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:


  • 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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