#HRTechChat: Geoff Webb, Vice President of Solution Strategy at isolved

“I think we’re now in the post Great Resignation world. We’re into what is next,” said Geoff Webb, vice president of solution strategy at isolved and my guest for this episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast. We’ve spoken with Geoff on a number of occasions, and it was a real pleasure to do a deep-dive with him looking into the results of isolved’s report titled “Pause, Pivot or Plan: HR Trends of 2023.”

During the recording, by the way, I failed to mention that Goeff is also a member of our Global Executive Advisory Council. And, while we’re discussing “slightly slight” oversights, it’s probably incumbent upon me to inform readers: during the episode, we also mistakenly noted that this report would “be live soon,” when, in fact, it’s been available in the public domain since mid-December 2022….

Everyone makes mistakes. HR departments are no exception. Here’s an example:

isolved commissions and publishes the results to many surveys. Among them is the vendor’s annual report on HR leaders. The last two found a large majority of them prioritizing the employee experience. What’s more, half say they do so to improve the retention of staff. Meanwhile, isolved’s latest report, the one featured in this podcast, notes that nearly half of employees today are “tempted to apply for a new job.” This number begs the question: Where is the disconnect?

You might call HR’s apparent inability to inspire greater loyalty despite its own devotion to the employee experience a misstep, not a literal mistake. It’s all very perplexing nonetheless.

“It’s funny, right,” said Geoff. Year-over-year, “it hasn’t changed a lot.” And the phenomenon comports with ideas that many have expressed regarding the staying power of employees’ power even amidst macro-economic uncertainty; it’s not exactly a booming economy across the board, after all. “The Great Resignation wasn’t just a moment when a whole bunch of people resigned and went to look for another job. It was the event horizon, if you will, of crossing into a new world,” said Geoff, who sees “a renaissance in thinking about that relationship between employer and employee.”

Compiling responses collected in Q4 of 2022 from a survey of 981 full-time employees based in the United States across a broad spectrum of industries and seniority levels, the report presents several compelling insights into employees’ thinking regarding their existing jobs — e.g., what they like, don’t like, and would change. And it also shares a glimpse into isolved’s thinking as it pertains to the success of organizations when it comes to their human capital management: zeroing in on talent retention, providing the support that employees crave, investing for a competitive edge, and examining the basics while leveraging analytics.

All of this helps to build a strong employer culture by supporting the employee experience, of course. Geoff believes organizations still have much learning to do, however, when it comes to understanding just what, exactly, constitutes a good employee experience. He encourages them, absent this clarity, to listen to their employees’ opinions on the matter and craft policies reflecting these. It’s a sound approach, and a continual listening campaign may itself be the key right now (and, perhaps, always) to bringing about a positive employee experience.

It’s all very intriguing to ponder, and I very much enjoyed this discussion with Geoff.

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Brent Skinner 00:04
Well, hello, everybody, and welcome to this the latest episode of the HR Tech Chat video podcast. And with me today, we have a very special guest. It is Jeff Webb, who is vice president solutions product and marketing strategy at isolved. Welcome, Jeff.

Geoff Webb 00:23
Hey, thanks for having me, Brent.

Brent Skinner 00:25
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I’m really, really looking forward to today’s podcast, there’s a lot of, well, I sort of came out with or is about to come out with a report. And it’s called paws pivot or plan, HR trends for 2023. And that’s what we’re going to focus on today. And I understand there’s a lot of really good data in there. And I’ve had a chance to peruse the report. And I have to agree. And maybe we could start off there. After maybe you just share a little bit about yourself, Jeff, in your role that I solved, maybe just give folks kind of a glimpse into what you do and a little bit of context here.

Geoff Webb 01:13
Yeah, absolutely, I’d love to so well, my role that I sold is really to provide a kind of a linkage between, you know, the sort of the strategy for the technology, the software and the services that we bring to market and you know, from an ISIL perspective, it’s, it’s very much important for us that we are, you know, we marry both the technology on the one hand, and the services that we deliver on the other all that that our partners deliver. Because we you know, we strongly believe that technology and services together are really important that that’s how you solve the problem. It’s not just for the throwing technology at it, but again, for that side of the organization, you know, provide that kind of linkage between those things, and the rest of the world. So in other words, to both help our business describe more fully and correctly and accurately, and pointedly what it is we do and why we’re doing it, and what’s the sort of, you know, what drives the way that we go to market the way we think about technology, the way we work with our customers. And also then to provide the sort of the inbound aspect of that, to spend time talking to our customers, which I do a lot to talk to people like yourselves, you know, who are industry thought leaders who are really looking to the future of the way the technology and the services are delivering solutions to some of the biggest challenges that HR people face today and in the future, and make sure that that information is coming back into a soul, so that it continues to shape, the direction that we take the things that we do to help our customers be successful. So it’s really a sort of a two way communication role. And from that perspective, it’s fascinating. And I get to see sort of the cool new technology, I get to look at the services and things that we and our partners are delivering. And I also get to talk to customers and, and thought leaders and influencers like yourselves on what’s interesting, and what’s gonna be driving the future. So it’s actually it’s a great job, I love the job, I gotta be honest,

Brent Skinner 03:01
it sounds like a great job. And to be frank, you know, we really enjoy speaking with folks like you on the solution provider side of things, and especially with ISOC, to be completely candid, you folks are really, on top of things in terms of having your pulse on the market and protecting the right kind of brand, in my opinion as an analyst. And and, you know, speaking with customers is so important. And I know this is a little bit of a tangent from what we want to talk to talk about today. But But I think it’s worth just underscoring that’s so important for a vendor to really understand their users and what their needs are. And to be developing your own solution based on that sort of, instead of in a bubble or in a vacuum. And you know, we’ve spoken with a lot of isolved customers ourselves here 360 insights in our users of other vendors solutions. So we we also like to kind of bring that that insight into what we do and the thought leadership that we developed. So yeah, very interesting stuff. Now, this is actually a great segue into the into the report, which again, is called paws pivot or plan HR trends for 2023. Can you tell us just a little bit about the survey and just the report in general, I know we have a few things we want to dive into here. Lots of interesting stuff.

Geoff Webb 04:29
Yeah, I’d love to Yeah, it is. It’s a great survey. And when we actually published the four results, I strongly recommend anybody to take a look at it. I think it’s it’s actually quite fascinating. And I think we’re at that kind of rare sort of a pivotal point, I think in between what has happened and the world of employment, the changing so the way people think about their jobs, their expectations, and the way that businesses think about and interact with employees the way that had been and what is to come, right and I think, you know we we’ve seen the pandemic as a forcing factor in an accelerant in a lot of the changes. Were sort of post pandemic, we’ve seen the great resignation that occurred as a result of things that have been during the pandemic itself. I think we’re now at the sort of the post great resignation world. And I think we’re into what is next. And, as a result, I think this survey is, is a really interesting window into the experience of employees, as they think about what’s happening now, within the context of what’s happened in the past, but also what’s going to happen in the future. So we, you know, we do this, it’s funny, we talked, we were just talking about it, and the importance of talking to customers and as a company, you have to stay grounded in the reality of the day to day lives with the people who you’re working towards, you’re working for, and which is our customers. In this case, you know, we survey, it’s a little less, it’s a shade less than 1000 employees across the US in almost every industry that you can think of. So there’s a very broad range of industries, everything from you know, retail, to healthcare, to legal services, to manufacturing, and so on and so on. And really asked a range of questions around their experience, what’s, what’s important to them right now? How do they feel about their employer? How do they feel about, you know, the nature of their work, and so on? Again, there’s a really good insight into what’s what’s happening today, but also, as we think about both the past and the future, and the trends that we’re seeing emerging in both again, both post post, post pandemic and post great resignation world.

Brent Skinner 06:37
Yeah. I like what you’re saying there about sort of, we’re right at, we’ve just exited. I think I think you’re right, that the great resignation, split this way that the phase of time that can be defined as a great resignation, there’s still a lot of resignation going on. But it’s in now it’s become par for the course almost. And in one of the things is that that’s so compelling about some of the findings in this report is, is how they, how they try to reconcile them with some of the other things going on the macro economic conditions. We’re not exactly in a booming economy right now. And it but it’s really it’s kind of, I use the words almost seems like cannabis schizophrenic economy, I don’t, I hope it’s okay that I use that word, but, but it’s some of it. Some of it is kind of, you know, booming or not, not booming. And some of it is some other pockets, you know, having some problems. And we saw some big layoffs and like the big, like, top tier global tier, high tech companies, but then there are a lot of other companies and high tech software that are hiring. There are other pocket pockets of the market space that I’m assuming in the market in general that are hiring and having a talent shortage. So you know, it’s interesting, one of the one of the findings was that I think 2022, this was conducted in q4 2022, I believe, correct?

Geoff Webb 08:14
Right. It was right at the end of last year. And so when we are finishing up right at the beginning of this year,

Brent Skinner 08:18
yeah. So we’re seeing essentially the same sort of news that we’re seeing now around economic conditions. So we still we saw, you know, just shy of 50%, according to this survey of employees that are tempted to look for a new job, I guess you could say they could be tempted even though they’re thinking well, I wonder if there really is one out there. But that’s actually not changed all that much coming into this year, as well. So what are your thoughts around all of that it? What are your thoughts?

Geoff Webb 08:53
Yeah, you know, it’s funny, it’s the right, it hasn’t changed a lot. If anything, it when it splits up ever so slightly. I think it was like 47%, the previous year, and it’s like 49% going into this year. So it’s, it’s relatively consistent. I’m not sure you can draw a lot of conclusion from a 2% change, but it’s, it’s certainly not showing any decline or certainly not any significant decline. So it remains the case that, you know, employees are still very, very much open to and aware of the possibilities out there in the market of changing jobs changing, you know, changing the role that they’re in looking for looking for more, or looking for different and I think, yeah, it’s fair to say, you know, we are past the sort of the great resignation. But to your point, exactly, it doesn’t mean that the resignations have finished, the great resignation was almost that moment in time when we woke up and went, Oh, wait, that’s not only we’ve been saying that, that employee expectations are changing and, you know, there’s a future to work that is going to be somewhat different, but here it is, like it was the arrival. I think of the changes that are occurring in the way people think about work and their expectations. So The great resignation wasn’t just a moment when a whole bunch of people resigned, and then went to look for another job. It was the event horizon, if you will, of crossing into a new a new world of, okay, this is actually what it’s going to be like. And my sense is that we’re going to see this sort of this, this perspective continue for some time yet, and I don’t know, I don’t even know what drives a change in, you know, in that sort of awareness and openness to looking for new jobs, but it has a whole bunch of I think it’s a whole bunch of drivers as to why people are looking for new roles and new jobs looking to change what they do. And I think it ultimately itself drives a lot of changes in the way that businesses are going to have to think about the you know, the relationship between employer and employee, the the role of HR in the business, the way that they invest in those things, what things they invest in, even how they understand the things that they should be investing in, I think that that is what we will see now begin to really change over the next year or two years is a reevaluation and a reawaken, almost a renaissance in rethinking about the role of, you know, that relationship between employer and employee.

Brent Skinner 11:15
Couple of terms you use their resin, Renaissance, and also Event Horizon. Thank you, thank you for that one. Because because that does that does really capture it, you know, we say cross the Rubicon or you know, inflection. What was good for that when we say, let’s say, way too much inflection arising that I’m gonna steal that. But in any event, it’s one thing, this, you will actually laugh, I’ve had a draft blog entry for the longest time, and I just kind of abandoned it because it felt it took a long time to write and it didn’t seem to quite, I couldn’t get the quite the, you know, the turnaround at the end, but I was calling it the great expectations. Obviously, it was a play on the on the, you know, this the book by Charles Dickens, but, but it was also, but I noticed you saying their expectations just now. And I did actually notice in another report by isolved, earlier than year, that phrase was used as employees expectations. I thought, you rica there’s something there. So I may yet complete this blog entry at some point. But there is there are new expectations, that calculus, that that sort of defines the employee employer dynamic, I think is forever changed, we have you know, pendulum always swings way in one way, and then it comes back a little bit, but it’s never gonna go back to what it was before where, you know, economic conditions turn for the worse. And it’s definitely, like put this way, I don’t think we’re ever going to be in a an absolute, higher higher employers market versus and, you know, candidates market ever again, I think it’s going to be much more sort of a combo. And there’ll be a little bit one direction versus the other, but we’re not going to see the stark differences. What do you think?

Geoff Webb 13:15
Yeah, I My suspicion is certainly for the foreseeable future, which can be a very long time, I think the there’s much more than sort of an equality and equitable nature to the relationship, I think that has been proven that, you know, the changes that have been occurring for the past, I would go back even say, you know, 100 years or more between employees and employers have have sort of grown to fruition, and it was the, you know, like, kind of like a, if I could use a sort of a gardening analogy, you know, you put the seed in the ground. And after a while, it reaches a point when the seed case breaks, and that little sapling shoots up and starts to grow. I think the the pandemic was that moment when that seed case broke open. And all of that pent up energy of people’s expectations and what they want from work, and that the application of technology and the nature of the internet, and everything else sort of all came together to drive this, you know, this new sort of flowering of a new approach and new thinking around well, this is actually what I want from work in employers going well, this is how we’re going to do that in order to keep the good people that we need to keep. I think it could be a long time before we see a significant change in the way you think about the role of artificial intelligence in the workplace. And we see the sort of a lot of conversations around, you know, the sort of the the technologies that are out there right now grabbing headlines, in their capabilities that that have the potential to move the pieces around a little bit. But I think fundamentally, that relationship has changed and probably will not change back for any potentially within any of our lifetimes. I think the new new stability has reached in the way that people interact. I think the things that they care about the things that they expect from their employer and the way that employers meet those expectations will continue to evolve and probably have to continue to evolve.

Brent Skinner 15:00
Hmm, yeah, I think absolutely. And, you know, what is interesting is how the employee experience plays into this. Right. And I know in the report that we, that I saw sort of sets forth some ideas around that, in terms of trends reflected with the could you just delve into those a little bit for us?

Geoff Webb 15:24
Yeah, yeah, we saw. So when we looked at the, you know, the results, we’re getting back again, we’re asking a lot of employees a lot of questions around, you know, their view of the world. And, and really, what we’re looking at here is way to synthesize the results back into something that makes sense for the HR professionals, employers and so on to start to look at what what are we hearing? What are the consistent themes running through this? You know, we really sort of sort of four areas that we felt were worth focusing in on the first was your talent acquisition, right. And I think that’s probably not a great surprise to anybody. But it becomes so important to put in place the right things to, to understand why people stay to understand, you know, what motivates them to not, you know, not go looking. And if they do look to make sure that you’re still become the most attractive place to stay. And so we, you know, we really saw a lot of look, the advice we can give, and the things that we can talk about around a talent acquisition, that is so important that if you lose people, you’re back to a whole bunch of work and a whole bunch of pain, the best employee that you recruit as the employee, you don’t have to go and replace, right, let’s keep the people that are good people. The second was really to, and this comes out of some of the drivers of that retention is investing in employees themselves in their ability to develop in their ability to become, you know, to sort of enrich their experience, enrich their career, get more training and development skills, upskilling. And we’ve, we’ve seen a lot of lot of conversation, a lot of interest in learning and skill development, and training, and so on, and sort of building career paths through training, which I think again, it’s really important when you think about why people stay it is, you know, the employer employees tend to give employers a relatively poor score, when it comes to skill development and sort of, you know, career pathing. So it’s a great way to attack that problem early. The other is to the sort of the third trend was really around focusing in on the sort of the soft, softer aspects, so the sort of the work life balance expectations, how, you know, mental health, physical health, and so on, things that have always, I think, been important to people, but now they’re being very vocal about and as we’re seeing those as drivers of change of your employees. You know, we saw a lot of a lot of commentary in those areas, how do we, how do we provide a better employee experience when it comes to the softer side of the business culture, experience, work, life balance, and so on. And then the fourth one was around the use of tools to better understand what’s really going on. In other words, if you’re going to do all of those things, be focused, be targeted, be, you know, be driven by data, dig into an understanding of what’s actually driving those behaviors, so that you can use, you know, analytics to spot things that you might otherwise miss. This is especially true for your typically overworked and swamped HR teams who are just trying to get through the day, it’s very easy to miss emerging trends in employee behaviors. And we drifting in certain areas that we shouldn’t be other certain problems becoming becoming real for us as an organization. And we’re starting to, you know, our cost spiraling, etc. Analytics enables you to sort of see those things early, and then put in place the changes that you need to put to, to address them before they become an act.

Brent Skinner 18:54
Well, that’s really interesting that that’s super interesting, some of those trends that you mentioned. And one of the things that, that I think you said I heard you say was around tending. This is not the exact wording you said used, but tending to what employees crave. Yeah, that actually fits into some of the other findings that I noticed on this report. What really struck me was there’s one area where they say, if the question was, What do I like most about my, about my job? And it was relationships, my relationships with my co workers was number one. He was some high percentage that escapes me at the moment, and then a relatively low percentage was the employer culture. And that was a really interesting one for me. First of all, in terms of what employees crave, but also, what’s the difference?

Geoff Webb 19:55
Yeah. Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, that’s interesting. I In spite of that, too, you know, it’s I think often employees perceive, you know, their company culture as kind of the thing that they are handed. It’s like, you know, you’re joining a company and you’re told, well, our culture is XYZ, this is the, you know, this is what our culture is. And it’s, you know, it’s kind of like, well, if you have to tell people what your culture is, maybe it’s not your culture. Like, you know, that’s the whole, you know, remember the story about the Spartans, right? That they would, they would never write down the law, because their belief was, if you had to read the laws, you probably weren’t going to obey them. So there was kind of like, it was inculcated in them from from young child that this is the law. And these are the things that you do as a, you know, as a person. And I feel the same way a little bit about culture, it’s kind of like, if you have to tell people what your culture is, it’s probably not, you know, it’s probably not, not as embedded in the employee experience, as you probably think it is, like, the culture is something that really comes through the everyday experience, it is the minute by minute experience, you know, I always say this about employee experience, overall, it’s, it’s, it’s extremely difficult to get right. And it’s extremely difficult to be consistent about employee experience, customer experience, you know, where businesses invest a vast amount of money, we interact with our customers, you know, in a fairly sort of punctuated way, you sort of have an interaction for awhile, and then you don’t an employee experiences every minute of every day, including even when they’re not working for you directly. It’s like, that’s an employee experience. And it’s really challenging, and cultures kind of like that its culture is, you know, the experience of working at a place it isn’t the thing that’s on the motivational poster in the in the lunchroom. And so, you know, I think what we’re seeing is a, you know, the, the employees are referencing the fact look, I love working with my employees, my, you know, my fellow employees, my co workers, this is what keeps me here, which I think is true, right, I think, you know, the experience of working with other people is what is, is what great companies facilitate really good company cultures actually build on employees supporting each other on delivering an experience that is sort of, you know, authentic and real and exists in the day in day out. I think those Orgonite those people that are saying, you know, I don’t like my company culture, it’s because it’s not real, it’s not authentic, it’s not part of their daily experience. It’s something they’ve, they’ve been told in an email, you know, this is your company culture, and it probably isn’t.

Brent Skinner 22:26
It that’s a great point, because how many employee culture, how many, how many employers work, you know, go out of their way to sort of promote and in, you know, establish a, you know, a scary culture or culture, that’s not you did? Does that make sense? You know, like, absolutely, yeah, it’s to me, a bad culture, festers, whatever it is, well, there’s always a culture and it will fester and become whatever it’s going to be was probably isn’t good. Or has as napped is apt not to be good, without intentionality behind it from leadership at the organization.

Geoff Webb 23:03
Yeah, I agree. You know, bad cultures are really what, you know, it’s to a degree, you know, as bad behaviors are prepared to accept and leave in place. And I think, you know, and I’ve certainly I think we’ve all seen those companies, and maybe some of us have even worked at them, where, you know, that sort of senior leadership goes off site for a week and comes back and says, Okay, we’ve decided what our company culture is, and you’re like, No, that’s not how this works. Like, your company culture is what happens minute by minute day in day out in the interactions between the employees, between the employees and the employer, between, you know, the things that actually have been in your business, that’s the reality of your culture. And, you know, it is an aggregate of a whole bunch of smaller elements. It isn’t a thing that you were taught, there should be rules, there should be standards of behavior, there should be objectives, and there should be guiding principles, but culture, culture happens, culture isn’t isn’t enforced.

Brent Skinner 23:55
Right. Right. That that’s, that’s the way to put it right there. And, you know, I think this does provide a nice sort of segue into the next question that I have around the report, the report references, some survey findings of yours from last year of HR leaders, and they were putting it right through 2022, they were putting a really high level of prioritization on the employee experience, which is great. I mean, that’s really important. But then we have all we have this high percentage of employees that are contemplating are tempted to look elsewhere for employment. So you know, I think it begs the question, how does this refer? What kind of reflection is this on? HR organizations efforts in the employee experience realm? I mean, this might kind of this might feed back into the four themes that we were talking about a moment ago, but But I’m just curious, your thoughts there?

Geoff Webb 24:57
Yeah. You know, I think a couple of things I would say, you know, one of the things that the report does this highlight is there’s a significant portion of employees think that there isn’t much of a focus on employee experience. You know, there’s almost like a third of employees said, you know, what, my company doesn’t really prioritize employee experience. And you know, about half of them say that actually, it’s, it’s the best average and often poor, right? So there’s, you know, I think there is a long way to go to build good employee experience. I also think, you know, in defense of businesses and HR teams, to degree, employees are figuring out what a good employee experience is, too. It’s not like I think everybody knows intuitively exactly what they need to a degree, we’re still learning as employees, I think you look back at the experience of going hybrid. And I think people’s expectations of, you know, working from home all the time, actually, were very different from the reality of working from home all the time. And I think, you know, we as human beings, isn’t always very straightforward. We don’t always know exactly what it is, that makes us happy. We’re not always, it’s not always the same thing. It’s not always consistent. So I think businesses in HR, HR professionals, specifically, have been working very hard, at least in a good number of cases, to understand what drives you know, good experience, and then to, to build a good experience. And it takes time to do both. And the challenge that you have, is that while you’re understanding what people think is a good employee experience, those people’s understanding may be changing to what they want to see maybe evolving itself. So it’s kind of a little bit of a moving target. So I think there’s been a good amount of work put into building a good employee experience. I don’t, we’re clearly not there yet. And I think we need to continue to track what happened, what matters, I think, in the end is not somehow that we go, you know, we’ve invested enough, we’ve delivered a good employee experience, we’re all happy, let’s just go on with our lives. It is actually the the mindset it is that the evolution of the mindset that says we must continually track and understand which is part of you know, the findings of the report, right, we must invest in the ability to understand what drives a good employee experience. And we must continually focus on improving and changing that employee experience to meet those evolving demands. It isn’t the delivery of a good employee experience that counts so much right now, it is the capacity to, to always be tracking and moving towards a good employee experience. Because, as we’ve said, the changes aren’t over. Right, we’re sort of the, you know, we did cross that event horizon, and I think changes will continue, we have to be equipped and have the, you know, the the sort of the culture, if I can use that loosely, given the conversation we just had, that says, actually, we care about employee experience, and we’ll keep investing in it. And I think that’s the change that, you know, we’re seeing, I talked to a lot of our customers, and they are very invested in employee experience. It’s a case of, but it takes time to get there and what matters to employees changes and evolves. And so they are constantly bringing our business with them to deliver good employee experience.

Brent Skinner 28:08
I mean, you’ve shared so much wisdom there, you know, honestly, it is it’s not, it’s really important not to sort of impose an employee experience that you think, as good as you think it’s sounds in your head, right, or as an org, as a department, it’s important to understand what a good employee experience is, from from the from the perspective of, of the of the workforce. And that makes a lot of sense. I actually hadn’t thought of that till just now. So thank you, I just decided that we aren’t just we are still understanding what a good employee experiences we have. We have our hypotheses, we have our our hunches, you know, but But it really takes some understanding. And it occurred to me just as you were sharing that that may be part of providing a good employee experience, maybe, and maybe striving to understand what it is what it means your workforce and showing that receptivity to understanding it from their perspective as part of providing the good employee experience right now.

Geoff Webb 29:16
I think that’s absolutely right. In fact, I think that’s a great point, the, you know, it’s it’s sort of a recognition of, look, we may not be perfect, but actually what matters to you matters to us. And I think, therefore, as a result, you know, that we see a lot of investment in energy and thinking around a couple of things. One of them is analytics. Not surprising, because they try things want to understand what’s really mattering to their employees and where do they focus their efforts. The second I think, is in engagement, of measurement and engagement. How do I you know, am I going to survey my employees? Am I going to how do I talk to them? How do I engage them day in day out? Because I need to build that that sort of that conversation itself? little bit like building a raising a teenager, you kind of have to start early to build a culture of having the conversations about, I suppose, even when the conversations are the tough ones, like, No, you can’t borrow the car or you have to be home by nine o’clock, you kind of have to build the, you know, that muscle memory of having the constant conversations and tuning. And I think that’s something that’s really important is if think of employees understand, again, speaking as an employee, right, if I, if I believe that not only is the my employer, asking for the things that matter to me, but then striving to work towards those things. That becomes a very, very different environment and relationship than one in which they don’t appear to care. They might be doing things, but they’re not necessarily doing the things that I care about. If you can talk to me, ask me and show me that you’re actually making an effort that actually goes a long way to establishing a degree of trust. And trust is a great foundation, if not the only foundation for building a really good culture of employees and employers.

Brent Skinner 30:58
Yeah, took the words right out of my mouth, I’m so glad you mentioned that the trust the trust piece, when you when you’re showing that you’re showing interest in your work, and each of your employees thought ideas and perspectives on what is a good employee experience. You’re, you’re establishing trust, and then you’re also showing empathy, which is really important we hear about it. And, you know, I think back to you know, the old madmen show, and those guys might have laughed at the idea of showing empathy at work, right. But I mean, but it but it is so important today, you just cannot be a good leader. Without it, you can’t run a good organization without leaders in it that are that are showing empathy, that they can exercise empathy have that capacity.

Geoff Webb 31:44
Yeah, I think that’s the thing that we you know, we tend to equate empathy with weakness, or lack of conviction or a whole bunch of other things. And it’s not actually empathy is an inch is an incredible commitment, it’s an it’s a huge amount of energy is required. And it takes real strength to understand that, you know, this is the perspective of other people, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything that they want, it doesn’t mean that you’ve become subservient to their drives. But without empathy, you can’t manage people, you just can’t effective, you can’t certainly can’t lead people effectively. And as a business, you can’t understand what motivates your employees. That’s the definition of what really good empathy is about, like, what is driving the things that you care about, and so that I understand them. So I think establishing establishing trust, demonstrating empathy, and then ultimately putting some energy into delivering what employees want is how you move the needle on those number of employees that believes you have a good employee experience and care about it. And that is how you move the needle on the number of employees that are talking about looking for a new job this year. That’s how you start to drive that down.

Brent Skinner 32:48
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And not not to this, not to be too abrupt here. But you gotta have the right technology in place to in order to be able to do the thing, all these things, you might have the desire, the strong will, to exercise great empathy with your workforce, and to be to listen to them and to, and to understand their engagement and to, and you want these analytics, if you have the wrong technology in place, you you’re going to have a really tough time, especially with the new sort of emerging or emergent, you know, work scenario, circumstances that we you know, work from home work from anywhere, these sorts of things.

Geoff Webb 33:31
Yeah, yeah, agreed. I think it’s a combination of, it’s how it you know, the technology needs to be in place to enable you to connect with and establish that connection, maintain a connection and engagement, and then understand the behaviors. I also think that the other part of this, that needs to be remembered is, you know, that technology ultimately has to operate on itself on on data and understanding, right that you need to, you know, HR organizations have usually vast amounts of information in all of the worst possible places, right? It’s usually like it’s in paper files, it’s in cabinets, it’s in Excel spreadsheets, it’s in Word documents, it’s in post it notes, you know, and those things are not easy to aggregate and understand. So I think, you know, when we see organizations developing and going through the sort of the growth and maturity that enable them to attack some of these, these challenges around the stem, reducing turnover and reducing those number of employees looking for another job and delivering a better employee experience. The first place they usually have to start is, well, let’s at least get all your information in one place. Because if you don’t do that, you stand very little chance in understanding what’s driving the behaviors that ultimately you wish to engage with, in order to shake right? So it’s, it’s technology. Absolutely. But there’s also a real need to have just let’s get the information in one place so that we can start to understand it better, and make good decisions that ultimately strategic decisions that really respond to the environment that we’re working in.

Brent Skinner 34:53
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I’m looking at the time, and we’re actually almost out of it. So, but I’ll be honest. That was a that was that was a great. I mean that if we land on that. I mean, this has been a great episode. And thank you. Thank you so much, Jeff for for all of your you just your insight. And I’m really, really excited to see this report once it is live. Do you have any any idea when that exactly it’s going to be?

Geoff Webb 35:25
I think it’s very, very soon. I don’t have the exact date. But I think it’s, you know, we’re talking about days, if not weeks, at most. So I think it’s very, very soon. It’s coming out. It’s certainly ready to go, I think. And I would again, as soon as it comes out, I would recommend grabbing it because it really does have some great insights in it.

Brent Skinner 35:40
Yeah, well, sure. Looking forward to it. Maybe we’ll be able we’ll be able to include the link in when this podcast goes live. And thanks so much, Jeff. Thanks so much, Jeff.

Geoff Webb 35:52
It’s an honor. Thank you. Yeah, no, I loved it. Thank you so much. Always great to talk to you. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Brent Skinner 35:57
Likewise, take care. Bye bye

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