Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms

RHR 163: Employalty with Joe Mull

August 02, 2023 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 4 Episode 163
Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms
RHR 163: Employalty with Joe Mull
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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Rebel HR, we welcome Joe Mull, a renowned leadership, engagement, and retention expert with over 15 years of experience in helping leaders become exceptional bosses and creating thriving workplaces. Joe's expertise lies in transforming ordinary individuals into devoted employees and turning organizations into coveted destinations for top talent.

With the current landscape of high turnover rates and staffing shortages across industries, finding, keeping, and motivating employees has become more challenging than ever. In a competitive job market, how can organizations attract candidates who not only stay but also take on demanding tasks and deliver exceptional results? Moreover, how can businesses retain their top employees and prevent them from seeking opportunities elsewhere?

Joe addresses these pressing questions by providing a clear outline for attracting and retaining talent in his upcoming book, "Employalty: How to Ignite Commitment and Keep Top Talent in the New Age of Work" (2023). In this conversation, he offers valuable insights and strategies that will equip managers, executives, and business owners with the tools they need to create a workplace culture that fosters loyalty, engagement, and commitment.

Tune in to this episode of Rebel HR to learn from Joe Mull as he shares his expertise and actionable advice on transforming your organization into a destination workplace, where employees thrive and contribute their best work. Discover how to unlock the potential of your workforce and create an environment that inspires dedication, ultimately resulting in outstanding products and services.

Don't miss out on this enlightening conversation with Joe Mull, as he provides a roadmap for navigating the challenges of talent attraction, retention, and engagement in the new age of work.

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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!

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Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast about all things innovation in the people space. I'm Kyle ROED. Let's start the show. Welcome back to the rebel HR podcast listeners, we are extremely excited for this week's show. You know, I feel like I say this every week, but I wish I would have hit record like 10 minutes ago because we just had like the best conversation about being and being like an 80s kid and watching professional wrestling. And, and you know, tying that into, you know, critical human resources practices, but we're just gonna have to just gonna have to keep rolling here. Now that we've hit record. Our guest today is Joe mole. Joe is an established expert in the realm of leadership, and he is the author of the new book, employee loyalty, how to ignite commitment, and keep top talent in the eighth the new age of work, it is available now, where books are sold. Welcome to the podcast. Joe.

Joe Mull:

I am so thrilled to be here. Thanks for having me.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Well, we are thrilled to have you and always wonderful to have a fellow podcaster. Join us join us on the show. I'm going to ask you the first question that I asked almost every author just knowing the time energy and sometimes heartburn that it takes to write a book, what motivated you and prompted you to write a book about employee loyalty?

Joe Mull:

Yeah, so thank you for the question. And, you know, this is my third book. And after the second one, I did have a thought of never doing it again. Because I'm not somebody who writes easily, right. Some people will, who write books will, you know, they'll block out an hour a day in the morning, and they'll write and then three months later, poof, I have a book and it doesn't work that way. For me, I will write for a little while and then weep in a fetal position on the floor and then write a little bit more. It's just it's not something that comes easily to me. But this book was born, really as a marriage of the work I've been doing for 20 years. And this moment that we're in right now, in a quote unquote, post COVID world. And the genesis of the book was really about a year and a half ago. Coincidentally, Kyle, I was on a podcast and I was being interviewed about how you cultivate commitment in the workplace. This is what I've been doing for 20 years teaching leaders how to be better bosses, and how to create the conditions at work for employees to thrive. And we had this amazing 30 minute conversation about commitment. And at the end of the interview, the host said this, he said alright, Joe, let's put a nice bow on this for everyone. Let's get you out of here on this. In one sentence, where does commitment comes from at work? And I went? Boy, you know, I don't think I can give it to you in one sentence, man, like, as we just talked about, there's a whole lot of things we've got to get right. And then Molly and Kyle, I proceeded to recap our entire conversation in the world's longest run on sentence. It was not pretty. I don't know if you've ever had the experience where you start talking. And you can hear yourself talking. But it's like you can't stop talking. That's exactly what happened to me on this show. And you know, later I kept thinking about his question and realized that we don't serve leaders and organizations Well, if we can't answer that question in one sentence, and so I decided that the world needed a one sentence answer to the question, Where does commitment come from at work? And that is really what led to this book coming into the world?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. To me, it sounds almost like like you had like a connection to Source in that moment. And it was like, the universe was speaking to you. And it's just like, blast. I totally get by the way, I totally get that. It's like, can I just like, I just need to stop somewhere. But I just can't stop this. So I totally get that.

Joe Mull:

Yeah, describe it later as a giant word salad.

Kyle Roed:

Like, it's like your like your own word cloud. Like you're creating your own word cloud, like congrats, like Final

Molly Burdess:

has this podcast.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, sometimes I don't take a breath either. I get that. So, you know, I? I'm gonna ask it a, maybe the simplest question so. So in that run on sentence. How did you how did you figure out what actually makes employees stick? What makes them loyal? Where? Where did you start? As you were starting to put this together into a into a consumable book?

Joe Mull:

Yeah, you know, I've been doing this work for a long time. And I tell audiences as a speaker and as a trainer, that we don't have to rack our brains to figure out what people need to be at their best at work. We have a ton of social science research around employee engagement and intrinsic motivation that guides us and, you know, there are a lot of things that we know we have to get right. We're just not good at doing them or we don't give leaders and business owners the under Standing that they need to engineer them at work. And so when I sat down to try to put pen to paper and come up with that one sentence answer, it was really a sorting through of a lot of that social science research around employee engagement, and around the psychology of motivation. But this was all happening at the end of 2020. And into 2021, when we were also having this huge national conversation about the great resignation, and a lot of labor turnover, and a lot of jobs switching. And I was growing frustrated with the conversation that was taking place that everybody's quitting, which is only half the movie, because the data tells us that people weren't quitting, and they're not quitting. Now they're switching. And more specifically, they're upgrading. And so I wanted to marry all of that together. And, you know, I've figured out over the years, that, you know, we all have gifts, I think one of mine is being able to take complicated ideas, and put them into simple frameworks for people to understand. And so I'm going to share with you the one sentence answer to the question, Where does commitment come from at work? And then we can break it down? If you want, if you think it's interesting. My answer to the question now is that commitment and retention appear when employees are in their ideal job, doing meaningful work for a great boss, those three big ideas or the entire framework for the book?

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, wouldn't we, you know, when I was preparing for this, I saw somewhere it was, instead of finding the best person for the job, you really focus on creating the ideal job for the person? Is that kind of what you're talking about? And what does that what does that look like?

Joe Mull:

It is so we're living in a moment right now, where a number of things have happened, right? We know that over the past two decades, the amount of work people have been asked to carry in most jobs has exploded, right? We've foisted the work of three onto two people and then on to one person. We also know that wages for people with the bottom half of the org chart in most organizations haven't moved in 40 years, right? The average salary for the US workers has increased 10% Since 1979, right, the median salary. And at the same time, we had this, this pandemic that landed on us, which created a kind of values reshuffling for people who looked at their lives and said, you know, my work is encroaching on every corner of my life, and I don't necessarily want it to continue. And then you look at the economy, where we continue to add so many jobs every month to the economy that already has nine 10 million unfilled jobs. So there's a ton of opportunity right now, for people to upgrade. And if you're trying to attract talent, or keep talent in an organization, you have to focus not on hiring the best person for the job, but creating the best job for the person, a job that really is about a more humane employee experience, where work doesn't encroach into every corner of their lives, where they're not struggling to make ends meet, where they're not overwhelmed with a workload where they're not participating in a toxic workplace where they don't experience belonging, and they work for a bad boss, right? There's too much opportunity out there right now for workers in most every industry to go to a better situation. And so those are the number of the things that we have to get, right. The idea of ideal job is one of those three factors in that framework is really about how my job fits into my life. And it's about what I get in exchange for what I do. So we describe ideal job as having three dimensions to it. Compensation, workload and flexibility. If you get my money, right, and you get my workload, right, and I get some flexibility around when, where and how I work, that job fits into my life, like a puzzle piece snapping into place. And that's, that's one of the core factors of becoming what we call a destination workplace.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, you know, I love this, this discussion, because I do think so often, we get so caught up in the complexity of the world that we live in. Right, and especially as we look at things like, you know, organizational culture and, and, you know, retention and, you know, loyalty and commitment. But, but the reality is, it is actually really simple. It's a simple concept. That doesn't mean it's easy. Right? You know, it's so and so I can guarantee you there's there's some people listening to this that are that are saying, Yeah, I'd love to get, you know, comp just write workload just right flexibility just right for for every employee within my organization. But there are there are going to be a lot of non believers out there that that's you know, and I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation with a hiring manager has this like, this job that they want to fill and they're looking for that perfect candidate and that doesn't exist in the world that we live in, except for maybe like, one person in Siberia that will never meet, you know what I mean? Like it? Yeah. And I've had that conversation so many times. So as as we're in human resources, and we kind of inherently understand that this principle needs to be in place. What advice or guidance would you give us as we are kind of helping those non believers understand these concepts? Wow.

Joe Mull:

You know, a lot of what we wrote about in the book I wrote, I wrote this book for the nonbelievers, right. I've thought about all the conversations I've had as a keynote speaker, as a trainer, of people who want to say, Yeah, but nobody wants to work anymore. You know, the problem is a generational work ethic deficit. And that's just bunk. And we can debunk that, you know, I was doing a virtual training this this week. And somebody in the chat box asked a question about younger workers who just don't really seem to care and try and somebody else chimed in. It's all those participation trophies and unlike, you know, come on we, we just can we do better? Can we engage in some more sophisticated critical thinking about the human condition to really understand where people are right now. So my message to the non believers is really couched in simplicity. People generally do a great job when they believe they have a great job. If we can understand what leads people to think that I've got a great job, people are going to join, they're going to stay, and they're going to care and try. And what we write about in the book is that every person in every job has a kind of internal psychological scorecard that they walk through the door of their workplace with every day or remote in with. And if we can understand what the boxes are on that scorecard. And we can check most or all of those boxes, we're not going to struggle to attract and keep talent, we're not going to struggle to quote unquote, motivate employees. And we know what those boxes are. We've named several of them here already. We've talked about compensation, flexibility and workload. The other factors that we talked about in the book that I gave you in that one sentence answer are meaningful work, and great boss. And, you know, we know for meaningful work, for example, one of the dimensions to that, our strengths, do I get to use my strengths and talents and unique gifts, in the work that I'm doing? We No, we have all of the research in the world that tells us that when people use their strengths for at least three hours a day, that they're not only does their engagement go up, but their overall health and well being goes up. And so to your point, Kyle, trying to find the perfect candidate who can do it all is folly. What we know works is you hire somebody who has some talents and gifts that appear to align with the work that you want them to do. And then you job craft that role for them to go all in on their strengths and their gifts. And instead of focusing on getting everyone to raise their deficits to a level of mediocrity, if we can instead hire people who have talents and gifts, and then create an opportunity for us those is to use those gifts as often as possible, you're gonna get a lot more commitment, and you're gonna get a lot better outcomes.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more the the the soar with your strengths, model versus don't let your areas of opportunity screw you up.

Joe Mull:

And what ends up happening is people will say, Well, do we just not? Are you saying we get rid of all the parts of people's jobs that they don't like? Well, of course not. That's you know, that's an overly that's a falsely reductive way to think about this. But for example, I have a member of my team who I hired originally, to basically be a full time salesperson. And what we figured out when she got in the door, was she's amazing at customer service, and, and operational details. So she still does some sales work and some pieces that we need. But after two years, we modified her role to play to her strengths. And she's killing it right now. And she's created so many things and does so much for our organization that we didn't bring her into the door to do, but that we need it and that we're benefiting from.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, you know, I think that it's a really important conversation to have. I know, you know, and I've done quite a bit of this, at least on my team, where I have kind of the the agency and oversight to do this where it's like, you know, when I'm hiring for a position, I'm also thinking in that context of you know, I'm not trying to fit, I'm not trying to fit somebody into a job that's going to force them to spend more than 50% of their time on stuff they're not good at right like it's as simple as that right? So it's like so when you craft this job description, you can't write a job description and be like, I want the person who is high extrovert really, really great at communication loves people wants to mix wants to think high level but I also needed to be very, very diligent, very attention to, you know, to detail work independently for long periods of time. Like it's like, you can't ask for a unicorn. You You know, you're never gonna get that person. So you know, it's about being like targeted, being thoughtful. And then, you know, the other thing I think about is I hear this so and I'm gonna go I'm gonna play the generational card here a little bit. So like, so often I'll hear in my organization from from people who like, grew up in the Don Shula era of football with Don Shula, if you don't know Don Shula, he was a Miami's Miami Dolphins, football coach, and his his theory was just hire great athletes, and you will succeed. You know, it's as simple as that. And he didn't necessarily care what position they had played, he just wanted to get them on the team. And then he figured it out from here, rat model, I have seen that work time and time again, it's the exact same thing that we're talking about here. It's about find people that are talented, that are motivated, that are inspired and are engaged, bring them into the team, and then figure out where their sweet spots at with their, with their position. And I know that probably gives a lot of HR professionals heartburn, just thinking about like complexity, like, but no, we have to have a job description that's static and never changes. But the reality is, that's not the society we live in. That's not how people work.

Joe Mull:

And, you know, I push it even further, you know, when we think about onboarding people and looking for talent and trying to identify what people's gifts and strengths are, we still end up treating them as a commodity, which is a kind of dehumanization that we engage in as employers, right? When we just think of people through the lens of what they do, like the tasks and duties of their job or the talents they bring to an organization. And I think what this book advocates for not I think what this book advocates for, that's a silly thing to say I wrote the damn thing about what I know that this book I advocate for, is a more humane employee experience. That's actually how we define the word employee loyalty. Because when you look at that word, you think it means employee loyalty, but it's actually a portmanteau of the words employer loyalty, and humanity. And we know that so much of the disruption in the labor force in recent years is a result of people being dehumanized at work of feeling like they're treated like a commodity, and that their employers or their bosses don't care about the impact that their jobs have on their lives outside of work. And so when we think about not just dialing in on strength, we have to actually think about dialing in on the entire humanity of a person, I am going to get emotional and psychological commitment from somebody at work, if I care, not just about who they are at work, but how their job impacts their life outside of work, how their time with us impacts the trajectory of their career, whether it does or doesn't include us going down the line, where I demonstrate that I understand their story, right? Are they? Are they married? Do they have kids? Are they the primary caregiver to an elderly parent, you know, we need to bring in the whole person. If we want them to bring their whole selves to the work that we're asking them to do. It sounds almost transactional, right? But it becomes transformational. When you make that commitment, a two way street. If we want employee loyalty, we need to demonstrate employer loyalty to the whole person.

Molly Burdess:

That's a lot of leadership where leadership comes into play, right? Can leaders are leaders utilizing and identifying people's strengths? Are they getting to know them? But I also see a lot of leaders getting it wrong. Do you see that as well? And how can we in HR help them get get this right?

Joe Mull:

I know a lot of leaders are getting it wrong, but in some cases, it's no fault of their own. Because we know that the average leader can go nearly 10 years before getting exposure to any kind of formal leadership development or management training. We know that leaders get hired into leadership roles because of technical expertise or years of experience, or because they were good at the job they're now going to be hired to oversee. And then they get into those roles and the problems they face every day aren't technical issues or things that draw on their experience their people problems, right. How do I mediate conflict? How do I navigate the different competing interests of people on this team? How do I give feedback and manage the performance of people? How do I deal with a toxic employee? And so we see those folks, sometimes twisting in the wind and not getting the support and the development that they need. You know that that third factor that we talk about in this framework of great boss is the most important one, right? If we drew it as a Venn diagram, that circle would be the biggest right? That's how we illustrate it in the book. A person's direct supervisor is the single most influential factor in the employee experience. But there's a disconnect between the what leaders think they're supposed to be doing and what direct reports actually need them to do. What we wrote about extensively in the book is that the three most important dimensions of being a great boss are trust, coaching and advocacy and We just talked about advocacy a little bit, right? This idea of, I'm going to act in this person's best interests, I'm going to care about who they are not just at work, but outside of work. Those other two pieces of trust and coaching, I mean, that's the secret sauce of leadership. It's, it's granting and earning trust, and understanding what it means to coach people to higher levels of performance, which isn't feedback, which isn't mentoring, it's a very specific kind of conversation, where we're asking questions in the right order to create self actualization for people where we're mining them for their creativity and their insight and their experiences where the interactions we have with people, as a supervisor, are driven not by judgment, but by curiosity. And so all of the work that we do as leaders really is, is about about my favorite definition of leadership, which is, leadership is creating the conditions for people to thrive. That's the gig, I go to work every day, my job is to figure out what these people need to be at their best and then fight like crazy to give it to them.

Molly Burdess:

I love that not by judgment, but by curiosity.

Kyle Roed:

It's very Ted lasso, if anybody hasn't seen the dark. I'm literally on here as well. No, I'm not wearing my TED last Oh, socks today. But I wore him yesterday. So

Joe Mull:

sorry, I got my believe sign in the in the other room over there.

Kyle Roed:

That's on my laptop. I told you, we'd be best friends by the end of this. So Joe, I think this this, this discussion is is like this is the discussion. Right? And I think that you have absolutely hit the nail on the head. You know, it's funny, you look at some of the recent research and, you know, it's like it a lot of it is the context of Oh, my God, the sky is falling, the great resignation is here. The new world of work, it's like all of these, like, you know, is the harbinger of doom is upon us. And you know, we will never figure out how to get people to stick around and be loyal. And this generation has no loyalty, you know, all these headlines that sell, you know, sell ad space on these on these websites. But the reality is, it does come back to humanity. And I think the way I think about it is it's like, Okay, we have taken so much time, energy and focus and put it into how do we make our workforces systematic? How do we make things transactional at work? What's the best practice? What's the continuous improvement? What's the productivity, and it's so much of the focus has been on efficiency and cost mitigation and cost reduction? Like how do we how do we get more efficient, and that has promoted significant improvements in our society and in our workplaces? Like, I'm not going to take away from that. But it's a logical outcome, that if you make work more and more and more transactional, your employees will consider you as an employer more and more and more transactional, and there's no loyalty to that transaction, it's only as good as the interaction that you have every single day as that transaction occurs. Right? There is no stickiness. It's just like the gig economy, right? So it's like, if you're gonna make work, extremely transactional, just go just do the gig economy, just go hire day workers, right. And just like, that's what you're doing, if you if you focus so much on, there's got to be a balance, right? You can't just, you can't just force the transaction of work, you have to have people, you know, hearts minds, and bodies kind of understand, you know, what their job is and how they fit it.

Joe Mull:

Well, and the irony would be is if you did go the gig economy route, you would end up treating those people better, because they could walk away at any moment. They would get they would get paid contractor rates and that they would have contract agreement, right, we would treat them the way that we should be treating our FTE is no question correct. You know, and when I share this model, of ideal job, meaningful work, great boss, you know, ideal job compensation, workload flexibility, meaningful work, strengths, purpose, belonging, and great boss trust, coaching, advocacy. Make no mistake, it's hard. It's hard for an organization to create that set of experiences consistently for employees. There are certainly some aspects on that scorecard that your organization is doing well already, but there are others that are probably gaps. And so it's it's a challenge to go back and engineer that and it can be expensive, it can be more expensive than what organizations are spending already. And my comment is always, but you have to choose your heart, right, you can run an organization at a minimum staffing threshold, while paying the least amount of wages possible with limited benefits. And the set of problems you're going to deal with are all going to be related to retention and turnover. And the problems that those issues create around quality and customer experience, right? You're going to constantly deal with churn and retraining and rehiring And that's a whole unique set of problems. Or you can go this other way of creating a more humane employee experience that actually prioritizes people's humanity at work. And if you get these things, right of ideal job, meaningful work, great boss. Yeah, that's hard to, but only one set of hard results in higher commitment, better customer experience, lower turnover, higher levels of performance, safety, revenue, reputation, all of it. And so choose, choose your heart, you know, the running an organization at a minimum staffing threshold and paying the least amount that you can to workers. That's hard to it's just a different kind of difficult.

Molly Burdess:

So I've heard be more humane Person Centered employee experience. Got that. And I think we I think we've touched a little bit on we can train our leaders, right, teach our leaders, I think, a lot of times and myself included, we make the assumptions that our leaders know how to do this, and they don't. But what what else can we do? What else? Does that look like making making a more person centered employee experience? Oh, goodness.

Joe Mull:

So I don't I don't want to talk nonstop for the next 20 minutes. So if I get rolling downhill here a little bit, you need to wave your run on so we'll get the hook. Yeah, no more work South

Kyle Roed:

Paulo and pull it off? Yeah.

Joe Mull:

Well, you know, let's talk about that meaningful work piece for a minute. You know, we know that a lot of organizations are finally embracing more substantive dei work, and really creating environments where people truly experience belonging. And that's not just about camaraderie and connection, that's about being a celebrated accepted member of a team for who I am. And that takes work, it takes deep work, not just because inclusion is so important, but because we know that exclusion is so cancerous to an organization. And so really challenging members of the team to understand naturally occurring differences between human beings cultural differences, the different ways in which we communicate, celebrate, I mean, these are this is an ongoing conversation that organizations need to be committed to it's everything from doing training, doing meeting to, you know, ERGs, Employee Resource Groups giving, giving more time and attention to hiring and interviewing and representation from people from underrepresented groups and people who are typically marginalized in society. And so that's a part of this, Molly, I also go back to that ideal job factor. And in terms of wages, I will pound the table that I don't think any organization, if you want to have a humane employee experience, you should not pay less than a living wage for the county that you live in. And if you don't know what the living wage is, for the county that you live in, you can go to living wage.mit.edu. And you can look up, what is the minimum amount that somebody needs to earn to avoid a sub standard of living here. And it shocks people when I share this with them. And I know that you to know this already. But in most counties in the United States, the living wage is up above $17 an hour, except, and here's the rub. That's for a household of one. If you add a child, a living wage in most places, is above $30 an hour. So if you have an employee right now, who was a single parent with one child, and you are paying them less than $30 an hour, they are struggling to afford basic transportation, food, clothing, shelter, medicine, child care, all of it. And so really, this idea of creating a more humane employee experience, it's about coming to the belief that the absence of these conditions is inhumane, that people coming to work and not getting adequate compensation, having an unmanageable workload not experiencing belonging, not doing work that aligns with their strengths. When people don't experience these things, you have to come to believe that it's a violation of our basic humanity. When that happens when that belief system takes hold, that's when change starts to occur.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And, you know, I think this goes back to, you know, it's a logical outcome. You know, where are the areas of the workforce that we're in crisis right now, you know, the people who can't afford basic, you know, housing. You know, people who can't afford daycare, people who are jumping jobs for 25 cents more per hour, 50 cents more per hour. What when you don't do what I call, I call this table stakes, right? Like, cop is table stakes. If you don't get that right, I don't care what you do. Like that is your basic the most basic agreement that you have with somebody is I'm going to pay you fairly for the job that you do for my organization. Right? You don't do that. Forget all the other stuff we've talked, like, do that. But that you know that people complain when people will leave for 25 cents more or 50 cents more or $1,000 more per year. The reality is well, yeah, they don't have any other choice. Right. You know, it's like this is just an economic calculator. One that somebody is forced to make, it's not like, I guarantee you, it's not more fun to change jobs, like changing jobs sucks,

Joe Mull:

right? So it's hard. There's an economic calculation here that that that tends to get rooted in historical bias, right, we're used to seeing certain positions at a certain rate, or in a certain range. And as the economy changes, or the market changes the demand for roles, even outside of our own industry, because people are jumping industries, right, I'm watching nurses go work at Target, because it's slightly less stressful. And maybe they take a couple dollars of a pay cut, but it ain't that much in some places. And it's remarkable the willingness of people to do that. The the other piece of the wages conversation, though, is that there's a belief that it influences effort, I will often open a workshop by asking the people in the room and I have some of that fun word cloud software that like you mentioned the word cloud earlier, Kyle, and I'll say what motivates employees to care and try it work? Pull out your cell phone type in what's your answers, give me give me three or four ideas, when we get this big word cloud that shows up on the screen. And everything you can imagine goes up there from respect, encouragement, recognition, but money and pay are always the biggest answers on the screen. And what I end up sharing with the people in the room is that that's the one thing that doesn't belong there. Because we understand the psychology of pay, pay has very little to do with effort. Pay has everything to do with join, and stay. Retention is different than effort. If you want people to join your organization, you got to get paying benefits, right? If you want people to stay in your organization, you've got to get paying benefits, right? But once it's right, it is off the table as a motivator for effort. You know, if you think about somebody who and I have managers who will say this all the time, I will I ask employees, what would motivate you? And they always say more money? And I say, well think about how absurd that answer is. Because that employee is telling you, you know what, boss, I have another gear? You haven't seen it yet. But it's for sale? And is that true? Of course not, you might get a little spike in, you know, hustle for a little while, but they're gonna come back down to their baseline, even if you give them a raise, what we know is that we have to get a whole lot of other conditions right, for people to deploy effort. And it's all the things we've been talking about today. Right? It's purpose, it's belonging, it's doing work that aligns with strengths. It's, it's coaching, you know, and so that that way, just conversation, Kyle, it's an economic piece, it's a humanity piece. And I think that's a really important piece here to disrupt people's bias thinking around what somebody is, quote unquote, worth. But it's also an understanding that, listen, this is an adapter die moment for most businesses, if you want to be able to fill positions and keep people you're going to have to move the needle on the money because it hasn't moved for years.

Kyle Roed:

I think the other argument that, you know, I've heard a couple of times, and I think it's so right as if your business model, as an organization does not allow you to pay a livable wage than that's a bad business model. Right? Right. Like that's the reality and organization's CFO is not going to like to hear that. But that is the reality. Right? And and, you know, we need to have those open, you know, conversations, or we're just going to keep having this conversation for the next however many millennia, right? Like, figure out the model, start there. So that you can do these, do these things the right way for folks, or you're just going to continue to deal with it. So

Joe Mull:

we aren't for the sins of the generations who came before and did everything they can to keep costs down. And there's a reckoning there's a wages reckoning right now. And you can argue as to why it shouldn't be that way. But you know, you're spitting into the ocean?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Well, it's been an absolutely wonderful conversation, there's so much wonderful content, that we could, we could just keep going like we could probably record like six or seven podcasts here. But you're a busy guy, and I want to be I am just gonna get to just call out the book. Again, if you want to dig more into this topic. There's, there's so much good and important content here. And I would encourage all you HR professionals, as you are thinking about this topic, and you're thinking about the amount of people within your organization that are asking you to figure this out. Here's a resource that you can go out and you can leverage and you can share with your team to help them start to think about it and have them ask those questions that Joe mentioned earlier of themselves. How do I actually foster loyalty as an employer, for my for my employees with the context of humanity so the book again, employee multi, how to ignite commitment and keep top talent in the new age of work? Available now we're where books are sold. We are going to shift gears we We're gonna go into the rebel HR flash round. We've already answered a couple of these questions. So I'm gonna see if we can get a new one here. All right? Where does HR need to rebel?

Joe Mull:

Yeah, I threw down living on the wages piece for a while there, didn't I? And I had my answer all teed up for this. And now I'm thinking, Wait, what was I going to? What was I gonna say about that? You know, where I think HR needs to rebel. I think all of the people in HR who do employee relations work need to do the same leadership development work that managers do. Because when managers call up their employee relations contact, and they say, How do I deal with this person, this situation this comment this moment, if they haven't had the kind of fundamental training and feedback and coaching and performance management that managers need to have, how can they properly support that person?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. I have said this for years, I did not start in HR, I fell into it. And it's been a wonderful journey. But I started in ops and leadership, and had I not had that experience, I would not have been good at employee relations, because right had not lived the experience of a leader prior to that, and it's such a critical skill set. So if you don't have that, in your resume, go, you gotta go get educated, or you're not where you're gonna be doing your organization at this service, I could not agree more.

Molly Burdess:

And I'm the opposite. I started in HR. And then I went into leadership, and it completely shifted how I thought about my job.

Joe Mull:

Yeah, I used to be the head of learning and development for physician services at one of the largest health care systems in the US. And my office was it was sort of an open concept space. And I was friends with and work right alongside all of the employee relations, business partners in this massive organization. And on a daily basis, they would come over to me and say, Hey, I got this manager who's struggling with this on the phone, you know, can you give me some thoughts on what I can tell her and I meant, I'm essentially coaching both the HR business partner and the frontline manager or mid level manager in the moment, and I started advocating to our VPS, like, why aren't we giving these folks these same skills and tools, that's really how I almost got started in this work?

Kyle Roed:

I think so. It's so powerful, it's so important. It's actually one of the things I look for. When I'm hiring for HR professionals, I don't necessarily want somebody that's been in HR for for 35 years, I'm sure they're wonderful. I want somebody with like a with with leadership as a background, and then rounded, we can teach the HR stuff, but the leadership has to be has to be learned, experienced, and there has to be some exposure there. I really appreciate that and an HR professional. Alright, question number two, who should we be listening to?

Joe Mull:

Employees, we should be listening to employees who tell us, I can't afford to keep working here who tell us my workload is overwhelming. Who tell us this supervisor over here is toxic, right. And we should be listening to them not in exit interviews. So I have a couple of ranty things on my podcast that show up every once in a while. And I have a whole rant on how why exit interviews are stupid, and we should stop doing them. And I will spare you that if you know because I know that those are really important people in HR. But we should be doing stay interviews, right? You know, when we have somebody who, okay, I'm going to tell you anyway. So when we have somebody who has decided to leave and has one foot out the door and has no stakes here, whatsoever left, now is the time when we say hey, what do you think we should do differently around here? It's absurd. We should be having stay interviews. What do you love about your job? What would you change? If you could change anything? What energizes you about your work? Why do you stay? If you were going to leave? Why would you leave? And we should listen. And we should identify the themes and the patterns that show up again and again. And then use those to inform how we continue to adapt our organization to support the people who work.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, figure out when most of your turnover happens and be strategic about when you conduct those stay interviews. Love that.

Kyle Roed:

Yes, absolutely. We could. That's a whole nother podcast, we could just talk about how exit interviews are BS. Yeah, I'm with you, Joe. By the way, if I don't know if that'll get me any hate mob mail, but I think exit interviews are one of the most worthless, worthless activities and time consuming activities in human resources. It's too reactive. We need to switch the script, get proactive and figure this out before people try to quit.

Molly Burdess:

actually agree with you on that one. Kyle. That's the first.

Kyle Roed:

All right, I love it. All right. We'll take that one. I'm going to take that one as a win today. All right, Joe, last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Joe Mull:

You can find me online at my website is my name Joe McCall. Je oemull.com If that's too hard to remember, we also have bas better now.com which will get you over to our podcast, our email newsletter and all the good Just like that that

Kyle Roed:

are out there in the world. Absolutely. And I highly encourage you to check it out. You know, there's so much good content out there. Joe has been doing this for a number of years. And he's very, very generous with the content that he provides. And, and it's great podcast. So we will have all those all those links in the show notes open for your podcast player. Check it out, get connected, and it's continued to develop your focus on leadership and loyalty. Joe, thank you again for for spending the last few minutes with us just been an absolutely wonderful conversation. Have a great rest of your day.

Joe Mull:

Molly, Kyle, thank you so much for having me. It's been a blast. Thanks, Joe.

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