3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Jeff Andes, Vice President of Talent Management at University of Phoenix

“At the end of the day, we are all humans working with humans,” says Jeff Andes, vice president of talent management at University of Phoenix and my guest for this episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast. Jeff’s is a story not only of doing the hard work to do away with traditional performance management in favor of a more progressive, far more effective approach. It’s also a tale of how a large educational institution was able to return its organizational culture to one better reflecting the company’s origins in innovation and the entrepreneurial spirt.

My conversation with Jeff gets into the gist of all of this, as well as University of Phoenix’s decision to replace SAP SuccessFactors with Betterworks to support what Jeff’s team now calls Everyday Performance Development. It’s a fascinating deep-dive into what it takes to transform a culture for the better at a large organization. Jeff has a savvy philosophy when it comes to his thoughts on what performance management should and shouldn’t be, and I encourage readers not only to watch this episode, but also to learn more over at the Betterworks’ blog. For anyone looking for an even deeper dive, two related, recently published reports of ours are available for free download here and here.

Our #HRTechChat Series is also available as a podcast on the following platforms:

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Brent Skinner 00:00
Well, hello, everybody, and welcome to the latest episode of the HRTechChat video podcast. And I’m very happy to have with me our guest today, Jeff Andes, who is VP of talent at University of Phoenix. Welcome, Jeff.

Jeff Andes 00:14
Thanks, Brett. Happy to be here.

Brent Skinner 00:16
Yeah, yeah, we have a lot to talk about today. I know, we have some cultural transformation, very positive cultural transformation at University of Phoenix that sort of commenced several years ago. And that is, had an effect on various processes and talent management, performance, performance management being one of those and, and some of the more modern approaches to it, and really looking forward to delving into it with you, perhaps you could share with our audience just sort of a brief, you know, background on who you are, where you where you come from, and this sort of thing.

Jeff Andes 00:55
Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Jeff Aeneas, and I lead the Talent Team at University of Phoenix. I’ve been with the University for about 12 years, all in HR roles, specifically over the last five years leading the Talent Team, from talent management, to acquisition to learning, development, internal communication, and other programs. We’ve really, I’ve really learned a lot over the last 12 years in this role at university things, because we’ve been going through a wider range of changes, we were a public company went to a private company, our stock has kind of been all over the place when we are a public company from when I started to when we went to a private company went through that transition to a private equity firm and, and changing our culture as part of that. So it’s, it’s been a great learning experience, I think, for myself, or the entire HR leadership team, how we can manage change effectively and impact culture.

Brent Skinner 01:52
Hmm, yeah, yeah. Really interesting stuff. And, and we should, I should share with our listeners or viewers, excuse me that we’ve actually had a previous conversation around all this. And it really is fascinating. Maybe you could take our take our audience to sort of the beginning, where, where this, the story that we’re talking about really began, I know it had with had to do with the, with, with the university being the change in ownership and a new leadership coming in, maybe you could share that story? Because it’s really interesting. I think it’s fundamental to HR transformation, frankly.

Jeff Andes 02:36
Yeah, absolutely. So when I started with the university, we had about 15,000 employees, 30,000 ish faculty, part time faculty, and that was about 12 years ago. And then for the next seven years, you know, our, our decline kind of kind of started, and we went from, you know, 15,000 employees down to about 3100 3200 employees, 30,000 faculty down to about five or 6000 faculty. And our stock price was sliding at the same time. And, you know, one of the things putting myself into an employee issues, one of the things that the way it felt like we were talking with our employees was as if kind of things were okay. It was, you know, that corporate speak, a corporate kind of spin that, you know, no big deal. Yeah, it was kind of a big deal. We received a lot of our colleagues and our, and our friends leave the organization, our stock price was sliding significantly. And but we weren’t a culture, that was what we are today, we were a culture where it was kind of buttoned up, and much more old school much more corporate centric versus employee centric. And so when we, when we ended up selling to a private equity firm, five years ago, they made the decision to take the assets underneath the company that we were owned by at the time, which is Apollo education group, and, and separate them and divest them. So we became a standalone University of Phoenix organization for the first time in several decades. And it was an opportunity, it was an opportunity to kind of revisit, what do we what do we want to be? And we went through a process with new leadership coming in as part of this private equity deal, new presidents, and several other new executives to kind of step back and say, what do we value? And who do we want to be? What do we want this culture to look like? Three years from now? Can’t change culture, obviously, and a quarter or two. But you know, we talked like three years, what do we want that to look like and what do we value? So we went through an exercise, really including our employees, our faculty or executives to identify what all our university’s core values, and let’s start there and build our culture from that perspective. And our core values, you know, there’s several different ways in my research and my experience around how companies select core values. Some companies, you know, really weigh heavily on the employees and, and in our case, also faculty to help kind of decide and identify what those values are based on what they see and feel and experience every day. And some companies kind of weigh more heavily on the executives. And that kind of played a role where we kind of we landed a little bit in the middle, but slightly to the leadership side. And the reason being with that is because I wanted to make sure we got the voice of our employees around what they see and feel and believe the values are the university. But I also wanted to make sure that the executives were bought in. And they believe these values, because like anything, especially in change management, if it’s not supported at the leadership level, and it’s not really believed, it’s not going to go anywhere, we ended up establishing our core values in that way. And that really facilitated a number of things within our organization as it relates to culture change, including our talent management performance management process. So that’s a little bit of the backstory. The other side of the backstory is specifically, when that new president came in as part of the transition to private equity coming, I had a conversation around a couple of topics, and one of the topics we talked about was performance reviews. And, you know, basically told me, in other words, I want to do performance reviews at University of Phoenix. And I’m like, great, we don’t want to do that. That is, that is something we want to move away from. And as we thought about our values, which are brave, honest and focused, we thought about that vision that we set on that whiteboard around, who do we want to be, culturally, three years from now, a static performance review process that is annualized, that’s done at the end of the year, where managers sit down and review the past 12 months, the typical thing, give a rating, you know, put a label on, you know, we just didn’t feel like that aligned with our values of typically around being honest and transparent. And the culture that we wanted to share, we wanted to shift to more fluid, ongoing, employee centric culture versus kind of a static corporate culture.

Brent Skinner 07:42
I like that word fluid. I was thinking it at just as you said, I said, Oh, I would, it was really interesting. I was also going to ask you, my next question was going to be how do you how do you change? A cult organizational culture? And then you went into a really good explanation of how you really start that process? Because that’s, that’s a big question, right? You know, that you have a culture. You all every organization has a culture, right? And there’s a need to, you know, and you may have a desire or need to change it, you know, what are the steps you take in it. And it sounds like you sort of solicited a lot of feedback from all the state all stakeholders in the organization to really make sure that, that you understood what the culture was, and what it could be. And what I’m also hearing is that maybe the previous culture was sort of a misalignment or sort of the right hand not speaking to the left, maybe between the leadership and the rest of the organization. That’s, that’s what I hear sometimes when I hear corporate culture is Does that resonate?

Jeff Andes 08:54
Yeah. And I think I think companies just have to evolve, right? And that, and otherwise, you’re, you’re going to be left behind. And I think that goes for your company’s products. But that also goes for your company culture. And we needed to really reflect on that. And one of the things that we reflected on was not just evolving, but also stepping back and looking back to where we come from. You know, Dr. John Sperling pioneered online education for the world. That was a huge risk that he took. And he was a very innovative man. And we really felt like we needed to bring that innovative spirit back to our culture. And we kind of felt like we lost that a little bit. And so as we think about that, as it relates to our business model, that’s one thing, but as it relates to our culture as well, we felt like we needed to be more innovative. And when I reflect back on our journey, I really believe that employees want to be able to build trust with the organization that they work for. They want to feel appreciated, and have that respect from their leader from their organization. And they also want autonomy. And that is those factors, I believe those traits are continuing to grow in our society today. And as organizations, I think we have to figure out how do we, how do we adopt our policies, our processes, our culture, to support employees in that way. And I think me out of all those things I just said, Trust is just at the center point, I think of all of all of those components that are going to lead to successful cultural change.

Brent Skinner 10:39
Oh, of course, absolutely. I agree. 110%. We’ve had other conversations, on the podcast, and over the course, you know, just doing our work here. 360 insights were around culture and interest is a word that just come that is a concept that just comes up continually, repeatedly, and it makes sense. But I also heard transparency, and, and recognition, you know, being appreciated recognition, that’s, those are also big parts of, of, of an organizational culture. And, you know, what it also sounds to me, I love the, the, you know, tying it back to your founder, and his innovation and his, you know, his sort of his vision, right, and thinking back to thinking about University of Phoenix, and it’s sort of a new way, at the time, it was an entirely new way, like rethinking the culture of education of higher education, right. And so, you, it makes sense that you would want your internal culture, like your organizational culture to kind of reflect that. And, and what I’m also hearing is that with the, with the private equity, acquisition of, of University of Phoenix, and that whole event, it’s almost as if it gave your organization or excuse me, your organization, a respite or a time some room to just take a deep breath and really think about things right. And, and I was just in an event last week, corporate analyst Summit, and they were talking about, you know, the value of business and meaning a private company, and he’s not knocking being a public company, because there’s a place for that as well. But when you go private, with under the right leadership, that you can really start to think about the business’s full potential impact, positive impact on society not to get too, too wishy washy here, but around, you know, what is business’s full potential positive influence for society, beyond how we measure it, just sort of the quarterly, quarterly numbers. And so everything you’re saying really fits nicely into these other conversations that we’re having elsewhere. And maybe, maybe this is a good segue, actually, into the next piece of it, that we really want to talk about today. And that is the transformation of your, of how you measure or, or assess the dosing might not even be the right words to use, but the performance of of your people how that has changed?

Jeff Andes 13:31
Yeah, absolutely. So you know, in the last 10 years, I would say in my experience is that, you know, there’s been, you know, this shift, and a lot of companies have been going away from annual performance reviews, a lot of probably a lot of your listeners and viewers today have already gone away from them, what it feels like, there’s the even today, it feels like there’s still a wide array of metrics around how people do performance management, maybe the biggest array in terms of the mix, maybe ever, because for so long, it was just the traditional kind of annual performance review. And now there’s so many different variations of how companies think of performance management. But we felt like when we went through this process five years ago, we felt like, okay, to be honest, and live our core values honest and be transparent. And to move the business forward, we felt like we needed to do have communication with our employees, that is built around trust that is equal between the manager and the employee, and in the flow of work. And so we completely went away from the annual performance review, and we completely went away from ratings. We do not rate we feel like in our opinion, and our in our culture, our rating is a label and a label kind of derails the conversation, you’re just waiting to hear, what is that rating? What is that number? What does that score whatever that is, and we just don’t think it adds value to the conversation. So we’ve kind of gotten to this quarterly check in my HUDDLE, where every quarter, our leaders have check ins with their employees, and our employees have check ins with their leaders. It is a 5050 conversation. We currently today we use better works. And the tool works out very well for this kind of duality of the conversation. But I’m sure there’s many other software solutions that might be, you know, good tools as well. We really started without the system in mind, we started the process, the program that we wanted the environment, the culture we wanted to create. So our program was really built system agnostic. And that process really is every quarter, we create, you know, three to five at most, but typically right around three question template that goes to the manager and goes to the employee, the employee has their side to answer their questions. And their questions are often very different from the manager questions. Typical performance review, I think it’s these competencies, manager rates, these competencies and employee rates, these competencies and the exact same question or competency or value, you’re just getting two different perspectives. We don’t do it that way. We really target questions to employees and target questions to managers, and all sides can see the responses to those questions. But really, it’s less about the questions and the process. It’s more about the conversation, and getting employees and leaders together. And so we know that our leaders and our employees have one on one conversations, maybe weekly or bi weekly, or monthly, whatever that might be. But oftentimes, that is the day to day tactical project updates, barrier removals, those types of things, we wanted to make sure we had four times a year where you can kind of step back a little bit, reflect on how things are going and really focus on how we can be successful moving forward, together. And so we asked, in a number of our checking questions on the employee side, we asked, we typically ask them questions like, you know, what can I because it’s talking that’s coming from the manager, what can I as your manager, do better to support you? Or how can I be more effective, and helping you achieve success or greater success? Because we really do believe that this is an opportunity for employees to give feedback back to their managers around how they can help them be successful. And then we have no the typical manager questions. And they’re just suggested questions. They’re not prescribed questions that you have to fill these out every single quarter, there are just suggested topics, where they can give a reflection on, you know, how things are going or give a viewpoint to, hey, here’s what we need to go, here’s the outcomes we need to achieve as we move forward. Let’s talk about how we get there. So we really tried to create a culture where there’s we’re equals, of course, managers, at the end of the day is responsible for the output of their team, that does not change. They can’t delegate, they can delegate work down. But another day, that manager that director that VP is responsible. So it’s not like we’re all equal, when not managers get paid X for a reason, they’re in a bigger job for a reason they need to lead that team. But we are all humans. And we can work together to achieve those outcomes. And we wanted to create more of that together culture managers and employees are successful together. So that’s kind of the basics of our of our process. And then we from a, from a documentation perspective, we ask our leaders at University of Phoenix to document at least one a year, we set them every quarter, but we really focus more on the conversation, we let them know best practices to documented every quarter, because oftentimes, I might think I’m saying something to my team member, but it doesn’t actually come out of my mouth. And and or the employee hears something different. So documenting is important. But we are not building a process around documentation. We are building our process around this having a dialogue and a two way conversation because we think that builds trust, not builds effectiveness in the relationship moving forward.

Brent Skinner 19:27
You’re seeing so many really interesting things right now, and I want to put a just quick placeholder, because you said we’re, we’re all humans, right? That’s a really important piece. And I think that would be a nice way to tie back to some of the other things that happened culturally at the organization in terms of, you know, tangible changes, visual and otherwise. So I want to get back to that. But, but first off, a couple of things that occurred to me is as you were sharing how the process changed you Getting it into the getting performance. Enabled, we’ll call performance enablement. I know that’s what better works, which you use calls it, getting it into the flow of work. So important. And also figuring out what the flow is going to be before making the decision on what technology to use, that’s super important, you could go with a great technology, but if you don’t have a good process, laid out or thought out, you know, the benefits may be negligible. We’ve seen that plenty of times and, you know, scores and scores of deployments. But the other thing that’s interesting about what you said, is made me think of almost a headline, you know, you need to get into the flow of work to get out of the flow of work. Because when you describe those discussions, you know, you talked about tactical, there’s all sorts of tactical interactions between managers and their staff over the course of any given day, and wait, those happen all the time. But how many reflective, sort of just stepping out of the flow for a moment here, to just have those necessary, very beneficial discussions about career and, and just sort of the deeper things of work, those can’t happen, if, if there isn’t a if there isn’t a flow and sort of a structure that’s actually there. That’s the other thing that’s so interesting, right? There’s continuous performance enablement, or, you know, check ins or sort of, you know, continual interaction facilitated by technology for performance. To track performance or keep up with performance as the Annual Performance Manager review process, that is a structure, but it’s a very poor structure. So we’re not talking about removing structure, we’re just talking about, you know, sort of implementing a new, better structure for it. I think that’s where I’m going with that. And so that just strikes me as super interesting.

Jeff Andes 22:13
Yeah. And we believe that leaders are need to be leaders. And we need to empower our leaders, just like our employees want to be power, we empower them to be leaders. So we’d like to provide them with tools and some structure, but I don’t we don’t want to dictate to every single leader, this is exactly how your conversation needs to go. Because every employee is different. We’re all humans, none of us are the exact same. We’re all in different situations, different environments at different points in time. And, you know, one leader might need to focus more on, you know, performance, because that’s maybe a challenge, or they need to increase that another leader at that same time might need to might need to spend some time focusing on reflecting on how can we support your development? Or how can we in this, you know, last couple of years, how can I, you know, adjust different parts, you’re responsible for deliveries or your schedule, or whatever it might be to accommodate your needs outside of work. Because it’s no surprise, everybody that’s listening to this, I’m sure every one of them are concerned about retention. So there’s no cookie cutter. But we wanted to your point to have some framework that our leaders could then take and be leaders. And one of the points is back to kind of just dovetail on this a little bit. One of the points of feedback I often get is, well, how do you guys do merits? Like, how do you do compensation? If you don’t want to ratings and you don’t have this formalized annual process? How do you do merit? Well, we follow the same philosophy that I just cited, which is leaders, let them be leaders. We believe that if you ask a leader, who are your top performers, and who your bottom performers, they’re not going to need a rating scale to tell you most leaders know these two or three people or whatever it is, these are my top performers. And you know, these are my mid performers. And these are my bottom performers. We believe leaders know that. And if they don’t, that’s a different discussion. Why doesn’t that leader understand and understand the performance of their team members, right? So we let them be leaders. Again, we guide them, we give them some tools, like we give them you know, their copper ratio and where they where they’re where their salaries and compared to their peers and where it is within the range and all that good stuff. Give them recommendations, if they’re a high performer and they’re, you know, X or Y copper ratio, you might think about giving them you know, this range, that type of thing. We give them guidance, but we don’t force that to be done based on a performance review rating. So it’s a really around empowering our leaders to be leaders I love that.

Brent Skinner 25:00
Because every there’s all different permutations of good leaders, you know, all leaders aren’t exactly the same and right, some of them may potentially think in rating, sort of in a rating schema. Right? But others might not at all, and they all and yet they all if they’re good leaders, you, right, they know who their best performers are, and, and why, who their middling performers are and why, who their, you know, their struggling performers are and why. That’s, that’s such a great point. I’m loving the culture that I’m hearing about University of Phoenix, I really am. I know that there were some changes, some changes to decor, or even furniture moving in this kind of stuff that happened, and I want to touch on that, and then maybe get a little bit into what it’s like, what it’s been like collaborating with better works.

Jeff Andes 25:56
Yeah, absolutely. So culture is as you kind of hit on earlier, it’s, it’s made up of a million little things, right. And maybe some big things too, but it’s a it’s a, it’s everything, it’s a million little things. And it takes time to, to shift a culture one way or the other. It doesn’t happen overnight. But it’s purposeful, I think, oftentimes, especially good cultures is very purposeful, around creating a strong culture or a desired future state culture. And, you know, I give all the credit in the world to our executives, and specifically our president came in at the time and being very purposeful, around shifting that to little things, like he talked about the core. You know, our organization five years ago, when we went through this transition, you know, like I said, a very corporate, very kind of old school, you know, you come through the front or security go through turnstiles, you go up elevators, every floor, you got a badge into the ground and get access to the floor, you go up to the executive floor, which is the 10th floor in our building. And there’s another security guard and you walk up there, and you kind of feel like, you’re in this environment that like the FBI or CIA out there, like asking you like, why are you here, who is worried you get the approval type of environment. And a new president is like, No, all that’s gotta go. Like, again, we want to be honest and transparent. We want a culture of, you know, we’re all in this together. And we’re all humans. And yes, we have different job titles and responsibilities, but we’re all equal, and none of the day. And so you know, removed outside of that basic security of, you know, going through the turnstiles and security upfront, removed all the badging on the all the floors, removed all the security from that on the top floor. And the extra walls that were up there that was kind of protecting the 10th floor executives tore a big huge, massive windows into the executive or the president’s office. And so there’s complete open transparency, we have blinds and all of the leaders offensive offices that you can, you know, turn and twist and you know, close off of visible access to remove all those, all of those. You know, we had an elevator that went from the ground floor to the 10th floor that was largely for the executives and the President to take a quick trip up to the 10th floor, but it also removed them from, you know, the normal people there. Kirk removed them from that. We just changed all that got rid of that got rid of the blinds opened open things up. Our executives are starting with our President started eating in way this really beautiful cafe on our campus and started eating there with with folks talking with our folks open up our leadership call to all employees, every, every other month. Half of that time of the leadership call now is open to q&a. We used to get maybe one or two questions now we have to follow up with like 50 or 60 people after all the questions. And people asked, you know, crazy questions about you know, you know about the facilities like there’s a toilet not working on the seventh floor or building whatever affects? We’ll answer that we might not know the answer. But we’ll take any questions strategic down to very tactical, because we want to know what’s important to our employees. Our president really led that by leading with his actions and all those decisions that he made and so many so many more, but those are give me a little bit of a flavor that I think aligned with the cultural change that we wanted to create. That’s

Brent Skinner 29:51
I love the old the old elevators the quick elevator just goes to the 10th floor that’s Yeah Those are great changes, you know, it gets me to thinking about just very briefly here thinking about, you know, what? Is it chicken and egg thing? Right, you know, which comes first? Or is it? Or is Does anything come first, you know, you’ve talked about culturalism a million, you know, just a million different things, or I think that’s the term you used. And you’re right. And, and yet, at the same time, you can do all the, you know, all the heavy lifting, conceptually to shift the culture in the right direction. But then you need the right tools in place to make sure that you can keep perpetuate the positivity that you’ve that you’ve started. Maybe that’s a good segue, you know, in terms of, you know, not getting into the nuts and bolts of the functionality, because I think everybody watching this sort of envision it, but what’s it like working with betterworks? You know, their vision? And how has it helped to sort of perpetuate the changes in the, in this moving positive culture?

Jeff Andes 31:09
Yeah, well, I got to tell you, you know, as, as I’ve talked about honesty, and transparency, being really corridor transformation, you know, I look for vendors that I can partner with, that are going to be the same way with me. And so that’s kind of been the biggest thing with betterworks is, you know, I’ve been able to establish a strong relationship with some of their senior leaders where I’ll want things, and I’ll ask for things to evolve or be fixed or whatnot. And they’ll oftentimes tell me, yeah, we’re going to work on that. And oftentimes, we tell time, you know, we can’t do that, or that’s not in scope of our focus right now. And that transparency is an honesty both ways. I’ll tell them what they’re doing grayed out, and also tell them what, hey, I think you’re falling short on this. And they’ll give that back to me equally around, they’re not going to just tell me, yeah, Jeff will work on that, because I’m a customer and make me happy. And it never comes true. They’ll tell me if they can, and they’ll tell me if they can’t. So I really, really appreciate that transparency, because I look with that. And then there’s I think any vendor that comes alongside you has to be a partner. And I don’t look at them as vendors, any vendor that I work with any other vendor that I work with, I think that’s a really important trait for me, because that aligns with our culture, right? Vendors and partners that align, I believe, with your culture that are going to help accelerate that transformation. So as we talk about the tool in of itself, you know, that the tool aligns with our culture is a tool that is, you know, very much has the ability to work in the flow of work, when leaders need to use it, how they need to how they need to use it. So when we think about, you know, the ability to get feedback, at any point in time, our employees can give feedback to team members to project team members to their leader, any point in time that they want to come out of meeting, they want to give some feedback, hey, here’s some great things you did, or hey, maybe think about this next time as you approach this type of situation, they can do that. Now look, I do not encourage that as the only way to give feedback. I think it I think a system is one way. Personally, I’m more of a pick up the phone kind of guy, because I’m a relational guy, and I’d rather call that person and then maybe follow up with, you know, a document and kudos or document. And hey, maybe think about approaching it this way next time. But the point around the Better Work solution is it has the ability to be in the moment in the flow of work, whether you talk about recognition or appreciation, or, you know, feedback positive or constructive, as you think about checking conversations, as you think about one on ones conversations and documenting those when you want to in the flow of work that has what has really worked out for us. Also from a goal setting perspective. We are not an OKR shop and betterworks is, is as a huge OPR component. But the tool is so flexible that it works for goals. And in fact, some of our teams use OKRs at University of Phoenix in some of us kind of traditional goals at University of Phoenix, and it worked for both. So again in the flow of work, because we don’t prescribe a lot of prices, we give frameworks to our leaders and allow them to be leaders. So one part of the business can do OKRs and the other part of the business can do goals in a different way and it works for our company. So it has the tools and framework for our leaders and our employees to operate it to manage their performance in the way that that function manages their performance. And it looks a little bit different from department to department at university dance.

Brent Skinner 35:05
Yeah, yeah. It’s, yeah, sounds like their culture is very reflective of the of the solution. They provide, you know, open continual interaction, which is, you know, it’s really the only way to go. Yeah, really interesting stuff. I’m looking at the time. And I think we’ve gone a little bit long, which is fine. But thank you so much for joining us. Any sort of parting thoughts or anything that you’d like to share?

Jeff Andes 35:39
Yeah, look, I think I saw a stat the other day that said, you know, 30 thing was 31% of employees, when they’re asked like, what they wish their managers would do more of the biggest chunk of that there’s, I don’t know, 10 different options, it was 31%, I think the second one in line was like, 17%, or something like that, but 31% of employees, so they wish their managers would show more appreciation. And, you know, I think that is something that we University, mayonnaise can continue to do better, it better. And as organizations, we can all continue to do better. But I think appreciation, you know, starts with where I started, and I’ll kind of end with that, which is, leaders ability to build trust. Companies can institute and build all kinds of processes, frameworks, systems, tools, but at the end of the day, we’re still humans and humans working with humans. It’s all different. And it’s really falls on that leader to build that trust, the processes can be there to support it. But how does that leader build that trust, and I think part of how that leader builds that trust is investing in their employees, having conversations, ongoing conversations, that doesn’t always have to be about performance or work or whatnot, but truly caring about their employees. And I think through that appreciation can continue to grow and build and those relationships because that leader is shown as trustworthy, that they care about that employee and they want to invest in that employee. And so as, as companies and organizations, how do we continue to guide leaders and set up structures and frameworks that can encourage those connection moments, whether it’s, you know, it gets to performance and helping, you know, enable performance and whatnot. But I think it starts with just being a good human and caring about your team members. Because end of the day, I don’t think there’s anything more taxing than having a team member that doesn’t want to be on your team or as low performing. So how do we invest in those relationships at the very beginning, and I don’t think there’s a silver bullet but I think we often continue to get better at that and work at that. And I know that’s something we’re going to be doing here at University connects.

Brent Skinner 37:55
Yeah, beautifully put. We are humans working with humans. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Jeff, for joining us. This has been a fantastic episode. Thank you so much.

Jeff Andes 38:08
You’re welcome. How come on Brent, you too.

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