Janet L. Polach, Ph.D. is a global leadership development partner and coach. She has developed leaders in the U.S., China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
As a retired lieutenant colonel having spent 20 years in the Marines, Janet knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a great leader.
Realizing that managers were too busy running their business to pay attention to employees and witnessing the high staff turnover she felt compelled to teach organizations how to get clear about what effective leadership really looks like and implement the right practices to increase purpose and profit.
After receiving her Ph.D. in organizational development and working with a global consulting firm in China she launched her own consulting practice helping hundreds of companies across the globe including major brands and government contractors.
Her no-nonsense but lighthearted approach is what separates her from the boys and creates transformational results for even the most struggling leaders.
She’s also the author of ‘The Seven Mistakes Managers Make’. Her mission is to help people find their own voice in a noisy world and lead from within.
Because she truly believes that anyone can develop into a great leader.
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.
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Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work. Please connect to continue the conversation!
The good management skills are still good management skills. You just have to make time to do them. You know you have to schedule 30 minute check in meetings every other week is just fine. And then not cancel them. Not cancel them no matter what. schedule them first thing in the morning so they don't get cancelled.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, do not make that an optional meeting or it will do the opposite of what you want it to do. Well,Janet Polach:
it will it will. Yep.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 extremely excited for the debt. The show today. We have with us today Janet Pollack, PhD. She has recently written a book, the book is called The Seven mistakes new managers make, how to avoid them and thrive. Janet started her career in the Marine Corps. She is a legit leadership expert, making sure that people understand good leadership practices, whether they are running a marine organization, or making sure that the manufacturing is running correctly. So really excited for the conversation. And thank you, Janet, for spending some time with us today.Janet Polach:
Thank you, Kyle, I'm delighted to be here.Kyle Roed:
We're really excited for it. You know, there's so many times where I just wish I would have hit record, the minute that we started talking, before I hit record for the podcast, because the conversations already just been wonderful here. So I'm really looking forward to digging into this. The first question that I want to ask is What prompted you to write a book about leadership?Janet Polach:
Thank you for the question. So this was my COVID time as a consultant as a coach. And as an executive coach, you know, things slowed down. There was a lot of nervousness in that first year, I had always had it on my to do list, and it just made sense. So I was able to take a lot of the content I already had from blogs, from emails from leadership development sessions I'd had and took the time to think about if you're brand new leader, if you're a frontline leader, what do you really no need to know how to do and how to do well. Because Kyle, what we were saying before we got started is to transition from individual contributor to manage your is tricky. We often promote our best people, they get things done, they're always ahead of the curve. And then we say Tada, now you're a manager. If we drew a Venn diagram, the overlap skills between individual contributor and manager are very limited. Yet we do it over and over and over again. And I wanted to provide something that was simple and straightforward to both HR professionals, the leaders who lead brand new managers, and more importantly, the brand new managers.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. And, you know, I think every HR professional when you made the comment about individual contributor, transitioning to a manager is probably nodding their head, because we've had that scenario of the of the top performing individual contributor, the all star that goes into a leadership role and just completely flames out spectacularly, sometimes a fireworks. So one of the things I love about this book is it's it breaks it down into really simple to understand ideas, but it also kind of turns conventional wisdom on its head a little bit. And so you know, as we think about that transition into frontline leader, I want to talk about some of the mistakes and we won't get through all of them. So you'll have to buy the book if you want to get all the the good details here. But one of them that really spoke to me is something that I know I'm guilty of, and every organization I've been a part of has been guilty of mistake number one, which is doing instead of leading. So as you are looking at kind of that required success factors for a new leader, what guidance would you give for a leader who is trying to make that transition from Doer to leader?Janet Polach:
I think first of all, they've got to figure out who they have on their team. What are their team members strengths and assets? What might be untapped? So again, you know, our natural tendency is to go to our superstars over and over again and then the superstars get overloaded. So figuring out who you've got on your team, figuring out what do they aspire to, and what do they want to learn how to do it And then tap into that. So providing guidance on how you get tests done, but not doing the tasks. So I think that transition from individual contributor to leader and not letting go is all about letting go. It's about letting that person trial and error how to do a task, giving them some feedback along the way. And knowing that it will probably be done differently than how you did it. And that's okay.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, I, I'm kind of chuckling here, because it's, you know, I can't remember the source, but it's it I saw this years ago. And it's so true. It's like, you know, when we talk about, like, incentives for doing good work. And so often we have these all stars, a lot of times the reward for doing good work, is more work. Right? Like you just give it to, and yeah, and, and that can be, that can be challenging, especially if you're the person who was doing all the good work. So so how do you respond to the leader who says, Yeah, but, but I do it better. And I also do it more efficiently. So if I give it to somebody else, I'm slowing down, you know, our process. And it just doesn't make sense to do that right. Now, what's your reaction to that kind of pushback?Janet Polach:
My reaction always is, it may slow you down in the short term, but it doesn't get you anywhere in the long term. So if you hold on to all of those tasks, even as a manager, your team isn't developing. They're not learning anything. And in this day, and age where employee expectations are higher than they've ever been. They're saying, Well, why do I bother the boss is going to do it all. And I can learn more and get more challenged someplace else. So I think it's not only an engagement thing, but I think it's a retention strategy.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. No, I agree with that. I think it's, it's really something that once you've experienced that, it's pretty eye opening. Right? I mean, I, because I fell prey to this early in my career where, you know, I had the opportunity to have the opportunity to be a leader when I was very young. And my assumption was, okay, I'm a leader. Now I have to now I have to tell people how to do things. That's what leaders do. Right. And, and what I quickly found out was people were doing things differently than I would do them. And, and, you know, honestly, there's some struggle there. And I think that I think that there can be, there can be a little bit of eye opening there that that needs to occur. What successful programs have you seen your clients or other employers do that help with that transition that help people, you know, kind of keep them from making that misstep, and set them up for success? earlier? So they don't have to learn like I did the hard way?Janet Polach:
Yeah, well, I think there's a couple of things you can do. First of all, you can prepare your future leaders, most of us now are doing succession planning, and we're going pretty deep into the organization. So figuring out who are the people you're most likely going to promote, and then get them together and start doing leadership development even before you make those promotion decisions. I think once you make those promotion decisions, get this Corporate Executive Board says have found 60% of new managers fail within their first 24 months. So tapping into them in those first two or three months. Most of us promote make our promotions in the first quarter of the new year, we kind of follow our calendar year and fiscal year. And so checking in with them during those first few weeks. How's it going? What are you doing differently as a manager that you are not doing now as an individual contributor? I think getting some of those new managers together in a room and talking about what is the challenge? How's it going and what's working? So there's not a huge spend there necessarily. I think it's HR people thinking. You know, I have a vested interest in making these brand new managers successful and I'm going to take time to do it.Kyle Roed:
So it's really what's really funny. So first of all, yeah, I mean, that that statistic is fairly staggering. I don't know that I'd heard that before. But um, oh my gosh, talk about like, putting a risk on, you know, putting a new leader in role. That's kind of scary. But then the other thing that I that I keep thinking is It's, you know, this mistake number one, it's kind of the same mistake that HR makes all the time, which is, HR is the one that wants to do the leadership development, and the learning and development and HR wants to do the retention strategies, as opposed to lead their leaders to do those things, right. And so I, you know, as I think about that, and you know, a little bit of a challenge to the HR people like, and I've said this many, many times, you know, leadership development, career development, retention, they say, this isn't just an HR thing, right? Like HR needs to build the structure, HR needs to set expectations, HR needs to educate people how to do this, and then you need to let your leaders do it. But it's going back to my initial point, but we think we're better at doing it. So, so we've got it, we've, you know, you know, this is a mistake that I see a lot of HR professionals making, like, you know, you've got to get out of the way a little bit too, and accept that. Sometimes this work needs to be done, and it doesn't necessarily need to be done the way you would do it.Janet Polach:
So absolutely, absolutely. And I think as an HR professional, you, you can contribute the content, the how tos, you know, we know how to be a good leader in those skills can be taught. So finding some good content, whether it's from my book or someplace else. I think it's facilitating the conversation. It's pulling those brand new frontline leaders who have their hair on fire off the front line for a few hours every week or a couple of hours every other week to talk about how is it going with each other? And what are they learning and what is difficult? I think that group experience and learning from each other. HR can have a role of facilitating it. But again, they can't do it. They have to bring everybody together so that they learn from each other.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. Yeah. So you made a comment there. And I'm curious to get your perspective on it. Because I think there's there's I think there's some different opinions out there on this. And you mentioned that, you know, leadership can be taught. And I agree, do you know, full disclaimer, but I think a lot of times we do still fall into that bias that somebody is a, quote, natural leader. And so it what, you know, what is your reaction to that, that kind of that that assessment that somebody is a natural leader? And if somebody's not considered that, can they get there? What's what's your reaction to that?Janet Polach:
Well, my reaction is that in the United States Marine military, we go under the assumption that anybody can learn how to lead. We spend a lot of time on it, we invest in our brand new Marines in my case, and our corporals, and our sergeants and our staff sergeants and lieutenants and our captains throughout their careers, to help them learn how to be better leaders. We have case studies, we have how tos, because in the United States, Maryland, military, you know, it truly is a life and death kind of situation, your boss may be cut down at a time when it's most critical. And so what we learn as marine officers, its staff, noncommissioned officers is if that were to happen, I need to step up and take over. So leadership is critically important. But it's critically important, Kyle to the business that you run, it's critically important to international businesses that regardless of the country that you operate in, the rules are a little bit different. And so leaders need to figure out what matters here and how do I adapt and make things successful? So it's that ongoing sense that yeah, I'm gonna have trial and error as I learned along the way, but I don't think most leaders are born I think most really good leaders evolve and develop over time.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely, I think, you know, it's such an interesting paradox to me, because I think a lot of times the natural quote, natural leaders and those natural skill sets, sometimes they're not the best individual contributors. Right. Yeah. And it's, it is such a it's, it's such an interesting challenge for an organization to truly spot the the right leaders. You know, so as as we're thinking about that and as you reflect on, you know, some of those successful leadership traits? What? What steps can we take as we think about like a talent assessment? For what makes good leaders? And how do we spot that when, you know, maybe we don't want to promote the all star, maybe we want to promote the solid be individual contributor that everybody will love working for?Janet Polach:
Exactly. I think it's a couple of things. I think it's do they have? Have they already demonstrated an interest to work through others? Or are they the superstar that always has to be at the top of the hill taking all the glory? So a willingness to work through others? I think you hit on it, Kyle, just a second ago, the willingness to be engaged with others do people like and want to follow them, you know, who wants to work for someone you don't like or who's mean spirited or is only critical. So there's a big difference between someone who's liked and someone who's followed. But that followership comes from being engaging, caring about other individuals, knowing who's on the team, and what matters to them, taking time to ask them about their aspirations, and what do they want to do after they have spent two years in the call center? So I think it's the second characteristic is having that honest attention to the other people that we work with?Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think it's, I think it's just, it's a really interesting challenge. And in, you know, I reflect back on, you know, the way that we typically pick our high potential people, right, and there's a lot of you know, that even the term high potential is a little bit charged at times. But, you know, I do think that it's really easy to just assume that, you know, potential and performance are the same thing. But they're, they're really not. And this the skills, the skills that make someone successful in a leadership role are typically just very different than than the skills for an individual contributor role. And so, you know, as, as we're thinking about that, and human resources, I think that's part of that, you know, as you think about your developmental pipeline, and your talent structures, and your learning and development is, what systems do, you have to spot that and make sure that you don't fall into that pitfall of, you know, promoting people beyond where they should be? And quite frankly, it just makes everybody miserable. Typically,Janet Polach:
it sure does. It sure does. And it drives turnover. Of course, I think one of the challenges that HR folks have is we've spent so much time in the last five or 10 years on doing succession planning on having the conversation, you know, regardless of the tools that you use. And so, now we know who our quote unquote hypos are. And then we don't take a deliberate next step to say, how are we going to get them ready, we just assume that somebody in that highest potential block is ready to launch into a new and unusual experience. And they may or may not be. So I think the biggest thing that HR can do to close that gap is to say, Okay, now our highest potentials, what are development assignments that we're going to give them? And how do we coach and mentor them through the process so that they're really successful, and they're ready to lead our biggest challenges.Kyle Roed:
That's a great call out 100%. And it's, you know, I mean, I love pretty pictures. And you can make a really pretty org chart with all your high potentials and promotable goals and strong contributors, or whatever label you want to put on your team. But if what if it's, if that's all it is, it's just a pretty PowerPoint slideshow, then you know, you're doing your your organization of disservice you need, I mean, you have to kind of force it most of the time to make sure that these individuals get into a program that actually helps cultivate the skills gaps that they have, or gets them exposure to the things that they would not typically see throughout their day. So, you know, I think that's a great call out I also, I think we're, we're shifting into one of the other mistakes, which is not developing your team. And that's really what we're talking about here. So, So walk me through the mistake of not developing your team. Why, you know, I think we all know we should I think even people who aren't natural leaders probably know okay, I probably should be developing my team. But if we all know that we should be doing this. Why is the mistake happening? Yeah, good point?Janet Polach:
Well, I think first of all, it's really easy to send them off to training and think we did our job. What we know from a learning perspective is that that is the least likely way that people are actually going to apply the skills on the job is to listen to a TED talk, or go off to a two day training session on how to do Excel or do some analysis. But I think managers get overwhelmed at the thought of developing their team. And it's not that hard. It's getting them together and saying, Sharon, you're really good at calling through data? Can you give us three pointers on how you do it? Where do you start? What do you do in the middle? How do you produce such great insight. And so it's building it into the day to day work of the team when the team gets together, and sharing knowledge and then giving other people a chance to apply that knowledge? So, you know, we talked a few minutes ago, Kyle about, it's, as a new manager, it's just so much easier for me to do it. I think from a development perspective, we run into that same problem. So now we talk about how to do something different, and then we have to give someone that opportunity to do it. And again, there might be some lack of performance, there might be some impact on productivity that we maybe don't think we have time to spare.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely, I that's, that's the most common complaint that I hear when I do. Do you know, training or, or talk about, hey, you know, we really shouldn't be doing this as I just don't have time. I just don't have time. And it's, it is so easy to fall into that trap. And I think I think we do the same thing in HR. Right? It's like, you know, yeah, I would love to, you know, spend time developing my employees, but I gotta get payroll done. You know, and if I don't do this, people don't get paid. Right? Well, that's pretty darn important. So yeah, we should probably, but if we don't take the time to develop others around us, or ensure that development is happening, it never changes. Right? You know, that? It's actually, you know, my argument there is like, Yes, I understand that you're busy and that and that you feel like you don't have any time. But what if so, and so quits because they feel like you're not developing them enough? Well, how much time are you going to have now? Right, right. And, and by investing in employee development, you're actually it's, you're investing in reduction in time in the future. Right. So it's actually the solution to the problem. But but sometimes, that's really hard to say when, you know, people are under under fire. And I think the other challenge there is, sometimes it's hard for people to focus on their own personal development when they feel like they are too busy. So so what what do you see that works for a leader that actually focuses their time and energy on employee development? How do they structure that in a way that that allows for, you know, a positive experience all around?Janet Polach:
Right? So I think you build time into your regular meeting schedule. Kyle, you just pointed out that, you know, managers will say I support development, you know, I approve most programs that people want to go to, and then my employees cancel, because they think they're too busy. And that's a very normal occurrence. And so how do you combat that? Well, most teams do meet at least an hour a week, they talk about what people are working on, what are the challenges, so carve out two things, first of all, carve out time for recognition, start every meeting with recognition, and then spend at least 10 or 15 minutes on learning? You know, it's not a big formal thing, who wants to teach about how to do a macro in Excel? Next time we get together? Can someone teach us all and we'll all open up our Excel and we'll do a macro. You know, so I think as managers we think of learning, like, oh my gosh, it's the three day program. I went to the company sponsored last year. And that's really not what the Workplace Learning at the frontline is all about.Kyle Roed:
I don't know how to do a macro. If I'm being perfectly honest, I don't I don't know if I really want to learn. I don't think it's gonna be positioned specific on that one. But I do think Yeah, and that goes back to what we really talked about that, you know, a few minutes ago, which is, is is creating that structure. Right. It's, it's, you know, it's it's as an HR professional. How do you ensure that your leaders under Dan, hey, development is important. structure that into your one on ones. And then the manager says, What's a one on one? And then you can have that conversation. But that is the reality of, of of this type of work, you know, in the real world, it's it's, you know, if you don't facilitate the structure and ensure that people are held accountable to these things, then it, you're going to miss it, it's going to be missed. Yeah.Janet Polach:
Yeah. You know, kind of one of the things that I cover the most often with leaders, either in the leadership programs, or in the book itself is how to have a good one on one. And my format starts with, how are you doing, really? And then what did you accomplish since last time we got together? And there's some questions in there about what did you learn? If we talk about development in the workplace? It's what did you learn by finishing that big project? Because I think sometimes we get so busy and run into tight deadlines. And we got that one done. And then it's on to the next one. And we don't pause to say, so what new skill did you discover you had that you didn't realize you had? What are you doing differently? Because of that experience? That all is learning? And then of course, it needs one on one, then you move into what are the challenges that you're facing? But we often dig into right away? So what are you working on? How's it going? Are you going to get it done in time?Kyle Roed:
You can't see me because this is an audio format. But right now I'm like, rubbing my head with the with the kind of a frown on my face, because I'm thinking oh, yeah, that's how I start all mine. Guilty? It is, it's, I think that's a great tactic. You know, it's, it's interesting, because it's like, there's so much research out there that that kind of illustrates exactly what you just described, that most of that learning happens on the job. You know, it is really you do learn by by doing that most people do most of the time. So but if you don't reflect on it, and kind of get credit for, for what somebody's learned, like, that simple question just seems so powerful. So I love that. I love that approach. I'm stealing that Janet, I'm gonna use that for my one on one. And I guess I gotta change my script a little bit.Janet Polach:
Good. It was time was found.Kyle Roed:
There you go. Thank you. Thank you for that. Absolutely, you know, and I think, you know, I think it's, it's a really powerful thing to ask somebody truly, you know, how are you? You know, and I think, especially in this environment, when you might be doing a one on one virtually, you know, it's different when you're sitting in a room with somebody, and you can read their nonverbals. You can do a little bit of that on video now. But it's still I mean, you're seeing half of a torso, and maybe a blurred background. But, you know, you're still missing a lot of that context there. And if you don't have that relationship, how do you really know how you can effectively lead that person? So have you seen, you know, has, as we've all gone through the the ever changing world of work, you know, I think we're in kind of an environment where, you know, virtual work is certainly becoming the norm, in some cases becoming the expectation. How are you seeing these, these tactics and these approaches change in a virtual environment?Janet Polach:
In a virtual environment, you still have to keep up the good work, you still have to keep up the good management behaviors, like having regular one on ones. Again, you know, when we were back alive, people would say, Well, I talked to my employees every single day, I stopped by their office, and I asked them how they're doing on such and such a project. And now of course, we have teams, and we have IBM, and we check in with them on a regular basis. But what we're not doing maybe, is taking that 30 minutes to stop and say so how are you really doing? What are you learning what's getting in the way? And then of course, we don't do that. And then the person leaves and we say, oh my gosh, I had no idea they were so unhappy. Yeah, because we never had the conversation. So I think in a virtual environment. The good management skills are still good management skills. You just have to make time to do them. You know, you have to schedule 30 minute check in meetings every other week is just fine. And then not cancel them. cancel them, no matter what schedule them personally thing in the morning so they don't get canceled.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, do not make that an optional meeting, or will it will, it will do the opposite of what you want? Yeah. Yeah. I can't tell you how many times I, you know, you have that exit interview. And you get that feedback. Well, they never prioritized me. Well, you know, what do you what do you mean by that? Well, they'd always cancel our one on ones. I mean, I've heard that so many times. And you know, and that's like, oh, yeah, well, it's almost like, you know, they expected it, and then you got rid of it's almost better than not having anything on the calendar, and then they, and then, and then they don't have the expectation that you're gonna meet. Not that I'm advocating that you don't put it on the calendar. I'm just saying that it's, it's, it's bad if you cancel it.Janet Polach:
Yes. It's really bad if you cancel it.Kyle Roed:
No, I think it's, it's so interesting. As we've transitioned to this, and it's so powerful to think about, you know, that it's not just that leadership's gotten harder in a virtual setting, but it's also been harder to become an employee and in, and especially if you're an employee that really craves feedback, and really, you know, likes to be led, and likes to have a connection with their leader and wants, wants that like that real, you know, relationship with their leader. That can be really, really stressful. If they feel like they don't know where they stand, or they're not getting that. Right. I mean, talk about I mean, that, that can drive turnover, if if, if you think like they enjoy not having you bug them, you might be completely on the wrong end of the of the spectrum there. Because they'll fill in the blanks with whatever they want.Janet Polach:
Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. So it's Mistake number four, is not taking time to give feedback. And Chris feedback is both recognition and redirecting feedback to get someplace better. I did my dissertation on the experience of college graduates during their first year of employment. And they universally said, I just don't get any feedback. One woman said, my boss honestly said to me, if you don't hear anything from me assume that everything's going fine. And so I said to these young adults, so why is that such a big deal? And they said, Well, we're coming out of college, where we got feedback all the time. You know, I take four or five classes, I turn in a paper, I get a grade, I do a presentation, I get a grade, this is ongoing over the course of three or four months, and then they come to the workplace. And we say, if you don't hear from me, everything's fine. It's just too hard of a shift.Kyle Roed:
I'm laughing because it's so true. And I mean, I mean, I had that experience where I came out of I came out of college. And I mean, it's been a while. But yeah, you're you're constantly graded. And you constantly know where you stand. So you know, either I had an A plus day to day, or I had a b minus day to day, you know which one. So but when you enter the workplace, when you have a leader that just says, you know, the less you hear from me the better. It's, it's very destabilizing.Janet Polach:
destabilizing? Yeah. It's part of the employment equation. Yeah, we pay our employees. But what we've learned from COVID, is that meaning and connection to the mission of the organization matters a lot. And so if we don't hear from our managers about how we're doing, that that's part of the fairness of being an employee is, you know, you pair pay me equitably, you help me learn and grow. And you tell me how I'm doing. Those are the basics of being an employee. And I think as managers we owe it to our employees to do that on a regular basis.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. You know, it's so funny, because, you know, nothing that we've talked about here is overly complicated. You know, this this theories are, it's fairly simple. And as and as we talked about it, it's like, oh, yeah, that makes sense. Now, that's common sense. Oh, I get that, okay. They want you know, they want to know where they stand. They want to feel connected to the organization. And I think every single person listening to this is saying, Yeah, I get that. But that doesn't mean that that's easy. It takes so much focus and energy, and that for me, that's the hardest part of being a leader. And it's one I, some people hate being a leader. Because some, because this stuff is really hard to do effectively and do right. And it's, it's, and it's not just you. I mean, I remember, you know, I, early in my career, I had a, I I've had so many great influencers and mentors in my, in my life, I'm blessed. But I had an employee who was a long term employee, he wouldn't be what I would consider to be a natural leader. And and we were looking for our next production supervisor in this case was the role frontline leader, huge team. And, you know, had the conversation with this individual and about stepping into a leadership role. And they said, they looked at me and they said, I have no interest in taking on that stress. I know what I do you Well, I know, I'm really good at it, I know that I could probably do that job well, but I only want to be responsible for me. And I know that about myself. And I, you know, for me, as a young HR professional, who was, you know, kind of my motivations and goals were very different than this individual's motivations, you know, good for them for, for kind of calling that out. Not everybody's that self aware. Right. And that's, that's where we have to as leaders, and HR professionals, kind of, kind of think about that. And as I think about that, that's like, as we define potential, the aspiration has to be there as well. And so often, we can just assume that somebody wants to be this leader, and find out, you know, down the road, oh, they don't even want to do this. They just thought that they were in this training program, because it was required, you know, I mean, it happens or that we'd like to admit,Janet Polach:
it does happen more than we'd like to admit. And, you know, how do you find out about their aspirations? You ask them? I mean, it's, I bet it's amazing how often you go to succession planning, Kyle, and, you know, Steve Schmidt's name comes up and you say, and the boss says, you know, I'm not sure, I'm not sure if you'd be a good man. So, you know, I'm not exactly sure what he wants to do next. And, you know, that's, that's part of that equation that we've been talking about.Kyle Roed:
I mean, I can't tell you, you know, again, none of this stuff is like rocket science. But at one point, I took over a new, a new team. And we, one of the things that I always do, whether it's a new team, or I'm in a new job, or whatever, is I set up one on ones just just, I call them statuses. It's just vernacular for my first employer. And the framework is simply telling you about your goals. And tell me about your abilities. And like, that's it, that's the only thing we talk about for like 30 minutes, sometimes it's an hour depending upon, you know, how other conversation you. And I saw, I took on this new team, and I and I was doing this process, and I sat down. And I asked the question about goals, what are your goals? What do you want? And she looked at me, like, I had asked her something in Mandarin. And she had no idea what I was talking about, and, and got really, really confused. And I'm like, is everything okay, you know, I'm sorry, I did, I asked, you know, did I say something wrong? And she's like, nobody's ever asked me that before. Like, what? You know, so, and, but it was to the point where they hadn't ever really given it a whole lot of thought in the context of our organization at the time. And so it's like, oh, my gosh, what we what a big opportunity missed, to help this employee understand a, what career opportunities they even want, and be what those career opportunities look like, within our organization. Right. And, and now we're at a point where now I'm, like, worried, oh, my gosh, have a turnover risk here. Because this person's like, you know, just just kind of going through going through their career without having any idea of what that career progression might look like. So yeah, I mean, I think, again, going we've talked about one on ones a lot and like some of these these topics and feedback, but I mean, so, so important. So point, well taken, Janet, right. So we are we are through three of the of the seven mistakes. So we're gonna give a little bit of we're gonna leave a little bit of a teaser here for people that you know, go by the book if you want to read the rest, but I do want to ask you, Janet, as you look at some of those other mistakes, we haven't talked about, what is one that you really want to call out that you want people listening to this to walk away with from this conversation?Janet Polach:
Well, I think Getting ahead of change and your role in leading your team through change whether they have changes, you've created yourself, because you've created a new process, or because organization has told you you're working on, you know, four day shifts, or you're moving to Timbuktu, that you, as a manager have the responsibility to manage this change. And so in the book, there is some really great tools about how do you think about it? What are the messaging? What, you know, how do you talk about? How do you get people on board and helping them to stay on board?Kyle Roed:
Thank you for saying that. Because I've been saying that for years. And I don't know how many people listen. But I mean, I can't tell you how many times it's like, I mean, somebody's like, this is happening here, communicate this. It gets dumped on my desk. And I'm like, Well, this is a crappy message. How am I supposed to send this and and a lot of times, what it turns into is, well, HR says, right, or CEO, says, or CFO says, and so, more often than not, you find a leader that finds comfort in having somebody to blame it on, as opposed to own the change with their team. And I mean, I've done a lot of employee opinion surveys in my career, I've had a lot of employees in my office, I will tell you that the leaders that own the change communication, are the ones with the best retention rates. The most loyal employees, they score the best on those those opinion surveys, because, because they're they're taking accountability for that change. So it really, really powerful note to leave on. And I think it fits perfectly into exactly what we're trying to do here at this podcast. So with that being said, we are going to change direction, and go into the rebel HR flash round. So three quick questions. Question number one, where does HR need to rebel?Janet Polach:
I think HR needs to spend much more time and investment in their frontline leaders. You know, so often, at least in America, we invest heavily in our directors and vice presidents and C level suite. And I do a lot of that work. And I'm delighted to do that kind of work. But there are a whole are bad habits that form early on. And so figuring out how to get some of this content in the hands of every single manager that you promote.Kyle Roed:
I love that. And it's one of the things that, you know, we we didn't really hit on, but it's, you know, so often, we miss that step. And we go spend a lot on our CEO, C suite, executive development plans, and a few select people that we anticipate will fill those roles at some point, maybe. And we miss the people who impact everybody in the organization, the people that are actually doing the work day in and day out. And it's for me, there's such an opportunity cost in not investing in those folks. So yeah, if you don't have a frontline Leadership Development Program, as challenging as that can be, it will pay dividends. Yep, it will. Alright, question number two, who should we be listening to?Janet Polach:
Well, I think we should listen to our business leaders, you know, constantly, how is it going? How is business? I'm amazed how many HR professionals don't ask their business leaders, how is business? Are you making money? Are you are you losing money? Are your sales profitable? Are your is turnover impacting how the business is performing? I think we get into this mundane of Well Did everybody signed the code of conduct? And like the code of conduct is really important. But is your business performing is what HR is on this planet? To help withKyle Roed:
that code of conduct you mean that like 75 page document that everybody just blindly sign so they can get out of orientation? You mean that?Janet Polach:
Every single year?Kyle Roed:
So yeah, the code of conduct is important, but leaving the code of conduct is more important, right? Yeah. We've definitely got a theme going with this conversation because it's all about like these, like these intentional actions like the one on ones and the in those, but I mean, what you said there, it just rings so true. And it just reminds me of, again earlier in my career, when I was I was struggling to build trust. I was struggling to understand the business I, you know, I, I had inroads that needed to be made. And the simplest thing that I did, and probably the most powerful thing I did is I just went and sat in our production meeting. Yeah. At least twice a week. Yep. And it was always, you know, it was just on the schedule. And I would sit there. And I didn't understand 75% of the content of that meeting at the beginning. But I can tell you that after a few weeks, I started to understand the language that we were speaking the problems that they were facing, the problems that they were dealing with, as it related to employees. And it worked, right. Like it was a really simple action, but and it wasn't me making them come to me. It was me going to them. Yes. Right. And, and it was such a, it was a symbolic gesture. But it also at the end of the day, it helped me be better. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And if and if you don't know, like, if you don't know, like, the sales numbers and the profit numbers, and you know, some of those, like basic business statistics, like, I understand not all of us are math people, but you got to you got to learn that stuff. That is what that is what drives the business. And, you know, it doesn't matter if you're a for profit or not for profit, you need to understand your organizational health. And, and really understand what you're doing and what goal you're, you're marching towards. All right. Last question. We're going from flash round into, like, you know, back into the conversation, so I'm sorry, we're, we're violating the flash round. All right. All right. We got I think this one's uh, this one's a an easy one for you. How can our listeners connect with you, Janet? Oh,Janet Polach:
thank you, Kyle, this has been really enjoyable. You can find the firstname.lastname@example.org the lead.co/books in the lead.co/books. Or you can send me an email at Janet at in the lead.co.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. And we will have all that information in our show notes. Check it out. You know, there's just some really great content here. We only got through four of the seven mistakes. So there's still three left. So you know, I'll leave that open to your your discovery there. Jana. It's just been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for for spending some time with us today and can't wait to dig into this book.Janet Polach:
Thank you, Kyle. It's been a it's been great.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 and 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. Baby