Rebel Human Resources Podcast

RHR 121 Employee Engagement with Bob Kelleher

October 11, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 121
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
RHR 121 Employee Engagement with Bob Kelleher
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Bob is an author/ speaker and founder of The Employee Engagement Group (www.EmployeeEngagement.com), and the AEC HR Summit. A noted thought leader on employee engagement and leadership, Bob presents to audiences and leadership teams throughout the world. Author of the best selling book Louder Than Words - 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps... that Drive Results!, the critically acclaimed Creativeship, A Novel for Evolving Leaders, Employee Engagement for Dummies, and his most recent i-Engage, Your Personal Engagement Roadmap. An award winning speaker, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHsB-cjyhzY), Bob has been featured on NBC News, CNBC, CBS Radio, Fox Radio, Business Week, The Street, AMA, and is a contributing guest editor for many publications. Bob frequently speaks at conferences, forums, and strategic planning meetings, including recent talks in Asia, France, Mexico, Ukraine, UAE, Canada, England, Ireland, and Poland. Previously, Bob was employed by AECOM as Chief Human Resources Officer, one of the world's largest engineering firms- today over 90,000 employees. He also was COO and EVP for ENSR, a 2,300 employee global consulting firm, and a subsidiary of AECOM. At AECOM, Bob was responsible for AECOM's global HR and OD, and spearheaded AECOM's engagement initatives.

Bob's latest 6 videos can be viewed via:
- The 10 Steps of Engagement - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHsB-cjyhzY
- Creativeship http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2u9ZkzJIjw
- Engagement - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S436Sdavn_w
- Who's Sinking Your Boat? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4nwoZ02AJM
- Update of Who's Sinking Your Boat? https://bit.ly/3pBUnZv
- Why Is Your Boat Still Sinking? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvDKh31k1fM

Bob has a BS from Salem State College, and an MBA from Suffolk University.

Bob was born in Everett, MA and now splits his time between Danvers, MA and Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard. He is married to Candy, and has 3 terrific children, Marissa , Brendan and Connor .

The Employee Engagement Group was founded by noted leadership and engagement thought leader Bob Kelleher after repeated requests for Bob to share his employee engagement experiences and organizational effectiveness best practices.  Today, Bob is joined by his team of organizational development experts who share a common goal – helping companies achieve superior business through enhanced employee engagement.


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Bob Kelleher:

You know, the greatest advice I always give HR people is learn the business of the business, you have to speak their language and you have to understand that you have to worry about the people but you have to worry about the business right? Instead of flooding an organization a layoff bad you should be triggering discussions on a layoff because you understand the business right? So you know, really understand the business and learn to say yes and not get you're influenced by saying no,

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 conversation today. I had to hit record because we were just having a wonderful conversation about everything from from working back at the deli shop to weddings and wearing ties. And so with us today is Bob Kelleher. Bob is an author, speaker and founder of the employee engagement group. He also has founded the AEC HR Summit. He is a thought leader on employee engagement and leadership he presents to audiences including my company, about all things related to employee engagement, and great leadership, really great friend and, and a great colleague, Bob, welcome to the show.

Bob Kelleher:

Thank you so much, Kyle, I am absolutely delighted to be here with you in your audience. Thanks.

Kyle Roed:

Thank you. And and I appreciate you taking the time today. And I really think that our listeners are going to get some great content, I think that, you know, my personal experience with with some of the work that you've done, and the things that you've shared with my team had been really impactful. And I've heard nothing but wonderful, wonderful responses from some of the work we've done. And I just think it's going to be really valuable for our listeners. So I'd like to start out by just understanding a little bit more about your background, what brought you into the rich world of employee engagement?

Bob Kelleher:

Well, I think this will certainly resonate with your listeners. I, I'm a human resources professional. So I spent, I spent many years in the trenches. I think I'll be giving my age away. But here goes I was a personnel rep in 1985. And through a series of jobs in the human resources, area, I became a corporate employment manager became Director of Training and Development became chief HR officer, became executive VP of human resources and organizational development, and actually became Chief Operations Officer. So I've spoken at a lot of HR conferences. Just just on that note alone, as you know, Kyle, HR doesn't usually get a seat at the table in which you are running the company. And I did. And I I think it speaks to your audience that if you if you operate as the HR traditional, you know, caretaker of policies, you're not going to become Chief Operations Officer. So I did that for over over 30 years. 2009, I was chief HR officer for a global 50,000 employee company, I had an epiphany, I wanted to, I heard from so many people that I needed to write a book. I spent many years inside focusing on engagement as a business driver, not as a nice to do thing. And just so many people said, Hey, you have to capture this, you know, this is a case study. So I wrote my first book, people started asking me to talk on the book that led to really a speaking business people started asking me, Can you come and help us and that led to, you know, a consulting business, then they started asking, Hey, do you do surveys and too much of a capitalist to always say no, so I finally said yes. And that led to you know, selling products and, and, and here I am. So for the past 13 years, I've people could find me at the employee engagement group on employee. engagement.com.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And, you know, I think I think it's really important to, you know, maybe take a step back and, and, and dig into one of the comments you make, because it's something that I, you know, I, I've seen again and again, when employee engagement works in whether it's a department that's engaged or a company that's engaged or a leader that's engaged, the business just runs better. It just works. You see, you know, better results. So, and you mentioned that engagement in your role was was really a business driver. So unpack that a little bit. You know, as we look at employee engagement, we think about all the things we do, how do we really tap into that engagement as a driver of the business?

Bob Kelleher:

Yeah, you know, selfishly, when I started focusing on engagement, you know, I didn't really know, Kyle, it was going to be a business driver, I just didn't want to spend my career showing up to various locations, and having people hate to see me, right, because they would view that I was there to manage a layoff or a termination, or I was there to let them know that their benefit premiums were going up, right. So it was all bad news stuff. So I really started proactively showing up to help to help facilitate, and I had facilitation skills, like a lot of HR people do. And I started facilitating group discussions about their business, you know, if you're underperforming and sales wise, I was able to leverage facilitations my facilitation skills to really help the business and, and, you know, this became a became an internal program, and businesses started asking me to appear to do an all day workshop on this, you know, we called it leadership excellence through advanced practices, but it really was an an HR lead internal initiative, that was a Business Improvement Program, and the outcome of that managers and employees would say, you know, we were engaged in the business and, and I was so early in this whole concept, Kyle, that, you know, employee engagement.com, was a domain that I acquired, it was sitting out there, I acquired it, because so many people said, you know, started calling me the engagement guy. So it was really, in some ways, selfishly motivated, to get myself doing things that were more positively received by the business instead of negatively received. And as it turned out, we started tracking the business, you know, if I would appear and do a workshop, we would see business results going up. And at the time, you know, we got acquired by a private equity firm, and the private equity people loved this, this process, and that we were using, and they started asking me to use the process with sister companies. And we started measuring the business results. So I was living a case study. And, you know, when we got acquired by a global company, they started asking me to do the same work with, you know, their Hong Kong operations in Brazil, in Dubai. So I lived it, I lived it. Now, if you, if you Google employee engagement business results, you'll see Gallup I mean, there's a whole boutique industry right now that measures this, if you have higher engagement, you're going to have higher results on your business. And if you have lower engagement, at some point in time, it will, you know, negatively impact the business.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And I think you know, what's really interesting is, and I'm sure many HR professionals feel this way, you know, that there's this constant question out there the seat at the table, as you describe it, right, you know, how, how do you gain the, you know, the credibility? How do you get that seat, and in my opinion, it really comes down to solve business problems and drive results. And then you don't have to fight for a seat people will just ask you to be there. It was that your experience?

Bob Kelleher:

Yeah, I you know, I hated the perception of HR, as you know, the evil HR director, you know, in Dilbert. And in some cases, and I hate to insult your audience. So I will apologize in advance for what I'm going to say. But in some cases, that reputation was deserved with the HR professional who truly viewed their power influence was, you know, the gatekeeper of policies right now, you can't do this because we'll get sued. And I always wanted to introduce a concept of, you know, learn to say yes, of the benefit form is arriving two days late, instead of saying we can give our employee and their family benefits. Why can't we like, why can't we? So let's, let's learn to say yes, let's try to help or if somebody wants to lay someone off, I don't want to tell the President of the European operations. They can't. I want to be in a position of constantly ma'am, give them the plusses and minuses and letting them know this is your decision on my decision. I'm here to help you. I'm not here to tell you what you can or cannot Do so, you know, the greatest advice I always give HR people is learn the business of the business, you have to speak their language, you have to understand that, you know, you have to worry about the people, but you have to worry about the business. Right? You know, instead of flooding an organization a layoff, perhaps you should be triggering discussions on a layoff because you understand the business right? So so you know, really understand the business and learn to say yes, not not get you're influenced by saying no.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely could couldn't agree more. You know, one of the one of the interesting things about my early career that I reflect on is, you know, one of the best things that I got to do is I was in an operations role before human resources, and I wanted to be in human resources. After I was in that operations will roll when I figured out what HR did. And that was interesting to me. But I had to figure out the business before they let me do HR. And that, for me, that was a really big blessing because I had a team of, you know, at certain times, well over 100 employees that I was supervising. And I was struggling as a new leader and as just as a leader in general, that when I went into HR, I understood the day to day struggles in the life of somebody in an operations role. So I could be a better partner for them. And I also knew what their job was right? That helps you kind of you have to understand those things.

Bob Kelleher:

There's a reason why some of these long standing most admired companies, you know, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, GE, before they had a recent hiccup, yeah, they would, they would historically rotate people from operations sent to corporate roles, right? Because they wanted them to understand, you know, if you're an HR person, and you have no idea what the business is, like, Oh, you don't know what being in the field is like, versus being in, you know, corporate headquarters. And I think I think that is such an important, such an important evolution, I always tell HR functions, if, if you can spend time in operations, if you can't do it through a transfer, get out there, be proactive, do something that you do well for them, and get, you know, get to know the business, have them see you as part of their team, not part of the HR function, you know. So, you know, I think your experience in operations, my experience is coo taught me as much about my function and human resources as my playa, you know, 25 years at the time in human resources.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, yeah, it was. It was a powerful learning moment for me. The other thing that, that your, your, your comments, kind of jogs my memory about was a, you know, a scenario where, and I've told this story on the podcast before, so if I'm boring, any listeners, I apologize, but I had an HR mentor early on, who literally told me, you know, hrs job is to be equal opportunity, you know, hate everybody the same. And it was, it was set as a joke, but there, you know, under every little bit of sarcasm, there's a little bit of truth there. But that really, you know, that kind of that compliance mindset, that, hey, let's just make sure we don't get sued. Like, just thinking in that context, that will ripple out into all of your actions. And, and that just, like, I don't know about you, Bob, that just sounds like that would just suck, I don't want to do your job. And the selfish.

Bob Kelleher:

I know, I know. And, you know, I have a lot of clients really, all over the globe. And, you know, once again, I might be insulting the function, but if I'm hired by the CEO, let's see, oh, it's a different relationship. If I'm then I'm hired by some of the human resource folks who was still in that compliant, telling me, you know, what, you can't say that she can't do this. She can't, you know, so. So in one's deep inside the function and, and I do think it has changed. I mean, it's changed so much for the better, Kyle, you know, the vast majority of human resource professionals. When I first entered HR in the personnel department, you know, we weren't playing personnel people. I was a former school teacher, right? It was always funny that the CFO was, you know, a CPA and they had an MBA and, you know, the HR person. You know, six months prior, they were in charge of the receptionist. So the evolution of the function has evolved for the better so much in the past 30 years. So it's a function that I Love daily, even when I was CFO, I was a successor to the CEO. And I wanted to get back in to, you know, my comfort area of, you know, focusing on the people, which I always found to be the best part of the job. But the function has certainly evolved and, you know, these, these associations and podcasts and disrupt HR, there is a, there is a breed of HR people that I think, have been doing some great things pushing the function and, and, you know, on the second, the second nine, not the front nine, but I do see a lot of people really pushing the function in a more innovative, edgy way that I think is great.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I think, you know, that's, that's certainly been my experience, at least over the last, you know, decade or so that I've been, you know, working, you know, more, more directly in the function. And I think, you know, what's, what's really been interesting is the just the change over the last few years, kind of the acceleration of change with, you know, trying to figure out work from home, you know, social unrest, dealing with something that, that we never thought we would deal with, you know, a global pandemic. And, and, you know, I, I remember talking to, to my CEO, who, you know, really well, Bob, and, you know, in his comment at one point was, this is all HR, you know, all of this, this is the most important thing right now is taking care of the people and putting the people first and, and, you know, having a leader like that having, you know, a focus like that, especially in these times, I think is so critical. But I guarantee you that there's so many professionals listening to this right now that are nodding their heads up and down. Yes, yes, I agree. But then the next question is, but how do I do that in my organization? So from your standpoint, Bob is, as you think about the changes that you've seen, and the changes that may be still need to occur in many of our organizations? What would be some steps that you would recommend an HR professional do if they see that there needs to be some level of change? Or elevation? Or focus on the people?

Bob Kelleher:

Yeah, you know, it's, it's it's an interesting question, Kyle, because is it? Is it the culture that the function is not being allowed to, you know, be influential? Or is it the individual sitting in the seat, who is incapable of being influential. So so it's a tough one to paint with a broad base brush, right. But I would say if if you view yourself as an innovative disruptive type of HR person, of function, or team, and you have some resistance, because the CEO, him or her is resistant to the HR function, maybe they had a bad experience, right. So maybe they view the HR department is the police department, then I would, I would encourage you to find the most senior person organizationally, who does support the function, bond with that person, that function, get them as your partner, and increasing, increasing that, that visibility of both you personally as well as the function, because there's always someone who reports up to the CEO who gets it in case the CEO, a CEO doesn't, you know, find that person's partner with that person, create value, if by some chance that it's the culture, and it's, you know, it's an old fashioned organizational culture, that the function is never going to get the respect. Life is too short, to not have influence and I would encourage people to weigh the career options elsewhere. You know, try to fix where you are, it's always easier I think, than to you know, look to change jobs every time there's a hiccup, but occasionally, you might find yourself in an organization that if the frustration level is so high, and you can't influence, there are so many organizations that are looking for HR to lead that I would, I would encourage you to weigh some alternatives.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. I think you know, it's it's a really important point I think you have having an ally is really important, you know, the the right ally. And, and I think being honest about that, you know, that cultural question, but I also think, I think the other point, I think that is really individual is really important. It was the the comment about you know, is it the individual You know, hey, you know, before you jump, have you really done everything, you know that that you can do to? To expand your influence? You know? Are you saying yes, as much as you can? Are you really thinking outside the box? Or are you just frustrated? Because somebody asked a question that you didn't like the tone of you know what I mean? And but there's, there's, you know, you have, I truly believe you kind of have to ask those questions internally. And yes, once you've checked the box that yeah, I really have checked. Ask those questions. Yeah, it's time to, it's time to think about doing something else.

Bob Kelleher:

Yeah, I just had a discussion with the client, who's a wonderful HR professional, who, who feel somewhat somewhat left out of the inner circle of the CEO. But she's bonded with the CEO in such a way that it has given her hope and encouragement that, you know, it's a good company. She also views you know, CEO, 10 years on that long. And she, she has concluded that the organizational culture, this coo other people, it's worth sticking it out, even if the head person maybe has a legacy opinion of HR that isn't favorable. So, you know, there's such personal decisions, you know, I do believe the HR folks can, can help themselves, stay current, do a read the latest, go to the conferences, you know, hear what other people are saying, build your network. And look at your function in the mirror, you know, are you are you a business partner? Are you a business Police Department? And asked, What can we what can we ourselves do differently?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. Well, I mean, I, you know, self Admittedly, I certainly fall into that trap of, like, almost like being like the traffic cop. Right. And it's, it's because it's how many of us were trained or brought up, you know, it's it's, you know, you're you're, you're supposed to be the policy police, you're supposed to be the black and white, you know, decider in a lot of cases. But so often you you lose the the human element, you know, and you, you get stuck in this, it's almost like getting stuck in a rut, where you just you just kind of become a, you know, an autonomous decision maker. greatest advice, just terrible.

Bob Kelleher:

The greatest advice I give people and I used to practice this myself, if if you weren't in human resources, everything you do that's reactive, doesn't get noticed, unless you do something wrong. So So think about that for a moment, all of the administrative things that people do all of the reactive things filling requisitions and, you know, managing open enrollment and a paid program and trying to deal with the escalation of salaries and an inflationary period. All of the administrative things that come across our desk, which which can exhaust all of us, I put in a reactive camp. True personal engagement occurs when we are proactive. So how do you establish a day and I used to tell my team, I had 450 HR people reporting to me, and I used to say, try to schedule your week so that 50% of your week is proactive and 50% of your week is reactive. Proactive would be your you're inviting yourself to a department meeting, you're creating a virtual training program. For employees, you're introducing a new employee referral program, you know, and personal engagement comes when you're introducing and doing something proactively, but the function is so is so in Minister Ativ, heavy that you find yourself in a rut, you can just like sit down like and I used to joke with my wife, I could sit in my office and never do anything that would be proactive. Like everything comes to me emails, telephone calls, I have open enrollment boss wants to see me, like everything comes and when I would separate myself and introduce stuff, I'm designing a new program, I'm showing up to a department I'm creating an event. Those are the things that would just make me be electrified, and the things that would get me noticed. So I finally concluded Hey, any proactive thing I do get to be positive press. I'll be department positive press. Anything that's administrative that comes to me. The press can only be bad when you do something wrong.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, recruiting comes to mind. Yeah, it's only bad way. It's, it's, you know, it's expected that you fill all these open positions, but it's bad when you have too many.

Bob Kelleher:

Absolutely. The ghost positions right, so people get the approval for a rack. And they really don't want to fill it, but it kills your process you recruiting to fill a rack again. Yeah, those things can be tough.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I've had that. Yeah. Especially lately, I seem to have a lot of those dialogues. But it's, you know, it's, it's been interesting. But you know, here's one thing that I, you know, that I will say on that is, you know, in one of my, one of my locations, I have an a leader who truly believes in employee engagement. You know, he lives it, he breathes it. He's involved, he listens. And guess who has zero open positions right now in a manufacturing setting? He has people asking to work here, because they have referrals in front end, you know, and that's just another great example of like, the, the businesses running smoothly. You know, retention is great, because we have a leader who believes in employee engagement and truly supports.

Bob Kelleher:

It's not it's not coincidental, Kyle, it's there's a reason why he has no open requisitions.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, so even even if you're just looking at this from a purely selfish, you know, standpoint, it's like, it really isn't fun to have to hire people and have vacant positions. So you know, if you don't want to do that, then employee engagement can really help.

Bob Kelleher:

Well, think of think of filling your swimming pool. If you have a big giant hole in your liner, right? It's really difficult and is the same concept. If you have low engagement, which usually results in higher than industry, average voluntary turnover, right? And you're trying to grow your business, the hardest thing in the world to do is add headcount, while you're also replacing headcount, you know, and it becomes toxic, you know, as people leave even people who weren't thinking of leaving, start thinking of leaving, right, it's the pied piper effect. And I think, you know, focusing on engagement has just so many tangible benefits, something as simple as your employee referral cents go way up when people are engaged enough to refer their colleagues.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So I do want to talk about that a little bit, obviously, you know, you're your subject matter expert, you've you've lived it, you've written the books, for organizations that are looking at engagement, or maybe are wanting to look at engagement? Where would you say the best place to start is, you know, is it? Do you start with measuring how you're doing? Do you start with learning and development? Where would you advise that we start to think about this, if this is new for us?

Bob Kelleher:

Yeah. So this is, this is gonna sound self serving, because we do engagement surveys, but I don't really care who you use to do an engagement survey. But you need to have a baseline right. And the baseline can't be this is what HR thinks. So this is what the leaders think, because the leaders in HR always think more positively than what is really happening. Right? So, you know, the metaphor I like to use Kyle, you would never go to your doctor's office, the annual physical without getting bloodwork. Right. And I think an engagement survey, is your blood work for your organization, you need to know, where were the pain points. So before you, you know, focus on training and development, is that a pain point? You know, is that where the focus should be? Is it you know, I do have a leadership issue. You know, I always I always look at engagement survey. And I can tell from the first review that you don't have an engagement issue, you have a leadership trust issue. And because your leadership trust issue, it's trickling throughout the organization. So if you focus on training and development, that's not going to fix your leadership trust issue. So you know, give yourself some data and view view engagement, like the CFO views, you know, the, you know, the p&l statement, capture your data, that gives you some idea of where to focus, your energy, as well as Will you know, what locations or departments or divisions, you should be focusing your energy?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And I can attest, you know, we started doing this a few years ago. It really highlighted some areas of focus. The other thing it really helped us do was figure out what to actually prioritize, because, like you said, you could sit here and even the 50%, proactive stuff that you're trying to do. If you you're throwing all your energy at a program that that your employees don't feel like as a need. You're not going to move the needle as much as if you actually try to solve a problem that they have in their day to day work.

Bob Kelleher:

A great case study on that I'm Nia 2000, we won't buy your German firm, the firm I was with, we were about at the time of 1200 employees. And we were acquired the German parent, you know, they wanted to exit the North American business. So they brought in a private equity firm, and we partner with him. So I became a management owner, because we all had to write checks to. And the private equity folks wanted to come in with a bang. So they said, Bob, what do you think of us doubling the 401 K match? And, you know, the typical HR response might be Oh, that's great news. Let's do it. So I said, Well, you know, that's going to cost us. I forget the amount, but let's just say, you know, that was going to be like a million dollars. I said, Well, you know, I don't really, I'm hearing a lot of people tell us that our 401k matches not competitive. In fact, it's probably right at the baseline of competitiveness. Why don't we ask our employees what they think? So we actually did a poll survey, and overwhelming the response was training and development, like, like, it wasn't even close. So you know, we had we had over 1000 comments. Now one person said, can we have more for 1k match. So so what i use i, I took that, and I said, we could build a corporate university for a smaller amount than what you want to spend, let's create a best in class corporate university. And that's what we did. And it was a game changer. So we will all set the spend money to fix a need that we didn't have. And we allocated the funds to a need that we did have that, you know, truly became an engagement game changer.

Kyle Roed:

That's a great example. And I think a great, you know, a great reminder that we need to have a baseline and, and have a consistent, you know, measurement style as well, you know, I think I will put a plug in here not necessarily to be serving you, Bob, specifically, but I do strongly believe you need to go to professional survey company, as opposed to trying to do all these surveys yourself, because there are, you know, survey design is one of those sciences that there's, you really need an expert to understand and and then to, and then probably more importantly, to actually interpret that data in a way that's actionable. Right? That's, that's the other big issue. Right?

Bob Kelleher:

And, you know, any any survey provider, and, you know, I know all of them, and they all provide great benchmarks, right? Because if you do a survey, without external benchmarks, I'm going to tell you right now, compensation is going to come in low, you're gonna think, and you're gonna think you have a compensation issue. Now, you know, as it stands in these inflationary times, you probably do have a

Kyle Roed:

comp, yeah, yeah. They're probably legit.

Bob Kelleher:

Yeah. But typically, you don't have a compensation issue. And as soon as you benchmark it, you'll see that your compensation scores based on engagement, could be in the top 90 percentile, right? So you're not focusing on things that you shouldn't be focusing on based on an artificial benchmark against yourself. So having the external benchmarks, I think, you know, provides a very accurate prism on where you should be focusing your time and energy.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. This has been a great conversation, unfortunately, we're coming to the end of our time together. And I'm sure you're running off to another all day workshop or, or, or something like that. So I want to shift gears and get into the rebel HR flash round questions. Yeah, question number one, where does HR need to rebel?

Bob Kelleher:

I would rebel on the administrative perception side of things and, you know, be be viewed organizationally as a driver of innovative thoughts inside your organization. You know, when you think of innovation, you generally don't think of the HR department right. But if you think of it, the HR department is the people department innovation is born from from people. So how can you how can you shift the perception organizationally that we are here providing administrative support, and we are here providing cutting edge consultative insights to the organization? That's, that's what I would suggest.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Question number two, who should we be listening to?

Bob Kelleher:

Yeah, you know, I, so here's a plug for you. You know, I love these disruptive folks that are doing the podcasts and the conferences and and, you know, I think there's a whole new breed of disruption taking in place and, you know, inside the function, you know, people that I tend to kind of kind of read and listen to, you know, I love. I love Malcolm Gladwell. You know, I think he bridges personal and business in such a great way. And I've spoken alongside Dan Pink, you know, in his work is always exceptional. And it, you know, leads always with the people part of the business, Thomas Friedman is, is a brilliant mind. You know, I think if you're not a global company, today, you will be tomorrow. And his work, you know, is his legacy book, The World is Flat is is, you know, probably the greatest business book you'll ever read. You know, on the innovation side. The Innovators Dilemma. By Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School, is a must read for every HR professional. Even if you read the Steve Jobs story, he'll reference it, that it changed his life. And if you're trying to be disruptive, you know, one of the ways of getting there is to be more innovative yourself. And, and Clayton Christensen's work is cutting edge work in the work and the work of innovation.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. I'll put a couple plugs out there. Bob's got a couple of great books, as well, I engage your personal Engagement Roadmap. Is, is that the most recent

Bob Kelleher:

book? Yeah. And it was written right before COVID. And, you know, in some ways, because it really is about personal engagement, and talks quite a bit about what happens at home influences you at work. And it was written for COVID times in some ways because of as we all found ourselves, you know, and hybrid workforces, right. So it's a terrific book, it's personal. It has 22, career, rest stops. So it's not so much a book for leaders, although leaders love it to do with the A team. But it's a wonderful book for an individual to figure out their own personal engagement and why it might be waning.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And then we'll also include in the show notes, there's actually on on Bob's website, there's actually a page dedicated to employee engagement books, there's some other recommendations out there, of course, his books are available. So open up your, your podcast player and click in there, and you'll be able to find that so last question, how can our listeners connect with you?

Bob Kelleher:

If you go on YouTube, you know, some of the most watched the videos on the world. You know, who's seeking a boat, it's a video I did a few years back, I said 1.3 million views. So there is some cool ways of connecting with me just on YouTube. And those are three ways right? You know, things that you can do and, and share the videos that four minutes long sharing with your team, a great way of leveraging engagement in a very inexpensive way. You can find me on employee engagement.com Pretty easy website. And, you know, there's a resource section, we post articles, best practices, you know, a lot of free stuff. And then there's ways of seeing how you bring me in either to give a talk, we do workshops. I was I was joking with Kyle, before we went live that, you know, these, these zoom talks have been very powerful because it allows me to wear shorts, as well. Oh, that's a benefit.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, and as far as you look professional to be Bob, so you know, shorts or whatever, you know. We talked about that on our first podcast, ever. And I think we described it as it's like a reverse mullet. Right. It's like there's business on top and a party on the bottom. Yeah. Party on Bob.

Bob Kelleher:

I'm gonna steal that. But I will give you I will give you credit.

Kyle Roed:

I think I still offer him some some video. I saw some words. I can't take credit. But I love the description. So, Bob, this has just been absolutely wonderful. Again, I know your time is very valuable. I appreciate you, you know, given us a couple of minutes here and I know that you know our listeners are going to take a lot away from this. We'll have all that information in the show notes. Check it out. Really appreciate the time, Bob.

Bob Kelleher:

Okay. You're both a great professional colleague, as well as a friend. Thank you, Kyle.

Kyle Roed:

Thanks, Bob. Take care. All right, that does it for the rebel HR podcast. 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 121 Employee Engagement with Bob Kelleher