Blake Behr, President of Ridgeline Electrical Industries, believes in creating a culture where all employees can flourish no matter their age and generation. Because of this, Ridgeline has a 4% employee turnover rate.
In this episode Blake explains how culture is the environment for growth, connection, fulfillment, and thriving. Listen as he shares how he thinks about investing in culture as a leader and what it can do to transform your organization.
Truth You Can Act On:
1. Define Culture
Blake Behr: “Early on in our company, we were looking at potentially acquiring another company, and we were like, ‘I don’t think this is it. And the reason I don’t think this is a fit is I think our cultures are so different. And the environments that we use here are so different that I just don’t think it’s going to work.’ And one of my partners said, ‘Well, I mean, it’s our company. We’ll just make the culture whatever we want it to be.’ And we had such a heated conversation that finally, he was so frustrated. He was like, ‘Well, what the hell is culture?’ And I was just like, oh, okay. This is where we need to focus first. And so, for us, culture is really just the environment for growth, connection, fulfillment, and thriving.”
2. Everyone Wants Someone to Invest in Them
Blake Behr: “Especially with these younger generations, they’re looking for someone to come alongside them. I’m pretty sure it was Mark Twain who said that the chief want of man is for someone to come alongside him and help him do what he can. And so we’re all looking for someone to help us on that next step. But I think a lot of times we as leaders and CEOs, we don’t want to invest that time because it’s painful. I hear it’s time-consuming, and it is, but I’m a parent of four kids, and even though it’s time consuming and hard, it’s still enjoyable. It’s still something that we should do. I think it’s spending a ton of time, and I realized as well that this coaching thing is not just a millennial thing and it’s not just the Gen-Z thing. Gen-X and Boomers all want someone to help them do the things they can as well.”
3. Don’t Assume
Blake Behr: “Coaching is coming alongside people, and as business owners, how often do we say, ‘Well, they’re just lazy. They just don’t do this.’ How do they not know to do this? Because nobody’s taught them. Nobody’s come alongside them and done the work. I promise you, when you invest in that work, I’ve never seen loyalty better. I haven’t, and in an industry where the turnover rate is 43-58% a year, we’re 4% turnover. It’s because the loyalty is so much deeper because the care is there.”
4. Sharpen Your Coaching Skills
Blake Behr: “I coach two of my teammates every day through a 30-minute call where we’re digging into the holistic person. It’s coaching and training, and we’ll dig into the technical, but we’ll also dig into the mindsets because, as leaders, we know that we’re not here because we’re really great technicians at what we do. In fact, I’m very average. But we’re really good at having mindsets and seeing bigger pictures and being able to adjust to things. And I think that’s where I want to help in coaching is overcome certain mindset hurdles. Make sure we’re not a fixed mindset environment, but we’re in a growth mindset. So, a lot of the coaching is focused there, and sometimes it takes a long time.”