Have you recently left a job? Or perhaps your organization has seen a lot of turnover. Why do people continue to leave and what can we do about it? Tim Reitsma and Lee Frederiksen—Managing Partner at Hinge Marketing—dive into the practical things we can do to navigate the talent crisis.
- Lee is a behavioral psychologist by training and a researcher by inclination. [4:05]
- These days, people are recognizing that it’s equally important to think about the employee experience. What does it mean to be employed these days? What’s the level of flexibility you have? What are you expecting from your employer? [5:18]
I think understanding that new dynamic and creating a new world where there is a win on both sides of it—both for the employee, for the employer, and for the client—I think that’s what building a better workplace really means.LEE FREDRIKSEN
- Lee talks about the research that they recently did around the topic about people leaving their jobs. It says nearly one third of mid-career employees quit or switched their jobs recently. [10:03]
- Their research shows mainly 3 things: 1) dissatisfaction with the leadership or corporate culture; 2) opening up of opportunities in a way that was never possible before; 3) the stress that mid-career people are experiencing. [11:52]
- There is more pressure to change the relationship between employer and employee and the leadership than there ever has been. [17:19]
- In their survey, one of the big things people said would make a better culture was transparency and involvement. [18:23]
- The culture and the opportunity are much more important than the money in terms of people’s decisions to switch jobs these days. [19:15]
- In terms of transparency, one of the things they do at Hinge Marketing is they have all of their main performance goals public within the company. They have a meeting every single Monday with everybody in the company where they go over the things that are happening in the company. [21:16]
- At Hinge Marketing, they also do a ‘shout out’ where people say what they appreciate about other people. [21:52]
The beauty about culture is it’s not easy to change. It is not expensive. It’s not about spending a bunch of money or doubling your expenses. It’s about understanding and listening and having a policy that really supports the kind of culture you want to develop.LEE FREDRIKSEN
- In some ways, we need to have a little bit of empathy for the leaders too. Many leaders are in different life situations than some of the employees that they work with. We don’t intuitively understand the stress someone else is under or the life situation they’re dealing with if we’re not actively trying to understand that and listen to it and so forth. [25:22]
- At Hinge Marketing, one of the things that is most helpful for them is having performance feedback that goes in both directions so that you’re not just giving it, you’re also getting it. [29:01]
- Based on their research around navigating stress in the workplace, the two things that employees wanted most are work-related social events and mental health days. [30:30]
Meet Our Guest
Lee Frederiksen wears the boots at Hinge, leading the firm’s unprecedented research initiative to understand how high-growth firms approach marketing.
With a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology, Lee left a tenured professorship to lead the Organizational Consulting Practice at one of the ‘Big 8’ accounting and consulting firms (yes, once upon a time there were 8). Then he became an entrepreneur and never looked back. Lee has focused his career on helping businesses grow. Building on his experience and a deep interest in human behavior and business strategy he explains that he uses his psychology degree every day!
Being a leader means being able to deal with uncertainty and a lot of change. It means being able to show people a path forward, even if that path forward is not something that is certain.LEE FREDRIKSEN
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Read The Transcript:
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Lee Frederiksen: I think understanding that new dynamic and creating a new world where there is a win on both sides of it, both for the employee, for the employer, and for the client, that it has to be all the way around. And I think that's what building a better workplace really means.
Tim Reitsma: Welcome to The People Managing People Podcast. We're on a mission to build a better world of work and to help you build happy, healthy, and productive workplaces. I'm your host, Tim Reitsma. Have you recently left a job or perhaps your organization has seen a lot of turnover? In a recent study by Hinge Marketing, nearly one third of respondents quit their job, and many didn't have another job to go to.
Why? Why do people continue to leave and what can we do about it? Lee Frederiksen—Managing Partner at Hinge Marketing—and I dive into the practical things we can do to navigate this talent crisis.
Lee, thank you so much for joining me on the People Managing People podcast. Today's topic is timely and we're gonna be talking about the talent crisis. I guess it's timely, doesn't matter if we talked about it, you know, two years ago or two years from now. There's still going to be this idea of this talent crisis or the war for talent, whatever we call it.
But before we get into that, why don't you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and what's top of mind for you these days?
Lee Frederiksen: Well, what's top of mind for me today is talent, because it's become much more difficult to manage it since it's gone largely remote. And since the world's gone, I wouldn't say beyond half, three quarters crazy. It puts an additional amount of stress on people that's not work related, but you still have to deal with it. So, that's what's really been on my mind a lot today is how do you actually do that in this new world we have.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, that way of managing how we used to manage while we're all in the office to now we're remote or hybrid, whatever that looks like.
I had a fascinating conversation just around that idea of, Hey, managing when you're in the office does actually look different than when you're managing a remote team. But, yeah, it's, it's something that, that's top of mind for me as well. So I think we're gonna have a fun conversation around this topic.
As, by listeners know, I always ask a couple questions right off the top. One of them is what does it mean to be a leader?
Lee Frederiksen: Well, I think today it means being able to deal with uncertainty and a lot of change. I think it means being able to show people a path forward, even if that path forward is not something that is certain, or is guaranteed or is it given. And I think it involves more empathy these days, a greater need for empathy than has been the case in the past.
So that, that's what I think. It's an evolving kind of challenge, you know?
Tim Reitsma: It is. It's and there's definitely a common theme when I ask that question, purely for a selfish research purposes. And it's the theme around empathy and around how still today a number of leaders are still trying to figure out what does that mean? What does that look like?
And now we have that separation of a screen or maybe countries between us. So what does that look like from when we, we can't see maybe the visual cues that would allow us to enter into that empathetic conversation.
I love that. And I also love that the, the topic of, or that you went to uncertainty. You know, it's that path forward in, in uncertainty. It's not just throwing your hands up and saying, I don't know, you guys figure it out. It's, uh...
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, exactly. Well, you know, it's, um, I'm a behavioral psychologist by training and a researcher by inclination. So, you know, a lot of these questions, we turn to research to try to figure out what the answers are.
And, and one of the things we learned when we did research back on the COVID shortly after, it's that employees, you didn't have to have the right answer. And everyone realized that you didn't know, but you did have to share what your thinking was. How you're thinking about it, what your plans are, what you're trying to accomplish.
And really doing that, that goes a long ways. I think people really are pretty forgiving if you're honest with them.
Tim Reitsma: I think so. I think that's another key characteristic of leadership is also honesty. And creating that, that, that safety, of honesty or that environment of honesty, which, which also leads into trust.
And so the next question, and I, and I'm really curious your perspective on this. Based on your background at Hinge Marketing, as well as your background being a behavioral psychologist is when you hear that phrase 'build a better world of work', what comes to mind?
Lee Frederiksen: Well, what comes to mind first and foremost is what I would call the employee experience. And we used to be focused, uh, you know, a number of years ago, if you had asked people, it would be focused on the client experience or the customer experience.
But these days, I think people are recognizing that it's equally important that you're talking about the employee experience. What does it mean to be employed these days? What's the level of flexibility you have? You know, what is the relationship? What are you expecting from your employer? What, what should you expect from your employer? And vice versa.
You know, that I think is evolving and changing as some of the things that used to keep people,as, you know, you used to keep them employed in a particular place. Like, well, it's close to my home and, you know, it's, it pays well and there are not a lot of opportunities in our town and so forth. Well, not so much anymore, you know, they've sort of geography is really melted away as a criteria for employment. Surprisingly, you know, who knew it would happen so quickly and so dramatatically.
And people have a lot more options though, and they're, they're acting upon that, which is really surprising. So I, I think understanding that new dynamic and creating a new world where there is a win on both sides of it, both for the employee, for the employer, and for the client, that it has to be all the way around. And I think that's what building a better workplace really means.
Tim Reitsma: I love that. I love that holistic approach. It's not just the approach of, well as an employer, this is what it means to me, but also put yourself in that employee's position, as well as that customer's position. Because often we design workflows around the employee experience or the organization experience and customers are left there, you know, head scratching.
You know, I heard a company recently, middle of the day, their out of office, chat bot was on and saying, Hey, we'll, we'll be back sometime tomorrow. And it was like, but I need help now. And so, yeah, so we, you know, we, we, we can't lose sight of our clients, our customers as we aim or so we tried to redesign this world of work.
Lee Frederiksen: Well, you know, there, there probably was a time when you had a little bit more latitude about losing sight of them, but I, I think that's gone now because there's, with geography melting away, there are competitors everywhere.
Tim Reitsma: There are competitors for product, but also competitors for your talent, which is maybe a, a little segue into our conversation today. Because there are, there's immense competition for talent.
I was reading a post on LinkedIn quite recently saying, you know, this company, very vocal about what they pay, what their starting salary is in their organization. And, Hey, we're a remote company. And you just see the comments just flying in. And, so there is this war on talent, there's and it's gonna continue to be that. Whether you're, like you said, you're a small town person with not a lot of opportunities, but all of a sudden now, as long as you've got a computer and an internet connection, there's opportunities out there.
Lee Frederiksen: That's right. That's right. It, it is indeed. And, and on from the employer's point of view, you know, you have to ask yourself, oh my gosh, my cost of employment, employing someone just went up. You know, it went up by 5%, 10%, 20% in a competitive job market are the people I'm getting 20% more productive, 10% more productive.
How, you know, how does that all work out for me? And how does it work out for my clients? And so forth. So I, I think that's really the challenge.
Tim Reitsma: It is and it's the challenge of yet we're paying more, it's more competitive and then, you know, measuring that, that impact in the business, on the business as well, and that output. And so some jobs it's really easy to measure the output. Some it's not necessarily that easy. And so again, now that we are, you know, sitting across from each other through a computer screen, measuring that, that output and that impact as a leader is, is crucial to figure out.
But, you know, I, I just want to talk a little bit about some research that you had recently published and recently did around this topic about people leaving their jobs. And just looking at my notes here, it says nearly a third of mid-career employees quit or switched their jobs recently. What's that timeframe?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, this is within the last 12 months from the time of the, that the survey was done. And, you know, frankly, it, it was a shocker about a third of them switching and the, and of course this is in professional services. So we should specify that this is not all jobs. And frankly, in some areas it could be greater than a third, but within professional services, accounting, work with, uh, computers, software consultants, legal, all of those.
Those types of areas, it, it was a third of the mid-career and they, and one of the things that was really shocking was that about 30% of them did not have anything else lined up when they quit. You know that, that's the 'take this job and shove it' idea. You know, goodbye, I'm outta here. I don't know what I'm going to do, but it's not this.
Tim Reitsma: That's, that to me says, you know, if somebody's walking out the door without something to go to, that says, doing nothing and being stressed every single day about finding my next job is better than working here.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. Yes.
Tim Reitsma: Wow. I mean, I've over dramatizing it, but.
Lee Frederiksen: Either that, or I have zero worries about finding one, so.
Tim Reitsma: Yep. Zero worries to find one. I'm employable, I've built up a little nest egg that I can afford this, or I'm gonna now move to the cheapest city in North America or the world, and live off of my last paycheck for the next couple months.
And, you know, it's, it's incredible. I'm curious about what the reasons are. Why are people leaving? We've done our own little research, obviously not as scientific as yourself. So I have some, some of my own insights in this, but what, what is your research show?
Lee Frederiksen: Well, you know, interestingly, I think there are probably two or three things that are driving this.
One of them, it would be what has been driving job change forever. And that's a dissatisfaction with the, uh, leadership or corporate culture. Those are right up at the top and about three quarters of the people have one of those two things or both of them. They, they're just, you know, fed up with the person they work for, fed up with the corporate culture that they have. And those are things that are driving it. So I would say those are similar to past kind of drivers.
Second thing that's happened is really an opening up of opportunities in a way that just was never possible before with what we've talked about with remote work, with the pandemic. Really opening a lot of people's eyes to, they have opportunity to work in ways that they didn't work from home to work remotely. So there's just new opportunities that weren't there before.
And then I think the third factor, and this is a little bit harder to put your finger on. It's a little bit more indirect. I think that stress we were talking about. You know, you look at this world and, you know, the mid-career people are in their, you know, late 20's, 30's, that kind of thing. They may have young children. They, they've been at home, driving them crazy. You know, with schools closed and, and pandemic and in and out of school. And you've got wars and you've got social strife, and you've got all of these things kind of impinging on the same time.
And, you know, and we used to think, well, that's outside of work and then there's work. But the reality, and particularly when you're working from home, there is no boundary. The, the boundary between work and non-work is very permeable. It has been to a certain extent, but there used to be, well, I'm not at work unless I put on my suit, drive 30 minutes, go into an office, up an elevator, then I'm at work.
Whereas, you know, you roll out of bed, you're at work. Don't even have to roll out of bed and you're at work. You know, so the reality of the situation is there is a lot of stress that I, I think is impinging on people and is just increasing the overall stress they feel. So for something at work might have been a minor annoyance and then all of a sudden, I'm all juiced up on all this stress related hormones, coursing, coursing through my body. And what's a small thing became a big thing and I don't need to worry. I got a place to go. I can get a job. I'm outta here.
So I think it's those three things. Greater opportunities, greater stress in addition to the things with culture and the work environment that have always been there, but somehow been suppressed in the past.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, it's fascinating. And it correlates so closely even with the data that we have been gathering. We threw up a survey recently or earlier this year and we called it the 'I Quit Survey'. And looking at people, gathering results, couple hundred respondents, not, not a, you know, scientific survey by any stretch. Looking at people who have quit their job in the last couple years and our data in that little 200 person, 250 person survey aligns almost perfectly with yours.
Culture. Bad boss. We also saw stress as an answer, but we also saw that lack of development opportunities, which kind of correlates to what your first point is, is that, that culture. You know, people don't see back in the day. Can we even say that now? A couple years ago it was you're going to the office, like you said, you put on your suit, you go up the elevator.
If there's no opportunity, you might not put as much effort into finding that next opportunity because it's difficult. You don't wanna expand your commute. You don't wanna necessarily, maybe you're rolling up to work in jeans. You don't wanna put on a suit. So it's very different. Now it's, again, I saw a post in LinkedIn recently of he, here's all the job boards for remote companies as well as now four day work companies.
So it's at your fingertips. It's there. And so, if there's no opportunity for development, you can, you know, not easily, but, you know, create your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and a way you go.
And so Lee, because you know, this is been sort of the, I don't wanna say systemic, but maybe systemic issues, really around leaders, around culture, around that dissatisfaction, new opportunity stress. Where do we go from here? You know, I, I keep hearing this come up often with, in previous consulting jobs that I had done is a, around this culture and leadership development, particularly, but where do we go? How do we solve this? Can we solve this?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. It, it, you know, it, it's a good question. The answer is yes, we will solve it. We will figure out kind of a new, you know, a new homeostasis. I think there's a couple of things that are going to happen.
One is the relationship between employer and employee and the leadership. I think there's more pressure to change it now than there ever has been in the past. There, uh, you know, just the statistics of the turnover. At some point they impact the performance and, you know, you just have to change. I, I cannot tell you how many clients we have now that says, we, we have more work than we can do. We just can't find the talent to do it. So, you know, in that kind of a situation, you're gonna figure something out.
You're gonna figure out a way to do it. And it would only be the most draconian of leaders that would say, well, I don't wanna change at all. And you know, those, and I imagine there's a few of them out there, but I think people are recognizing that we need to change. We need to offer benefits. We need to offer a different kind of opportunity for people. There needs to be more of an opportunity for growth.
One of the interesting things we saw on the survey is, is what people were looking for to make the culture better. You know, what would make a better culture. And one of the big things we saw was transparency and involvement. You know, I wanna know what the, what we're doing, how well we're doing. I want to get some vision on what's going on with the company.
I want to be part of it. I wanna understand it. Now, you know, and then the other part of that is, you know, I also want to learn from it and I wanna be able to have an opportunity to grow. So I think there's a lot of room for learning, for growth, for opportunity, for involvement that we've overlooked in the past, and really haven't taken advantage of.
And, and I think that's really where you're going to see the big growth, because when you look at the reason people leave, you know, way down the list, I think it's number five versus number six is more money. You know, and you look at and, and an employer may think people are just in for the money, not the case at all.
I mean, the culture, the opportunity's much more important than the money in terms of people's decisions to move these days. And that's where I think we can get better.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. It, there is a, a phrase that I hadn't really caught onto, but I caught onto this at a recent HR conference, which is 'boomerang employees'. Employees who have left maybe to go and seek more money and a perceived better opportunity, who then in a short period of time, come back and say, please hire me.
You know, is there, can I come back to work for you? Because it wasn't better where I went. And HR leaders almost unanimously at this conference, there was a panel said, absolutely. You know, if you're a good employee and you left on good terms, why wouldn't we have you back? You know, we didn't ask you to leave.
You chose to leave and we're not holding a grudge. Plus it helps us fill positions that we have to fill anyways. So, um...
Lee Frederiksen: That's right. And, and we've had some of those and they're good employees.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, absolutely.
Lee Frederiksen: They understand what they're getting into. Unlike most employees, they they've actually have a, you know, pretty decent idea of what it would like to work there.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. I love that you brought up the culture change of transparency and that involvement. I'm curious, you know, going off script here, Lee, so, uh, bear with me a minute here. But, you know, at your organization, what does that look like? What, what does, what does that look like from, yeah, at Hinge Marketing and, and with your employees in your company?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. Uh, great question. Well, I, I think in terms of the transparency, one of the things we do for example is we have all of our, our main performance goals are all public within the company. Everybody knows and we have a meeting every single Monday with everybody in the company where we go over, okay, here's what's happening in the company.
You know, here, here's what our performance numbers are and what they mean. Then, the meeting turns over to, are there anything we need to communicate? Any announcements that everybody needs to hear? And then we have what is absolutely the most popular part of that, which is what we call 'shout out'.
And that's just people saying what they appreciate about other people, how they help them, how they helped them this last week, a shout out to this person, they did their first opportunity to do this, or they did something extra for me to help me over a rough spot. And that we found that those things, sharing that and getting the feedback from people and that kind of combination of involvement and recognition was really sort of a game changer for us.
And it allowed us to really make clear one of the values that we have, which is we have each other's back, you know, rather than watch your back, we have your back. And that was probably the biggest single change of really recognizing the importance of that.
Codifying it in a easy to understand little phrase that you could use and then going out and living it. Doing your best to actually do that, but it was a game changer. You know, our industry is noted for a fair amount of turnover. And that, and since the beginning of the pandemic, we have had zero turnover.
Zero, nobody. And which is, you know, when near this great resignation and so forth, now is that scientific proof? No, but you know, from a leadership point of view, if you're taking an action and it solves a key problem and you're getting the right kind of feedback, you think that, yeah, this is probably the right tree to be barking up.
And then we do the re, you know, additional piece of research. We find out that, yeah, these are really valued by folks. It's like, okay, that makes sense.
Tim Reitsma: I love that. I love that, you know, the data that you gathered in, in your industry and the professional services. A third of mid-level employees are quitting, and yet at your organization and yeah, maybe there's no, I'm trying to make the correlation here.
People haven't left. And when, I think as if, if somebody's listening to this, like as a leader or HR professional, whether you own a business or an individual contributor, we can flip the switch on our organizations in terms of that culture. Ask questions.
Lee Frederiksen: And that's the beauty about culture. It's not easy to change. It is not expensive. It's not about spending a bunch of money or doubling your expenses. It's about understanding and listening and, you know, having a policy that really supports the kind of culture you wanna develop.
Tim Reitsma: And what works for your organization may not work for my organization, which may not work for the organization down the street. But what you, what you said is that understanding and listening. I mean, that's, that's a key component to create these, these rituals, these behaviors in our organization that really drive that culture change.
But it also drives that, you'd mentioned that the dissatisfaction with leadership is one of the reasons why people are leaving. But it also underlines, or maybe, I'm looking for that right word. It highlights maybe leaders who are not behaving the way that we want leaders to behave in our organization.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. And, you know, I, you know, being, I, I think in some ways we need to have a little bit of empathy for the, the leaders too. Because one of the things we did is, is we looked at how different people look at the culture based on the level they are in the organization and the involvement.
And what we found out was that, some of the issues that were the biggest concerns for middle management people that were leavning, we're not even on the leader's radar. You know, they, they didn't experience it. They didn't understand what was going on. Now, you, you can say that that's a lack of empathy and, you know, to a certain degree, it is. You know, by definition it's a lack of empathy.
But many leaders are in different life situations than some of the employees that they work with. And, you know, we don't intuitively understand the stress someone else is under or the life situation they're dealing with if we're not actively trying to understand that and listen to it and so forth. So it's real easy to get out of sync, to put in your own values about what's important to you in the organization, which clearly is probably not what's important to other people in the organization.
Just almost by definition. People are different. They have different priorities. And I think that's what's happening. There is kind of a, a disconnect in some ways between leadership and middle management in terms of what they're currently going through.
So that, and I, I think that in some ways is a root of some of these issues.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. I, I fully agree with you. That's, you know, anecdotally, just even throughout my career talking with other leaders who are in that mid-management area of their career. That empathy is, is so key, is so crucial. I was talking with a, a leader, new leader in an organization.
She was just promoted, you know, as, uh, we share the same office space out of a co-working space since I congratulated her. And so I just asked her about her training. And as, now that she's taking on leadership role and she said, there's no training. One thing I need to figure out is empathy. And she said, that's something that has come up time and time again with her friends who are now new leaders or emerging leaders is how do, how do I do this?
I, I'm able to lead on the business side, which has gotten me my promotion, but now I don't know how to lead humans, which is all about, I mean, basically that definition of leadership.
Lee Frederiksen: Which is not what you have to actually do.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. So it's great that you're able to, you know, may read the spreadsheets and, and do great budgets and work with customers and drive sales. But now, you're now leading a group of diverse individuals. How? And for her, she's like, 'too many advice'. I was like, well, yes, I've, I don't think you've got enough time to listen to, to, to me ramble on. But it starts with understanding I think of where, as leaders, where, where do we need to grow?
And maybe that is an awkward conversation. We need to go and, and get feedback from our subordinates, or I like that word, our, our, our staff members, or even our bosses, our leaders. Where do I need to grow? Not on the business side, but on the human side. Take that to heart and, and give it a go. Let's build that, that culture of, uh, of accountability there.
Lee Frederiksen: It, it is. And, and we found that one, you know, one of the things that was most helpful for us is, you know, having a performance feedback that goes in both directions so that you're not just giving it, you're also getting it. And that's a, I think that's a, a small step or sometimes not so small step to really understand that we all have things we need to change.
We all have things we need to work on. And if we approach it that way, then we're all in it together. And we're on the same side of the, the table versus one person is judging and the other person is changing. Doesn't seem like, you know, as, as a good formula for a good relationship that goes in both directions.
Tim Reitsma: Now it ties in with that third point of, of people leaving, which is stress. You know, that it creates that stress. Yes, there's the world stress, the home stress, the work stress, and it all comes together and says, I'm out. I, I, something needs to change and I, I don't want to change my home life. I can't change the world on a macro scale, so I'm gonna change my, my job.
And, and so for, I'm curious from your perspective, how do we navigate stress in, in this world, in this workplace? I know that's a big question and, and a loaded question, but I'm, I'm curious, what, what have you seen through your study, through your data or through your, even your employees or what, what you do at your organization?
Lee Frederiksen: Well, you know, the, the interesting thing is that there, there's a, a couple of things that kind of rise to the surface. When we asked the single thing that employees wanted most, was it just really surprised me until I thought about it. And that is social events, work related social events. You know, think happy hours. In person happy hours.
And what they were really saying, I think is I want some contact with my colleagues. You know, I was recently just this last week at a, at a conference. Uh, it was an international conference and people hadn't been together since, uh, you know, before COVID and it was the first time together. And, you know, you would think you were at a family reunion for long lost people were so in wanting collegial support and talking and interacting and so on and so forth. So I, I think we're really missing that. I think that's one of the things.
Second thing we found out was mental health days. Some kind of record, particularly the people that were under this, under this stress of middle management. We're much, much more likely to want a mental health day.
Half of them want a mental health day, like something like 8% of management wanted mental health days. So it's, you know, talk about a dichotomy about understanding and where you think you're gonna get some relief from it. So I, I think some things like that, understanding what are the things that you can do that signal we care about you.
You know, we care about your mental health. We, and I think a mental health day is a relatively easy kind of thing to do for someone. And, uh, you know, it really says you care and, and of course, you know, can you take the step to really try to be them for them to help them with that stress, to understand what's going on, to suggest some things that might work.
And we have found that just by opening up the, the gates of, okay, what works better for people. And, you know, some people suggested, you know, if you schedule your work this way in blocks, that works better than having a lot of interruptions. And if you schedule work time on the calendar, that helps us understand whether or not.
And so people started to help each other. You know, we have each other's back here. You know, here's something that worked for me, give this a try. Here's the, that we've been working really hard, let's take a mental health day. And so I think just a few small things that recognize it and attempt to address it. No, you're not gonna alleviate it.
You're gonna not make it stress free and you're not gonna help them with the challenge they have at home with a sick child, but you're going to recognize that your support, you're part of the solution, rather part of the problem.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, it's, uh, I, I remember working in some organizations when I was quite a bit younger and given five sick days. And so thinking, okay, how am I gonna plan out my sick days? You know, I typically get the flu and that's I gonna be a couple days and you know, I live with an autoimmune condition. And so how do I, I can't schedule that. So how is this gonna work? And, but I also, on the flip side of that is, I've also heard people say, Hey, I've got five sick days.
So I just treat those like vacation days and, and they're mine. I gotta use 'em. Which is on the flip side, is it actually working? Does it actually work? Does it drive the right behavior?
Lee Frederiksen: Exactly. You know, and, and we found out with, you know, with the being at home like that, it's not the issue, uh, that people aren't doing enough. If anything, the issues they're doing too much, they're not giving themselves enough of a break. So, you know, being able to say, look, make sure you take a break here. Give yourself a little break from what you're doing.
Just the act of saying that and recognizing, that really gets you a lot as a leader because it shows that you're open to it. And, you know, I, I don't think, I think people worry somehow that people won't work hard enough or, or something along those lines. And I don't worry about that at all. It's if you show you care about them, they're gonna work harder than you could anticipate.
Tim Reitsma: I love that. And, and it, again, it puts the onus on us as leaders to really clarify what's important about that role, their work, the projects are working on. Set those deadlines and allow people to work and not micromanage. If, if a leader is saying, well, you know, I, we can't go remote because I don't know what my people are working on.
Well, guaranteed the people that are in the office are likely not working on what you think they're working on anyways. Uh, that, that coffee break took an hour and a half and it, uh, probably shouldn't have taken an hour and a half. Or, you know, I heard somebody once say, yeah, I'm a professional walker and coffee break guy at the office. And like, oh, that's dangerous to be, to be saying, but, uh...
Lee Frederiksen: Yes, it's Gilbert lives.
Tim Reitsma: Exactly, exactly. Well, Lee, as, as I look to, we look to wrap up the conversation, I've thoroughly enjoyed this, and I always like to end on the one thing. So somebody who's listening to this today, heard the data, heard the data about this talent crisis. You know, people are still quitting, leaving for various reasons, you know, as a leader or maybe an HR professional who's listening to this, where, what's the one thing we can do? Where do we start?
Lee Frederiksen: I'd start with the data. If you have access to, you know, the resources to be able to do a study of what's going on internally, what is the employee experience like at, at your firm or your company, that's where I'd start, because that provides something solid to react to. It's so important because people will inherently have inaccurate ideas just because they're coming at it from those.
So, so get as objective of data and a clean look at what's going on. And I think that's probably the best starting place for any kind of program that's really gonna make a meaningful change.
Tim Reitsma: Oh, I love that. I, I would add to that and, and, if you're listening to this, and maybe you're a midlevel manager, a new leader, somebody who has just looking to that exec team or that HR team's like, well, I'm just waiting for them to do something.
Don't wait. Take action now. Throw together a Typeform, a SurveyMonkey, a Google Form, whatever it looks like and put some questions to your team. Asking your next team, team meeting. Don't talk about just the project work, but get down into how people are actually doing and what are those simple things?
Is it that, that connection time to not talk about work. Maybe people are craving that, that if you're around the same location, I love that happy hour. That's where I want to go now and connect with people, so.
Thank you so much, Lee. I, I really appreciate you coming on. And for those who are listening, we will put a link to the study in the show notes, as well as how to get ahold of Lee and a link to his company. It's fascinating the research that they are doing, and I really encourage you to go and check that out.
So also, if you are listening and you have an idea for an upcoming episode, let me know. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, I'd love to hear your feedback about this episode.
And so with that, I hope everyone has a great day. And thanks again, Lee.
Lee Frederiksen: Thank you, Tim.