Rebel Human Resources Podcast

RHR 118: The Spirit of Work with Dr. Marie Gervais

September 20, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 118
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
RHR 118: The Spirit of Work with Dr. Marie Gervais
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Dr. Marie Gervais is the CEO of Shift Management Inc., specializing in helping people grow into supervisory and managerial positions build their leadership confidence and skills to support their teams in meeting business objectives effectively. Utilizing online courses and web coaching, Shift Management's methods have been successfully implemented and used by managers and career developers across populations and contexts.

A Ph.D. holder in Culture and Learning in the Workplace and a sought-after speaker, writer, and curriculum developer, her work is renowned for integrating and integrating the diverse workforce. She has coached more than 500 supervisors, managers, and business owners for career and business success. One of her frameworks in workplace capacity is the S.W.E.L. model of safety, wellness, encouragement, and learning.

In line with her work, she currently hosts the Culture and Leadership Connections podcast, where she interviews leaders in various professions. Her publications span industry and academic journals on topics including the future of work, workplace communication, productivity, and psychological safety in the workplace.

She is also a musician, creative writer, and visual artist outside her profession. Dr. Marie lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with her husband, Roger Gervais, a neuropsychologist specializing in workplace testing.

Dr. Marie's mission is to build workplace capacity characterized by authentic communications that recognize people for who they are. Her book "The Spirit of Work," which tackles the fascinating relationship between people and work using a combination of ancient wisdom, modern science, and real-world business examples, will be available for purchase this May 2022. She is looking forward to share her insights with your listeners!

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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Marie Gervais:

The plant manager was all excited. He said, This is the best result we've ever had. It's so great. And all I did was gather feedback and listen to what they had to say. And it wasn't hard for me to do. This was so great, everybody's excited. And then guess what happened, the company fired me. Because they realized that with all these people having more knowledge and changing their behavior, they were going to have to do the same thing. And they didn't want to. And this plant manager felt a lot better about the way he was running things. His people were happier, everybody had now a cutting edge job skill that they didn't have before. That also made them more valuable to the company. And if the company didn't recognize that they could go somewhere else, because now they have that skill, right? So they didn't lose, but they did lose because really, the whole company could have gone to that next level.

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. Rebel on HR rebels. Hello, rebel HR listeners extremely excited for the conversation today. With us we have Maria Gervais, she has written a book that was just recently released called the spirit of work. It's currently available wherever books are sold, we're going to be talking all about the book. Dr. Marie Gervais is the CEO of shift management Incorporated, specializing in helping people grow into supervisory and managerial positions, build their leadership competence and skills to support their teams in meeting business objectives. Effectively. We're going to dig into that. But first of all, I want to welcome you, Murray, thank you so much for spending some time with us today.

Marie Gervais:

Thank you so much for inviting me to be on the podcast, I'm honored.

Kyle Roed:

So I am I am just kind of waiting on the edge of my seat because we had a, we had a little bit of a conversation here, before I hit record about your book, The spirit of work. And you mentioned that you had you had sent this to a couple HR professionals and they said, Hey, this is a little bit too disruptive. And that's what we're all about here. So I am going to start with that lead in. And I want to ask and maybe start with the first question, What prompted you to write your book the spirit of work?

Marie Gervais:

Well, I am always looking for cross cutting themes and for trends for the future of work. And basically, I saw a new trend coming. And that trend is that it's a holistic approach to HR that involves the individual community and the organization. And that approaches work from a perspective that is spiritual, scientific and business at the same time. So that was what I wanted to do. It took me two years to research and write it. And I did have an experience where I went to rebel HR. What's the name of that? We just talked about it the name of disrupt HR disrupt, that's right disrupt HR, I went to several of the, their, their events, I really liked them. And I spoke to the organizer. And she she said to me, oh, you should you should definitely submit a proposal because we'd love to feature you. And I did submit the proposal about the book that I had not yet written. And she said no, this is this is too far out for us. But I don't think it is anymore, because that was pre COVID. And once people went through what they went through in COVID, their worlds changed and their mindsets changed. And they realized that things were not the same as they were before. And I think an a manager who is who manages electrician said it really succinctly. He said, I used to manage electricians. And now I play psychologist, and I'm not qualified for that. So he said I've never before had to deal with people's emotions and have to calm them down. They're electricians, they just did their job, and I have to calm them down. I have to listen to people. I have to figure out what you know what's going on in their lives. And I have to talk to you about work life balance, and like I'd never had to do this before I'm totally unprepared. And so that I thought, well, I need to do something that will help people be more prepared. So look, I already looked at things from an emotional regulation perspective. But I wanted to add in all the other parts too. So inside the book, we've got five themes. The first theme is bring your soul to work. And it's completely multi denominational. It's about texts from all of the sacred traditions. So it takes the texts about work and about working in workplaces, from all these different sacred traditions that are that are really fascinating. I learned a lot when I researched it. So so there's there's that and so bring your soul to work. Bring your heart to work, bring your body to work, bring your mind to work and you are bringing your community to work. Do you know who you're bringing? So those are the five themes.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So, you know, it's, it's, it's a fascinating topic. And I, it's the thing that you mentioned about about COVID, I think is is it really resonates with me because I, before COVID would probably have been in the school of thought of, you know, yeah, I don't know about, I don't know how much all that touchy feely kind of spirituality, how much that actually should come into the workplace, right. But what we've seen over the last few years, is, the work has been thrust into many people's homes. And you can't, you can't really, you can't separate the, you know, the entire person from the workplace, you know, even physically, anymore, like we used to be able to do for so many jobs pre COVID. And, and it's, it has prompted, you know, a conversation and, and in my perspective, I've, I've kind of changed my thinking on that, where I do think it's really important to, to be more aware of that. But I will, I will say the same thing that your leader of electrician said, which is, I am, I'm totally unqualified, to, to deal with some of these topics, especially when we start talking about things like, like, like Soul, and spirituality, you know, I've done my best to be an amateur psychologist, as many HR professionals tend to get thrust into. But you throw, you throw spirituality in there, and that's a whole nother you know, you know, we, I can't be a, you know, a spiritual advisor, it works. So, so I, I'm, I'm with you on this topic, like, for me, I think this, this makes a lot of sense. So, as you

Marie Gervais:

were, so if you think about spirituality as being about purpose, and you know, and the key questions in life, like, you know, who am I, what am I doing here? What's my purpose? Is this the career I should be in? What's my future? Those are all spirituality questions. And it helps people get their mind around it when they think about it that way. And the book is not just another book about mindfulness. So mindfulness is really important. And I do talk about it in the book. Because it's, it can be too much navel gazing, if people are only always focusing on themselves and their own feelings and their own needs, and it becomes really self centered. So, you know, putting yourself in the perspective of how can you be of service to everybody else there. And that's how you develop your talents is another aspect of spirituality that hasn't been used in the workplace much. So people are saying, Give me Give me and employers are going well, how much do I have to give? And it's, it's, it's a very unbalanced and unsafe way to live. So in the workplace, so if you're thinking, Well, what can I do to make this workplace better? And how can I contribute? And how can my contribution be valued? And how can I value other people's contributions, that's all the spirit. So it's a little bit more approachable. When you think when you think about it that way. When you look at this text from from the world religions, it's amazing. Like, for example, there are like nine, nine tenets in Hinduism that have to do with work, and one of them, which really surprised me, I had to think about it for a long time is packing up, packing up, which is the idea that when you finish something, you let it go and move on? How many people hold on to some story that happened 10 years ago, because they haven't packed it up. They have to keep revisiting that same old thing and reinforcing the negative neural pathways, right? So just that each time I run into one of those, I go, wow, if we even just did one of these things in the workplace, they'd be tracked, the whole workplace would be transformed.

Kyle Roed:

I guarantee you, many of our listeners, myself included, were thinking Yep, there's Yeah, I know, that person that's still hanging on, I think from 1010 years

Unknown:

ago, so and so said that to me, and they don't work here anymore, but I'm still mad about it.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So fascinating. I, you know, I love how you put that, you know, because I think we hear the word spirituality, we hear the word soul. And there's, you know, depending upon somebody's upbringing, and kind of their, you know, inherent biases, that there's certain connotations with that, but by but by labeling it as purpose, you know, it's fascinating because, for me, I hear the word purpose, and immediately I think of, well, work should provide a purpose for people right there, it should be a place where people feel like they're contributing. And that's also been a really strong correlation to somebody enjoying their work and being engaged in their work and staying at their at their job for for longer. And so I think, you know, it's, it's really interesting to, to kind of make that connection and think about that in a little bit of a different context than we have traditionally. Was that part of the goal with the with the book.

Marie Gervais:

Yeah, it is ended has some models in some some easy to use? Well, easy to imagine, but then apply not necessarily that same way. themes that can be there can use right away. So one of them is the idea of having, you know, thinking that what, what am I saying doing and thinking? Is it soul enhancing or soul diminishing. So soul enhancing promotes creativity inclusivity and encourages people to want to listen, to be curious about each other, to do things in an excellent way. Sold, diminishing would be the opposite. It'd be judgmental, it'd be rude, it'd be, it's all about what I want, and I don't care about you. And so if you start thinking about everything you're thinking, saying and doing in that context, it really affects the way you act at work. So kind of goes along with this phase, the famous think act acronym, you know, so think is, you know, is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? And is it kind? So that it's that kind of an idea that if you if you think, if what I'm about to say or do let me just suspend judgment for a second? Is this going to be soul enhancing or not? And, and that, and then you may or may not choose to do something that's positive. But the more you think about it, the more likely you are to autocorrect your behavior. So that's one piece. The other one is the swell acronym. So swell stands for safety, wellness, vests are your safety, well, being encouragement and learning. So if you think about everything in terms of safety, does, how safe does it feel for a new employee to come into organization? how safe do existing staff feel? welcoming a new people in a new person in? How safe is our product? How safe is our service? From birth to death cycle? Are all the people that are involved with it? Is everybody in it safe? Is the planet safe after we finish with this, right? So if you just if you just think about that, it's gonna revolutionize everything. And then once you start dealing with safety, then the next piece is well being and well being isn't like gym memberships in a pool, in your manufacturing plant? It's like, how do I feel like I belong, and I can contribute here? And how do I encourage other people so that they can feel that way too. So then that, that the whole new take on well being that it's, it's really, it doesn't involve any money, it just involves a shift in thinking. And then after that, replacing the culture of criticism with a culture of encouragement. It's just criticism is just rampant everywhere. And I used to when I did live presentations, I used to do a muscle test with anyone in the audience who wanted to do it, you know, kinesiology, muscle test sets, everybody in the audience think is mean things about this person, I'm going to try and push their arm down. First, I just test their arm. So thank you, they could see that the person did have an arm, it was functioning properly. And the next I think main things, the person's arm would go down. And there was nothing they could do, I usually ask someone who is the strongest, you know, most boss person in the audience to come and volunteer to do it. And then afterwards, I say, now think all things you really love about this about this person. And, and their arm was super strong, I hang on it and dangle my feet off of their arm. And they'd go, Whoa, I didn't think I had that much muscle, you know? So the way you think about people affects their performance. So so that if you think encouraging thoughts about people, or if you'll wait a minute, I'm feeling judgmental, what's missing? I'm probably missing sleep, Oh, it didn't have lunch or, you know, instead of thinking, what's wrong with that person? And then and then what can I say that would be encouraging, sincerely encouraging, encouragement really builds capacity in an organization. And then if you're always learning, and if the organization is always learning, you can come into the swell model at any point in learning, encouragement, wellbeing, or safety either way, it's going to make a big difference in the way people view each other work. So I always like to start with safety, though, because I think you can go to so many places with safety, intellectually safe, culturally safe, racially safe. It goes way it goes beyond all the ideas of just, you know, being compliant.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So I am curious, you know, the, you mentioned that there's, you know, five different kind of five different aspects of the book, the soul, the heart, the body, mind and the community. Is there a reason that you put them in that order? Is that Is that like a foundational order that you found in some of your work? Or, or, you know, kind of walk me through those, how you kind of derived those five?

Marie Gervais:

Well, I think the first one bring your soul to work is most the most disruptive. So I wanted to start with that. And then what happens at the end was you are bringing your community to work, but do you really know who you're bringing because it talks about our unconscious biases, and how to make adjustments to that. So then that's also hard hitting and the one that I think people are would have the least trouble with but and on their on a cognitive level, but the most trouble doing is bring your body to work. Because we just drive ourselves to, you know, into illness all the time and pride ourselves in, you know, not getting enough sleep and not eating regularly and you know, and then add addictive substances to that. And you know, 30% of the workplace is under the influence of some substance at all times, and it's probably increasing. So because that's five years old. So, you know, people can't be at their healthy body best. So I go through everything starting with breathing, or all the way after, how what should you eat? And how should you be if you're working night shift? So, and there's a lot of research on that. So it's really, it was really interesting. to research it, it's, it seems like people are, they're thinking more body folk focus, but they're still in their minds when they're doing it, they're not actually moving to action. So and they often can't, because they have a lot of beliefs associated with how they treat themselves. So that that piece, like I thought that would be the easiest one for two people to get into. But once they do get into it, they'll have the hardest time doing it. I actually think the other things that are harder to get your mind around or easier to do.

Kyle Roed:

Interesting. Yeah, it's the you know, I think there's been a lot of spent a lot of dialogue around, you know, what we would like what we would consider to be like, traditional wellness, right? Like, take care of yourself, eat, right, drink enough water, you know, get up from your desk, on a regular basis, don't sit too much, you know, all those sorts of things, it's really easy to, it's really easy to know what to do. Yeah, easy to say it. That doesn't mean it's yes, that doesn't mean that it actually gets done.

Marie Gervais:

Test knowledge does not change behavior. Right. Right. never it never has.

Kyle Roed:

So so how do we is HR professional, you know, kind of understanding these? And first of all, I, you know, I think I'm definitely with you on these five. And I can think of personal stories with each one of these five, where I can, I've seen examples where somebody has been, you know, on the good side of that, and somebody has been on the bad side of that. And you can kind of think through like, well, if somebody's you know, body is not where it needs to be I either Yeah, they're under the influence of a substance or they, you know, or they have, you know, they're struggling with with, you know, health issues, they aren't, they can't be as effective at work. Same thing for somebody bringing implicit biases into work and, you know, not even realizing that the they're conducting micro aggressions, and they don't know what they are, because of the their community and the way they were brought up. You know, I think we've all kind of seen that. So how to us it in RC, where we're kind of the, you know, the the culture champions, and we're, we're the ones trying to make this a great place to work and really focus on employee experience and bring the right people in, and how do we transfer this knowledge of these, these elements? And actually turn that into action? You know, what, what, what are some tactics or some steps that you would recommend for us to start to think about are some actions that we can we can start to do to reflect really what the spirit of work can be?

Marie Gervais:

Well, I think the first thing is to accept people from where they're at, rather than trying to change them into who you think they should be, or what they should be doing. So it's like, I can accept it that way, the way you're feeling right now. But that doesn't mean you have to act on it. Right? I can accept that this is upsetting for you. I probably upset too. Did I get that? Right? So it's about accepting. And then using a verifying question afterwards, that usually lowers people's defenses and helps them to start thinking thinking and auto correcting. Or another thing you can use is to just name what you think the emotion is, if they're feeling. I think you're feeling really frustrated right. Now. Did I get that right? And they will automatically tell you either, yes, I'm so frustrated, and they'll tell you what it is. And then they get it off their chest, and then they're done. And they start regulating, because they've already named it. Or they'll say, no, no, that's not it at all. I am so upset because my teenage son mouth, mouth me off when I was leaving for work this morning. And I'm still mad about it three hours ago, right? So they may not tell you all of that, but I'm just giving you as an example, to ask, you know, to name what you think the emotion is, and then say, Did I get that right? It puts you in a position of humility, and that you're listening and paying attention and then they can correct you and they settle down. So I think that that's one of the things that can, those are some strategies that can be helpful. I've also I also use in the book, something that's not from me. It's from the or twos project, but it's it's called the virtues sequence and using the language of virtues at work. And so, like when you start telling people Wow, that was just so thoughtful of you, and I really appreciated your generosity or how can you show courage? I know you did it yesterday and it's tough. But you know, and in your shoes, I'd have a hard time. But how can you show courage I know you've got it. I know you're resilient. That's all virtues, virtues, virtues, virtues, people don't have a virtues vocabulary, emotions, vocabulary, and they don't have a descriptive vocabulary. So they can't name anything that's going on inside of them. And that's why they're volatile. So if you can help them with any of those three pieces, then they start, they start self correcting, and it's not really your job to correct them. It's just your job to create that kind of environment where they can, they can do it themselves. So there's that the richest sequence is truth, love, justice, unity, peace, and abundance. So usually, people go, Oh, if we just equally distribute stuff, everybody's going to be happy. So starting at the top with abundance, but that's the last piece of the puzzle. First one is you have to find out what the truth of the situation is. Usually can't find that unless you've checked with all the parties and tried to do a 360 to find out what's actually happening, what's really going on. And, and then even to say to somebody, you know, are you sure that this is true for you right now, is this true for this situation, just asking those kinds of probing questions. And the other thing is love, which is the idea that nobody's going to care about anybody else in the organization, if they don't care about them, like they will care about anything or anybody. So they feel some kind of a bond, some kind of a connection with them. So find out the truth. And if you want to truth and love, then lead to justice, because then you're going to want to make sure that people are treated equitably, and that nobody gets the short end of the stick, because you're coming from a truth and love basis. And once you've got justice, you can move to unity, but you don't get to Unity. If you have angels, you don't say kiss and make up. Like let's say you've got somebody who has been bullied in the workplace, you know, take those two people in to your office and say, Okay, now let's just talk it out and kiss and make up. Because they're in a different power differential. So the person who's at the, who is it, who's abusing the power, can use that, that whole scenario to make everything worse. So you can't get to unity, if you don't have justice. So then again, you'd need to go back and talk to each person separately, which HR people are really good at, you know, talk to each person separately, find out the situation, and then find out what what would one thing that could be brought together? And then how can the victim be be protected, but also find agency? And how can the bullies find out what what it's what do they really need? And that that they feel they need to bully other people? And then how can they start auto correcting their behavior? And if they can't, what do you need to put in place? So that kind of it's a different approach, because when you're taking it from that perspective of the virtue sequence, which is present in all the writings of all of the world religions, in exactly that order. So there's got to be some wisdom to it, or wouldn't have existed for 6000 years. So then, and then from Unity comes peace. So you feel peace when people are united, and you're working towards unity of purpose, but it's not unity of in conformity, it's unity of purpose with diversity of contribution. And then out of that comes abundance is a natural outcome. So that means that your company profits? I don't know if that makes sense, because that's really more of a, I suppose a theoretical approach, but it really, if you can look at a situation go. Okay, what's missing here? Is it justice? Is it truth? You figure out where it is on the sequence on the scale? And then you'll go okay, if it's truth, then we got to start from square one.

Kyle Roed:

If if anybody was actually watching this podcast, because this is obviously an audio only format, you would see the like the wheels turning in my head, because what's so fast? And I'm sitting here, first of all, I'm just thinking, Yes. Like, on all of these things, this just makes perfect sense. And, and I'm going back to kind of what what we've talked about a little bit is going back to kind of the language and kind of naming, you know, naming the actual virtues. To me, I just think is so powerful and what, you know, the context that I'm thinking about that and is, let's just use this scenario. Let's say that I'm working through a workplace harassment investigation, and I do have a victim and a an a, an a harasser, you know, and, and we've been taught some of us, you know, learned the hard way myself. There wasn't a class on how do you conduct a harassment investigation in college, you know, you, you stumble through it, you have maybe a couple trainings from your employer, and then you're off to the races like good luck. Don't screw it up, right. Don't get us sued. That's basically the training. But by thinking about in the framework of what you just described, truth, love justice, unity, I'm missing on peace and abundance. To me, it's like now you've got a framework You know, so obviously there's there's rules that you need to follow as it relates to conducting an investigation. But if you follow it in the context of the virtue that you're trying to achieve, in each step of that investigation, what a powerful framework to ensure that you make the right decision for your culture, and for that person, and I think all of us who've ever been through that scenario, now, this heart is really, really hard to get correct. And so, you know, more often than not there, it's unclear as to what the right answer is, a lot of times, it's a judgment call. And a lot of times it falls on hrs desk, you know, but if we can take a step back and feel confident that we, we follow these virtues that we can sleep at night. Yeah, right. Yeah, I think employers can, too.

Marie Gervais:

Yeah, no, that's I really, you totally get it. It's very, it's really wonderful to hear you get that so quickly. Can I tell you a manufacturing story that, please. So this is one of the stories that's in the in the book. So it's, it's a story about a plant manager, who, who, you know, he said, You know, I don't need to consult anybody else. Because I'm the one with the education and the experience here. That's why I have this this job in this title. And I know you're willing, you're catching up. So I said, Well, hey, we're doing a course together here. So and you have to consult because we're on the communications unit. And you have to ask people their opinion, gather feedback, because that's the goal of this particular unit. Right? So you're gonna have to do something. So is it okay, okay, okay, well, I've got this rollout project coming up. And I'm just going to tell them about it. I've got a PowerPoint, I'll tell my you know, my, my middle managers about it, and then they can, they can take it from there. So he starts to go through this, this presentation with these middle managers. And one person says, Can we can I stop you for a minute, and within about 10 minutes, they'd identified 11 flaws to his plan. And he was absolutely flabbergasted because he didn't think he needed anyone because he figured he was the sum of all knowledge, apparently, so. But he was a nice guy. It's just he was used to being right and having other people following his orders all the time and not used to listening to them or gathering feedback. So incorrect data leads to incorrect decisions. Right. So, so when he had got that from them, he said, Okay, so what, what do you think we should do next, which I think was a brilliant and very humble approach. And they said, well, we should talk to our people about it. And he said, Well, that's a bad idea. Because most of them don't even speak English properly. So how are you going to understand them? So right away, switched back into his default mode of, I know what I'm doing? They don't? And they said, Well, no, we've got ways to work around that, you know, that people can translate. And let us just give us a week to get some feedback. And we'll come back to with it. So we did, and they found another 10 problems with a rollout plan. And they also had suggestions for how to fix it. So when, by the time it got back to the plant manager, the roll plan was pretty flawless. Because they'd had many minds, many hearts, many souls, and many bodies saying this is gonna hurt. Can we do it this way, instead? Talking? And so it, it was it was really exciting to see what happened. And they discovered unexpected, unexpected things. One was, why was the plant not doing something to help people improve their English because people stay at a very low level, and they can't participate in anything if they can't speak the language of the country. Right. And the second one was, people didn't know what the numbers were that they were asked to collect. They wouldn't know what they were for what they were used from. So one of the supervisors said, Well, I'll just explain it to everybody. So he did, he explained it to them, show them what it and they got, all the employees got very excited, because they realized they could control the numbers. So they started to do things like set themselves a goal, like no damage, leaving from shipping, like no rework, like they started setting these goals for themselves, because they knew what they were doing. They had the knowledge to put it into place. And they were so excited about it. They called their family members and friends and other plants with the same company, and taught them how to do it. And so hit the plant manager was all excited. He said, This is the best result we've ever had. It's so great. And all he did was gather feedback and listen to what they had to say. And it wasn't hard for me to do. This was so great. Everybody's excited. And then guess what happened? The company fired me. Because they realized that with all these people having more knowledge and changing their behavior, they were going to have to the same thing. And they didn't want to. So I'm saying I'm telling you this because it's not like the book is like all these rosy pictures in it. This is like clouds in the sky and everybody's happy. It's it's do this and it's going to start seeing results, but you're likely going to have some problems along the way and you may not be able to solve them. But you're gonna feel better about it. And this plant manager felt a lot better about the way he was running things. His people were happier and Everybody had now a cutting edge job skill that they didn't have before, that also made them more valuable to the company. And if the company didn't recognize it, they could go somewhere else, because now they have that skill. Right. So they didn't lose. But they did lose, because really, the whole company could have gone to that next level.

Kyle Roed:

That's really interesting. And I think it I think on the macro level, we're seeing a lot of things very similar to that where you've got organizations who have been really demanded to change, you know, from from an employee base. I mean, I can't tell you how many headlines I've seen recently, where, you know, you know, employees are demanding this from this employer, and employers are demanding that from from that employer, and, you know, I view that as, first of all, it's like, you know, they should be asking for things that they would like, but it's also, I think, indicative of the challenge that many organizations have, which is, it's sometimes it's really hard to change, especially if you have, you know, leadership teams, HR people included that, that, you know, don't, don't listen, and don't follow some of these, you know, some of these tenants and, and it's because

Marie Gervais:

it doesn't feel safe to them. Right. Right. Right. They feel threatened. So, and that's why this role model is so important and rising, what feels unsafe about this for me, what would make you feel safer for me to move forward? What would be one step that would be safe for me to take? Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's really interesting, I think, you know, I think it's a really powerful story. It's a really, but I think it's a really interesting example. And I, I can certainly, you know, I mean, I work in manufacturing, so I, I understand that response, you know, well, I, I have this degree, and I know how to do it. So that's, you know, let me do my job.

Marie Gervais:

Well, he was doing his job, but it was better. When he started working with the people. You know, I told him, they say two heads are better than one, will you put all the heads together towards the United purpose? You actually they're excited? It really, they were so excited to have been asked.

Kyle Roed:

Right? Yeah, absolutely. But I do think it's also, you know, it's a great example of how, like, in that story, I just think, what she's How could I have prevented that termination? You know, how could I have fostered that type of collaboration, because, you know, so often, human resources professionals fall into that camp of the, you know, kind of that feedback mechanism to upper management, you know, or, or sometimes we're gatekeepers to what information finds its way onto somebody's desk. And so it's, you know, and I don't know the exact situation there, but I do think, jeez, if there if there would have been somebody in human resources that was, was kind of touting the the actions that were being taken, and the employee engagement that was occurring, and some of the productivity metrics that were happening and the actual, you know, talking about the abundance that was occurring, because of the because of the approach, you know, could that have prompted a different action? Or could that have have prevented, you know, somebody getting in trouble. And I do think that is part of our job, as we think about, you know, to, to what your book is, is talking about here? How does HR actually create a soul sustaining workplace culture and an environment for that to thrive and for those types of leaders to thrive? Because I think every listener right now is thinking, I wish I you know, I wonder if I can hire that plant manager, you know, do you have, like, that sounds great. I'd love for people to get the get employees engaged,

Marie Gervais:

and their plant managers are probably capable of doing it. They just need someone to say. So there you go, maybe they should hire me instead.

Kyle Roed:

There you go. All right. So that's a perfect, that's a perfect place to leave it, I think, if you if you take anything away be the spark. And in the spirit of work, I think just some really great, great pieces of advice. I do want to shift gears I'm fascinated to hear your responses to the rebel HR flash round. So we're going to, we're going to shift into the rebel HR flash round, here comes the first question, Where does HR need to rebel?

Marie Gervais:

Stop thinking that information or knowledge change behavior. And instead, listening, encouragement and challenge appropriate challenge are a better approach.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. Not just knowledge. It's about it's about what you do with it. Right?

Marie Gervais:

Knowledge is helpful because it provides a safe platform to start from, but it doesn't help if you stay there because then you just get stuck in. I don't have to do anything because I already know it, which is never true.

Kyle Roed:

Right? Right. All right. Question number two. Who should we be listening to?

Marie Gervais:

Well, I'm gonna recommend Adam Grant, who's a social psychologist, I'm just about finished listening to his book right now called Think again, which is just tremendous. And if you want to know how to change behavior, this is the book for you. So good. Shout out to Adam Grant. I hope I get to meet him someday, because he's one of my writer heroes. Yeah, that book think, again, all his books are great, but this is the most recent one is is super good talks about how you need to rethink yourself. And and then how do you help others to do that? And then how do you help people who are diametrically opposed to you come to a position of unity. It's really good.

Kyle Roed:

He's got some great content. I think that's the second recommendation in a row for Adam Grant. So if, if you're a listener, and you haven't picked up an Adam Grant book, or listen to his podcast, or just follow him on social, you know, there's great content there, I am going to put out a plug here. For the culture and leadership connections podcast, it's Murray's podcast, if I guarantee you that, it'll be worth your while, if you're looking for a new podcast recommendation that is also out there. So thank you. And last question here, how can our listeners connect with you?

Marie Gervais:

Well, they can always connect with me on LinkedIn. So Marie, Gervais, leaders, training, it's that's that's, you know, Leader Training is like, that's the second part. And if because there are lots of marine surveys out there. And they can also go to my website, which is Shift workplace.com. And if you're interested in the book, they just go to the book tab, and then all of the directories where there's a direct link to the book will be there.

Kyle Roed:

Perfect. We will have all that information in the show notes. So open up your podcast player, click right in, get connected. Murray, I just want to thank you again, just absolutely wonderful contact. I'm with you. You know, I'm just thinking yes to everything you're saying. So I appreciate you putting the book out there. And I guarantee that our listeners took a lot away from it this week. So thank you so much.

Marie Gervais:

Thank you most appreciated your listening ear and your great questions. Thanks, Brian.

Kyle Roed:

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

(Cont.) RHR 118: The Spirit of Work with Dr. Marie Gervais