Win(e)d Down Wednesday Podcast with Jeffery Tobias Halter and Amanda Hammett

What Deloitte Transparency Study Says About DEI Today – Jeffery Tobias Halter

Welcome to Win(e)d Down Wednesdays with gender strategist Jeffery Tobias Halter and generational strategist Amanda Hammett -- a podcast that focuses on diversity, inclusion, intersectionality and equity through the lenses of a Boomer and a Millennial. They delve into DEI topics, examining business implications, talent strategy, and what today’s senior leaders need to know in order to recruit, retain and develop the next generation. In this episode, the hosts continue their conversation about the recent Deloitte Transparency Study. They delve into the findings that highlight the need for accountability to ensure the success of corporate DEI initiatives and how to effectively engage men as allies and advocates.

Link for Deloitte Transparency Study -

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Deloitte Transparency Study

Amanda Hammett: I'm Amanda Hammett and welcome to Wine Down Wednesday, a contemporary mid-week discussion on current workplace and marketplace issues with a focus on diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, and equality, and it's always best enjoyed with your favorite wine down beverage of choice. Now as you join us today, we want to remind you that Jeffery and I only reflect a very small spectrum of the diversity realm. In future episodes, we will have a series of guests joining us in which we'll talk about everything, including the unique challenges faced by women of color in the workplace, ageism to issues affecting the LGBTQ workers and a number of other dimensions of diversity.
Jeffery Tobias Halter: We also want to hear about what you want to hear about in the future. So please drop us a line and let us know what some of your challenges are. Also, we're going to talk about some potentially emotional issues. Our goal each show is to discuss these in a calm and respectful way. You don't need anyone screaming at you about the challenges of work today. We get it. You have enough stress in your life. Hence the theme: Wine(d) down Wednesday. And so this Wine Down Wednesday, I'm choosing to enjoy a nice Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. Amanda, you already showed yours. What's your beverage of choice?

Amanda Hammett: I am having a Blue Moon, my favorite beer. So our show today is going to focus specifically on advancing women in the workplace and the need for greater male advocacy. So we also want to continue to examine transparency as a key factor in advancing women. So Jeffery, your focus is on engaging men in women's leadership advancement. Talk about why you chose to focus in this area.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, Amanda, thank you. You know, it's interesting. If you think about corporate America, men still comprise 80% of the leadership in most companies. And so I have a belief that if we are 80% of the population, we could be 80% of the problem and not advancing women, but we could also be 80% of the solution. And so what I spend my days doing is working with men who want to become better, organizations who want to become better. And they realize that active male advocacy is the key to driving long-term change, you know, women and other underrepresented groups have been talking about advancing diversity for 40 years and, and really engaging men and specifically guys like me -- older, white men -- are one of the key solutions.

Amanda Hammett: So how do you start to find men who want to be advocates?

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, this is really fascinating, um, you know who they are. They're the men in your organization who want to help. And they may not be overt about it. They're the good guys. They're the people who are already mentoring or sponsoring or having a woman's back, just having you on a project team or inviting you in. I call them “ready now” men. And my belief is that 30 to 40% of men in the workplace want to help. But they need to be invited in. It's not a place most men are ready to go to. And then it becomes a brand adoption model. If we get 30 to 40%, then you might get another 50% who want to help and they'll come along. They understand the business reason. If they understand why this is important to them. And then I want to be very clear because we've left out about 10% of the people. And what I'm going to tell you is that 10% of people will never get this topic. They won't understand why we're talking about it. And it seems in corporate America that we focus on this lowest common denominator. My belief is if you have an organization that embraces inclusion and equity, people who don't share that view are going to work their way out of your company. So let's not train idiots. I've been doing this work for a long time. I'm not an idiot whisperer. Go and find “ready now” men who want to help, and let's invite them in.

Amanda Hammett: That's fantastic, I love your boldness there. What are the barriers and the solutions for men in wanting to engage in this work?
Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah. What I've found in doing this work is there’s organizational barriers. Right? And, and, you know, that's hiring and slating and succession planning. I'm going to put those aside for right now and talk about what I have found to be the four barriers around engaging men to become advocates. The first one is simply a lack of empathy. Many men don't believe that men and women are having a different experience in the workplace. They get it a little. But they really haven't internalized it. You know, empathy is kind of challenging for men. I don't want to gender that, but you know, women tend to be more empathetic than men. Um, and so a lot of men will just say, yeah, I understand it, but it's not that big a deal, right? Yeah. The second one then is apathy. What's the big deal? We've been talking about this for 40 years. There's no change on the horizon. And, and quite frankly, if this was important, my boss would talk about it. My company would talk about it. We'd have a staff meeting once a month. All we ever talk about is sales and profit and turnover, but do we really talk about it? And, and oh by the way, if leaders aren't talking about it, we talked in another episode about how, if frontline managers are not talking about it, why should I care? So apathy is the second barrier. Lack of accountability. You know, the Deloitte report demonstrates this and this chart shows what Deloitte looks like top to bottom and we see actually a pretty good picture at a board level on a senior leadership level. But as you get down in the organization, you know what the numbers are 70, 30, oh, by the way, that's pretty good. Compared to most companies, Deloitte’s, you know, going to show that. The other thing they're showing us customer facing roles, and this is where we get into. It's so important to have a diverse sales force, a diverse customer force, to meet the needs of the customer you’re servicing. Hmm. And so accountability, lack of accountability is a big one. Then the last one, quite frankly, is just fear. Men are scared to death that we will say or do the wrong thing. And, and, you know, part of that is #MeToo. Part of that is I'm not ready to have a conversation around race. I'm certainly not ready to give feedback to women of color. And so as a white man, I can have a really long career by kind of giving this diversity thing a wink and a nod and choosing not to do anything about it. I'll just go along. But at the core of it, I'm afraid. So lack of empathy, apathy, lack of accountability and fear. All right.

Amanda Hammett: Yep.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And so those are the barriers.

Amanda Hammett: I could not agree with you more on that. You know, what I find in the diversity and inclusion world is that we spend a lot of time talking academically and not really talking about what we are, how does that look in everybody's day-to-day life? And so what I would love to hear from you is what would be an easy, easy first step for companies to get started in identifying those ready now, advocates that you talked about earlier.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, it's funny. And this is not the answer that your listeners are going to want. It's not easy. It's not easy. Right? What I’ll share with you though is an, is an acronym that I've found works, and it's called listen, learn, lead, and have the will. And each of these aligns to one of the barriers that I identified. The most important thing we want all of our listeners to do is one thing. And that's, listen, go have a conversation with a woman or a person of color or somebody unlike you, and then ask the simple question. Are you having a different experience than I am? And I'm going to tell you. We'll call her Terri. Terri is not going to say anything. Terri doesn't want to represent all women at the company. Ask a second time. Is there something I don't understand? Terri will start to talk, don't interrupt her and don't say, Hey, you know, we've got a program for that. Or have you thought about this? Listen and then ask a third time. And in that last 10 minutes, you're going to hear root cause issues that Terri has experienced that you had no idea occurred, and you're going to start to develop empathy. So if there is one easy step, it's to go out and talk to people, but it's got to go a little further then. So to overcome apathy people have to learn, you know, one of the reasons for this show we're going to share with listeners so much data and so much research, and it seems really dry. I mean to tell you, if you want to engage men, they love that stuff. They love facts and data, and that's going to help you to overcome the apathy. You know, in future shows, we're going to talk about women as consumers and drivers of 85% of the B2C economy. What's your local business case? What's keeping you up at night? To overcome accountability or lack of accountability, you’ve got to lead and I'll share a story I've heard dozens of times. It's a senior leadership team who wants to support diversity inclusion and a job comes open and there are no ready now women or people of color or other represented groups on the slate. And the senior leader goes, why don't we have any? And another senior leader just felt well, we don't have any. You know, we just don't have any ready. They're just not there. They're not in the pipeline. And sadly, most senior leaders will say, yeah, I get it. When in fact leaders need to say, that's not acceptable. The next time this job comes open, I want to see a slate of candidates. Jim, I want to know what you're doing to train people unlike you. Amanda, this is what senior leaders do. They ask tough questions and people go and do stuff.

Amanda Hammett: Yep.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And so it's just one more question. What are you doing to get some ready? And then to overcome fear in doing this work, I've found the real key is you have to have the will. And this comes with advocacy of anything, you know, whether it's diet or exercise, what's your due north at the end of the day. And what I have found is that most men never make a connection. That if I'm not advocating for women or other underrepresented groups today, I'm hurting the people in my life. I'm hurting my mother, I'm hurting my wife or significant other, I'm hurting my daughter. I'm hurting my friends and colleagues. And the simple fact is most men never make the connection between our daily actions and holding others back. And this really flies in the face of everything you might think. You know, and I use myself in this, you know, I had a long successful business career, but it never dawned on me that if I wasn't advocating for gender equity, my daughter, who I ensured went to a great school, got a great education, is going to come out and make 85 cents to my son. And is going to deal with the same issues and biases that you know, other women have to. And so the way you overcome fear simply to have the will and you asked for a simple solution, you know, that's the 601,have the will. But first go out, have a conversation and just listen.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. You know, those conversations are key. I think when you can start developing that empathy, that can drive so many other things. I've heard so many stories in the past year of leaders who had never had real conversations about race with people, with employees that have been working with them for 10 years. Yeah. And all of a sudden they saw things in a different light. I had another leader that I've worked with for a long time, and he's a huge advocate for women in the workplace. And when I got down to his story on why, what drove him, it was really interesting. He told me about, uh, his mother. She had been a single mom raising two boys. And when he got to corporate America, he had heard all the stories that she had worked with and dealt with over those years. Not getting promoted or not getting a raise, not, you know, making anywhere near what her colleagues were making. And you better believe when he got into any kind of leadership role, that was not the case with the women that were on his team. He was a strong advocate, so wonderful. You know, Jeffery, this has been really awesome and amazing. And I love the different points and the ready now. And I think that men and women can walk away from this episode with some really phenomenal things. So thank you. All right, you guys, that is our show for today. Thank you for joining us. And we would love to hear from you. You can leave a message for me. Amanda Hammett on Linkedin, or you can find me on my website, and you can shoot us your suggestions for topics or even guests.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And I'm Jeffery Tobias Halter ( Again, thanks for joining us. Go take a deep breath, relax a little, it's Wednesday. You're going to make it through. And we're here to help you. So on behalf of Amanda and I, thank you very much for joining us.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Win(e)d Down Wednesday Podcast with Jeffery Tobias Halter and Amanda Hammett

What Deloitte Transparency Study Says About DEI Today – Amanda Hammett

"Welcome to Win(e)d Down Wednesday with gender strategist Jeffery Tobias Halter and generational strategist Amanda Hammett -- a podcast that focuses on diversity, inclusion, intersectionality and equity through the lenses of a Boomer and a Millennial. In each episode, they delve into DEI topics, examining business implications, talent strategy, and what today’s senior leaders need to know in order to recruit, retain and develop the next generation. This week, they discuss the recent Deloitte Transparency Study and key takeaways regarding millennials, Gen Z, remote work and social justice in the workplace.

Link for Deloitte Transparency Study -"

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Deloitte Transparency Study

Jeffery Tobias Halter: So today I'm enjoying a nice French dry rosé.help you relax, reflect, and deal with some of the challenges we know you're facing. Our show will focus on diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, and equality through the lens of a boomer and a millennial. Amanda, what's your beverage of choice today, and tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and why you're known as the “millennial translator”.

Amanda Hammett: Well, thank you, Jeffery. So today, being the good millennial that I am. I am drinking kombucha. My favorite flavor happens to be a raspberry hibiscus, which I drink regularly. It's stocked in my fridge all the time. Professionally I’m known as the millennial translator. What I really am as a generational strategist, I help companies figure out how to recruit, retain, and develop that next generation of leadership. So we're focusing on millennials and Gen Z. And how do we communicate? How do we bridge those gaps between communication and leadership skills? So that is what I do. And that is all about me, but different. What are we talking about today?

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah. Um, well, we want to get into is kind of my lens and my role in this and how we're gonna interact today. Um, so my day job, I'm a gender strategist. And so I work with Fortune 500 companies and I actually use gender as a gateway to start to have deeper conversations because I've been a diversity professional for 20 years. And when I find it. It's very hard to jump in with elements like race or multiculturalism. So my company is focused on using gender as a gateway, but I'd call it gender plus. And what do we mean by that? That said, we're going to talk about gender, but then we're going to talk about millennials and this intersection because my belief is you need to go out and talk to other people about this. Particularly, people like me -- old white guys. And so we want to start conversations with all of you and give you tips and tools to go forward. And so our focus today is going to be me talking to Amanda about some recent research that's come to light.. but it jumped into this. Deloitte recently published its transparency report. it's a big consulting house. They've been a leader in diversity for over twenty-five years. And this is the first time a company of their size has actually published what their company looks like. And the demographics are fascinating. And this really started the purpose of our conversation and why I started talking to Amanda. Amanda. tell us about our first conversation. Recap that for the listeners.

Amanda Hammett: Well, our first conversation was just a recap of 2020 and project updates and really everything that happened in 2020. It was a year of a lot of change in the workplace, obviously. COVID-19 was a massive disruptor to the way that we've always worked. But then as we moved into the spring and summer, we started seeing a lot of issues with racial and social injustice coming to light, and the world seemed to be on fire. And it was really interesting how those fires, globally, were playing out in the workplace And so you and I were just there to talk about it and we're really like, we have a lot to say, maybe we should share this with an audience.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And so, examining the Deloitte report, you've got this slide and, we can share this information with you. One of the things Amanda and I want to do every week is give you tools to take back to your company, in order to start conversations. And today we're going to focus on millennials at Deloitte. And this is so rare that you get a company this size, that number one says, we want to do the right thing. We want to demonstrate transparency, which is at the core of advancing all types of people, all groups, all underrepresented groups, but Deloitte has some really unique policies. If you, if you're a senior partner mandate, if you're not a senior partner, mandatory retirement is 60. So they have one of the youngest, most dynamic workforces out there. And so this is where we're going to go. And we're going to explore this with Amanda. Because a significant portion of their workforce, upwards of 70% are millennial and Gen Z. This is our snapshot. So Amanda, let's get into this. As we begin to think about going back into the office, will we be going back in the office? what are the major concerns that you see for employees as they return?

Amanda Hammett: You know, Jeffery, I think that this is something, every company is wrestling with. Every company is releasing statements and talking about, you know, this move to a hybrid work environment or a move to completely move everybody back in. And there's, there's some frustration and there's some tension between employees and leadership. And, and how are we going to work this out? But for employees, they're really concerned about childcare, particularly in that, um, millennial gen X. age range. We're also talking about mental health. How are we going to address what happened in 2020 and moving forward? And we're also talking about safety, general safety How are we going to keep our employees safe? Are we going to require vaccinations to come back in? Are we going to require masks to come back in? What is this going to look like? All in the scope and lens of a hybrid world, what will it look like?

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And so. Dig into that just a little bit more. What does, what does the new normal look like?

Amanda Hammett: The new normal? That's a great question. You know, I keep I'm asked this a lot. But the answer's going to vary from company to company, even team to team, I'm working with some large Fortune 50 companies, and they're really making each team, each organization, each business unit make the call. They're not putting out a widespread, you know, blanket statement that everybody's back in or everybody's at home. They're making each team make that decision. And I think that that is going to be the best-case scenario. I think that's going to be the wisest course of action here because if you put out a blanket statement, there's, that’s going to cause some issues one way or the other, either the people that are pro-go-back-into-the-office or pro-stay-home, there's going to be some tension.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: You made a comment earlier that I want to build on. 2020 is a really tough year. And really for the first time, social justice issues are showing up in the workplace. Companies have to have a statement on Black Lives Matter, Asian hate crimes, a whole, a whole host of social issues hitting the business world. I want you to talk for a minute about the fact that having an answer for this is so critical to millennials that this isn't just some kind of check the box, but it's their heart and mind.

Amanda Hammett: I will tell you that as soon as companies started putting out statements after the death of George Floyd about supporting black lives matter, it was really interesting to watch the teams that I support, the young employees that I support, across the, across the spectrum. And it was very clear that they were watching, they saw the statements coming out by their companies, but the question was Great.
What are you going to do now?
How are you going to put this into practice?
And if you, as a leader, don't think that they're watching or that they have forgotten. I can guarantee you that they have not. Furthermore, beyond the current employees, you have the employees, the future employees, the ones who are going into the workplace in the next 6 or less months, even a year, they're watching as well. They're looking at the companies that they have been applying to, that they're being recruited into and they're asking, okay.
I saw your statement on social justice. How is this playing out? How are you actually putting this into practice?
Are you just putting words out?
Is this performative activism or is there actually some substance there?
I will put money on the table right now that there will be people in the next 12 to 18 months that say, okay, I gave you plenty of time. You've done nothing with your statement other than just make it I'm gone. I guarantee you that's gonna happen.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah. And it's really fascinating when you think about this, you know, today, even, even in a post COVID world, there's 11 million job openings today. During COVID millennials became the largest portion of the workforce over 50%. And so if companies aren't doing genuinely what they need to do. Um, people, millennials, Boomers are going to vote with their feet and say I'm going elsewhere.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. When you look specifically at the Deloitte information, you know, millennials are pushing for greater transparencies around how business is put into action. You mentioned that, do you think publishing data is the first step or what more can companies do? And another question is how do we get more companies to publish this data?

Amanda Hammett: Well, first of all, I applaud Deloitte.. You know, tremendously. Sometimes it is really difficult to look inward and see some of the numbers that are not where you want them to be. And then to put a spotlight on them. That is courage, that is leadership in the broader business community. So I applaud them for doing that, obviously. I mean, they're aware their numbers are not exactly where they'd like them to be. And, but the fact that. One they're measuring it. That to me is huge. What, what you want to change, you got to measure. So they're measuring it, they're watching it and they're doing it year over year. That's tremendous work. That is something that I would love to see them call some of their competitors, some other colleague companies to the carpet and say issue a challenge. I would love to see that I would love to see that, But, that being said Publishing data's not enough. There has to be hard work behind it. They've got to engage at all levels from the top down and the bottom up the bottom up is where I think a lot of companies miss out, they hear, oh, you know, in surveys, that's just those millennials complaining again. Or those Gen Z's are complaining again. You need to listen. They're talking to you and they're doing it openly. You need to listen to what they have to say and say, okay, this is our future. This is the profitability of our company on the line. We need to take this into account and start moving forward because the numbers in Deloitte, 70% millennials and Gen Zs, that's not something you can ignore. And I will tell you, it's not just Deloitte. I mean, they're millennials, we're already predicted millennials, and gen Z's were already predicted in 2020 to hit 50% over 50% of the workforce. But the way that the economy shook out it's even higher. I don't think the US labor US department of labor has put out like specific numbers yet, but from what I'm seeing, anecdotally. They're much higher than what they were expected to be. So companies have to start paying attention. They have to start making moves and they have to start saying, oh, they're whining. We can't, you know, we just need to get the work done, put our head down and get the work done now is the time to make some change.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: So thanks so much for sharing. Great thoughts. Great comments. As you kind of wrap up this, this millennial point of view on what's going on to. Uh, are there one or two more key actions that you think either companies need to take or, or quite frankly, employees need.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah, absolutely. As far as a company needs to take right now is the time to be really diving in and developing your frontline of leaders. I know that right now, it does not seem like it would be an obvious choice of times, but your frontline is where you make or break your young employee, your early in career. Experience those very frontlines. That's the person that they're interacting with. That's the person that is, you know, giving them the advice on the day-to-day that is the person that's helping them have either a phenomenal experience at an organization or one that they can't wait to leave. So really taking the time and making the investment in that frontline is critical to what you're doing moving forward. For employees Well, I applaud everyone, all the young millennials and who have been making their voices heard, keep doing that. You have power and the power is in your voice. So keep using it. That is going to change the world, the, both the business world and the greater good for all of us.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: That's amazing. Thank you so much for your comments. And now we're going to start to wrap up and figure out what next steps are for Win(e)d Down Wednesday.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Win(e)d Down Wednesday Podcast with Jeffery Tobias Halter and Amanda Hammett

How are moms coping during the pandemic? Parenting Panel – Part II

For working parents, especially moms, COVID has been the great disrupter. Smriti Rao, Red Hat, and Jessie Wei, EY, join Win(e)d Down Wednesday hosts Jeffery Tobias Halter and Amanda Hammett for a candid conversation about their experiences at work and at home. In this episode we delve into pandemic parenting, returning to the office, and what working parents want their managers and senior leaders to know. Settle into your chair, pour your favorite beverage and join the conversation. You won’t want to miss a moment of these insights.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Parenting Panel - Part II

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Amanda, I want to serve up to your wheelhousethis new normal, and, you know, millennials tend to be the parents right now, even though, you know, we all have children and obviously Zs are coming up, but you know, what are you hearing from your clients and colleagues about millennials and the new normal?

Amanda Hammett: Yes. So millennials and the new normal. Unfortunately I hear that term used in a very negative “oh those millennials” way. And I'd like to just put some things out there that I've noticed. It's not just millennials who are now really in a desirable position of workingfrom home. I have seen multiple senior leaders in the past month that have told me, you know, what, if I have to go back into the office, if it is mandatory, I'm either taking a retirement package or I'm going to go somewhere elseAnd these are senior leaders that are doing this. These are not necessarily millennials.So I think that we need to make sure that we're not placing negative blame on one group of people.This is the entire workforce.We need to be flexible for the entire workforce. What is going to work for each individual team? Like Jessie was saying. I think that's the ideal situation, but what I'm seeing is a lot of companies and what works at the top levelare trying to mandate from the top down may not work at the frontline level. And so there needs to be some flexibility. Now on the other side of that, I can see also I have concerns about my younger employees, that those early in careers, if they switch over to a fully hybrid model, I have some concerns about their development.Um, just because there are these micro coaching and training moments that happen, you know, at the water cooler, so to speak or as a, you know, more, you know, someone who's further along in their profession might walk by and hear you talking to a client over the phone and hey just next time, try this, or try that. Those little micro coaching moments can be pivotal in someone's career, and we're going to miss out on those. So we need to find a way to capture those moments. I don't know how it is or how it's done, but we do need to figure that out. So those are my two conflicting concerns on both sides.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, I love that

Smriti Rao: I was just going to piggyback off of what you said, Amanda, which is those micro coaching moments and there's just being able to be in an environment where you can develop freely, especially if you're early in career. But I think also for someone, you know, it's like a mid-career professional like myself, um, I think what the office provides or what being around people provides is just a sense of camaraderie that it's hard to get that over the zoom calls or over WebEx calls only because it's so scheduled and then people want to get to work and they want to finish.Whereas, and, and you're only dealing with your team. If you're working in a cross-functional environment, you're dealing with themin a very professional cross-functional environment. There's really no safe space to make friendships or vent, or, maybe ask for advice in a way that is kind of beneficial to you professionally.I think the office provides those moments, which, I mean, I am a hundred percent work from home.I love it. Like, I just, I'm fine not going back to the office, but those are the thingsthat I personally miss.It's just those micro moments of just hanging out with people that, you know and you like.


I could not agree with that more.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And the point I want to bring to this is back to our ongoing dialogue around diversity equity and intersectionality, and everyone is having a different experience. And I think that's the really key point for companies is there is no one new normal, and what I'm seeing is you've got one shot at this and you really need to get it right.And the sense of urgency needs to be there.There's 11 million open jobs. The economy is coming back.I loved Amanda's point, not just millennials, but Boomers, everyone is exercising their options to say, if this isn't going to work for me, I’m going to go somewhere else. There's 2 million job openings right now on LinkedIn.And so this is where this
conversation needs to shift from from company policy to culture, right?Cause you know, Jessie I loved your EY example and they are a trailblazer in DEI. There's other companies that have stated policies, but the culture's not there and it boils down to the individual manager.Right? So we have a formal flex policy.Everybody can abide by this.Oh, but if that individual manager is not allowing that to happen, people are going to opt out.People are just going to choose not to come back to the company. So we're getting onto about our last 10 minutes.We want to kind of segue into really hearing more about maybe people in your lives, the great experiences.I think it's interesting you had to solve the childcare issue and you were lucky enough to have mothers come in. So Jessie, I'm curious as a single parent going through the pandemic and building these infrastructures, you know, what would you say to other single parents to help them cope, to get through one more day or one piece of advice you would have for them.

Jessie Wei: That's a really great question. Jeffery is this challenging to be a single parent, working and having young kids or kids of all ages is a huge challenge.I personally, when I was a parent that was married or a single parent, now Icontinue to struggle with, which is one thing is gosh, asking for help.It takes a village to raise your kids.And culturally, I am Asian descent, Chinese born and raised. I migrated to the US so culturally it is very different. We don't ask for help.We only kind of try to reach out to families, but through this process, working together, joined a Facebook group of single parents and having other parents to help.We arrange, ask your neighbors for help.Ask your family to help.You cannot do this alone.I am very fortunate that I have a really great co-parenting relationship with the boys’ dad, he's in IT.So he doesn't have so many calls during the day as I have in my role at work. So if I have a very important meeting or a very busy day, sometimes I'll call him and see Whether I can drop the boys off at his house so that they can be there and he can take a few hours with them and we just swap.I think we have to remain flexible and not be afraid to ask for help. I've had friends that are also single parents, very close friends, and I have offered to help.Hey, why don't you bring your kids over?And we'll have all the kids have a little playdate and they'll keep each other busy.I am not bothered by the noise in my house. So if you have some errands to run, right, you gotta get a doctor, you got to take care of certain things or you have to go into work for whatever. I'm happy to look after your kids.And I think it’s asking for help.And also if you see your friends needing help, it's offering that help.

Amanda Hammett: Yes, offering that help. That is something that I've seen that we need to do as a community of parents. We need to be more willing to not judge, but just go in and Hey, how can I help you? What do you need? What can I do for you right now? So, yeah. Great point.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:I wanna build on that just for a second. There's some recent McKinsey research that came outthat just said, women areburnt out women. You know what? It's been over a year and they're tired and they're opting out and they don't feelthey're fulfilling themselves at work. They're not a great boss. They're not a great parent. What advice would you give women?and parents in general, just to get through one or two more days and, and stay engaged. And Smirti I'll go over to you.

Smriti Rao: Oh my God. I think the only thing that I would tell other womenis just give yourself a break.You don't have to be perfect.You don't have to have perfect children.Your children don't need to get likeperfect grades, be great at piano, violin. Just give yourself a break.If they're, especially if they're younger children.I do think that the pressure that we have culturally and just societally, it's like all my children are great.They're doing well in this pandemic.I would say focus on making sure that your children feel okay. mentally, like that's the only thing that I would sort of tell moms and dads.For child fine mentally, find those avenues for them to sort of let loose play if you're okayhanging out with other children, let them do that. But I think focusing onthings like even though it's virtual, you must get perfect grades.And even though we haven't done practice, you must be really good at this. Those kinds of things really burn you out.It's unnecessary stress on yourself, on yourparenting relationship as well.Because you and your spouse may not have the same parenting styles. So that's what I would say is just give yourself a break.This is just hopefully a blip in our lives and that is what children need to see.You thriving as a parent, you being okay mentally as a parent, it's only then that they will, they feel confident, less anxious.So, like they say to fill your own cup before you can go to the others to fill their buckets or cups or whatever. So that would be my one piece of advice is you don't have to be perfect.Just get stuff done.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:That's awesome. anything to add?

Jessie Wei: Yeah, I think that's great. And it's about perception, and I'm working with a coach now and she asked me a question and I was like, that was a great question.She asked me how often during a day, do you tell yourself that you are doing a great job or you’re beautiful oryou're killing it? And I was like, I don't.She was like, well then how often do you actually do that?I don't remember the last time I did that.I tell my children, Hey, great job.Thank you for picking up.I think you did well here.I just want you to try or I tell my team, Hey, thank you.I think this, it looks great.But I forgot to give myself a pat on the back. You did great too.You made it through today.That's all that counts.You know, everyone survived.And I think we just need to, you know, like Smirti said, let it go, a knowledge that we're doing really well, and it's all about perception. I remember one of my bossesshared this with me, and I never forgot how he observed this.I was going through my divorce. And I told him, I don't think I'm doing so well. I don't think I'm getting things done.And he said, that is your perception because we did not notice a difference. So you need to take more time for yourself and don't kill yourself to get to the 110%.You know, when you can give us 80, we'll take 80. When you give us 110, we'll take 110, but not to be afraid to take more time for yourself and take care of what you need to take care of. It's your perception that you're not doing well from where I sit, you're don't well,you're still like killing it. And that I remember very clearly from him. And that was a huge compliment. And you know, also a confidence booster. So I would say, give yourself a pat on the back. You're doing great. Trust me, nobody notices something's not working. It's only you. So you're doing great. Keep going.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: That's awesome, Amanda,

Amanda Hammett: You know, for me, I actually started being very vigilant on two things. I've had an off and on relationship with meditating.I'm a 5 a.m. riser, which Jeff just cringes when I say that.So I get up and I meditate and then I go work out.But I'm off and on, but I noticed I was feeling very burned out during the early days of the pandemic.I was stressed, you know, I have employees to think about, I have their families to think about and I was feeling it.And so I started getting back into meditation and then I started noticing that. All of my meetings were zoom or WebEx or Microsoft teams or Skype. Well, not anymore, but anyway, it was just, it seemed more exhausting to me because I feed off of the energy in the room of other people and I wasn't getting the same.So I was more exhausted by the time five o'clock came around. I just wanted to just pass out.So I recognized that I needed to start taking 30 minutes at five o'clock or whenever my last call wrapped up and just shut my door and my bedroom and read, and it can't be a business book. It can't be anything that's going to make my brain start spinning. It has to be, you know, something where I really don't have to think, but I just need to go into my room and I just need to do this. It just needs to shut my mind off.And once I started doing that, I recognized that not only was I a better leader, I was also a better parentand I was also a better partner in all things.And so I was just taking those 30 minute net nuggets of time for myself, saved me really through this pandemic.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:That's awesome. That's awesome. So as we start to wrap up, I want to close out with really moving to action. And what do we do about this? And so, you know, this is for all of you. What is one thing companies need to stop doing tomorrow? And what is one thing companies need to either start or double down on and do more of. So who'd like to start?

Amanda Hammett: Well, I will go first. So I think that the thing, what I'm seeing across the board with all of the companies that I work with and all the companies that I'm researching currently isthey need to stop with the top-down decision-makingfor how we're going to manage this coming back to the office. That needs to stop. The policy really needs to be, everybody makes their own decisions, team to team. The other thing that I would like to see more of, and I think Jessie touched on this earlier is I would like for us to continue the focus on burnout, mental health how can we support employees holistically versus production, Numbers Because I think we've learned that the whole employee is all we care aboutis better than what you're going to get out as a burned out employee.Yeah.That's okay. So Jessie, Smriti?


So go ahead.


Smriti Rao: Yeah. I was just gonna say, I agree with the top-down policy that companies are just not in a position right now to issue those mandates, asking their workforces to return to work.So I think a top down policy, it may not be that beneficial on andon the, on the other side of it, I think companies need to take a more proactive approach to providing support to working parents, whether that is either tying up with daycares or children care center to provide thosebackup care options for children or even for adults that may need extra help.They need to take a more proactive approach toward that because how are you going to keep women engaged?And in the workforce, if working mothers don't have the support that they need from, you know, from where they're spending the most time of the day, like I spent like almost eight or 10 hours a day at work.And if I don't get support from my work to carry outmy work, like, why would I, why would I be a hundred percent productive? Right. So that's something that companies need to think of no top-down policies or be very mindful of that.And the second thing is having those parental programs to support working parents, especially working mothers.Jessie.

Jessie Wei: My stop doing is stop thinking going back to the old way. That is gone, that ship has sailed.I think everyone, personally or companies, really have to stop thinking that things would go back to where they were. It's just never going to happen.Whether it's work, whether it's how to interact with their own customers and stakeholders.I would suggest all companies and everyone, including me, to start havingmore conversations, to continue having those conversations about what works and what doesn't work and really understand from all levels, all areas.Also cultural differences, right?People from a different region, if you were working for a global company, we experience very differently than people in the US where we're sitting today.So I think it's appreciating, acknowledging and really learning how to make it work and continue to grow and start bringing everyone like Amanda said, bringing your whole self to work.How can we enable and champion our employees to bring their whole self to work.And that includes the families,who have been our co-workers for the past year and a half or so. Continue to let them come into work.Right.Appreciate.And I wanted parents to feel okay, your kids are your coworkers, and they should see what you do, because that's what they will be doing when they grow up. I love that.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: They're your coworkers.And I'm going to chime in on this one.I think companies need to just stop using the word working mother. There's a lot of research around the negative connotations, you know, it's rarethat someone says, well, you know, he's a working dad and all the connotations, like, you know, I love Smirti the way you were always using working parent.And so if we can just shift this dynamic and pick that word and all thenegativity that corporations see and working mom and shift that to working parents, I think that could be huge.I think they need to start new employee resource groups around young parents. There are so many challenges and where are you going to build this village?And, you know, we, we know there's the traditional ERGs that are in most companies,very few companies have a new parent ERG.And I think that could be one thing that we could start with.So as we start to wrap up, I want to share a quick story that you may find humorous. And this was pre-pandemic and I was invited to a women's conference. I was one of the speakers, but Brene Brown was the keynote. Everybody knows Berne, and she's an amazing keynote. And the room was, picture 500 C-level, high level women, and Brene’s talking about, So as you got ready to come to the meeting today, did you put little post-it notes on your admin’s office wall.And did you call your admin on the way to the airplane? Did you call your adminas soon as you landed to check up on them?And of course the women said, no, we've got great staff. We trust them. And then Brene said, how many of you have done this with your husband or your significant other?Where you leave notes for them, you make sure thatthere's food in the refrigerator and that the laundry is done and you call them nine times while they're traveling. And of course, all of the women laughed and said they are all guilty of this.And I'll tell you, as I heard this story, what went through my mind as a man was, oh my God. The last thing I want to do when you call to check-in is I have to utter the words I've killed the children. I forgot to feed them.Oh my God. You know, Jenny went to work in and to play in a dirty soccer uniform and she died.Men don't want to kill your children.Right?But you've got to stop coddling us.We're going to feed them.They're going to get their homework done.They're going to go to school.And as we return to a new normal and people are getting on airplanes,again, just stop coddling, but also realize we might do things a little differently than you do.And pizza is actually a pretty good meal, three days in a row for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.Okay.So with that, this has been an absolute pleasure.This is a topic we're going to continue to revisit as we go into, I'm not even gonna use the word anymore,Amanda, you did with the new normal, we're going to call it work today.So, I just want to close by thanking you all andone last word, if you could give one last word to help people get through this and see the light on the other end, what would that be? So, Jessie, you're shaking your head. What would that be?

Jessie Wei: Take care of yourself. Take a five-word answer. Absolutely.

Smriti Rao: I would say done is better than perfect. Love that.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: So Amanda, bring us home.

Amanda Hammett: Well, just gratitude. I'm thankful for everybody in my life that has made it possible to get through this pandemic.possible to get through this pandemic. So I'm incredibly grateful to everyone. And I'm grateful to all of you on the screen with me today, this has been a really fantastic conversation and I have truly, truly enjoyed it. And I want to thank Jeff for being the guide through this one.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:Thank you for that. You know, it is interesting having two millennial children. uh, two millennial children.Yes. And watching the struggles that they have, this topic is actually very near and dear to my heart. But I'm seeing firsthand the day-to-day decisionsthat they've got to make andI'm doing everything in my power to talk to corporations and senior leaders. Amanda, I know you are, and I know, you know, Jessie and Smirti, you are too. So, thank you for your time and thank you for coming on. I know how busy you are. And so we're going to let you get back to your days. So thank you all for joining us for Wine Down Wednesday.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Win(e)d Down Wednesday Podcast with Jeffery Tobias Halter and Amanda Hammett

How are moms coping during the pandemic? Parenting Panel – Part I

How are moms coping during the pandemic? For working parents, especially moms, COVID has been the great disrupter. Smriti Rao and Jessie Wei join Win(e)d Down Wednesday hosts Jeffery Tobias Halter and Amanda Hammett for a candid conversation about their experiences at work and at home. Bring your favorite beverage and join the discussion on career transitions, parenting during a pandemic and getting it all done from the kitchen table.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Parenting Panel: Part I

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, well, happy Wednesday. Can you believe it's Hump Day already? Is that even a relevant term? We're all working 24-7. This panel today is going to talk about parenting in a pre-and post-pandemic world. And does Wednesday even matter anymore? Is it just another day of the week? So as always, I'm really excited to be here with my co-host, Amanda, and we've got two special guests. And so I'm actually going to let them introduce themselves and their background. And then we will talk about what our beverage of choice is before we jump into our subject. So, Jessie, would you like to start, please?

Jessie Wei: Yes, of course, Jeff, thank you for having me on the podcast. It's really great to be part of a panel to share my experience as a working parent. My name is Jessie Wei. I'm a senior manager working at EYs audit practice. I'm actually in transition. So I'm relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina. Next month, actually in a month, I will be moving to a new house. I'm a mother to two little boys. They are six and eight. My older son is Henry. My younger one is Preston. I'm having a struggle mom moment this week because my oldest just told me that I can no longer call him a baby anymore. So I'm struggling as a mother emotionally that he's no longer a baby. And my beverage of choice today is just sparkling water. That's a good one though.
All right.Thanks.

Smriti Rao: Hi, everyone.Thanks so much for the opportunity. So my name is Smriti, which is pronounced exactly the way that it is written, and I'm actually Jessie's kinda-sorta neighbor. I live in North Carolina as well, and I lead a team of content and editors over here at Red Hat based in Raleigh. It's been an interesting sort of time so far. I'm happy to talk all about it. I have two young children. The younger one is two. She just turned two and the older one is seven. Lots of adventures during this pandemic dive in. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: So thank you for that. And what's your beverage of choice this afternoon?

Smriti Rao: Yeah, so usually I love a good Pinot Noir from Oregon, but I just got back from a wine trip. I'm all kind of tapped out and I'm going to stay, stay close to caffeine, and have a steady drip of caffeine in my veins.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: As I did the podcast I want to kick this to Amanda now. Amanda is usually the co-host, but you're also a parent, a working parent. So give us that background.

Amanda Hammett: Yes. So my name is Amanda. If you've been on the podcast before, my name is Amanda Hammett.
I'm the founder and CEO of a company called Core Elevation. I'm actually better known as the “millennial translator”
because I am an expert on generations in the workplace. My little boy is now as tall as I am. He is 14. He has had a major growth spurt during the lockdown in quarantine. He grew 10 inches during that time. Yes, no longer a little, but he's 14. And we had a very interesting experience of quarantine as well. Today though, my beverage of choice is a lime Perrier with lots of extra lime. So yeah.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And you know, me, I'm Jeff and I'm actually enjoying a Sauvignon Blanc from Monterey, it's called Sunny With a Chance of Flowers. It is a no sugar Sauv Blanc and so it fits in your Keto diet quite nicely.
And so go out and enjoy a bottle, something about me and this parenting panel. I have grown children. But both of my children have children of their own. And so, my daughter has a four-year-old named Harlan.
And my son has a now one-year-old named Alexandra Cadence. And so they are both working parents. It's just fascinating to see what goes on today. And one of the things I want to do when we kick off this panel, realizing that this is going to be going out to a corporate audience and in my work at YWomen, one of the things I try to do is just get senior leaders and specifically, men to ask a simple question, what's going on that I don't understand? What's going on in your life? What's going on at work. And I guarantee you many senior leaders do not have the exposure to the challenges and just day-to-day issues that women are facing in just their normal lives. And so I would just love you to spend a couple of minutes and walk me through a day in the life from the time your feet hit the ground until you basically pass out at night and get it up and started again. So, Jessie, would you like to start?

Jessie Wei: Of course. That's a really great question to ask, like, Hey, what's going on in your day? What's happening at home? How are you doing? Simple questions, really, and really meaningful during the pandemic. And it means a lot to everyone, men and women. My day starts when I would get up super early. I'm a 6:30 in the morning person and my alarm will go off and I will do my self-care. My meditation, I'll get up and exercise and then get my coffee ready. Then I'll try to work for about an hour before my kids are up and running and you can hear them throughout the house. We'll do breakfast together. I used to be able to drop them off at school. During the pandemic, they're just staying at home with mom. I'm actually fortunate. I was able to work from home actually about a year before the pandemic started in March 2020. So the working from home transition for me wasn't a huge difference in terms of me working and having my own set up in my home office already. The biggest difference is what am I going to do with the boys? Because I never had to plan their entire day. I felt a lot for our teachers and I still don't know today how they do it because they were able to plan activities and lesson plans. So I went into Mom mode of trying to manage their every hour at the beginning of the pandemic before summer. Trying to do that with them and trying to work. And then every hour, Hey, you got to watch this drawing. Oh, there's this like Zoom meeting with your teachers and your classmates. It was just a lot trying to balance all that and get them ready. And my kids are six and eight, so I have to get the computer up, I'm making sure that they know how to log on. So a lot more hands-on on the day-to-day for them. I don't have after-school care anymore, I didn't feel comfortable with having the nanny there.
So they're actually at home with me all day, and it's really challenging for me to be able to do my calls. I used to be able to close my door. Or Only one at home and do my calls. And now my kids are constantly coming in, Hey Mommy, can I do this?
Hey, mommy, I needed help with this and break my legos apart. So I juggle all that during the day. I have to say I'm blessed.
My mother actually lived with me and came in to help during the pandemic and she's still here and she'll do the breakfast, she will make the food and that takes a lot of stress out of my day to day, not having to figure out what am I going to feed them? Boys are hungry all the time. So you have a steady stream of food you have to keep coming. But you know, my work doesn't really stop at five, but I make a point to stop by six so that we can eat dinner. There are very scheduled parts. And there was I, 6:30 is dinner time You got to come and do dinner. We'll do dinner, we'll do nighttime activities, we’ll read, we’ll clean up, do their bath time and I'll watch TV or watch them play games. And now put them to bed at nine and read them their bedtime stories. They still enjoy that today. So I'm trying to do that. And after that, I go back downstairs to my home office and do more work because I felt really bad that I haven't been able to get through a lot. So I'll work until I'm really tired and realizing, okay, I'm staying at that email for five minutes. It's not going anywhere. So I'm going to go to bed and now get ready for bed and try to go to bed and start my day again. So that's how my day went.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: And on average, how much sleep do you get a night?

Jessie Wei: I would say less than seven hours, so it's not the recommended number.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Alright, well, thank you for that. Thank you for sharing. Smriti?

Smriti Rao: I mean, hearing Jessie speak, I'm just the does the opposite, which is kind of, which is kinda weird to see because, and also I think hearing Jessie's speak, I just feel like there's so much in common and so much that we do differently as mothers. Right? I'm also pretty fortunate. My mother lives with us. So there's that extra benefit of not having to think about food or what will the children eat, there’s someone else thinking about that. So I'm able to offload that. But for the most part, it is similar to the extent that, you know, from the time you wake up, the children are always front and center of your mind. I think it's something that women tend to do a little bit more than men. I think what has been interesting for me to see during this pandemic is how gendered our roles are. My husband's really supportive. He's a great dad. He's a great husband, but when he goes to work, he goes to work, he's in his office at home. He's fully focused. He's in there. Whereas when I go to work, I'm constantly thinking about did the children need, is there, you know, my older one was in virtual class for the whole year. She was in first grade. Is she logged in? Did she get her snack? Did she finish her homework? I think the amount of multitasking that mothers do is just, I think, that just is greater than the dad. This is not a knock on any father whatsoever, but I just think that during this pandemic, what I realized was how gendered our roles were. And for me personally like looking at my day, it was, yeah, very much similar to Jessie's right? Like the kids need to be fed, they need to finish their work and they need to go to bed on time, which was another important thing for me. But yeah, I think, I think it's just been, it's just drawn into sharp relief, the way we behave as parents, as, men and women. And I think that it's just been interesting to see.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: Yeah, it's interesting. I have a colleague David Johnson, and he talks about the fact that women should go and ask their significant others for a spousal employee review around how supportive they are at home because what the research is showing that men are stepping up, but women are stepping up X plus plus plus, and so it presents an interesting dynamic. So I wouldn't ask you to rate your significant others. But I think for our listeners, it's kind of a fun, easy, element. So Amanda, what about yours?

Amanda Hammett: I would agree with what Smirti said about the gender roles. My husband is phenomenal. We have worked from home pre-pandemic, so we didn't have the issues getting set up like Jessie mentioned earlier. However, when my son was all of a sudden home from school, dad would go into his office, but my office has been, you know, the island or the kitchen table, or because I was usually on client sites or traveling.So, you know, my office was more fluid and so the constant what am I going to eat for snack? I'm hungry, I'm hungry. And I was just constantly like, okay, I've got to move out the kitchen. We had to build out and put up barn doors in our open office or open house concept, uh, so that we could, I could shut him out. And even that, he does not seem to understand that a closed-door is there for a reason, but it, you know, it was a constant, is he logged into class? Did he get everything turned in? Did he do what he needed to do? And it was a very constant thing. Now he did not go and ask these questions of my husband, which I found interesting. And I would ask my son, why are you coming to me? Why not your dad? Well, he's working. What am I doing? You know, it was a constant, it was a really interesting conversation to introduce to my son and my husband actually started becoming much more aware of, Hey, mom's not the only one here. Like, come to me. Ask me. I make decisions here too. So it was, it was interesting to say for sure.

Smriti Rao: You know, which reminds me, Amanda, is that I was on a call with a colleague and I had to keep ducking in and out of that call. Cause I had to go pick up a prescription and come back. And in that moment I was running late to a call and I was just like, you know what? I have never ever thought about this, but I am a working mom. I am working plus I am a mom. Like it's just that term like never resonated more strongly than at a moment. I was like, oh my God. Like, I can't shut one thing off and be the other person because I have to do both at the same time. You know,

Amanda Hammett: I felt like this experience grew my to-do list exponentially. Yeah, yeah.Yeah.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You were now more worried about classes that you didn't think about before, so yeah.

Jeffery Tobias Halter: So, as we now go back to a new normal, and there is no more new normal, what does this look like? What does this look like for you all, for your companies? Where's this going to go?

Amanda Hammett: Smriti, why don't you start?

Smriti Rao: Oh, that's, I've been thinking a lot about this. I have been fortunate in the sense that when I moved to the Raleigh area to work for my previous company, they were like, Hey, can you move here to take this job? I was like, sure, we'll move. But then I immediately got put on a team that was based in Europe. And so my first team was based in Europe. My second team, my manager was in New Hampshire. So I've always had the experience of working remotely. And as I moved to this other company that I'm working for, for now, it's continued. My team is mostly remote. So when I see the conversation about returning to work, I think that for me personally, it doesn't make any sense because my team is remote, but, as I kind of think more deeply about this, it is, such a complex issue for companies to deal with. Like what is the new normal? And the fact is that is no new normal. Like this is normal right now. The hybrid work culture is the normal, and it's interesting to see companies saying hey, you know what we know, you guys are all eager to get back to work. And then this is our start date. Everybody comes back to the office like they're trying to reset the clock back to whatever pre-pandemic was. And that's not how time works and that's not how people work, you know, people adapt, people move on. And then when you find something that works for you, people are very hesitant to let it go. So I think it's going to be interesting to see how corporations navigate this, how senior leaders really reach out to their workforce to ask them for their input on what is it that will make you productive. And what is it that will help the company reach its bottom line and goals? I think senior leadership should be paying more attention to how the workforce wants to work and build in those mechanisms so that they're productive, but I have a lot of thoughts about this clearly, but it's just, uh, I just think and I cannot stress this enough, which is I think senior leadership, or it also depends on the makeup of senior leadership, right? So if you have mostly men in your senior leadership, the view that they're going to get out of flexible workplaces, or how employees should work, it's going to be very different from if you have women in your senior leadership and how they're going to view what women in the workforce are going through and how the hybrid-like flexible work culture is more important. So I think that there is no new normal, at least in my sense, this is the normal, this is how we need to be. And I do think that. Corporations have a hard task at hand, and that is no one size fits all policy that works for us as we think of returning to work. So, Jessie, what do you think?

Jessie Wei: Yeah, I think you brought out a few good points, thereof what, what you seeing in the market and what I'm seeing as well, that everyone and every company and people implement strategies differently, at different times, but this time around everyone is implementing and trying to implement the same strategy. How are we returning to work? And what does it mean? I think there's a new definition. What does work mean, what’s working environment mean? I am pretty fortunate that EY just rolled out our new way of working. We called it the EY Wow. We have an acronym for it. It's building on three guiding principles or concepts. It's rethinking about where you work, the break model, the one of the Bs, and then behavior. Right? We’re talking about how we historically wanted everyone to come to the office for meetings. Everyone goes to the client all the time, five days a week. Is that really the behavior we want? What is this kind of collaboration, a teaming that we're trying to get out of it or return to? Right? Which is collaborating, but it's not every single day in person, it’s not every hour in person anymore. How do we change our behavior a little bit? And then the last B is the bytes, the technology. We have spent so much money on technology this past year and a half. How do we capitalize on it? Because we cannot un-spend that money. So companies that implemented Zoom, implemented Microsoft teams or whatever technology it is. It's really continued to utilize those. I would say there's really like Smirti mentioned, there’s no one size fits all. For me, my team, I have a huge team right now and I have to collaborate with my client, who's thinking about the same thing. Historically, my team always traveled to the client about five days a week, and it's an hour's drive outside of Charlotte. So, um, one way, so no one is really excited about that commute anymore including the client. So we're really in a unique position as well as having a great opportunity to rethink how they want to work with us and how we’re returning to work. So I’m in a very great position to actually help influence that process as well as I'm making plans with my client on how they want to work with us so I can come up with a plan, collaborate with them and my team so that we have our plan that fits our team's needs and our client. And it's only for our team and our client, all the teams in the US and around the globe are going to be doing something different. But I think we have to not be afraid to go back to the drawing board if this is not working. And I think that's one thing, most companies rolling out the plans, but we need to probably think about how do we put in measures along the way so that, hey, let's go back to the drawing board because it's not working. Like, let's, let's go back and also we don't know what's going to happen. In a few months, hopefully, everything that we will get past this and move on. But if we have to go back again, how do we, we adjust that, you know, how do we continue to do this and keep everyone kind of mentally, I would say mentally, healthy and taking care of themselves, all those programs that we rolled out due to the pandemic to support parents in general. Or those caring for elderly parents or family members. We continue to need to expand on those because those cares exist. No matter if you're working in an office or working from home, we really need those programs. And for all the working parents, so that we can feel like we can do the work at work and do contribute to work. And also not having to worry a lot about the home until we have to. So I think having that level of support will be very helpful for all working parents and the company to really think about expanding that benefit.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

NextGen Featuring Jeffery Tobias Halter

Next Generations Rockstars: Women + the Broken Rung with Jeffery Tobias Halter

Dismantling the glass ceiling has long been talked about as a way to ensure equality for women in the workplace. Although, many companies have discussed its importance, very few companies have made big strides towards that accomplishment. However as millennials and Gen Z's become the largest portions of the workforce in 2020 dismantling the glass ceiling will be a necessity. However, after all of these decades discussing it, how can we actually do it. Turns out, we need to focus our efforts on what McKinsey and refer to as the "broken rung". Learn more in this episode from Gender Strategist, Jeffery Tobias Halter.

Download the Women + The Broken Rung Whitepaper

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Women + the Broken Rung

Amanda Hammett 0:01
Hi, my name is Amanda Hammett. And I'm the host of the Next Generation Rockstars Podcast. So today we actually have a special edition for you. For 2020, we decided that we wanted to tackle some of the bigger ideas and concepts in the global workforce and those things that are affecting us every single day that maybe are just below the surface, or maybe things that we just don't think about. So in honor of Women's History Month here in the United States, today's topic is women, particularly women and the intersection of next-generation talents. So my guest today is Jeffrey Tobias Halter. Now, some of you might be a little surprised because to talk about women, I brought in a man and that's very true.

Amanda Hammett 0:47
However, Jeffrey is the president of YWomen and he is a gender strategist. Now Jeffrey didn't just wake up one day and decide, hey, I'm going to be a gender strategist. No, Jeffrey actually led Coca Cola, his early initiatives in the diversity and inclusion world back in the early 2000s. So he has a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge in this area. But Jeffrey and I took it a little bit further, we brought in both of the women of our world for him, next-generation talent for me. And we talked about the broken ROM, which was a term coined by the McKinsey study that they put out in late 2019, in conjunction with the alien organization. And it was a really fascinating study, because all this time, we've been talking about the glass ceiling and breaking the glass ceiling for women. But really, we need to address a parity issue at the very beginning in those early career talent issues. And so, Jeffrey and I spend a lot of time talking about some best practices and things that you can do today to make that happen. So join us take a look at this interview and I would love to hear what you have to say about that. Don't forget to share this and comment below.

Amanda Hammett 2:03
Hi, this is Amanda Hammett. And I'm the host of the Next Generation Rockstars Podcast. Today we have a very special guest. His name is Jeffrey Tobias halter. He is the president of YWomen and he's a gender strategist. Jeffrey, why don't you tell us a little bit about you?

Jeffery Halter 2:20
Yeah. Thanks, Amanda. Thanks for having me on. So basically, my day job focuses on helping companies create an end to end women's leadership strategies, specifically focused on engaging men in the process because we're not going to drive long term systemic change for women without active male engagement.

Amanda Hammett 2:46
Exactly. Perfect. That's amazing. And I love that you're doing that. But I would imagine definitely, you didn't just wake up one day and say a Great idea. I'm going to do something about this. Or maybe you did. Once you tell us a little bit about how did you act doing?

Jeffery Halter 3:02
Yeah, certainly so know if you had told me 20 years ago, this is what I'd be doing. I would have laughed at you. I'm a career sales guy, Procter and Gamble Coca Cola. And in 1999, I was actually doing a staff or patient assignment. I was working in sales training. Before I went back out in the field as a regional vice president. And Coca Cola had a very famous $200 million discrimination lawsuit. We laid off 8000 people. And overnight, I went from working in sales training to leading the diversity education initiative at the company. Now my first reaction was, I'm a straight white guy. What do I know about this diversity thing? What meeting did I not attend to get in charge of this? And then the last thing was, you know, I've got two years' kids, I really need a job. So I'm going to kind of do this diversity thing as long as I can. And so we were charged with training 4000 people in diversity education. now realize it's 2000. And if you've ever seen that episode of the office with the really bad diversity training, this was kind of my project. And I would sit in this program, literally as a hostage and it's my program.

Jeffery Halter 3:53
But I heard stories everyday stories of racism and sexism and homophobia from people that I knew and genuinely respected. And I had what they call a white male epiphany. And a white male epiphany occurs when you realize what white male privilege is, and the world revolves around you. Were always the default, largest number in most meetings. Our voices are always heard. And at that time, I was not ready to be an advocate. I just chose to get curious.

Jeffery Halter 5:07
And so I started having conversations, I would go out and talk to women and African American colleagues and I would say, Hey, I heard this in class. Can you validate? Is this true? And what happens when you have these genuine conversations, you quickly realize that women and other underrepresented groups are having completely different experiences than I'm experiencing as a white male. And so I chose to get more and more curious. Tom Peters had just come out with reimagine it was now 2004 and he was talking about the business case for women. And so this really clicked for me because I had for a time being seen diversity and inclusion kind of a soft HR thing. And what I realized is, in fact, it's a business imperative women buy everything in this country, and yet most sales teams are still made up of men. Women are getting more degrees than men are, whether it's bachelor's, masters, PhDs, Jadis. And so over the course of the last 20 years, I have evolved to a position now where I consult with fortune 500 companies and executive teams and work primarily with men on how to move from not just being an ally. I actually think that term is overused nowadays, I think it's kind of soft. We need to move men to advocacy, because I know you've seen the research that says women are under sponsored and over mentored Well, in my mind, this is the same thing a man mentoring a woman as an ally. I certainly want to congratulate all the men out there who are our allies. We've reached a point in time 2020, where we need advocates, visible vocal men, senior leaders, demonstrating to the organization why this is important.

Amanda Hammett 7:19
I love it. I love that. And I couldn't agree more with everything you said. You're preaching basically to the choir here.

Jeffery Halter 7:27
Of course.

Amanda Hammett 7:28
Let's talk for just a second. You and I have had some conversations today. And Mackenzie recently put out a study they annually put out a study on women in the workplace, partnering with LinkedIn, or I'm sorry Lena, and for quite a while to do this. But the 2019 study was really interesting and you actually pointed out that it would be a very interesting study in my work as well. specifically talking about that in just above the entry-level for Women, then actually I'd like to quote a little something from the intro to this study. So this is lean in 2019 study on women. An increasing number of companies are seeing the value of having more women in leadership, and they're proving that they can make progress on gender diversity. Still, women continue to be underrepresented at every level. To change the numbers, companies need to focus on where the real problem is. We often talk about the quote, the glass ceiling that prevents women from reaching senior leadership positions. In reality, the biggest obstacle that women face is much earlier in the pipeline. At the first step up to manager fixing this quote, broken wrong is the key to achieving parity. Yep. So let's talk about this broken wrong. I think that this is huge and it is something that really we don't hear a whole lot in The vernacular of the DNI space or just in my everyday work. So what is the broken rung mean? Exactly what is...

Jeffery Halter 9:08
You've got to look at this intersectionality of race and women to see really gross underrepresentation. And, and a lot of people might be sitting there thinking, Well, you know, that doesn't happen at my company. McKenzie research is based on 600 multinational companies. So this is very well documented research.

Jeffery Halter 9:08
Yeah, and this is fascinating. The Broken run basically is that first promotion whether that pardons me, individual contributor to senior individual contributor, team member to Team Leader. And what's really fascinating is, most research a lot of the McKenzie research a lot of the lean and research for years is focused on what we would describe as choke points, which we always thought were a director to VP, VP to SVP, SVP, the C suite, right. And what we're finding is and this is the first time they've actually reported on this, the broken rung exists at that first position. And for every 100 men promoted seven Two women are promoted 58 women of color are promoted. And so this isn't just a, a women thing.

Amanda Hammett 10:36

Jeffery Halter 10:37
And then you have to start to, to unpack what this looks like. Because think about this. Oftentimes, your first promotion in a company comes by another fairly young, possibly not well-trained leader, you know, we tend to focus I know certainly we did a Coca Cola on training directors. And sales leaders and that first level leader gets very little support get very little training. And oh, by the way, in 2020, you know, 10 years ago, that person may be had seven direct reports. Now they probably have 14 because organizations have been flattening, no support, no training. And now we're asking them to make what seems like a pretty routine decision.

Jeffery Halter 11:32
We need to promote someone right into their first job. And yet they've had no training in how to interview unconscious interview to mitigate unconscious bias. Maybe they aren't aware of concepts like diverse slates or more importantly, diverse panels. So slates are ensuring you have, you know, a minimum of one but ideally Two to three candidates who are women are underrepresented groups. Diverse panels are doing the same thing. Because what we're finding is diverse slates don't necessarily work when you as a young female command in your face by three older men. Yeah. And so that's why the interview panel has to also be diverse. And so this one simple thing. Picture this, if we promoted women in their first job at the same rate of men, we would have one more million women move into leadership in the next five years. So we keep thinking this is this huge struggle. And in fact, it starts very early and we can actually do something about it.

Amanda Hammett 12:52
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I'd like to circle back to something you just said about those diverse panels and so for those of you who don't aren't aware, Jeffrey is also an author. This is his book. It's called "Why Women" and it is phenomenal. You can see I have maybe left it a little too. But I actually went through and I was thinking about this very thing going into our conversation. And here's something that I've highlighted. I'd like you to talk about it. Many hiring managers often have a preconceived notation of what they're looking for someone who fits their definition of leadership, which is most often based on a traditional mock male model of leadership. I mean, and that is so so interesting because we don't think of it that way. Like this is just leadership. But...

Jeffery Halter 13:45
Yeah, so I'll give you and I can certainly share this with you on your website. So I do a training activity, and I list 30 words associated with management and We asked people to just check off their top 10 words they would associate with managers. She checked them off, no big deal, says what makes a good manager. And then I asked them to put a gender to that word.

Jeffery Halter 14:15
Now, it would be easy to say, you know, these terms are genderless. But I don't let them do that. You've got to pick the first one that pops in your mind. And what we find out is, and this is, this is based on a Google study of 80,000. leaders, and what we find is that two thirds, as many words are associated with men, as with women, the words much stronger things like an analytical risk-taker, assertive, the women words, much softer, much as you would imagine. And then they were asked when you think of a leader, how do you rank the words and instead of two thirds, four-fifths of the words 80% were associated with men, only 20% were associated with women. So this is a great simple exercise. And here's one more caveat on this.

Jeffery Halter 15:18
The New York Times in November of last year did an article and they asked fifth-grade girls to drop pictures of leaders. And literally every little girl drew a picture of a man. And so what it says is this predisposition starts very young. And so it's not just men who are thinking that leaders are men, to women also carry an unconscious bias. So this is just one element of what do we think a leader is? And in my book, I talked about the double bind. dilemma. And this is so critical, particularly for men to understand when you're interviewing women because women face a double bind dilemma. So Amanda, if you're too tough, you know what you're called?

Amanda Hammett 16:15
Yes, I do.

Jeffery Halter 16:16
And if you're too soft, you know what you're called?

Amanda Hammett 16:19

Jeffery Halter 16:20
You're never just right. It's the Goldilocks effect. Men. If you think about a continuum, you know, where assertiveness is at the one end, you know, men can be 90% profanity using pounding the table, you know, aggressive to down a 10%. Quiet, introvert, finance-oriented, but they're still respected as leaders. I don't have research on this, but I believe women fall into about a 45 to 55% narrow band where you know, you're not to a certain If you're not too soft, you're just right. Yes. And so it's a tightrope. It's a huge tightrope, and when we're evaluating talent, or more importantly, the performance reviews leading up to you being promoted, you know, so so assertive is a great word, or aggressive or emotional, you know, women are often called emotional. And that's everything from raising your voice. Oh, by the way, men raise their voice and no one judges them on it.

Jeffery Halter 17:33
Now, many times women are raising their voice because they're not being heard or they're being ignored in a meeting and I interpret that as, you know, oh, she's so emotional about this. Whereas when Ron pounds his fist and and, you know, drops an F-bomb, it's no big deal. And so these little subtle things really factor in and then I'll put one more out there. And it's really a tendency to see ourselves or someone like us in that candidate. This is a huge blind spot for companies that tend to recruit at the same schools. You know, when someone walks in the door, you know, if I went to Georgia Tech and you went to Georgia Tech, Does that just raise you up a notch? You know, in my eyes? Certainly, certainly. Do I, and this is a common one for men.

Jeffery Halter 18:36
You know, do I see myself in you 30 years ago when I was starting out? And so that's much harder for me to look at a young woman and say, Well, you know, gosh, can she really do this. So all of these biases are critical. And so smart companies implement, you know, programmatic elements to eliminate some of these But none of it makes it back down just going full circle down to that first level manager doing the first round of interview. And so I've got one simple solution. One simple solution doesn't cost any money. Every time you have that first level interview, right? I want the managers' manager to just ask a question.

Amanda Hammett 19:24

Jeffery Halter 19:25
How many women do you have on the slate? And if the answer is none, then you have a responsibility to look that manager in the eye and say, What are you doing to get some ready? And what are we going to do next time? Because it's just not acceptable, that you don't have any women ready? And oh, by the way, that simple question needs to be asked at every level of leadership because I've seen it in the C suite, where an EDP job comes open and We're sitting in talent review. And Jim puts forward the same three guys he's put up before. And then the CEO never looks at Jim and says, Okay, I'm giving you a pass this time. But what are you doing to get a woman ready? And that simple question is never asked, and it drives me crazy.

Amanda Hammett 20:23
Absolutely. And it's, you are so right, it starts so early. This is actually something that I have ongoing conversations with teams about. So in our company, we do something called the collision course. And it's the collision between leadership and next-gen talent. And there are various points along the way. And this is something that I'm always asking, you know, at these frontline leaders, are they ready? And are they willing to help identify what are you doing to identify these next, next leaders? And the question is always met with deer in the headlights like, you know, no process. And the process that they do have is inherently flawed.

Jeffery Halter 21:04
You know, and being a generational expert, you know, this, you know, I was raised in an era of command and control. You know, in the 90s, it was very easy to be a leader and a manager today. I need to manage Amanda differently than I managed Jim, and Terry, and Monica. And that takes a high degree of skill. And it takes so much more time and so much more investment. But it goes full circle to what do millennials want? What a Gen Z want? They want feedback. They want a challenge. And by the way, they may lead differently than you. Yes. But that's okay. You got to give them a chance. And by the way, they're going to make mistakes. We know we made mistakes, too.

Amanda Hammett 22:01
Yes, it seems like that idea of mistakes. It's just like don't talk about it. Don't talk about it.

Jeffery Halter 22:05

Amanda Hammett 22:06
Absolutely. Yeah. So what would be your suggestion for a company that is just they're really struggling at this first frontline level of preparing women, especially those early in career women to get up to that next to that first level of frontline leadership, what would you suggest to them?

Jeffery Halter 22:26
I think it's important to have programs and processes. You know, this is where HR meets the business. And you've got to have leaders understanding the purpose behind the HR programs and accountability and accountability being the big one. And again, I'll share this with you for your reader or Watchers on the website. But there are 10 things we need to hold leaders accountable in this space. And this is huge. Again. This came out of a McKinsey study delivering through diversity, but it's just as powerful. 86% of companies say they can articulate the business case, but only 16% hold people accountable. And so, you know, I was in sales for 20 years and I had a quota every quarter that if I didn't meet, I would be replaced. We yet we talked about setting goals and metrics for women in leadership and immediately we go, Oh, no, we can't count that we can't track that. We track everything in business, you have to track it. And so it goes back to holding people accountable for some of the things we talked about already. Diverse slates, diverse panels, regrettable losses is a big one. How are you identifying top talent you know, this whole notion of my big point is having a conversation on a weekly, weekly, monthly basis about our differences? And that's as simple as this.

Jeffery Halter 24:16
We all work really hard, but we really don't have time to understand each other. And it goes back to my very first premise around how I came to do this work. And so what I encourage organizations to do, and you can do this at every level, is pull something out of the newspaper, watch a YouTube video, watch a TED talk, and then just talk about it. You know this is we're in the middle of Black History Month, we're going to have Women's History Month, next month, you know, watch a video and then just talk about the concepts. You know, I know we're focused on you know, millennials and women, one of the best things I've ever seen And it's called the American sun. It's a stage play that's now on Netflix. And it stars Kerry Washington. And it's fabulous to show at a team meeting to start a conversation around race. And quite frankly, the things we don't understand about race. But there's great, you know, there are great movies for women, this representation is another one. But they don't have to be big. You know, once a week, the USA Today polls and publishes at least two or three articles on women, or millennials. And so just read the article and talk about it. So that so those are just some of the things I think companies can do.

Amanda Hammett 25:44
Absolutely. I think just opening up those lines of communication is basic first-level stuff that's free, and it can just, it's amazing what it can bring out of it not just seeing people's different perspectives, but also building trust and building those foundational items that you need for a team

Jeffery Halter 26:01

Amanda Hammett 26:01
Absolutely. All right. Well, Jeffrey, this has been really enlightening and eye-opening. Where can my audience find you?

Jeffery Halter 26:10
Yes. So a, the Y being the Y chromosome, pretty easy to manage, and understand. But please go to my website, I have three white papers, I have a free assessment your leaders can take one is quality gender advocate profile, and one is called a male advocate profile. And it has 20 questions that cause you to think about how you become an advocate, but more importantly, the 10 steps and actions you can take to become an activist or an advocate. And so just go out and look around. I've got all kinds of free materials and we'd love to continue this conversation.

Amanda Hammett 26:59
Absolutely. Also, another plug for the book. If you get a copy of this book, you can mark up your own coffee. I like coffee. But again, Jeffery thank you so much for being here for sharing with us and enlightening all of us. Your work is phenomenal. And I am a big fan. So again, thank you to the audience for sharing your time with us. And we look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

Amanda Hammett 27:23
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world. But really share it with your friends with your colleagues because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode, so be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice. And you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Next Generations Rockstars: Season 2 Wrap Up

Next Generations Rockstars: Season 2 Wrap Up

Season 2 brought leaders from a variety of different industries and company sizes. The one thing they all had in common was their focus on their people. That focus on their employees has made these leaders and these companies some of the fastest growing and best places to work.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Next Generations Rockstars: Season 2 Wrap Up

Welcome to the Next Generations RockstarsHoward Behar podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

Hey and welcome to this week's episode of The Next Generation rock stars podcast. So this episode is actually a wrap up of the entire season too. And what an amazing season this was. This season has brought about leaders from all different companies and there have been some big names that we've brought in Howard Behar from Starbucks. There was Horst Schulze who is one of the co-founders of the Ritz Carlton known for their culture known for their customer service. Then there was Fran Katsoudas who is the chief people officer at Cisco Systems globally.

Matt Schuyler who is the Chief H.R. officer over there. Hilton Hotels again a massive global company. But then there are also people that you may not have heard of before their episode came out. People like. Ben Wright at Velocity global making a huge different difference over there.

Alan Cherry was the former head of H.R. at Tesla. Now he's at a company called our planet earth and they're doing some amazing work. But then you also have someone like Crystal Khalil at Pausch North America and of course Cassie Buckroyd of Columbia Sportswear. All of those people whether they're a big household name or you know people you might not have heard of before their episode went live. These people are making a difference in their early career talent. And I would venture to guess it's not just their early career talent that they're making a difference for it's really everybody who's lives that they're coming into contact with.

And the third touching and making a difference on because you know what you source in each and every one of these interviews is that they are creating an environment within their company or a culture within their company or people want to come to work. And when people want to come to work you see a big difference in the type of work that they're doing in the fact that they're giving it their all. They want to innovate. They want to make a difference. They want to be more productive and in the end, companies tend to see increases in productivity profitability.

You know just a few important things that CEOs like to see on bottom lines. But do you know why they're doing it. It's because these employees feel supported. They feel that their company but more importantly their leader. They feel like they see them as more than just this cog in the big corporate wheel. They feel that their leader and their company sees them holistically as a real person with actual real things going on in their lives. And that's really important. That has made all the difference. Every single one of these leaders is making that difference every single day.

And I think that is something that each and every one of us can learn from. You know maybe we don't implement everything that my Schuyler at Hilton is implementing across you know a massive global workforce. Maybe it's just we pick out one or two things as lessons learned that we can implement today or maybe you take the lead from someone like Cassie Buckroyd at Columbia Sportswear where she is taking in things and saying OK you know what. This was a great lesson learned. We listened to our employees and this is how we're implementing it.

You know she's taking in that survey information and then she's taking action and making a real positive change for her employees. So these are just some small things that different companies have done. But what can you do as a leader as an employee of a company maybe as a CEO of a company? What can you do to make a difference for your employees or for your team or maybe your entire company? What are some small things that will have large ripple effects so that the people sitting around you day in and day out know that you see them?

Not just as someone who gets work done but you see them as somebody who makes a difference you see them as somebody who's human and it has all the emotions and things with being a human that are all involved. We've really seen this massive integration between work and life. It's no longer two separate entities. It really is. An integration. There's no balance to it. It really is integration with all the technology that we've introduced besides cell phones besides email. We really have. Integrated work life and personal life.

And I feel like that's going to. That trend is going to continue it's only going to become even more integrated as we go along. As more technology is rolled out. So what are you going to do as a leader to stay in front of it? What are you going to do in order to help your employees master that integration? And as a leader what are you going to do for yourself to master that integration.

So Season 2 was pretty amazing. We had some great guest and I think that you will see season 3 brings about even more amazing guests. Season 3 will be all about young employees so millennials and if we can find some Joneses who are now leading teams maybe for the first time maybe they've been leading teams for a little while now. But we're gonna learn about their lessons learned. What did they learn along the way what was maybe some of the mistakes that they made? And how did their leaders support them how did their company support them as they made that tradition or a transition from individual contributor to leader of a team.

So looking forward to seeing you in season three of the next generation rock stars that will be launching early 2020. All right see you then.

So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Amanda and Gene Thumbnail

The 5 Types of Workers Hurting Your Employee Retention

Employee retention is one of the biggest and most expensive problems that companies have. If you have an employee leave before you are ready for them to leave, you know the cost of replacing that person is going to be expensive. Employee retention for some roles can be higher than 50 percent in a 12 month period. My special guest today is Gene Hammett, my husband who is a Speaker, Author, and Host of the Podcast "Growth Think Tank".

In this special episode, we look at employee retention in a fun way. We analyze the five types of workers that are hurting your bottom line. Gene and I share specific types of people that will cause a turnover. We talk about why employee retention matters.

Gene Hammett is a Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, Proven Business Consultant and Founder of Growth Think Tank (formerly know as “Leaders in the Trenches”) recognized by and for being a top podcast for leaders.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - The 5 Types of Workers Hurting Your Employee Retention

[00:00:00.060] - Amanda
Welcome to the Next Generation Rock stars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

[00:00:14.940] - Amanda
So today's episode is gonna be a little bit different than what you're used to seeing from me today. I've partnered with my hubby right here my hubby, my business partner Gene Hammett.

[00:00:25.590] - Gene
Well glad to be here with you. I run a podcast called Growth Think Tank and I work with the founders and leaders of the INC 5000 companies growing fast as one percent of companies in the world.

[00:00:39.510] - Amanda
Absolutely. So we are going to be taking a look at where our work collides and that happens to be in the world of employee retention. So this episode today is talking about the five types of workers who are hurting your employee retention. So follow along with us as we tell some comical stories from our own personal work experience or maybe from some of the companies that we've worked with previously where we talk about each type of the employees and how it's actually hurting your employee retention. But in there we're also going to be offering up a free framework that Gene and I have perfected over the years through our own work as entrepreneurs but also in working with other companies.

[00:01:24.360] - Amanda
And this framework is called the "Stay Framework" and it is super simple. It's something that we use to keep employees happy fulfilled and motivated at work. And let me tell you some of these things are so easy that you can implement them to day and see major major results out of your employees because that's all what we want. We want our employees to be productive. We want them to be efficient. But we also want them to stay. So sign up to get the free stay framework and with it we'll be offering up a free training that we've partnered with a company called Velocity global.

[00:02:01.950] - Amanda
Now velocity global CEO Ben Wright will be on doing this training with us. And Ben actually runs a PEO company which is a employee benefits company. And this is global so companies that are small medium sized that are struggling with those benefit pieces those are pieces that can trip up any company Ben's company velocity global will swoop in and help you fix it.

[00:02:26.400] - Gene
So where do they get that report?

[00:02:27.540] - Amanda
So if you go to you can download that report to day. All right here's the episode.

[00:02:37.260] - Gene
Employee retention I really love this conversation because it really is one of the biggest things going on in our workforce. What do you think about employee routines.

[00:02:46.200] - Amanda
This is something I hear over and over and over again. Anytime I'm at a conference speaking or if I'm working with employees there are companies they're always saying how can we keep more of our employees.

[00:02:58.680] - Gene
There's a war for talent. You probably feel it because you want to have the best workers You want to have the most talented. You want them to to be a part of the culture and you want to make sure you're very intentional about creating a kind of work experience that makes it so that they really love to come to work. But employee retention is something that a lot of people kind of like it's too fluffy right. Because it's not something that is on the balance sheet or the panel. If you had a number on your financials that said exactly what it's costing you because of employee retention you'd be surprised and you'd pay a lot more attention to it.

[00:03:37.770] - Amanda
Absolutely. The cost of employee retention is staggering. If CFO knew exactly how much this was costing it would change the way that companies around the world would operate because right now employee retention is broken up into so many different buckets whether it's training or management or recruiting cos it's it's all broken up so it's not one specific number. But the thing is that actually according to Gallup they estimate that every single year the cost the American economy over a trillion dollars just in employee turnover.

[00:04:16.290] - Gene
Let me jump in here because that's a big number. Like a trillion is really big. But you know let's talk about it from a sense of what is it costing you right now.

[00:04:25.780] - Amanda
So sure, which is the society for Human Resource Management estimates that it actually costs between one and a half and two times that person's salary in order to replace them. So that is the recruiting cost that is the more soft cost. So like the manager training time getting that person ramped up. But let's be honest a lot of the industries that I work with they have employees that have been there 30-40 years. They are that amount of corporate knowledge that walks out the door. It's going to take years and years and years to replicate that into a new person. So that to you know two times their salary I think is easily done.

[00:05:07.640] - Gene
That's really for knowledge workers. Like if you had someone that was an hourly employee it's going to be less but there still is a cost to to employee return.

[00:05:16.070] - Amanda
Oh absolutely. But even in the hourly space you know there are a lot of situations where you have people that have been there 20, 30, 40 years and so they're taking with them a lot of that knowledge. So it is an ongoing issue.

[00:05:29.750] - Gene
I had a workshop a few weeks ago that you attended and one of the clients in there talked about losing. Things at twenty five employees in one month. Yeah. And I said know what do you think that cost you. He goes I know exactly what it cost me because I had to get temporary workers. These are hourly paid. And it cost him a quarter of a million dollars.

[00:05:49.360] - Amanda
In one month.

[00:05:50.040] - Gene
In one month. So It is costing you a lot of money not really understanding this employee retention. So that's the reason why we put together this episode we've come together. You know I focus on a different set of clients which you've already explained and Amanda has the corporate side of this. But together we've seen this and we want to share with you and make this a little bit fun. So we're going to talk about the five types of workers that are hurting. Your employee retention. So. You're ready.

[00:06:21.050] - Amanda
Your lately. Yeah. That's her. These are some good ones. And we've all seen each of these. Play out in our own careers. So the first one is the micro manager. I mean come on we have all seen this time and time again.

[00:06:36.610] - Gene
I'll be honest I've probably been a micromanager from time to time. It's easy to be a micromanager because if you're an A player if you've done the work before you know exactly what to do and you can actually just tell them and that's the easiest quickest thing for you to do is to tell them the exact steps. Is that right.

[00:06:59.430] - Amanda
Right. But I think a micromanager there's there's more to it. It's standing over. It's like constantly like in their face. What are you doing now what are you doing now. And it gets to the point where the employee can't even do their work because they're so focused on responding to you or answering to you that they end up having to spend a lot more time and anxiety invested in just calming you and dealing with you.

[00:07:23.880] - Gene
This reminds me of a story of one of my clients who you know before he became an entrepreneur was talking about. You know his manager and this this guy was the traditional micromanager. He was hired to do some marketing for the company and the the owner of the company knew a little bit about marketing enough to be dangerous as they say. But he would second guess everything that that was suggested as important or the next steps. And he would you know. Talk about the newsletter and the open rates and why did it happen. And I remember one specific details he was like well I didn't get it and it was back and forth back and forth and he's like Did you check your spam folder.

[00:08:03.540] - Gene
He goes It's not in my spam folder. And then all of a. Guess what it was in the spam folder. So you know there's a lot of different types of managers out there but the micro manager. Probably is one of the worse because you think you're doing the right thing but usually you're not.

[00:08:20.170] - Amanda
Yeah absolutely. So you know I do a lot with the younger employees those under 30 early in career and this is something I hear consistently over and over again is this micromanager and how it's just devastating to your career in a lot of ways. I had a young lady come up to me at a conference recently and she told me about her manager her former manager. She said that he's basically. Had her sit down at the end of the day not during the actual workday but at the end of the day.

[00:08:54.070] - Amanda
And she had to write out everything that she did that entire day broken down into 15 minute increments. Now keep in mind this young lady was not an hourly employee. She was a salaried employee and he expected this to come to his email box no earlier than six 15. Now the office closed at 6:00 but she was not to work on it during the day. And she had to do this every single day. And if she didn't I mean there was consequences the following day. And now I don't think it's going to shock anybody to tell you that she did not last even a year at this company before she was gone and it all had to do with this micromanager.

[00:09:35.080] - Gene
I want to make sure we connect the dots here because the micromanager you may thinking you know how is that hurting retention. Well you may have heard this before. I think it's just so appropriate but people don't leave jobs they leave managers. Absolutely. And we probably all had bad managers that we reported to. That caused us to leave companies. And that is the reason why it's number one in the list. It is probably one of the most common. And it really is something that we wanted to kind of draw you into this because some of the others are gonna be a little bit more maybe even fun to talk about because you when we came together we had a lot of fun putting all these together and just for you.

[00:10:18.760] - Amanda
All right. So the second one is not a micromanager but a clueless boss. Now I want to talk about this from my own personal experience. I had a boss one time and I'm not going to name names. However. Every single day or every single interaction I had with this person I would just sit back and ask myself How in the world did you become a manager. How are you in charge of leading people and not just one or two. I mean 50 or 60 people and I was flabbergasted daily. You remember those days.

[00:10:55.670] - Gene
I do. They were stressful because you cried a lot. But I I've been through this too. I mean mine was a little bit different. I've I respected this manager but the way they showed up had no regard for the company growing and moving forward. It was just a place for them to kind of I was more like a hobby than it was anything else and I say clueless because it really did feel like I'm pushing forward the business harder than the owner of the business was. And it really. Really allowed me to reflect on what kind of boss I wanted to be in this whole thing and I wanted to be the exact opposite.

[00:11:35.380] - Amanda
Absolutely. But I think in that situation I mean she actually had personal shoppers coming in. She had no clue literally what was going on in the day to day.

[00:11:44.860] - Gene
She she said she did but she was just checked out the most of it. You know it's hard to get that kind of work done in a couple of hours. It was a small operation. I grew a lot because I was forced to think self which was good for me because I had that drive but it really is just as clueless bosses is. The people that you really have no respect for.

[00:12:06.970] - Amanda

[00:12:07.270] - Gene
Is that fair?

[00:12:07.880] - Amanda
Absolutely. But in my case I mean he was smart in a certain way. But he would ask questions of me and meetings or of anybody and everybody was just staring at him and you could tell that they were like. Kind of an idiot here and I felt really bad but at the same time I eventually just had to start saying hey this is how it is. This is this is the decisions that we need to be making this is the direction that we need to be taking. And he actually asked me in the exit interview if I had listened to you would would you be leaving. And I said. Probably not.

[00:12:42.150] - Amanda
At least not now.

[00:12:43.290] - Gene
Well I'm thinking about this right now and we could put this together. We we talked about stories that could fit along with it and we we picked two personal stories here because. We thought you could relate to them but also we we left both those jobs so we quit. And that really drives into you know you want to make sure you pay attention to this clueless boss character if you will because it will impact your employee retention.

[00:13:11.910] - Amanda
I will actually say that this particular boss situation that I was talking about the turnover there was enormous. I mean it was a constant churn of employees in and out in and out in and out some roles. Obviously a lot more than others but it was like you you almost got to the point where you didn't want to invest in getting to know somebody new because you knew that they'd be gone within you know six months at the most.

[00:13:39.500] - Gene
Let's hold up here for a second because we're talking about these types of workers that are hurting your employee retention if you want to be a better manager and you want to really create the kind of leadership that people admire then you want to have a simple framework that we've developed over a few years of working with leaders that will help you increase the employee retention. We call it the stay framework.

[00:14:00.770] - Amanda
Absolutely. And this framework is super easy and it's super easy to implement and use every single day with your employees because again at the end of the day you want to keep them. So we have boil this down to one page one simple page you can just easily implement. So sign up and get it below.

[00:14:19.820] - Gene
There is one thing in there that we have seen that almost every manager is leaving out. They don't even know to include it. They're actually opposed to it but the power of this one little thing that's inside there that takes about five minutes is really a game changer when it comes to employee retention.

[00:14:37.580] - Amanda
Absolutely. I mentioned it when I spoke at a conference recently and it was just profound to everybody in that audience. So if you want to get the framework to help you retain your employees be sure to go to and download that today. All right. So the third type of employee that is chilling your retention. It is the loafer.

[00:15:07.300] - Gene
The loafer is the person we all know that tries to seem like they're working. But they're never really getting anything done.

[00:15:14.380] - Amanda
Yeah. They are doing the bare minimum in order to survive in order to continue to collect that paycheck. And it's really frustrating for everybody else because they're actually having to pick up the slack because you know this person didn't get things done on time or they're wondering around the office drinking coffee and talking to people. And what are they actually doing. What are they actually accomplishing. It's fascinating.

[00:15:38.710] - Gene
Everyone knows that social butterfly. And they seem to never be really doing the work that they're supposed to be doing. I don't know how when a manager sits down with that person that they can actually. You know not just find them on the spot.

[00:15:52.860] - Amanda
I think what it is is a lot of times they're able to hide. They're able to find themselves into situations with managers who are not having these. Constant conversations about what's going on. How can we help you.

[00:16:07.050] - Gene
Well this reminds me of a story that I was involved in the company that went through a merger and you bring over two cultures and they combined together and that happens from time to time. And in this case this this founder was talking about you know bringing over a group of people that just didn't seem to fit and those people were told to to really operate in a different way than what they were used to. And it really taught cause a lot of them to just kind of switch off and so they just collected a paycheck.

[00:16:40.980] - Gene
They showed up day in and day out. They were at the meetings they were supposed to be at. Everything looked from the surface like they were doing what they're supposed to be doing. But we both know the truth. They were just loafing around.

[00:16:52.350] - Amanda
Oh absolutely. I mean you know I have. Plenty of stories about this. You know whether it's my own personal work history or dealing with companies that I've worked with. But one stands out in my mind and this person wandered around drank coffee checked Facebook regularly. I mean constantly was updating Facebook or social media and it was just it was fascinating because everybody knew who this person was and loved it when they stopped by and chatted for a minute. But at the end of the day what did this person actually accomplish. I'm still baffled by that.

[00:17:29.070] - Gene
So we're talking about employee retention. I want to be clear you want the loafer to leave.

[00:17:35.010] - Amanda
I was so frustrated with the loafer.

[00:17:39.860] - Gene
But that's exactly the reason why you need to be tuned into this because. That kind of person that loafer is driving others away if you don't have a high enough standard for the work then others won't take the whole job very seriously and they'll be looking for a place where they can can really be a self starter that can really be appreciated for doing the work and they want to be surrounded by others that are doing the work.

[00:18:05.310] - Amanda
Absolutely I mean this the low four wheel drive away you're eight players. Absolutely. They can't stand to see this. And so you know a players want to work with other players not with loafers. Got to lose the low.

[00:18:22.600] - Gene
All right so let's go into number four because it is this is a fun one. We had to put it in there because it happens from time to time. I think you've had more experience with this.

[00:18:32.930] - Amanda
I have.

[00:18:34.150] - Gene
But the fourth type of employee that is killing your employee retention is the hired. That one person that flies off the handle way too quick. They they really overexaggerate certain things. And I'll be cleared here. You want them to leave too. But you also want to make sure that you're creating a place and employee experience where these people don't exist.

[00:18:58.870] - Amanda
Absolutely. I mean for one in this day and age we need to you know employees sense of safety needs to come. It's paramount to everything else. And in certain situations these hotheads can get pretty extreme and can make you feel unsafe. Now I worked with a certain hothead and we found ourselves always walking on eggshells around this person constantly tiptoeing Oh how is he going to react to this. And you know some situations he would be great. In other situations it would just explode. One day he actually threw a chair in a conference room up against the window it bounced back and almost hit somebody.

[00:19:40.660] - Amanda
But that was actually the day that myself and a few other people decided we were out but cause of this hothead.

[00:19:47.500] - Gene
The one of the number one factors of team success is psychological safety. This comes from the air startle work at Google. It's done with many times over with companies looking at this. So creating a place where this hothead doesn't survive doesn't the last is a really important part of your leadership.

[00:20:07.870] - Amanda
Absolutely. And you know it really is up to the leaders to recognize this kind of behavior and nip it in the bud. Move that person out. This is not something that you want to continue because other people are. Are constantly thinking about. I've got to go. I've got to get out of here. I can't continue to work with this person.

[00:20:30.850] - Gene
All right. Number five I think this one's the hardest two to really get your head around but it is a game changer when you think about this. If you value your culture then this is the type of person that you must let go of. Number five is the toxic superstar. Yes. We we all have probably work with people that have rubbed us the wrong way but they were good at what they did.

[00:20:57.280] - Amanda

[00:20:58.660] - Gene
I had a client once where we were sitting around with the CEO and the CEO of this small company about 30 people and we were talking about you know give me the name of two people that really give you frustration as a leader.

[00:21:13.780] - Gene
Well, two ladies came up the names came up I won't share the names but one of them cried all the time. And I get it. Like you don't want to have these conversations and it seems to me daily that she was crying and I asked why was she crying. Well that gets us back into number two which is the toxic superstar in this in their world. She was a high performer she was. She was in recruiting. She was really able to do the work of two to three employees.

[00:21:41.470] - Gene
Which is impressive. But if it comes at the cost of her being toxic and driving others away because it was truly what I listed through how many people had she drink driven away it was like four in the last like three four months really a very expensive decision to keep that high performer on.

[00:21:58.900] - Amanda
Absolutely. And not only that. Let's be very clear she was specifically named in exit interviews as this person is the reason I'm leaving.

[00:22:07.660] - Gene
I got I asked details because I was curious about this and there were some expletives that were discussed about how she showed up. There was also the fact that she lied to to get work and she would work extra hours on the weekend to cover this up. This toxic superstar is seducing in the sense that they are performing at a higher level than others but it is at the cost of the culture. You as the leader or a manager has to really make some hard decisions because. It is hurting your employee retention.

[00:22:40.900] - Amanda
Absolutely. And just think about the team or the people in her environment. I mean they are constantly thinking about I've got to get another job. I've got to get out of here because you know this is not an environment that they want to spend eight hours a day and plus. Every single day.

[00:22:59.830] - Gene
So these are the five types of employees that are hurting your employee retention. We went through this. We want to have fun with you because you probably got some of these in your workspace right now.

[00:23:10.760] - Amanda

[00:23:11.460] - Gene
And I want you to think about this. You. Sit down maybe make a jot a few names down you know where do they fit in this. And are they really hurting the employee experience overall. And are they truly costing people to lead the company.

[00:23:26.410] - Amanda
Absolutely. And I think that when you're really honest about this and you really start thinking about the different people that would fall into these five categories. It might scare you a little bit. Honestly.

[00:23:40.770] - Gene
So you may be thinking about what do you do with all this because this is not our traditional episode where we're interviewing people and this is not your traditional episode where we're giving you the step by step because what we wanted to let you know this we've created through a partnership a training about employee retention and it really is something I'm really proud of. It comes along with the stay framework that we've mentioned that stay framework will help you be a better leader tomorrow. You can literally Download it today and use it in your next conversation and you will see impact right away.

[00:24:13.630] - Amanda
Absolutely, this is something that we have put together through trial and error over the years working with. Our own company working with other companies and really seeing what are these managers and leaders that are the highest performers that have melded together a team that is just trucking along and is just super efficient and really seems to just go at it every single day. What are they doing so what are some of their best practices. So we have pulled them together and let me tell you some of these are ridiculously easy. And it is shocking to me every single day when I see leaders and managers not doing this and then yet they're also complaining I can't keep my people.

[00:24:58.180] - Amanda
Well here is the answer and it is super easy. The Stay framework can be downloaded at

[00:25:06.190] - Gene
Well that wraps up this episode really excited to be able to share this work with you to come together with my beautiful wife. I really have a lot of respect for what she's done in the corporate world and really wanted to share something with you because I feel like you could be the leaders that you really wanted to be by understanding these types of employees. But more by getting that stay framework so make sure you go ahead do that.

[00:25:29.350] - Amanda
Absolutely. And of course join us for the free training that we will be doing along with that and we'll be including our partners velocity global. So thank you again for joining us. And we will see you in the next episode.

[00:25:41.250] - Gene
As always lead with courage.

[00:25:43.510] - Amanda
Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of The Next Generation rock stars where we have discussed all about recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case don't keep me a secret. Share this episode with the world but really share it with your friends with your colleagues because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward.

[00:26:24.470] - Amanda
Now of course I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

NextGen Featuring AlanCherry

Alan Cherry: Company Culture is More Than Beer in the Fridge

Employee development pays long term dividends. However, most companies only focus on developing employees at certain levels. Learn how creating a culture where developing employees at ALL levels can change an entire community.

Alan Cherry is the Director of Human Resources at rPlanet Earth. Human Resources Executive with over 25 years of global Human Resources experience gained in Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific. Serial start-up offender and car guy who loves working in high-technology, automotive and manufacturing industries.

He is also the Senior Director of Human Resources at Tesla Motors. He built the HR and facilities functions from scratch. Today there is a team of 20+ full-time recruiters, global mobility capability, a solid Compensation and Benefits function with expert Employee Relations capabilities and a comprehensive Facilities and Construction department.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Company Culture is More Than Beer in the Fridge

Welcome to the next generation Rock Stars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent or you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: Welcome to today's episode up Next Generation Rock Stars. We are featuring Alan Cherry who is the head of HR and a company called rPlanet earth, which is doing some phenomenal things for the environment. I'm really excited for you to hear all about them, but not just the environment as a whole. Actually rPlanet earth is doing some really cool things too in a very disadvantaged part of la where they are based, where their plant is based. Uh, so you'll definitely have to check that out. But one of the things that Alan and I talked about was his experience being in HR for some major startup companies, companies like Tesla just to name one that have really built cultures and he's played a major and pivotal role in building these cultures of working with really smart, talented people.

Amanda Hammett: But also what is that like and how do you find that? So he talks a lot about, about company culture. He talks a lot about some, maybe some red flags for you, younger listeners who are looking at getting a new job or your very first job. But he also talks about leaders and what they need to know and how they need to build their own skillset so that they can really get and retain that top talent and actually how to motivate that talent and keep them moving forward. So check out this episode. I think that you are going to love it. Alan is just a wonderful, wonderful guests. Um, and yeah, to see you at the end.

Amanda Hammett: Hey, this is Amanda Hammett and this is the next generation rockstars. And today I have a super special guest. I have Alan Cherry of our planet earth. Alan, welcome to the show.

Alan Cherry: Thank you so much. I'm delighted to be here.

Amanda Hammett: Well, wonderful. Wonderful. So Alan, I have already given a little bit of an intro to you leading into this, but why don't you tell the audience a little bit about yourself?

Alan Cherry: So I'm a long time a HR professional who's worked been fortunate enough to work for a number of the very smart companies. I've always chosen to follow a product or a passion as I think you just are more motivated when you do that. So I've worked for companies that have been part of fortune's 500 great places to work. I like Greek cultures. I like great people. I like working with smart and talented individuals.

Amanda Hammett: Fantastic. Well wonderful. Don't we all like working with smart and talented in jury trials.

Alan Cherry: Whenever possible. Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: It makes the world a little bit easier. All right. So, since you are in the position of really helping a company shape their culture by bringing in their people, why don't you share with us a little bit about your general ideas around company culture? Like what are you, what are you looking for? What are you looking to shape and learn each time?

Alan Cherry: So I think with company culture there is no magic one that you wave and you have a beautiful culture. I think it's the actions and behaviors of every individual every day that makes the culture. So when you, when you're in a startup, as I have been in many companies and I am here and there's, you know, five guys around the kitchen table talking about what we're interested in, it's at that point that you get them to align with the ideas that building a culture is about finding individuals one by one and telling them a story, getting them to buy into a vision of what we're trying to create. And finding people that share your values, people that share your passion because you, as you grow, you're never going to be in a position where you can totally control the culture. If you think about it, every time you double the amount of people you have, that's half as many people again, who don't share the original culture of the founding five.

Alan Cherry: So you keep doubling the numbers. You have to have people that actually buy into it and are aligned with it and we'll pass it on. So it becomes a kind of self propagating a deal here. And that's what we're looking for. We are hiring individuals with a similar mindset, you know, and it can be as dumb as, you know, people who pick up trash on the way and people who shut the door, people who treat each other respectfully. People who just want to be part of something special.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah.

Alan Cherry: And then elevate their game in order to do that. And that is what builds a culture. It's not about giving free snacks or buying company lunches. That's not the culture at all three, you know? So I think it's a very much down to the individuals that you hire. And if you bring in the right quality, the right talent, they will create the culture for you.

Amanda Hammett: Fantastic. All right. So that's really some interesting things that you had to say about company culture. I love that because I think so many people are wrapped up in this idea of I need to provide ping pong tables and beer in the fridge and things like that. And that's fine if that's what you want, but it's not about that. It's about that.

Alan Cherry: It wasn't that proven in the great crash of 2001 where all these startups and incubators had as you say, pool tables and beer in the fridge and no business, you know, I mean you have to start with a good business plan, a good idea. You have to have individuals that can talk to the story and then people join because they believe in what you're doing and they're passionate about it. That's what makes great business performance. Not beer in the fringe.

Amanda Hammett: I agree wholeheartedly. So let's talk a little bit about your ideas around um, developing and leading next generation talent. I mean you, you spend a lot of time in the trenches and the looking at recruiting and looking at bringing in those people. So what is your idea around that? How do you see that for a company?

Alan Cherry: So the, what we practice here and what we talk about here is that learning and development is available to everyone. It doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter what job you do. I work closely with the managers every day to ensure the messaging that's going out to the employees is that everybody can learn, everybody can grow and there are opportunities to build a career plan and to get the development to that you're seeking in order to get a more responsible job and to move on in that way. So, you know, a lot of people only think about exempt professional employees when they think about learning and development. And that's just not there in my mind, the right way to go about it. You know, we have people here who are, you know, Allie Page sweepers and cleaners and we get good retention because we give them an opportunity to learn and grow an opportunity to, you know work up to a forklift driver to go from a forklift driver to a machine operator to go from a machine operator to a supervisor or a lead to get some professional help. In terms of developing your relationship skills, how do you build a team? How do you motivate employees? You know, pretty basic skills, you might argue, but a lot of people, you know, they didn't go to school and didn't go to university like the professional people, but they still want to learn. And I think we, we feed that beast.

Amanda Hammett: Right. Well, I mean just to your point, their eyes on, you know, the differences between people that went to university and that didn't, you know, some of the people that did go to university, they may have learned some of those management and leadership skills, but actually putting them into practice I have found sometimes is a, there seems to be a block there.

Alan Cherry: Absolutely. No, I mean I, some of the worst managers I've seen have been the most educated, you know, so it's, it's not a question that education makes the person and they're all you know, popped out like great managers. They think they're great managers because they've got an MBA. Actually they're horrible managers because they haven't got any of the soft skills that I would value. Yes. I think that management is a, you know, is a contact sport. It's really about getting in close, talking to people, building relationships and coaching them, coaching such an underrated you know, a skill. People tend to think that you're going to do some fancy a, you know, career planning and you're going to talk about sending people on a program. And really 99% of what you learn is on the job day to day, being coached and on and actually understanding the value of what you're doing. It's not about going on a program.

Amanda Hammett: I couldn't agree with that more. I think that that's a really valuable and valid point there. Oh gosh, I have so many things that I, now I'm all like, oh, I need to ask

Alan Cherry: What was interesting. Let's talk about that. The important thing here is to say that, you know, what we're trying to do here and it's the first time for me is to do something very different with a whole range of people that typically a lot of, uh, you know, high tech professional HR people don't really come into contact with, which is that are, you know, that our array of people from the very lowest level, you know, cleaner sweeper kind of person up to the professional leaders and to try and be a beacon in the community for doing things better. You know, we're in a very disadvantaged area here. You know, typically we wouldn't be the kind of company with the kind of jobs that you would see in this area. And so we're trying to prove that it's possible to do the, you know, the holy grail of being successful in business with a great culture that treats people properly and that we believe everybody will respond to that message saying, we're working with the local community association, we're working with homeboy industries who have previously incarcerated people and they just like everybody else want to actually do better. They want to learn and grow and they want to build a career. So we're offering something that's very, very different in this area to a range of people. When we found that the take up, the interest, the passion is there across the board.

Amanda Hammett: I agree. So what I want to point out and for the audience here is that our planet earth is actually located in an area of La that is, you know, disadvantage. It's not the, it's not the, you know, palm tree lined streets that when you think of La that you think of, I mean, this is a very disadvantaged area. This is the socioeconomic area is just

Alan Cherry: Not immigrants. Second generation immigrants who are very close to poverty, a number of people sleeping on the streets. You know, this is, this is, this is not the high tech Silicon Valley areas that you see on the, in the press every day or on the news. But we're fighting a different battle here, but it's one that we've chosen to, to take on one that I believe we're winning.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. So I'd like for you to share with the a little bit more. And you and I had a previous conversation about this and I just, I love what you're doing. Um, so I would like for you guys to share with us, you know, what, what is the whole idea around recruiting? How are you guys going about making a shift in that, in that area? And not just a shift economically in that area, but also in the people that live in that area. How are you affecting?

Alan Cherry: We're basically reaching out to a lot of different people in many different walks of life. And my belief is that there's no one single program that will bring you all the people that you need. So we do work closely with the local community association. We do work with homeboy industries. We put banners on the side of our building. We do all the basic stuff that would, uh, you know, attract hourly pay people who are not looking on, you know, one of the social media sites to find their next position. So that's where we get our kind of a more basic level people. Then we also talk to the a recruitment agents. We have a group of recruitment agents that work very closely with us who have been to the plant to done a tall, they understand our positions, they understand our culture, they know the kind of talent that we're looking for.

Alan Cherry: And then right up to the more senior professionals, the professional engineers, um, and the leadership positions, we work either with agencies or we would post positions ourselves. We run on an interesting website that explains our business, explains after philosophy. And I think that's where the connection comes. And you do find that everybody, you know, from the very lowest level, right the way through. We'll have access to a computer these days. We'll find our website and we'll read what we've written and they'll buy into the vision that we're doing something good for the community. We're doing something good for the environment. It's a job that even if even at the lowest level is satisfying because you understand the vision of the company, you know, removing all the plastic from the oceans and removing plastic from landfill, giving people an opportunity to have end to end closed loop recycling where in essence a used bottle can become a new bottle again is something that will change the way that we recycled plastic and the way we think about plastic. So that's really the vision that we sell and it resonates with people.

Amanda Hammett: And it sounds like it resonates with people at all levels.

Alan Cherry: Yeah. Right across the board you'll find, you know, almost everybody has a story. You know, very often I get some guy comes in, he's going to be a, you know, a machine operator and I'm talking to him about why he's interested and he says, my daughter says we have to do this. And then that's the truth. You know, maybe some of the older people that we have don't quite get it, but certainly their family doesn't, their kids do. And the kids have told them, you should do that. It's really important, and that's really, it's the truth. It is really important. And what we wanted to do in HR is to make it important, not just because of the passion and the vision of the company and the business success, but also because we can be this beacon in the community and we can prove that you don't have to have dirty low paying jobs just because it's a tough area. You can bring a progressive professional environment into this area and be successful in business and give people the opportunities they deserve.

Amanda Hammett: That's amazing. So let me ask you this question. When you're interviewing or when you're looking to bring in someone new at any level and they're considered young talents, so 30 and under, What is it that really stands out to you? Is there a specific character trait? Is there a specific skill set? I don't know that you're looking at that makes you go, that person's going to be a rock star and they're going to be very successful here?

Alan Cherry: Yeah. I think you know, whether it's a millennial or anybody else, there's, there's this, the similar kind of themes that play here. You know, I really liked to talk to somebody that has a plan, somebody that's thoughtful about why they're picking the companies they're working for, why they're picking the managers that they're going to be working closely under. You know, why are they picking this company? Because it has learning and development because it has a good culture because it has a good vision. You know, we're looking for that energy, that passion, that thoughtfulness. And I think they're on a trajectory that you can see all the way through their career. You know, they didn't just do a, this school and this type of education because it was kind of fun. They did it because they thought about it and they knew where it would fit in as part of the building block of their career.

Alan Cherry: And so when they go to take their first or second and the third job, you can see that they're mindful of where they're headed and they're confident of their approach. I also like to see a little humility. You know, one of the biggest things that trips people up is arrogance. You know, people who are, they have a great education. They're definitely on a great trajectory, but they're not right for us if there are arrogant and not right for us if they think just deserved, you know, we want people to still have that little bit of hunger, have that passion, have that burning in their eyes that they're looking for something and they're appreciative of the opportunity. And they know they have to prove themselves.

Amanda Hammett: That's fantastic. I really do agree with that. Arrogance is the downfall of some of the greatest people in the world or, you know, so

Alan Cherry: Let me know if you, if you're comparing cultures, you know, you can see, you know, cultures build and grow and do excellent work at attracting and retaining and making performance. And you can see, uh, you know, other cultures that completely, squash that. And he's normally where you have very strong, very aggressive, you know, arrogant leaders who basically pushed down on the people and they believe poor performance is gained, you know, by the stick rather than the carrot. And it's been pretty well proven that yeah, you can get some short term gains if you Talenti but you're not going to do it long term. People will figure it out and they'll go and work somewhere else. And I think the thing that I'm really thankful for millennials for is that they basically pushed back on that kind of management and background of the company and they've said, no, we're actually, we're not purely, you know, driven by money. We're actually looking for satisfying careers in companies that are trying to make a difference in the environment. We want to do better for the world. And it can be accused of being a little soft, but I don't think that's anything near as bad as being a little too hard. So I'll take a little soft every time. Thank you.

Amanda Hammett: Thank you, Alan Cherry, that was quite an endorsement from you. Um, so let's, let's talk a little bit about this and you, you kind of alluded to this in the last answer that you gave, but I would imagine through your career you've been at multiple startups, you've been at some wonderful companies. But I would imagine that you have witnessed and experienced on your own some other different forms of leadership, different styles of leadership and how did that actually shape your vision of the kind of culture you want it to help create and also your own leadership style?

Alan Cherry: Yeah, I've seen some, I mean, at a certain point you, you turn around in your career maybe when you're like mid career and you think, well now I've worked for four or five companies, I've seen a range of different cultures and management styles and I've seen varying degrees of business success. And you start to, if you're thoughtful, put together, where would I like to work? What would be my perfect company if I had that dream to do whatever I wanted? And you're playing off usually between business success and a great culture. And it's almost as though people tell you those things are binary and you can't have both. I'm a bit of a dreamer and I do believe you can have both. You know, I don't want to work for a great company that's totally unsuccessful, but neither do I want to work for a totally successful company that's miserable to work for.

Alan Cherry: I think you've got to find that happy balance in the middle. And I think with the right leadership and the right employees and the culture that you're building, you know, one employee at a time, then I think you do create that culture that is both a driven, a successful business, successful company with a great culture does treat people well. It doesn't mean you give people an easy ride or a free ride. We're not saying that at all. We're actually saying you're going to get challenged every day. You're going to get pushed to do more. You're gonna get driven to sign up the bigger responsibilities and to do more with your life and your career. But we're not, you know, we're not going to relent at all on that side because that's what leads to great business success. And we're looking for people that stay the course, not people that come in and do nine months and then quit. We want people that will stick with us. We want people that are in this for the long haul and they'll seek, seek out the kind of companies that have that longer term vision and they'll be successful and they'll stay with those companies and they will learn and grow and they will develop much better skills and have more satisfaction.

Amanda Hammett: So let me ask you this, and this just totally popped in my head when you were talking. What is your take on failure at work?

Alan Cherry: So I mean, failure is it, that's like saying, you know, what are your weaknesses? You know what I mean? And we turned weaknesses and we say that there are no weaknesses. There's only development, you know. And this, the same with failure. Failure. Usually a council, it could be business failure or it could be failure of a personal nature and is okay, use good. If you, if you learn from it you can go to a startup. And I've been at a startup that had a great vision. It had a great product, had incredible technology, but it was technology chasing a market and the market didn't really exist. So we were kidding ourselves and telling ourselves how wonderfully clever we are on we're to develop this product, to have this technology, have all these smart people. But really we were diluting ourselves because there was no market there.

Alan Cherry: So the learning was great. You know, you can be as smart as you like. It doesn't matter if there's no market for what you're selling, you'll never be business successful. You know, this is like the difference between if you're old enough to remember Betamax and DHS, you know, in the different a recording systems, you know, Betamax was actually a much better system, technically much better, more advanced than VHS. But it didn't when VHS won because the market wanted achieve the lighter, softer, more available system. And so once again, you know, the learning comes through every time that you have to have alignment with everything that you're doing. So an individual can learn and accompany can learn. And when you choose the place that you work, when you choose the, uh, the company with a product or a technology, you have to ask yourself that question because it will obviously influence everything you do when you get to that company.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. So let me ask you this. What would you say has been the biggest influence or shifts that you've seen in the workforce as these younger generations have come on as millennials have come in and now we're starting to see genex come into the workforce? What shifts and changes are you seeing?

Alan Cherry: So I think there is a shift in terms of, as we've kind of alluded to earlier, that, uh, you know, you see the younger people come in and on one hand, one side, they're exactly the same as every other generation. And there's a bunch of really smart ones as a bunch of really hard working ones. There's some people that are still finding their way and there's some people that have given up. And that's the same in every generation. I think the, the millennials and the gen x people have started to shift the world a little in that they're pushing back on some of the accepted ways of working which were very old school where, you know, you have to come in on this hour and you have to leave at that hour. You can't really do anything else unless you come to work. You know, working from home means you're a slacker.

Alan Cherry: I think those notions are changing dramatically where, I don't know what the latest number is, but I think they said something like 60% of people work at home at some time during during the month or the week nowadays. And I think that is a much greater degree of freedom for people. And I think you'll find, not that they will abuse it, but they will actually respect it and perform better because of it. Whether they're able to raise a child, whether they're able to take a job with a longer commute because they don't have to go every day, you know, it gives so much more flexibility to the workforce. Then also we would thank that those new generations for pointing out that you know, satisfying, meaningful work that actually is valuable to the community and the environment and the world is actually a really, really good thing. And people will be so much more passionate and hardworking about it rather than just taking a job that pays well.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah, absolutely. And it's not a, it's not a pipe dream. It actually can be reality.

Alan Cherry: And actually the, once again, the two things come together. If you find something that's really meaningful to you, you work hard at it, you're successful on it. And guess what? The world likes it as well. They buy it and we're all successful. So you can have both sides of the house. It doesn't have to be business success or a great culture. It can be both.

Amanda Hammett: I agree with that. I agree wholeheartedly. So what I see a lot of leaders struggle with is making that connection. They may be at a company, that has a great vision and is doing good in the world, but they're having a hard time making those connections for some of their employees that maybe aren't on the front lines and doing the cool innovative things. They may be, you know, sweeping the floor or you know, doing payroll or something that's maybe not quote unquote exciting and innovative, but they're having a hard time making connection as to why that's important. So what would you say to a leader who's struggling with that?

Alan Cherry: So again, it's really back to the, the fact that it's, you know, talking to the individuals every day in every way. You know, management is not an end of year writing of the review. And I'm a manager, no management does every day in every way. And it's, it's a, it's like gardening, you know, you want, you have to wait and feed every day. You can't just go and do the garden. We do weeding on once a month. It doesn't work like that, you know? And I think that's what good leaders do. Good leaders know. They have to, build a relationship with that. People they have to, you know, before they tell them something, they have to ask some questions. You know, what's going on in your life, where are you today? How are you feeling? You know, because we all live arrange of different lives. You know, where the worker, where the, where the father, where the sun, where whatever, you know, there's tons of different pieces to our world and we don't all show up every day completely brimming with passion. And that's not the reality of it. Sometimes we needed a little pick me up. Sometimes we need you to put an arm around my shoulder. Sometimes I need a little bit of a kick to get me going. You know? And all those things are the right answer at the right time.

Alan Cherry: So I think the good managers, good leaders, they take that responsibility and they explained to people that, you know, they, they look at the bread crumbs and they joined the dots for them to show that, hey, you might be a sweep for today, but do you realize if you did that job really well in three months, you might get the next job, which would be a forklift driver. And then you're taking the bales of used plastic and you're putting them into the recycling so that we can grind them up and we can make them into new plastic structures, which means we don't have to bury them in the ground or throw them in the ocean. That's why it's important.

Alan Cherry: You can make those connections that every level with every different job. And I think the good managers will engage their employees. You know, I mean an engagement and motivation are very different. You know, I can beat you with a stick and tell you you're motivated to do the job, but if I engage you, you do that yourself. You provide the motivation and it's worth three x me motivating you. And that that's where the good managers go. Yeah. Hey, sweeping the streets in whatever is maybe not the most exciting job, but it has a career element to it. Think about the skills that you could learn. You know, we would send, we send our people at that level, they go on English training, so they're going to basically develop their language skills so they can be more effective in the workplace. You know, there are a lot of things you can learn. They come to our toastmasters club and learn how to communicate better. You know? So yeah, maybe the cleaning and sweeping and driving forklifts, but they're still doing some skill building which will be useful in the future.

Amanda Hammett: I love that. And you know, one of the things that I think that Millennials have done a good job as really pushing back on that leadership style. Because when I early in my career join the workforce, I worked for Fortune 50 Company and the leadership style was very much like, you do this because I told you to do this. There was no guiding, there was no coaching, there was no nothing. It was just get it done. I don't care how it happens, just do it. And so now I think that that's one of the things that Millennials have done is they have really pressed that issue and required managers to grow from just get it done to actually empathetic heart more heartlab like we're human to human connecting here at at work and this is what we need to do to accomplish a goal together as a team.

Alan Cherry: Absolutely. If you hire the right people, then a good manager, a good leader would never want to just tell you what to do because the, the, the trick of of leadership is I will tell you what needs to be done. Yes. But you to bring the creativity and the passion and the involvement into how it is done. Yes. And we can discuss the standard to which it will be finished and I think that's where the interest is and the young people that I work with or are so passionate and so hardworking and so enthusiastic about what we're doing and how it is impacting the world. They love coming to work in the morning and doing that whole, whether it's as you say, a payroll manager or a junior engineer or a technician, you see the same responsibility, the same pickup that you get in, in any level of work. And it changes the way we actually get business performance. And I don't think, you know, the old school manager who tells you what to do and tells you how to do it looks over your shoulder every five minutes to get anywhere near the same result that we see.

Amanda Hammett: I love that. So let me ask you this. What advice would you give for any young talent, any young employee or are actually for anybody for that matter, as you're looking at as they're looking at companies that are out there interviewing, they're looking for a new position. Are there any red flags that would just tell them, hey, that that culture is not great, that's going to be toxic. You're not going to be happy. Is there anything that just really stands out to you?

Alan Cherry: It's terrible. I think I, when I teach interview skills and I'm teaching my managers, I say to them, you know, I'll teach you all the skills and then at the end of the day, the most important thing I'm going to teach you is trust your gut. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't right? Yes. If the person is interviewing you, feels aggressive, feels controlling, discusses this is what you will do. This is how you will do it. You know, it's an automaton speaking, and I think that tells you far more than anything that they've actually told you. You know, the words they can say can mean anything, but the way that they say the relationship, even in an interview, that they build, the messages you got as you walk through the front door, as you talk to the receptionist, as you walk through the offices, as you sat down in the interview room, you're picking up signals all the way along do not ignore those signals. You will know if you're in a good company with good energy, you will know if it's a company that has a vision and a business that interests you, if you don't follow your passion is only going to be a job, right? And then you could be successful but not really successful. It'll never be satisfying and successful and therefore you'll never really get your dream job.

Amanda Hammett: All right. So Alan, what is your favorite leadership book of all time?

Alan Cherry: I didn't really have a favorite, but I liked sacred hoops, um, by Phil Jackson, which I, uh, I know nothing about basketball so I put my arms up there, but I liked the fact that he, he was able to take very strong minded individuals who, uh, extremely, uh, passionate veering into arrogant and basically show them that they would never achieve anything unless they could work with others and collaborate and build a vision together and then go execute. And that's the, an incredible metaphor for business in that you will never achieve anything if you think you're going to do it all on your own. You know, business is a collaborative sport. There is nothing we do here that an individual does completely on their own to be successful. They're always working in a team and they're always part of a successful company.

Amanda Hammett: Wow. I so I have nothing that I can add to that. So thank you very much Alan, for being here.

Alan Cherry: Thank you. It's been pleasure.

Amanda Hammett: Thank you. All right, audience. Thank you guys so much for joining Alan and I and we will see you in the next episode.

Amanda Hammett: Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rock Stars where we have discussed all about recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

NextGen featuring Horst Schulze

Horst Schulze: Excellence & Joining the Dream

In a world where "good enough" is the reality, learn how Horst Schulze, Co-Founder of the Ritz-Carlton, goes against the grain seeking out Excellence in each employee.

Schulze's professional life began more than 65 years ago as a server's assistant in a German resort town. Throughout the years he worked for both Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Hotels Corporation before becoming one of the founding members of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company in 1983. There Mr. Schulze created the operating and service standards that have become world-famous. His principles are both versatile and practical to leaders of every age, career stage, and industry.

Share the LOVE and TWEET about this episode.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Excellence & Joining the Dream

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: Hi, this is Amanda Hammett and on today's episode of the Next Generation Rock stars, we have Horst Schulze says he is the co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton. Now I think we all know and love the brand of the Ritz-Carlton. They are known for their excellence in everything they do, customer service, their food, their beverages, their rooms, they're beautiful properties, but it's not just excellence in those things. It's excellence all behind the scenes with the people that are there. A Horst actually walks us through how that idea of excellence was really brought into his life as a 14-year-old working as a busboy in a hotel and how he carried that with him and some lessons he learned along the way. But I think what you're really going to walk away from his horse ideas around developing people and learning those lessons and taking them on with you throughout your career. So join us for today's episode and take lots and lots of notes.

Amanda Hammett: Hi, this is Amanda Hammett with the next generation rockstars. And today I have a phenomenal interview for you. I Have Horst Schulze say, ah, he is here with us and he is going to tell us all about his ideas around leadership and developing next-generation talent. Horst, welcome to the show.

Horst Schulze: I'm glad to be here Amanda.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful. Wonderful. So I know a lot about you because I have this little book right here. Um, but I would imagine our audience may not know a lot about you, so why don't you share with us a little bit about yourself?

Horst Schulze: Well, it really starts when I left home when I was 14 and started working, I bought a hundred miles away, a hundred kilometers away, an awesome busboy in the best talent in the region. That's why a Honda phenomenon, Sabine from home, they're living with the kids in a dorm room and working and learning the business slowly and was quite lucky. That's why I refer to that time. I had a huge mentor at that time when I was very, and it's accessible to information very young. Do you understand? I was 14 and had a huge man that was the Maitre d of the hotel. He impacted my life dramatically.

Horst Schulze: In fact, the first day I met him, he said, now there by other kids who started the same day, no. Yeah, guys don't come to work to just work, come to work to create excellence. And that was kind of impact that mid traumatically throughout my life. Now at that time of went over my head, frankly that's not, and for by on one, what does excellence and washing dishes and dishes and cleaning floors. But however he kept on staying with that theme and he presented himself as a human being of excellence and work workout excellence. So you could sooner or later, after a couple of years working there, I could connect to that very clearly and could, you could feel it, you could see it. And he impacted my life and from down, I've worked in the top hotels in Europe. I mean truly you had that at the very best hotels in Europe and in Switzerland and France.

Horst Schulze: And hold on, hold American Lion, England, Germany. And then I came to the United States in 1964 worked, worked in San Francisco, Chicago, worked for Hilton or for Hilton, Dan Hyatt. And finally, when I worked for hired, I was, I started as a director of food and beverage for a hotel.

Amanda Hammett: Right.

Horst Schulze: They came director of rooms, became a general manager, regional vice president, over 10 hotels, a corporate vice president, 65 hotels. When somebody offered me to come to Atlanta and start a new hotel company, I was not very interested in that because I had my golden handcuffs and everything you want. But they kept on offering me the shop and slowly at Treme start developing what I would do with the new hotel company. That dream started to control my total, totally controlled by the vision. I started the job, gave up my, the handcuff and Arizona, all my friends and everything and moved to Atlanta to start a new hotel company. A year of that coming to Atlanta, we opened our first hotel, which turned out the Ritz-Carlton Bucket, which doesn't exist anymore. But that is the beginning and I live 20 years later, nearly 20 years later and Ritz Carlton had become the leading hotel company in the world. Absolutely. And many countries, four continents. That's my story.

Amanda Hammett: So I will say that when you do think of excellence, so you manage to thread that through the entire, the entire company.

Horst Schulze: Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful.

Horst Schulze: I think so as thing, so that was my whole purpose and I have and dismayed with deans and of course I'm new, the project and we all are, are the, are there is salt of influence of many, many people with a, with a major influenced by this gentleman and this gentleman, the Maitre d just hard us think excellence and not work more hours, but while your work, instead of painting a wall, pin the painting and that was kind of his mantra and, and you cannot help it, you're so young. You, you adopt some of it. And of course [inaudible] Ritz Carlton, that was the whole thinking. I could not, I saw him in front of me saying, create excellence.

Amanda Hammett: That's amazing. That's really amazing. How that one story of mentorship has shaped your life and the trajectory. So let's talk a little bit more about that. I would imagine that throughout your career that you've experienced, you know, other forms of leadership besides this one.

Horst Schulze: Yeah, sure.

Amanda Hammett: How did that go into helping your style of leadership that you would go on to develop?

Horst Schulze: Yeah, there are many people who have impacted me that way and I can look, and if you're lucky, you have got people who impact you. If you're lucky, you're dumb. And that's really it because the effect is we are a result of that. And it had some great leaders and I remember that the president of, of Higher Ed who was affable and what was fun was relaxed but didn't compromise who was, it was a friend. Right? But didn't, that didn't mean you compromise. I remember a gentleman by the name of Colgate homes, we'll absolutely be precise, communicated. It showed a future to our own, showed us why we do things, not just for the function of the day, but for results in the future, et Cetera, et cetera. So a lot of impacts. And I had a, a mentor I've been on right after I finished my apprenticeship as a young man and gender men who reminded me to, to, to come to work. Also asked a gentleman to act rides, to behave right, to, to understand your work in a place where a certain amount of certain type of customer comes to trust yourself to those people, et cetera. So different in pumps in different learning moments in life is what formed me. Right or wrong. That's who I am.

Amanda Hammett: Of course, of course. Well, fantastic. Now, especially on as you grew through your career, did you ever feel pressure from your bosses, maybe from a board when you were at the Ritz Carlton or any of those positions that you've held that you really had to focus on numbers and not on really, because the way I see it as you're developing people, did they want you more to focus on numbers and profitability versus just the people will do what they gotta do?

Horst Schulze: Just to curse of today. That curse exists forevermore. And, and what is a serious mistake that is for organizations, but your organization can tell and cannot have it, tell it your organization is pressured by investors, by Wall Street, et Cetera. So look at a dollar. Consequently, the organization measures and identifies success by the dollar, the mansion. There's the headquartered in Chicago and it's a hotel or a business. Doesn't matter what it is. I of course report to hotels or hotel thousand months of eight. How does Chicago headquarter evaluates the leadership in that hotel? Nothing but the bottom line.

Amanda Hammett: That's right.

Horst Schulze: And yet at the same time, if I'm down and the vape, I can really impact on that. But that bottom line by cutting and my services to the customer by not painting anymore, by not cleaning so much for taking the flowers away and so on. Sadly that's the same thing but, but excellence. That's the point about excellence. Excellence concentrates on the things that make money and not under money.

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Horst Schulze: That is the difference. And that's what I tried to show everybody. Let's concentrate on our product concentrate what the market ones and do that superior to the competition that infects, we'll create money on the end.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely.

Horst Schulze: And that's not how things are measured today.

Amanda Hammett: Unfortunately, you're correct. Yes, absolutely. So Horst what would you say the difference, because how long have you been working since you were 14 so quite a while. What would you say the biggest difference is that millennials have brought into the workplace.

Horst Schulze: You know, that is why in my opinion it's widely understood and I've worked with them. Now mind you, it's not that I'm applying to them. I work with them quite a while. The millennials ask the questions, which we would have liked to ask, but they're afraid to ask this, say the milling and said, what's in it for me? Yeah, we were wondering what's in it for me. We would have liked to know, we would have liked to ask the question of why and the Millennials and says why. And you know, this is kind of fascinating, but because Adam Smith of course, who rode belts of nations 300 years ago, when you wrote another boom of which incidentally was more proud and in that book he studied the human being and he came to the conclusion 300 some years ago, came to the conclusion that human beings cannot relate to all this and direction. Yet what do we do? We give orders and direction. He said, human beings can relate to objective and motive and that's what the animal in its want to know. What's the reasoning, what's the more devoted and what's in it for me? So it really is not new. It's only newly expressed and we're not used to it. I all leadership like me, I'm not used to, we're not used to it. All of a sudden the young person comes in and says, why? So what? What's in it for me? We would have liked to sentencing, the same thing, but we were afraid.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. I agree with that answer wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedly.

Horst Schulze: The other things, of course, the medallions, it as a market, as a customer, the millennial, it's, it's really the same thing. They mainly the millennials say, do it my way. [inaudible] do it my way. Nope, you're not your way. No, your way. The businesses way but I wanted my own way and we went also Ribet willing to subordinate two, the producers, what they produced to us missing too, even though we would have liked to have a different the millennials said I take the hamburger, but I won two slices of cucumbers on a sort of one.

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Horst Schulze: Do it my way. And that's really the differences and you can expand on that, but it's all the same.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. They, they very much appreciate that into individualized attention. Whether it's at work or whether it's as a guest. Absolutely. Exactly.

Horst Schulze: Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: You absolutely. Absolutely. So let me ask, how did this influence millennials coming into the workplace and coming in under you? How did that influence the way that you lead them?

Horst Schulze: Well, I had come to a conclusion much earlier anyway that, eh, I don't want people to come to in my organization to fulfill the function. [inaudible] I want them to join my tree, my objective. In other words, I was almost willing to go higher, join me. And that's what the and then that millennials want to do, but have the knowledge what that chosen. But or because organizations still say, join me and then they say, go to work and, and make the speech about we are a team. [inaudible] we are a team. That is, it is ridiculous team speech. But a team is a group of key people who have a common objective. Yeah. And that's what a millennial wants to know. What's the objective?

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Horst Schulze: And, but the boss says, we're a team here. No, go to work.

Amanda Hammett: Yes, do what I said.

Horst Schulze: You know the team, unless you on the understand the objective and the motives of the organization, I always believed that because I grew up through the ranks.

Horst Schulze: I want you to know that I was up north. I was afraid to ask, but when I was started and Scott and I met very clear, I want people to join us. I wonder if you have an orientation maybe explained fully who we are, explained our three, invited them that showing the dream and then told him, told them our motive for this dream and connected our motive to death. For example, one the girl you want opportunity, we wanted to be on that. You want to be respected it Cetera, et cetera. So I didn't change my approach. I know that because it was deep in me and, and I said, boss, I look back. That came from, I came from being a busboy. I wrote as weight and as a coconut from this, I have done the work our employees do. I know the pain and I know the pleasure of it.

Amanda Hammett: All right, so you are, what I just heard is that you are a man way before your time.

Horst Schulze: No, I know I don't know what that, yes, I was probably a little bit before everybody, but then when many, I was not the only one. Let's understand that. But it's the course I grew up and I had the right influences. I was influenced by the right people and the head of the ride experience. I didn't fall through the ceiling one day and say, Hey, I liked those hotels. I'm the president of. I had worked myself through it. So I know the pain of the employees and I and it was very good. And some of my leaders in the past told me vaping and gentleman, but never cook home set, you know, employees who wanted to do the job do better work better than the ones that have to do a shop. Absolutely. So it's very symbol. So knowing that I have to look back and say, all right, how do you want to be a child? If you feel part of something you say it all is very simple. I also like the, I read the old philosophers and even our sense people, people in order to be fulfilled in life, have to have the excellence of purpose and belonged to that purpose. So why would I hire employees for the function? I hired them for the purpose and let them feel a part of it. Absolutely.

Amanda Hammett: So let me ask you since you just brought this up, let's, let's talk about this hiring process and the recruiting process. Yeah. I mean if you're hiring them for the dream, how do you communicate that through a job listing or how do you communicate that to them, to a wider audience of potential employees? How do you communicate this?

Horst Schulze: Probably to the listening part of it through the first and interview. Okay. To the first interview by the, and by the way, I'll say clearly I identified the processes clearly in my book how to do that. And uh, it is sort of the first interview, invite them to join an organization. Make it clear. Don't just come here to vogue, come here to join us to function, which you fulfill. I why? Why would I hire people? Trust for the function, right. Did, did come here to fulfill a function for its purpose to accomplish a certain goal, which is if you're creative leader, you determined if that objective, the long-term objective is good for all concerned is my objective, is my train good for the Organization of course. But the investments [inaudible] for the, for the customer, for the employee influence society as a whole. Once I determine this, my objective is good for all concerns. I build my systems so that everybody joins me in that objective. So a hire you for my objective, not the function because you see the chairman which was sitting is fulfilling a function. But I'm hiring human beings. Right? We know since Aristotle wants to be part of something. Yes. So I'm offering that on, of course, I made it very clear The function has to be fulfilled better than the competition fulfills it so that we can accomplish our dream.

Amanda Hammett: Right. Okay, that's wonderful. So let me ask you this. You obviously came up through the ranks starting as a busboy. Um, and, and I feel like I, I'm guessing here, I'm going to put words in your mouth for a second, but I would assume that you got a lot out of that development process. Coming up through the ranks and it has influenced who you've become as a leader, who you've become as, as a co-founder. It's influenced by everything. Yes. What would you say is the benefit today of starting at the bottom, at the busboy, at the whatever and working your way up? What would be, what would you say to someone today to try to a young person trying to tell them, hey, join us in this dream. I need you to start here.

Horst Schulze: Yes. Well, yes, I would show him, show him all have, obviously that is a Korea, no matter on what level you are going to start. It's quite simple. In fact that career [inaudible] it's a guarantee. It's a guarantee that we have a guarantee. Don't you have a current, a career? If you take any trip that you're in, I can give you examples of people that started as a dishwasher. There's one very close by over here. The manager ended in a Marriott over here, but you know in Atlanta. I remember when he was oriented in the first Ritz-Carlton. I was still running that hotel. He was a dishwasher, a refugee from Nairobi.

Amanda Hammett: Really?

Horst Schulze: It was a dishwasher, but what he did is exactly what I met my career. He was a little better than hours. We didn't come five minutes late. He came five minutes early, maybe ask them to do something. He didn't say, why me? He said, I'm happy to thank you for letting me doing et Cetera, and said, Ron, he was excellent in every shop they had soon after. He was excellent as additional sham, the room service manager, ours can. I have them work for me and it became the best room service with them and soon the banquet manager said, can I have them worked for me? Everybody wanted him because he was excellent at what he was doing. That's the story. That's the story. I, that's my story. I wrote as room service that in the Hilton in San Francisco when the cam first United States and I made the decision that I will be the best after I real. After somebody got promoted ahead of me and I realized that person is served at a little bit more than me. I came to work tired in the morning, sometimes five minutes late because I was young, was partying, and then I didn't get a promotion.

Horst Schulze: Now first as thought stupid management by didn't I get the promotion and to every few months. Of course, it taught me a few months to realize the other guy disrupted more. He said when he was told something, he didn't say, why me? Is that I'm happy to, and that's when I made the decision. I will be excellent and average shop category that I will ever have and I've consequently had a career just like eBay, the Manitoba, then the Marriott who was nothing but promote along because in every job he was excellent. He came to work to be excellent and not just fulfill the function. That was his decision. That decision can be made if you're a millennial or not a millennial.

Amanda Hammett: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I agree with that. I'm curious, how old were you when you were passed over for that promotion?

Horst Schulze: 24 I was a room service waiter.

Horst Schulze: It impacted my life. Totally impacted my life. I suddenly now no manual. I wanted that promotion. I didn't get it. Of course I knew it was the best waiter there, technically I was good when I was in a funny book up in the morning, but when you come in, come in every day and they look a little tired and sometimes you lead and the other, the other guys, every morning there are a few minutes early and says front the good morning. And that was a difference. And when I saw it, I saw something beautiful. I looked once I've taught me a few months mind you have called me a few months to overcome my ego, my ego, or in the stem, it's not me. Obviously, in about suddenly, I looked at my hand and there was a key to success. That's from now on. I'm going to create excellence now all of a sudden. And as so in front of me, my first made a deal saying to me, I told you, come to work for excellence. I saw him, I saw it in front of me and I said, this will never ever happen to me again.

Amanda Hammett: And it did. There you go. It was a wonderful learning lesson for you. Sure.

Horst Schulze: Hopefully we all have those lessons or we all have them. But if you recognize them or not, that's the question.

Amanda Hammett: That is the question. That is the thing. You have those opportunities to learn, but do you take it as a learning experience or do you take it as a, Oh, that's, that's not why.

Horst Schulze: Why not be planned? Somebody [inaudible] and player management, which I did for a few months. Of course, something that makes you feel bad that, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Amanda Hammett: No, it doesn't. It sure doesn't. So wonderful. I'm glad that you have that experience for sure. So, um, I think you've touched on this a little bit, but I want to really hammer this home, especially for our younger audience. What advice would you give an early career employee? Is it coming to work five minutes early or is it?

Horst Schulze: Well, it is so it's the same words. There's nothing different. If you're starting in your career, be excellent and what you're doing standout. I recommend this to my children. I have four daughters. I urge everyone to go to work five minutes earlier, be heavy. When you walked a road, make a decision. It was used to decide. Make a decision that you like to get shot. You know, today, half the people in the, in any given job go to work happy and the others are pretty happy.

Horst Schulze: What is it? It's a decision. It's not a feeling. Control your feelings. Make a decision as a chop protected. Be early, be happy if you have extra roping given, gives you a chance to learn this. Be Excellent today, every day for day. And you will get rewarded. The rewards will come. Oh, it takes much too long before somebody recognizes. I know it takes much longer, but it will be recognized. It will be rewarded. The rewards will come. The reward is in the future. And you're working for the future young people.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. I think that a lot of times it's hard to, I have been guilty of this myself as a young employee. You know, you see the frustration today. That's what you're living in is this today and it's hard. It is hard to look beyond that and say, okay, what it can be in six months.

Horst Schulze: Exactly. So yeah, exactly. And so it's so important to it. I'm, I'm at a point, once I had done the experience and for God's, the message from my first met with excellent, I infect them for years wrote and my on my mirror, their shape in the morning, go to work for excellence. I had to remind myself so that I wouldn't to live away from it. I had to manage myself. We have the manage, we have to be leaders of ourselves first before we are leaders of others and wait to be led by artists. The most important form of leadership is self-leadership. Lead yourself to excellence. Have a vision for yourself and commit yourself to implement the steps that get you there. And I'm focused on it that that is where the pain comes into focus in because you see, you find excuses, you find apologies that make you feel good for a moment but doesn't take you anywhere. The only division takes you somewhere. Have a vision for excellence.

Amanda Hammett: All right, I love that. I love that actually. So you know, if something popped up in my head when you were just talking just now, what would you advise someone who is, when you're looking to promote people, say you're looking to promote somebody to lead a team. What's more important to you that they are a rock star as an individual contributor or they understand they have a better understanding of how to lead people?

Horst Schulze: Well, I have a better understanding of how to lead people. However, contrary to what everybody says it, leadership can be learned. Leadership can be learned. Some people said that porn, it's not true. And there is, I have seen creatively the crib leaders that I touched on earlier, they had all totally different styles. It's not the style leadership is in my opinion, the understanding that the objective of the organization must be of excellence for all concerned.

Horst Schulze: If it lets out one, one of their constituencies, if you, if you will. It's not good leadership. I have to have to think if, if my company here is an objective for my company and if I do that as a, as a leader and set the objective and see something beautiful, it has to be beautiful. It's not something that you can do. It's something you wish to be. I said out before the first Ritz-Carlton, I came here, I took that job because I wanted to create the best hotel company in the world. Yes. That was my dream and when I hired people I said show me for that. There are some of the lovings of us. We don't even have a hotel you're talking about like that. But that's the dream. Once I understand this stream is good for all concerned, I want to underline that it's not a train for you only it's self-constraint.

Horst Schulze: No, it must be good for all concerned and then align your people behind it and hire people for it. Align everybody behind it. That's leadership to see something beautiful and how people on a journey to that destination help them and management is that to do what? To help them to get there but not compromise. You do not compromise. That's because of the moment that compromise if my vision isn't created one and good for Arkansas and soon the moment when a compromise, I'm going against everybody, I can't do that. Done my direction is clearly a set.

Amanda Hammett: That's wonderful. So I actually, I think that we should end on that note because you had so much wonderful, so many wonderful things to say about development and talent and excellence and of course excellent, right?

Horst Schulze: Yeah. In the book, [inaudible] all pretty clear how to go on a kind. Of course, I can not detail everything here, but I think it will be oh of volume for young people particularly.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for your time and thank you so much for being here.

Horst Schulze: Amanda, great to be with you.

Amanda Hammett: Thank you.

Amanda Hammett: Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rock stars, where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader, and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.