Rebel Human Resources Podcast

RHR 108: Caring HR Management with Debi Yadegari

July 12, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 108
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
RHR 108: Caring HR Management with Debi Yadegari
Show Notes Transcript

Debi Yadegari is the Founder and CEO of Villyge, an employee benefit that supports working parents and caregivers by engaging management in critical conversations and delivering 1:1 virtual assistance directly to the employee. She is also a working mother of FIVE (ages 4, 10, 13, 15 and 16), a former Wall Street lawyer and an expert in the areas of caregiving, HR, and employee relations.

Kyle and Debi  dig into:

  • Recognize the manager’s role in working parent success in a meaningful way. This is the first, and often missed, step in creating a culture of coaching.
  • Villyge provides employees with access to coaches in dozens of specialties, including career, fertility, lactation, parenting, and eldercare
  • Upskilling management to be better during critical life events helps everyone on the team thrive and feel valued.
  • Building empathy into a culture creates corporate resiliency.

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

www.rebelhumanresources.com
https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the show
Debi Yadegari:

providing guidance throughout the journey of how to handle absences how to drive productivity, but how do you drive productivity with empathy and compassion, nudging the manager when it would be appropriate to check in and providing guidance on what they should say during that period? And what when you are empathetic during a time of need, you are going to develop an employee who's going to have long term loyalty.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe, favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review revelon HR rebels Welcome back rebel HR listeners so excited for the conversation here this week. Thank you for joining us with us today we have Debbie Yata Gauri, she is the founder and CEO of village an employee benefit that supports working parents and caregivers by engaging management management in critical conversations and delivering one on one virtual assistants directly to the employee. She's also a working mother of five. Yes, that's five 410 1315 and 16, a former Wall Street lawyer and an expert in the areas of caregiving, HR and employee relations. Welcome to the show.

Debi Yadegari:

Thank you so much, Kyle, I'm excited to be here.

Kyle Roed:

Well, extremely excited to have you. And you know, I think the first question, you know, as I was preparing for this is how do you juggle being a founder and CEO was being a parent of five

Debi Yadegari:

takes a village, take the village, I know, my kids are a little bit older. So that allows me a lot of leeway. But I have to double down on assistance and no shame there. I absolutely have outside help. To help carry the load, I have a partner who is amazing, and shares the duties with me 5050. I have an au pair, highly recommend those two working parents, it's an incredible opportunity to bring somebody from another country to help you out. Introduce your kids to another culture and secrets, it's usually the most affordable childcare option out there for those who don't know it. So I definitely rely on help. And the kids know how to find me they know how to they know how to reach me. I prioritize things today I had to cancel a meeting for a because of a client thing that popped up the client thing that popped up was it was mystery reader on Zoom. So definitely not to prioritize, but having your own business also allows you to have the flexibility and prioritize where need be. And you know, it can make up the time after hours after the kids go to sleep.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And kudos for you for balancing it all. You know I you played into that perfectly because it does take a village. And you know, I can only imagine that that was part of the inspiration for founding village. So just tell our listeners a little bit about what village is and and what problem are you trying to solve.

Debi Yadegari:

We are trying to solve the problem of employees not having the support and resources they need to achieve their personal family goals and professional success. As you alluded to, I started my career on Wall Street. And that's where I first became a caregiver. I was pregnant. And I quickly realized that not only did I not know how to handle being that working parent back then, you know, come a long way with five kids. I kind of know what I'm doing now back then no idea. And like most parents, they have no idea. But it wasn't just how do I do that parenting thing? It was how do I do that career thing? And when I looked, you know outside of my box in which I was shivering and like how am I going to do this, I felt that my managers didn't understand how to support me through that journey either. And realize that all of the solutions out there were hyper focused on delivering the employees with the support that they needed, but to provide true holistic support the type that it's really going to make a difference and push, you know, people's goals forward and the goals of you know, companies and careers forward to we've got to drag the manager into the conversation. So we started village two as a tool as a way to support employees one on one and we do that employees can connect one on one with experts ranging in topics from preconception infertility, adoption, surrogacy, all of that all the way up to sending their kids off to college plus elder care. They can connect one on one via zoom, they can chat with experts, they can dive into some of our materials to self source education. But then we also provide the opportunity via platform for employees to communicate life events to their managers and when They share these life events with their managers, we automate guidance to the managers helping them to stay on to empathetically in the shoes of their employees. And that's never been done before. So the idea there is we're really changing culture. And we're driving compassion within workplaces, because we know at the end of the day, right, people don't leave companies, they leave managers, they don't feel supported coming out of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we know that employees really value you know, what's personal to them, their families, their interests outside of work, way more than they're professionalized, which are shifting. And today, employees have options, no longer are they locked down to the, you know, for large employers where they live, they can truly work anywhere in the world. And that has changed the dynamic and given employees much more power, and managers have to keep up.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. And this is very personal for me, I don't have five, I have three kids. And my youngest, actually just turned six last weekend, which was, which was super fun. But six, seven and 10. And, you know, I, you know, I just distinctly remember, yeah, dealing with the cost of, of daycare, realizing, oh, my gosh, we needed to get on a daycare list. 14 months ago, we don't, we can't like, like, what we didn't know, we were having a kid 14 months ago, right? We were hopeful. But we weren't on the list yet. You know, it's stuff like that, that. You know, it. It's just it's a, it's a challenge. And I'll tell you a story about my, one of my previous employers, it's also a really big impact of the bottom line sometimes, because some of those issues can then turn into turnover issues. And one of my last jobs we actually had, we were losing four or five people a month, because they did not have access to quality, affordable daycare. And they didn't have any other choice. But to make that decision between do I stay home with my kid and keep them safe? Or do I work? And you know, we had some uncomfortable truths to confront as an employer as to why that decision tree existed. But I think the other challenge as an employer is what what can we do to help. And this sounds like this, this, this might be a solution. So So walk me through how you know how this service works. For an for an employer, that's looking to provide this type of assistance, but also for an employee who's actually looking for, you know, some help and some and some support in this area of their lives?

Debi Yadegari:

Sure. So I'll take a step back and put in full disclosure, we do not provide daycare, but where how we would help through this process is a few ways. Number one, we do have childcare consultants who will work with employees to think through their options, can they swing, having an Au Pair live with them? Do they have the extra space? To help lessen the load? You know, what are the options of getting involved with a daycare, right? You missed the 14 month cut off? But what are your options? Now Ken? How do you go about finding somebody to help after school if you have older kids, maybe it's a college kid, maybe it's a maybe it's a share situation, a nanny share? Maybe you can tie in grandma or it let's talk to you about the the mental load that's gonna, you know, go hand in hand there, you know, what are your options, and then think through how to manage those options, and also how to manage the the provider offer many employees, we have to realize that this is the first time that they ever become managers, and they're managing the most important role in their lives. So we're able to help employees there. It's hard though, when you truly like in the middle of the pandemic, when there was no daycare options, and you really couldn't bring people in, then people that were more limited, right? So then it becomes a conversation with employees, about empowering them to have conversations with their managers, can they job share? Can they you know, take their responsibilities and split it with somebody else? Can they take a step back? Is there stuff that they can do asynchronously, you know, maybe a little bit during the day, but after hours before hours, if they still want to stay in the game? How can you have those conversations? How can you outline what you're able to achieve and sell that to your manager? You know, flexibility used to be a big topic of conversation with employees. Now, flexibility is what we expect. It's a little bit different. So that's how village would would help those, like the specific issue of child care. But some of the other areas where we really are more known for providing assistance is keeping careers on an upward trajectory while you're handling all of the caregiving responsibilities. And everything that goes in to just that mental load of lightening the mental load. We have career coaches in addition to fertility experts, adoption experts, surrogacy experts, leave experts, lactation consultants, sleep experts, food banks, beds for adults, tween and teen experts, child rearing experts, potty training experts, anything that you can think of that we can assist virtually, unfortunately, we can't babysit virtually, or else we would help there too. But because back to that attrition piece, within 12 months of having a child, the statistics show that 41% of working parents leave their employers, and 33% are working dads. And sometimes it's because of child care. Sometimes it's because they just don't have the support, they just don't feel like they can, they can manage it all. And whether that is that lack of support is coming from what they perceived to be a lack of support from their company and their manager, or if it's just in their own personal sphere, they feel like they can't juggle it, you know, is sometimes left a question. And but what we have shown is, even though it's a 41%, nationwide attrition rate, we've been able to show at Village, a 96% retention rate post baby. So therefore, I would argue that it's absolutely influential when the manager and the company can get involved to support the employee, you can close that gap. But it's not just working parenthood. When people take on a caregiving responsibility, such as supporting an elder or another loved one or a family member 39% of the time employees will walk away. So this is a gap that has to be better supported and fix and HR can help companies can help, we absolutely can find the win win. And that's what villages always trying to figure out is how can you find the win win? How can we support employees in a way that also pushes company goals, objectives, KPIs all of that forward as well. And with open dialogue, you can usually reach a resolution?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, you know, I think a powerful statistic there you said 96% retention compared to a 41% attrition for yourself.

Debi Yadegari:

Exactly. 96% retention? Yeah,

Kyle Roed:

yeah, absolutely. Which is huge. I, you know, I think it's really, it's really fascinating. And it's, quite honestly, it's something that we've really struggled with, as we've kind of managed through this change is that is the kind of the real world, the real life of our employees coming into the forefront of the work that we do, I think, you know, pre pandemic, it was easy to just say, Oh, well, you know, that's, that's a personal issue, or that's a personal thing. But when you're actually in a meeting with somebody, and in all sorts of different people all around the world, and their kid pops in and needs a, you know, a restroom break or a sandwich or something like that, and there's nobody else to help them well, now, you know, there's no, there's, you just have to be open to it and flexible to it. And I do think that early, especially early on, you know, we had some learning to do, you know, it was, you know, the pre pandemic, it was unheard of, for a child to bust in, or a dog to start barking in the background, or, you know, and, and now, it's like, if it doesn't happen during a meeting, I'm disappointed because it's the most fun that we have during that a lot of times,

Debi Yadegari:

exactly. And we've long known that what happens in our personal lives affects us professionally. But we would hide that, you know, it was like, we we would lose focus, we would lose concentration, if we had a bad morning with our partner or our child, it absolutely continues with us during the day. And that is multiplied when we have something very large going on in the background like caring for, you know, mom and her old age or having experienced a loss, or even something exciting as getting married, right? How much productivity is lost every time someone gets engaged. And so when you can bring that into the forefront, and have team members and managers recognize that what's happening with someone personally is 100% going to affect how they show up professionally, and help that and guide that and really be a coach, because that's what managers need to be right. We need to move away from managers being the bad guys of saying no, and adding limits to being the good guy who's coaching their employees to be better team members, more productive team members. And in order to do that, you 100% have to recognize what else is going on in an employee's life.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. I think I think you said it really well there. And it's like, you know, a lot of times we talk about, you know, culture and what is it I like to define it as it's, it's who you become, when you enter the workplace, whether you're logging in or you know, whether you're walking in, in an office building. But a lot of times people do put on a mask or a show, right and it's almost like they're acting like Everything's fine. Yeah, you know, they're dealing with a, with a sick family member or, you know, they're, you know, they have a crisis with a college student that that is that is struggling with their coursework or, or they have a new baby at home and they slept for two hours last night. If they're lucky, you know, and but what I've seen so many times time and time again, is the managers that take the time to listen and understand what's happening and have that level of trust with their employee, that their employee knows, oh, I can tell so and so I got like, no sleep last night, I am struggling. And their manager says, You know what, it's fine. I understand. I've been there, you know, I'm on. I'm on number three, I get it. So you know, just do what you can do. And if you need to leave early and get some rest, whatever, you know, it's stuff like that, right? Like that really matters. So as you as you look at what village's technology does, and you know, kind of as we think about the managers role in working parents success, how do you help facilitate the manager playing the role that we need them to play?

Debi Yadegari:

Great question. We provide technology that allows the manager to stand in the shoes of the employee. And the way we do that is our platform facilitates communication from the employee, to the manager that says, Hey, I am going through this life event, I am getting married, I am engaged in a fertility journey. I am beginning the surrogacy journey, I have just experienced a miscarriage, I am getting married, or something as mundane as I want to upskill my career, we've also seen that the statistics have shown that that's an area where employees feel uncomfortable voicing their need to managers. So our platform allows employees to come on and share any of these very personal life events plus more many, many more, they need to pump out work, they're going out on leave, they're pregnant, so on and so on. To their manager, once they share that information with village, we go to work, assisting the manager in what they need to recognize what they need to understand about that particular teammate journey, very different from, let's say, an empathy webinar, or you know, some in person training where I used to bring in consultants and you know, it's manager sensitivity day, and let's learn about what your teammates might be experiencing. This is true just in time guidance, that is nudged out to managers just when they need it based upon the specific life event of that particular teammate. So the nudges come out in a timely cadence. So the first cadence would be or sorry, the first nudge would be so and so it has begun, let's say a surrogacy journey, for instance, and this information has been shared with us, please use discretion not to share it with others. And this is what you need to know. Next step would be what you and your team member need to understand and would go into the details, you know, 90% of the time a surrogate is going to be located outside of the state travel is going to be involved for this employee, you will be able to set this employee up for success by planning for that travel and supporting them through the need to be there at certain critical doctor's appointments, planning for leave as if they themselves were pregnant. preparing in advance for the birthday write with a surrogate, you're going to need to probably take off for a little bit earlier than working up to the last day of your due date. Because you never know when that baby is going to be is going to come and you don't want to miss any of that, you know, just sharing some of that, that know how and then providing guidance throughout the journey of how to handle absences how to drive productivity, but how do you drive productivity with empathy and compassion, nudging the manager when it would be appropriate to check in and providing guidance on what they should say during that period? Same thing if someone was, God forbid to have experienced a loss of you know, a loved one, what they should say what they how they should respond, how they should communicate that news to team members, how they should check in whether or not they should attend the funeral. What would be appropriate for what kind of gestures would be appropriate afterwards? What kind of, you know, schedule would be appropriate for bringing the employee back in how again how to provide compassion and empathy while driving the goals forward. And when you are empathetic during a time of need, you are going to develop an employee who's going to have long term loyalty. I've seen it in amongst our clients employees. I've seen it on my own team. We've always is known within the HR space, right that high levels of attrition are kind of geared towards certain managers and other managers, people would, you know, run into a wall for they're not going to leave those managers. And it all comes down to how we respond. Harvard Business Review did a study amidst the pandemic, where they checked in, they surveyed a bunch of employees and 40% of this, this employee set said, our managers have not asked us if we are okay, recently, they checked in a little bit later, it was a 38% higher likelihood that those employees who had not had that check in hat were suffering from a higher mental load and feeling the pressure that was carrying over to, you know, increase medical costs for the employer. So it was little things something as simple as, you know, how are you doing can make a huge difference in the professional life, not just the personal life of an employee, and it drives dividends to the manager as well. So how do we help managers we automate what they need to know when and help them say and do the right thing?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, that's, it's, that's fascinating program. And I can, if I can share a personal story, I could, I could have used this personally, when my wife was a surrogate a few years ago, let alone a surrogate in the middle of, you know, a COVID night teen pandemic, and, and, but, you know, I reflect on that journey, you know, as the spouse of a surrogate, it was, the person that she was a surrogate for was her sister. So there were a lot of emotions tied up in that, and a lot of things that I myself was, you know, first time I'm going through this, I don't really know what I don't know yet. But yeah, telling my telling my employer, hey, I'm gonna be out for you know, a couple of days in November, because my wife's giving birth, but it's not hers, it's a long story, you know, it's, you know, like, like, that was kind of an awkward conversation, I think, I don't know that my, my manager at the time necessarily knew how to how to respond with an oh, that's, that's interesting, you know. And then, and then on my wife's side, you know, having, you know, I mean, I think there were some nerves there, just talking to her employer, unfortunately, her employer was great. And, you know, it was handled perfectly appropriately, and she was fully supported. But it was hard. You know, and, and just knowing where to go and how to how to step into those types of conversations. And then, as a, as an HR practitioner, or a manager, when you have an employee who's going through a situation like that, just having kind of a, you know, subject matter expert, help you understand, hey, by the way, the surrogacy journey takes a lot of shots, there can be a lot of side effects. You know, there's, there's things to consider here. This isn't just about, you know, having a baby and then being done with it. And then there's also a heavy emotion, emotional burden, after the birth. Right. And, and so there's, you know, there's things that unless you've gone through it, you just don't really know. So that's powerful. Absolutely.

Debi Yadegari:

And it's oftentimes those life events that will cause people to switch employers afterwards. It's, it's very heavy, it's physically heavy, it's emotionally heavy. And sometimes people just want to level set and start fresh. But when you have gone through that with the support of like, you know, the proverbial, like, open arms around you, it's a place you're gonna want to stay in make home. And it's those critical events that are so tantamount to whether somebody stays or leaves. And thank you for sharing your story. That's incredible. I've never heard the story from the opposite side before. So thank you. And I think it's important to share with others.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Although when people ask me, I'm like, you know, if this were a football team, I was like the kicker, you know, I did the least amount of work. But when I was called in for, you know, the birth, you know, I had to be there. I had to make the field goal. But other than that, it was, it was pretty hands off. It really wasn't that big a deal. My wife did a lot more work.

Debi Yadegari:

thing. Absolutely amazing.

Kyle Roed:

I do love AI. There's a couple of things I want to hit on the first first thing I agree so much, and I think the word you used was, you know, these critical moments. I think if you trace it back and you look at like turnover, especially turnover related to like somebody's employee experience, it comes down to a few interactions, a few instances where it's like this, like this razor's edge where someone just didn't handle it right in the moment and that was enough to completely taint their entire experience at work. You know, and it's like, and as a manager, I find myself kind of continuously reminding myself hey, this, this could be one of those moments. Don't screw this up, right? Like, like, you've got to kind of consciously remind us to Okay, show the empathy. Listen, react. respond appropriately, you know, like, like, don't let this be one of those, one of those negative moments. And then I did love the fact, you know, manager sensitivity day. Can I just say that sounds like such an HR initiative? I've heard that. And I'm like, oh, yeah, that sounds like a corporate program that, you know, Kyle rolled out and everybody's like, Oh, rolling their eyes IT manager sensitivity day. Yeah. So yeah, that, that spoke to me, I felt that Debbie, I felt,

Debi Yadegari:

it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

Kyle Roed:

Okay, I'll cross that one off the list. That's fine. We won't do that here.

Debi Yadegari:

But you're not you're not alone in what you were saying. We were just at a trade show. For HR professionals, and somebody stopped by our booth, and it was a young manager, she must have been not even 30. And she was saying how our program resonates with her because there have been so many situations where she didn't know how to handle it, because she has, she wasn't there in her life yet. And she had never managed that before. And we have to realize and recognize that people are promoted to manager status, because they're good at what they do. Not necessarily because they were the best person on the team, managing people, maybe one of the, you know, lesser performers, you know, maybe the guy who's not so good at engineering might be really good at motivating people and coaching people, whereas we're promoting the person who's like the best engineer. And so, you know, it's something that we have to keep in mind that, whereas we develop people, and we're developing their skills within a corporation, it behooves us also to develop their EQ. And we've always focused on, you know, the true career leadership stuff, and the true management stuff, you know, about how to articulate goals, how to handle performance reviews, how to think about compensation, and those types of things. We've kind of skipped over the whole how to respond to people's personal life events, thing, and that's pretty heavy, because all of that comes to work with the employee every single day.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. You know, I think that what's really interesting about this approach is, you know, like you said, it's, there's all these broad programs, when you talk about, you know, all of these things that are a lot of it's common sense, right? It doesn't necessarily mean it's easy, you know, empathy is not easy, but a lot of it is kind of these, these things that are like you learned in like grade school, right, like, treat others with respect, you know, you treat others the way they want to be treated, you know, the platinum rule, like there's all these, like, great programs and topics. But it's all very theoretical, right? It's like, oh, yes, that sounds good. When you're in when you're sitting in a classroom or on a virtual training session, and somebody says it, it's like, that's a really good, that's a good reminder, I'm gonna remember that. And then someone walks into your office, you know, a day later, and you're in the middle of 16, you know, emails you're trying to respond to, and the phone's ringing, and they walk in, and they give you some, you know, truth bomb on your desk, and you're like, I don't know what the hell to do with this. Right? It's just so easy to lose sight of it. But this is like tactical, like, there's things here, that it's like, oh, I need to know this. And this and this in this scenario, right? Right. Like, I love that

Debi Yadegari:

exactly. Like someone going through a fertility journey, not all managers are going to recognize that that employee might not be able to travel on business, because depending on where their lab levels fall, they're gonna get called into the fertility clinic last minute, you know, somebody who has an employee returning from leave, and who is breastfeeding at home and these to pump in the office, they might not understand that after a team meeting, asking someone, Hey, can you stick around for another 15 minutes, is causing physical pain to that employee who needs to relieve herself, you know, and so the idea behind village is we're providing the tactical understanding, you know, like, you know, allowing them to really see the employees experience multi dimensionally instead of just through the eyes of the manager, like, this is what you need to understand about that employees experience, physically, emotionally, the whole nine yards, and then you can use your manager skills, but we got to get you to that place of understanding and that's what's lacking from manager sensitivity day is you just talk at people be kind Do unto others, all of that stuff. It's very high level, but it's a different response. You're going to forget that stuff. But you're going to remember that you know, when you understand that, it's going to cause my employee pain if I don't adhere to what they've shared to me to be their pumping schedule, like that's gonna stick around.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, or maybe the employee is not even comfortable sharing that pumping schedule with their manager. And this gives them kind of that avenue to say, Hey, I these are the breaks. I know this is the standard break schedule, but these are the breaks I need and here's why coming from somebody that's a subject matter expert in it versus an employee breaking, you know, kind of bringing that to their manager or even in times, bringing it to HR, right? Because a lot of times we're, we're asked to play this role, right? And let me tell you, I am not an expert in many of these aspects. I'm just not I'm sorry, I've never had to care for an aging parent. In poor health. I've never had I've, you know, I've, I've heard of others dealing with that. And I always try to listen, but I don't necessarily always know, what is the what is the thing that this person needs? For me right now? What are the accommodations that we can give to this individual right now? What are the resources that are out there that this person might need? You know, it's like, you know, I'm just thinking about this as a tool, just purely for HR. You know, this is the first part of our job title, you know, human. Right, this, this helps us be better humans.

Debi Yadegari:

Yes. Exactly. Exactly. And there's, I'm, I'm happy that you said that, because right now, there's a big emphasis on just be human. I, I shared that I was traveling recently, and I attended two HR conferences last month. And everywhere I went at the first one, everybody was saying that we just need to be human. And we need to support our employees. It's an employee's market. As we said, At the onset, they can go anywhere, they can turn anywhere, what's going to differentiate us as employers of choice is the ability to show that we are human, we're not just an engine that's going to spit them up and or chew them up and spit them out. And when people feel that their humanity is recognized, and they're able to bring their full self to work, it changes the conversation, that was another buzzword that we've been using for a long time, we've got to be able to bring our full selves to work. Today, that means so much more, it means all of that baggage in the background, right? It comes with us. And as you said, we can no longer deny what's going on the background of Zoo, what transpired you know, what happens in the background of zoom affects what transpires across zoom, and there's so much there that needs to be understood. The elder care experience, I have a friend who's, who just recently moved her mom, from her private residence into eldercare, she's had to take off work to spend the last two weeks hacking up her childhood home. And before it was sold. I mean, that was a huge task heard her two siblings working 24/7 and taking off work to do that. It's those types of things that we're going to explain to the manager who's never been through eldercare as something that some that might be on the horizon for this employee, and how to have those conversations and plan ahead of time to help them

Kyle Roed:

know love that that's really, really powerful example, and a lot of times, you know, I'm just reflecting a lot of times, we have no idea, right, you know, or maybe that person is, you know, is taking this this vacation time, then feels guilty about it. And as for going, you know, a vacation, they were excited and enthusiastic about it. But, you know, potentially had they opened up to their manager and shared the experience, the manager could have found some sort of accommodative practice, or, or flexibility to use, you know, maybe, you know, out here just work, work part time, work remote, just use 20 hours, that's fine. Like, you know, I mean, something like that, right. But so often, we don't even know, you know, it just happens in the background. And a lot of times my employees, they do have like that guilt, and they don't feel like it's appropriate to bring it up at work sometimes, right? And it's like, and if you haven't intentionally created that space, or you don't have that relationship with your, with your employees, you know, there are times where the this like, these, these huge life events are happening, and we don't even know so we can't even help. Right. And that's

Debi Yadegari:

what village does, it intentionally creates the space for employees to communicate what's going on in the background with their employers. You know, I'll go back to the fertility example. Fertility benefits are hot, right. We know one in eight people suffer from infertility, they need assistance, employers understand that, you know, it's something that employees want, they're investing in it, it's expensive. In turn, employees are engaging in fertility. So what does that mean? It means they're more absences. For doctor's appointments, their employees have to have delayed schedules, because sometimes they need to have, you know, hormone injections on a weekly basis. There are hormone injections, which cause mood swings. There's all of this building up in the background. So what does the manager see the manager, see someone who's coming in late, absent a lot and kind of off their game? You know, let's, and so those statistics that I was talking about, you know, 41% attrition rate, they're even higher post fertility. So the Wall Street Journal article is going into all of this, how this all happens in the background, and it's kind of having the reverse effect. By no means am I saying employers should stop spending on fertility, it's a need. But what I am saying is we have to facilitate the communication and bring managers into the fold. So if you insert village in there and have the manager understanding what's going on with them employee, you're going to create an environment of support and of trust. And instead, once you have the fertility journey, followed by the leave, you know, nine months of pregnancy, followed by leave and the return to work. And you know, when all of that's been hidden, you're going to return to friction, which is going to come to you, right, that's going to land on the death of a car. And, you know, if we can lighten the burden by reversing and inserting, you know, empathy into that conversation and understanding and helping the manager understand how they can support their employee. And then when it comes time for the employee to return to work after that long journey, they are incredibly indebted to that employer, they are incredibly thankful about the, you know, the compassion that was shown by their manager, and attrition is never going to be part of that conversation with that employee or manager.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And I just want to say just for the record, my wife was a perfect angel, no mood shoot, no mood swings during the shots. It was it was wonderful experience no issues.

Debi Yadegari:

Your wife is amazing.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I just want that on the record. And and yeah, you can, you can fill in the blanks. You know, but I think that's, that's such a great point. And a point well taken, I will, you know, one of the questions that's kind of popping up here, as I reflect on, you know, on my role as an HR practitioner, and and, you know, a great example is is, you know, IVF? You know, I think, you know, I had a little bit of an aha moment a few years ago, and I had an employee who was was was going through infertility, and was frustrated about our lack of, of insurance coverage. And we had, we had to go out and do some benchmarking, we took a look at that. And we realized, yeah, this really isn't, this isn't where it needs to be. Right. So there's also things that, you know, we need to think about, as, as HR people, it's not just a cost mitigation exercise to provide benefits and insurance to employees, right. Like, it's like, there's a human element there that we need to consider. And, you know, and if we don't have the right level of benefits, that's a great example of, you're going to see some attrition, at some point, somebody's going to have an issue, and they're going to feel like, wow, my employer is not friendly towards women, or my employer doesn't care about me, because this benefit is so cheap. And so it's like, we have to think holistically about that. And, and you know, what our managers do as well. So I think that's a, that's a great call out. And I appreciate you sharing that.

Debi Yadegari:

And I love that you're saying that, because so often we have conversations during our sales process with benefits leaders, and we'll talk to them about attrition. And we're like, what's your attrition, like, I don't know, head of HR handles that, and then you know, but then CFOs are worried about the cost savings, and like, there's this triangle of connect between the priorities of the CFO, you know, HR and the benefits leaders. And we need to, that's another place where we need to bring the three together to close the gap, to really focus on the quality employee experience, because at the end of the day, that is going to be the biggest driver of company's success, you know, defined not just by the bottom line of what you're spending, but more about the ROI of what you're getting. And we know employees are going to be more productive, when they're happier, they're going to be happier when they feel more supported. And this is a conversation that we have to continue to have, we have to think outside of, you know, yesterday when it was all about just how do we decrease the health care cost? And you know, what benefits are? What's the the budget here, we've got to think about what's the return? And in order to have that conversation, we have to really look in and dig into attrition and recognize how expensive it is to replace employees. You know, and what people don't realize oftentimes is it's more expensive to replace a senior employee than a junior employee. And that is not only costly in a dollars amount, but again in a productivity and output them out losing a senior female leader within many organizations that are really fighting to get females to the top can be a killer killer on DNI killer for a public company that's you know, trying to change culture and the face of their their company. There are many trickle down effects.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. If you have not done a cost of turnover project at your organization, I strongly I encourage you to do it. Because that really is that's exactly what you're talking about. It's it's, you know, how do you calculate the ROI of a program like this? Well, I can tell you that and this is rough math, but if you look at go into some of the research that Forbes did, for they look at it by a like, like low pay mid pay higher paying positions as a percent of salaries, like 30 to 50% of annual salary for higher turnover, lower paying positions as the cost 150% of annual salary for mid range, positions, and 400% of annual salary for higher paying positions. And I think you could sub in their senior level positions, because they know all the things you don't. And they know the things that aren't documented, and they know the skeletons in the closet. And they're, they're not there. A lot of times, it's the backbone of your business. And if one of those critical situations happens, one of those kind of focal points that is a binary stay or quit decision for one of these employees, you just cost yourself 4x their annual salary, right like that, that should get a CFOs attention

Debi Yadegari:

completely. And often. You take just one of those senior employees, and for extra salary, or benefits, such as village, it's gonna be a fraction.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, yeah, that helps offset that. Yeah, that that one IVF benefit that we're like, geez, I don't know, that seems pretty hefty. Absolutely. And so, you know, I just think just a wonderful program. I think it's, it's just really smart. And I love the fact that it's actionable information. You know, it's not, it's not the theoretical pie in the sky, Kumbaya sensitivity stuff, it's like, this is real world, this is what happens, this is the thing that you need to understand as a leader. And especially as a leader that I think, you know, to circle back what you said earlier, leaders aren't great leaders from the get go. Typically, I think there are some exceptions to that there's some people who are just kind of natural leaders, but most of the time, they're, they were good at their job as an individual contributor. So they get put into a manager role. Right? That doesn't mean that they have the level of empathy and compassion that you need them to have in order to handle these situations effectively at all times. And so putting a tool in their hand, you know, just just makes so much sense. So, with that, Debbie, just a wonderful conversation, we are rounding towards the end of our time together. So and as a mother of five, a CEO and a founder, I have a feeling that you probably have plenty to do today. So we're gonna shift gears and go into the rebel HR flash round. Are you ready? I'm ready. All right, perfect. Question. Number one, where does HR need to rebell.

Debi Yadegari:

They need to have their voice be heard at the table. I think I find a lot of times with our conversations with the HR leaders that they find that they are in a place of deference to their CFO, they have the most important role within an organization and coming out of the pandemic. I think nobody can deny that so much has been placed on the HR plate. And now is the time for HR to shine. So I challenge all HR leaders to speak up and get the credit that they deserve.

Kyle Roed:

100% 100% Very well said I do think you know, it's one of the things that we've heard for years. You know, we just want to see the tail, you hear that every Sherm conference, you know, there's always at least one seminar get your, you know, seat at the table. But, you know, it really is it's, it's real, and and if you don't have it at your organization, then somebody else is filling that seat, somebody, somebody else is talking about people problems, and trying to come up with people solutions. I mean, what have we dealt with over the last couple years? I mean, it's it's, you know, mental health in the workplace Dei, a pandemic, for goodness sake, you know, those are all those are people things, right. So we should have the people, experts in the room helping to shape and guide that discussion. And I would, I would tell you that your CEO, your executive director, you know, your whoever you report to, they need to hear your voice, whether they realize it or not. So somehow, you've got to find a way to make sure that voice is heard. So I agree 100% me. Alright, question number two, who should we be listening to?

Debi Yadegari:

Your employees if you're not listening to your employees today, you are going to be bleeding your employees tomorrow? Absolutely. Your employees we know that they hold the upper hands. We know that life outside of the office is just as if not more important to them inside of the office. So listen, meet their demands. Usually they're not so unreasonable. Studies today show that they're not looking for more money, which is a great thing to hear. They're looking for a more culturally compassionate place. to work?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. You know it, I think that's a great call out. And so often the answer when an employee has a complaint or a concern is, let's just throw money at it, you know, you know, you know, how much will it take to keep you? Well, a lot of times, it's so much deeper than that. And in many cases, it really is more of a benefits issue, because benefits are personal, right? You're, you're helping someone deal with something that is personal to them, you know, not just throwing a couple more dollars into their paycheck at the end of the, at the end of the pay period. Right? It's it is something that if you listen, like you said, If you don't listen, you know, good luck to you. But, you know, let me know who you are, because I'm doing a lot of recruiting right now. So I'd love to meet your employees. But that's the reality, right? It's like this is a competitive environment. If you if you're not adaptive and focused on this stuff, you're gonna fail, you're gonna lose out on the talent that you need to succeed. Absolutely. All right, final question here. The hardest hitting one of them all. You know, this is this is tough. How can our listeners connect with you?

Debi Yadegari:

Thank you for asking. You can find us on all social media at village that's the i l l y g. You can reach out to me personally at Debbie de bi at Village vi l yg.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, we'll have as always we'll have that information in the show notes. Pop open your podcast player, click right in there. Check it out. I just think, Debbie, thank you so much for being so gracious with your time here. Just a wonderful approach to helping improve the employee experience. And I've learned a lot today. So thank you so much for sharing.

Debi Yadegari:

Thank you, Kyle. It's my pleasure.

Kyle Roed:

Thanks. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe