Communications Academy

HR Virtual Roundtable: Employee Engagement

July 01, 2019 Season 1
Communications Academy
HR Virtual Roundtable: Employee Engagement
Chapters
Communications Academy
HR Virtual Roundtable: Employee Engagement
Jul 01, 2019 Season 1
Staffbase
Show Notes Transcript

Virtual Roundtable - HR Perspective


  1. 3:45 Question about employees hearing from their leaders instead of HR directors / dealing with employee engagement.
    1. 4:14 Nick answers: Being on the recruiting side of HR, the most difficult times for him were having to reject people at the end of their candidacy for positions because of downturn. 
    2. 5:19 Wesley answers: “If engagement is an HR issue, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve started”. There are a lot of tools HR can provide to leaders, such as exit interview questions and engagement teams, so that they have beneficial interactions with employees. 
    3. 7:08 Jeffrey answers: His company finally gained traction with a diversity and inclusion when they realised: “This is not an HR initiative, it is a business imperative. Once our people feel included, then we will be a force to reckon with and it will be very hard to compete against us''. “HR plays a role as a coach and an advisor behind the curtain”.    
    4. 8:48 Fred answers: “Rather than focus on the employee engagement itself, I would say focus on the things on either side of the workplace environment and experience employees are provided and the results of their labor.”


  1. 10:15 How do we enrich the experience for employees, and how do you find the talent to do this?
    1. 10:53 Wesley answers: “To start out, as a business you’ve got to have a clear sense of what the employee value proposition is...why are we here as a business and why would you ever want to join us?” Furthermore, “Staying ahead on sourcing and talent pooling [is] one of the challenges in oil and gas,” but it is very important for attracting the employees you need. He also notes you must stay “relevant to what appeals to the different generations or types of employees that you’re trying to bring in”, referencing the use of social media, a multigenerational workforce, and more. 
    2. 15:40 Jeffrey answers: His company’s use of a program that seeks out talented high schoolers and pays for their college tuition for them to work their after graduation has been a huge success in gaining consistent new talent for the company. 
    3. 16:45 Fred answers: “If your message is offbase from what the experience is, if there is a gap between the aspirational and functional culture that employees experience, then your message is going to differ from the message from internal employees through social media, and that’s going to create challenges for you”. 
    4. 17:40 Nick answers: Through an apprenticeship program that gives on-the-job training to veterans in the company, these veterans can “make up money as they’re building up their career, but it’s also a huge retention bonus for us...and it’s a competitive advantage”


  1. 19:30 How important corporate culture is in keeping people at their workplace. 
    1. 19:57 Jeffrey answers: The culture nowadays is “if you haven’t convinced me or impressed me by lunchtime on the first day, I’m probably not going to stick around,” and people say “they are here because they want meaningful experiences...they want to contribute”. Companies must respond to this to keep employees. There are three components that lead to whether or not people will be attracted to your company and how long they will stay: “emotional connection people have with their organization, the local culture, and how inclusive you make insiders and outsiders feel.”
    2. 28:39 Fred answers: It’s about “the emotional connection employees have with supervisors and also about the emotional connection the employee has with coworkers.” 
    3. 30:51 Nick answers: Many programs that focus on the employee experience at his company teach employees “how to interact better with each other. There’s constant de
Speaker 1:
0:01
[inaudible].
Speaker 2:
0:03
Thanks for listening to the podcast. We've got a ton of great content that covers the full journey of deploying a branded employee app. Go to staff based.com. Click on resources and select employee app guide. That's it. Best wishes and back to the show. Hello and welcome. Uh, today we are very excited to be joined by a group of HR industry leaders. Uh, collectively they have decades of experience uncovering and solving the challenges that large enterprises face regarding corporate culture, finding new talents and keeping their all stars. Uh, before we begin, I'd love to do just a quick round of introductions and also just personally thank you for joining in on this virtual round table. I think having the HR perspective of what this thing called employee engagement really is, is going to be very engaging, uh, very, uh, exciting and I look forward to it. Uh, to start it off a Wesley was you, please introduce yourself, you bet. Till everybody on Wesley vestal and the VP of HR for the western hemisphere for Weatherford's. Been here about a year and about 25 years of experience. Wonderful. Thank you for joining us, Wesley. Jeffrey, would you mind introducing yourself?
Speaker 3:
1:15
Sure. Happy to. In 2013 I joined Sasol. It's a petrochemical company based in Johannesburg, South Africa and I'm located at our North American headquarters in Houston, Texas. And just a little bit of context, I joined the company six years ago as the head of people in organization, the effectiveness just as we were finalizing the plans and engineering designs for a mega project chemical plant expansion in Lake Charles, Louisiana. And happy to say we are moving from design into missioning and startup for seven units that came with a total capital cost of 13 billion.
Speaker 2:
1:58
Wow. Uh, Jeffrey, thank you very much for sharing and thank you for joining. Uh, Fred, would you like to introduce yourself?
Speaker 4:
2:06
Yes, I'm Fred Stout's. I'm a author and international speaker. I focused on, uh, issues in the workplace that shape or help shape a culture. There's the safe, productive and then sustainably profitable operations. Worked in aerospace on gas, developed technical training programs in both arenas.
Speaker 2:
2:26
Wonderful. Fred, thank you very much for joining us. Nick, if you could please introduce yourself.
Speaker 1:
2:31
Good morning. I'm Nick Tran. I'm the head of the global military and veteran programs at Schlumberger. Been with the company five years. Um, started out the focus on hiring veterans, uh, about five years ago. And it was an HR initiative, but we quickly realized that there was a lot more to do than just recruiting veterans and getting into the veteran community, building our brand, building our name by helping focus on issues that are important to the veteran community. And by doing so we made ourselves the employer of choice for veterans. Um, in 2016, 17 and 18 we wanted the military friendly employer award, um, by, uh, Victoria media and we're wanting scales to get it for 2020 as well. So I'm here to contribute where I can, um, share about best practice and, and learn from you all.
Speaker 2:
3:21
Nick, thank you very much for joining and further, thank you very much for your contribution. I think, uh, earlier when we were, when we were just starting to just talk offline, uh, it was certainly met, uh, mentioned how much, uh, admiration there is for you and your work and what you've done. So thank you very much.
Speaker 1:
3:41
My pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 2:
3:44
So, to get this conversation started off regarding the HR perspective of employee engagement, um, there is a very familiar challenge which is employee engagement itself. It's not uncommon that employees would prefer not to hear from HR and would actually instead prefer to hear directly from their leaders. And Nick, I thought it would be great to start off with you if you could touch on your experiences with this particular topic.
Speaker 1:
4:15
Well, I've never really had that issue. You know, being in HR, I spent 18 years in HR on the recruiting side, so I, I was on the, uh, the side of HR that added people, um, didn't really have to, luckily it was not in part of the, the side of HR. They had to let people go. But, uh, the challenges that we had with, um, recruiting of course in our industry, there's this cyclic turn and downturn and we've been in the downturn for a long time. Um, the struggles that we had are when we're ramping up to go, getting ready to hire people and we've made some, some offers and then we had to resend them because of downturn. That was, that was a tough, tough time to be in a tough conversation to have and try to keep, uh, those, those candidates. I'm still having a good candidate PR I mean experience even though they were rejected at the end and trying to help them find other opportunities in, uh, in partner organizations.
Speaker 5:
5:10
Okay.
Speaker 2:
5:13
Hmm. Very interesting. Um, would anybody else like to touch on that perhaps a Wesley?
Speaker 6:
5:20
Yeah. You know, I think it's really interesting because if engagement is an HR issue, you've lost the battle before you've started. Right? I think the way you framed the question was so critical is, uh, our leaders. And in fact, one of the questions we'll talk about it in a little bit is around culture is really what drives gage meant. And you know, I think there's lots of leaders can do. Um, HR can certainly help provide tools to leaders and I think that's the key piece. Um, we use a couple here at Weatherford and some other organizations, a skip level meetings where we try to get leaders to skip a level down and actually talk and engage more with, uh, the individuals that, uh, that worked for the people that worked for them as well as things like stay interviews. Um, you know, Nick just highlighted, uh, the recruiting process.
Speaker 6:
6:07
We do a lot of interviewing for employees, prospective employees, but uh, throughout, uh, their life cycle as employees, we sometimes forget to interview them on why they'd stay with us and what's the value proposition that they perceive worked out in that particular case. So there's a lot of tools HR can provide, but at the end of the day, leaders have to live that because that's who they interact with on a day to day basis. Last tool that we've used with some success is actually getting people to help engage other people and put together small engagement teams in different locations and say, you know, why don't you plan for events? Um, one that's focused on volunteering, one that's focused on family, uh, one that's focused on uh, uh, fun and then something else interesting. And then have the people actually own, uh, those personal connections that can, can help people feel a little bit more aligned with and personally connected to the work that they do.
Speaker 7:
7:02
Okay.
Speaker 6:
7:02
Excellent. Um, Fred or, or Jeff, would you like to touch on this?
Speaker 3:
7:08
Sure. This is Jeff [inaudible]. I play the Raritan role, but in this case I will absolutely agree with nick and less like most energy companies and companies in general. We've been wrestling with diversity and yet and inclusion. And we finally gained traction this year when one of our executive committee members said, this is not an HR initiative. This is a business imperative. And once our people feel included, then we will be a force to reckon with and it will be very hard to compete against us. So when that leader in this case with our CFO was basically we are reinforcing that HR plays a role as a coach and that advisor behind the curtain and that it is largely business issues to deal with culture. And in this case we were focusing on on inclusion. Then we started to gain traction and people began to believe again in your organization and we made it much easier for employer branding so that people wanted to join the organization and sort of the first half day of new hire orientation is led largely by vice and presidents rather than the HR community. So I'm agreeing with the, the uh, the premise that we play an active role but it's behind the scenes rather than in front of the curtain.
Speaker 6:
8:47
Hmm. Fred, it sounded like you also wanted to contribute. Yeah. And employee engagement is a really
Speaker 4:
8:56
challenging factor or, or a concept to, to pin down because it's different for everyone. If you ask, uh, a group of employees, what do you like about working here? What do you don't like about working here? If they answer more energetically of what they like about working there, then there's an engagement factor going on there. I would tend to think of engagement. The important elements are what are on either side of the engagement and that is on one side is what's the workplace experience because that tends to drive whether somebody likes working there or not working there to have a good experience. Then they like working there and then the results of being engaged of our processes is a, are people engaging in safe behaviors and productive processes? Is work getting done effectively and efficiently? Are Our communication channels working? So rather than focus on the employee engagement itself, I would stay focused on the things on either side of it, the workplace environment and experience that employees are provided and the results of their labor.
Speaker 2:
10:08
Interesting. It sounds like if I was to summarize all of the responses, it always comes back to what sounds like the the folks that you're serving. Quite frankly, it sounds like the, the, the focus on how do we enrich the experience for the people specifically. And so with that finding and attracting a talented people, uh, is not something that is very easy to do. Uh, I know that some of you have proposed a in the past, some unique and competitive solutions of finding, uh, the, uh, ideal talent. And I thought, uh, Wesley if you'd like to start to share your thoughts on some of these struggles and then also maybe some solutions that really do seem to stick.
Speaker 6:
10:54
Yeah, I'll certainly try to tee it up. And I think a others on the call have some, some great examples to share as well. So, you know, really for me it's kind of four or five key things I think around, uh, attracting talent. And, and honestly a lot of these won't necessarily be quote unquote unique. I think it's, uh, it's in some cases blocking and tackling. But as we've all discovered, it's really hard to do the blocking and tackling. Well, you know, to start out, I think as a business you've got to have a clear sense of what the employee value proposition is, which uh, I think Fred just mentioned, uh, that really answers that purpose question. Why are we here as a business and why would you ever want to join us? And having that clear sense of the value proposition is, is really critical.
Speaker 6:
11:43
Um, and then not just for attracting but also for that retain and engage piece. Second piece then is, you know, as you're going through this, as having a, with a recruiting with your, that ability to answer the old with them than what's in it for me. Obviously for the employee. If you've got a clear value proposition, you've then got to be able to articulate that a what's in it for the individual and what's in it for the company to actually use that individual's talents in a new and unique way. A third is I think really staying ahead on sourcing and talent pooling. And I think, you know, Nick alluded to it, it's uh, one of the challenges that we've gotten in oil and gas is that a about a time you ramp up your recruiting, you're in a down cycle typically. Um, and one of the things that that tends to happen is you'd get a bit knee jerk and you turn off the taps totally a which makes it really, really difficult to ramp back up then when you need to.
Speaker 6:
12:39
So, uh, talent sourcing and talent pooling and keeping those relationships warm. I think nick referenced that even people that are, you're having to let down, make sure they have a great candidate experience. And I personally, uh, early in my career interviewed with one of the big four consulting firms, didn't get the job and still to this day think it was the best recruiting experience I ever went through because of the way they treated me in the way that, uh, that the way that they stretch me a fourth piece then as we've got to meet candidates where they are. Um, and I think that's a bigger and bigger challenge now with all of the avenues of social media, the different kinds of technology, the applicant tracking systems. Um, you know, we've got as an HR limited budget, as a business, a limited capability in terms of platforms we can engage in compared to the consumer world.
Speaker 6:
13:33
And, and so sometimes we lag behind because we've got these monolithic or archaic systems internally and we all know people, uh, use their phones for just about everything and apps. And then the last piece is related to that and that staying relevant to what appeals to the different generations or types of employees that you're trying to, uh, to, to bring in. I think for oilfield services specifically, we've got a large field population that, um, uh, are doing difficult labor in hard, uh, locations, uh, all the way up to c-suites that make millions of dollars. Uh, we've got the Gen z's coming into the generation pool and we still got some, uh, post World War II and baby boomers. How are we appealing to those different audiences? Um, do we have the flexibility in our attractive, attractive tools to actually appeal to those individuals? Uh, what we read about a lot for Gen z and millennials is how purpose-driven they are.
Speaker 6:
14:32
So have we articulated a purpose versus for those in perhaps gen x or baby boomers who really want a long and steady career? Uh, that's something that we have to appeal to. And the last thing I heard it in SB panel a few months ago was, uh, that relates to this is, you know, with the large college debt burden that seeing with new employees coming into the workplace, uh, our, our benefits packages, uh, paying attention to those kinds of things, one company offered up that they actually give their new employees and option, we'll either match your 401k at x percent or will divert that money that we were going to match to your college debt loan burden. Um, so being flexible and, uh, I think adaptive to the situation is also critical. So those are four or five things I think really helped with, uh, uh, becoming an attractor of talent that, uh, that can compete in the workplace.
Speaker 2:
15:25
Excellent. That was extremely insightful. Thank you very much for, uh, putting it together in that frame. Uh, just to go down the list here, a d j Jeffrey, would you like to touch on anything, uh, that maybe Wesley mentioned or didn't mention? So
Speaker 3:
15:44
what do you said that was interesting as about dealing with college debt. Our company is based in South Africa and they have a program called bursary where they basically go into the high school, young raw talent and pay for their college education. And then we are, we become by by design their first employer and I'm not sure that will spread outside of, of that continent, but it is certainly working well for us in Mozambique and South Africa and other places in that southern tip where we operate. So it's good to see that, that Weatherford is addressing that in, in North America.
Speaker 2:
16:35
Excellent. That's, that's quite a quite a venture I could imagine being able to offer something of that nature. Uh, uh, Fred, do you have anything you'd like to touch on?
Speaker 4:
16:46
The, the package that Wesley addressed is pretty comprehensive on full spectrum. And I would IX then that to say what the employee based in an organization, if you're, you're attracting track both the employee base within that organization experiences, they're going to communicate through social circles out to the, um, the talent pool that you're trying to attract. So if your, if your message is off base from what the experience is, if there's a gap between the aspirational and the functional culture that that employees experience, then your message is going to differ than the message from internal employees through social media. And that's gonna gonna create challenges for you.
Speaker 2:
17:36
Excellent. Um, and then lastly, nick, is there anything, any thoughts you wanted to contribute towards this? Yeah, so those mentioned about, uh, college debt. So, you know, with what I do with focusing on recruiting veterans, we know there's a
Speaker 1:
17:50
good amount of veterans out there that are not going to go to college because they didn't want to incur college debt and they've got GI bill. Um, and there I did, some of them I, it's just not going to go to college. So what we've done, especially in the Permian basin, because the fight for talent is so fierce there that we had to create some sort of competitive advantage to allow those, that veterans that we know they're not going to go to college to somehow use their GI bill benefits to get into career. So we've done as we've gotten the um, the national apprenticeship program approved by the Department of Labor. And what that allows a veteran to do that has college bill benefits is to get hired by us. We put them in what we called a training position and it's lumped under an apprenticeship program and it allows the veterans to use their GI bill to get a monthly stipend for being in that role.
Speaker 1:
18:40
It's an on the job training, they're getting paid the same salary that we're, we would pay somebody that's not a veteran, but then they're getting extra $1,900 a month for up to two years by the government. And this allows them to make, make up that money as hers as they're building up their career. But it also is a huge retention bonus for us. And it's also a huge recruiting tool for us and it's competitive advantage when we're losing weight in the past, we have lost people to our competitors for an extra hour. I'm sorry, an extra dollar, an hour or $2 an hour and then they will go, their competitors will raise our rates and they come back to us. And it's a vicious cycle where we stopped that with his apprenticeship program.
Speaker 8:
19:22
Hmm.
Speaker 2:
19:23
Fascinating. Um, yeah, it's in sticking with, uh, looking for talent. Something that was mentioned a couple of times in earlier in the, in the first question as well was corporate culture and how important a, how large of a factor it is when people are looking for their next workplace. Uh, and I thought I'd start with, uh, with Jeffrey in terms of, you know, from your experience, how much of a role does culture play in keeping, uh, people at their workplace and also in turn, uh, reducing churn?
Speaker 3:
19:59
I can't emphasize enough that culture is number one. Well, I'll go back two. My experience over the past six years, the good news is that we're built on being seven units. The bad news is no energy company more than one or possibly two units at the same time, so for the past six years I've had the chance to really rethink everything about employer branding, recruiting, the changing demographics of our workforce and most importantly our culture. So when we were really doing the heavy lifting on the engineering design in 2013 and 14 and what we said and predicted is by 2020 or basically now three things would happen that are employee age. The average would drop from 47 which are gen Xers to 35 millennials. We did in fact have that 12 year drop in employee age. Second thing we predicted is that years of experience would drop from 15 is where we were in 2013 to less than five and right now we're at 4.6 years of of experience, so you can just see how that is going to impact our long term success as well as a start up at the seven units. Then the third thing that we predicted is that our legacy population would go from 100% to under 20
Speaker 9:
21:32
okay.
Speaker 3:
21:32
Right now, if you look at our North American workforce, the people that were around six years ago are only 17% of the population. So again, that gave us the chance to rethink how we do everything. And where we started with is is our culture.
Speaker 9:
21:50
Okay?
Speaker 3:
21:51
So in the past we can honestly say that most new employees that add six to nine months, I'll determine if I really want to stay with the company. Now the situation is if you haven't convinced me or impressed me by lunch time on the first day, I'm probably not going to stick around. Second thing that we've noticed is that people in the good old days wanted to stay with the company for a significant period of time. As long as they were paid well and they could see slow and steady professional growth. What do our people say now? They say they are here because they want meaningful experiences. And that's something that Fred kept kept saying they want to be mentored, they want a company in a mission that they can believe in. And as nick and Wesley said, it's a little difficult in our industry because not all of the energy companies produce gasoline. And then we're in the chemical side or the downstream part of the energy value chain. And so we kept, we saw our products to other chemical companies so we don't really touch the customer directly. The other things that our new employees want is that they want to be able to contribute. They want learning to be on the one that we would come from. The values lived out every day. They want feedback and recognition and they want the coolest tools to be able to perform their job.
Speaker 3:
23:27
The other thing is that when you look at the great place to work competition, I think they took a left turn somewhere because they usually highlight, highlight a handful of things or perks that differentiate a small handful of employers from the rest of the pack. But in our experience over this wonderful learning lab over the past six years, I believe there are three components that lead to whether or not people will be attracted to your company and how long they will stay. And we've alluded to the fact that they are kind of squishy. So the first one is the emotional connection people have with their organization, which is largely their supervisor, number two of the local culture. And number three, how inclusive you make insiders and outsiders feel. I'll go back to them real briefly. So on the emotional connection that you build with people, that usually comes from your neediest supervisor and not so much the top executives of the company.
Speaker 3:
24:30
Although a lot of employee engagement methodology is based on questions about the executive leadership team and how much you faith you have in them and the and the strategy they set. But the reality is very few employees in an organization. So we have about 33,000 how many of them ever really engage with the leadership or the top of the house? So I really believe that any emotional connection with your immediate supervisor is key. Second is the local culture. And I don't know how to describe that much better than it's really the personality and the style of how you do things. So that would include an example of like how you treat people who work remotely, what is recognized, what is not. The stories that you tell, and again, if you're not telling stories in the first two hours of the employees new hire orientation on day one year, you're losing them.
Speaker 3:
25:31
Do you assume people are always working with the best interests of the company at heart? What is your organization's attitude towards training? How you handle laughs, Nick's touch on this, how you handle the slowdowns in the business. I really think it's that local culture and to answer the question that everybody has been wrestling with, is there a single culture in an organization on if you have more than five employees, more than one location, I think the chances are not. Then the third thing we've learned about how to make employees sticky to the company is all inclusive. You make insiders and outsiders feel maybe the best way of explaining what I'm thinking about there is how much of a mask do people have to put on as they're heading to work? To what extent can they be their, their true selves or to have to take on that corporate persona.
Speaker 3:
26:29
And my belief is that it takes so much energy to change from me who I am to that corporate image of who I need to be, that I have a lot less energy to really give to the company. So the more that you are like yourself at work, you can dedicate towards thinking about customers, whether they're internal or external to the organization. And I'll go back to an earlier company I worked for that was landmark graphics. They made software very complicated, sophisticated software for understanding the reservoirs underneath the ground. And what was cool from them is, as an example, the communications didn't come from a machine. They came from an employee with a personality and, and her, her personality came through in the notes since you're just, the tone of them had had kind of a little playful attitude towards employees rather than from the machine.
Speaker 8:
27:28
Okay.
Speaker 3:
27:30
And so I think that the sooner people can become more like themselves, the more energy they have to focus on their jobs and beating the competition. And again, I believe you have the first four hours between 8:00 AM and noon to convince people that they should stay. And if not, I think you've really lost the game.
Speaker 8:
27:51
Okay.
Speaker 3:
27:51
So the summary to your, your question is that culture is absolutely everything and that the perks that are often cited in best place to work I think are secondary at best. So I'll hand the question back to you.
Speaker 2:
28:11
Yeah, that was great. Uh, in particular I loved hearing the specific example about, uh, that person at the software company where her personality was echoed throughout her communications, uh, uh, plan, which I thought was really interesting and talked about relevance and, and being present and human and yourself, not your corporate self, etc. Um, Fred, would you like to start the discussion on this?
Speaker 4:
28:41
Uh, Jeff mentioned that one of those first items are the emotional connection and that the employee has with the supervisor of Salsoul emotional connection. It has, the employee has with coworkers. That I think is a really good example to look at because in all of this discussion of employee engagement are human factors, is each individual experiences different things and similar things in different ways that I'm super like to listen to rock music. Some people like opera, some people are turned off by rock music. Some people are turned off by opera. You can't across the board say there's one taco situation that you can create that's going to make every employee happy. So, so what Jeff was saying at the, at the management level, you got small enough groups that if the managers at to that connection with the employees, that individual can refine how they interface and the experience that they helped create for that employee to engage them in the process and to reward them for having engaged in the process. So, so companies and organizations that look at at human factors as kind of an intangible but deal with all of the, all of the things in the workplace that feed into that, that's where they can start looking at metrics and looking at patterns and say, well, our system is down. Uh, an abnormally amount.
Speaker 8:
30:29
Nope.
Speaker 2:
30:33
With Fred, it sounds like you might have dropped out. Um, I think we lost Fred. Yep. Uh, looks like, all right, well then I'm going to move on to nick while, uh, Fred is uh, working on his, um, a connection. Uh, nick, did you have any thoughts on this?
Speaker 1:
30:53
We've got a lot of activities on getting or keeping employees engaged. I mean, we've got so many different employee resource groups focusing on whatever it is, issues that are important to the employee. We kind of let them choose and like for example, we've got Earth Day where, you know, even though we're all in gas, we are very, very big on trying to reduce our carbon footprint. So we have Earth Day where we go out and I have opportunities to work summers. I sponsors employees that go out and plant trees and to go out to do community projects. Um, there's, you know, with the veterans that I handled and we do a lot of focusing within the veteran community and helping raise money for veterans who are homeless or, um, do a house makeover for veterans. So, I mean, there's a lot of opportunities that we tried to provide for our employees to do stuff to give back.
Speaker 1:
31:46
But as far as keeping employees engaged, it's a very big thing for us. We've got, I think called [inaudible] and engage the excel each, um, each business group. Each team has like sessions where we will spend a week to get to know other members of the team. We'll take personality tests to find out where we rank in certain quadrants to help understand each other and help how to, uh, interact better with each other. So there's constant development, constant training and uh, just making us understand each other better. Uh, developing a stronger emotional intelligence for everybody in the company. And just, um, it's more of a bonding experience, um, and in many ways with training, development and also opportunities to give back to the community. Hmm. Interesting. Um, what's the Jefferson Yup. At
Speaker 3:
32:41
Sasol, if I may,
Speaker 1:
32:42
Jason, please.
Speaker 3:
32:45
For a couple of decades, summer Jay was well known in the oil field services industry as a leader. And having with nick and seeing him in action for a number of years at HR conferences in and around Houston, I really want to acknowledge the contribution he has made battling the summers aid but really employment of veterans and making them feel included because oftentimes, unfortunately there's such a hard translation moving from Dharma services into industry and nick in particular has figured that out and has made really some or Jay an even stronger organization, not only because of the work that they do, but the way they treat veterans. And I just want to make sure that's noted.
Speaker 1:
33:37
Wow. So thank you for your kind words. Um, I think the biggest thing that I've, I'm trying to do is trying to change the narrative for veterans that veterans were, we're not a group of a bunch of people who are broken that constantly need to help that veterans are the type of people that will bring, that will help your organization. I know there's some negative aspects on portrayals of veterans through media, through movies, but the majority of us really wants to serve, you know, we wanted to serve and we serve in the military. But you know, when we get out, we want to serve our communities, we want to reintegrate and we don't want people to think we're so different. Um, and so some of the things that I do with, with engaging with the veteran community is also to teach the veteran community and in veterans that you're worth a lot more and don't be limited by what your, your title was or what your rank was. And you're actually, you have opportunities to continue to serve by serving your communities and then getting into those companies and helping that company grow and, and be competitive. And that's what me and veterans about. So thanks for the kind words and I just, Ah, and I do, I do, cause I, I love it. Um, I feel like I'm contributing to our company, to our, um, our veterans and also that our country.
Speaker 1:
35:00
That's wonderful. Great. And Fred.
Speaker 4:
35:05
Yeah. And, uh, I recently wrote a book, boots in the office, which, which guides, uh, employees are veterans in a transition to civilian jobs. And I, in the people I worked with in, in putting that together, I would say that that veterans have, uh, a lot of, uh, a lot to be proud of because they tend to bring into a workplace, a structure and, uh, an order and, uh, a mission oriented perspective that a lot of workplaces that I can use the word just are dysfunctional. That the challenge is for the veterans to adapt to a certain amount of dysfunction that they're not used to. And so I would kind of give them a lot of credit for being a positive addition to many workplaces.
Speaker 2:
36:01
Let's expand on this if it's all right with everyone. This is an extremely interesting topic. Um, and, and I think that it sounds like everyone is interested in, in how, in extending this a little bit further, uh, one thing that comes to mind in this conversation for me and then I, and I'll start with, uh, I'll, I'll start specifically with, uh, with you, uh, nicked at dancer this, uh, just to kick it off, but I'd love to understand, I know there are organizations that very specifically, uh, mention and say we welcome and want veterans. Um, there are also organizations that internally very much would love to have veterans part be part of their organization. Uh, to the point that, uh, that, that Fred just made regarding, um, you know, the being able to accommodate very different types of work environments. What is your advice to organizations that may not be specifically advocating that they are looking for veterans but are eagerly interested? Do you have any thoughts or feedback on that?
Speaker 1:
37:10
I do. I actually have vice for a organizations but also veterans. So started with organizations. I think a lot of organizations have the um, when he started building a veteran program, they, they try to, it seems like they all go into the same pattern. They try to create some sort of mls analyzers for those of you that don't know mos military occupational specially what you did in the military and then try to have some sort of analyzer on their website where a veteran can come in and put what they did in the military, what their job was, what their rank was, and then it shoots out a bunch of jobs within your organization to what these veterans will qualify for. The problem with that is most veterans in companies aren't doing what they did in military. And I went and tried out a couple of these mos analyzers from different organizations.
Speaker 1:
37:59
I would try that one for home depot and a, I put my info information in on what my military background, my rank was and what shot out was I was qualified to be a cashier or stock person. Nothing wrong with that, but you know, I'm capable of with a little bit more. Um, so those, those things are very limited living thing, limiting to a veteran. And then I kind of equate that to, if you go back to at the end of World War II where women had been working in the factories while in the men who are out and fighting, and then all these companies saw how women were performing in the factories and thought, hey, this is great. There are awesome employees. Let's create a hiring initiative to hire women. But a, yeah, let's, let's see what they did and that at the home and see how that can translate to what we do here.
Speaker 1:
38:46
So yeah, women who were at home cooking their home cleaning, so maybe they can work in our cafeterias or they can work as housekeepers for our companies, that's pretty much pretty offensive if you know back, maybe you bring that to today, but that's what we're doing to veterans. We're kind of looking at what, what they did in the military and how that can translate to, I was possibly a role in our job and our, in our company instead of looking at that veteran as somebody who brings in strong work ethic and core values, who's willing to get there early, willing to stay late, willing to, to get the job done no matter what, who can think on it, on his or her feet. And who's has a experienced globally global experience of working with other, uh, people from other countries. Uh, you know, when we are in Afghanistan where we're in Iraq, whatever, we, we have a culture awareness.
Speaker 1:
39:32
We have coach awareness classes that we are constantly taking to understand how to work with these foreign allies and foreign people and to get the job done. So if you look at that person as those, the, those are the skillsets that they bring to the organization. And as far as the technical aspects, you know, we're an engineering company. We can teach them every bit of the technical piece of that job, but we can't teach that person to a, to bring their work ethic and core values. So when you're building a program for veterans, think of that. Try to try not to figure out what they did in the military, but more of who that person is and how they can fit into your team, what they can accomplish in your team. And don't worry about the technical aspects too much. I think people tend to focus on that.
Speaker 1:
40:15
And so thinking of focusing on somebody who's very trainable, who's willing, who is eager and uh, who has has that, that drive that you're looking for that maybe you're not getting, uh, from other candidates. So that's my advice for companies looking to hire veterans. Uh, you mentioned that you also wanted to talk a little bit about some advice to a veterans themselves. And I would, I would welcome you to, to use the floor for that. So, um, you know, when a company says they're military friendly and they're looking to hire veterans, there are a very small but vocal group of veterans who it's kind of their fault, Kinda not their fault. It's kind of society's fault for calling every veteran to hero for doing his or her job. So you kind of have this complex like, hey, they owe us something. Now I will say that the majority of veterans don't feel this way, but some do.
Speaker 1:
41:04
Some will see companies who say that military friendly, they're expecting to get hired just because they're a veteran. So me as the veteran who has spent a, I spent 13 years in the military, so I, oh, I'm a mid level manager and I have no problems telling you about your and you need square yourself away. Now let's just like, well when we were in the military and their elite units that we wanted to get in to like rangers or special forces or other, other cool school schools, there are certain criterias that we still had to meet while we in the military. We call that meeting the standard, you have to meet the standards to whatever you do. Um, but when you want to get into these elite units, not only do you have to meet the standards, you have to exceed the standards because I try to relay that to veterans who are trying to get into tier one organizations.
Speaker 1:
41:51
Um, fortune 500 organizations. Just the, the big players within the industries is that, first of all, these are top or organization. It's going to be hard to get in. You're going to have to do your homework. You're going to need, when you come up to the, in the interview or the, or the job booth or career fair, you need to know what the company does, who their customers are, what, what jobs are high end for, what those requirements are, those jobs. So a lot of I've had in the past, veterans come up to me on the job fair and say, what do you do? And you know, they're asking me like, what does this company do? And then they say, I'm a veteran. What do you have for me? And my answer is I don't, I don't have anything for you. You have to figure out what, what it is that we're hiring for, what we're looking for.
Speaker 1:
42:35
You know, this is, that's not the type of veteran that we want to hire. I mean, the veterans we want to hire, this is the one are the ones that take the initiative to do their homework. And it's just like any good soldier did their, the reconnaissance before they, they went to operating on that mission. And then those are the types of people that we're looking for. And I'm trying to relay that to a lot of veterans. Like put away the veteran card, remember that you are a veteran and what made what, why you're a veteran, what made you a veteran and use that and apply those, those skills you learn in the military into the civilian as, as you're trying to judge the transition. So it comes from both ends from me. Um, and also not just for me, but all the restaurants that are in our organization. We try to help coach, mentor, uh, give tough love to other veterans as they're trying to transition. So it's, it's a dual en, um, from outside, um, from an inside looking out to veterans, but also looking into our organization and educating our higher managers on what, uh, what the value that veterans bring to the organization and how to really, what to look for and not worried so much about, uh, some of the other things that not to look for. Does that make sense? I know ramble bond a little bit. No, that may be perfect
Speaker 2:
43:48
sense. I appreciate, uh, everything that you were talking about here. I think this is extremely valuable and very interesting. Um, Wesley, you haven't had a chance to talk for a little while, so I wanted to give you an opportunity to either answer, uh, talk about anything that, uh, nick has just brought up or even to go back towards the original, uh, last question we had. Uh, which was, uh, just about, uh, just looking for talent in any, in, in corporate culture itself. Yeah. Well, I honestly, and I'm not just saying, I think Jeffrey sort of gave a five minute masterclass on culture. Not, not a ton to add there, but, um, there's a great quote by, by Drucker, right? Culture eats strategy for breakfast every morning. Uh, that I think is really relevant for both, uh, topics, both corporate
Speaker 6:
44:32
culture as well as what what nick and others were, were chatting about in terms of veterans, uh, because it really is, uh, that, that sense of culture, whether it's veteran friendly, it's, uh, LGBTQ friendly, female friendly, et Cetera, is all about, um, making sure that the way people think about and do things in your organization are aligned with the purpose and mission of that organization and that people feel included in that mission. So I really, I love the discussion. I don't have a ton more to offer there. I think, um, you know, previous organization I worked with was KBR. Kellogg Brown and Root, um, has a large government services focus and, and they actually had a fantastic program at Fort Polk to help, uh, transitioning veterans come out very similar to what nick talked about. Uh, and they recognized very early that the skills that they brought didn't necessarily need to be the technical.
Speaker 6:
45:26
And so they put together a, a about an eight week, uh, program to teach them how to be pipe fitters, right? And then they realized, Hey, this is a great workforce with all these native skills nick talked about who can bring this culture of professionalism, get the job done, willing to work where the work is, uh, and we can teach them how to be pipe fitters or, uh, whatever the, you know, task Xyz may be. And I think that really contributed to the culture of friendliness, openness, uh, sticktuitiveness get it done kind of attitude. So I really, uh, I think that that culture piece cannot be, uh, underemphasized. And, and the last thing I'll mentioned, uh, made Duke's peak way school of business came out with a survey that number of, uh, heads of CFOs and CEOs of organizations and quite interesting, and this was late 2015, about over 50% of the CEOs said the number one thing on their list that they felt drove business results was culture. And that was ranked at head of things like acting as strategy or having a good operation plan or having good officers of your company. And they thought it was that important. Over half of CEOs and CFOs would actually say culture is more important than just about anything else we do. And on the flip side, about I think 10 or 15% of them said that they felt their culture was where it needed to be. So clearly, we all have a lot of work today.
Speaker 2:
46:51
Hmm. Excellent. Um, thank you for that, uh, in, in an effort to just to conserve time. I do want to move onto the next question, which does shift gears a little bit in terms of just burnout and being overwhelmed. And so going from the hiring perspective, but then all now shifting it more towards, um, the, um, the people itself. And, uh, I know, uh, uh, nick, you have to step out. I wanted to, I think we all thank you for your contribution, uh, to today. Uh, thank you so much for, uh, your insight and I'm, I believe that, I'll make sure that in the show notes, uh, that, uh, the, the key points that you talk for organizations like now hire veterans organizations, uh, folks that are veterans that are looking to join organizations can, uh, seek, uh, your, your advice, uh, for that. So thank you very much. Thanks for having me. Um, you guys all have my contact information, so feel free to reach out to me at anytime. Thanks again for, for having. Thank you. You too. So with the, uh, talking about that they're shifting gears to being burned out, overwhelmed, et Cetera, from just, you know, the demand of the workplace, uh, then fear of just being fired. Uh, Fred, what opportunities do you see in preventing or reducing stress? Uh, reaching an unhealthy level?
Speaker 4:
48:19
Well, that phrase, a culture eats strategy for breakfast. That's, that's kind of old. The new one is, is a stress devours culture. Stress is the key factor that if you're only paying, that if management is only paying attention to one element of what's going on in the workplace, you want to manage stress because that's going to produce the, the, the most, um, positive results in so many areas. The two key areas that, uh, that, uh, focus, um, that's stress impacts. One is, is safe operations and the, there's productivity. If you think of of like two cups of coffee, they're filled to the brim. And operation is, is opera. During that the full, uh, focus of safety and at the full focus of productivity, you start entering stress into that stress starts drinking out of that cup and starts reducing the, um, the excellence in those two areas that an organization may have had or, or previously may have, may have operated.
Speaker 4:
49:29
That stress creates distractions or allows distractions to enter into operations and therefore provides a, uh, gap for, uh, safety instance to start peppering the, uh, the operation. It also distracts from productivity, so people have to spend a certain amount of time focusing on a distraction. The distraction may be some conflict they have with uh, with their management, some conflict with the uh, uh, coworker, some, uh, problem accessing resources, some, uh, issue with is this procedure correct or not correct? Uh, is that the best practice or not? Any kind of issue that enters into the workplace that causes an individual a problem in being successful, potentially add stress and minimizes safe and productive operations.
Speaker 2:
50:26
I wanted to hand over to Jeffrey
Speaker 3:
50:28
if you had any thoughts. Sure. And we can talk about stress in spades due to the very lengthy mega project that we are going through. So the one deputy, that piece that I would add to Fred's comments is the impact on safety since really the fourth quarter of 2012 we've been working on this project and as I mentioned too, the units are up and running and five more to go.
Speaker 2:
50:56
Okay.
Speaker 3:
50:58
And so keeping people focused on being safe has been a priority. So one of the things we've been, we've been really doing two things. The first one is focus groups. And the second thing is rethinking our HR policies in terms of focus groups. We've been working with many cross section all groups of employees to really understand what in particular about the mega project is, is trusting them and doing what that had on, which leads into the second point as the HR policies. And so what we've been doing is very carefully monitoring vacation usage and in that case it's definitely encouraging people to take their medication. The other thing is monitoring the number of consecutive bays for work and then putting a cap on that until the all the units are at beneficial operations. Number three, we've developed an excess hours worked paste solution to try to compensate for those people that because of the nature of their work and the and the criticality to the unit starting up don't have a lot of choice or our backups.
Speaker 3:
52:11
And so we developed this excess hours, pay a solution that we know it's temporary and only gets you so far. But if it does, we believe help to alleviate some of the, the stress associated with what's working so many days in a row and so many hours in a row. And a well add that one of our competitive chemical companies in Lake Charles Southwest Louisiana and a southwest Louisiana area has done something that we think is really cool, is that when people go on vacation, if they do not log onto their company phone or their company laptop, they actually pay them extra money while they're on vacation. And so this can be an extra week or two, which I think is even stretching my boundaries at comfort, which, which tend to be a little bit on the liberal side. So we, we picked up something from our competition that we're, we're taking a look at, but as Fred mentioned, we are all having to deal with this. Working on a mega project just makes it even that much more critical. And then the energy patch because what we do can kill people or impact the environment. It's even more important that we, we in HR keep an eye on it for, for stress. And, and, and address that head on.
Speaker 6:
53:40
Excellent. Um, Wesley, do you have any thoughts on this? Yeah, not a ton more. I think, uh, again they've plumbed the depths pretty well here. I think, you know, the only other thing I'd add is part of our job as leaders in the company is to really pay attention and really think and focus people on the work to get done and less on how they get it done and when they get it done on the, and kind of gets back to this sort of, um, uh, let's pay less attention to you've gotta be in the office from eight to five and you've got to, you know, um, do this, that or the other and where this, these clothes, it's really more about the work that you do and giving people a little bit more autonomy where possible. Obviously if you're out describing what Jeffrey's doing or you're working on a mega project, can't be overly flexible, but where you can focus on the work to be done, not necessarily how people get it done, just expect results and help support them that way.
Speaker 6:
54:36
I think second thing is really, you know, being servant leaders and paying attention to the needs of the people, you know, to Jeffrey's point, monitoring vacation over time, um, days on, uh, is really critical. And I think, you know, as a, as a society here in the U s we really looked down on and frowned upon almost vacation and taking time off, uh, versus some of our colleagues in, in Europe or other parts of the world. And literally having just come off of a 10 day vacation, it's incredible. I still have the glow four days later. Um, uh, the world is a big place and you know, this, this particular annoyance on that day isn't going to get me down. I'm sure that won't last much longer. But, uh, you know, the power of, of stepping away and, and having, uh, that time off, uh, is really critical to combating stress. And, and even more importantly, it's, you know, that's, uh, a bit of a bandaid or panacea. It's making sure that the work that people are doing, they have the right tools, they have the right training, they have the right support. So that, uh, as they're going through their day to day routine, they aren't feeling that extra stress of a, I don't know how to do it. I can't do it because I don't have the tools or, um, I just don't have the support I need from my boss.
Speaker 3:
55:46
This is Jeff. I like that. Piggy back on, if I may, I'd like to piggy back on what I just heard and Leslie say, so going back to 2005, six and seven, I worked for a beverage company based in Atlanta. You might know them, they have a red can and the only time you saw the executives off executive row was Friday afternoon. And God love them. They were, they were all the greatest generation. You know, the one that preceded baby boomers and their view of the workforce is to make sure their butts were in the seats on Friday afternoon. And unfortunately that was often the only time you got to see them. And so that just spoke volumes about what they, they thought about the workforce and, and again, to be fair, that's how they learned it from their parents. And, and that were, you know, wrapped up in World War II, etc. But that just doesn't work anymore if it ever did. And so I think that's what we as as business people and with a focus on HR really have to make sure is that we, we are the keepers of that part of our culture and we need to make sure that top management is, is aware of that. And we do our greatest good, our biggest contribution is when we, we confront those little microaggressions and make sure that our culture is aligned with what we're trying to achieve. So I appreciate what they bring those up.
Speaker 2:
57:20
Well, let's actually kind of flip that on its head and say, you know, there's been a lot of discussion here, uh, especially about leaders in particular. Um, and you know, the, you know, the, the, the desire and the drive to be subservient leaders as, as a Westley pointed out. What if, when the problem is actually within leadership and how is that uncovered, uh, what type of challenges are being faced when, uh, well, who needs to be,
Speaker 10:
57:53
uh, uh,
Speaker 2:
57:55
guess spoken to or worked with or, uh, identified his leadership? Um, I'll start with Fred. Uh, how, how would you tackle such a problem?
Speaker 4:
58:06
I would simplify it first. Um, in terms of culture, there's, there's a general misunderstanding of culture. The, the relationship between culture and workplace environment. Culture is, is a, a smattering of a lot of different, uh, factors. But the only one that you can see and the only one that you can manage is behavior. So if management focuses on culture in terms of this is a snapshot of the behavior, it's we like it or we don't like it. So if we don't like it, then we, then how do we change it? And then the workplace environment is what the employee experiences and there's a connection between the two. So if management doesn't like the direction that, or the behaviors that they see in the workplace or things that are happening in the workplace, they're direct. Their opportunity for changing the culture is by changing the environment that the employees experience.
Speaker 4:
59:08
They change that environment. Employees experience a different environment, they behave differently. As a result, the culture changes. It takes time to make that happen. One of the challenges for management then is if trying to drive a cultural change in a particular direction, they have to model those behaviors because employees will see that, oh, they're telling us to behave this way, but they're behaving this other way and this other way got them to where they were assessed the path to success. So we're not going to listen to the things on the posters or on the, on the a website, we're going to listen to what we see management demonstrating to us through through their behavior. So putting that kind of foundation. Any issues within the organization in terms of of good or bad management or good or bad employees ultimately track back to management, their management issues one way or the other? Because management has the most control over designing the conditions, shaping the conditions within the workplace. So regardless of whether it's this group over here, it's not performing the way we think it should be. Well then look at the conditions in the workplace that were created for that group and start modifying them to get a different behavior and model the behavior that you want to fall.
Speaker 8:
60:39
Okay.
Speaker 4:
60:39
Excellent. Jeffrey, I'd love your thoughts on this.
Speaker 3:
60:49
Fred mentioned it, it, it begins and ends with leadership and sometimes ya need to for the bullet in the chamber and, and pick somebody out. And then the even harder part is giving [inaudible] how has that worked under that jerk, a chance to behave differently. And so just taking somebody out, and I can think of a recent example of that and is very familiar with, um, you mean taking somebody out often isn't by itself enough. You need to talk with the survivors and then, and then tell stories about why that person was removed and what, what's the new game plan is. And, and then she goes, you're on living out your values. And what happens is you companies can hang on far too long to technically brilliant jerks that have some deep understanding of the technology, but the way they treat their people and the, the local culture that they create is just not acceptable. But you tolerate it because they're so darn smart. And sometimes you just have to let them work for another company and then give people permission to behave the way they know is better, especially when an organization is under stress. And as we have for at least six years with the building seven units and getting them all set to start up. It, it's, we're not seeing people at their finest and people are just tired and exhausted.
Speaker 8:
62:32
Okay.
Speaker 3:
62:34
So you have to talk about that a little bit more. One situations are stressed, more stressful than usual, but definitely agree that it starts and ends with leadership.
Speaker 8:
62:46
Yeah.
Speaker 6:
62:47
Uh, Wesley, I'd love your thoughts. Yeah. In addition to, to what Jeffery Fred, uh, brought up, I think, you know, as, as HR part of our role is again, putting in some tools to help us identify these areas and give us an opportunity to course correct. So, you know, the, as Jeffery mentioned, sort of the technical competencies, you know, when we have a lot of these technically Brian people especially in oil field services, uh, oil and gas companies, whether they're upstream, downstream, midstream, um, that maybe, uh, have a lot of great what, you know, but they don't use what they know in a very productive way. Right. And I think a lot of the tools that we put in place when we think about a lot of companies will have a technical competency list, but also have something like leadership or behavioral competencies as well. And to me, that's the difference between what you know and how you use what, you know.
Speaker 6:
63:41
Uh, and as we move into leadership roles, whether that's on a technical career path, as you get into sort of a staff engineer or a technical advisor or maybe even a fellow. And I'm in a sophisticated technology organization, um, or you're actually a people manager or it's how you use what, you know, that's so critical. And I think having things like an effective performance management process, and maybe it's not the old way of setting goals in the beginning of the year and doing a review at the end, but, uh, one thing we've done here and at my previous organizations implement something called quarter conversations, a quarter of an hour every quarter of every employee and it's just focusing people in on a couple of key things. How are you doing on your goals? Here's some feedback. How are you doing on development? And, um, here's something I'd like to recognize that's gone well at forcing those more frequent conversations, sort of, uh, outs, those people, as Jeffrey sort of mentioned a minute ago, um, easier and more quickly, right?
Speaker 6:
64:35
When those kinds of conversations aren't happening or you see particular groups of people really falling by the wayside, a underperformance, et cetera. Uh, I think those, uh, those types of more regular checkins can certainly help. The old classic case of GE Under Jack Welch or I where they sort of had a four box, a, B, c, d players, the c players were providing good results but weren't living the culture of the company and those were individuals that they exited quickly as well. So I think those are a couple of things that that really can help. And then, you know, the last one is, um, is you know, monitoring sort of, um, retention and employee, uh, investigations and some of those, you know, dirty statistics that we like to track and look for those sort of problem areas. It's looking in the rear view mirror, but at the end of the day, you've got to have a kind of a full suite of things to, to help identify where you need to either course correct or in some cases make a change.
Speaker 6:
65:32
And you know, to that end, um, you never want this to be, um, 100% punitive. Uh, but there are opportunities and times where, um, you know, having, removing somebody or, or as Jeffrey kindly said, allowing them to work in another company sends a loud and clear message to the rest of the organization that this is not how we operate in. This is not what we tolerate, even if they were delivering great business results. And that's the hardest leadership decision I think we see in most companies is being willing to say, this guy or gal is my top performer or one of the best in the company and we're going to let them go because they do not deliver results the way that we want.
Speaker 2:
66:12
Interesting. Um, the very fascinating approach and [inaudible] that I can't even fathom the challenges behind it. Um, I have one more question for all of you. Um, and I want to just start by saying it's been an absolute pleasure learning from you during this virtual round table. I like to end these discussions with something that's a little bit more relaxed and, uh, broad. Uh, so the final question that I wanted to ask each of you is if you had one piece of advice to give an organization that taps on your shoulder and says, Hey, give me some golden nugget or some question to, to help me improve my overall HR experience, what would it be? And I'll start with Fred.
Speaker 4:
67:04
I want to just thank you. Also, this has been one of the best discussions I've been involved in. And the nice part about it is at conferences you're kind of short, you have just a short timeframe and this has been nice, kind of have more extended conversation with some, some folks that are extremely knowledgeable. The one element I would suggest, and this is
Speaker 8:
67:26
okay,
Speaker 4:
67:27
let people be heard and deaf. Um, Jeffrey mentioned that they are doing this for in terms of the focus groups, but in a formal sense, create and maintain an effective communications and feedback channel. If people can be a, if people know they're heard, if there's concerns, they know their concerns are being heard and there's an effort to address them. Maybe it's not possible to fix everything. But, uh, people see that there's an effort in the right direction, then they'll go a long ways. There's um, uh, to, to um, engage in the process as long as they're there. They think they're important in that. And the way to make them important is to listen to their voices and, and uh, actually a good way to address
Speaker 6:
68:17
problems that a, an organization has is listened to the people that have the problems and, and are trying to tell you this is a problem and help them solve it.
Speaker 11:
68:26
Excellent. Uh, next I'll, I'll ask Jeffrey,
Speaker 3:
68:31
I'm not going to make any friends with this answer, but I think downloads, job description, title we have in the world is HR business partner. I don't see a finance business partner. I don't chain it business partner. I don't see an operations business partner. I don't see an illegal business partner. I think HR is doing a disservice to itself when we, we kind of beg with a cup on our hands and say, please allow us to be at the business table.
Speaker 8:
69:03
Yeah,
Speaker 3:
69:03
it's pretty obvious for this conversation that Wesleyan particular is a business person first and then HR advisor second. And so if we have to come up with silly, goofy titles to earn the seat at the table where we're, we're not helping ourselves. But I will say that I think our goal in HR is to be trusted advisors who provide great advice, but we don't act as the cops, but we, we help advance the business people thinking and that they ultimately make the decision and we can point out the pros and cons of different ways of approaching any business problem. But it's ultimately theirs. We are servant leaders as has been mentioned, where we are the coaches on the sideline. We are not always in the game, but we need to be earned trusted advisor status and having a silly title as HR. BP is not doing us any favor.
Speaker 11:
70:14
Wesley, I'd love to get your feedback on a, an a question and also a lot of Jeffery's thoughts. That's
Speaker 6:
70:21
fair. No, no, that's fantastic. You look, I mean, I, I started my career out in consulting and sort of found my way and HR intentionally about a decade ago. And, um, you know, I think there was probably a bit of an overreaction from the days of being a personnel department to wanting to squeeze into the, to the business. And so I think, you know, thanks to Rick and several other noted authors in the HR space or our business partner, uh, was a way to do that. And it's probably slammed the, uh, the needle far on the right. And we need to come back to the middle is, as Jeffrey said, the trusted advisor piece is key. You know, look for me, you know, the HR has two words in it, human and resources. And I think to me, that's the advice I'd give other organizations is to remember both of those words and how important they are.
Speaker 6:
71:08
You know, I think we've got as HR to keep humans first. Um, at the end of the day, most companies, um, you are as good or as bad as the people that you bring to the table every day, uh, to compete with your, uh, marketplace and deliver solutions to your customers. Uh, so if you don't take good care of the people, they're not going to take good care of you. Right? It's kind of customer service, uh, one-on-one stuff. Um, and I think in HR we've got to make sure that we have that, uh, constantly in the minds of our leaders. And so, you know, one of the just basic mantras, I think that that people can help to be more human, as more coaching and more feedback are better than not. Um, I think it helps with all the things that we talked about, culture or stress. Uh, engagement is, uh, you know, keeping Humans Front and center more coaching, more feedback, uh, be with your people, but just as important on the HR side to address Jeffers point is the resources piece.
Speaker 6:
72:04
Uh, business has limited resources to convert into whatever it is that they sell and take to the market to generate profit or returns right for their shareholders and for the, uh, uh, stake holders that are involved in their, their enterprise. And so we have got to understand how much of those resources, whether it's people or, uh, assets, um, uh, we can bring to bear and how do we take best care of those and do the most that we can with the least a number of resources while we keep the humans front and center. So, driving efficient and effective processes, um, with the best people should be our job every day. And again, uh, can't, it's more strongly echo Jeffrey's point. Um, we are all business people. I may focus on HR, legal may focus on the law. Finance may understand the numbers, um, differently than others, but we're all here to run a business. And so that's, you know, to me what HR is all about. It's human and it's resources.
Speaker 2:
73:06
Excellent. Um, again, I just wanted to, uh, thank you all, uh, and uh, nick, who is no longer on the call, uh, for your time today. I think that this has been wildly entertaining and I learned quite a bit, uh, about the industry, uh, from your perspectives and I truly, truly appreciate this and look forward to finding, um, more, uh, folks out there that are gonna really be able to absorb. All of that was a shared today, so thank you all very much for your time. Thank you. It was a pleasure.
Speaker 5:
73:48
Okay,
Speaker 2:
73:48
great. Thanks for listening to the podcast. We've got a ton of great content that covers the full journey of deploying a branded employee app. Go to staffbase.com click on resources and select employee app guide. That's it. Best wishes. And back to the show.
Speaker 5:
74:06
[inaudible].
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