Christine is known for creating strategies that are responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue and company value. Imagine if she was able to sit down with you and SHARE all of her knowledge and insight!
Since that isn’t physically possible, this podcast is the next best thing!
Christine uses each episode of Crack the Behavior Code to give you a glimpse into her strategic approach to business and leadership. She brings you on a journey to leverage neuroscience-based tools in order to promote behavior change and begin understanding what all humans need (and how you can provide it)!
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Love 'Em or Lose 'Em
What happens when a person leaves? Do you know it in advance? In a prior blog I wrote about the often unknown reasons that blindside employers when a rock star quits. Today, let’s look at taking a more proactive approach: checking in on what it’ll take to keep your stars at your organization.
Great people are hard to find. And can be harder to keep. I recently came across a terrific book, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay, by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. I highly recommend it.
As a leadership and culture coach I very often work through personnel matters. So when I witnessed the clear and concise thinking from Kaye and Jordan-Evans, I knew I had to share it.
Why Employees Stay
Kaye and Jordan-Evans surveyed over 17,000 employees to learn what conditions will keep an employee with an organization. They call these conditions “stay factors”. Note that these are neither industry-specific nor role-specific, they are universal.
1. Exciting work and challenge
2. Career growth, learning, and development
3. Working with great people
4. Fair pay
6. Being recognized, valued, and respected
8. Meaningful work and making a difference
9. Pride in the organization, its mission, and its product
10. Great work environment and culture
Interesting tidbit: 91 percent of survey respondents listed at least one of the first two items among the top reasons they stay. I love that challenge and learning is at the top. This is one reason I harp on Individual Development Plans to our clients!
How To Do A Stay Interview
How to do a Stay Interview? You simply ask the employee. Some leaders fear that discussing this topic will open a proverbial can of worms and get the employee thinking about leaving. I disagree heartily. The employee is already thinking of leaving at times, possibly on hard days, when they feel overwhelmed or discouraged, if they’re experiencing tremendous stress in their personal lives. It’s likely only a fantasy about leaving, but why not simply communicate directly about it? It’s refreshing, builds trust, and shows you care.
There’s no ideal time to do a stay interview. The goal is to do it before an employee has one foot out the door. You can do it during a development conversation, when checking in on their development plan, you can do it at year end or at the new year, any time is fine. If you don’t know what their answers might be to the below questions, then it’s time to do now!
Recommended “Stay Interview” Questions From Kaye and Jordan-Evans:
· What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
· What makes you hit the snooze button?
· If you were to win the lottery and resign, what would you miss the most?
· What one thing that if changed in your current role, would make you consider moving on?
· If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about this department?
· If you had to go back to a position in your past and stay for an extended period of time, which one would it be and why?
· What makes for a great day?
· What can we do to make your job more satisfying?
· What can we do to support your career goals?
· Do you get enough recognition?
· What will keep you here? What might entice you away?
· What do you want to learn this year? How might you learn it?
Be sure to ask “anything else I might have missed?” and use effective listening (ask “what specifically?” and the other questions in the linked blog). And be careful with your responses: don’t dismiss their ideas/input/answers, be curious as to what it’s like to be them. You don’t know, so be an anthropologist studying a fascinating creature. If done this way the interview will deepen connection, loyalty, trust, and ultimately, boost retention.
What You Can Do Now
1. Implement Individual Development Plans – p
Do Your Employees Have Buyer's Remorse?
Unemployment in the USA is now at 3.7%.
Great employees are harder to find than ever before—and if you’re hiring, chances are really good that you’re raiding another organization’s rock stars.
So once you get great hires on board, you need to keep them. In past blogs I’ve shared proven tools and techniques our clients use to recruit rock stars, to onboard them, to engage them and to identify the signs that they’re considering quitting. Now let’s focus on what’s happening in their brain when the honeymoon phase is over after being a new hire.
Honeymoons End—Then Your New Hire “Goes Native”
Based on an informal poll of my leadership and culture coaching clients, reality sets in, and the new job honeymoon is over in the first 60-90 days, depending on the role. This is when a new hire, then, is most at risk of buyer’s remorse, of regretting that they accepted a role at your organization. This is also when a new hire has “gone native”—they are now a part of the tribe and no longer have the fresh unbiased perspective of an outsider. Going native isn’t a bad thing—it happens out of our deep need to belong with the tribe we’ve selected. But if the tribe is in a tricky state, buyer’s remorse could become an epidemic. We’ve all seen influencers that leave the tribe—and take some of the top performers with them. Here’s how to prevent this.
Six Questions That Reveal Buyer’s Remorse
Think back to your dating history. Most of us have met someone we thought was really cool--until we got to know them better. Then disappointment set in because what was advertised, and what was reality, were different.
Gallup recently released research on the six questions employers can ask to uncover remorse. The primary finding is that when certain policies are promised, but not honored or followed by the organization’s leaders, remorse sets in.
Ask yourself the following questions:
#1 - Is flexibility consistent or dependent on the team manager?
Per Gallup, 51% of employees say they would change jobs for flextime, and 35% say they would change jobs for a flexible working location.
In today’s workplace, flexibility matters. Flexibility for hours worked, location worked from, even flexibility in reporting and collaboration. Is it easy to duck out of work for a personal appointment? Does this apply to everyone in the organization?
#2 - Are remote workers treated as equals?
Remote workers are 30% less likely to strongly agree that they have discussed their development with their leader in the past six months.
Are your remote workers treated the same as your onsite workers? Are they included in development and performance motivation programs? Are they included in recognition programs? Does their leader have the same number of one-on-one meetings with them (via webcam) as with onsite workers?
#3 - Do leaders know how to manage in a matrixed environment?
Per Gallup, 84% of U.S. employees today participate in matrixed teams. And the biggest challenges for workers are prioritizing work and excessive amounts of time in meetings (up to 1/3 of their day!). How are you helping your workers to prioritize? See a prior blog for a tool on this. See the meetings link above too for a technique our clients love to reduce meetings and those that attend.
#4 - Do leaders understand gig workers?
Per Gallup's recent gig economy perspective paper, 36% of all U.S. workers participate in a gig work arrangement in some capacity.
With freelance workers its essential to ensure they click with your culture quickly. This is where a compelling and clear mission/purpose, vision and set of core values make all the difference. Gig workers must be brought into your tribe quickly and emotionally engage quickly too. And last, as a leader it’s your job to ensure they are welcomed into the team and experience safety, belong
Want More Meaning at Work?
Now more than ever we want to find and feel meaning in our work. And a cornerstone of meaningful work is who we are together, how we show up for one another, how our environment supports this, and how we know we are safe, belong, and matter at work. These prerequisites enable us to expand our identities via our work, and to become a bigger version of ourselves as a result.
Does your work environment enable this?
Here are 3 ways to create more meaning in your workplace now.
1-Your Leaders Create Meaning
It all starts with our leader, with the culture they put in place and continue reinforcing. Let’s unpack this. When we experience trust in our leader Serotonin and Dopamine are released, which makes us feel good because the result is:
Oxytocin (a human bonding hormone) levels increase Cortisol (a stress-related hormone) levels decreaseThe result? Increased resilience and emotional agility in stressful times due to trust of our leader, and ultimately trust of our tribe. This then supports self-regulation, which is our ability to manage our emotional state. Self-regulation occurs in our prefrontal cortex and is only possible when we’re in our Smart State - where high engagement, collaboration, communication, innovation reign—versus being in our Critter State where we’re snared in fight/flight/freeze.
2-Your Environment Creates Meaning
There are two qualities of an optimal work environment that helps a tribe become and stay agile: an enriched environment and a reliable environment.
An enriched environment is an interactive, stimulating environment which leads to increased surface area of brain cells. The result? Team members making more connections, solving problems faster, figuring things out faster and innovating better.
Enriched cultures create a more meaningful and purpose-driven workplace. A more meaningful and purpose-driven workplace yields countless benefits:
Two Basic Modes For The Human BrainSMARTTRIBES INSTITUTE
Trust also creates reliable environments.
A brain in a more reliable (trust their leader) and enriched (stimulating) environment will have more branches. So the overall team will have more neural branches too. More branches = more surface area = more connections = more positive meaning is made.
More positive meaning results in:
More fulfillmentMore contributionMore innovationMore loyaltyMore emotional agilityMore retentionMore engagementAnd to boost meaning we turn to a Tribal Identity rich in purpose. This helps us to feel powerful together, understand where we fit in and how to belong to the tribe, gives us shared beliefs, and increases the potency and power of our individual identity (because we belong to such a cool tribe).
3-Tribal Identity Creates Meaning
Tribal identity is how we describe ourselves. At Google they are Googlers and are collaborative innovators. In the early days of Microsoft the engineers were awarded lab coats for great achievements, as they were seen as brilliant scientists inventing the future. Some sales teams see themselves as cowboys and cowgirls out on the range rounding up customers. Our team at SmartTribes Institute sees themselves as providing Ritz Carlton-level 5 star client service. What is your tribal identity? Is it compelling? Aspirational? Playful? Engaging?
In my book Power Your Tribe we talk about a Cultural GAME (Growth, Appreciation, Measurement, Engagement) Plan and how to harness its power to transform your tribe into a highly engaged, thank-God-it’s-Monday group of high performing, healthy, happy people—to make sure your tribal identity sticks.
Yet a GAME plan is only as effective as the emotional experience that surrounds it and is reinforced by it. To boost the emotional experience you’ll want to:
Bring profound meaning to your workplaceCraft a cultural identity and employee experience rich in trust Use neuroscience-based techniques that will increase human performance, cohesiveness, innovation
You probably have pieces of yo
Beat Zoom Fatigue in 4 Neuroscience-Savvy Steps
Do you often find yourself drifting off after only a few minutes in a Zoom meeting?
Most likely it’s because we’re not emotionally engaged at an optimum level. And when it comes to group meetings, it’s often due to the Ringelmann Effect. Ringelmann proved that there’s an inverse relationship between the size of the group and the size of each group members’ individual contribution. So if we feel we aren’t, or can’t, truly make a difference, why emotionally engage?
And if we don’t have “skin in the game” it’s easy to slide into checking our email, web surfing, or planning our weekend.
Get The Most From Your Zoom Meetings Now
I recently led a full day workshop on Zoom, with super high engagement—actually, it was even higher that I had hoped! When my client gave rave reviews, I realized it was essential that I share what worked.
Here’s what I did:
1 – Start (And End) With An Emotion Check. Have everyone say how they’re feeling by using the Emotion Wheel
graphic showing a wheel with emotion names
Emotion Wheel, Smart Tribes Institute
This will help the meeting leader “read” the room, and address any proverbial elephants or issues up front. When the air is cleared, people can be present instead of ruminating on what is unsaid or being avoided. Remember to use the Meta Model when someone tells you their emotional experience. If they say they’re feeling __(their emotion here)__ ask what specifically they are ____(their emotion here)____about. Never assume you know what a person is feeling, and why! Compare everyone’s emotional states before the meeting and at the end… this will be helpful feedback for moving forward.
2- Have A Role For Everyone. This will help you counteract the Ringelmann Effect and keep the oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin flowing . I had a list of all the leaders in my workshop, the departments they worked in, and their roles. So I could easily call out to individuals and ask their opinion on a given topic, relevant to their expertise. Likewise in a meeting, everyone needs a role. If they don’t have one, why are they present? See the effective meeting process our clients love here to help you clarify:
· who needs to be in the meeting, and why. If they can’t add value, they shouldn’t be there
· how to time box a meeting for optimal results
· how to let everyone feel heard without wasting time
· and more!
3- 10 Minute Breaks, 10-15 Minute Labs, Frequent Questions Increase Blood Flow To The Decision-Making Center Of The Brain. A 10 minute break every hour will work wonders for engagement. Make sure you ask everyone to get up and move. Give them a question or topic to ponder to keep their prefrontal cortex in visionary/problem-solving mode. Likewise, having people move into breakout rooms to brainstorm solutions or solve problems keeps everyone on their toes. Then their findings are reported out to the larger group when the lab is over. I had 11 labs during 6 hours of content in my workshop. The labs were either solo, large group, 2 person, or teams of 4. Labs were every 10-15 minutes, so everyone knew they had to pay attention.
4 – Summarize Topics To Refocus Everyone, Add Due Diligence To Decisions. Since many of us are working from home, distractions like kids and pets will happen. Be sure to recap what was just covered with a quick summary to bring everyone back. Do the same with decisions made, agreements/accountability/follow up items so all understand who owns what post-meeting and when the deadline is. Remember the brain likes specific deadlines with a date and time (Thursday, 4pm) and also watch out for cognitive bias, so your team doesn’t make unrealistic commitments.
· Use the above tools to keep the brains of your team engaged during Zoom meetings
· Honor the brain by paying attention to breaks and emotions
· Engage everyone by ensuring the right people are present and an effective meeting process is followed
3 Common Mistakes That May Be Killing Your Sales
We all want better sales results—so what’s the secret?
It lies in the brain, and knowing how to guide our sales people out of their Critter State, where they are overwhelmed, stressed, in fight/flight/freeze, and into
their Smart State where they have fresh insights, are ready to tackle the day, are motivated and psyched to succeed.
Here are the top 3 reasons you aren’t getting the sales results you want:
CLICK TO TWEET
1-You Aren’t Asking the Right Questions
Some of these are harder than others. But you need to ask them. Often, like quarterly at a minimum.
What percentage of your sales people are performing at quota?How many stages are in the sales process? What happens at each stage? In which stage(s) do sales get stuck/slow down?What’s your current sales cycle? How long would you like it to be and by when?What percentage of your pipeline do you close? What percentage would you like to and by when?What percentage of sales do you lose to competitors? What are the most common reasons? What percentage would you be willing to tolerate and by when?What are your clients’ and prospective clients’ 5 greatest pain points?What’s your current client retention rate? What would we like it to be and by when?What are your current margins? What would you like them to be and by when?How many qualified leads are generated each month? Through what channels? How many would you like and when?What marketing channels are you currently using (trade shows, direct mail, social, webinars, blogs, infographics, Slide Shares, ads, etc)? Which are most effective?What is the profile of your clients (SBM Trigger, MP Profile, Customer Journey, VAK preference)? How many profiles do we have?
2-You Don’t Have Visibility On Progress and Performance
Many clients ask me for help in streamlining their weekly sales meetings. Here are some effective methods.
Weekly Salesperson Status Report – Set a specific date/time that weekly status is due so the Flash Report below is complete. Make it super easy for the salesperson to submit their weekly status, like by editing a Google Doc or some such, and also ensure it is clear that to be on the sales team this is what you require weekly:
# new client orders and details ($ amount, product/services, etc.)# new existing client orders and details ($ amount, product/services, etc.)# new prospects and details (expected $ amount, sales stage, next steps)[whatever else you require to track performance and uncover potential problems]
Weekly Sales Flash Report – Here’s what to cover each week with the sales team during a group huddle. Be sure to recap on email post-meeting so everyone remembers what was covered.
Summary sales activity per salesperson: how many orders at what stage of sales process, total $ per salesperson per stage, total velocity (movement from one stage to the next each week)Winners for the weekly contest (whatever behavior you are currently incenting: new orders, upsells/down sells/cross-sells, specific product/service sales, fastest to report sales status in the CRM, etc.)
Weekly CRM Update – Make sure all salespeople know what data needs to be entered in the CRM after each sales call. For example: sales stage movement for the week, notes per call/communication with prospect, proposal info and all sales activity info above. Some clients have their customer service reps do CRM data entry for salespeople as a reward once a certain sales performance level is achieved.
Some of our clients like to set up a Google doc or other repository to help celebrate sales people (as well as all other team members). On the doc each employee fills in their section listing what treats (under $200) they’d like to receive for terrific performance. Make this public so all can see and use, and you’ll find leaders have a much easier time providing fun and meaningful incentive gifts.
3-Your Compensation System Isn’t Working
The below plan is a super simple way to compensate sales
Two Myths About Strategy
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Wow! So insightful!
Christine delivers amazing content that benefits anyone who is interested in personal or business growth. I was familiar with her writing on Forbes, and she carried that great content and knowledge right to the podcast!