Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 37: Rebel HR Ramblings with Patrick, Molly, and Kyle

March 30, 2021 Kyle Roed / Patrick Moran / Molly Burdess Season 1 Episode 37
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 37: Rebel HR Ramblings with Patrick, Molly, and Kyle
Chapters
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 37: Rebel HR Ramblings with Patrick, Molly, and Kyle
Mar 30, 2021 Season 1 Episode 37
Kyle Roed / Patrick Moran / Molly Burdess

Join Kyle, Patrick, and Molly, as they crack a few drinks and discuss HR topics ranging from retention strategies, communication tactics, and reflect on 1 year of COVID protocols.  

https://www.linkedin.com/in/molly-burdess-shrm-scp-91515970/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-moran-phr-shrm-cp-8031142/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

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

Subscribe today on your favorite podcast player!  

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/

We love to hear from our listeners!  Send us questions or comments at kyleroed@gmail.com

Rebel On, HR Rebels!

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

Show Notes Transcript

Join Kyle, Patrick, and Molly, as they crack a few drinks and discuss HR topics ranging from retention strategies, communication tactics, and reflect on 1 year of COVID protocols.  

https://www.linkedin.com/in/molly-burdess-shrm-scp-91515970/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-moran-phr-shrm-cp-8031142/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

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

Subscribe today on your favorite podcast player!  

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/

We love to hear from our listeners!  Send us questions or comments at kyleroed@gmail.com

Rebel On, HR Rebels!

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

Kyle Roed:

On today's show, join me Patrick and Molly, as we crack a beer and reflect on 2020 and what a year it's been everything from communication strategies to lockdown protocols to the stupid new tax forms. Thanks for joining us. This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're professional looking for innovative, thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels.

Patrick Moran:

Let's talk about how much we love our IT departments. There's so I

Kyle Roed:

love my department. I've learned never to talk about it they have access to everything don't talk about it.

Molly Burdess:

My IQ guy wrote on my anniversary card you know even though it and HR has a natural hate relationship you're not so bad.

Kyle Roed:

I hate you less than I'm supposed to is what that

Molly Burdess:

much Yes.

Patrick Moran:

They give us these laptops with no administrative rights when we need to update chrome or anything else. We can't do it and then we call them or if they're not in the office.

Molly Burdess:

Are you having a drink?

Patrick Moran:

I am I was gonna Yingling but I went for a 16 ounce cocktail. All right.

Kyle Roed:

What's your cocktail? Patrick?

Patrick Moran:

It's just a course. Like I want to drink a lot of them.

Kyle Roed:

Well, today is a day to have blue mountains on the course like can't that's for sure.

Molly Burdess:

Kyle, what are you drinking?

Kyle Roed:

I am hanging on here we go for a fact.

Molly Burdess:

singlespeed There we

Kyle Roed:

go. Yeah, little victory dance.

Patrick Moran:

It looks like IPA.

Kyle Roed:

singlespeed IPA victory dance? Not they're not sponsoring us, but they're just a great, great brewery in town. So I'm in

Molly Burdess:

Did you guys hear toppling is coming to toppling Goliath mainstream? It's your fault.

Kyle Roed:

I did not wear that. Where's that going?

Molly Burdess:

Um, where Santa where the Santa Clauses. Play?

Kyle Roed:

Yep, that little weird abandoned lot that. Like, is anything like nothing on your except when Santa is there?

Molly Burdess:

Cool. Santa down the street.

Patrick Moran:

Good. Come out.

Kyle Roed:

I see little sapling live little Dorothy's family.

Molly Burdess:

That's what I'm having a big one. I wanted to go with the IPA. But I have a dinner tonight. And I'm having cocktails. So I figured I know. It's a work dinner. So I wanted to keep it somewhat calm.

Kyle Roed:

All right, well, we'll let you air all your grievances in this conversation. And then you'll be you'll be refreshed and ready to go impact the world in a positive way. So it's been a while How have you guys been? We made it through 2020. Yeah. And then we had 2021. So

Molly Burdess:

you soon to tell how that's gonna go yet?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, yeah, it's been you know, we've had an attempted coup. Let's see what else we had. Right now we're sitting in the polar vortex. So by the time this comes out, hopefully it's at least above freezing.

Molly Burdess:

I have 12 retail locations. Five of them had a furnace go out in the last three days.

Kyle Roed:

Oh, man.

Molly Burdess:

Employees are sound star, all that stuff.

Kyle Roed:

So let me guess as the HR person that's partially your problem?

Molly Burdess:

Yeah. Yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Kyle, what's going on with you? You're in a global organization. I'm curious to catch up with what's happening from your standpoint.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, things are going good. You know, we are we're fully modified to manage the pandemic, I would say, you know, we've, you know, China is, is relatively normal. There's some travel restrictions around. But, you know, they're a little bit concerned, it's Chinese New Year right now. So there's a lot a lot of traveling going on. So we're, that's a little bit of a concern that EU in the UK are totally locked down. And the US is like, whack a mole game where, you know, it's just kind of, you know, there's a concern in one community, so we leave the office and then there's a, you know, that goes away, and they come back and it's just kind of like back and forth all over the place. So, you know, but it's interesting, you talk to the team and you're, you know, you do your check ins and you're like, Is everything okay, you guys, okay, is everything good? And I was like, yeah, we're used to it. I mean, that's, that's just kind of where we're at. I think people are just adapted to it. And yeah, what about you, Patrick? I know you've got some locations here and there.

Patrick Moran:

each state's a little different. What's really I not I but you know, as things were calling down We're thinking, Okay, it's our new reality. This is what we're working with is the truth. But now things are starting to ramp up. There's this excitement about the vaccines. Are you going to offer him? How are you going to offer him. So that's where my job is to make sure I get approved. And all of our counties which were approved in phase tier in tier two, phase one B for Black Hawk County. So we're on a list. I don't know what that means. Hopefully, our county will bring somebody out to administer the vaccines. But right now, that's a hot topic. The other counties that were located in Utah, Florida, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh are all just kind of, we'll let you know when we're ready. When we have them available. I've submitted requests that we are critical infrastructure, and I believe I'm approved in Minnesota as well. But you know, now we're paying attention to what is the Biden's administration new Recovery Act going to look like? And how is that going to impact us? Is that paid leave element going to be in play through the end of September? Is it going to start over from the family from the original legislation that went in April 1 last year? Is it going to be continuous? What's going to happen to the unemployment? What's the workforce going to look like if people are collecting $400 more a week in unemployment? Because right now, it's hard to find talent. There's so many new obstacles in front of us that are starting to just kind of intertwine together. It's gonna I feel I created another busy spring for many HR professionals.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, I've got a lot of people asking me questions. Hey, I heard minimum wage was raised to 15. When's that going to take effect for my paycheck?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, yeah, I missed that one.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I'm trying to I've learned communication is key with all of my employees, our employees, hey, we know what's going on. Hey, we're still staying in tune? Yeah, the vaccine and everything.

Patrick Moran:

What people don't realize is what what they know is the is the day that of today, when they go on to Yahoo and see the landing page, and there's a headline on some stimulus bill, and they read through the bullet points and say, oh, cool, that's what's happening? Well, no, there's many pieces of legislation that's been going through and so many things tossed around, nobody's going to know until it's passed. And yet all of our, to communicate to our employees like, Listen, it's gonna continue to change. Nothing's defined yet. So I can't have an answer for you right now.

Kyle Roed:

Well, the problem is, even when it's passed, it's still subject to legal interpretation. So they could pass a regulation with, you know, a certain intent, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the, the reaction or the outcome does what they want, right? So, you know, a great example, the, I'm probably gonna get the acronym wrong, because I don't even apply ffcra Is that it? So ffcra, doesn't apply to me, because I have more than 500 employees in the US. But I have employees at my company who hear that they should be getting this this leave option. And we don't have that option, because we don't have any sort of subsidy to help us fund that option. You know, as a business, we have to make a business decision with how we handle these cases. And at this point, you know, we don't have that leave offered. And I can guarantee you a lot most employers above that level or that threshold don't have that, because because we don't have any sort of subsidy to do it. And so it's, it's a challenge to, you know, to articulate that to two employees certainly have gone through through that

Patrick Moran:

big enough business where you're not going to get that tax credit because you have over 500 employees, but this new law is going to say all employers need to offer it, right. It's maybe it's such a thing, because after April 1, they change the rules on us on April 18. Of what paid leave is on the first two weeks versus FFC our pet ffcra that wasn't clearly defined. But we had people already taken the pay leave for their kid, not thinking it that those first two weeks had to be for them. And they had an option. We didn't know that. It's just

Molly Burdess:

here's what I just did, actually, yesterday with my team, I got them together and just kind of an educational HR asked me anything type scenario. Here's what applies to us. Here's what doesn't, here's Iowa law, here's federal law, and then just open it up for questions. It's interesting.

Kyle Roed:

Good for you.

Molly Burdess:

We're small enough to be able to do that effectively, though.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I would say you know, it's been interesting. The communication thing has been so interesting, because we never, I mean, we still struggle but we were never good at communicating prior to the pandemic, but the pandemic forced us to get a lot better. And so we've started to leverage some of these these technological tools that are, you know, have made amazing advances teams, zoom, you know, all these leads, video tools, and we started doing webinars and town halls and these live events. And, and we've, I think we've communicated more in the last year than we did in the previous 130 years of our existence prior. But it's still not enough, I still have people who are who miss that information or you know, you can do your best to communicate, but they still have to listen. Right? And it's just, it's been a really interesting challenge. I, I, I'm curious to know what you guys have done to, to kind of bridge that gap and help people understand, not just, you know, COVID-19, but you know, business operations, how do you how do you maintain those channels of communication?

Molly Burdess:

For me, first of all, I had to get past that, like, I assumed that my employees knew some of this common sense stuff. And I just couldn't do that that got me into a lot of trouble was your first mistake. That was my first mistake many times. So yeah, communication, communication is so key. And just staff assuming that they know, things that they should know, or that they read an email that they should have read, or they interpreted it correctly.

Patrick Moran:

It's it's ongoing maintenance to I learned for about the first month and a half that we needed to assemble not just a critical response team, but transition task force, which was comprised of all frontline supervisors and managers, and anybody that had one person under them, that was on that task force, and reinforced on our bi weekly calls, to communicate to their employees screen, there was some information we didn't want them to communicate, but to communicate everything to their employees, and I was checking them on it. We were walking around talking to employees, all employees from different plants, just double checking, if they've heard certain things or kind of understand the process, not everybody, but we just kind of spot checked it. But it's funny, you know, you post stuff throughout your facilities, you send out emails, phone calls, you do these video calls, like we're doing now. And I'm sitting in a room today with our president of sales and our president of finance and operations talking about Vaccine Education. And they both were like, Oh, you should get this out to employees. Oh, you should put this in some educational for employees. And I was like, Yeah, what we sent out yesterday had all the information that you both are telling me to put in for all of our employees. We did that yesterday.

Kyle Roed:

You Molly's going Kyle never reads my you read my

Molly Burdess:

email. My email,

Kyle Roed:

I got in trouble for that.

Molly Burdess:

Oh, yeah, I'll call people out when they don't read my email. You know, where I'm dealing with that major. And I'm sure you guys are as well as with taxes. People are all of a sudden, crap, I'm not. I'm not withholding enough taxes, with the new changes to not only the tax reforms, but also the new w four forms and like leaders weren't helping them complete it correctly. You guys dealing with that at all?

Kyle Roed:

I my general responses, we encourage you to review these forums before we return them to human resources.

Patrick Moran:

So Molly and I, we use the same payroll vendor and what they did January 2, last year was they completely eliminated the opportunity to put 012 or three and now it's dollar amounts. You could you could try and set it as a default amount, but it's still so much less than the original married and zero. So now people are figuring out well, how much more Should I add? And that's when I started waving my hand saying you gotta tell me, I don't know.

Molly Burdess:

Well, it's the whole new w four form, like it's completely new. And if you haven't started a new job in the last year, you probably haven't experienced it, which is probably a lot of leaders or some maybe even some HR people that are helping these associates through. But what I'm struggling to understand and maybe, you know, maybe help me, so it's supposed to be where they The goal is to get a more accurate withholding, right? Well, we are a sales organization, we pay monthly commissions and then a bi weekly, just hourly, hourly rate, our hourly rate is so low, but our commission is so high. So when they're getting paid their bi weekly paychecks, it's thinking like, you're not going to make enough money to have to pay into federal taxes. So their withholdings are zero. And then it's not adjusting for when they're getting that commission. So in my mind, I'm like, how are these? How are these calculations? How like, how does the new w four system work for commission or bonus type?

Kyle Roed:

Ouch.

Molly Burdess:

There's no, there's no more exempt, non exempt. There's no more allowances. It's basically

Patrick Moran:

we have a sales rep. That's just commission based. This is our first time dealing with this since our acquisition, January 1 2020. It's all commission based what happened was our vendor that you and I Use calculate their federal income tax rate at only about 8%. Even though we had her set up as a default, it only took her 8%. Whereas it should have taken her on the federal side, but 15 16%. So it was a pretty dramatic, you know, amount that was not withheld. It was just penalizes her right now, of course,

Molly Burdess:

yeah, we're in the same position. So, communicate, communicate, communicate to kind of like you your point, look at your paychecks. Make sure everything's accurate and how you want it to like throughout the year, don't wait for that w two and encourage your associates and your team to look at their paychecks.

Patrick Moran:

There's nothing worse than doing your taxes and expecting like, in return, that's what you're used to. And then all sudden, it's either 1500 or even you have to pay it. That's not a great feeling for anybody. And then, you know, look at you and me and Molly and Kyle, then every we're the ones to blame.

Molly Burdess:

They're coming to us. Oh, for sure. Yes. And then HR folks, look at the form and try to figure it out. Try to understand it because it's it's complex. I think. I'm also old school, I like to 0123 I understand that I get that.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's interesting. We didn't do any sort of, you know, our vendor didn't do any sort of, you know, re calculation for anybody. They just carried over. Whatever was was going from the year prior for folks. Sorry, sit

Molly Burdess:

as well. But then the your new hires have to fill out the new W.

Kyle Roed:

Right, which we do that

Molly Burdess:

those people that are like, Oh, I don't know.

Kyle Roed:

Alright. I will restate the the comment that I tell everybody. I am not neither an attorney or a tax professional. So if you are seeking advice, you're going in the wrong place.

Molly Burdess:

What else? What else? Are you guys? How's your guys's recruiting applicant applicants?

Patrick Moran:

Oh, yeah, we're nobodies applying.

Kyle Roed:

We're we're struggling on the technical side, specifically, and I think one January hit. We probably posted 30 positions last month. So we got a lot going on. seen a lot of turnover. Have you guys seen turnover?

Molly Burdess:

I saw a turnover start in the fall?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. Yeah, we started to see folks who, you know, I would say, maybe got nervous. And maybe we're open to conversations with other employers, despite us being an essential employer, you know, just kind of, I think maybe more fear based applications. And now now we've seen some of that fall actually occur where, you know, they started the conversation in, I don't know, October, November. And we're seeing a little bit now. So despite having a really good business outlook, it's been, it's been frustrating, because we've we've worked hard to communicate, you know, how positive things are going and how bright the future is. But unfortunately, for some, it's not enough. And and it's almost like a, it's almost like a FOMO, where people are leaving, because they're afraid if they don't go now, they might not have a chance to you know, it's it's, it's that kind of that fear, and, you know, maybe a little bit of greed mixed in where they're like, yeah, you know, if I can make a little bit more and, you know, my argument is you're taking, you're taking a significant risk. By moving jobs right now, especially to an employer where, you know, when an applicant comes to me, they're going to get the rosiest picture they possibly can, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to be happy with your decision to leave a stable company. Right. So we're struggling with that a little bit. We're also seeing, I don't know if you guys are seeing this, we are seeing folks quit, because they have reevaluated their life's priorities. And so I've had I can, I can name off the top of my head, a number of people who have moved to be closer to parents, for instance, and they want to start a family and they want their family to be be close to grandma and grandpa. I've seen some people leave to pursue jobs where they can fully work from home. You know, and so I think we're starting to see this secondary wave of folks who have made a lifestyle adjustment and are willing to take less pay or you know, disrupt their life because they have reprioritize their, their life through this. Have you guys seen any of that?

Molly Burdess:

I thought when we first probably like six months ago, like when it all first kind of came to a head people wanted to be a home people wanted to be with their kids, that type of thing, but no recently, I have What I've been seeing on the applicant front is a lot younger candidates. So candidates like right out of high school that are like, I'm not sure if I want to go to college, I'm not really sure what this path is going to look like for me. And then also college students who are like graduating, but they're, I don't know, if they're struggling to find a job within a field that they're wanting. And when I say graduating, primarily, it's from the business, overarching business degree, right? Not a specialized degree. And they're just like, you know, I don't know what this looks like for me. So they're just trying to get in somewhere and then see what opportunities open up for them.

Patrick Moran:

I've noticed that that's kind of goes in line with what I've noticed. And I also noticed people that are applying what they're applying for, is it aligning with what they have done in the past, or what we think a resume is telling us they want to do, or a letter saying, so it's just kind of like, Are you trying to fulfill some sort of unemployment obligation? Do you really not understand what we do? I mean, our job descriptions are pretty clear. Now we do have a group of people on it in our facility that got used to working from home and loved it and are complaining why they can't do it. Now. They're on a rotational deal where they do it two weeks on two weeks off, but those are some of the headaches that we're dealing with right now. But I haven't seen any really exits. But that's probably because we did early retirement program for about 18 individuals in October. So that kind of that was our biggest turnover.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's interesting, you mentioned that I, I have seen a higher influx of folks who want to retain, maybe not full time work from home, but at least the flexibility of working from home. And that's one of the things that we're kind of wrestling with right now is okay, how are we structured this so that it's equitable? Because that's my primary concern is that not all of my positions would allow that. And then the other the other question that the we're, we're questioning is, you know, as we're recruiting, and as we're not seeing some of the applicant flow, we would like to see what happens if we post a job that says, this is a partial work from home position, or a full time work from home position, will that actually impact our resume flow? for jobs, so we actually just posted a job just this week, so we'll see what happens with that job, but that my hypothesis is we will see a higher influx of of resumes with that specifically in the profile. So you know, more to come. But I think, I think the new world is here here to stay. And the the disruption that was going to occur anyways is just been escalated, it's just earlier than we had expected. And, you know, my, my base case here is that folks will, folks will naturally migrate to these companies who are more flexible, and those companies will have the best talent, and those companies will eventually win. So you know, my my pitch to a company who's maybe struggling with this, these types of things is start to think a little bit more nimbly about how do we structure the how do we structure the work? How do we do this in a way that still works for our business, and know that it is truly going to be a talent expectation. The other thing I would tell you is coming from a company that has locations in the EU in the UK, it's already an expectation over there. You know, if we don't have that flexibility at my location in the EU, we're not going to hire anybody, then they just won't even apply because it's just a it's a societal expectation. And I think a lot of it has to do with the attitude towards work versus the US. But we're seeing that trend in the market right now, with candidates. So you know, I think the other place to look would be take a look at companies that operate in the EU and see what they've done. They've already they've already done some of this stuff. So there's already some best practices out there. We don't have to reinvent everything here. But we need to be open to it. Get on a diatribe there. Sorry about that. Oh, it's been a long time guys.

Molly Burdess:

Praise

Kyle Roed:

me and I start, start motor mountain here. Blowing, flowing. Let's keep flowing.

Patrick Moran:

So with the flexibility, employers being allowed to be flexible, do you think that my gut feeling is I think we'll see this? Do you think we'll start seeing employees want to come back into the office, they're missing roguery in that friendship, and I wouldn't be surprised if we started seeing more articles in the HR world would come out where employees they want to go back to the office. You're making the the assumption, Patrick that people like the people they work with

Molly Burdess:

I will tell you, I have seen that since winter has started specifically, obviously we're in Iowa, it's cold can't go and do much. I have definitely seen that since winter. With that being said, I think the freedom of having flexibility is huge. Yeah, I

Kyle Roed:

think it's a great question and a point well taken. And I'm kidding, of course, I love everybody that I work with. And I've never had a problem with anybody, because I love everybody the same as far as you know. But the I think the truth is that, that that personal connection with your coworkers is critical for collaboration. And so I don't know, if it's as much a product of people wanting to get back in the workplace. I think it's a product of people craving that societal connection. And if you're not getting that, because now you're not hanging out with your friends on Friday night, the only people you see are your spouse and your kids, and you're sick of everybody, and you just want to go interact with with another human, you know, besides your nuclear family? I mean, I think that's what we're seeing. I think that's just, that's just how human beings are wired for the most part. And, you know, I think I think that's, I think that's what we're saying, but I, I struggle with this question. I don't and I don't have the answer. But I, the question I have is, how do we how do we foster collaboration without face to face interaction? Is there a way we can? We can do both? What are your guys thoughts on that?

Molly Burdess:

virtual work can definitely harm relationships. But I think the piece for me or what I've seen that keeps it together is the videos, the video chats, still picking up the phone. If you're just sitting back, and I am and each other all day or sending emails back and forth, you're going to lose that relationship. So I think if you can create a culture where video chats and picking up the phone is a common occurrence. I've seen that help our organization and then also just still make time for like the the networking and the not have everything so structured and scripted, right, like still have some time to allow for some freedom of Hey, Kyle, how was your weekend type of thing, the water cooler talk. But I've seen,

Patrick Moran:

Yeah, I agree with that, the more you can do a zoom or a team's. It's just I mean, at this point, it's just as easy as picking up a phone, I do it that way you could see somebody granted throughout the day, you'll have a day where you'll have four or five zoom meetings, and you're just zoomed out, right? We all have that. But the more you know, especially if it's a one on one, like with your team member, somebody really important to you, the more you can be, you know, on video, you can really kind of sense how they're doing just instead of just through their voice.

Molly Burdess:

It also depends like in my organization, pre COVID, our culture was you know, we'd get all of our leaders together, once a quarter if not once a month for you know, an all day meeting, and then we'd go out for dinner afterwards and have cocktails. And that was that was our culture and our team feel like they needed that. We obviously haven't been able to bring that back. But we've been doing the best we can I mean, we've today we just had an all day meeting. We were all at our own separate tables. There was no cocktails, no dinner, and I can definitely tell our team miss that. So I think it was harder for us because our culture shifted significantly away from that, rather than something we've built up to, if that makes sense. I haven't figured it out yet.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. There's something to be said for having some drinks. Yeah, there's just so many the breeze.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, that's when you get or at least for me, that's when I get the true insights from some people.

Kyle Roed:

Oh, that's what's happening. Yeah. I'm the snake in the grass at those things. I'm like, Oh, yeah. Okay, I'm picking up on that tension between the between Earl and Larry. Yeah. Okay, I got you guys. Yep.

Molly Burdess:

Oh, I know how you really feel about that change.

Kyle Roed:

But that's, that's so critical feedback. And, you know, I think that's part of the challenge in HR is you're supposed to have your finger on the pulse. But if you're not connected in the informal communication channels, the grapevine and all these things, you don't have your finger on the pulse, you're not hearing the grapes that you need to hear. And that you need to filter up to people who can do something about it, and help them get a full picture. Right? So it's the, the offhanded comment about how man this is bullshit. I hate this. Why are we doing this? This is this is causing this and this and this and this problem and this problem. And a lot of times there's a kernel of truth in there that you need to you need to be available and listened and, you know, it's, you know, it's it's a, it's critical to get that feedback. It's tough. It's it's hard for us to do our jobs in my opinion, because we can't do that. We can't do that behind a computer running a PowerPoint presentation about effective leadership. Right? It's not the same, it doesn't work.

Molly Burdess:

Here's some things that I've done. And it's not a perfect solution. But just some action items, I actually meet individually. And I'm a small enough organization where I can do this, you know, I've got 15 leaders, I meet with them one on one individually, every quarter, at least, to talk about their people metrics. So what's their turnover? What's their retention rate? What's their applicant data look like? And then I just, it's very informal, like, tell me what's happening and tell me what's happening on your team and I get some good information that way. I've also created an ambassador program where I've got frontline employees, typically one for each location, all coming together. And I feel like I get some good insight from that. What I'm missing from the leaders are with the leaders don't want to tell me so those are a couple things that I've done. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.

Kyle Roed:

I want to be like, Molly when I grew up.

Molly Burdess:

Oh, stop it. You know, I don't have it perfect. But I think it's just about trying, like, you just got to try and it's not everything's gonna work. And that's okay. You'll figure out what does and what doesn't, but you just have to try.

Kyle Roed:

Right? 100% I feel like that's the that's like the slogan of 2020 like, you just have to do best just try. If it doesn't work, do something different.

Molly Burdess:

Yep.

Patrick Moran:

It definitely is. Your your approach is a good excuse. For me to go bug managers. I don't always talk to and say you know what, we're doing good. Do things a little different, because I just don't feel we are as connected because it COVID so now we're gonna hack start having quarterly touch points.

Molly Burdess:

I like that. It's almost become competitive as far as like, where they fall in turnover and why and also, we're a sales organization. So I pull up like, where their associates like how much money they're making compared to other associates and kind of create some business results from it as well. Which of course, is what we all want to do.

Kyle Roed:

I get it so you survival the fittest. It's like a deathmatch, like here. Okay. Yeah.

Molly Burdess:

We have a competitive culture, but we try really, really hard to make it a fun competitive culture, not cutthroat.

Kyle Roed:

I'm glad I'm not in those meetings. That sounds that sounds stressful. Molly deathmatch, HR.

Molly Burdess:

Yep. Maybe coffee Karmali. I walked into our meeting today. It started at 10. I said, Oh, who's ready for Bloody Marys? Yeah. But then, you know, my dark side came out. I said, Just kidding. We can't do that.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, but I guarantee there were some people were like, cool.

Molly Burdess:

Yes, they are. Sure. That's how I get their attention.

Kyle Roed:

So when I got a question, so when you walk in the room, two people do people go to charts here?

Molly Burdess:

Depends on the day. No, sometimes and I think that's, you know, and I go back and forth between like, is that a good thing? Or is that a bad thing? I work really hard to create those relationships as well. But it's all about a balance. Right? It's a fine line. You don't want to step over.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, yeah. My favorite reaction to that is when somebody says, is I go, that sounds like you were talking about some cool, what is it? Yeah. Just call it out. Right? Yeah, exactly. Sometimes they tell me and and it's and it's sometimes I wish I didn't ask but you know, it's Yeah. Patrick, what, what? What is your What is your reaction when you walk into a room and people weren't expecting it?

Patrick Moran:

to direct sometimes I'll walk in and people will stop talking. Oh, look at Brandon and I'll just say knock it off. Are you saying it's fine? Okay, I call it out. Because, you know, I, you guys know, my background, I come from operations and, and I still I think that experience gives me a little bit more of that a perspective where it's, it's, you know, just call out the bullshit, right? You know, that I like to make things a little uncomfortable. So I'll just call it out and let's talk about it.

Kyle Roed:

100% 100% it's easier to do it depends on your business. Right? I mean, I think it's, you know, there are I've been in companies where there's a very what I would call stuffy atmosphere. If you were to respond in that manner, it would be a would be very poorly received. But luckily my my business manufacturing there's a lot of joking in the culture it's it's it's very competitive. People like to have fun, their friends outside of work, you know, it's it's one of those things where jokes, jokes work. But no, it's not gonna work in every every organization.

Patrick Moran:

Yeah, I came from that stuffy industry with the fortune 500. And then the clients I served, who's a bigger player in here in the Cedar Valley? And that's true to this day. And yeah, that will fly there. I wouldn't.

Kyle Roed:

I wouldn't. That's where I get in trouble. That's what that's why my friends asked me why are you sure you're in HR? Which is funny, I got questioned on the on the title of this podcast, Rebel HR. And and, you know, how I picked it? And the the honest answer was, well, you know, I tried my I tried my hand as a punk rock metal guitarist, but that didn't pan out. So you know, we started started a podcast instead. Which is funny, because that's actually true. And, yeah, I wouldn't, I wouldn't have picked this career, necessarily, for myself about 23 years ago.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, I just took a walk down memory lane with my team to some of them, were asking me like, how I got into HR and why I'm still here. You know, I tell people all the time I got I went into HR to, to work with people, right. I wanted to help people, like most people do. But I stay because of the business. Like I just, I love seeing the opportunities in the business and then connecting the people to it, and everybody succeeds. I don't think there's anything better.

Patrick Moran:

Why, right now, our profession is changing over the last six years, just dramatically. And that's the fun thing about we're helping create that perception that change. You know, we're not just policy police, right. We're, we want to know about the business, we know about our business, we you know, that's how we're effective. And that's how we're viewed as strategic partners. It's a cool time to be in this profession.

Kyle Roed:

Challenging, crazy, dynamic. You know, I don't know, what, how do you guys feel about it, but I feel like this last year has been a year of growth, as well as a year of building some credibility within the organizations that we serve. Because if there's any year that an organization needed HR, it was this year, right? Who's the first person that somebody looked to? When we had to run a pandemic? response? Right, they weren't looking at the CFO, they weren't looking at, you know, the, maybe they were looking at, you know, a safety professional if you're fortunate enough to be big enough to have safety, but, you know, it fell on our shoulders. It's all about taking care of people. Right. And that's, that's what this is all about. It's about communication. It's about culture. It's about, you know, measuring, work output. And, and learning new ways to work on the fly. It's like building the plane while it's while it's in the air. Right? And that's what he does best, right? The, you know, the bicycles on fire and you gotta change the tire.

Patrick Moran:

Yeah, that's when you really learned it was March that we can march 6, when we all started talking in the week of March was at 1314. I think 14th was a Saturday or the 12th was a Saturday that weekend, I was on the phone and texting and emailing the president of my company all weekend. And it was that Sunday, we said, he said develop a startup Critical response team and we all need to assemble tomorrow morning. Here we are almost a year later.

Kyle Roed:

Shortly, not pandemic response.

Molly Burdess:

Right? What was that the 15 day? plan?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, there we go home for 15 day, let's just you know what, I'll be fine. It's just short term. No biggie.

Molly Burdess:

You know, I feel bad for saying this. Because I know there was a lot of people that this impacted super negatively, but from an HR only standpoint. It was enjoyable to me because and I say that, again, with a sincere like, I understand a lot of people with a lot of shit. But typically when I look at things, like when I do things now I'm always looking at like, Okay, what has been done, like what best practices can I take? How can I tweak them, but this I feel like a lot of us had the opportunity to pave the way and we didn't have time we didn't have the data. We didn't have that past history to go on. So we just took it made it our own and ran with it. And I and I don't think that would have happened in a normal year. As much as it did in 2020. Maybe I'm crazy.

Kyle Roed:

I'm wait yeah, I'm with you. You know, I'm I'm a guy that likes to look at the silver lining. So you know, I completely understand your perspective, Molly. And, you know, I I had I had a moment and it all kind of came crashing down. Probably going to sound odd. But you know, a few weeks ago was was Super Bowl Sunday. And typically it's a it's a big community event. And you know, in my world where all the friends get together, all the kids get together, it's a big, big bash, whoever's brave enough to host the Superbowl party.

Molly Burdess:

Nobody showed up for work Monday,

Kyle Roed:

yeah, Monday, everybody's just completely hung over show, you know, crawls into the office, like one hour late and just, I mean, they're probably still in the reiated. You know, I haven't pulled out the b ac, measurement device or anything, but that would be a fun experiment.

Molly Burdess:

that's necessary for everybody, you need to put that link on this. Shout out.

Kyle Roed:

But, um, now I'm sitting there, you know, I'm sitting there watching the Superbowl by myself. You know, I have a drink in my hand, and, and then the pregame show comes on, and they announce the 400,000 Plus, US people who have died because of Coronavirus. And I lost it. I mean, I was, you know, I was I was in tears. And and I don't know, I don't know, if it was the fact that it was really real, because I was actually sitting still for a minute, and not dealing with something related to work. Or I've been so optimistic that, you know, the truth of the pain that people have dealt with through the last year, you know, hit me. You know, I just felt disconnected from the community, whatever it was, it was it was a powerful moment, and in a moment that, you know, reminded me why we do what we do. And, and I'm thankful for the HR professionals and safety professionals and leaders and companies that have taken this seriously. And saved people. And, and, you know, and so as much as we talk about pandemic preparedness, and COVID-19, and man, this is a pain and wow, we just changed everything we do at the end of the day. You know, I we are doing the work to keep people safe, healthy, and let them have more time with their families. And so it's one of those things that, you know, I'll just, I'll just say to everybody out there listening that's, that's been dealing with this. Thank you for for the thank you for the work. And as challenging as the year has been. You know, we have truly elevated the profession through the efforts that we've done.

Molly Burdess:

Cheers to you, Kyle.

Kyle Roed:

Cheers. Cheers,

Molly Burdess:

everybody. Yeah, that

Patrick Moran:

was awesome.

Kyle Roed:

I'm not supposed to be drinking a knife. My wife is looking at me right now. Going, why are you drinking?

Molly Burdess:

It's for the it's for the good of of HR. Now. I gotta order, honey. Just tell her it's for work. That's what I always do.

Kyle Roed:

It is for work

Molly Burdess:

properly. So that's my story.

Kyle Roed:

Guys. I got a little I got a little soapbox either. I was

Molly Burdess:

no, I was great. Don't ever apologize for that. That's also something I'm working on is not apologizing. And I think it's a woman thing. Like we apologize for nothing.

Kyle Roed:

Did you just call me a woman?

Molly Burdess:

No, but I don't apologize.

Patrick Moran:

Because I say it to my HR generalist all the time. Because once you apologize, you're admitting that it's your fault for something you have no control over in HR with our employee. Unless you truly It was your fault. Let's redirect our answer on that. Yeah. Guys, I got about Yeah, I know. Already. By the time my kids are home, I'm not gonna hear the end of it.

Kyle Roed:

I get it. I'm in trouble too. So, Molly, you enjoy yourself. Doing whatever the hell you want. Congratulations. 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. Using opinions expressed by podcast, not necessarily policy or position baby