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This week I am talking with Kevin G. Campbell, Employee Experience Scientist and a Founder of Lifted Leadership, LLC how to acquire, develop and retain their most valuable asset: their people. In this episode, we discuss the following:
[9:12]: Strength based vs deficiency based for providing feedback to your employees
[10:37]: Quiet quitters and measuring intent to stay
[12:50]: How to handle engaged employees who have no intent to stay
[14:00]: Tools to measure employee engagement
[16:07]: The worst thing a company can do after initiating an employee engagement survey
[22:03]: How to use customer experience data to measure employee engagement
[31:35]: Steps companies can do now to implement an employee engagement plan and using A-B-C-1-2-3
38:10: How to address people who are skeptical of strength based coaching
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For informational purposes only. This information does not constitute an attorney client relationship and is not legal advise. Consult with an employment lawyer in your jurisdiction before making any important business decisions.
Kevin Campbell is an employee experience specialist and also the founder of lifted leadership LLC, where he coaches fortune 500 executives on how to acquire, develop and retain their most valuable asset, their people. He spent the last decade of his career, building leaders and teams for companies such as striker, PF Chan.
And Amazon and has worked for Deloitte and Gallup as a consultant before founding lifted leadership. Kevin served as the lead people, scientist for culture amp, where he helped organizations like Airbnb, Palo Alto networks and ServiceNow reinvent and optimize their performance management and employee engagement in.
At a certified coach, Kevin has logged over a thousand hours of paid executive coaching and workshop facilitation sessions. Today I'm speaking with Kevin all about strength based coaching as a way to engage your employees and keep them employed. Let's get into it. You are listening to the employment experience podcast.
I am your host employment attorney, Karly Wannos. This podcast is focused on providing valuable educational information, best practices and actionable tips. So your workplace can better work for you. Each employment experience episode is a mini educational training or informative interview designed to help businesses learn about important employment related strategies.
If you are a business owner or human resources, professional, who wants to stay on top of issues affecting your business and employees, then you are in the right place. Let's get to. The information in this episode is for educational purposes only. Please be sure to consult with legal counsel before making important employment related decisions.
Kevin, thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. Absolutely. So today we are discussing integrating engagement, employee engagement and strength based coaching. And so, um, we hear all about how companies have high turnover. They are short staffed. They can't get some people to show up even for their interview.
And you believe that strength based coaching truly helps with employee engagement and employee loyalty and overall long term commitment of the employee. So I'm, I'm so excited to hear your thoughts. And I wanna jump into this, um, in order to get started, I just wanna start with the, with the basics. Let's start from the top.
So what is strength based, strength based coaching and how does it help with employee engage? . Yeah, so, so strength based coaching sort of takes the traditional, learning and development model and flips it on its head to some degree. Um, so if you think about traditional, models of, people development, employee development, leadership development, um, it usually starts with identifying a gap.
Between the current state and the desired state of behavior or outcomes, and then creating some sort of a plan to address that gap, and it's a, it's a great model. It's, it's worked, um, for a long time. Uh, but it's. Not always necessarily the best way to achieve what you want to achieve. And in some instances it makes a couple of assumptions about human behavior.
Um, that doesn't line up with, uh, what we know about how humans are wired and, and how humans work. So. First, it makes the assumption that, um, all people, um, uh, can, can achieve and display exactly the same behaviors. Uh, but the reality of the situation is that there are just certain limitations. Like I could, uh, no matter how hard I try, I could probably not do math or physics like Stephen Hawking or play basketball like LeBron, James.
Um, it also assumes that the best in a role. Display exactly the same behaviors, but experience teaches us that great sales people, as an example, have a number of different ways of being great sales people. Some are great because they develop really deep relationships that they nurture over time. Others are very gregarious and outgoing and they're great salespeople because they can make new connections.
Others are really good because they're very analytical and can break. The sail down into its component parts, so greatness and excellence in a particular role. Um, isn't always going to be a cookie cutter approach and it can be different depending on people, especially when you think about things like leadership, right?
When you, you know, you compare, um, some of the, the top business leaders today, they're, they, you know, oftentimes have very different approaches to the way that they lead their organizations. Uh, and then the last piece is, is this assumption. Fixing weaknesses leads to excellence. Um, and I'll, I'll talk more about that in, in a minute, but the strength based approach says instead of, uh, immediately going after those deficits, uh, why don't we start with identifying natural patterns?
Uh, what are your natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and, and behaving, uh, the way that you're naturally wired and how can we. Invest in those natural patterns in a way that creates the outcome that you are looking to create. So if you have a natural pattern of behavior, where if you were to walk into my office and see my bookshelf back here, you'd automatically start arranging things in alphabetical order.
That's a natural pattern of behavior. Uh, it's not necessarily something that, uh, it leads to increased productivity or performance, unless you start to direct that behavior toward alphabetizing things at work or organizing your customer accounts or, uh, thinking about things in a systematic way. So it's how do you take those natural patterns that may or may not be beneficial?
But mold them in a way that they can become beneficial. Um, and that's the difference between the, the traditional approach and the strength based approach is that it starts with those natural patterns and molding those natural patterns into what we might call a strength into something that we would consider, um, consistent near perfect performance.
And both of these models, um, work with each other. They're not, they're not opposed to each other. So, um, Robert Biwa, he's a, a great coach and lecturer and, um, is he's the son of one of the, the four, the, for founders of positive psychology. And, and he uses the analogy of imagine. You are a sailboat , uh, in the middle of a lake and you have a sail, but you also have a leak.
Now the sail represents your strengths and the leak represents your weaknesses. Now your goal is to get from the middle of the lake to the shore is quickly as possible. Uh, now it's important to address the leak because if you don't address the leak, you could sink, but even after you've addressed the leak, you're still just sitting in the middle of the lake.
The only thing that's gonna ultimately get you to your goal is to use your, your sail, your strengths, to get you where you want to go. Uh, now catch this. If you're really close to shore. Um, and the leak isn't that big and you're not taking on that much water. You might not even have to fix the leak. if the leak is huge and you're taking on a lot of water, that might be the first thing that you have to address.
So it's really not about just default saying strengths or weaknesses. It's about saying, where am I in relation to my goal? And based upon where I want to go, what's gonna get me where I want to go. I, in the fastest, most effective way possible. Um, so it was pretty long answer, but, uh, I, I think that could help kind of frame things for a lot of folks that aren't familiar with it, cuz there's a lot of misinformation and disinformation out there around what the strengths based approach is and what it looks like.
No, I, I like that. I think it's really interesting. Um, so essentially what you're saying is, I mean, everybody. Just like how everybody learns differently. Everybody has different experiences. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses. And just because, uh, everybody doesn't have the same strength doesn't mean that they're not equally as valuable to the team.
So what, what you're gonna do, what you're gonna suggest is to focus on. The strength, as opposed to what I think probably a lot of people do. The instinct is to point out to the defic deficiency, right? You're not doing this correctly. You're not doing that correctly. You're not meeting this standard. Um, and thereby using that to increase employee engagement.
Am I, am I on the right track there? Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly right. And I think, you know, another component to that is just the framing of it too. Right. Uh, whether you're talking about going from deficit to baseline or whether you're talking about going from baseline to. Right. So, you know, um, uh, the same feedback can be delivered in, in a, in a strengths based maximizing way, or it could be delivered in a weakness based, um, Deficiency fixing way.
Right? So, Hey, on that, present that during that presentation, uh, I think you didn't do quite as well as you could have because you missed point X, Y, and Z. And you, you talked a, a little bit too much at the two minute mark, or you could give exactly the same feedback and say, Hey, I think this was a, a, a really good presentation, but, you know, I think you could take it from good to excellent.
Uh, if you, would've not missed point X, Y, and Z, uh, and you talked just a little bit less at the two minute mark, right? It's the same feedback. The behavior that you want to see from the person is exactly the same. Uh, right. But there's something that's a lot. Easier to digest about framing it as going from, from okay.
Or good enough into excellent. Because after all, I, if this person is actually not good, if they're actually not performing well, then, then maybe they're not the right pur person for the team, or they're not in the right role. Um, so if they were really that bad, you wouldn't even, you know, bother giving them the feedback, but there there's obviously something that's inherently good and noteworthy about this person's performance, and that's why they're on your team.
So, you know, really it's about how do you maximize and optimize what's already. It's kinda like a positive reinforcement a little bit. Do you think? Oh, absolutely. 100%. Yeah. And so when you do that, you are going to empower the employee more. They're going to want to be more engaged. They're going to wanna do a better job for the company.
It's like, I recently read a couple articles on quiet quitters. Have you heard that term come up? Uh, I, I think I have a clue as to what that is. I haven't seen that specific term, but tell me more. I think it's a brand new term. Like it just came out yesterday. um, so you're not behind us. You haven't heard about it, but basically quiet quitters are employees who don't feel engaged and valued enough at work.
And instead of quitting, cuz they're not just gonna up and quick, they kind of just become disassociated. With their work, they do the bare minimum. They show up, they clock in and they clock out. And the, um, issue is, is that you, as a company, you lose all of your go-getters. You lose all the employees who are willing to go above and beyond for you.
Um, and so the, the discussion was how to get rid of the people who become quiet quitters, um, participate in more employee engagement. See what the issue. So that you can get that, um, you know, those go getter employees and the ones that stay long term. I love that. Yeah. We used to call that presenteeism, uh, sort of a, a play on the word absenteeism cause they're present, but they're, um, emotionally and psychologically absent from their work.
Mm-hmm um, you know, this, this kinda gets into the weeds around employee engagement a little bit, but I think it's worth talking about where, you know, a lot of models for engagement include, um, some sort of measure around intent to. As part of how they measure engagement. Uh, but I think there's a lot of value in measuring that separately from engagement, because you might have somebody who intends to stay and they're engaged.
That's who you really want. Right? You want those, go-getters those people who, who are applying that extra discretionary effort and they intend to stay there for a while. Um, and then you have the folks who are not engaged. Uh, but they don't intend to stay for very long. So, ah, you know what? You obviously don't want those folks on your team, but they're not gonna be there for long anyway.
Um, so okay. That, that, that's a problem that kind of, uh, solves itself. Now the real problem often comes from the folks that are engaged. , but for one reason or another, they don't intend to stay for very long and that people do intend to stay, but they're not engaged. Uh, and oftentimes it's due to a perceived or real barrier.
Uh, to them moving either. They, they feel like they can't find a better deal somewhere else, or there are constraints due to commuting or, or family demands that, that makes it so that they, they feel stuck within that role. Uh, so sometimes the answer to that is just to actually enable people to exit gracefully, um, or maybe find a different role within the organization that will allow them to, to feel engaged.
And that's where. Strengths based coaching can really play a part, especially for managers, right? It's like you, you might not have known this when you signed up to be a people leader, but you know, your part-time job is to be a career coach and to help people identify right, what great at and help them help them navigate to the, the place that will, um, enable them to, to really live out their.
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Uh, well, they should usually start with some sort of, um, baseline, uh, employee engagement survey. Um, but I think it's important to understand. In that, and there's a huge caveat to this is that employee engagement is not a survey. Employee engagement is a psychological state of being emotionally committed and psychologically connected to your organization and a willingness to go above and beyond in your role.
And the survey is just a method of being able to measure that outcome and more importantly, understand what are the actionable drivers of that. Um, so that's, that's really the, the first, the first place I would start is to, to get that baseline measure, but also really start to think about what are the things that can be done.
What are the actions that can be taken within the business to help create that emotional state? So, um, there's a lot of different things that that can be done. But one thing that you can't do is walk up to someone. Force them or will them into having an emotional and psychological connection and going above and beyond.
Um, you know, you could clarify the expectations of the role. You could recognize them more. You can give them the tools they need. You can give them more learning and development. You can clean up the break room. So come up with all the different things that you think might be, um, leading to that, uh, improved, uh, psychological state, and then find out of all those things.
What has the, the biggest relat. But then when, once that's been identified, the important thing is to engage in a conversation around how to, how to use your strengths and how to enroll people, uh, in, in being able to, to take action, to improve those outcomes. Um, in a way that is what I would call coach, like, right.
Because I think one of the worst things a company can probably do. Put the survey out there and then not act on it. I feel like that tends to backfire a little bit. Um, employees say like, look, you put out a survey. I responded to the survey and then you just did nothing with it is kind of like a little bit of a slap on the face from the employee's perspective.
Um, so I mean, would you say that that kind of ranks up there and the level of importance that they actually now, now you need to act on it. Some. Hundred percent. Yeah. Uh, close to 90% of the folks that we have, uh, surveyed, uh, around 89% of the companies out there, um, have some sort of employee engagement measurement in place, but only 7% of employees.
Say that their company is very good at acting on that feedback. So there's a huge gap gap. That's terrible statistic. Yeah's terrible. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and, and, you know, I think a lot of it just goes back to this site. There's a, there's a number of different reasons. And roadblocks for this one is, is, you know, there's, it's, uh, the pressure that comes with evaluation, right?
Like, you know, when managers and leaders see this feedback, They often wanna hide the bad scores or not talk about them because they think of them in terms of scores, they think of them in terms of a report card. Um, but when you take a strengths based approach, you no longer think of it as an ultimate value, judgment or measure, but you start to think about it as information.
That you can use to accomplish your goals. So thinking about it more like a, a speedometer, like a Fitbit or an apple watch, or a speedometer on your car, right. It's information that you, you use to adjust your behavior in order to get where you want to go. Um, and there are so many different connections between that and this, this reframing around, Hey, if this is a huge, huge problem.
You wouldn't be a manager anymore, right. The company wouldn't exist, so you're okay. But this is information that you can use to go from being okay. To, to absolutely amazing at what you do, um, to go from being a good manager, to be a great manager and right. You know, it's that kind of like the reframing that you talked about before?
Yeah. Yeah. It's like strengths is the anesthetic for the scalpel of, of hard feedback. Um, Ooh, the good one. Yeah. Yeah. It really allows you to, to cut in and, and make some necessary changes. Okay. Do you see that companies are getting any kind of pushback from the surveys that are not anonymous? Ah, it's an interesting question.
And, uh, some research that we've done actually shows that employees don't want anonymous surveys. Um, what, what, what they want is confidential surveys. And there's a slight difference between the two. Uh, one means there's no way of attributing that feedback back to a com uh, to a department or a demographic variable, but a lot of value comes from knowing.
How does this department feel? How does this function feel? Uh, how do, how do people that, uh, have this particular identity feel relative to others? And if it's completely anonymous, people have to actually answer those demographic questions within the survey, which. Feels out of place. Um, the important thing is that the level of aggregation and the level of reporting is at a high enough level that individuals aren't going to be specifically identified.
But that their identities are kept confidential. So whether it's in the system or someone somewhere and, and often case it's, it's not actually a person, but just in terms of the way the data's collected and then, you know, connected in some way to the R I S you're able to see those high level aggregate results.
Um, and I think a lot of frustration comes from missing the distinction between those two, because. Not everybody has a, you know, people science background. So someone might say, I want this to be anonymous. And they're like, okay, we'll make it anonymous. Well, we don't know where the feedback came from. You said you wanted it anonymous, right?
right. So, so I think the confidentiality piece is, is where a lot of value comes in, um, so that it protects people and enables people to have, um, the ability to be really Frank and, and honest and candid in, in their feedback. Without having to, um, jeopardize, uh, anybody's career or relationship with their manager or their, their leaders.
That's great. So it's really a perfect, uh, a happy medium between the two. So the, um, employee doesn't necessarily wanna be called out for anything, but the company, once it receives the information, needs to know how to properly address it. And in order to do that, they need some sort of information from the department of where it came from.
It's like, no, I, I think you should put that front and center because people wanna know how the information is going to be used and it can help frame the conversation. And I think that's, that's a big piece of this is to make it more conversational rather than thinking of it as a, as a cold and, and, um, A process that's less than human, right?
You wanted this to be a human centered conversation between the organization's leaders and every other group of employees within the organization on how can we create a place that we want to show up and, and, and work for every day. And how do we use the best pieces of ourselves to be able to get where we want to.
Okay. Great. And so what other ways, in addition to the survey, can companies measure, um, employee engagement? I know before we started recording, we talked about, um, customer experience data, and I thought that that was really, yeah. Um, so customer, so I think there's there's one, one thing is, is, you know, when you look at any kind of data, it's it's, um, we like to think at Qualtrics, especially in terms of operational versus experience data, Um, and operational data are all of those things that in many ways, um, are the, the, the lagging indicators or the, the ultimate outcomes that we're after, right.
Things like, uh, employee retention, employee productivity, employee performance. Um, and one of the measures of productivity and performance are things like, uh, the amount of customers that your existing customers are referring to you, um, whether or not you retain your existing customers and, and whether they, they grow their wallet, share with you as an organization.
Um, but all of the metrics and operational data. Um, is sort of incomplete when you don't include the subjective and experiential component around that as well. So, you know, a, an employee experience or a customer's experience is more than just an objective listing of the events that happened and the things that they went through.
It's also the subjective experience. Of that person. Um, and a lot of times it's based upon the expectations that you had going into the experience, right? If you, if you walk into a, a motel six versus a Ritz Carlton as a customer, you are expecting a different experience. Um, and that bar is set relatively low or high based upon.
Your preconceived notions of, of what that experience is going to be like. And the same thing is true for employees. So, you know, one, one way of measuring employee engagement, it's not exactly the same thing, but it's a proxy for it is the experience versus the expectation. Are you. Not meeting, are you meeting or are you exceeding the expectation that people have for what it's like to work for your company or what it's like to go through a particular, uh, point in time, uh, in the employee journey at your company?
Right? So what's that, what's that candid experience like, uh, were, were you treated fairly, were, were your interviewers well prepared? Uh, what was the onboarding like? Did you, did you have the right enablement? Um, during that process, uh, if you, if you went away on leave and came back from leave, uh, and all the HR documentation talks about how much of a smooth transition and how, how you only have to work part-time for a few weeks, meanwhile, your customers and managers and colleagues are expecting you to hit the ground running as if you had never left.
Right? So those, those experiences, um, all. Add up to, um, this outcome of engagement. And sometimes we think of engagement as just being that point in time survey, but we fail to measure all these little pieces along the way that in totality create the employee experience and ultimately create that psychological state of engagement or, or where they don't.
Uh, that's an interesting example that you used, uh, with. I think you going on leave, but going on vacation is the same example. So I not know a lot of people who are so happy to take a vacation from work they're out for a week. Meanwhile, everybody's still sending them emails internally. So when they come back from their vacation, Um, they are expected to hit the ground running.
They've got a week's worth of work that has now built up. Um, and I hear that they've often said, what is the point of a vacation when you have to come back to a huge mess to deal with essentially? Um, so just kind of keeping tabs on that, keeping. Keeping track of that, um, is all part of the employee experience.
So I really like that. Yeah. Yeah. So, and it's interesting how in different cultures, in different countries, different companies, like they will, you will literally get an, uh, an update and some, some companies that will say this, this email is being deleted and will not be responded to because this person is out.
Um, now really. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. What country is that? Let's, let's sign everybody up. a lot, a lot of countries in the, the, the Shein area of, of Europe have that. It's not kind of ubiquitous, but a lot of them do a lot of them. Do I heard also, I don't know if it's, uh, outlook or what, um, email. Provider, but you can now schedule your emails.
So people who don't wanna receive emails, you know, after hours, you can schedule to send it the following work day, you know, because a lot of employers say things like, well, it's an email. You don't have to look, but we all know that we're tied to our iPhones. at our, our smartphones and our cell phones.
And a lot of us just. We have to check our email incessantly really after hours. Um, so I thought that that was interesting too. Just scheduling you can, you know, sometimes you have something to say and sometimes an email needs to be sent and you need to, um, you know, a address it, but it, you can schedule it.
So it doesn't actually go through until the next Workday. So. And that's where really the going back to the, the strength based approach, right. That's knowing each other as a team to know how we're, how we're wired. Right? Like I have some people that I work with. They're really good at shutting down for the end of the day and walking away and I could send them an email.
After hours and that would be okay. I have others that have such a strong sense of, I have to get things done and strong sense of responsibility that I will intentionally use the delay send for those people, because it's much better for them to receive it at 10:00 AM the next day. Um, so, so really going back to understanding that, you know, great leaders, uh, play chess, they don't play checkers.
Right. And, and checkers, every single piece moves across the board in exactly the same way, but in chess, each piece has its own set of moves. Um, and when you understand that's true with people as well, you can understand, okay, what's the set of moves. That are gonna work for this person. And it goes back to the everyday things that we don't think about.
Like how often does this person wanna meet with their manager? How often, uh, does this person need recognition? Do they want recognition in front of a crowd? Do they want it privately? I mean, I I've, I've heard stories of, of top sales people being really upset at recognition dinners because they were praised publicly and they just dislike that.
Right. So all these little I to say. Yeah. Did you see the employee that recently sued? Because the, uh, employer threw him a birthday party saying him happy birthday at work. And he said it was a violation of the Americans with disabilities act because he said he had some sort of, he had some sort of panic attack or anxiety over it.
And he told HR ahead of time. Listen, my birthday is tomorrow. I know that you guys sing happy birthday in the office. I do not want this to happen. Do not, do not let it happen. And they sang him happy birthday and they threw him a birthday party and he had a huge panic attack. I haven't read, um, the entirety of the order, but I think he just was awarded a lot of money for the, uh, company violating the ADA.
Wow. That's it's, it's so sad, um, that it, that it had to come to that because, you know, I think a lot of this stuff can be handled just by following the platinum rule, right? Like we're, we, we grew up learning the golden rule of treating people the way that you, that you wanna be treated. But really what, what ranged true in my experience is the platinum role of treating people the way they want to be treated.
Um, and I think accommodation. Are an interesting part in this, and you're way more qualified to talk about accommodations than I ever will be. Um, but as someone who considers himself neuro divergent, in some ways, you know, I I'm, I'm kind of spectrum me. I, I have ADHD. Um, I don't necessarily consider myself as being someone who's disabled or needs accommodations.
Um, so I've never gone the formal accommodations route, but I've been really blessed that in most organizations that I've worked with, I've been able to say, Hey, I'm wired this way. This is how you get the most out of me. This is how you don't get the most out of me. Um, and I think it, you know, and I've heard of this term universal accommodation.
Where rather than you having to raise your hand and say, Hey, I'm different. Can you make me feel special? We all get to raise our hand and say, Hey, we're all, we're all D we're all different the same way. So here's how you get the most out of me. Uh, and then you, you, you know, you relieve yourself of, of having to have an awkward conversation by identifying with a particular group that you might not necessarily identify with.
Um, Which has its own ups and downs and, and, uh, uh, you know, but, uh, and I guess there's, there's legal concerns with regard to that as well, because once it's documented, , you know, whether or not it's acted on, but I think it goes back to that idea of, you know, acting on this information that you have so that you can get the most out of people and doing so from a, a genuine place of wanting to help people do their best and, and live out their best strengths.
Every. Absolutely. Absolutely. So let's, let's get back on track here. So once you get the information, let's say that you get, you get the information back from your employee survey or your, your employee engagement results. I know you have, um, steps that companies can do now, what they can implement now. And you know, a lot of companies might get derailed by big picture.
Right? Mm-hmm but I think your idea. Are, you know, take smaller steps now to implement, to reach the goals and not kind of get overwhelmed by the, the big goal, the big picture that needs to take place immediately. And I think one of the acronyms that you use is ABC 1 23. So I know we don't have time to go through all of that in detail, but, um, you can kind of.
Go through it briefly if you wouldn't mind. Yeah, sure, sure. So the, a stands for action orientation and just like you had said, oftentimes there's a tendency to want to do everything all at once. Um, but sometimes those large organizational actions require a lot of time and effort. Uh, so, you know, a great example of that is wanting to, to implement an employee recognition system because you see that as a, an action item, uh, based upon the results of your survey, uh, implementing, uh, a organization wide survey is really hard.
Each manager being encouraged to write a handwritten heartfelt thank you. Note is really. Um, and guess what, in many instances it can actually be. More engaging than some sort of impersonal software program, not to say that, that you don't do the software program. Um, but do both one can happen right away.
So begin with the end in mind around really being action oriented. Um, The B stands for business relevant. So connect employee engagement results back to your business goals. Uh, even though we know the research shows all of these connections, build those connect connections explicitly for your managers, if your, uh, sales manager.
And you want to increase sales. How can the information that you're getting back from your employee engagement results help you know, where to focus in order to increase sales? Um, don't automatically assume that you wanna hire a sales trainer. If your survey is telling you that the problem is tools and resources, maybe you need to, to get a new contact management software.
Um, if it's saying learning and development, well then maybe you do need to hire a sales trainer, but begin with business and begin with that connection to business goals. And then the, the last piece is, is conversation oriented, which is the C. Um, and this is where strength based coaching can be really, really helpful.
Because it's not about dictating something to your employees, but having an ongoing conversation with them. Um, as an example, if a recognition is a focus area, you understand the way that person's wired by asking them what's the best recognition you've ever received right now, you get to have an understanding of what, what good recognition looks like to that person.
Um, and then, uh, the, the second part to ABC is 1, 2, 3. Um, and this, it, it has more to do with the communication component. So rather than boiling the ocean and, and trying to do everything and, and be all things to all people, it's much more effective to narrow your focus to those most important things and say, what's the one area that we want to focus on, which is the.
What are two actions that we might take in order to be able to address that, that one area of concern. And then the, the piece that I think a lot of people miss is closing the loop on what's been done, which is the communication component of three by three communication, 1, 2, 3, uh, so three. Instances of communicating what's been done and why through three different channels?
Not everyone checks, email, not everyone shows up to the all hands. Uh, sometimes they can, um, be present, but not completely there during the all hands meeting. So some people are more easily reached via slack or a newsletter or Microsoft teams, or what have you. Um, so three different channels, three different times, and you wanna follow a very simple format of, we heard X.
Therefore we're doing why we heard you. Um, so yeah, it can really be as simple as ABC 1, 2, 3, and I would think that you would obviously want to address the things that the employees want to be addressed. Um, but also don't lose sight of the things that are working out well, too. You, you kind of wanna have a, a good balance of the.
100% and, and oftentimes you'll see this where one pulse or, or one engagement survey, everything that was a really good score during one period of time. Becomes a low score during the next period of time and everything that was a low score becomes a high score and you have the Seesaw effect, but oftentimes the things that are leading you to have really exceptional experiences in some pockets, and then some areas can be the key to unlocking better experiences in other areas.
So I encourage managers and teams to do a root cause. Of happiness and satisfaction and greatness, the same way that an engineering team might do a root cause analysis of some sort of failure do a root cause analysis of what's working well because in the process of double clicking into what's working well, you might find a strategy that works for you or works for your team.
And if you're an organizational leader and you have multiple teams reporting to. You can see those pockets of greatness within your organization. Investigate those pockets of greatness and see what they're doing differently than the teams that are struggling, because oftentimes. Organizational leaders get to leadership positions because they're really smart and hardworking.
And sometimes they take on too much of that responsibility for showing the way to other people, when really the greatness that you want to see happening is already happening in your organization. So you don't have to recreate the wheel. You can just make sure that the culture that you want, that's already present in some parts of your organization, that that is able to be spread.
Uh, within the, the rest of the folks, and it's a great opportunity to highlight and, um, really celebrate those people who are going above and beyond. So one issue that I think you might run into is people who, um, Oppose, or you may receive pushback from on this strength based coaching. So they either don't think it's for them or they don't think that they have time for it, or they don't think it's going to work.
How do you address that with those individuals? I love those individuals, um, because. And I think there's a subtle difference between people who are cynical and people who are skeptical uh, so I love skeptics because they help all of us, uh, do our jobs better by pointing out the holes in our thinking and our logic.
Uh, and oftentimes what I'll point out, uh, is that that in and of itself is a. So, so that ability to not just go along, but to actually actually actively, uh, voice concern is a raw talent. In many instances that can be honed in order to make us all better. Uh, so, so, you know, one of the ways, and, and I think it's important for us to understand the difference between the skeptics and the cynics, uh, because the skeptics are your best friends.
If you can bring them in early. And encourage them to provide criticism in a controlled environment so that you're, you're having that hard conversation with them first, before it goes live. Uh, so I really, I really, uh, wanna anticipate those folks, bring them into the fold early and regardless of what their intention is, as long as they're, um, As long as they play fair, I think they can really help you, um, with regard to this.
And, and part of our job is to, um, is to bring them along to some extent, but, but also make it, you know, not a completely optional thing, but oftentimes you're gonna go farther faster by seeking out the people that are already bought in creating great results with them. Ooh, that's a good one. And. And then others are gonna start to get interested.
They're gonna wanna join in too. Exactly. And that's also, they're gonna get FOMO. They're gonna feel like they're left out. they're gonna wanna jump on board. That's genius. Yeah. That's also the strength approach, right? I mean, we, you know, even as I'm talking through this, sometimes I have the tendency to say, okay, well, how do I win over the detractors?
Okay, well, yeah, maybe sometimes should be spent on that, but you wanna spend even more time saying how do I double down on the people that are already primed to get a lot out of this? And create that FOMO within the organization. The one other thing that you mentioned was the time component, and I think that's where drawing the business relevance is so help, uh, so important, um, and making sure that things happen within the flow of work.
Like, we don't want this to feel any of this, to feel like extra work on top of the quote unquote real work, but it should feel like a way of helping people get the real work. Right. And also, I mean, if you're identifying issues like high turnover, um, and if you're short staffed, so that's a problem that you wanna fix.
If you don't take the time to implement strategies to fix it, I mean, you're gonna continue on the same path. There's not going to be any type of change, and you're gonna be exactly where you're at 10 years from now. So you, you kinda have to make the. Absolutely. And I mean, it's also about, you know, thinking and using the language that your, your leaders use, right?
Like if you think about like a, a restaurant manager as an example, there, he, or she's not thinking about. Employee engagement and strength based development, but they are thinking about things like, oh my gosh, I had three servers call out today and I'm short staffed or, you know, how can I, why can't I get this person motivated to do what I want them to do?
Right. So all of those things are employee engagement and intent to stay in strength based development that. They might not just think in those terms. So I think rather than try and get them to speak our language, we need to start to speak their language because they're the ones that are really making the business work and we're here to serve them.
Um, so, so how do we adopt their language and, and, and integrate with the work that's important to them and make it relevant to them? Right. And then just to wrap up, even let's, let's say a, a company does their survey or they receive their data back and, um, they're receiving some good scores, right? So they've got good employee engagement and, and they're receiving good feedback.
Um, I mean, what should they do at that point? They should probably, I'm guessing. You're gonna say continue to improve, even though they were receiving the good scores back. That's exactly right. Raise the bar, raise the bar. Maybe your questions are too. Um, so, uh, you know, I, I used to work for the Gallup organization and, and they've, they've had some criticism for some of their survey design because their survey design uses a lot of extreme language, but that extreme language raises the bar.
Uh, classic example of that is I have a best friend at work. Some people make a lot of fun of that item, that question. Um, but they tried things like I have a good friend at work or I have good relationships at work. And the only thing that they saw is having enough differentiation between excellent teams and good teams was that extreme language.
So if you find yourself getting a lot of high scores, Maybe you need to beef up the level of variance that you can detect with your instruments by, by using more extreme language in that score so that you can raise the. Very interesting. Interesting. Well, Kevin, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate your, your, um, taking the time to share your expertise with us.
I think that strength based coaching is definitely where it's at and if companies, um, have not looked into it, um, they definitely should. If, um, my listeners would like to get in touch with you or find out more information about you, where can they. Uh, two places. One is LinkedIn. Uh, just search for my name, Kevin G.
Campbell, um, XMP ma ACC, all my credentials and designations, make it a little bit easier to find me, uh, the middle initial helps as well. Um, LinkedIn's probably the, the main place where I, I share information with folks. Um, and I'd also recommend checking out the XM. I. Um, I'm a, an adjunct faculty member there and, um, I'm gonna be, uh, you know, posting even more articles and, and things in the future.
You can also find the article on the ABC 1 23 of action planning on that site as well. Excellent. I will leave all the links to that down in the show notes. So thank you so much for being here again. We appreciate it. And. My pleasure. If you found the information in this episode, helpful, I would truly appreciate it.
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Thanks so much for listening, and I will see you in the next episode.