Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 65: The Whole Person Workplace with Dr. Scott Behson

October 05, 2021 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy / David Behson Season 2 Episode 65
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 65: The Whole Person Workplace with Dr. Scott Behson
Show Notes Transcript

Join Kyle Roed and Scott Behson as they discuss balance, burnout, and successful HR practices to help employees thrive.

web: | ScottBehson.com
fb: | WorkFamilySolutions
youtube: | ScottBehson
twitter: | ScottBehson
linkedin: | ScottBehson
 
Scott Behson, PhD, is professor of management and Silberman Global Faculty Fellow at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is a national expert in work and family issues and the author of:

- The Whole-Person Workplace: Building Better Workplaces Through Work-Life, Wellness and Employee Support

- The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home

- We Hate Team Projects! A Friendly, Useful Guide for College Project Teams-

Scott is also an accomplished professional speaker and consultant who provides talks, workshops, webinars and keynote addresses for corporate clients, not-for-profit organizations and major conferences. He provides insight and perspective on whole-person workplaces, employer support for working parents, work and fatherhood, and related topics for some of the world’s leading companies. Scott was a featured speaker at the United Nations’ International Day of the Family and the White House’s Summit for Working Families. He is represented by the BrightSight Group.

He has published over 30 academic journal articles and book chapters, presented over 50 times at national and international conferences, and won eight awards for his teaching, research and service to students. Scott has written for Harvard Business Review, TIME, Fast Company, Success, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He frequently appears in media, including CBS, MSNBC, NPR, Fox News and Bloomberg Radio, as well as many business and parenting podcasts.

Scott lives with his family in Nyack, NY, and is a graduate of Cornell University and SUNY Albany. Check out his weekly Whole-Person Workplace Minute Videos on YouTube and LinkedIn, and go to ScottBehson.com for more information on his writing, speaking and consulting activities.



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Scott Behson:

They used to have these like all hands meetings, like early in the morning. And it was stressful for some people who were dropping off and picking up daycare and kids from school and stuff. And finally somebody said something about it. And they're like, Oh, yeah, great. No, we won't start and no meetings in this company until 10am. And that solve that problem.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast, the podcast where we talk to human resources, innovators, about innovation in the world of HR. If you are a people leader, or you're looking for a new way to think about how to help others be successful. This is the podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels. Rebel HR listeners, I'm extremely excited for today's conversation we were talking before I hit the record button. And this is gonna be a good one I'm just telling you right now. So I'd like to welcome to the show today, Scott besian. Scott is a Professor of Management, and a silvermine Global faculty Fellow at fairleigh Dickinson University, he has a book coming out called the whole person workplace. By the time this podcast airs, it will be available. So check that out. I'm sure you're gonna want to check that out after the conversation today. And he also has a book that is near and dear to my heart, the working dads Survival Guide, how to succeed at work and at home. So with three kids under 10. I feel that man, I feel it. So also, an accomplished professional speaker has published over 30 academic journal articles and book chapters presented at a number of different places a contributor to CBS, MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, Bloomberg radio. We're excited. We've got you on the show today. Scott, welcome.

Scott Behson:

Oh, thank you for having me. I'm

Kyle Roed:

excited to be here. Absolutely. So I can tell from the conversation before I hit record that we've got we can we could talk about a lot of different things. But I think before we get into that, I just like to understand a little bit more about what drove you to understand some of the some of the things that you have written books on so working as a as a working parent, being a whole person and focusing on that in the context of the workplace.

Scott Behson:

Yeah, so I've been to academic for a long time, I have teaching at the business school at fairleigh Dickinson university, I teach things like human resources and organizational behavior. And I do research in these types of things as well. And I've done a lot of my scholarship in things like workplace flexibility, and work life, programming and stuff. And that started back in my dissertation in the 90s. So it's been a long time. And about 1012 years ago, I got to what I call my, like, mid career crisis, where I was very frustrated, as an academic that, you know, a lot of my work, like, you know, you don't know how much you know about academic writing and journal articles and stuff, it's, you know, you kill yourself to write this article, it takes two years to come out. And then like 50, other professors read it, and that's about all the impact a lot of it has. And so, you know, I started thinking to myself, you know, there's got to be something I could do that has a little more impact. So I started thinking about, like, Who needs good information about balancing work life and work life challenges, and it's working parents and their employers. So I was like, Good, that's what I'm going to do now. And I started doing a lot more public facing work to help working parents and then employers. And so the combination of the working parents part was the working dads Survival Guide Book, where there was a real hole in what's out there. There's lots of stuff for moms, lots of resources and ideas and books and things like that. And there was not an I still believe there is no other book of advice and encouragement for fathers trying to balance work and family then then what I wrote six years ago, and then, you know, I pivoted again and the culmination of my work with employers led me to the whole person workplace. And that's kind of, you know, where I am today. So how can employers and so broader than just working parents, right? How can employers be value their employees as whole people, so not just like, someone who shows up at a certain time and leaves at a certain time or right? People don't exist just when they're at work, right? They're whole people with lives and responsibilities and stressors and challenges and everything outside of work, too. And what happens to people outside of work affects their work, right? And it's hard to really be engaged and focused at work. If you're stressing out about childcare or, you know, are you not physically or emotionally well or you don't feel psychologically safe at work or, you know, all these things interact with each other, and so on. You know, in my research and then culminating in this book in all my interviews I did with, you know, dozens and dozens of companies, you know, how do we support employees as whole people? And then what are what's the benefits of doing so? So that's kind of what this book really talks about.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I love that. And I think any HR practitioner, who's been in the in the industry for for more than a hot minute can tell you that, oh, what happens outside of work matters. And that will trickle into the workplace, whether you want it to or not, there's no, there's no invisible wall where somebody walks in, and it's like, oh, I have a smile on and now, this terrible thing that happened to me this morning. Is it going to impact how I feel today? Yeah, no,

Scott Behson:

absolutely. And I think, you know, one of the the things that many organizations learned about during the pandemic work from home was, you know, we literally were seeing into people's lives, right, little boxes on screens, we see their cats and their kids and the their living rooms. And so this false separation, I think that a lot of people have constructed between life and work was shown to be false, you know, even more so than it was before. And, yeah, I think it's, you know, it's hard to, you know, it's hard to do very well at work or, you know, feel well at work, when you have things weighing down on you stressors, just, you know, holding you back, and that can range from everything. So, you know, from young graduates who feel weighed down by their student loan debt to working parents to sandwich generation people to people who just, you know, might not be able to figure out a way to make ends meet, or people who are, you know, just physically or are overweight or having health problems, like if an employer can help with those things. It's going to first off, it's the right thing to do. And secondly, it helps build a better culture and workplace where people could do better work. Yeah, I

Kyle Roed:

remember. So this is going back a number of years. So hopefully, the curriculum has changed. But when I was getting my, my HR certification, which at the time was a PHR? Yep. One of the questions, one of the questions in the test itself was, how do you deal with an employee who comes to you with a, you know, an emotional personal situation? And, and there was a right and a wrong answer? And the right answer was, send him to EAP. Okay, I know, the other questions were like, Listen, you know, try to understand how you can help them and I, you know, all the things that you'd want to do as a human. But and that's, like I said, that's been a number of years ago, I'm sure the curriculum has changed a little bit. But it I think that exemplifies that, that, that there's also been a significant change in attitude where it's not enough to say, here's a flyer, call this 800 number. So you're right, yeah, yes, I'm sorry, you're depressed, that sucks here. You know, like that, you know, and don't get me wrong, I love VIPs, they serve a very important purpose. And I encourage every employer to have one, but you can't just stop there. Young, you're looking at somebody's whole self. Right. So, so what, as you were writing this and doing research, you kind of, you know, kind of living? You know, you're living the life of an of an academic who's trying to make a difference. So what, how do we how do we respond to that, you know, what, what is the appropriate response to somebody who, who brings the that outside world into the workplace?

Scott Behson:

Well, yeah, so there was a fine line too, you know, you want to make sure you respect people's privacy, right, and their lives outside of work, right. So we don't necessarily always want to make force people to share everything, right. But what we need to do is listen and be empathetic. And we could do this on a large scale, right? In large organizations, we could do this on an individual basis in smaller organizations or within our teams. And, you know, if we just know what's going on, then hopefully, we can, again, large organizations can have a multi faceted approach where they offer a wide range of benefits and an EAP and a wellness program and, you know, 20 other types of benefits that, that that are there. That's great, right. And that's a comprehensive way to build that. smaller organizations or those who don't have the resources for that, you know, it's listening and making a custom fit solution that that's right for you and for that person, and, and everything else, but it really starts with really the listening and the empathy and just valuing the employee as a whole person, right. So, you know, some employers look at their employees as like a part of the machine. And that's, you know, that only takes you so far. A lot of employers look at their employees as valuable assets. And that's good, right? Because we take care of valuable Last time we took care of our cars, because we want the return on our investment. Right. But that's, that's good, but it's still transactional, right? And I think valuing and looking at our employees as whole people, you know, gets us to another level, right. And it's an extra level of responsibility for employers and for HR professionals to it makes makes our jobs a little bit harder, because we are extending ourselves. But the rewards are there. And it you know, builds again, the powerful culture where people reciprocate and bring this to your customers, clients, to their co workers, etc.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I think it's, you know, it's so tough sometimes it to be an HR and to kind of know, where's the line? Right now? Yeah, well, man,

Scott Behson:

yeah. HR is they're stuck in the middle in many cases, right? Because they're the employees voice and advocate, and you're the person they're supposed to come to. On the other hand, you work for management, and you want to make sure the company is protected. Right. So HR is in the middle, a lot, right? And what I say is lead with values, when you find yourself in situations where, you know, the path might not be exactly clear, the decision might not be exactly clear. If you have a set of values, you can really, you know, live by or make decisions by I think that's probably the best way to start. Yeah,

Kyle Roed:

I think it's so important, you know, to realize that, you know, acting on behalf of a company, because you're you're a company steward at that point. Yeah, it doesn't mean that you become a robot, right? You're not supposed to just read these talking point you in a lot, a lot of times, all you all you really should do is just is just listen. Yes. seek to understand somebody's perspective. Yeah. And and just know, you know, sometimes it ain't about you. Yeah, and you just need to be there. And I think there's another point, important point that I'll make here for an HR practitioner that's listening is this isn't just about the individual. You know, this is about the systems that the individual is working within. So So an example of that is is daycare. So you mentioned daycare. And I know, you've you've You know, that's been a part of some of the some of the research you've done, and how to support folks with that. So here's a great example of that. So, turnover, you know, we're hearing all this noise around the great resignation. And you know, pandemics a great example of Oh, when my kid can't go to school, and daycares aren't don't have capacity. Well, what do I do with my kid? Well, I guess my kids at home and wow, this, you know, this is hard. But what we noticed that one of my previous companies was we were seeing a lot of turnover. And the corollary was, it was typically new hires. And this didn't come out in our initial data. But we took a look at our data. And we said, it's all a lot of this is attendance and job abandonment. So what's what's actually going on? And when we went out, and we actually talked to the employees in the workspace, about why so and so left, they were like, Oh, they, they had daycare, and it fell through. Or they had a family member watching their kid and family member got a job. And it was like, or, you know, or they, you know, they didn't feel comfortable working during these hours, because they didn't have anybody that could watch their kids, their kids preteen and you know, yeah, so we were like, Oh, well, that really, you know, how can we help that, you know, is there. So what we did is we found local resources, childcare, resource and referral. You know, we tried to find available spots come to find out in our local community, we were missing, like 3000 spots for daycare if if people just wanted to get back up to the average participation rate in the economy, so it's like, oh, wow, there's truly a systemic issue in our community related to childcare? Well, as an employer, I can't cure all of this. Right. But can I make my schedule more flexible? Yeah, right. Yeah. Is there something I can do? And so what we ended up doing is we adjusted some of our attendance policies, became a little bit more flexible there. And then we communicated that we are family friendly, and we told our employees Hey, if you have an issue we want to know before you quit, so we can help you. Right? Yeah. And it was something as simple as that. It was like, oh, wow, that's really nice. Thanks a lot.

Scott Behson:

Yeah, you know, and it can be, you know, just listening and responding. Right. And that leaves without feeling like they could speak up, right. And, you know, so to two anecdotes from the book. So what one company just, they used to have these like all hands meetings, like early in the morning, and it was stressful for some people who were dropping off and picking up daycare and kids from school and stuff. And finally, somebody said something about it. And they're like, Oh, yeah, great. No, we won't start and no meetings in this company until 10am and solve that problem, right? Have these people being stressed about, you know, the drop off and pick up and things like that. So that you know that that's a simple solution that doesn't cost any money. That's right. And just just like, you know, be more flexible or whatever, that's not spend money that's not building your own childcare facility, on campus or on your in your building, which some people, some companies do not. Not really that many, but, but still, that's one. And then secondly, there's a food store in California that I talked to the owner, because I talked to like multinational companies, and they talked to like, very, very small companies and everything in between in all different industries, because I wanted to get, like a variety of stories of employers that have been able to do like whole person workplace things. But this one, a married couple who worked at this food store. One was like, I believe one was an assistant manager and the other just an hourly employee, but they had a baby. And the normal thing you would do is say, Okay, well, we're gonna like stagger your shifts, so somebody could be with baby all the time. But if that were the case, they would never be together as a family. Right? So the owner was just like, No, you guys still work? The same shifts just bring the baby where the baby like, and they did. And it's seven years later, they're both still there. Right? And first off, that's, yeah, it's a return

Kyle Roed:

on industry. Yeah.

Scott Behson:

And secondly, like that seven year old girl comes to the store all the time. And it's like the little mascot and like, all the the regular customers know this girl, because they like known her growing up. And, you know, everyone asks about her and things like that. So it's, you know, what I love about that story. It's not just helping these two employees and building their family in a positive way. It had, like these positive ripples, even into their community, right, and showing a little bit like this can be done right, in a in their local area. So I just find stories like that. pretty inspiring. That's super cool. Yeah. And, you know, it just puts such a, it's such such a human face on a on a business on an organization. Yeah. And you know, you so yeah, even if you peel back and you take, like, you take all the stuff out of it, like, well, that's just a decent thing to do. That's nice. You know, that's, that's a, that's a very human thing to do.

Kyle Roed:

You're also like, oh, wow, that's, that's a really good marketing tactic. You know, there's a bunch a bunch of companies that paid billions of dollars in marketing year to try to look more human or look like they're empathetic, and, you know, and it's like, oh, you know, those actions, you know, just just prove to your customers and to your employees that you are,

Scott Behson:

yes. And, you know, Who wouldn't? I mean, this did not cost them any money. But that same employer, actually, he, he was getting ready to sell his car, to buy a new car, and he was just going to sell is what they're trading his old one for the purchase. But one of his employee employees was having trouble, like his, you know, his car was having troubles in the seat. So he did not have reliable transportation. And that's a big risk for turnover, right, and these types of professions, so they won't be giving the car to that employee. And what he said is, it was 12 $100, what the car was valued at, that's 75 cents an hour for this person for the year. And again, this is someone who's, who has stayed with the store for I believe it's going to five years later. And who wouldn't buy that? Right for 12 $100? You know, just to get your point. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, 100%. And I think it's, you know, if you're in HR and you and, and you're at an organization, that's, that's a little bit larger, maybe you're not as connected to to every employee in the company, like, like my organization, but I would tell you, like, go look for those types of those interactions in those situations is because I guarantee you that there are managers that are doing things like that, whether you know it or not, and they might actually think they're not supposed to be doing it. But you know, it, like, for instance, we had an intern that started he's, he's an international student didn't have a car. So my manager took it upon himself to go, like, ask the team hey, can anybody give this guy right? Yeah, yeah. And, and sure enough, somebody, you know, continued to give him a ride for like, four months. And just to help him out, and then and then got the new car that it was like, there was a big celebration when he got his first car, because you've been saving up this mind for months. Yeah. And everybody was cheering and it was, and, you know, and, and sometimes we're the last ones to know but you know, those things happen. And and I think there's a lot of really great examples of those occurring. So as your as those leaders are facilitating that type of behavior. I would also say like, recognize those people, right? You know, those? Yes. Those people who are inherently driven to do that. Those are your internal employee engagement team members, right? Like, like, like, yeah, give them some stuff. really recognize that?

Scott Behson:

Absolutely. You want to have a culture of kind of a high trust culture in your workplace? And you probably have that, you know, certainly in pockets. That's yours was a great example. And yeah, you don't want to get in the way of managers doing that. Right? And sometimes in you said this about the old style of HR is no, no, no, no, we don't want to, you know, do anything out of the ordinary, because, you know, you never know, know, what you want to do is allow people to have kind of ad hoc or informal accommodations or things like that, that that make things work. And managers can do that. And team leaders can do that on a local level in a way that, you know, leaders of an organization or the HR departments maybe can't, right, or departments should be designing, you know, a variety of programming that employees can fit into, maybe helping managers and orienting managers to what they can do. But, you know, a lot of the local management absolutely needs to be done by local managers.

Kyle Roed:

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Scott Behson:

Yeah, well, first off by tracking and measuring, right? Yeah, it was a big thing that HR can do on this, if there's one of your locations where, you know, no women are rising above a certain level, well, now we know there's something there, right, and you can measure that, and then you could deal with that. The other thing, I think when it comes to diversity inclusion, and I do have something about that in the book, it's not really focused on that necessarily, but is you know, everyone has blind spots, even the most well intentioned person or their work team might will have blind spots, you know, just things they don't quite understand. But you have to make sure that you're listening to a real variety and diversity of people from different backgrounds and in and make that part of your decision making and I think that that's really Challenge, especially I think for upper level managers, that sometimes becomes a challenge, because they spend a lot of their times and a lot of their time with other upper level managers. And you can have blind spots. Right? about, you know, yeah, I don't want to get stereotypical. But if all your upper level managers are these old white guys who had a stay at home spouses who didn't, and they didn't have to deal with, like work family challenges, well, they might not understand what a lot of their employees are dealing with, right? A lot of their male employees might be dealing with, right, because that's not what we did in my day. And they might be fully intention, well intentioned to be like, Hey, we want to support working mums and dads, but they don't, they might not know how, unless they're including lots of these people in decision making and listening. So yeah, that is something and, you know, again, that's one of the major roles, I think, in a more strategic approach to human resources, is to really make sure that we are listening and measuring, find out what's going on. And then also that we, we measure, and we look at our data to make better decisions going forward. And, you know, again, that's, I don't think a lot of people sitting there to hire somebody or twisting their mustaches, saying, haha, I'm not going to hire any people of color. But you know, sometimes, if you've created a hiring system that has some flaws in it, that work against certain types of people, you need to detect that right and then change that. And I think, you know, HR is a big part to play in that.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Yeah, you've got to be open to that you got to get out of the echo chamber. And that's where, you know, this is probably an overused term. But you know, we talk about speaking truth to power, you know, I actually consider that one of the most important things that HR can do is be that be that voice for individuals that maybe don't have that voice at the table. And yeah, it's funny, you mentioned that, you know, old white guys with wives that, you know, don't work outside the home. And, you know, never had any of these. I mean, the last example, I used to the daycare, you know, challenges. That was the exact conversation I was having with a number of old white guys that didn't know, you know, they're like, why do we, why do we need to invest in this? Why do we need to do this? Why do we need to do that? And, you know, you've got to be a little bit of an advocate for, for these types of things as well. I agree. 100%. So, yeah, I feel that.

Scott Behson:

Well, you know, one of my favorite companies that and I profiled in the book is Brian LLC, they're called, they're a financial services firm based out of Dallas. And they transformed many years ago to a result only workplace. So they were like one of those, like, work till you die kind of places. And then they became a Yeah, you work from anywhere at any time. As long as your work gets done, everybody's happy. And it was a hard transition, took them eight years to really implement it and stuff. But the HR folks were trying to push for becoming more flexible organization for years. And this, the CEO was always like, No, I don't want flex, I don't want blah, you know, that's too touchy feely, whatever. And then, this one young up and coming employee, walked into the CEOs office with a tear coming down her eye, and handed her resignation. And she said, Listen, I love this job, I love this company, but I'm starting a family and I don't see how I can make that work here. And that got to the CEO, that was the flash that that led the CEO to, like, get it. And he called in his head of HR, like, do it, do everything you want. And once you know, and then they had a great HR team, and they implemented it super well, they partnered all around like, you know, it wasn't just coming from HR, they really, you know, worked with the, you know, really diverse task forces on lots of these issues and everything. And but once senior leadership bought in and put their weight behind it, that's when changes came. So, you know, everyone has a role to play here. I think HR can be the advocate for these things in many cases, and can implement them when they're given the go ahead to leadership has to get it and put their weight behind it. And then I think there's a lot of bottom up that also, you know, can and should happen as well that good ideas from different employees or different managers should be able to get filtered up and spread around. Absolutely.

Kyle Roed:

Alright, so, you know, this is for me, like I'm 100% aligned, like, this is an inspirational discussion. I guarantee you, there's some people listening to this going, geez, this is just too much. I mean, come on, like, you know, at what point is an employee, you know, just like, just being kind of whining and like, you know, when do we where do we draw the line, right. So, you know, is there a point where employees are asking for too much, or are being you know, bringing too much of their wholesale To the equation.

Scott Behson:

I mean, I suppose some cynical people will say that, um, listen, I, you know, I don't think so I think that, again, what we're seeing with the great resignation and other things, this is these are employees who feel like over the last 18 months, stuff has been hard. And they're reevaluating who they work for. And the thing they're evaluating is, well, did my employer seem to consider me as a person through all this? And whether it was, you know, the cook at a restaurant, or whether it's, you know, an HR person at a company? Did they consider me, you know, are they considering me now, as we're thinking about a return to workplace? Right? I mean, so, yes, maybe employees are asking for more in some cases, but I don't see that as inappropriate or whiny. And in cases, and yes, sometimes Work is work. Right. And sometimes you just have to get through stuff to get through stuff, totally. And sometimes you got to pay your dues in your career to get to certain places. And, you know, that's all true. But the The fact is, you know, it's, it shouldn't be like this gauntlet, where you have to shove pieces of yourself down, go to work, right? You know, so I think managers who feel like, you should just leave everything at the door and come to work and just be focused on work there, that they might believe that. But as we were saying before, that doesn't really happen. And in fact, one, one employer I talked to, for the book, that's a small furniture manufacturer in New Jersey, you know, not that many people say, very small Custom Furniture Place. And he's like, God, I don't want somebody to come in with something hanging or stress hanging over their heads, or he was talking about, like, if one of my employees kids is sick, and now he's like, well, somebody is kind of watching them, and I'm coming to work, and it's like, no, they're distracted, they can make an app, they can get hurt, they can get somebody else hurt, they could ruin this piece of furniture, the more we can get people to not have to make these kinds of choices, right? Or, you know, between coming to work or not feeling good about, you know, whether my kid is able to go to school, or whatever it might be, it affects the work. So that would be my answer to that. So that cynical approach is that if we want people to really be, you know, engaged at work, and do their best work, I think it requires us, you know, again, not just valuing them for, for the part of the person that they are at the workplace for eight hours a day, it takes valuing them as more than that, and, and taking into account the other stuff they have going on. 100% Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, if I equate that to my personal experience, and, you know, I'm sure a lot of HR professionals listening to this are gonna kind of understand this. So one of my coping mechanisms early on in my career was compartmentalization. Okay. So I would I would flip, I would literally, like in my mind, flip a switch. And the intention was, now I can do the tough stuff, which is, for me, is letting somebody go? Sure. You know, I hate that. You know, yeah. If anybody likes it, like, get out HR, you should not write HR like, or, you know, like, like, and, and, and you're probably not listening to this podcast. So you know, no one has any right. But, um, you know, for me, so my approach was, yeah, like, like, literally, like, shut off my emotions, put on the armor. Yeah, it was, and it was like, and I did that early on. And that's that's how I coped. But it wasn't healthy. And I got to a point where I got some some really, really critical feedback in a situation that was really tough. And somebody was like, dude, you were a different person. Like, who was that? Right? Like, you were not you were not the Kyle that I know. And, you know, I kind of verbal, I verbally process it with that person, I realized, Oh, it's because I do that, right? It's because I was like, I was like, shutting off that part of me that was human, so that I could, you know, power through this thing that was really emotionally challenging for me. And ultimately, you know, that wasn't an effective way to work. And I had to find, I'd find ways to cope with the tough parts of the job in a way that allowed me to be authentic when I did it. But that's the same experience that everybody else is going through, if they have to shut off a part of them in order to do their job. It's going to impact them in some way, shape, or form negatively, and then ultimately, that will impact your workplace.

Scott Behson:

Right? And that does not mean it's like hey, it's a free for all, like everybody could just do what they want. And everybody can just say what they want. Right? Like, people have that. Like I've gotten that question before on interviews. That's not what I'm talking about. Right? You know, what we want to have is a workplace where people feel valued, and in ways large and small. And if we do that we, you know, again, it's a better workplace, and it's also better for employees in the rest of their lives.

Kyle Roed:

I heard you, that's a great, that's a great point. You know, there's so much out there right now about being your authentic self, and like, you know, like radical honesty and stuff. And, and I saw a great post a great post the other day, and the post was basically like, Listen, it's great, to be honest. But you don't have to be a complete and utter jerk in your authenticity. Right? Like, like, there are ways to do this.

Scott Behson:

I know a lot, a lot of jerks, like, No, I'm just being honest, man, like, no, you're being a jerk.

Kyle Roed:

I'm bringing my whole I'm bringing my whole authentic self to work by being a jerk.

Scott Behson:

Right, right. Well, actually, so you know, it's funny, the whole person workplace refers to the workplace, I'm not really talking about. I've gotten that question before on interviews to about selling, bringing your whole self to work. And I'm like, well, that's important. That's not what I've, you know, that's not what I've written about. But we want people to feel comfortable to be themselves broadly at work, certainly, and, you know, parts of their identity and their background and things like that needs to be respected. But yes, believe me, Listen, I work in academia. So you know, you have tenured professors who are there for a very long time. And if anything, we are like the, the slice of the American workplace that could face almost no consequences. Right. So we have lots of my colleagues, who are far too much themselves. I think.

Kyle Roed:

My parents were in higher ed. So yeah, I've heard I've heard a couple stories here. And there, I'll take your word for it. But you know, I think that's a really important point to make. And it's, you know, but it's something that I just think this last year, has been really, really challenging. Obviously, there's been a lot of, there's been a lot of sadness, there's been a lot of loss. But it's also been a great opportunity for us to wake up as a, as a country and as workplace professionals, that there are more people, then then what they've got sitting on their desk right now. Right? And yeah, and I just think it's so important.

Scott Behson:

Yeah. And I think, listen, even people who've gotten through the pandemic, about as well as you can, are still probably not fully themselves, and might not be for quite a while. So I think there's a whole underlying, like, even if someone seems to have their stuff together, they're not quite as together as maybe they were in 2018, or something. Right? I think that that goes for a lot of people. That's why we're seeing people freak out on airplanes and things like that. And, you know, I think it's just because there's this pent up anxiety that has had nowhere to go for a lot of people. And I think we should be mindful of that, that there's going to be this underlying sense of unwellness. And what we could do to maybe help people process some of this stuff might be might be useful to.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's been, it's been really interesting, you know, the, some of the awareness of mental health issues. Yeah. You know, I think that's, I think that's really healthy, too, that some of that stuff is coming out. And that and that we're talking about, and and it's in it's, there's less stigma there, but there's, I still, I still think there's very much some stigma there. And there's still some fear, especially for a working professional to really bring that up and be honest about it. And and, you know, and I think also a challenge for HR professionals to understand, okay, how do I, how do I foster somebody being comfortable, you know, bringing those challenges forward? And, you know, before we get to a point where have to put somebody on a performance improvement plan? Yeah. You know, is there actually, there's, there's something deeper going on that doesn't deserve disciplinary action. Right. Right. That's, that's a tough challenge right now. So

Scott Behson:

yeah, well, you know, this raises a point that I just like to make too, is that, you know, a whole person workplace again, there's, there's accountability to this too. I mean, because we're leading with trust doesn't mean it's a free for all right, you, you can lead with trust and have the accountability behind it. Right. So, people working from home or, you know, people having more flexible approaches, right. You know, they that could be if someone abuses that or somebody doesn't work well like that, then that could be pared back, right. But I think we should lead with a high trust type of approach,

Kyle Roed:

you know, my opinion on that, the whole, like, the argument that like all the, you know, these people are gonna, you know, try to you know, falsify productivity Wherever, like, my argument is, whether they're in the office or not, that they are going to do that anyways, I think they absolutely get people who are predisposed to do as little work as possible and try to just, like float under the radar and like, spend more time, you know, at the water cooler, like talking about their Fantasy Football League. Right, you know, those are the same people that are not going to be as productive working from home, you know that. I mean, it's just, I think it's just all about getting the right people on the team and then supporting them to achieve the goal. Yeah, yeah.

Scott Behson:

I mean, that's, that is so much of the thing. I mean, you know, I tell my HR students all the time, everything in HR is really important. The most important thing, however, is hiring. Because if you do a good job hiring, like 90% of your problems go away, right. And so like, we should really lean on that. And like, if we want to have a whole person workplace, we should recruit and hire and orient new employees in a way that's consistent with that, right. And there's things we could look for in people's backgrounds, there are questions, we could be asking them on interviews. There are certainly ways during orientations and onboarding that we can make sure people know what our values are in the workplace and set them up for success in a workplace like that. So sometimes, it's not just a new policy or program to support people, but it's embedding kind of the values that we have in the normal stuff we do in human resources. So I actually have a whole chapter on on just what I just talked about, on the recruitment, hiring and onboarding, also on job design, and how have you all more humane approaches to job design? And then, you know, obviously, compensation and performance management, you know, how we measure performance, you know, can enable a lot of great stuff to happen, or can really squash good stuff from happening? And yeah, you know, if we, anyway, I'm sure your audience knows all about that. So.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I love. I love incentive programs, because a lot of times we call them incentive programs, and they incentivize the behaviors we don't even want to happen. It's Yeah, we don't have time for that on this. Yeah, yeah. But absolutely, absolutely correct. You know, you hire the right people. And then get out of the way. That's, that's what I you know, that's, that's really what HR needs to do. But you know, and my goal is always I want to work myself out of a job, right? Like, I want my leaders to be so good that like, yeah, you don't you really don't need me to give you any advice. But the truth is, we're all human. So you know, people, people always need support. But well, we are, we are getting close to the end of our time together. And I want to make sure that we are really curious to hear your responses to these questions. So we're gonna shift gears, we're gonna go into the rebel HR flash round. Alright, so three questions. This one's probably a little bit unfair to somebody who is in academia, but I'm going to ask you, I'm going to ask it anyway. So what is your favorite people book, something that gave you insight about humans?

Scott Behson:

Wow, um, I'm gonna go like, complete different direction with this than then you think, my favorite of the Chronicles of Narnia books, which is divorce in his boy. And there's a quote that I just, I remember so well from it, and I keep in mind, which is, the reward for doing something good is very often to be set to do another harder and more important task. And I think that there's a real insight there that the reward for doing something good is the opportunity to do even more good, even if it's harder, and I think that was that's, I don't know, it's like inspirational thing about maybe the good side of people, in this case, a horse and his boy, but love. Yeah,

Kyle Roed:

I guess the first time we've had that response.

Scott Behson:

I know, I do read a lot of like, yeah, you know, I'm a professional reader in many ways. So

Kyle Roed:

yeah, you could have cited like, you know, something with like a Harry Potter and the dynamic impact of human relations on geopolitical whatever, you know, but yeah, that was great. I love that. All right, question number two, Who should we be listening to?

Scott Behson:

Hmm, well, what do you mean, I'm sorry, I,

Kyle Roed:

you can take that wherever you want. Okay.

Scott Behson:

Wow. Listening to um, wow. You know, to bring it back to the workplace, I guess. I think we should be listening to the younger generations of our employees. I think they have a lot of ideas. They really want to work at places that that value the same things they value. And I think one of the things I love about working with young people, as I do my university is they continually inspire me to stay current. And to think about things in a new way. So I think if we listen to, like the young people we're able to, that we are able to work with, I think that will keep us kind of mentally fresh and young.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it might make you feel old, when you don't want to know what the heck you're talking about. But

Scott Behson:

when your references to whatever, like, forget it. They don't understand my Gen X, you know, references

Kyle Roed:

and it's like, it's like when it's kind of like when Nirvana plays on the the oldies station. You're like, wait, no, that's not oldies. Oh, I guess it is. I agree it, I love it. Again, this is another podcast, but you know, all of the research around, you know, like, millennials and Gen Z and like, all the, you know, there's, there's, there's almost a full industry around, you know, generational differences, but but when you look into it, it's like, you know, really, they just want, they just want the same thing that everybody else wanted. They're just more empowered to tell us about it, because we have all these different communication channels. And oh, by the way, now, it's it's kind of their market now that they, if they don't like an employer, every employers hiring so they could probably go find a company that they really want to work at if they want to.

Scott Behson:

for them. Yeah, no. And, again, I yes, it makes me feel old, fair amount when I'm working at a university, but it keeps me young. So I never want to be the old man shouting at the cloud, you know?

Kyle Roed:

I don't know I you know, someday, like, like, I'm, you know, someday I want to be the cranky old, wise guy, you know, that people are like, Oh, yeah, he knows his stuff. But yeah. But, you know, not for a while, right. Let's give that up in an endearing way. I want that. You know, that's like my aspirational. Yeah, you know, I want to be the crazy old Kook anyway. All right. Last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Scott Behson:

Oh, okay. So first off, if you want to buy the whole person workplace, building better workplaces through work life, wellness, and employee support you go to anywhere you buy books, I guess Amazon probably the easiest way, indie balance would be my recommended way. And that's the online bookseller. That's a collective of all different independent bookstores around the country. But if you want to know more about me and my work, my other writing, you know, my workshops and speaking engagements and things like that, Scott, PC comm SEO, TT B, eh, s o n, calm. I'm also on LinkedIn. And I'd be happy to connect with you there. Perfect, and we will

Kyle Roed:

have all that information in the show notes. So just take a moment on your podcast player clicking the click in the show notes to learn more and yeah, really, really looking forward to it. I'm gonna go. Let's see, we're about four days before the book release. So I'm gonna give it a few days. But then, yeah, I definitely want to check out this book, just great content, I can tell that we're very like minded. And, you know, looking forward to hearing some of the stories about others doing this. That's where I get a lot of my inspiration. So I appreciate you doing that research and bringing that together for us. So thank you so much for the time Scott's been wonderful. Great, thank you. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe