Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 29: Generation HR

February 02, 2021 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 1 Episode 29
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 29: Generation HR
Chapters
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 29: Generation HR
Feb 02, 2021 Season 1 Episode 29
Kyle Roed, The HR Guy

Kyle and Molly have the tables turned, as guests on the Generation HR Podcast.  

About Generation HR:  Originally created for the Social Changemaker Project, the University of Northern Iowa's Society for Human Resource Management (UNI-SHRM) student organization decided to research the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating that federal civil rights law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We wanted to take a deeper look into how this has impacted training and inclusivity on university campuses and the workplace. The main focus is to create unity and transparency in both. 

As four officers of UNI-SHRM, Aleah, Kaylee, Skylar, and Claudia began by creating a survey to get a baseline of the level of understanding or training, that students and employees have been given on this new ruling. After marketing our survey through social media, we reached hundreds of people in the Cedar Valley and beyond. 

Shockingly, we found that 0% of those in the LGBTQ community had been made aware of this new ruling by their university or employer. Following that, 35% of those not in the LGBTQ community discovered these rights on their own, and 36% said that they had not been made aware and feel as though they should have been made aware by their employer or university. 

Obviously, these results proved what we thought: people are simply not educated about this new ruling. Hence, our podcast began!

https://www.facebook.com/generationHRpodcast/
https://generationhrpodcast.wixsite.com/generationhrpodcast

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


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

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

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

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Show Notes Transcript

Kyle and Molly have the tables turned, as guests on the Generation HR Podcast.  

About Generation HR:  Originally created for the Social Changemaker Project, the University of Northern Iowa's Society for Human Resource Management (UNI-SHRM) student organization decided to research the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating that federal civil rights law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We wanted to take a deeper look into how this has impacted training and inclusivity on university campuses and the workplace. The main focus is to create unity and transparency in both. 

As four officers of UNI-SHRM, Aleah, Kaylee, Skylar, and Claudia began by creating a survey to get a baseline of the level of understanding or training, that students and employees have been given on this new ruling. After marketing our survey through social media, we reached hundreds of people in the Cedar Valley and beyond. 

Shockingly, we found that 0% of those in the LGBTQ community had been made aware of this new ruling by their university or employer. Following that, 35% of those not in the LGBTQ community discovered these rights on their own, and 36% said that they had not been made aware and feel as though they should have been made aware by their employer or university. 

Obviously, these results proved what we thought: people are simply not educated about this new ruling. Hence, our podcast began!

https://www.facebook.com/generationHRpodcast/
https://generationhrpodcast.wixsite.com/generationhrpodcast

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


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

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

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

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're a professional looking for innovative thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. Today's episode volley and I have the tables turned on us. We're guests on a podcast called the generation HR podcast. This was a short term podcast, set up by a couple of great HR students at the local college, and they asked some really insightful questions related to inclusion and how HR can support those efforts. Check it out.

Aleah Vaske:

Hi, everyone, this is Leah basky. And Kaylee, we're we are two students at the University of Northern Iowa seeking to bridge the generational gap. And we're passionate about bringing awareness of topics throughout business and our community. So without further ado, welcome to the generation HR podcast.

Kaylee Wurth:

Today we'll be discussing the new LGBTQ plus Supreme Court ruling and how it affects those and human resources in the workplace in general, we have with us Kyle Roed, who is currently the Workforce Development Director for Cedar Valley Sherm the Society for human resource management, and he's also the HR director for CPM holdings. Kyle also has his own podcast called rebel human resources, so the tables have turned a bit for him.

Aleah Vaske:

Also with us is Molly bardez, who is currently the president for Cedar Valley Sherm and the HR leader for Bradford companies. She has held HR positions in retail sales, real estate and manufacturing industries. So thank you for being here, Kyle and Molly and Kyle. I am really enjoying you being on the other side of this this time.

Kyle Roed:

I can't wait. I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Aleah Vaske:

Just you wait for a question. When you were asking me the question about my Twitter bio. We have a whole new thing in store for you.

Molly Burdess:

I hope you throw on some curveballs. You guys.

Aleah Vaske:

Yes. Okay, so like we mentioned, they're both involved in Cedar Valley, Sherm, and we've actually partnered with them for the social change maker project, which is, which is something that are you and I share arms to the organization is currently working on. And the main person, the purpose of the competition is to find a problem within your community, and work with a group from the community to solve it. So with the recent US Supreme Court ruling, stating that federal civil rights law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, we saw a need for more awareness and education around this topic.

Kaylee Wurth:

Yep, exactly. And just to get a better idea of the problem that needed to be addressed, we also created a survey that was distributed to college students at the University of Northern Iowa, and working professionals in our community as well. The results showed that there are some major areas of improvement that needs to be made in both our educational and professional institutions. So my first question for the both of you is, where do you guys personally think your company is at on the timeline of complete? inclusivity? I know that's kind of a huge question to ask. But any initial thoughts or reactions to that first question?

Kyle Roed:

Molly's looking at me like go ahead, Kyle. Yeah, so I can touch on that I just to touch on inclusion very broadly, within my organization, I think 2020 has been a, a challenging year for everybody in human resources on a number of different avenues. But one of the areas that our employees have really looked at us to take a leadership role is related to diversity, inclusion and equity. So specific to my organization, we actually initiated a project to walk through something called the Global Diversity and Inclusion benchmarks, which is from the center of global inclusion. I can share that with you if you want to share that in your show notes. But essentially, what it is, is a it's a self audit. And there's 14 different criteria that you go through within your organization and you aniss you answer those, and honestly, as it relates to, to the various dimensions of diversity, and as we looked at that, and we went through that project, honestly, there's a number of areas that we would consider ourselves very, very early in our inclusion journey. So some of the areas that we are specifically focused on is related to internal training. And communication, making sure that we focus and foster some of the cultural sensitivity that's required within our organization. We are an international firm. So we have to keep that top of mind. And then a couple of the other areas that we're really focusing on relates to internal HR practices. So things like ensuring that job descriptions are inclusive, that postings are inclusive, that our recruiting processes are standardized, and equitable. And that our pay practices are equitable. And there's there's some work that we need to do within our organization in order to achieve that. But we're in the process of building that structure and strategy right now.

Aleah Vaske:

So a follow up question that I have with what you were just saying, you said that it was kind of like an audit that you did. Does that have any resources for you? After you kind of figure out where your main pinpoints are that you want to improve on? Where do you go from there?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, that's a great question. So one of the reasons I like the tool is, first of all, it's free, which is my favorite, favorite price for any sort of project. But it's, it's also helps you with an action planning template. So the idea behind doing the audit is, once you have assessed yourself, and you can take an honest inventory of where you're at now, you know, where the areas of highest impact are. So we took that we really boiled that down into three primary areas, which was the areas I mentioned earlier. So that was compensation practices, recruiting practices, and internal diversity, inclusion and equity, training and education. So and then there's, there's some action plans within there, the only comment I would say is, the challenge with any sort of action plan is it still needs to be tailored to your organization. So we are taking that as a deliverable with our HR team to continue to build action plans off that tool.

Kaylee Wurth:

I really like the idea of creating those action plans for all of those. That's really awesome. Molly, where do you think your company? Is that on the scale of complete inclusivity to zero? Sure. Well,

Molly Burdess:

I don't know that if there's any organization that is like complete, right, I think we all have areas of opportunity, which I think is really important to understand. And, because that's how you get action, right? So you got to understand there's always opportunity, and you got to take action. So my organization's I'm a part of two very different organizations, which is really awesome. The first one is retail. So we are public facing, I feel internally, we very much value diversity and inclusion, we're really focused on improving our implicit bias in a couple of areas. The first one is public facing. So in our organization, there's a lot of fraud that happens. So we are training our associates on biases when we're looking at fraud and theft and things like that, and how they're communicating that and how just the actions that they're putting, they're associating with those with those incidents, seconds, we are also working on bias from a hiring perspective. So we are a sales organization, we have found that our leaders like aggressive sales people, and usually the term aggressive goes with males. So we are very much working with our leaders to to become more diverse with our with our gender types. Regarding the lbgtq plus community, I feel like we do a very good job internally in that organization. Now, my second industry is part of the Salon and Spa industry, which is actually really unique. And while again, I think we we do pretty good. We do have some work to do an industry wide. It's actually a really unique industry in regards to diversity and inclusion. I mean, the majority is very segregated, not not intentionally, but typically, the people that you attract, are the people that look like you, right, like if I go to a salon, I don't want somebody that only does men's hair cuts to cut my female hair, that's just the way it is. And within the education system, they don't teach a lot of diverse cutting and hair techniques. So it's something that we're talking a lot about internally, and also bringing education into the team. So everybody can feel comfortable with every single type of hair, and every single person that sits in our chair.

Kaylee Wurth:

That's a really good thing to implement. I think it's awesome that you bring opportunities to groups of people or communities where it's lacking. They're lacking the opportunity. I think more companies should, like take a look at that. And I think that's awesome.

Molly Burdess:

Well, and I think that goes back to what Kyle said, it's very individualized for every organization. So you really just have to look at your business and understand your business and what opportunities Have

Kaylee Wurth:

when it comes to the recruitment side of increasing diversity and inclusion, what's the main thing that you guys focus on to make sure that you're reaching out to those different groups? What's something that you would recommend for other groups or even just us as a student organization, we want to be able to increase who we're reaching out to who we're giving opportunities to who we're making aware of the different experiences and educating them on you. And I Sherm, how have you guys found success in doing so? Well,

Molly Burdess:

I'll set this off, and I'll pass it over to Kyle. But I think first and foremost, you have to have data, you have to know exactly who you are targeting and who you are getting as far as applicants. And that's the first step, then you can really evaluate that data and then take action based on what opportunities you're finding. Awesome. Yeah, I

Kyle Roed:

think data is good. I think on the recruiting side of things, the my biggest successes have been being willing to change processes, and completely throw out something that you did 10 1520 years ago, and try something new. So you know, especially in the context of trying to be more inclusive in your recruiting at a really eye opening event earlier in my career. And I, I'm in a manufacturing environment, and I was with a local manufacturer at the time, and I was complaining to somebody about, Oh, I can't find anybody or, you know, my company struggles with recruiting. And it's, it's just really hard to find good people. That was the language I was using. And somebody rightfully cut me off and said, Listen, there's only two reasons that you're not getting enough applicants. The first reason is, you aren't marketing it correctly, people don't know about it. So, okay, check one somebody in the community doesn't know that I'm actively recruiting. Or the second reason is, you have a bad reputation. So people don't want to work there. And that was kind of eye opening to me. And in the simplicity, the simplicity of the of the two points, I thought, wow, we're probably suck at both of those things. And, and, obviously, it wasn't intentional, but it certainly wasn't. Anything that we hit intentionally works to overcome. So we completely changed our marketing strategy at this organization. We went out into the community, we actually did active outreach into areas that we had not been before. In this specific organization, I was in a part of town that was not in a great socio economic standing in the eyes of the community. You know, and we hadn't really necessarily reached out to those individuals and said, hey, we've got upwardly mobile jobs, we pay you a livable wage. We had done all of our marketing previously on, you know, online or in the paper, which many of these individuals wouldn't have seen. So we went out into the local community, I literally googled local churches and synagogues and mosques and any places of worship, and I just printed a bunch of flyers and drove around and handed them out to the local community and faith leaders and said, Hey, can you spread the word, we're going to have a hiring event at this point, we were having a hiring event on a Thursday, I figured we might get 2030 people to apply during a hiring event. We had 180 people show up at this hiring event on a Thursday, I had, I had to like recruit extra recruiters to come and help me like I was like begging production supervisors to come in and help me just sort through these people because we had a line out the door. And as we were pulling people and talking to them about you know, how'd you hear about it? They were like, Oh, yeah, you know, one of my, one of my church leaders took a picture of this, put it on Facebook said, Hey, check this out. They're they're reaching out to our community, they want to they want to help you succeed. We we ended up at that point, we had 60 open jobs at this location, we ended up making 90 job offers. And that also built us up enough of a recruiting list that we essentially had jobs prepped and filled before they even came open. So we were able to onboard and train people and just say, hey, we'll call you when we're ready for for orientation for the hiring process. So by far the most effective recruiting event I've ever been a part of. And it was simply because we completely changed our process.

Molly Burdess:

For me, not a lot has changed. I think the biggest thing is it's just getting some more attention. Really there. There wasn't a ton of uniformity between the states and the federal level. And I think that's what this is solving a little bit. So for us because we're in the state of Iowa. These protections have have been in law for some time. So that's been the biggest thing for me. I think another thing that's again, it's caused more attention. There was one stat that I found that I've wanted to share. Now I can't find it or I'll have to come back to that it was a really good one. But what I do think some organizations have to think about though I like things like dress code policies, benefit offerings, a lot of things like that. You know, one thing I think is really cool that came out of your survey is because these individuals have protections in the state of Iowa, I really didn't even think, to communicate to my organization that this was passed on a federal level. I think your survey said that individuals from this community would have liked to see that. So in hindsight, I love that. And I totally dropped the ball. And I wish I would have done that. And I still might.

Aleah Vaske:

Yeah, so as you mentioned, Kyle, a lot of it comes from you guys just being willing to change. And I think that both Molly and Kyle, you really champion that. And obviously, you're doing a lot of things that help you move forward on that continuum towards complete inclusivity. So for you guys with the policies that already prohibit employees from discrimination, how have things that changed for you guys, like, especially with this new ruling, I know that we were talking about earlier, we didn't really, or you guys didn't really feel like that much has changed, because you already had those things implemented. With this new ruling, have you found any places that you can improve even further, with the new resources that have been put out because of this ruling?

Molly Burdess:

One thing, I did find that I hope improves because of it, but there is a national LGBTQ task force that reported that transgender individuals unemployment rate was twice the rate of the general population. So I found that to be really interesting, and again, I just hope that it gets some more attention. And we can get some more of these individuals in the workplace.

Kaylee Wurth:

from an outside perspective, I can see how there would have been a lack of education, because if companies are already implementing different policies that don't, that are not allowing people to do this sort of discrimination, I, I can see where there would be a gap. I feel like there would be HR saying, like, Oh, we've already covered all of our bases, but then there's the employee side saying, like, I wish I would have known about this, nothing might have changed for me, but it might have been helpful to just have been aware, especially if they were in the LGBTQ community. I know, in our survey, 0% of people in the LGBTQ community had been educated on it by the school, which is also a main gap that we've also noticed as well.

Molly Burdess:

Exactly.

Aleah Vaske:

Yeah, I agree. And I think Task Force and things like that, at a federal level are going to make so much more change. Like, I know, we had it already, kind of going in the state level. But those things I think will be really helpful, especially when, at the federal level, we are more invested in analyzing that data, like you just said about the transgender unemployment rate, then we can really focus on some of those things and hopefully improve at a national level. Kyle, do you have anything to add?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I always have something to add. From my perspective, this ruling is just validation that the things that we've already implemented in many of our workplaces are the correct thing to do. I think this, this ruling is like 20 years late. And it's ridiculous that it just now happened. And if if I peel back, and I look at my organization, as an international firm, the US is way behind on a lot of these issues. And a lot of the challenges that we're facing right now related to diversity, equity and inclusion, are because of policies and practices and regulations that are in place that need to be undone, quite frankly. So you know, you think about redlining and some of the institutional barriers that are in place for people who are, you know, from diverse backgrounds. They're very prevalent in our society. And that's an issue and I think as, as an HR practitioner, myself, I I view it as my personal mission to be an activist within my workplace to ensure that some of these inequities don't filter into my team. And so as I look at, you know, the policies and procedures that are in place, they already had protection related to anybody in the LGBTQ plus community. You know, I remember distinctly we went through a handbook revision about two years ago. And Previously, we had all these different handbooks by state because every state has a slightly different definition of what a protected class is. And we don't have time to even talk about how ridiculous it is to have quote, protected classes versus just a non discrimination policy. But I digress, that the fact of the matter is, we were trying to manage around all these state policies. At the end of the day, I said, why don't we just make all of this stuff against the policy for the entire US? Why are we trying to figure out if it's legal in Texas or not legal in North Carolina or legal in Missouri, let's just take everything, clump it together and be very, very clear that all of these things matter. And we consider every difference within the workplace to be what we would call a protected class, and everybody deserves the same opportunity for success within our company.

Aleah Vaske:

Amen.

Kyle Roed:

You got me on my soapbox?

Molly Burdess:

Great brother preach, Kyle, typically, gender identity is not categorized under the ADA. Do you think this ruling is a first step to get that added to the ADA protections?

Kyle Roed:

I think it certainly reinforces that potential. So yes, I think it's I think it's a step in the right direction. But as I said, I don't think it's enough and it's too late. Now, I'd like to see these protections become broader. But the other thing I would mention, too, is that I think as a, as a private business, it's absolutely ridiculous that any organization is waiting for the Supreme Court to tell him that it's not okay to be non inclusive. I mean, it's, you know, it, I look at that as, like the organizations that are going to survive are not waiting for the law to change. They're out there actively changing policies and processes and, and making their work environment a great place to work because they realize it's a competitive advantage. And it's what our employees want. It's what people are demanding out of their workplace right now. So many employers are listening to this thinking, gee, I guess we need to change our policies. Now. Because this ruling, I would just challenge you to say you were about two decades too late.

Molly Burdess:

At the end of the day, it's not about the law, right? About it's the right thing to do,

Kyle Roed:

right. If you do anything in HR, I have a fear of a lawsuit, your priorities are screwed up.

Kaylee Wurth:

I remember reading about this new Supreme Court ruling when it came out. And my first thought was, I already assumed this was a thing. I didn't know that this needed to be in writing for the people to not discriminate against someone based on their gender, sexual, our sexuality. But I also kind of want to take this in a different direction, a different kind of side of HR, and ask you about how going from a new person in HR to an experienced and well versed HR professional, how do you deal with the different issues or problems that arise revolving around diversity and inclusion? I know it's kind of hard to go to college like we are at you and I and just learn all of the possible scenarios that could happen while we're working. And then easily adapt to the various problems that you guys have talked about in past meetings before. So what's what's one like tip or advice you would give to HR students like us to better prepare ourselves to deal with these situations and people who are following along with the law and are toutes two steps ahead, like we would hope they would be?

Molly Burdess:

I would say just what we're talking about, I think people that are newly that are new in the profession, they focus so much on the law, because that's what they know. And really, that's what you're taught in school, which isn't wrong. But I think as you as you progress in your career, it becomes more about culture. So my biggest advice to any HR individual and or leader in any organization is to focus on the culture, create a culture where diversity and inclusion is just a norm, right, where all types of people are accepted. Nobody has to feel discriminated against harassment. Make sure your leaders and your supervisors and everybody on your team knows exactly the kind of culture you you have and what is and is not acceptable behavior. I think that's the biggest thing you can do. Because what I see are typically these organizations like I'm assuming the ones that were cited in this ruling, it wasn't just a one time thing, I think it was probably these little things that, you know, started like maybe little problems, and then there was some a little bit of bias or harassment, or just some jokes, and then they get into these bigger issues, right? And it's just becomes a part of the culture. So my advice would be to stop it from the little thing, stop the little things from happening. And then ideally, you won't have the big issues like this. That would be my advice.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I think the you know, the foundation for all this is just what I call just respecting the workplace. Just setting really clear expectations and a lot of this falls on frontline leaders, people that are that are working directly in the field or directly with customers. If when you see something, you just need to, you need to shut it down. And and be very clear with what the expectations are. Otherwise, you could put the best policy in place. But it won't matter if it's not being reflected in your your leaders behavior.

Aleah Vaske:

And I remember us talking about this in a previous conversation, Kyle, I think you said, Every time something like this comes up, you feel like you have a choice, like you feel like you want to show mercy to the person. But you also need to set a precedent for your whole entire organization, that you're not going to accept these little things that happen, because you know that they might turn into big things down the road. And I feel like it's a lot easier to just prevent those things in the first place and really hit the nail on the head right there. rather than waiting till it becomes a bigger problem.

Kyle Roed:

I think it's a fine line. really tough. I mean, you know, there's been situations or somebody's done something inappropriate, and we've addressed it. And we found that it actually came from a point of ignorance. And the intention was not what was portrayed or what was interpreted. And a lot of times what I found is when you get people to a common understanding, and then you can educate people within the moment, that's when the actual change occurs. It but it, it takes a long time. So if I can, if I can reflect on the first question you asked, as it relates to the timeline of complete inclusivity, my argument would be, you're never there, you're always on the journey, because everybody has something to learn every single day. Whether we like it or not, we all have some ignorance that we need to understand.

Kaylee Wurth:

And I think it's really important for organizations to just know that their journey is never over. Because it creates a sense of urgency to continue to improve. Once you feel like you finish a task or a project, you sort of decline on your urgency to keep doing amazing with your inclusivity and diversity as well. Yep, well said. Molly, I know you've talked about before, how you have a lot of experience with people transitioning to from one gender to another? Would you be able to talk a little bit about that and how you kind of navigated that I'm sure. A lot of people listening might have had the same a similar experience. And I think a lot of people would benefit from hearing how you've handled situations like that.

Molly Burdess:

Sure, absolutely. Yeah, we have had an individual goes through a transition while working for us, we have also had individuals that we've hired that have already transitioned. So I do have a little bit of experience with this. And really what it boiled down to for me was open communication, and understanding, you know, asking that individual what they needed from us what they expected from us. And then I returned that, here's what what you can expect from from us. You know, one of my biggest, like, little things that I wish I would have known is, what pronoun do I use for you? What do you what does this look like? And I'm glad I asked because they did not want to be called by their new or old gender they wanted they and then Okay, that's an easy thing that I would have never known if I didn't ask, right. So how the process looked for look like for me, this individual had came to their leader, leader really didn't know how to respond, because we've never talked about it before other than, again, just our culture in general is a very opening, welcoming culture. So he knew to be supportive. And he came to me. So basically, what I did is I met with that individual one on one just communicated and listened. And again, what do you need for me, here's what you can expect from us type of thing. Then I brought that manager in. And we talked about, okay, this is what this is going to look like, this is how you can support this individual, this is what they need from you, really just getting on the same plant page with our expectation. The second and last part was really our communication plan. So with this piece, I really wanted this individual included and how we were going to communicate this to the rest of the team. I wanted them to feel comfortable. I wanted them to feel confident going into this and knowing that they had the support of everybody. He they made it very easy on on me. This individual wanted to be a part of that communication. And again, because our culture is built the way it is, and we support all types of individuals, everybody was very accepting. And then from that point on, it was really just checking in following up, making sure the leader knew what to look for and make sure everybody was treating this individual, the way that they deserve to be treated. And everything went really smoothly. The biggest issue we had is this, this individual was taking some medication, obviously. And that had created some, some hormonal issues. But at that point, it became an FMLA thing. And then that's when you fall back on to everything that you learned in HR school. Is that kind of what you're looking for?

Aleah Vaske:

Yeah,

Kaylee Wurth:

no, that's perfect. That's a great response.

Aleah Vaske:

And Molly, you were saying that when the individual initially went to their leader, the leader wasn't quite sure how to respond, because it hadn't really been something that you've talked about before. Do you think that it would have been helpful if you did have the conversation? And were a little bit proactive? Do you think that that would be helpful, helpful thing for our listeners to do, especially now that this is a topic that's being talked about with the new ruling?

Molly Burdess:

Absolutely, anytime you can train your frontline leaders on how to handle these issues, I think the better. One thing that I do with my leadership team every single year, I love it, I put them obviously through bias, harassment, all of that training. But then as a part of it, is I get all of our leaders together in one room. Now, it's going to be virtually, of course. And I give them real world scenarios that either I or my peers have seen in the past. And I said, Okay, this is what's happening today, work with partner up with another leader and tell me how you would handle this if an associate came to you. And I put them through real life scenarios. And then we talk about it as an organization. And this is how we should and this is how we shouldn't handle it. This is how we want our culture to be. And I will say that program has been huge for my organization and gets all of our leaders especially because we are not in the same building on the same page. And I know that if and when somebody approaches them with with an issue that they're going to be able to at least know how to navigate it.

Aleah Vaske:

Sounds like an awesome program. Yeah, that does answer my question. And I really like the idea of doing kind of situational things, and especially talking about it as a group. Mm hmm. Kyle, do you have any thing that you have, that you do with your kind of frontline leaders along the lines of that?

Kyle Roed:

Not specifically quite like that. Because of the geographic spread of our organization. It's it's tough to bring people together, we have done a lot more as it relates to inclusivity training now in a digital environment. But I think one of the challenges for an international organization and some of these things don't land the same as they do in the United States. So my approach is to take a culturally sensitive lens out and focus on some of the things that are highest impact. As opposed to focusing on more of a traditional learning and development program, I focus more on the one on one coaching with my leaders within specific geographies. And I have not had the experience of somebody transitioning within my organization, at least at least not any anybody that I specifically am aware of. So no, it's appreciate hearing Molly's perspective on it.

Molly Burdess:

Hey, Kyle, I'm curious for you, regarding the international and your your organization, is are we behind and the LGBTQ plus? is it acceptable in other locations? What's talked about? Where are we at on that spectrum?

Kyle Roed:

I would say my comment there is it's mixed. It's it really depends upon the location is and then you get into the there's just a very complex difference between the more collectivist society or more capitalist society that can can lead into that, you know, thought process, I think, where there's areas that are more driven by religious intent, I think there's probably a stronger view against people in that community, unfortunately. But it it's still very, very personal to the person you're talking to. I don't think it's really that different in the US or the Netherlands, for instance, it everybody still has their own strongly held beliefs.

Molly Burdess:

So in your role as HR at that point, let's say you were to go through this and it was between two locations or individuals within two locations. Do you think at that point, your job would be trying to get this other person to under this other culture to understand and accept this decision or Would it be kind of moderating the peace? What do you think that would look like?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I mean, to be clear our standards of business conduct, protect all nationalities, creeds, sexual identities, sexual orientations, you know, we already have those standards in place. So So in that case, if there were some sort of a conflict to arise, we would simply lean back on our corporate standards, or, you know, what I would call like, our social standards,

Molly Burdess:

it would be more about the behavior and the action, not necessarily the belief.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, exactly. We wouldn't. We don't necessarily try to impact beliefs. But we do. We do require specific behaviors within the workplace.

Kaylee Wurth:

And I think that's a really great thing, because your international May, like you were saying how some countries are kind of lower on the spectrum of the acceptance of the LGBTQ plus community. I think just having your organization be in those different countries can help bring awareness around those areas, even though you're not intentionally trying to change those communities that they're living in, you're just holding your employees to an acceptable standard to respect everyone, which probably creates a bigger impact than you intended, which is honestly a lot better. So yeah.

Aleah Vaske:

So I know that you both have said that, basically, it didn't change a whole lot for your organization, when the new Supreme Court ruling made it basically prohibited to discriminate against LGBTQ members. But now, our nation is going through a sort of a change, I feel like and there's been a lot of talk around the new Supreme Court Justice being elected Amy Kony Barrett. And I would like to ask you guys, if these rulings were to be kind of changed or reversed? Would anything in your workplace change when it comes to implementing the policies? Or do you feel like you guys could still uphold what you're wanting to see in your your organization, whether some of these things change or not?

Molly Burdess:

For me, it would not change simply the right thing to do. So we would continue? I think, for me, what it would impact maybe for my employees, maybe, is regarding the benefits, and what is covered what is not? I think there might be some things there.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I would agree with that, where there are specific regulatory changes that allow us to do something to be more competitive on a global scale as it relates to something like cost of benefits. You know, potentially there's taxation, benefits, you know, we're a for profit enterprise, you know, every organization is going to be looking at some of those things. As it relates to some of the social matters, though. No, I don't foresee any changes within what we're doing. If anything, regardless of who's sitting on the Supreme Court, we're going to continue to increase the focus and scrutiny on inclusion and equitable workplace practices, not because there's a government pressure, but because our employees need it. Mm hmm.

Aleah Vaske:

Do you guys see anything change changing for like other organizations? I know, you can both speak for your own. What do you think about colleagues, maybe people in other areas? Do you see anything changing for them?

Molly Burdess:

Well, I mean, clearly this ruling happened, because there are still some bad individuals out there that are making wrong decisions about their people. So while I would like to say no, I mean, I have the same take reaction as you guys did, like what this even has, people are doing this. So I'd like to say no, I mean, I'm sure it will. Not good business. It's not the right thing to do. And not in my opinion. Kyle, what do you have to add?

Kyle Roed:

As far as the question about other organizations, you know, my call to action is always that we need to, we need to be the leaders within our organizations as it relates to these for all of the HR practitioners out there. I mean, this is this is what I consider my calling in life. For you organizations that are thinking this is silly, and I'm gonna sandbag until the government makes me do something, keep it on up because I'm competing for talent, and I'm gonna win against those organizations. So, you know, it's unfortunate, I do think that there's probably some bad actors out there that will take advantage of others or don't necessarily understand it, but I truly believe in the spirit of complete capitalism which says that if you are not treating people The right way, if you're not treating society the right way, if you're not treating the environment the right way, and also not treating your finances the right way, eventually your organization will cease to exist. And so you know, I'm a big believer in that. And I think that doing the right thing isn't charity. It's just, it's just good business sense.

Kaylee Wurth:

Kind of a follow up with that. I know, you talked about being an activist for diversity and inclusion and all sorts of things like that. How do you see diversity and inclusion changing within the next five to 10 years as people in the Generation Z are entering the workforce, and company culture, diversity and inclusion is a main priority for us, I would personally take a company with amazing company culture and slightly less pay if it meant that I was going to be happy at work every day. So knowing that that's important for those in Generation Z. How do you see the workplace changing in terms of these things within the next five to 10? years?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I mean, if you want to look at the quantitative research that's been done on the generational differences, it's it's absolutely clear that millennials, Gen Z, they have an expectation of diversity within the workplace. That's just the way it is. So as far as I see it changing, you know, I do believe that, as I said earlier, our workforce is going to just start simply demanding that we take these steps, and the organizations that don't are eventually not going to be able to recruit and more importantly, retain the right talent or not have the right culture, culture beats strategy, you've got to have the right people, you've got to have diversity of thought it drives innovation, drives business results. And it's the right thing to do for our society. So I see this as becoming the forefront of some of the work that HR professionals are going to be asked to do in the future. And, and if you're an HR professional, that's sitting here and thinking, wow, this is really hard. And I don't understand this, and I need to help get help now. Because five to 10 years, you're not going to have an option to not do this.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, minority populations are growing, I mean, our organizations are, are going to be diverse if we like it or not, and the organizations that are not keeping up and are not creating that inclusive environment, they're going to fail, they're going to struggle, they're going to be called out on social media, right? We've seen that, within the last few months, I think we're going to see organizations and leaders become more vocal about where they stand. And I think in the past, maybe that always hasn't been the case, I think they always thought silence was better. And I think that's going to change. I think, work from home will probably stay around for a lot of organizations and a lot of industries, which is awesome, because it allows the diversity to continue to grow within those organizations, you have access to a lot of different people that you might not have if you were on site.

Kaylee Wurth:

I totally love what all of you are, both of you are saying I can speak for generations, you and I say that we appreciate the HR professionals now working to make the work environment better for when we enter the workforce.

Molly Burdess:

Have you guys thought about when you guys enter the workforce, and if you work for leaders, or HR professionals that maybe don't have the same views, how you'll handle that?

Kaylee Wurth:

I personally would make it my mission to kind of like read between the lines during my interviews to see, is this company's culture for the betterment of the employees? Or are they doing it for a paycheck? And to be able to say they have a job I don't I I want my career to be something fulfilling, especially since I'm probably going to be spending 40 plus hours a week for whoever No, I don't know how long. And so my internship right now, I really hope it like I aspire to be a full time employee there because of their company culture. And if I don't end up working there, I know that it is one of the top priorities in a job hunt if I were to do anything like that, as well.

Aleah Vaske:

This is something that I've definitely thought about. And I don't feel like I mean, I feel like I'm experiencing this every day. Everyone has different point of views. Even in our own generation. We have people who have different point of views. But I feel like for me, it's just we need to come to like a common understanding. And I feel like just seeing things from their point of view helps me understand why they feel that way why they have the belief that they do. So I feel like if I were working with a leader who had different beliefs than me, I feel like that those are some of the I ask, I would ask, like, why do you have those beliefs? You know, when we talk about different generations, we've all been through so many different things during our formative years. And that's what really changes us. So I feel like understanding, a little bit of that aspect helps me work better with them. And also, the other piece of it, I think, is education. I think education has come such a long way when it comes to talking about our country's history and some of the systemic systemic racism in particular. So I feel like if older generations were educated on that a little bit more than maybe they would be able to see kind of where our generation is coming from, since we've been learning these things in school. So I feel like that's kind of the route I would take, just trying to find a common understanding and really looking through each other's perspectives. And also, maybe not being super obvious about it, but subtly educating them on certain things. Like, I know that I do that with my parents sometimes, like, we watch them documentaries that deal with systemic racism, and they realize things like, Oh, this actually happened. So that's why you feel so strongly about this, because you know about these things. So I feel like if we were able to do that, if I were in a situation like that with my future employer, I feel like we'd really be able to come to a common ground.

Kaylee Wurth:

And I think asking those hard questions during an interview, it shouldn't feel awkward to ask someone about their company culture, or how they handle like certain inclusion and diversity in the workplace. And even in the community. Once I like, got to get to know people, I can kind of figure out where their views lie, and it kind of helps me get to know them a little bit more. And I just recently started standing up and like making a point to, to point out where someone is making this assumption that shouldn't really be made at all, when it comes to different races or genders or anything like that. And I think people need to start changing the conversation and start saying, this doesn't make sense. And I, this isn't right, and this statement that you didn't make that you made is incorrect. And you should think of it as a more inclusive angle as well.

Molly Burdess:

I love your guys's perspective. I love hearing it hearing it.

Kyle Roed:

So you guys know, generational differences are all BS. Right?

Aleah Vaske:

Well,

Kaylee Wurth:

that leads perfectly to our next question.

Aleah Vaske:

Yeah, um, we? Yeah, obviously, part of this podcast is we do want to do exactly what Molly said. We want to really learn about other generations and bridge the gap. Because I feel like Like you said, Kyle, there are really a lot of preconceived notations positive and negative about all these generations, you know, people are doing all sorts of research on what we stand for what older generations stand for. And we really want what when we come into the workplace, to be able to work together no matter what it is that we feel as most important. So yeah, one thing that I do have for you guys that we are planning to ask every guest on our podcast is, what generation are you guys in? And I'll respond with some of the things that we have learned in our professional readiness program that you and I with what is most important to your guys's organization based on your guys's generation based on research?

Kyle Roed:

This sounds fun. Yeah. All right. All right. So am I supposed to respond? Are you gonna ask me?

Aleah Vaske:

Yeah, so Kyle, what generation are you in?

Kyle Roed:

I am a, quote, old millennial.

Aleah Vaske:

How about you, Molly?

Molly Burdess:

I am a young millennial, is that a thing? To me?

Aleah Vaske:

We don't really segregate between old and young when it comes to the research that we were provided. So I'll just list off some of the things that happened in your formative years that are said to really make you guys the way they are you are and give you some of the characteristics that you have. So one is 911 which obviously is huge. to social media, which I don't know Kyle, with you being the older generation of millennials. Do you feel like you really experienced social media a lot? Do you feel like it changed you?

Molly Burdess:

I the way this makes me so happy.

Kyle Roed:

So social media didn't really exist until I was in college. Yeah. And the internet I didn't have internet in my house till High School. So the probably the closest thing we had was AOL. I am. If anybody remembers my screen name is Kay Hawk. 95, which was super cool. But it was, for me, it was very similar to talking to somebody on the phone, it was just it was, it was just a communication methodology. It wasn't necessarily, like try to get the likes to try to get a blue checkmark next to your name kind of a thing I, I just never really never really got into that.

Aleah Vaske:

Yeah, and along with social media, computers, and then Iraq. So a few of the attributes that they told us are kind of within your organization is that you are lazy and entitled, do you guys feel like you can relate to that are all or do you see your peers as having any of those characteristics? And what do you do to kind of try to change the narrative? When you find out another generation thinks that about you?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. So you know, my background, I grew up in rural Iowa. I had two parents that were teachers. So as far as you know, being entitled, or having a lot of things, we didn't have a lot of things. And I had to work started work at 16 as a janitor in a healthcare facility, which was gross. And but I would say, when I came out of school, I was I was deeply aware of the perception of my generation, and I actively worked to buck the trend, if you will, you know, working 7080 hour weeks doing anything that was asked to me. And, and, you know, I would I would certainly not consider myself lazy or entitled. But But I did also grew up in the in the self esteem generation as well. So my parents were teachers, as I mentioned, and it was all self esteem building at that point when I was in my formative years. So my wife does remind me that I have a an extremely healthy ego. But I'm sure Molly doesn't agree with that.

Molly Burdess:

No comment. For me, I mean, so I graduated, and I went right into the field of HR. And for the most part, I worked with pretty small to medium sized businesses. So I was like, in there, right? I had my hands and everything. I was working with training, I was working with leaders, and all the buzz and all of these organizations was training and talking about these damn millennials. I remember my first couple years, I was like in these trainings, and that's what they were doing is bashing on these millennials. And I'm sitting here like, Oh, my gosh, talk about comfortable. So I am very, yeah, I went through that as well, as far as like, lazy and entitled, for me personally, I grew up in my parents, they didn't have careers, they worked. They worked for their money, but they didn't have careers. And I knew I wanted to have a career. So I worked very hard to get where I wanted to go. They didn't have a ton of schooling. I wanted that. So I wanted that for myself. But I don't know that I would use lazy and entitled.

Kyle Roed:

Molly, did you ever feel ashamed that you were a millennial?

Molly Burdess:

I did. When I first started, I felt like, Oh my gosh, I don't deserve this job because I wasn't Top Dog by any means. But when you're talking about a smaller organization, I mean, and there's an HR department have to you have a lot of responsibility, and it made me feel like I do not deserve to be sitting here like, oh, gosh, now I have to work 10 times harder to prove these people wrong. Yeah, I mean, I struggled with, like, I don't know if you'd call it imposter syndrome. But for sure,

Kyle Roed:

I certainly didn't tell anybody how old I was. I grew a beard as quickly as possible. You know, I I was glad to see gray hairs because, honestly, you know, in the back of my mind early in my career, I felt like nobody's gonna take me seriously if they if they know I'm a millennial, you know, if I'm outed is one of these millennials. And, you know, I realized later on in my career that was extremely unhealthy and that I brought a perspective that was helpful to the business. But that took probably took 10 years, 10 years in the in the field before I really got comfortable, you know, being authentic with my age, and generation,

Molly Burdess:

which is one thing I'll say about you guys, like I love that you guys just own who you are and what you think. I think a lot of millennials that I saw didn't do that. We more had that ashamed.

Kaylee Wurth:

I think it's important that you guys just reflect on it because I know people listening. A majority of them might be millennials and now feel like they can relate to you. And there's also a reason that you both are on this podcast because you guys have done great things in human resources and you are an exception to The stereotype of millennials. So it's awesome to get a perspective from a different generation. And two people who have worked to get where they are as well.

Aleah Vaske:

Yeah, and I want to touch really quickly on one of the stories that they told us about why people have that perception about millennials and how it actually came about in the workplace. So the story that they're telling us while they were teaching us about these different generational characteristics is that, you know, a millennial got a job. And it was their first day on the job, they wanted to do really well, they wanted to be really involved. And there was a meeting happening. So they were like, Oh, well, I'm going to go to the meeting. So they went and they sat down in the, you know, in the meeting room, and everyone was just like, Why are they here? This is their first day on the job, like, what makes them think that they should be in this meeting? And it really goes back to what I was saying before, you know, we need to be having those conversations when something like this happens, like, why did they do what they did, you know, we can't just sit back and assume that that person thought they were entitled, they just wanted to be really involved in the organization. And they thought that's what was expected of them to go to that meeting. But other generations who may not have been raised the same way, they were viewing it as, Oh, this person is their first day on the job. And they think that they get to be in this meeting, like how entitled are they? You know, so I feel like if we really want to bridge the generational gap, like what we're saying, we need to talk about those situations, instead of, you know, kind of sitting back and thinking our own thoughts about them.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, and even going back to the topic, I mean, stop assuming about everybody and just learn, learn and try to understand. I love that. Thanks, Leah.

Kyle Roed:

So I want to I want to read you guys a quote. And this will sum up how I feel about generational differences. All right, I want you to guess who said this, the children now love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love chatter in place of exercise. Children are tyrants, not the servants of their household. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. they contradict their parents. They talk before company, they gobble up food at the table. And they tyrannized their teachers. Any guesses?

Kaylee Wurth:

What generation do you think that is? Yeah, yeah.

Kyle Roed:

What generation who said that?

Kaylee Wurth:

Some of those sound like my siblings. So I'm not sure

Aleah Vaske:

what generation said it or what generation are they talking about?

Kyle Roed:

Either or? All your guesses are legitimate.

Kaylee Wurth:

I would say

Aleah Vaske:

this is so cliche, but I have to guess that are boomers.

Kyle Roed:

OK, Boomer, that's an OK, Boomer. Okay. So that is a quote from Socrates. Oh, and the reason I share that is that basically, this whole generational differences thing is just rebranding people complaining about kids these days. Definitely. And it's been around forever. So I think generational differences are kind of BS.

Aleah Vaske:

So what generation would Socrates be? The first

Kyle Roed:

way old?

Kaylee Wurth:

That's awesome.

Kyle Roed:

I'm sorry, I totally threw you off your questioning line?

Aleah Vaske:

No, it's totally fine.

Kaylee Wurth:

I'm not sure that we have any other questions. Other than how thankful we are that you guys took an hour out of your day to come talk with us. Going back to the podcast, sorry. If I was a listener, and I wanted to reach out to you guys or learn more about your HR experiences. How could a listener get in touch with you? We could definitely add some things on the website that we have as well as post it on the podcast notes as well.

Molly Burdess:

I'll start my list short compared to Kyle's LinkedIn, Molly bertus. Also anything Cedar Valley Sherm related we'd love to have you connect with us as well on Facebook, LinkedIn, all this stuff.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, so I'm, I'm a heavy LinkedIn user, Kyle, KYLE Road, our UI. Or you can check out the podcast, which is at rebel human resources.com actually have a rant coming up about millennials. Next in about a week and a half. And then the other place you can check out I've got a blog at Kyle roed.com you can check out the blog and then we've got the archived episodes the podcast there as well if you want to check that out. So yeah, I'd love to connect. I was looking for guests if somebody is would like to chat about rebel human resources. I'd love to welcome guests on there as well.

Aleah Vaske:

Well, thank you guys. So that information with their LinkedIn link And some of the links that Kyle and Molly both talked about those will be on our website. And for further information or resources that we've also discussed in this podcast, those will be on our website as well. So credits go to Skyler reader and Claudia Mathis for the marketing and design of the podcast.

Kaylee Wurth:

And remember, as Henry Ford once said, coming together as the beginning keeping together is progress and working together is success.

Kyle Roed:

All right, that does it for the rebel HR podcast. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. views and opinions expressed by podcast. No animals were harmed during this podcast.

Jude Roed:

Maybe