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Driving Results Through Culture

Written by: S. Chris Edmonds
  • Summary

  • Speaker, author, and executive consultant S. Chris Edmonds helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures.
    Edmonds Training & Consulting LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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  • Oct 17 2022

    We’re not yet over the “Great Resignation.” The latest job report indicates that another 4.2 million US workers voluntarily quit in August 2022.

    LinkedIn’s 2022 Workforce Confidence Index found that nearly 25 percent of Gen-Z respondents and Millennials plan to change jobs in the next six months. This study found that Gen-Zs and Millennials deliberately seek careers that offer:

    1. Better alignment with their interests and values
    2. Opportunities to learn and practice new skills
    3. Better compensation and benefits
    4. A new industry or job function
    5. Opportunities to move up or increase responsibilities

    If your business doesn’t address these needs, you’ll lose talented people and have a tough time attracting younger generations.

    Here are three things business leaders must do to create a great place to work for Millennials and Gen-Z’s.

    Pay equity. Close gender and racial pay gaps. Pay at the top of the range. How will people know where they are in the ranges? Be fully transparent with ranges and with your compensation strategy. Some states now require compensation transparency, including Colorado (here’s one county’s example.

    This will cost your business money. You may have to raise prices or focus on products and services that are most profitable – and which can help cover extra costs. Ask staff for their ideas on reducing expenses.

    Career dynamics. Create job flexibility. Allow people (who want to) to change departments or divisions where they can learn new skills, work with experts in a different part of the business, and embrace new responsibilities.

    By creating career opportunities within your organization, Millennials and Gen-Z’s won’t have to leave your company to satisfy these development needs and desires.

    Love your people. Thanks to Tamara McCleary for this key strategy! Too many bosses over the past four decades don’t like their people much less love them. In today’s marketplace, if you don’t love your people, get out of leadership. You won’t be able to implement the changes noted above if you don’t demonstrate authentic care for those you work with.

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    3 mins
  • Sep 5 2022

    A month ago, the term “quiet quitting” hadn’t made much of a mark. A social media post on the concept went viral – and now everyone is talking about it.

    I was delighted to join BBC News’ The Context broadcast and speak to host Nuala McGovern about quiet quitting – and how business leaders can address it.

    This podcast includes the audio from the live broadcast on August 25, 2022.

    What is quiet quitting? It means employees are no longer going “above and beyond” – they’re doing exactly what their job description says they should do. They’re not taking on extra work; they’re doing what they’re paid to do.

    The pandemic – across the globe – has put tremendous stress upon employees, no matter the industry. People have been asked to do way above normal because of staffing shortages, people quitting, etc.

    Employees are emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. We used to talk in the HR industry about people “quit and leave” and people who “quit and stay.” Quiet quitting isn’t the same as “quit and stay.” It is team members literally doing only what you paid them for.

    Nuala McGovern asked if quiet quitting is just a new term for an age-old problem within the workplace of having perhaps a non-motivated workforce.

    What’s different today is the impact of a crappy culture – and the choices available to employees in this market.

    Most business leaders don’t pay attention to the quality of their work culture, but employees really do. And so here in the US, we’ve had 60 million Americans voluntarily their jobs since January 2021. It’s particularly different now because people aren’t going back to work for companies or leaders they don’t respect. They’re not going back to work for companies where they were mistreated. For people who have not resigned – yet – quiet quitting gives them space and time to reflect. They’re doing the bare minimum because they don’t think they’re being treated fairly. They aren’t being respected or validated daily.

    Nuala asked how bosses and companies can turn that around.

    Business leaders have no choice. They must pay attention to the quality of their work culture. And again, most leaders have never been asked to do that. They’ve never been taught how to do if they find their work culture is lacking.

    The single best way to retain and attract talented, engaged team members is for business leaders to shift from a work culture where results are the only important thing to a work culture where respect is important as results.

    When employees feel respected, they bring their best thinking. They solve problems proactively. They go beyond the minimum because they love the company. They feel respected by their bosses and their colleagues in every interaction.

    Employers and bosses must take a hard look at the degree to which their people are treated civilly every day, and at the degree to which employees are respected every day for their ideas, efforts, and contributions. The reality is that many, many more organizations demean and discount employees rather than validate and respect employees.

    Thank you for listening! Learn more at DrivingResultsThroughCulture.com.

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    4 mins
  • Jul 10 2022

    Companies around the globe are short-staffed. Leaders have tried to boost hiring through higher wages and even bonuses, but staffing shortages continue.

    The problem? Many business leaders want to return to the “old normal” but employees and candidates don’t want “old normal.” A new Deloitte study found the top four things Gen-Y and Gen-Z workers want include work/life balance, development opportunities, higher salaries, and a positive culture. 

    Money isn’t their primary driver.

    What must leaders do? They must build and sustain a work culture where employees of all generations are respected and validated for their ideas, efforts, and accomplishments.

    Let’s examine a shining beacon. Radio Flyer is a 100+ year old company famous for their original red wagons. For the last decade, they’ve been rated as one of the best companies to work for by Glassdoor,  Crain’s, The Inc. 5000 list, and many others.

    Glassdoor tracks employee ratings in seven critical categories. Radio Flyer’s scores average a 4.9 on a 5-point scale.

    How did Radio Flyer’s senior leaders create their uncompromising culture? Mark Babbitt and I interviewed Chief Wagon Officer Robert Pasin for our 2021 book, Good Comes First. Their efforts followed our culture model.

    First, they defined their desired culture - with input from all staff. “We did a very intentional culture transformation where we started to articulate our vision, mission, and values,” Pasin explained. 

    “We plastered the cafeteria walls with huge posters,” letting every employee participate by writing their thoughts. “This is when the behaviors we want were articulated,” Pasin said.

    Second, they aligned all plans, decisions, and actions to their desired culture.  Robert said, “You get better at what you measure and become what you celebrate as a team. We started to develop a lot of awards and recognition for people who demonstrated our values.”

    Third, as the company articulated and celebrated its values and behaviors, Pasin said, “We had to have zero tolerance for bad behavior.” When people behaved in disrespectful ways, they were coached and mentored. If they aligned to desired behaviors, they stayed. If they did not  align, they were lovingly set free.

    Pasin says, “People are so grateful to not have the distractions, the politics, etc., here because we have no tolerance for drama.”

    That’s what it takes to sustain an uncompromising work culture. It requires months of steady modeling, measuring, and mentoring of everyone - by every formal leader.

    This episode was published on https://DrivingResultsThroughCulture.com on July 10, 2022.

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    4 mins

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