Podcast

052 – Diversity and Inclusion: Stop Checking the Box | Jessica Gendron

Jessica Gendron (@JessGendron) is the President of the Center For Leadership Excellence. In this episode, you’ll hear Jessica explain why it’s time for leaders to step up and build a culture where people are respected and embraced for their differences.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Ask for feedback. You need to know what’s going on in your company. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure your employees feel safe enough to provide feedback.
  2. Diversity and inclusion should be tied to business outcomes. If we can tie inclusion into overall business strategy and important KPIs, there will be more buy-in from everyone. Tie it to the bigger picture.
  3. Unconcious bias. Teach your people about what this term means. It’s all about awareness.
  4. Stop checking the box. It all starts with us, as leaders, to encourage diversity and inclusion.

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.

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051 – Developing Processes to Promote Growth in Your Organization | Dane DeLozier

Dane DeLozier is a problem solver. As the Co-Founder of Enable, he helps companies and leaders unlock their employees’ potential by crafting problem-solving processes.

As a leader, you may be quick to jump in when there’s a problem or employee conflict. However, Dane believes you have to focus on the real issues of your business as opposed to getting sucked into all the issues of the business.

If your employees raise a serious concern or need to get ‘unstuck’ on bigger problems, that’s where you come in.

So, how can you develop your employees’ problem-solving skills?

Dane believes developing a collaborative process is essential for effective problem solving within any organization. Listen in to hear how you can develop a company culture that encourages collaborative problem solving and maximizes human potential.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. We need commitment. Before building and executing a process, it’s imperative to have everyone on the leadership team on board.
  2. We need processes. Processes help us hold each other accountable. What processes do you have in place when it comes to developing your employees? How could they improve?
  3. Learn how to have tough conversations. Dane tells us the most important thing about these conversations is the timing. As a leader, decide democratically and execute autocratically.
  4. Focus on unlocking human potential. How? You have to master what makes people tick and tap into their strengths.
  5. People alignment is a must. It’s important to understand the person, the team they’re on, and the leader they’re working with, and then make sure the alignment is there.

Book Recommendation:

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050 – Mastering Communication to Boost Employee Engagement at Your Company | David Butler

70 percent of employees don’t feel engaged at work, which creates a big problem for companies not just across America but globally.

That staggering statistic is just one of the reasons why employee engagement is at the top of David Butler’s list. As the Founder of Spanvest International, David works alongside company executives to champion change through the people stuff – the stuff that really matters.

David knows that companies who excel at employee engagement communicate with employees. Not just as a mass group, but one-on-one as well.

However, high employee engagement usually comes after a lot of trial and error.

So, how can you make a conscious, proactive effort to increase engagement inside your company while helping your employees perform at their top potential? Listen in to find out.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Master your communication process. How are you conducting your communication when it comes to both the masses and employee one-on-ones?
  2. Build relationships with your people. It’s important to truly get to know your people. Understand your employees and what they want by building a human-to-human relationship.
  3. Conduct alignment interviews. These interviews are an opportunity to build alignment between the employee and manager, and also between the employee and the company. Listen in for David’s three critical topics to cover in these alignment interviews.
  4. Evaluate how David’s ‘5-Step Process’ can help you. Ask, listen, thank, and think. Then once you’ve thought about it, go back to that person and respond with an honest answer. Show your employees that you are truly listening and responding to their needs.

Book Recommendation:

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049 – Seen. Heard. Valued: How to Increase Business Loyalty | Ali Cudby

Ali Cudby (@alicudby) founded Your Iconic Brand to help leaders increase business loyalty after gaining strategic marketing experience at The New York Times Company, Golf Digest Magazine, and Animal Planet TV Network to name a few. 

She is also the creator of the world’s leading bra fit training and certification program and is a bestselling author on the subject. Fusing her corporate background and her insights into consumers gained in the Intimates industry, Ali developed an innovative system for retention and growth. 

Bottom line, Ali believes your business grows when customers feel seen, heard and valued. Listen in to hear how you can foster this type of culture at your company. 

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Employee engagement and customer loyalty are connected. A customer’s experience is almost always tied back to how your employees are engaging with them. So, think about it – if someone wakes up on Monday and they don’t feel connected to the purpose of their company or their boss, they probably won’t be super pleasant to customers. 
  2. Seen. Heard. Valued. Everyone wants to feel this way. And when people feel this way, they get excited about being a loyal customer. It’s not a huge shift, it’s accessible – and it happens one step at a time. 
  3. Steer clear of ‘flavor of the month’ initiatives. No executive wants to spend time, energy and resources thinking about how they can grow their organization only to have some big announcement and then have it fizzle out. Get everyone on board – aiming for the same bullseye – then reinforce it.

Book Recommendation:

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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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