Podcast

048 – Alleviating Stress Surrounding Student Loans | Joe Weldon

80% of millennials entering the workforce currently have some type of student debt, and with the average student loan amount coming in at around $40,000, debt is a massive stressor for employees today. 

On this week’s episode of Gut+Science, we’re talking about employee benefits with Joe Weldon, Area Vice President of Benefit Consulting Services, at Gallagher. 

Joe has spent a few decades in the benefits realm, making his rounds across the country speaking to human resources leaders and executives about key differentiators when it comes to employee benefits.

One of those key differentiators is student loan assistance. 

Alleviating stress surrounding debt is a hot topic, and Joe says it makes a huge impact on the lives of employees, especially with the attraction and retention challenges companies are facing right now. 

We need to evolve and change the way we do things, especially in the benefits space. Listen in as Joe explains options to turn this stressor into an employee engagement strategy that can help both employers and employees ‘win.’

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Educate Your People on All the Options. Bring in live and virtual educational sessions to help your employees make the best decisions on alleviating their financial load. 
  2. Check Out Refinancing Options. Talk with trusted experts to give you options to share with your employees.
  3. Commit to Contributions. Think about the contributions you can make as an employer. Send your employees messages on how much you care about them – as a whole person – and explain why you’re bringing these contributions to the table. 
  4. Government Options for Loan. Look into these options, or reach out to Joe, as he is a true expert when it comes to government loan assistance. 

Book Recommendation:

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046 – Conscious Capitalism – The Movement | Nathan Bobay

Nathan Bobay (@nbobay27) is the Senior Manager of Customer Solutions at Delta Faucet, a leading innovator in water technology. He’s also the co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism chapter in Indianapolis where he teaches business owners how to do business consciously.

Nathan’s passion for Conscious Capitalism began after experiencing its power firsthand. It’s an interesting philosophy—by focusing on making the world a better place, you can actually produce better returns. It’s all about creating a win-win arrangement for all parties involved.

Unfortunately, traditional management practices and beliefs can hold us back from truly flourishing as intentionally conscious leaders – and Nathan believes it’s time to break those beliefs. Listen in to learn how to grow your company and culture by leaving a positive impact on the world.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. What is your higher purpose as an organization? A conscious business is one that exists for a higher purpose beyond creating profits and shareholder value. It exists to make the world a better place.
  2. Do you have complete stakeholder integration? By stakeholders, we’re not just talking about employees, customers, and shareholders. We also need to remember our suppliers, the community, and the environment. So, what are you doing to create successes and wins for all stakeholders in your business?
  3. Is your leadership consciously aware and strategic in building your organization? Has your leadership bought into your mission? What specific steps are they taking to create wins for your stakeholders? If your company has a higher purpose, your leaders should be motivated by serving that higher purpose.
  4. Do you have a conscious culture? A conscious culture thrives beyond the individual founder or leadership team. It grows as the company grows and is based on your company’s core values coming to life

Book Recommendation:

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045 – The Four Commandments to Creating Core Values | Matt Jung

Matt Jung (@mattjung97) is the Co-Founder of Comfort Research, an innovative furniture company with humble college dorm room beginnings. Starting with one bean bag chair in 1996, the company has gone on to sell millions of units with multiple offices nationwide.

Early in his career, Matt was fortunate enough to link up with a business partner who taught him the power of organizational culture. However, simply being aware of culture and actually building one from the ground up are two entirely different things.

In their attempts to forge a thriving culture, they failed over and over. But one day, everything clicked. They accidentally unlocked the secret to creating culture-defining core values. And it turns out it can be done by following four simple rules. Listen in to learn what they are.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Narrow down your values. Can you list all your core values from memory? If not, you have too many. How can you expect to build a culture around these supposed “core” values if you as a leader can’t even remember them all? Cut them down to the few that describe the uniqueness of your organization the best.
  2. Reinforce your culture. It’s one thing to create effective core values, it’s another to actually enforce them. The best way to do this is to establish systems and processes that uphold and promote your culture. What are ways you can reinforce real-life examples of people living out your core values?
  3. Solve problems with creativity. Not all problems can be solved with money. Yet for some reason, many organizations seem to try. Instead of throwing money at your problems, give your people a chance to solve them using their creativity and imagination.

Book Recommendation:

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044 – The 360 Degree Approach to Engagement | Denise Graziano

Denise Graziano (@GrazianoAssoc) is the CEO of Graziano Associates, a marketing communications company that intertwines employee and customer engagement to drive revenue, retention, and loyalty.

She believes the foundation of successful business is recognizing and capitalizing on this employee-customer connection. Engaged employees better serve their customers, and engaged customers boost employee satisfaction.

This is more important than ever in today’s hyper-connected world. After all, with the rise of social media and employee review sites, everyone has a voice. A voice that can either attract or repel people from your company. Listen in to learn Denise’s advice for addressing negative feedback and protecting your company’s image.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Take a 360 degree approach. Cross departmental integration and collaboration from every angle of employee and customer experience. Take time to think about this. How are you doing? Are you marketing to employees (and prospective employees) with the same creativity you use to gain customers? If not, reflect on ways to improve.
  2. Ask for feedback. Employee feedback is crucial. If you’re not doing it, your putting your organization at a huge risk. Be brave enough to ask for feedback and do it on an agile cadence—we recommend quarterly. That said, asking for feedback is only the first step. Next, be sure to consistently taking action on the data you gather.
  3. Use review sites appropriately. Take review sites seriously and interact human-to-human. Look for patterns and seek ways to take corrective steps. No matter what the comment, take the high road in your response—but always respond. Letting negative comments sit unanswered can repel qualified candidates looking to apply.

Book Recommendation:

Sponsor:

  • 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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043 – Turnover is OK with an Entanglement Strategy | Kathleen Quinn Votaw [Part 2]

Kathleen Quinn Votaw (@quinn_votaw) is the CEO of TalenTrust, a professional services firm that uses the “People Puzzle” approach to help executives and human resource teams strengthen culture and drive employee engagement.

At TalenTrust, Kathleen has her work cut out for her. In today’s job market, attracting and retaining talent isn’t easy. In fact, 74% of the workforce is actively open to looking for new opportunities. This alarming statistic can be traced back to a number of causes.

One of these causes is the challenge of uniting multi-generational workforces. It’s a stumbling block that, if not addressed, can make or break a culture. Listen in to hear Kathleen explain how to bridge generational gaps to form a cohesive, well-oiled machine.

Truth You Can Act On:

    1. Turnover is OK. Are you scared of turnover? It’s become a big evil word in today’s workplace. But in reality, it’s ok. In fact, it can be good for your organization. If someone’s not feeling their job anymore—if it has become a “necessary evil” and no longer aligns with their goals and dreams—it’s better (for both the employee and your organization) to encourage that person to move on with their life.
    2. Prioritize communication training. The most valuable type of training is communication training—we can never do enough of it. This not only includes verbal and nonverbal communication, but also how to effectively communicate using technology. With so many different mediums available, it’s also important to determine how your people prefer to communicate and consume information. Never make assumptions.
    3. Engagement is Entanglement. You need to understand why people choose you as a leader. Why do they follow into uncertainty every day? Engagement starts with having this “entanglement” or alignment with the employee’s goals—both personally and professionally—and what the company is trying to achieve.

Book Recommendation:

Sponsor:

  • 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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042 – Share the Love in the Workplace | Nikki Lewallen

In this special episode of Gut+Science, host Nikki Lewallen (@NikkiLewallen) dives deep into sharing how as leaders, you can spread the ‘love’ in your workplaces.

As you reflect on what that means for your organization, the overarching question you need to ask is, what are you doing to ensure your employees find meaning in the work they do? But first, how do they define meaning?

The second thing she explores in this special episode is the impact mentoring can have on your employees. It’s a fantastic strategy that can move the needle on engagement and your business objectives.

The average person spends a fourth of their lives at work – let’s make it count.

Truth You Can Act On:

    1. Understand what makes a good mentor. Think back to a mentor who has truly impacted your career and life journey. All of us probably have a certain name, or multiple names, in mind. It’s easy to go into full-on coaching mode, but listening is huge when it comes to mentoring. Connecting with people and being available to your mentees is also important – it won’t cut it to meet with a mentee every six months. A good mentor also provides guidance to take action; they provide a path for their mentee, by sharing personal experiences and stories.
    2. Understand what makes a good mentee. As humans, we are never done learning. And in that case, we should all consider ourselves mentees. You have to be willing to learn – and to be vulnerable and share that. If you commit to the process and have consistent time laid out with your mentor, the relationship will blossom. Lastly, it’s important to be grateful for your mentor – express gratitude, say thank you, and also give feedback so your mentor can learn what works or what they should work on.
    3. Consider a workplace mentoring program. Physical programs are much more valuable than giving your employees links to online resources. Important components to effective programs include: training, structure, matching and data.

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041 – Today’s Reality of Attracting Talent | Kathleen Quinn Votaw [Part 1]

Kathleen Quinn Votaw (@quinn_votaw) is the CEO of TalenTrust, a professional services firm that uses the “People Puzzle” approach to help executives and human resource teams strengthen culture and drive employee engagement.

TalenTrust works with mid-market and enterprise companies to help overcome the talent shortage in today’s job market. With 6.9 million open jobs and only 6.2 million job candidates, the tides have changed. In Kathleen’s words,  “You don’t pick them as an employer. They pick you as an employee.”

Because of this, human resource roles are evolving. Recruitment has become a sales and marketing process. If you don’t adjust, you’re in for a rough ride. Fortunately, Kathleen is here to help. Listen in to hear her “recruitment strategy 2.0” for attracting talent in today’s job market.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Redefine HR leaders. Your HR leaders must be strategic thinkers. Not only that, but they also need to be involved and aligned with C-Suite decision-making processes. Gone are the days of HR working quietly on administrative tasks in the background. If you want to recruit top talent, HR leaders cannot continue as mere service providers. They must become functional experts.
  2. Develop a purposeful employment brand.Most companies spend a lot of time, energy, and money making sure brand messaging is dialed in with clients. But when it comes to job candidates, branding is just an afterthought. Don’t make this mistake. Identify your candidate population, show them they matter, and craft a targeted message that connects with them. Show them who you are as a company and what you stand for.
  3. Optimize your onboarding. Don’t confuse “orientation” with “onboarding”. Onboarding starts from the very first touch. Your goal is to make a candidate want to work with you so bad, they are going to make it happen no matter what. When they accept the job, your onboarding should progress into a 6-month integration—with multiple meaningful engagements along the way.
  4. Measure engagement. According to Gallup, only 27% of workers in the US are engaged. What do these numbers look like in your organization? In order to retain talent, you must be brave enough to know where you stand in terms of engagement.

Book Recommendation:

Sponsor:

  • 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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40 – Uniting Culture with a Higher Purpose | Dennis Murphy

Dennis Murphy (@dennismurphy340) is the President and CEO of IU Health, a healthcare mecca with 35,000 employees, 17 hospitals, and 400 locations statewide. Their culture is driven by one uniting mission: To make Indiana the healthiest state in the country.

With 30 years of leadership experience, Dennis has served with organizations of all sizes. He’s learned that whether you have 40 employees or 40,000, the building blocks for a healthy culture remain the same.

The first building block is recognizing the difference between a “smart” and a “healthy” organization. While most organizations are smart, they tend to not be healthy. To be successful, you need both. Listen in to learn how to diagnose and improve your organizational health.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Feel your culture. How? Clarity and consistency in messaging, a clear construct for leaders of all levels to make good decisions, and storytelling. Tell stories that reinforce the culture you’re trying to build.
  2. Build a healthy workplace. How? No matter the size of the organization, the steps are the same: Identify your goals, clearly communicate those goals, and empower and assist teams to work together to achieve them.
  3. Shift your values. How? Move from constitutional values to values that embody who you are. Be able to share your values in 20 seconds or less (the human attention span is shorter than ever). Seek employee feedback on crafting your values. For larger organizations, consider having a sample size give feedback versus the entire workforce. Lastly, make the change of values a movement and not a mandate.

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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039 – Fostering A Fearless Culture | Mike Baer

Mike Baer is the Chief Development Officer at Employbridge. With 550 offices in 48 states, they are the largest industrial staffing company in the United States. For the past 20 years, Mike has served as a key leader in building a hyper-engaged culture of over 1,000 employees.

To achieve this, he uses a “top-down” approach. He believes leaders are responsible for explaining, reinforcing, and protecting their culture. They must set the tone and be an example. By walking the walk, employees can see their culture in action and model it appropriately.

However, no matter how well you lead, no organization is immune to the occasional “culture infection.” Listen in to learn the strategies Mike uses to diagnose and treat these culture-killing diseases.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Hire for attitude and beliefs. Don’t hire based on competency. Skills can be trained. Beliefs—not so much. What attitude are you looking for and what kind of mindset do you need in your people? Are you clear on that? Make sure you and your team know this before your next hire.
  2. Unlock discretionary energy. There are satisfied employees, engaged employees, and then there are employees who give discretionary energy in their role. Study the discretionary energy givers in your organization, and figure out ways to unlock that energy in the rest of your team.
  3. Build confidence and eliminate fear. In a healthy culture, employees feel confident, not fearful. We all strive for this, but how often do we take measurements to know where we truly stand? Do employees feel confident? Do they feel psychologically safe? Get a baseline, and then build on it.

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?

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038 – Strengthening Your One-on-One Meeting Muscles | Bobbie Shreiner

Bobbie Shreiner is the President of Progression Partners, a professional development company that works with leadership teams to unlock their innate potential. She is the master of one-on-one meetings and shows leaders how to use them to strengthen their culture.

The secret to these meetings is the personal connection you make with your employees. When they see you’re invested in their development and you truly care about their life, they’ll naturally become more engaged. Not only that, but you’ll also uncover “inside information” in the meetings you can use to improve your organization.

However, Bobbie stresses these conversations take practice. At first, they may seem a bit awkward. After all, sitting down for such direct, purposeful discussion isn’t normal. But if you stick with it, you’ll quickly experience the powerful impact they can have. Listen in to hear how to incorporate these meetings into your organization.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Put it on the calendar. Having regular, uninterrupted one-on-one meetings is a free and effective way to build relationships with your team members. For best results, schedule your meetings on a recurring basis. This could be weekly or bi-monthly; the key is consistency on the calendar.
  2. Have an agenda. Make sure your one-to-one meetings always have a structure. A good one to use is the SWAT format—Strengths, Weaknesses/Challenges, Opportunities for improvement and development, and Threats. Following this structure ensures an efficient conversation where all important discussion points are covered.
  3. Learn to listen. Listening is the key to being a good coach. Not only is it an easy way to build trust, but it also allows you to uncover frustrations and challenges before diving into possible solutions. So ask great questions, sit back, and listen up.
  4. Build in accountability. Accountability is the core of one-to-one meetings. Make sure you’re taking good notes and following through on what was discussed in the previous meeting. This ensures there is consistency and accountability in doing the things we say we’re going to do.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:

Sponsors:

  • PurpleInk – 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.
  • 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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