Podcast

024 – Game On: Creating a Culture of Winning | Andy Medley

Andy Medley is the CEO and co-founder of PERQ, a company focused on creating meaningful engagement between consumers and brands. He has built his explosive brand by focusing on hiring highly talented contributors and helping each of them reach their true potential.

For Andy, the key to developing strong leadership is trust. He believes trust allows for healthy debate, and healthy debate allows for the logical answer to win. It’s essential to have leadership who you trust to stand up for their opinion, yet put their ego aside and admit when they are wrong.

Through his experience building a fast-growing company, Andy has learned important insights about building a “fun” company culture. He’s done this by running his business like a game, which doesn’t mean it’s not serious or unimportant. Taking his approach builds a culture of champions and a winning together mentality. .For him, fun is a byproduct of smart people being in a room solving problems. It’s not the goal.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Schedule a 45-Day Check-In: Do a 1-on-1 check-in with new employees to get feedback on their experience with the onboarding process. Sitting down with them, listening to what they have to say, and building a relationship will make a huge impact on their satisfaction.
  2. Gamify Your Business: Using an Open Book Management style is a great way to help employees get educated on foundation business principles. This approach will instill ownership by helping them understand the financials of the business, how the business runs, and how they play a part in its success.
  3. Practice Transparency: Transparency fuels accountability. This can be accomplished by posting scoreboard and stating goals for all to hear. Doing so will breed a feedback-driven environment where everyone is holding each other accountable.
  4. Build A Culture Club: Have a team of employees (apart from leadership) come together on a routine basis to come up with new ideas, get input from other employees, and make decisions around employee events. Have them brainstorm ways your company is going to give, options to get involved in the community, and new ways of learning and improving your company culture.

Nikki’s Book Recommendations:

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. See the difference at customeconcrete.com

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023 – Leveraging Engagement (Not Satisfaction) to Improve Your Workforce | Toni Richins

Toni Richins is the co-founder and CEO of HRtisan Solutions. During her extensive career, she’s accumulated more than 20 years of experience facilitating profitability through the development and management of human resources operations. Her expertise in building and leading high-performing HR and operations teams ranges from organizational restructuring to startups to large-scale pre and post-merger integrations.

Toni lives and breaths workplace culture, emphasizing the importance of communication and feedback. She believes in doing more than just recognizing the efforts of employees: it’s crucial to frequently ask upon employees for their input to improve internal processes and foster emotional buy-in to the organization’s holistic goals.

The single most potent path to employee motivation is the relationship with their managers and management in general, she says. This relationship is founded upon communication and mutual respect. She attributes job stimulation as another powerful motivation tool – employees need to know their options and where they can go next. These empowering workplace dynamics breed organizational pride and stimulus.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Don’t Confuse Engagement with Satisfaction: Employee engagement and employee satisfaction are not the same. Ensure that you understand the difference to get an accurate read on engagement levels of your leaders and team members. You must learn to measure the right things.
  2. Lend Your Ear(s): One of the simplest ways to gain buy-in from an employee is to listen. Be as intentional as possible in developing your listening skills as a leader. Practice less talking and do more listening this week.
  3. Embrace Challenges: One of the keys to engagement is whether or not an employee feels challenged in their work, to have a position where they’re growing. Equip your managers to have real conversations with team members to understand the level of challenge they are feeling with the work they are doing.
  4. Reassess Your Cultural Norms: Culture is a collection of behavioral practices of the organization, both stated and unstated. Are there unintentional harmful norms that are happening in your organization and need to be discussed? Appoint a group of people to keep a collective eye and report regularly, so these norms don’t continue within your workplace.

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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022 – Going the Second Mile For Your Culture | Dee Ann Turner

Dee Ann Turner is a former executive with Chick-fil-A, Inc. With more than 30 years of experience, she has discovered the what she calls the “secret sauce” to hire and retain top talent while cultivating the culture of an organization.

She speaks to companies and at conferences around the world, helping individuals understand how to hire the right talent for their organization. Her foundation is built upon a hiring formula rooted in character, chemistry, and competency to build a successful, sustainable team and create a compelling culture.

Empowering employees to understand the whole picture is a core value for Dee Ann, and she believes when people really buy into the idea that all contributions matter, the ripple effect is tremendous. Instead of enforcing rules for compliance, she gives strength to people by teaching them principles of commitment. By driving engagement, she’s driving culture as well.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Behaviors Equal Culture: Your business’ mission statement and core values don’t create culture – you must put these ideas into practice. Promote an engaged workplace by hiring individuals that believe in the mission of your business and provide tangible steps for how they can live it from day one.
  2. Enforce with Principles: Enforcing strict rules based solely on compliance limits the creativity and overall impact of your employees. Strive to empower your workplace by teaching guidelines, expectations, and principles of commitment that allow individualistic solutions to breed.
  3. Know Why You Exist: A connected culture must be one that contains commonality and shared interests. Constantly revisit the “why” of your business, and share it often to rally your employees around the challenging mission you are trying to accomplish.
  4. Own Your Culture: Top organizational leaders own company culture. When they set an example, the rest of the workforce will follow suit. Foster deep pride and ownership from your staff for the guiding principles of your company by living the mission of your business while outwardly communicating these ideals frequently.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • 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.
  • 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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021 – Leading Culture as a Player-Coach | Brent Oakley

Brent Oakley is the CEO of Vibenomics, providing location-based businesses with an easy and effective multimedia app that works to create and control the cultural environment they want to convey within their space. He founded Vibenomics as a response to a common small business pain point: the struggle to find a way to effectively market to customers once they are on-site.

As an avid sports fan, Brent believes in being a “player-coach” to his workforce, acting as a guiding force in addition to leading by example. He reads countless books and converses often with other leaders to gain perspective. This priority of personal development acts as a display for the power of continuous education. It’s fueled his growth as an industry thought leader.

Empowerment is a central theme in Brent’s world. He advocates for building an empowered company culture, starting with fostering the success of individuals. Obtaining emotional buy-in from employees often reveals their true strengths. Brent breaks it down into a simple idea: culture stems from individuals who are passionate about their work – in their soul, they love what they’re doing.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Be A Players’ Coach: For your employees to want to better themselves, they have to be empowered to learn about their role, their business, and their industry. Instill this desire for personal development by emphasizing the importance of continuing education, every single day.
  2. Set The Tone: We all know that meetings are a necessity, but they often last too long and become unfocused. Try forming shorter, more frequent informal sessions to complement your weekly updates. These various tones of conversations will promote greater productivity and accountability.
  3. Make Yourself Great(er): As a leader in your business, your walk is just as important as your talk. Are you a living example of the culture you want to create? Don’t let your title stand as your lone credibility. Whether it be hiring a business coach, reading books, or soliciting feedback, put the energy into furthering your abilities as a leader.
  4. Foster The Big Picture: Feeling connected – It’s the basic need of every human, and it drives our daily ambitions. Create a workplace environment that embraces connectivity and encouragement to grow the emotional ownership of your employees to the business and one another.

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.
  • Custom Concrete – has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractor, 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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020 – Avoiding Legal Pitfalls of Your Culture Initiatives | David Swider

David Swider is a Partner and Chairman of the Labor & Employment Law Group with Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP. He represents employers throughout the country in labor and employment law matters, including labor and employment law litigation, employment discrimination, NLRB practice and procedure, grievance resolution and arbitration, affirmative action, collective bargaining, wage and hour, and union avoidance.

As a legal expert helping companies tackle complex labor issues, David believes companies looking to increase diversity must first understand the legalities of inclusion before implementation of said initiatives. He cautions that, although creating diversity initiatives are a positive step to fostering welcoming workplace environments, it’s important to understand elevating certain individuals cannot result in creating disadvantages for others.

According to David, human resources shouldn’t be considered simply as a protective measure. By having a steady, consistent, and clearly focused human resources department, companies will contribute to their bottom line by proactively addressing employee issues.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Utilize Expert Advice: Keep an employment law advisor nearby. Use this individual routinely as a sounding board to make sure you have timely and trusted feedback to guide your HR practices.
  2. Create HR Superstars: Think about your training practices regarding harassment, discrimination, and diversity. Are they up-to-date? Are trainings happening with enough frequency? Review your current cadence to ensure that everyone remains compliant and empowered to build your culture.

Sponsors:

  • 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.
  • 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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019 – Crafting an Engagement Strategy to the Individual | Gary Brackett

Gary Brackett is the President / CEO of Brackett Restaurant Group. The hospitality organization features Stacked Pickle, a bar and grill micro-chain with nine locations across Indianapolis, as well as Char Blue, a high-end steakhouse located in the heart of downtown. A variety of casual dining brands and a full-service catering company round out the company’s expansive portfolio.

The former NFL player and Super Bowl champion believes in the power of fostering an energetic work environment that promotes honest feedback and input from employees. Working within the fast-paced food and hospitality industries, he’s improved systems and increased efficiencies by consistently relying upon the suggestions and recommendations of his staff.

He takes pride in acting as a constant force for connecting with employees on a deeper level. By inviting these individuals to regular conversations into what makes them happy and content, Gary has seen overall emotional ownership of the organization’s holistic success strengthen.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Foster Organizational “Beta” Mode: Far too often, employees fall into the trap of saying, “that’s how it’s always been done.” Each individual brings unique insights and dynamics to your business – inspire them to think outside the box in the name of improving and advancing your organization.
  2. It’s Not All About Money: Rewarding great work with additional compensation and bonuses never hurts, but don’t get caught up in thinking that more money equals a more engaged workforce. Find out what incentives hit home with each employee – flexible schedule, time-off, career advancement – to help foster their work/life balance.
  3. Get Everyone on The Same Page: Yes, it’s expensive to continuously train employees. It’s even more costly to hire new ones. Foster emotional ownership from your staff to your business by investing in their success. Don’t simply make employees aware of best practices – encourage dialogue and feedback as a catalyst to develop better systems.
  4. Mind The Generational Gap: In our fast-paced world, Millennials are often spending shorter amounts of time with a single employer. Use this understanding of generational turnover to retain talent by connecting your work to the long-term goals and ambitions of these employees.

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.
  • 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 their expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Their 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 their business, excellence does.

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018 – Debunking Common Training Myths | Amy Woodall

Amy Woodall is the Executive Vice President of Sandler Training Trustpointe. For the past 19 years, the company has specialized in training, coaching, and assessments for individuals, teams, and organizations looking to foster techniques to grow sales and increase clientele.

Amy describes her craft as “business therapy,” providing “mental Interventions” for large to mid-sized companies. She focuses on the true core of what holds many companies back: the negative self-doubts within employees themselves. By first assessing the needs of the individual, she uses these voices together to build a more robust and accountable workforce.

She believes in the power of the engaged worker. To produce engagement, Amy strives to foster environments of vulnerability. By knowing that their questions and concerns are welcome, Amy attests that employees will take more ownership in their own personal success.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Leaders Must Be Involved: It’s not as simple as developing employees by only asking your team how they are doing. As leaders, you need to engage in development alongside your people.
  2. Trust Is Huge: In order to have a team that is going to gel, absorb, and take on the training and development that you’re bringing to them, trust has to be established. If trust isn’t there, it won’t stick. The key to developing trust: bring your own vulnerability to the team.
  3. Dealing With Difficult People: You have to understand and be aware of what personally pushes your buttons in addition to what actions act as triggers. It could often be our own doing for fostering a troublesome people dynamic. Don’t take others’ comments personally – investigate why these situations are so challenging for you.
  4. Don’t Pigeonhole Your Employees: Don’t get into the habit of assuming that past performance will always perfectly predict the future. There is always the opportunity for individuals to change and grow and perform at new levels.

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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017 – A Culture Philosophy in 5 S’s | Bernie McGuinness

Bernie McGuinness is the Chief Executive Officer at Majestic Care. The business specializes in community-based skilled nursing throughout Indiana, including short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, and memory care. Bernie has been CEO since May 2018.

With more than 20 years of experience in senior healthcare management, Bernie understands the inherent stresses of the modern day healthcare professional. It’s his primary motivation for fostering what he calls a “culture first, people first” organization. He constantly focuses on developing the emotional ownership of his care team members, who are the critical first points of contact for the communities served by his organization.

Bernie has condensed his vast professional management knowledge into a strategy he describes as “The Five S’s.” He developed the system to better empower his employees to take big ideas and turn them into daily strategies for sustainable and prolonged growth.

Truth You Can Act On – The Five S’s:

  1. Shine: First impressions make incredible impacts. Continued impressions create expectations. What does your physical work environment say about your culture? Set a high priority on fostering a clean and inspiring environment to demonstrate the value of your employees.
  2. Smile: Turnover is high in many industries, including healthcare. Don’t overlook or undervalue the basic need of all employees: to feel welcomed and appreciated. A warm greeting manifests a winning culture of people-first.
  3. Start Strong: Start each and every day out strongly. Promote the importance of employees arriving and starting their tasks on time. Start every meeting exactly when scheduled. These daily acknowledgments of respect fuel a culture of success.
  4. Swagger: A confident employee shouldn’t be a random anomaly. Confidence stems from a deep understanding of not only internal products but also dynamics within your industry. Strive for swagger by providing your employees with tools to be informed and engaged.
  5. Show Off: It’s easier for management to take pride in what they do, as they tend to see the bigger picture of how all of the moving parts come together. Foster this sense of pride and ownership within your workforce by promoting employees at all levels to share their success stories.

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 their expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Their 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 their 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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016 – How to Be A Destination Employer | Jason Ells

Jason Ells is the Senior Vice President of Custom Concrete. Founded in 1969, the company specializes in foundations for residential homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. Jason is responsible for developing strategic sales, marketing, and business development plans based on organizational goals that will promote sales growth, positive branding, and new business for the company. He’s been with the organization for nearly 20 years.

Jason wants Custom Concrete to be a “destination employer.” He equips his workforce with unique benefits such as wellness coaching, financial literacy courses, and a mobile app designed to foster stronger internal communication. He believes empowering employees for success starts from day one.

His motto is simple: he loves concrete, he loves people, and he embraces thriving in a world surrounded by both. Jason is constantly focused on discovering and implementing new systems to make the business more efficient while increasing quality. He believes in the power of supplementing relationship building with data. By utilizing analytics while making decisions, he’s better able to validate what he calls his “gut instincts.”

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Showcase Your Company As A Career: If you treat your employees as expendable commodities, they will treat your business in a similar fashion. Consider hiring a dedicated onboarding coordinator to set the tone early for employees: they are valuable to your business, so much that you will invest in their career long-term.
  2. Play The Numbers Game: Experience breeds a trust in “going with your gut,” but don’t make all crucial decisions based on feel. Modern technology is capable of producing a plethora of data and analytics. Embrace these tools to make more informed decisions that will benefit your sustained growth and mitigate risk.
  3. Don’t Overlook Onboarding: You’ve succeeded in hiring a new employee, but the real work hasn’t even begun. A stale, uninteresting, and disengaged onboarding process will turn away even the best hires. Strive to empower a culture of positive vulnerability, allowing new hires to express their feelings quickly and accurately.
  4. Integrate Creative Communication: It’s true: it’s now quicker and easier to communicate in the modern world than ever. This idea of quantity, however, doesn’t necessarily dictate quality or honesty. Access pain points in your communication channels and be creative when identifying the best solutions.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • LHD Benefits – LHD is a full-service employee benefits firm, that empowers their clients to make the best possible decisions for their employees — to define optimal objectives, monitor outcomes, improve health, and engage and advocate for employees and their loved ones.
  • 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



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015 – Building an Authentic Culture | Scott Miller

Scott Miller is the President of Bowman Construction Co. Inc. Founded in 1895, the locally owned and operated company focuses on general contracting, value engineering possibilities, design and build options, and concrete and carpentry services. Their mission: to remain committed to building long-term relationships with customers based on integrity, performance, value, and client satisfaction.

According to Scott, it’s crucial for businesses to push for all employees to truly engage in the holistic success of the company. He believes that companies should establish environments where employees treat the business as if it’s their own by fostering emotional investment in the idea of gross profit. Enlightened financial knowledge and transparency results in empowered employees making smarter decisions.

It’s not all about numbers. Scott believes in the simple idea of likability: people tend to do more business with whom they have established a positive relationship. He constantly looks for likability factors when hiring new employees and securing contracts to make sure these new relationships are proper cultural fits.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Invest Individuals in Team Results: If your employees don’t understand why their individual contributions matter, they won’t buy into the overall goals of your business. By educating your staff on your business’ dollars and cents, you’ll increase accountability and personal ownership.
  2. Factor in Likability: It’s a simple truth in personal circles: most people associate with people they like. This also bodes true in the sales world – most people prefer to buy from people they like. Don’t get overly caught up in developing the hard skills of your employees. Empowering their likability will reap great dividends.
  3. Instigate Proactive Conversations: Don’t wait to call meetings together until there is a cultural crisis. Find out what your employees need help with – today, tomorrow, this week, this month, etc. By knowing what pain points are holding back your employees, you can find the best solutions for fostering success.
  4. Connect with Stories: All employees are human beings. Establish a culture that cares about employees outside the walls of your business. Learn about their families, hopes, and dreams. By enhancing the emotional DNA of your organization, you will attract incredible employees and clients.

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!

Subscribe to Gut+Science