Cascading Leadership - The Show

How Creating a Culture of Balance and Fairness Influences Employee Engagement

April 11, 2023 Jim
Cascading Leadership - The Show
How Creating a Culture of Balance and Fairness Influences Employee Engagement
Show Notes Transcript

Organizations face a variety of challenges when it comes to keeping their employees engaged. To address this, tech and organizational leaders have put forth strategies to ensure employees remain engaged. 

These strategies focus on bringing one's whole self to work, building a culture of balance and fairness, and creating a sense of belonging. This helps employees to stay motivated and connected to the mission of the organization. 

Furthermore, organizations should strive to create an environment where employees feel valued and respected, as well as providing them with the tools to be successful. By focusing on these key areas, organizations can ensure that their employees remain engaged and motivated.



Employee Engagement: Understanding What Makes Employees Well-Rounded


Incentivizing Decentralized Teams


Strategies for Employee Engagement in the Tech Space


Sales Rituals and Fairness in Reviews and Employee Engagement 

Music Credit: Maarten Schellekens - Riviera

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Dr. Jim: thanks for joining us today and I am looking forward to a really interesting show. The topic of discussion is gonna be on employee engagement and why that's important. So we're gonna take a different approach in this conversation and talk to a couple dozen tech leaders and organization leaders and get their advice in terms of what are the things that they focus on when it comes to employee engagement.


Dr. Jim: Now, why are we talking about employee engagement? When it comes to solving some of the biggest challenges in the world of work, and one of those challenges is how do you better retain your people? There's a ton of research that points to employee engagement as being a critical factor in an organization's ability to keep.


Dr. Jim: Their existing talent. And that is why we're focusing in on this conversation. You're gonna hear from a lot of great leaders in the b2b HR tech space, as well [00:01:00] as some of the d e I practitioners that are in this space give us a follow once you've heard all of this great insight.


Dr. Jim: And here we go


Austin Henggeler: I'm Austin Hanger. I'm the head of partnerships at the board list. The board list is the marketplace for diverse talent and board opportunities. We provide a platform for executives to connect with talent partners, non-gov chairs, CEOs, anywhere where they can get access to great corporate board opportunities.


Dr. Jim: That's really interesting work that you're doing, especially the cause of bringing diversity to boards because boards tend to be pretty uniform in terms of how they're constructed. I'm curious to get your input when we're talking about employee engagement, what's the most important thing that you would advise organizations and leaders to pay attention to when the goal is to keep your employees highly engaged?


Austin Henggeler: I think it's understanding what makes your employees well-rounded and specifically what they're doing outside of work. work is just one small piece of their life, so how can [00:02:00] you enable and help them in every phase of their life, specifically outside of the job.


Dr. Jim: Tell me a little bit more about why that's important.


Austin Henggeler: You lose track of your workers from outside of nine to five. So you might want to play a more active role in making sure, at the board list, board opportunities obviously live outside of this specific company.


Austin Henggeler: So if you know that they're going and spending time, working for a nonprofit board or working for another corporate board and how fulfilling and how enriching and what knowledge they're they're getting from that. What they're gonna bring back into the table at the company.


Dr. Jim: It sounds like it's part of the the push to have employees bring their whole selves to work and how employers can actually facilitate that. Am I understanding that correctly?


Austin Henggeler: Yeah, but it's also a big value add for the companies specifically that bringing back the knowledge from whatever they're doing, whether.


Austin Henggeler: Fun. They go out and play sports. They're interested in certain activities. Bringing that back into the workplace can be valuable, whether it's from, relationships for the employees. Just making sure you're having a happy work environment or [00:03:00] actually real information that they can bring to the table at work.


Dr. Jim: Tell us a little bit about where we can find you.


Austin Henggeler: Yeah, the we have a search platform that connects, like I said, diverse board members with talent partners. Come in, create a free profile. If you're a talent partner, come in, create a opportunity and we'll connect as many great candidates with you as possible.


Lauren Schneider: Hi, I'm Lauren Schneider. I'm the head of communications at Compt. We are an employee benefits platform. We're the all-in-one reimbursement platform offering stipends, rewards and recognition and newly expense management to our customers.


Dr. Jim: So one of the things that I'm curious about is when you're talking to organizations and leaders about what things they should be doing to keep their employees engaged. What's the one thing that. Leaders need to be paying attention to.


Lauren Schneider: One thing that we've really strived to do at Compt is incorporate a culture of balance and belonging. And I think with that comes viewing the employee experience as a more human experience, really meeting people where they're at, realizing [00:04:00] that they need flexible work-life balance. So whether that comes in the form of benefits or leave, or just being a little bit more compassionate and understanding with what they need wherever they are.


Lauren Schneider: Because now we're trying to cater to five different generations of workforce and what Gen Z needs is totally different than what your employee who's maybe been there 40 years needs.


Dr. Jim: So that's some great insight. I'm curious, can you share a little bit more about how the needs of Gen Z and millennial workers are different or can be different than some of the older generations that exist within the workforce?


Lauren Schneider: So myself, for example, I'm a younger millennial and I've found that what I'm looking for in work is a lot different than maybe what my mom is. Looking for in her workplace, she's thinking about things like 401k. What is it gonna look like when I retire? Am I set up for health insurance that I need?


Lauren Schneider: And a lot of that's table stakes, but for me, I'm really looking for flexibility. I'm a new mom. I am the sole provider in my household, so I need something that goes a little bit beyond a salary and realizes that I need to take care of my husband, my [00:05:00] kid. I need more than just the basics at this.


Dr. Jim: Thanks for sharing. So where can people find you?


Lauren Schneider: You can find me on LinkedIn. My name's Lauren Schneider again. You can find Compt also on LinkedIn. We're on Twitter. Look for compt hq. That's our handle.


Zach Anderson: My name is Zach Anderson. I am one of the co-founders of Coordinape. And Coordinape is a platform for decentralized teams to incentivize and compensate and reward each other. It came out of web three space where decentralized teams are doing projects together and want to distribute the value of that project according to the people that created it.


Dr. Jim: Let's get into the big topic of the day. So when you're talking to organizations and leaders about the issue of employee engagement, what's the one thing that you would recommend or advise them to pay attention to, to keep their employees more engaged?


Zach Anderson: I'd say how do you push decision making to the edges to where people are actually doing the work. [00:06:00] How do you empower employees to really think about, I have the choice here. How do you give them the decision making power? How do you give them autonomy? Because what we know is that one of the biggest motivators for people is to really.


Zach Anderson: Have the ability to make something happen and to see the cause and effect relationship of the work that they're doing. And in, in the world where more and more workers are going to be freelance, where bo the borders of companies become more porous having the opportunity to really take action is really important.


Dr. Jim: If an organization is used to that command and control top down model, and you make the case that in order to have a more engaged workforce, you need to decentralize that responsibility and offer more autonomy,


Dr. Jim: how can an old school organization shift their focus and be more empowering?


Zach Anderson: People love this the idea of innovation and failing fast. But it's really hard to do. And so I think framing it as a way to increase innovation that there isn't one [00:07:00] way to do things and giving people the opportunity to.


Zach Anderson: To really see what they know from being on the frontline and taking action there instead of always having to follow dictates from top down is a huge boost to engagement and actually getting people bought in to thinking like an owner.


Dr. Jim: So where can people find you Zach?


Zach Anderson: They can find everything about coordinape, , You can find me on Twitter at Fifth World, Zach, and you can follow coordinate on Twitter as well.


Lucas Price: I'm Lucas Price. I'm the founder and CEO of Yardstick, which is a SaaS platform for fixing sales hiring. Over 40% of sales hires fail in the first year, and when a sales hire fails,. The cost is typically about 70% of the annual quota.


Lucas Price: So it's a huge expense, a huge problem. We provide interactive playbooks for interviewing candidates for sales roles with structured interviews, behavioral interview questions, and scorecards.


Dr. Jim: Thanks let's focus the conversation in, on the topic of employee engagement . And let's talk about it from a sales perspective.


Dr. Jim: When you're [00:08:00] advising leaders and organizations on what they need to be doing to keep their sales teams engaged, what advice would you have?


Lucas Price: I think the key is communication. Open and honest communication. Sales reps do better and sales leaders do better when they understand exactly why the company's strategy is what it is.


Lucas Price: And. You can explain clearly what the, each individual's role is in executing the strategy. So open and honest communication


Dr. Jim: you've had a history of building sales organizations from the ground up in the tech space. So tell me a little bit about how you actually. Executed that in building a communication


Dr. Jim: culture,


Lucas Price: a lot of it is having the right rituals.


Lucas Price: And so it's things like making sure you have your one-on-ones each week, having your team meetings as the team gets bigger and it's got multiple teams on it. It's being very deliberate about what you wanna say to them and really putting a lot of attention and practice into how you explain the strategy.


Lucas Price: So for me, the biggest part is being really good at [00:09:00] rituals and having the right empathy and communication and one-on-one communications.


Dr. Jim: Awesome stuff. Lucas. Thanks for sharing your input. Where can


Dr. Jim: people find you?


Lucas Price: Yardstick is at www dot yardstick dot team. And I'm on LinkedIn at Lucas Price.


Liz Kofman-Burns: My name's Liz Kofman Burns. I'm one of the co-founders of Peoplism we're a d EI consulting firm. I'm a recovering academic, I like to say a sociologist by training and we focus on a holistic solution to d e I.


Dr. Jim: That sounds really interesting and I could go a whole lot of different directions just on the recovering academic part, but I'm gonna try to stay on task. Let's talk about employee engagement. When you're advising organizations and leaders on what they need to be doing to keep their employees engaged, what's the one thing that you would recommend that they focus most of their attention?


Liz Kofman-Burns: Definitely not a one size fits all solution, but if I had to pick one thing for leaders to focus on, it is actually fairness in performance management.


Dr. Jim: Tell me a little [00:10:00] bit more about what you mean by fairness in performance management.


Liz Kofman-Burns: So employees want to learn and grow in their career, basically, that is universal.


Liz Kofman-Burns: And when they don't feel like they have opportunities to succeed at your organization, they disengage, start looking for other work or they're just, phoning it in basically.


Dr. Jim: Why is it important to focus on the disengagement part of it and some of the downstream impacts of that? If you're a leader


Liz Kofman-Burns: if you want your employees engaged and productive, you just absolutely need them to feel that the organization is fair. So looking at, yes, maybe you're doing performance reviews, but are they best practices? Are, is everyone getting the feedback that's really high quality and gonna help them actually improve in their roles and feel like they're learning and growing?


Liz Kofman-Burns: Are managers really skilled? Equitably. Giving people opportunities, giving them feedback. So that whole piece really is important for engagement.


Dr. Jim: So where can people find you?


Liz Kofman-Burns: Best place to find us is on our website,