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Take charge of your own personal development. You may be doing that kind of passively, but really create a learning and development plan for yourself. Don’t wait for your boss to do it or someone in learning and development to give you a plan.
Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we help HR and business leaders embrace joy in the workplace. I’m JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink and Powered by Purple Ink. With me is my friend and co-host Susan White, owner of Susan Tinder White Consulting, an HR consulting practice.
Our topic today is taking a look at the future of leaders. Jacob Morgan, a global speaker and author, interviewed more than 140 top CEOs from around the world and captured their thoughts in his 2020 book, “The Future Leader.” Based on their answers, he created what he’s calling the “notable nine,” the top four mindsets needed for a future leader as well as the top five skills that future leaders must master. Susan, let’s explore those nine, which includes some very catchy titles. [Laughs]
Oh, good. Yes, I’d love to. So number one, being a global citizen. The world is becoming increasingly connected, which means every company has a potential for worldwide employees and customers. The mentality of the global citizen means thinking globally and embracing diversity. So important, I think, especially with the fact that so much of our business is conducted digitally through Zoom meetings, so on and so forth, it really doesn’t matter where people live, so we need to be thinking much more globally.
Right. And we used to think of that just for the big companies, right? And now it’s applying to businesses of all sizes.
Number two is the servant mindset. Now I know… you know, we’ve heard for a while about the servant leader, but this mindset goes against much of the old way of thinking that leaders stay at the top of the company. The mindset of the servant means that you practice humility and that you serve four groups – your leaders if you have them, your customers, your team, and yourself.
I love that. The third mindset is the chef. I love this. Not that I’m a good cook. [Laughs]
But I love this concept. Like chefs, we need to balance numerous ingredients to create masterful meals. Leaders need to balance the two essential ingredients of any business, humanity and technology.
Oh, nice. And number four he calls the explorer mindset. Future leaders need to be like explorers of old and embrace the unknown. They need to be open to new ideas and change course as the world around them evolves. Practice curiosity.
His top skill sets include number one is coach. Great coaches motivate, inspire, and engage their teams while caring about each member as an individual. Likewise, future leaders need to appreciate employees as individuals as opposed to viewing everyone as just workers. The best coaches and leaders develop their people to be more successful than them. I love that it’s hiring and developing people to be better than you are.
Exactly. Number two is the futurist. Futurists make sure organizations aren’t surprised by what the future might bring. They stay on top of trends and are connected to their networks. That one seems like a tough one. Right? Of course, I think lately, we all think about, like, no one would have ever anticipated the pandemic. Right? But if you’re on top and adaptable and have a strong organization that can be set up for success, those types of organizations can move faster than others.
Number three, be a technology teenager. Teenagers always seem to be current on the latest technology and future leaders need to be the same way. They don’t need to be experts in the practical application, but they need to embrace technology and know how to best leverage it to serve their company. JoDee, I think I’m a technology kindergartener. [Laughs]
Sometimes I know enough to be dangerous. But I can absolutely see his point here.
Yeah, you know, I’ve told our audience before that when I started my business, I had three young teenagers or middle schoolers at the time that served as my IT department.
So it was difficult for me when my kids moved away for college, that I felt like I lost my IT team. So I really appreciate this one.
Number four is a translator. Translators are master communicators. They listen to, understand, and do more than hear what people are saying. They use verbal and nonverbal communication to connect with people and know the best channels to use to cut through the noise and deliver their messages.
That’s powerful. The fifth and final one is… for decades, leaders have shied away from being emotional. So the fifth one is being Yoda.
In the future, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent like Yoda and develop their empathy and self-awareness. Self-awareness is about understanding your strengths and helping others understand yours, as well. I think that goes all to the emotional intelligence that we’ve talked about so many times. It’s just very powerful.
Yeah, it really is the connection of both emotional intelligence and CliftonStrengths that we love to talk about, too, right? And understanding our strengths, as well.
So for more on this topic, we invited Jennifer McClure. Jennifer is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and leadership coach who helps leaders to build strong personal brands, communicate with confidence, and lead with impact. With over 20 years of leadership and executive level experience in HR and recruiting positions, Jennifer is now the CEO of Unbridled Talent LLC, and – love this title – the Chief Excitement Officer at Disrupt HR LLC. She is also the host of the popular podcast Impact Makers with Jennifer McClure.
Thank you. I’m happy to be here today.
Why is it important for business leaders or human resource leaders to have a strong personal brand?
Well, I think it’s important for anyone to have a strong personal brand, and “anyone” includes HR business leaders. But over the years, I’ve certainly talked to a lot of HR professionals who have given me some pushback on the topic of creating their own personal brand or developing it. I hear things like, you know, “I want to be in the background,” or “It’s really not about me,” or “I want privacy,” you know, so there’s a lot of reasons or barriers that people put up for that. But I think it’s really important to think about your own activity and how you go about your day now with the internet, and the opportunities that we have to research and get to know people, build relationships, etc. So, by not having a strong personal brand, HR leaders and business leaders can affect their ability to recruit talent, they can certainly affect their ability to be reached out to for opportunities, whether that’s, you know, like… and a lot of people will say “I’m not looking for another job.” Well, do you want to do things in your community? Would you want to get invited to speak? Would you want to get invited to be on a nonprofit board? Would you want a promotion within your company where other people might be able to be aware of you? So there’s just so many reasons that it can be beneficial to you, to your company, and to your community for people to know who you are, what you’re great at, and what you’re passionate about.
Yeah, I love that. What do you think is one key skill that all leaders need to develop to successfully get their ideas heard?
I know people love to quote the… whoever said it, Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain or whatever. [Laughs]
They’re… they’re the ones that get misattributed to quotes all the time. But the person that said that people fear public speaking more than death, that’s not true. I mean, if I told you to get up on this stage and give a talk versus I’m going to shoot you right now, I think I know which one most people would choose.
And I don’t condone violence. But, you know, I think the idea of speaking in public is certainly not most people’s preferred state, and that I understand, but I think for any leader or anyone who wants to get their ideas heard, they need to stop thinking about it as public speaking. It’s about the ability to craft a winning presentation. And, again, presentation might cause people some angst as well, but the reality is, everyone has to sell their ideas, everyone has to be able to tell a good story about why you’re doing something to keep people interested. So I think the ability to really craft good presentations, for lack of a better word, the ability to tell a story, to get your point across using data in a business context, to talk about what the problem is, why we chose to look into solving that, what the opportunity is if we do whatever I’m recommending, and what the happy state looks like after we’ve done that, that’s a story and that’s a presentation. And if you’re an HR leader, you’re a business leader, you’ve got to sell others on your ideas, to get approvals, to get funding, to get opportunities. So I think everyone needs to learn how to tell a story, craft a presentation, and sell their ideas.
Yeah, I love that. And that… it doesn’t have to be that you have to speak at a conference of 1,000 people, right? It can be that you’re presenting in the boardroom or to the leadership team, and that might be five or 10 people. But the concept of being prepared and crafting that message is all the same, right?
Absolutely. I mean, death by PowerPoint is a, you know, a phrase we all laugh at for a reason, though. We’ve all sat through that.
And it’s also something like a few years ago, a friend of mine teaches an MBA-level social media marketing class here in Cincinnati, and for a few years, he would ask me to come in and talk about personal branding to his students. And I’d always show up early, because it’s an evening class, you know, these are working professionals for the most part, not necessarily, you know, college age students getting their MBA in the evening. And I’d come early, because it’s like a four hour class. And usually one of the things that he would be having them to do, everyone in the class was assigned to choose a problem and give a presentation on it, you know, during the class, so there’d be a couple every week. And so I show up and see these presentations. And again, these are business professionals who are standing up in front of a comfortable group of, you know, 20 people that they’ve gotten to know, so… you know, I’m not dismissing that some people are still nervous in that regard, but it wasn’t that they were nervous, it’s that they were terrible. [Laughs]
They were terrible. I mean, standing up behind the podium reading notes, terrible clip art, you know, slides that make no sense. Versus if I had sat across from one of those individuals or, you know, they’re usually in teams of two, if I’d sat across from the two of them and said, “Tell me why this problem interested you? What was the research that you did to go and really figure out how you wanted to approach this problem? What’s your recommendation? And then if we do what you’re recommending, what is it that you think will happen as a result of that?” in a conversational sense, they would have been easy. Now they might have been nervous because of, you know, they might have felt put on the spot, but it would have been easy, it would have been conversational, and they would have talked in real terms instead of standing up there with little note cards and reading with their eyes looking down, point by point, word by crafted word. That’s not the way to sell an idea. And so it’s… it just always reinforced to me, again, these are successful people who are obviously pursuing continuing education, and I’m not picking on them in particular, because it’s that way in every meeting and boardroom across the world. [Laughs]
You know, people are giving awful presentations, and it’s not as hard as people make it out to be. And I say that as a person who’s never been, thankfully, nervous to be on the stage. Some of us, you know, we all have different gifts and talents. I guess one of my gifts is that no fear of public speaking. So I… it’s not that I don’t relate or have empathy for people who may be nervous getting up even in front of six or eight people. But there’s, it’s just really make it a conversation, whether you’re standing in front of 10,000 people or 10 people. A presentation is a conversation.
Jennifer, I love that. JoDee is like you. She has no fear about public speaking. Not at all. And I am the opposite. I get nervous. But I am going to listen to what you just said, and I’m going to remember it, about I’m just having a conversation. So what there’s 400 people in the room? That’s all right. I think that is really great insight. So I thank you.
Yeah, I think it’s surprising to me, and maybe it’s surprising to other people. So again, I can stand up and speak. I’ve joked about it many times, but it’s true. If I’m at, like, a conference or an event, and it’s happened actually where… okay, so your keynote speaker didn’t show up and you need someone to take the stage because you have people sitting in the audience and it’s time and you say, “Jennifer, you come up and talk about something. Anything. Talk about, you know, leadership, you know, whatever.” I can do that.
Well, but because number one, I’ve done it many times. So I’m experienced, I have confidence in my ability, and I have something to say. On the other hand, if you asked me to get up and sing…
…in front of another person, one person.
And I, you know, as a shower and car singer I have… and I have sung in the past and in public places. I actually think I have a pretty good singing voice, and I’ve tried out for singing things.
And I show up and I know I’m good at this and I sound pretty good, and I can not do it.
Now why is that, that I can do one thing that’s very similar to the other thing? I think it comes down to I don’t have confidence in my singing ability, and I have confidence in my speaking ability. So for people who are nervous, it’s about getting reps. You have to get up and do it. You know, again, start with one person, start with two people, move to three people. If you want to build confidence, you have to put yourself in the scenario to build the confidence. A person who never wants to speak in front of other people, who’s always nervous about it and never does it will probably forever be nervous. The person who challenges themselves to do it… I have friends who are professional speakers who still say they get very nervous, but I also see them… maybe they’re jumping up and down, you know, I have a friend who’s a million dollar public speaker, you know, makes millions getting paid to speak in front of very large groups. And before he goes on stage, if you’re backstage with him or you see him off the side, he’s jumping up and down, he’s pacing, he’s reciting his lines. And these are talks that he’s given many, many times. But he’s channeling the nervousness into… you know, there’s a quote out there, you know, my fear is telling my body that I’m prepared to, you know, to go to battle or whatever. So I’m not necessarily saying you’ll always… you’ll never be nervous, but it is something that you can practice and get better at, and it comes back down to confidence.
I would say I am like your friend. I mean, I will I go to the restroom, I do the Wonder Woman pose, I do all the things I need.
And then honestly, I’m like your friend, up until the millions. But I try to channel my nervousness.
I can relate to that as well. Yeah, I mean, we all have our routines, and some of that is maybe developing your routine. But you know, whether, again, you’re giving a presentation in the boardroom, I think you have to kind of unearth, why is it that I’m nervous about this? And a lot of times, it’s that you’re not confident in either what you’re saying or what your delivery is. And there… there are paths to improve both those. If you’re not confident in your delivery, like I said, get reps. You know, some people will say go to Toastmasters, but there’s plenty of ways you can speak now virtually. You could do a video on LinkedIn, you could do it, you know, share it on Instagram or social media, you can get practice to speaking to other people. If you’re not confident in your data, then run that by a few of your trusted colleagues or even people who will be in the room to get their feedback ahead of time or to get… you know, I’ve always been a big fan of get advocates in the room, you know. So, way back when, a CEO of mine… I was trying to sell a big change to our benefits plans to the executive team, and the CFO, because it involved money from the get go, was shooting down everything I put up to talk about, and sooner or later, people started feeling her vibe and they kind of ganged up on me and everybody was like, “We don’t want to do this.” And after the meeting was over, the CEO said, “Hey, Jennifer, you know, come to my office,” you’re like, “Oh, no, am I in trouble?” [Laughs] I didn’t feel that way. Go into his office. And he said, “Why didn’t you come to me before the meeting and share with me your presentation and get me on board?” He said, “I wanted to advocate for you in there, but I’d never seen what you’re presenting, so I couldn’t advocate for you.” So there are ways to overcome the barriers that you put in front of yourself. And the smart people sit there and say, “Okay, I’m really nervous about the board meeting presentation next week. Why am I nervous?” Well, I think they won’t like my idea. I’m not sure that my data is accurate. I’m not concerned that my presentation skills are up to date. I don’t know what to wear. For all of those, there are steps you can take to get much more confidence before that board meeting. So the smart leaders think ahead.
Terrific advice. What do you think is the most important thing leaders can do to attract and retain talent in their organizations today?
To be visible. It kind of goes back to – you know, and I didn’t plan that, that the two would be related – building their brand. But people want to work for great leaders. How do they know if you’re a great leader or not without you putting yourself out there? So, you know, there are many things in a very complicated and complex environment now of attracting and recruiting talent. But we know people want to work for great leaders, they want career advancement, and they want career development. And one of the best ways to get career development is to work for someone who can mentor you and teach you. So if you really want the best people on your team in a very competitive hiring environment, show them that you have great leaders. And, you know, part B of that is develop people. You know, people want to grow. They’ve always wanted to grow. And I think for the last, you know, decade or so, we like to blame the millennials for everything, which the millennials are old now, by the way.
[Laughs] You know, so we’re still talking about millennials, and they’re 40.
[Laughs] I would love to be 40, if that’s old.
It does not feel old to me at all. But yeah.
But, you know, we would say, oh, the millennials, they want career growth opportunities, they want to… it wasn’t just the millennials. The boomers, the – what do you call them? – the silver somethings, the Gen Zs, Gen Ys, the Gen Is, the… all the generations want growth and development. So we got ourselves off the hook for the last few years by trying to blame it on one generation. And we’d have all these talks at conferences and events, “How to Deal with the Millennials in Your Workplace.” I think a lot of what we talked about for millennials, especially now, where we have accelerated from a technology standpoint, where everyone has to really be technology savvy, take all that stuff you were saying to do for millennials and do it for everybody.
So to attract and recruit talent, be a great leader, be visible, grow your people.
Love it. And Jennifer, what do you think the future holds for HR leaders specifically?
Well, HR leaders, again, over the past decade, having talked to many of them, you know, we had our phases that we went through where everyone wanted to be an HR Business Partner, and then everyone went through the “I want to be a strategic HR leader,” and the thread through all that was that we wanted the seat at the table, and then that became a word that everybody hated, but we still secretly wanted it.
[Laughs] And then we wanted to lean in at the table once we were there.
Yes! Then lean in. That’s right. And then 2020 happened and I think every HR leader, and even some people who weren’t in leadership roles yet got called into the room overnight to say, “What are we going to do? Help us.” So you got put at the table, even if you didn’t already have a seat there. And I think organizations, many of them, it was, you know, it was necessary that people be put at the forefront of how are we going to, number one, keep people safe, number two, run our business so that we can meet our customers’ needs in a safe way. And since this is predicated on people, we need HR in the room. So the good news is, is that HR got in the room. The good news for the HR leaders who have continued to show how they add value and have continued to really think about the business needs and how people help deliver upon that, they’re staying in that, you know, quote, unquote, room, whether they have, again, a position on a certain org chart or not. So you had the opportunity to be heard. Are you taking advantage of it? Because going forward, obviously, people have always been a key to a business’s success, but it’s never been more the truth than it is now. Because technology is going to change, business conditions are going to change, you know, products and services are going to change, all of that is necessary… or people are necessary to achieve all of those things. So getting the right people, having the people with the right skills, making sure that we’re paying the right amount to attract and retain the people that we need, continuously developing them, having the benefits package in what is becoming a very complex environment about everybody wants something different and giving people a lot of choice, all of this is critical for a business to succeed. That is all 100% in HR’s wheelhouse. So the future of HR looks bright from the standpoint that we’re needed more now than ever. So I hope that HR leaders are ready to step into that opportunity and that challenge and… and really run with what they’ve been asking for all along.
Right. I agree.
Jennifer, do you have any tips for the listener out there who’s an HR leader and really wants to do some skill building or making sure for all of the challenges that you see, that we’re on them right now, as we just talked about, and what’s coming… Any practical tips about maybe how they fortify themselves to be ready for those challenges?
Take charge of your own personal development. You may be doing that kind of passively, but really create a learning and development plan for yourself. Don’t wait for your boss to do it or someone in learning and development to give you a plan. Create your own learning and development plan. What are the gaps that you see in your own learning that you need to shore up? What are the skills, talents, and abilities that you see that you’re going to need to develop in the future? And then what are some things that you’re just interested in? And then fourth, I guess, some things to broaden your business acumen. So don’t just, you know, learn about HR, but learn about marketing, learn about sales, learn about the products and services in your business. Now create that learning and development plan with action steps. How am I going to achieve this learning? There’s an infinite… I mean, it’s to the ends of the earth…
…and the moon and the sun and back. Infinite amount of resources available to you now online to be able to learn. You can go to LinkedIn Learning, you can go to YouTube, you can sign up for Udemy, you can go to Khan Academy. I mean, those are just a few off the top of my head with really great learning opportunities for every skill under the sun. There are books. If you’re listening to this podcast, yay for you. But are you listening to more than just this one? I subscribe… I love podcasts. That’s my preferred way of learning. And I probably subscribe to… maybe 20.
And I listen to podcasts when I’m making my lunch. I listen when I’m driving. I listen when I’m cleaning house. I listen when I’m walking or working out. You know, so you may listen to audiobooks or something like that, but there’s plenty of ways to learn. And of those 20 that I subscribe to, because I am a… I’m an entrepreneur, business owner, I love people, talent strategies, personal branding. So I listen to a few that are speaking podcasts, I listen to a few that are personal branding, I listen to a few that are HR recruiting types, but I also listen to several that are about entrepreneurship, or online marketing, because I have to build my brand, so… and I listen to some that are sales related, because I’ve got to be a whole person as a business owner. And I think HR leaders, leaders need to think about that as well. I need to be more than just an expert in my area. I’ve got to at least have some generalist knowledge of the business so that I can see opportunities where my skills, my team, my function can really help the business grow. So in your learning and development plan, what action steps are you going to take? What specific sources are you going to go to? And then also make sure that you have some good mentors or people who are investing in you and pouring into you, who are also suggesting opportunities or providing ways for you to learn. So own it. Don’t give your power to someone else. Own your own learning and development.
Right. I think that’s such good advice. And I think so many times, not just HR leaders, but any leaders, like, we want to point fingers at other people to say, “Well, they’re not giving me opportunities,” or “They’re not inviting me,” or “They’re not giving me a budget,” or whatever it might be. And I always say, you gotta point those fingers inward, like, what are you doing? As you just mentioned, so many free resources and things that… doesn’t have to have a budget for that. I mean, ask for the budget, too, but…
But the reality is, if they give you a budget, they’re probably going to tell you how to spend it.
If they give you a budget, they’re gonna say you need to go to this course on how to deal with difficult people or, you know, financial accounting for non financial managers, and you’re like, hey, you know, that’s… that’s not either what I’m interested in, or I don’t feel like where I really need to grow. So, you know, at least from my own experience in corporate America, budgets are often tied to specific things that somebody else, again, identifies for you. And while you’re complaining, you know, while people are complaining about, you know, “I’ve not got a budget” or “They won’t let me” or “No one’s telling me what I need to learn,” other people are out there learning, and they’re just gonna, like, pass you up. So own it.
That’s right. Well, Jennifer, we love to talk to people about finding joy in their work. So what’s something our listeners… some advice you might have for our listeners on how they might spark a more JoyPowered® conversation and/or environment with others?
Oh, that’s a great question. Well, I mean, it’s probably cliche to say “find something that you’re passionate about and pursue that.” Doesn’t have to be your job. I think we’ve tripped ourselves up over, like… for me, for example, I’m passionate to obsessed – I’m actually obsessed with horses. You know, that’s my passion. That’s what feeds my soul. I have a couple that, you know, that being outside with them, riding, taking riding lessons, all that feeds my soul. I joke about that I’d love to be, like, a barn manager or…
…something, or a groom or something for a living. But the reality is, I’m also passionate about the work that I do, and the work that I do funds my passion. So, you know, my horse… my trainer, who’s the owner of the the place where I board, that’s her business, you know, she rides several horses a day, she teaches lessons all day, she has to deal with all the ups and downs of running a big boarding facility. Her passion has become often a job, you know. So I think we often… we put that out there as an excuse. “Well, my passion is this and I can’t work in my passion because…” either I won’t make enough money or, you know, whatever the reasons we tell ourselves. Don’t let your passion be your job. Now, for me, my job is something that I’m passionate about, but my passion is horses. So I think it’s really important to kind of know what makes you happy and make time for that. If that’s a piece of your job, great. But make sure that you also have time for things outside your job, even if that’s your passion, to create joy, because you are more than just your job. I think… what is it Laurie Ruettiman says? “Your work is not your worth.”
Oh, I like it. Jennifer, how can our listeners reach out to you if they’d like additional information on this topic or want to engage with you?
You can find all things Jennifer McClure at jennifermcclure.net. I have a podcast as well called Impact Makers with Jennifer McClure where I talk to leaders who are out there making an impact in the world in some way through building their personal brands, communicating with confidence, or leading with impact. And you can find me on LinkedIn at Jennifer McClure. I was there early so I should be one of the first that pops up…
[Laughs] …if you type in my name. There are others, but I hope I’m first. And you can also follow me on Twitter @JenniferMcClure. And if you like pictures of horses and traveling, you know, and probably less business stuff, I’m on Instagram @Jennifer_McClure.
I love it. Well, you just got a new follower to your podcast, because as we were talking, I went out and subscribed. It has been..
…such a pleasure to talk to you today, and you have a wealth of knowledge and advice to share with others, so thanks for joining us.
Thank you so much.
Well, thank you for having me. All right, go out create more joy in the world, people.
Wow, what a powerful guest today. And I think there were so many connections to what Jennifer spoke about in a different way than what Jacob Morgan talks about in his book, “The Future Leader,” but yet so many connections between the two as well. Susan, what were a couple of those connections that stuck out for you?
Yeah, I think the whole idea about being a translator and being a master communicator, I think Jennifer really hit hard on how important that is for us and to be strong HR leaders, how we’ve got to be really focused on it. And I guess the second point was about being a futurist, having that headset, the skills of being a futurist. She talked about, we really need to understand what’s happening in the world, the changing dynamics, and really fortifying ourselves with our skills and also the organization for what’s headed our way.
Yeah, I agree. I think two other ones for me, number one, Jacob talked in his book about being a coach, too, and motivating, inspiring, and engaging your teams. And Jennifer’s so… has such a beautiful way that she communicates about the importance of coaching and developing people on your team, as well. I also think kind of subtly, she remarked so many times about technology and how she has grown the social media, too, which takes me back to that technology teenager, right?
The teenagers who are at the forefront of so many of those that then make their way into the business world, as well, too. So great connections there.
So JoDee, we have a listener question today. Here it is. “I find that entry level salaries are so high that there is pay compression. What are some strategies for dealing with this?”
Yeah, of course, this is a real issue right now in this talent shortage and need to hire more people, and it’s created havoc for lots of different organizations. But I think we have to start a little bit by understanding the cause for the key compression. Is it that we’ve been behind in the market? Is it that certain positions have been behind and we need to upgrade them? We have to understand the why before we can just determine the solution. But some of those might be that we need to do an overall updating of the salary ranges with appropriate adjustments for all of our employees, adding a compensation change workflow to ensure consistency within our compensation strategy, and maybe even also looking at total compensation and benefits overall, right? Do we have a higher pay philosophy and not a strong benefits, or stronger benefits and lower pay? I mean, there’s there’s a lot to unwrap in this question.
I love all your advice, and I would just piggyback and add one more thing. So whatever you decide to do to fix some pay inequities, I’d spend probably as much time as I did on the analysis and figure out what I was going to do with how I want to communicate it. I have seen where organizations step up and they try to do the right thing. They realize that they have a salary compression issue. They’re having to go out to the market and bring people in much higher than their existing staff. You really want to think about how do you go to your existing staff and share with them that you’re going to raise salaries. If you say, you know, “We realize we fell behind the market,” you’re gonna think “I’ve been cheated over the last couple of years.” Just think about the messaging that you do, how you deliver it, and you know, I would say to you, think about how transparent you can be. The more transparent the better. I think people really… your credibility with them on the pay front can really be tested if you botch it. So really, truly address your issue and then spend as much time thinking about how do we want to make sure that everybody in the organization feels that they’ve been treated fairly.
Yeah, great advice. In our in the news section today, in an October Harvard Business Review article reflecting on work from home or hybrid work strategies, just one of their many ideas was to learn what your people have missed about being together. This really hit home with me to think about what have we gained and what have we missed. So a facilitator and conflict resolution strategist, Priya Parker, suggested that we ask employees what they miss most about their colleagues and which reasons to be together they hungered for, during the pandemic. Focus on these as the core of a regrouping strategy to help secure commitments to be physically present, and to deliver value and reassure those employees that it’s worth it to be on premises. You know, I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t want to drive to the office to sit there and close the door and be on Zoom meetings all day long.”
Right? You gotta have a reason to come back, or if people want to come back because they want to build relationships with each other live, we gotta give them those opportunities to do that. But also, similarly, recognize which formal physical gatherings employees were relieved not to have to attend.
Which, I love that too. You know, maybe it was some of those unproductive meetings that you had or maybe it was the… the holiday gatherings or the Friday afternoon beers after work, right? Those aren’t for everyone. And that might have provided some relief for people not to have to attend those. So think about relying on new solutions you found while people were required to work from home and balance those with what people are looking for and with what people are not looking for in a return to the office.
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