_Druck) is the Director of Wellbeing at SIG where she acts as a catalyst in releasing possibilities for her people. In addition building healthy habits into her organization, she also speaks nationally on health topics and writes about it on her blog, Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen.

Rachel believes in order to create a “healthy culture,” you need to go beyond the surface level. Many people think a healthy company means promoting things like healthy food, standing desks, and yoga programs. While these are all important, they are just scratching the surface. A true healthy culture is one with underlying values that give employees the opportunity to grow, learn, and contribute to something bigger than themselves.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Inspire employees to connect and build relationships.
  2. Provide opportunities for growth starting immediately after an employees hire date.
  3. Ensure all employees at every level are involved in work bigger than themselves.
  4. Leaders can’t care for people they don’t know. Build deep relationships and get to know your people
  5. Develop individual strategic plans with each employee you lead to help them achieve their dreams. Tie their involvement in your company to the dream they’re trying to achieve, and help them get there.
  6. Above all, relationships trump everything. This is where we find the most meaning. So whether that’s internally from leader to individual team member, or helping employees build relationships outside the company—the more relationships, the stronger the engagement.
  7. As a leader, get in the habit of sharing what you need help with. Asking for help shows you are human, and the vulnerability builds trust, which ultimately drives employee engagement.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte

Sponsors:

Emplify – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.
Purple Ink – Purple Ink’s customized HR services will help you make your workspace JoyPowered. Whether you’re looking for help with recruiting, compliance, or leadership training, they listen to what you need and tailor their solutions to you. And look for The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!

Subscribe to Gut+Science



028 – Playing the Great Game of Business | Rich Armstrong

Rich Armstrong is the President of The Great Game of Business, a division of Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. (SRC) – the pioneers of open-book management and business gamification.

SRC developed these concepts back in 1983 when a group of managers at the small International Harvester facility purchased the factory in the worst-leveraged buy-out in corporate history. Facing $8.9 million in debt, CEO Jack Stack wanted to help employees appreciate the financial situation without feeling overwhelmed, so he simplified business concepts into a game. After all, when you break it down, business is really just like a good game of Monopoly. There are rules to follow, goals and targets to hit, and rewards for winning.

Fast-forward 25 years and SRC and The Great Game of Business have perfected the concept of open-book management, breaking it down into four key elements. In this week’s episode, Rich shares how implementing these elements in your organization can have a huge impact on employee buy-in and engagement.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Treat Employees Like Owners: Perception is reality, right? So be transparent and share yourself and what’s under the hood with your employees. This builds trust, which directly correlates to engagement.
  2. Educate: Knowledge is power, so taking the time to educate your people on the front end will save a lot of time on the back end. Plus, you will see employees taking more ownership when they’re more confident.
  3. Have Small Group Challenges: Have teams like departments, locations, or shifts own a challenge and break down the plan to achieve it. Incorporate weekly huddles to report progress. Stay focused and celebrate each win along the way. Expect to see energy grow among these groups.
  4. Provide Employee Stake in the Outcome: Understand what is important to the individual and align their reward (e.g. time off, more pay, time to volunteer, more responsibility) with something they get really excited about. Always circle back to the individual “why”.

Sponsors:

  • Purple Ink – Purple Ink’s customized HR services will help you make your workspace JoyPowered. Whether you’re looking for help with recruiting, compliance, or leadership training, they listen to what you need and tailor their solutions to you. And look for The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!
  • Titus – in their conversations with CEOs and hiring managers, they hear frustration with traditional recruiting. From outrageous fees to focusing on candidates before clients, the process was broken and needed to be fixed. Enter Titus Talent. Titus Talent Strategies serves its clients using passionate people, a proven process, and unparalleled performance.

Subscribe to Gut+Science



027 – Decreasing Turnover in an Employee Market | Cara Silletto

Cara Silletto is the President and Chief Retention Officer of Crescendo Strategies. She is the go-to expert on everything employee retention-related. As such, she is a sought-after keynote speaker and author of the new book, Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave and How to Keep Them Longer.

Through years of experience optimizing employee retention programs, Cara discovered employee turnover is substantially more costly than most statistics reveal. This is due to many “hidden costs” which are often overlooked. Because of these hidden costs, she stresses how reducing turnover should be a priority in every organization.

Fortunately, improving employee retention doesn’t need to be a mystery. In today’s episode, Cara shares how making a few tweaks to your retention program can have an almost immediate impact in reducing your turnover in today’s “new workforce”.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Make a Diagnosis: Diagnose why people stay and why they leave. It’s important to have data to help truly understand the reality in your organization and stop relying on guesswork. There are so many different tools out there to help you gain that data and understanding.
  2. Beef Up Your HR Team: Don’t skimp on your HR team. Also, make sure they have a seat at the executive table. Think about it. Most executives agree working on turnover should be one of the top priorities in any organization. If that’s the case, we need to treat the workforce who manages this with super high priority as well
  3. Get to Know Your People: Try to understand the reality of the team members you’re leading and managing. One of the greatest training topics for your leaders should be helping them understand how to connect. Truly connecting with direct reports means building relationships and learning to listen and really understand what they need. Doing this effectively can help bring programs and solutions to life based on the needs of your individual workforce.
  4. Focus on High-Risk Employees: Turnover is especially prevalent among new hires. Knowing this, it’s essential to ensure your onboarding is constantly being innovated on. You should be clear in your expectations from the beginning and help new hires find a mentor to help them through the process. Consider giving tours so every new employee is crystal clear on how the organization works, who is who, and how to communicate with all of the different levels in the organization.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.
  • Emplify – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.

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026 – Awesome Place, Awesome Props | Jonathon Burns

Jonathon Burns is the General Manager of the Yamaha Marine Precision Propellors division of Yamaha Motors. He places high importance on employee engagement and defines an engaged employee as someone who feels confident in what they’re doing, feels supported by their leadership staff, and feels as if they made a difference when they clock out each day.

To foster these feelings of engagement, Jonathon created the vision slogan, “Awesome Places, Awesome Props,” that has become the heart and soul of Yamaha’s company culture. However, Jonathon explains even if you create the perfect slogan, your work still isn’t finished. The key is infusing it into every part of your company and implementing systems to keep each other accountable (including yourself). If you don’t operationalize it, your culture will never change.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Drive Connection to Your Brand: Help your employees see the impact of the work you do and how you serve your customers. This can be done by sharing stories or, better yet, helping them actually go out into the world and experience the product or service you’re offering.
  2. Create a Vision Slogan: Develop your own version of “Awesome Places Awesome Props”. The best way to do this is by gathering your leadership team together to help co-create your vision slogan. This will increase leadership buy-in from the very beginning. Your slogan should encompass what you want your workplace to be, do, have, and give for your employees and for our customers.
  3. Try an Action Board: Get your team involved to collectively create an action board and review it on a weekly basis. You can borrow the components from Jonathon’s board to get you started: reflection and celebrating wins, identifying tools and resources the team needs, understanding the team’s focus for the upcoming week, and reinforcing each individual team member’s personal commitment.
  4. Just Dive In: Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before launching them. You can make tweaks along the way as needed. You’re always going to have employees who aren’t going to buy in right away, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying new things. Get something going. Get it out there. And just dive in.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • Emplify – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.
  • Titus – In our conversations with CEOs and hiring managers, we hear they are frustrated with traditional recruiting… From outrageous fees to focusing on candidates before clients, the process was broken and needed to be fixed. Enter Titus Talent. Titus Talent Strategies serves its clients using passionate people, a proven process, and unparalleled performance. Oh, did we mention they guarantee the PERFORMANCE of their candidates for 12 months?

Subscribe to Gut+Science



025 – Celebration and Reflection | Special Episode

Episode 25 Special Episode

In our first twenty-four episodes, we’ve discussed ways successful companies attract talent, hire and retain talent, implement impactful onboarding techniques, enhance employee engagement and much more.

When you break it all down, the greatest driver for keeping talent and unleashing employee potential is meaning. It is the value each employee feels when they immerse themselves in their roles. It’s helping them find their “why”.

To celebrate our 25th episode, we look back at some of the greatest takeaways we’ve had so far on the show, including the several different ways our past guests define employee engagement.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Ask: Spend time asking employees for their feedback and practicing your listening skills. If you don’t have a third-party tool helping you with this, it is highly recommended so you can gather honest and helpful feedback. This can truly help you solve problems and get better. Don’t forget to ensure you have a confidential tool your employees trust and to spend time truly reflecting on the data and feedback.
  2. Analyze: When you discover areas needing more insight, ask deeper questions to understand not just where and who has challenges, but why as well as their input on how to solve it. Again, spend lots of time listening, but also think through that analyze portion to know what questions to ask, so you can then spend time prioritizing and building a strategy. Hopefully, you have data that can partner with your gut and emotion. Data tells a story, it’s factual, and it helps leaders on your team get on board. So we need to stop guessing. We need to take the data, feedback, and our gut and put it all together to build an effective strategy.
  3. Act: Take action on the strategy you lay out. This means communicating to your employees exactly what you are doing. When in doubt, over communicate it. As you take action, realize you may need some outside help with implementation – most organizations do. So, partner with rockstar recruiters, hire a coach for accountability or bring on a strategic HR consulting to hone your onboarding program. Do whatever you need to do. But make sure you’re taking action and regularly communicating the things you are doing to make the organization better. This means so much to employees.

Sponsors:

  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does. See the difference at customeconcrete.com
  • Emplify – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify.  Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.

Subscribe to Gut+Science