Podcast

008 – Perception is Reality: How to care for your culture | Patrick Broccolo

Patrick Broccolo, Co-Owner of Senior1Care, has been in business for over a decade and has been featured on the Inc 500 list multiple years. Beyond their unique approach to home health care, Senior1Care stands apart due to its values, providing high-quality service, hiring the best of the best employees, and seeking continuous improvement.

From day one Patrick has focused on exceeding expectations whether it’s his employees or his clients. He is continually seeking to improve the employee experience by soliciting direct feedback. As a family-owned business, it can be easy to assume that everyone is engaged in the company’s values. After being in business for more than ten years, he’s learned not to assume and to be intentional about having conversations with his team members.

In today’s world, it’s so easy to lose the personal touch. Patrick strives to have those face-to-face moments with his employees to stay in touch with what they need. This ability to keep in touch is paramount when you have a remote workforce. So as a leader, you have to bring your culture to the team by providing development opportunities and asking a lot of questions.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Don’t Assume. Go and have the conversation to help you understand how your employees feel about your company. Seek first to understand then promptly respond. It’s easy to assume everyone is engaged when there are no apparent conflicts. Avoid this mistake by asking questions, seeking out conversations, and continually identifying opportunities for improvement.
  2. Leverage Personal Touch. Go beyond using technology to engage with your team. The workforce is becoming more and more remote which means adding personal touches is even more critical. Technology is necessary but never underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction. As leaders, we need to seek out opportunities to connect personally.
  3. Solicit Feedback. Asking for feedback should be done regularly not just annually. By surveying and asking for feedback, you can improve your culture. Employees notice when their feedback gets implemented. You can’t improve anything if you’re not sure what’s wrong.
  4. Innovate with Your Team. Seek out opportunities to connect and innovate with your team by going off-site. The best ideas stem from your employees.

Nikki’s Book Recommendations:

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.
  • 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.

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007 – Fostering Internal Fans for Long-term Wins | Casey Wright

Casey Wright is an entrepreneur and founder of NinjaZone, a fusion of gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle training, and parkour, for kids. Committed to changing the face of youth athletics, Wright created a curriculum focused on character and movement pillars designed to build confidence in young children. With over 80,000 Ninjas in 270 locations, in 42 states, on four continents, it’s one of the fastest growing youth sport this decade, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

Some keys to her organization’s success have been her focus on outcomes and establishing the why. By articulating the reasons why something needs, or why a project should get started allows her team to buy-in to the effort. For Casey, employee engagement is creating a fan club. If her employees are engaged, they are the organization’s biggest cheerleaders. When she sees them engaged she knows efforts are aligned, they understand how and why they’re moving forward, and they are excited about the mission.

A turning point for Casey’s was realizing it was okay to be completely vulnerable. In allowing herself to be authentic, her people embraced her in new ways, and she gained their respect. In her leadership position, Casey has found the more she can connect and create whether it’s project or people related the more significant the outcomes.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Regular Communication: Having the one-on-one cadence is great but tailor it to what that specific person needs. For some it might be every week for others it could be every other. Then keep track of what you discuss with your team through a shared document. This document keeps you both on track with development and communication.
  2. Be a Role Model: Share your personal development journey with your team. The more they see you taking action, the more inspired they will be to take action on their own.
  3. Show Weakness: Many leaders don’t do this for fear of losing their employees respect. In reality, showing this vulnerability elicits more respect and buy-in. When you show you’re human, you become more relatable as a leader generating a deeper level of understanding.
  4. Write Notes: Acknowledge the wins either through a shared channel or take the time to write handwritten notes to your employees. Recognizing the effort and the outcome they created develops a layer of trust and appreciation between your employees and your leaders.

Nikki’s Book Recommendations:

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.
  • 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.  

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006 – Owning the Tough Conversations | Jonathan Reynolds

This week’s guest Jonathan Reynolds, CEO at Titus Talent and Certified Partner at The Predictive Index, is passionate about building employees. Jonathan is committed to creating a great culture and aligning his employees with the company values.

For Jonathan, he doesn’t hire new employees based solely on their credentials. He won’t jeopardize the company culture. Instead, he intentionally works with his leaders to recognize that people not only bring their skills to the table but they also take from the company. So you have to look at how someone aligns with the culture and values otherwise they can drain those around them.

Values genuinely drive the culture. If anyone, including Jonathan, falls outside of those values the team members will have those uncomfortable conversations. Having tough conversations creates accountability and trust within the organization.

Truth You Can Act On

  1. Define Your Culture: Values create your culture code. These should be established as a company rather than dictated. The company values also drive decision making whether it’s a question of hiring or letting go.
  2. Challenge your people: When having tough conversations, it’s essential to talk facts not opinions. To eliminate the rumor mill or gossip, empower your people to have tough conversations. These shouldn’t be arguments rather frank discussions helping to make each other better.
  3. Learn from Others: Take the time to meet and engage with others outside your organization. When you spend time networking and meeting with peers one-on-one, you gain new perspectives and opportunities to learn from others successes.

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. To see their latest research on employee engagement, visit emplify.com.
  • 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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005 – Cultivating a Culture of Trust Through Failure | Mary Beth Oakes

Mary Beth Oakes serves as CEO of two companies, Business Furniture and Choreo. One of the biggest engagement drivers in any organization is trust. Mary has more than twenty years of experience building and growing her team to leverage workplace as a strategic tool.

One of her biggest motivators is her desire to help people love their work. Mary strives to create a community feel for her organization through the use of space. She shares her tips on how to organize your office to foster interpersonal relationships. However, for Mary, it’s not just about renovating or creating an open space. It’s about understanding why you’re building the space and understanding how your employees do their best work through consistent feedback and reviewing the data.

In this episode, Nikki and Mary talk about creating ‘Saturday morning’ work environments going beyond the physical space. In her words, a good employee experience creates a good customer experience.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Dedicated open space: Your office space and make an impact on your employee’s engagement. Find and dedicate a space in your organization that can foster and allow for your employees to naturally build relationships. This space can be a place for community and enabling access to one another.
  2. Challenge your people: One of the most rewarding things a leader can do is see their employees grow. Carve out time for one-on-one coaching and working with your people to develop them personally and professionally.
  3. Get real feedback, regularly: Find the best tools for your organization to allow you to gain the truth. Then leverage that feedback to make organizational changes. Feedback is important as you continue to grow as a leader, but also for your team to know you’re listening, you care, and you are constantly improving. The feedback net can go beyond your employees rather cast a wider net to gain a broader perspective.

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.  And look for The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!
  • 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.

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004 – Culture is a Team Sport | Tom Zupancic

Are you in a leadership position? If you’re listening to Gut + Science, then you’re answer is likely ‘yes.’ Joining us this week is Tom Zupancic, former Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for the Indianapolis Colts and now GM for DEEM. Tom has more than thirty years of experience from landing multi-million dollar deals to managing thousands of employees.

In this week’s conversation, Tom shares his tools and processes to take your leadership team and company to the next level.

Interested in hearing what didn’t make the show? Send Nikki a message to get the unedited story on how Tom secured the naming rights for Lucas Oil Stadium.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Know people’s motivation: We can’t treat all of our people the same. Everyone’s motivated in different ways and we have to know what’s there why. We have to spend time listening and understanding how your employees are motivated.
  2. Employees first: Customer service should be a top priority but it can’t take precedence over your employees. When you help your employees win they’ll walk through fire for you and your customers.
  3. Build on their strengths: Always look for the good in people and acknowledge what they’re doing well. You can build loyalty by leading with positivity. When we have a strong relationship with people they stop expecting you to be perfect and start focusing on how they can help bring the company’s vision to life.

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. Visit lhdbenefits.com
  • 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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003 – The Jackson 5: Five strategies to engage remote employees | Tom Jackson

The secret to good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better. Featured guest, Tom Jackson, President of Steel Encounters, inspires this episode’s conversation about the top five strategies for engaging and retaining employees.

Takeaways:

  1. Authenticity and vulnerability are key. It’s important as leaders to take off the ‘suit and tie’ and be authentic. Connect with your employees human being to human being. It’s really hard to do because it’s this balancing act. I think for a lot of us in leadership roles we want to make sure to walk the fine line on keeping things professional. However, the more authentic you are as a leader the better.
  2. Check-In often. Checking in and spending time with your team members talking through their personal growth journey as much as their professional growth. If you have a two hour meeting, break it in half by spending time helping your people develop individually, which is as important as growing professionally and meeting the goals of your business. In addition, figure out how to be present on a regular basis. Go and see your people out in the field and go travel to new locations to see just see people outside of your office
  3. Personal recognition. The power of personal recognition even in the smallest forms can make the greatest impact. So writing out a note on a notecard can go such a long way. Think about how you can add more personal recognition with simple touches can make such an impact.

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002 – Because if you don’t care about culture, no one will | Mike Davis

The inspiration for this episode comes from this interesting stat, 70 percent of leaders put people and culture in their top three initiatives yet only 20 percent of those leaders can report an ROI on the things they’re doing to move the needle on engagement and drive their culture forward.

If people and culture are such a priority, then why is that most leaders have no idea what’s actually working in their organization? Nikki and guest Mike Davis, CEO of Harley Davidson of Ohio,  explores this idea.

Takeaways:

  1. Hire for cultural fit. Make sure this human being is not just being hired for skill set but for cultural fit, meaning that they’re going to jive with the rest of your organization and help everyone be better. You don’t want to go back and fix that later. One of the greatest tests is just thinking through how long would you like to hang out with this person outside of work. That’s really good test because you should want to hang out and be friends with them.
  2. Understand the power of soft skills training. We need to develop our people from the communication to relationship skills like building friendships and knowing how to show up. So I just encourage you to think through not so much the mechanical things and the high level skills that they need as employees to do a great job but the soft skills training as well. Take retreats you know get them away do some team building and really just help develop your people.
  3. Build disciples. When you build Disciple’s you are really building a custom culture to your organization.  The people in your organization will scale and grow your culture. As a CEO you cannot delegate culture. You have to figure out how to scale. So building disciples in your organization is what will allow you to fulfill your vision.  Be visible. Empower the leaders in your org to do the same.

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001 – Meaning and Millennials: How to engage and retain them | Jethro Lloyd

This week we are focusing on millennial employees and the younger generations in our workplace. Ready or not they are the future of our workforce. Featured guest, Jethro LloydCEO of iLAB, shares his take on how to engage millennials and why we’re thinking about them all wrong.

Takeaways:

  1. Focus on humanizing your communication. Don’t forget it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. I encourage you to think through how you’re communicating as a whole whether it’s general communications or the more touchy subjects that obviously need more intimate communication around them. Really focusing on how big communication is and how it can impact your organization.
  2. Allow for on one-to one-interaction. I know that as a CEO or president, you can’t be everywhere all the time. However, you can encourage your leaders to be more proactive with one-on-one time with the people on their team. Empower your managers or leaders to do the same thing so that you can really scale the opportunity and make the impact.
  3. Embrace authenticity. Be authentic regularly, especially in the world of millennials and the younger generations, they want to know the real you. The bottom line and all of that we try very hard to be connected to our people but we sometimes forget how much of an impact just talking about our weekends or sharing some kind of just vulnerability. I just encourage you to do more and more of that.

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000 – Gut + Science: What’s this all about? | Nikki Lewallen

Whether you need to land more business or increase output, the road to more revenue and better business outcomes ultimately relies on relationships. And if there’s one thing Nikki Lewallen knows, it’s relationships.

In Gut+Science™, Nikki takes you on a one-of-a-kind ride that cuts to the core of people-first cultures—to see what true success looks like, and how CEOs like you are redefining employee engagement.

If you’re ready to replace gut instinct with the scientific insight you can use to drive change within your organization, this is the podcast for you. Get ready for real talk on leadership, lessons learned and what it truly takes to create winning cultures.

This episode is our introduction and the why behind launching the show.

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