Connections 2021: Speaker Q&A

Date Posted: Nov 18, 2021


That was a couple of questions that were about those folks that possibly don't fit your culture for a variety of reasons. And kind of what do you do with that? One of the things that was always important to me is to make sure that, you know, who I call them cave dwellers, and these are the people that are consistently against virtually everything. So whatever change goes on in your organization, occasionally you just have cave dwellers. These are people that might be it's just because they have something big going on and they don't know how to handle change. It could be that they're not engaged in your mission, a variety of things with that. And so I always looked for those and and as Laurie and Susan said, these are critical, very, just open conversations about what's going on this, you know, why is this happening?

And and really just trying to figure out what's going on, but I think that's critically important. And one of the things that leaders tend to do when I talk to leaders that are really struggling with making decisions around this is really know the reasons why you're hanging onto these people. And it typically is one of three it's either they're a top producer and it concerns you about losing or they're a top connector in your organization. In other words, they know a lot of people in the community know a lot of vendors. So there's this fear around if that person leaves the second one is they typically have a lot of knowledge. Sometimes this is your long-term employees and you don't have good succession planning in place with those. So it is important to always make sure that you are ahead of the game with succession planning, that you never get stuck in this situation because Cape dwellers that have that situation going are very aware that you need them.

And sometimes they justify their behavior based on their value to the organization and expect that you're going to tolerate that. And the third one I see is it's family people that are family of either owners or family members. And those are always very difficult one. So no, if you're tolerating cave, dwellers, that's why, and and how to work on that because it's incredibly difficult to create a culture if you have even one on your team, because they expect the leadership to not be hypocritical in what you're trying to lead. And then the second thing is really look at I call it effort equity and no one is ever going to perform at exactly the same pace as everyone else, but it is important that you look at, do you have two people that are rewarded similarly, and one is high, really pushing out the effort and, and the the accomplishments and contributions to your goals and everything. And then you have another person that isn't, it's really important. You get those imbalances as much as you can. And because that's the other thing we'll just kill a culture is if you've got a really high performers and they're getting rewarded in a similar manner and you're tolerating a complete lack of effort equity. So just two comments as I saw some of the questions come in the chat about those.

Oh, that's great. That's great stuff. I have a wondering downers similarly about how you can affect behavioral thinking. And I think some of those points addressed that perfectly. So that's great. Matt, a question for Laurie and Susan. So you mentioned something about about employees kind of creating your own culture and having a role in the culture. How do you, how do you get employees to embrace their role in the culture that they're kind of kind of standoffish or pushing back a little bit and how do you and follow up and how do you, how do you get them to realize how big of a part that they are and their culture even up there, you know, a brand new employee,

I think it's right now, everyone is talking about culture. I mean, when we started doing this 13 years ago people weren't really talking about it that much. And so now, I mean, people are aware of it. I even have people contact me and say, can you give me a list of companies that have big cultures? And so people are more aware of it than they ever have been. So I think that that is a good thing. And then just, that's part of the expectation for me. Like that's part of your job expectation is that you're contributing to the culture and that we know what behaviors those are. And I would say a couple of things that you said, how do you get people to just that phrase is like, you're not going to get people to, they have to self-select in.

And so anytime you're trying to make someone care, which is essentially what we're asking, how do I, how do I make it matter to you? It's it really goes back to just asking them, what's your favorite thing about your job? And you should know that about every single person on your team or that you manage because it's graphically different. It has nothing to do with their role or responsibility. What do you love about your job? And then you have to give them more of that. It's never going to be salary or anything like that. It's going to be the connection, or it's going to be the games or it's going to be the competition that we have with each other and whatever that is. That's what your role as a leader is. And that's what culture is. It's going. I know you as an individual and I'm going to execute on what matters to you.

I would say is how you show up in the culture and what might not be the same way that Tracy does. I know both of you, Tracy is very thoughtful in how she approaches things. And she doesn't like, you're more like me, Gordon. You'll just say something off the cuff. So people are just not going to participate in the same way either. And we can't expect that. So it does also go back to asking questions. How, how do you want to contribute? What does that look like for you? Because they may be showing up in happy in the culture. Maybe you just don't even realize it because they're not showing up how other people are. And that's a really good point because emotions are executed differently for each person. One person can show anger, like complete silence and walk away. And some people can be very combative. They're both anger. And if you don't recognize it, you can think the person that's angry is depressed or disengaged. And so it's really asking what does that behavior connotate for you? Because we can show happiness very differently just because I'm not like rah, rah, cheerleading doesn't mean I'm not happy. And so we do that, that expectation of, oh, people love it. They'll do acts turns out. That's not how it works.

Gotcha. That's great. So you don't have to confirm where we're doing landlord, but on that list, if you send out to people, companies with great culture, I would assume all of those on that top, you don't have to, you don't have to comment one way or the other. So

I have people send us like postings all the time. So if you have openings, you're welcome to send it. Cause we always have people looking. The other thing we say is there's no top culture, culture matters to you and where do you fit? And your culture should be just as repulsive as it is magnetic. Meaning you want to repel people that aren't a good culture fit. And if the things that you value don't work for me, then you don't want to hire me. So I can't give you a list of all good company cultures. I can say what works for you. And then I can align you with a culture that fits for the baby. Be so clear on your culture. Otherwise you get everybody and then we don't know why it's not clicking or why it's hard attention. Isn't a good thing. You don't want to have like really high retention because some people should be self-selecting out. So I think really, really being mindful of the metrics that we're using to measure engagement. And, and I would say with retention, like knowing, yeah, yeah. There's different segments. Like some people we do want to select out and that's not, so there's good retention better.

That's great. So for those of you that have a typing phobia, we have given you the ability to unmute yourself and vocally ask questions. But in the meantime I see Mrs. McLaughlin has her hand raised.

I always have my hand raised. Okay. So we do one to ones at solves. So I would like to know these are one to ones with the leader and each employee. And we do them weekly. I would like to know from Connie and Laurie and Susan, what you think is a really successful one-to-one from an employee perspective, not my perspective, but the employee.

I think it's understanding of where they're at what drives them. What's important to them and then connecting the dots with what your culture values are and their, where they see they can contribute most. And then also I think, you know, where they're going having really great conversations with them, where you can discover what their goals are, where, where do they see themselves? And it is okay if it's not in your organization, if you build them to a point where now you can grow them to take a bigger role in some other organization, because your organization might not have that that was a win for me all the time is. So I think it's, it's also fully understand. And then I think the third one is honesty and transparency and trust with each other, that, that you really are having crucial conversations. And you're really are talking about what's the elephant in the room. And that actually is my favorite. One of my favorite questions that would generate the most honest input. They wouldn't even think about even talking about something to say, what's the elephant in room. And that's when they might point out something that's hurting the organization in another department that they're seeing, it's been nagging at them. It might be something that it's usually uncovers blind spots. And and so I think leaning into that one as well,

I think asking what they need from me because, or where I, maybe not being the best leader for them might be nothing for me. I could ask him, you know, and ask the question a different way. My other thing is some people, they don't need a one on one and that's the number line maps, the one-on-ones to people. And so some of them like 30 minutes, twice a week, and it needed a touch in because they needed help to push something forward. And it was quick and fast, but sweet. Some people, I, I had a gal, she really only needed me like every three weeks. And I was great with that because she met her goals. She knew her expectations. So matching what people need. Cause there's no reason to have another meeting just to have another meeting. Like none of us, I think that needs to be over-processed thing because people are talking about culture and it's such a buzzword, like everything gets over-analyzed and over-indexed, and then it becomes like not an organic one-on-one.

It's like, oh, now I haven't met with like 80% of my staff this week. So I'm just going to randomly call while I'm walking or do whatever. And really being mindful of some people need once a month and some people need more than once a week and that's okay. It comes to the individualized nature of what they're contributing and how you can help them. And I would say presence, I cannot tell you how often I have either done one-on-one or I've been in one and one of us wasn't present. And that's a waste of both of our times. So you're going to have a meeting be present. And, and either, and Connie, I agree like that connection. I always tried to find out like, what were the things they were interested in? What were things they wanted to do? What were volunteer opportunities that they might want to do or so that when things came up or things I saw, I could send them an email or give them that flyer or whatever. So that I saw them as a whole person. And, and I I'm like Connie, if someone can get their dream job or that next step, that's a win.

And I also love the question. What skills do you have that that we're not using? That one is a great one. I absolutely love that one because you'll learn about things. And a lot of times they might pull something out, which is something from an assessment that's like, I'm really talented in this. And so that one is good. The other thing that we did is I was a big believer in one up coaching. And so every six months we would do a one-up, which means we would meet with our direct reports employees. And it takes training, do not launch this without some good training around it, because you'd never want it to turn into a gripe session. So we had rules of engagement around this, which was all about how, what type of support do we need in our leaders to grow? And what type of things do we need to be aware of that our members are saying? And that's where I would get some profound input into closer to those we serve from that. And then you just, you have to have some really good training before you launch this, which is don't let the conversation go here, here, and here. It has to stay focused on what you're accomplishing with your culture in your goals.

That I would add Gordon. I know you're like worried. We're already this came a lot from strengths. Doubt students finder is what is draining you because if we can figure out if there is a task or a thing that drains them, and we know that someone else loves that, then talk about your and get more engagement, have your people that are cultured. If, cause a lot of times, if I get this one thing, that's pretty easy to move around or change. So I like to know what's draining people. Cause when our drain we're not getting as much productivity, energy and joy.

Yep. Well, we are bumping up against the time as Lori mentioned. So I'm going to kick it over to Tressa real quick for some parting thoughts.

Well, I had a whole thing that I was going to say, but after I listened to Connie and Laurie and Susan, I totally changed what I was going to say. Totally. So we do a thing. It's the toolkit at work and these are my top five strengths. Every employee knows what they are. My third strength is learner, which sometimes takes me down rabbit holes. But I will tell you, if you want a game changer for your company, you need to engage every single thing these guys talks about. And last, but most importantly, I wanted to thank two groups of people, one the attendees for showing up today. I hope you got a lot out of this and I will tell you that Connie, Laurie, Susan and I are most happy to talk about this topic at any point in time, you would like to. And I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart, Connie, Laurie, and Susan for always bringing it every single day.

Thank you. Thank you very much,

Susan and I worked at, you tried to find the book. I actually think it's at my house that you did for your team where you can highlight it. Like, like you do set, it's so impactful and we show it to people all the time. Like this is what it looks like. We really value employees and they have like a credible, tactile thing to take away. It's really, it really says a lot about your company. What does a great job, if you needed help with that? Like you need a Cate and roll things all the way out, which I do trust that. Yeah. It's

I appreciate the compliment and I'm always, I'm going to extend that compliment to my team because we have some fantastic team members to help in all the execution, the ideation and the innovation. So they're also

Absolutely, and a shout out to the folks that made this happen. You know, log on early, we got technical things working. We've got people that created graphics graphic design things to throw out on social media to let folks know. So great job to all of you in that as well. Okay.

Well thank you so much to everybody, the attendees and the speakers and just let everybody know we will, we have recorded this so we will post it up on our website. So be looking for that in the near future and you can rewatch it to get all those little gems of, of of knowledge that you might've missed the first time. So thanks again and feel free to reach out to anybody for a further consultation. Thanks and have a great day.

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