Frank Butler 0:16
Hello Busybodies, welcome to another episode of the Busyness Paradox. I’m Frank Butler, here with Paul Harvey.

Paul Harvey 0:22
Good day, Frank.

Frank Butler 0:23
Good day, Paul. And today we have a nother special guest. We have Dr. Caleb Sanchez here from executive equilibrium. So executive equilibrium. I just met Caleb the other day through a mutual friend. And we had lunch and we had this really awesome conversation about the workplace and the different things that he’s experienced and that we’ve talked about on the podcast and tried to bring it to you all and Caleb’s background, though, before he became a consultant for organizations. You were a law enforcement officer.

Caleb Sanchez 0:55
Yes, that’s right. Um, I was a police officer for eight years, seven years here in Chattanooga, and one year out in Colorado, little city called Arvada. Little city there. Yeah, it was, it was interesting, very interesting time. But I was a police officer while I was doing my master’s degree. And my PhD,

Frank Butler 1:12
is what drove that interest in, in IO Psych.

Caleb Sanchez 1:15
So it didn’t start out. And I was like, I was going to be a therapist. So that’s when I started my master’s degree in. And I did some shadowing of different psychiatrists and realized that that wasn’t, really for me, that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in. But I found that in a lot of those sessions, a main topic of concern was work. So people were coming in with depression and anxiety, stress issues at home issues with family members, and it was actually stemming from issues at work. They were bringing stuff home, they had arguments with coworkers, with bosses, and it was reflecting on their family and all their personal life. So I didn’t actually know about industrial organizational psychology while I was doing this master’s degree program, but I was able to switch into it, especially for my PhD, because I realized the huge need, especially in the last couple of years with COVID, it’s shown us that we don’t necessarily know the best business practices out there, I would argue that no company is doing perfectly, and there’s always room for improvement, and that these levels of improvement can benefit both the individual and the organization as a whole. And I love it. I love going and helping people identify those small changes, that can make it a better place to work. And that can spill over into your family life into your personal life into your hobbies, and just make you a better person a better joy of life.

Paul Harvey 2:32
Sad to say that I think it sounds on the surface like IO psychology consulting slash law enforcement police officer. But that’s probably the most logical pairing of careers paths that I’ve ever heard, especially everything you just said about the psychology of the workplace, I have to imagine in that typical police station department is multiplied by like a factor of 10,000. Absolutely, just the very nature of the job, regardless of any other workplace dynamics is a challenging one cycle psychologically. So it’s really cool that you were able to do both things already in your life. That’s, that’s amazing. And

Caleb Sanchez 3:07
on that note, actually, law enforcement helped me to identify that because I saw burnout, I experienced post traumatic stress, personally, levels of burnout through the roof, had friends quitting left and right, coming in every day to work, and my entire team just collectively saying, I hate this job. I hate being here. And it was, we don’t really have the language to discuss why we hate our job, we just say that we hate it. So if you look at all this media shows, cartoons, everything makes fun of the workplace, you have the office, Modern Family, whatever show you have, they’re making fun of the concept of working and hating your job. We only know how to talk about finances, when it comes to our employment. So if you don’t like your job, the number one factor is well, I don’t make enough money. I don’t make six figures. I make $35,000 a year, et cetera. And whenever we discuss why we hit our job that’s always at the forefront. And it’s not necessarily the financial component. It’s the is my work valuable. Do I enjoy what I’m doing? I know those are cliches, you must enjoy your work if you’ll never work another day of your life. If you love what you’re doing. That’s absolutely not true. But companies that can identify those elements to make the workplace a better place that can show their employees that they have value. That’s the place that people want to work. It’s a shocking concept. But every job has value barring the whole like spam call centers and everything if you have an ethically sound or trying to be a good company, your job is valuable. Everything as lunch ladies in high schools, the janitors. These are all valuable positions. But we’ve been taught from an early age that those are transitional jobs working at McDonald’s is a transitional job. I remember in high school it was really funny joke. When a teacher failed a kid’s test and stapled a McDonald’s application form on the slide that was going around as a whole trend there for like a year or two. And it was funny, but those kinds of things. Stick with us. And it projects this concept that you as a fast food worker, do not have value. And that’s absolutely not true. And there are so many things that can change that aren’t financially backed companies see this, the only way to make people happy is to give them a big bonus. We actually talked about this, Frank, when we were at lunch the other day, that when the pandemic hit, there was a powder keg that went off. And people they’re calling it the great resignation, people quitting their job, I would argue, and the research shows that that’s not necessarily it didn’t happen at COVID, it was building up and COVID just kind of pushed everyone to realize that there are more valuable things in life than working for a crappy job, right. And so the knee jerk reaction was that a lot of these companies were increasing the salaries of these positions by 1015 2030 plus $1,000 a year to try to keep their employees, whenever they increased, it worked for worked a little bit to keep to bring them in and keep them for a little bit. But with this, we’re unspoken expectations. So your employer is now paying you $20,000 A year for this position, they assume that you’re going to work harder, you’re going to put in more hours, you’re going to be available more on weekends and do more work. I saw this especially hard in the healthcare in the health care profession. So I was working a position at one of the major hospitals here. And I saw it left and right management tried to bring in these employees tried to bring in traveling nurses, they tried to bring in other techs at this price point. But they didn’t change the job job descriptions at all. And they had these expectations that you’re going to give more, but they didn’t discuss them. And so it caused more tension in between the employees. And nothing was said out loud, it was all building tensions quietly. And this actually caused more people to leave. And they were leaving for not necessarily other better paying jobs. They were taking pay cuts, to have more time at home to spend more time with their friends and families. And they identified that there’s more to life than just work. Yeah. And so yeah, that’s what

Frank Butler 6:59
I think that also helped contribute to some of the quiet quitting trend that we heard about too, is like, people were like, Oh, I’m being told to do more. And you know, of course, we had that whole hustle culture thing. And we’ve talked about it on the on the podcast before too, but it’s like, all those things sort of built on each other until people were like, a job description says x, x is what you’re gonna get from me. And of course, people got upset and you’re like, oh, you know, and, and it goes back to it’s like, given the record low unemployment rates and the job availability, people can can actually talk with their feet now and show up and go, Hey, I’m going to go to a place that it’s going to value me, pay me appropriately, give me the flexibility. And that idea of pay, as you were saying, is a movable concept, right? It’s like, some of us go, oh, I need to be paid more. But it’s, it’s more than that, as you just said, it’s like people were actually sometimes taking pay cuts, just to have the quality of life, or to be able to work remotely or to work a hybrid job or those kinds of elements. So yeah, I mean, it’s it’s certainly been a complex phenomenon. But that sort of hasn’t really, I would say, basic underlying factor that people just want to be valued and have a value of their time to

Caleb Sanchez 8:06
Yeah, absolutely. We actually saw a shift in the dynamic at the workforce at the workplace before COVID. And it was really big in the 80s 90s, early 2000s, that if you think of a company, the head, the CEO, whatever they say goes, and if you as an employee disagree or step out of line or do something bad, they will put you out, and they get two more just like you, right, with COVID, we saw that power dynamics shift, because the employees were still they still had that mindset of, well, if you leave, I could just get some more right. And then there wasn’t any more nobody else was was willing to work for the the pay rate that they were offering then or the conditions that they were offering. And so people actually started seeing that employees at the lower levels were seeing that they had the power to keep this lights on in this company. And so they were able to ask for more for these positions. But again, that goes back to the language, they didn’t know how they don’t really know how to verbalize these concepts. And it really comes down to a work culture, psychologically safe work space. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with that term. But psychological safety is basically the feeling at your workplace that you can express your ideas, concerns, without fear of retaliation from your co workers or for your from your management, that lays the foundation for a culture at work, where I feel appreciated, valued and heard. Another misunderstanding is that people in upper management, there’s this idea that upper management should have all the ideas, they should have all the solutions. And I would argue that that’s, you don’t want that at all your employees are the ones that can identify the changes that can be made to be beneficial for the company. For example, if you work at a fast food place, how you organize your utensils, the management doesn’t know that you know knives go over here and forks go over here and that makes it easier for everybody. But your employees that come in, day in and day out do those are the ones that you should be taking ideas from. Those are the ones that use should be asking for input. But we don’t know how. And then nobody wants to be made to feel like an idiot or dumb. So if a manager has an idea, nobody will talk back to that person to that manager because they don’t want that. Feelings of attack. So if you say, as a manager, hey, I want to make this change. I say, Well, I don’t, I don’t know if that’s the right one to make you automatically feel attacked. And so it shuts down, it shuts down any product, productive conversation at that point,

Frank Butler 10:29
I assigned with my graduate class at an article on asking the right question, how leaders can ask the right questions, it gets into those very ideas of it’s really easy to, you know, when not ask questions, you can just expect that you have to come up with all the ideas which, you know, I think we see a lot with the top down versus bottom up. And I always say the employees, you know, the, they’re the ones with the boots on the ground, right, your rank and file, they’re the ones who can send some of the trends. Obviously, there’s the more macro trends that a senior leader is going to be responsible for, but what are the what are the tea leaves essentially saying, you know, the, it’s the pulse of that workplace saying, Paul, I see you got something of it.

Paul Harvey 11:04
I don’t know if I want to go down this rabbit hole or not. But since you’ve invited me to, as you’ve been talking, I’ve been thinking about what’s sometimes called laissez faire leadership, the sort of stay out of the way unless you’re needed kind of approach. And for almost as long as I’ve been aware of that term, and that concept, or I’ve been slightly miffed by the subtle, but persistent undertone or undercurrent in all the textbooks in the research that this is a bad thing, like laissez faire leadership, compared to you know, all the other whatever flavor of the month, you think leadership or positive leadership,

Frank Butler 11:39
or 10,000 different types of leadership that we like,

Paul Harvey 11:43
all as being a good boss stuff. And there’s this laissez faire leadership, which is like, you know, not no, that’s not good. But everything that you’re saying makes me think that the real expertise, a lot of the real expertise in the real knowledge is down at the the lower levels of an organization, and a lot of the decisions made by higher levels of leadership are misinformed if they don’t take those into account. All of this sounds to me like maybe it just my like libertarian bent on life or something New Hampshire live for it. But it sounds to me like this is all a very strong argument for if you’re the boss, just stay out of the way until you’re needed. Don’t try to impose your own ideas. If you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. You

Frank Butler 12:28
mean like a deist approach to management? One approach DSD SDI, you know, forget it.

Paul Harvey 12:36
Like I like,

Caleb Sanchez 12:38
I would almost disagree with that to an extent. Because I think leaders, your management should be there. But their job isn’t to, okay, let’s look at it this way. You’re in a fast food restaurant, right? The goal of your employees is to take care of the customers, you go in and you talk to the CEO or the owner of the of the that branch, you ask them the same question, what is the goal of your of your position? What do you do here, and they knee jerk reaction again, they will say, Well, my goal is to serve good food. And like that’s not your goal at all. Your goal as a leader is to allow or to provide the space for your employees to do that job. Your job as a leader at any level, even if you’re low level management is to take care of your people, and is to lead and you shouldn’t have all the answers. And what’s fascinating is that everybody that works for you is an expert in some field, everybody, no matter what you could be an expert in NBA, or, or NASCAR or Pokemon card collecting, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that you have all these abilities under you, your job as a leader is to figure out how to tap into that stuff, how to let people express themselves be themselves within that workplace and to work towards a common goal. You’re set the company mission, vision, all that stuff, and ensure that your people are there with you to go along with that. So I would argue that yes, let him let your people do what they need to do, but also show vulnerability, you don’t know everything, and be willing to listen and be be real.

Paul Harvey 14:11
I think that’s consistent with what I’m saying. But you’re this this type of management. This approach, I guess, exists in a bit of a gray area. So it’s it’s a difficult thing to say like where is the sweet spot of respecting the expertise of your employees and not being an obstacle, but also being there and being a resource and supportive and keeping things on track, as opposed to just like looking the other way when things go off the rails? It’s I guess that’s true. It really comes down management’s not easy, because it’s hard to say where is the line for any given organization?

Caleb Sanchez 14:44
Yeah, definitely. And that’s why it comes down to expectations. I know we talked about this earlier, but if you don’t have expectations for your employees that are set in stone that have written down that are communicated, that’s when it goes off the rails. When people do stuff that you expect them to do stuff that is more or they’re doing less, that’s where the problem lies. So if if you have those basic expectations met for how a company is run, then you can delve into that gray area, then you can ask for suggestions. And then you can have real conversations with your employees.

Frank Butler 15:15
It goes back to a little bit of that what Kurt to furred said, right when we introduced him, which was, you know, lead people manage things. But you know, I’ve always told people, it’s like, your job, as a manager, as a leader is to get the obstacles out of the way, so they can do their job? Well, absolutely. And trying to find those ways would incorporate asking questions of them, because they’re the ones who are doing the job. I think that one of the bigger challenges that you have, over time in an organization is that, you know, as you have these procedures, and policies and stuff that are in place, that are sometimes hindrances in some way, because I hear this a lot with with new employees is like, oh, man, I have to do these, like eight different steps to this one thing. But what they don’t understand is that there is a historical reason for that, because it keeps them in compliance with something right. And the problem is, is that with turnover of employees and stuff, you lose that institutional knowledge, so everybody’s sitting there going, why did we do this in the first place, and then all sudden, they remove that, and then stuff hits the fan? And you’re like, well, we got to go back to that. So I mean, I think there’s some of those issues, especially as you get these older organizations that have been around longer. And and I think this is one of the big issues with today’s sort of lack of commitment to the employees that that organizations once had, is that you lose that institutional knowledge. And it leads to more things becoming problematic to where you see, I think a lot of the situation we’re seeing today, it’s like, you know, HR is making that bad job descriptions that don’t align with the expectations of the job, you know, or people come in, and they’re like, and this is not what I expected, because just people are not communicating with each other at all.

Caleb Sanchez 16:52
Well, yeah, on that note, there has been a trend of reducing job descriptions on for different positions, because they want, they want the vagueness in there, they want the vagueness in there, and so that they can increase the dollar price for that job, so that they can expect you to do more. And that’s a big issue.

Paul Harvey 17:10
What room for flexibility to write like if, if, if a job just naturally develops a new like wing to it. And a certain person’s like, Oh, I like that. Like they can grow into that, too. So just to kind of offer the counterpoint like, I’m sure it’s more often using the way that you’re saying it’s a room to grow the the responsibilities and duties without growing the paid. But I can see an upside to that you’re not boxed in by overly strict. Yeah,

Frank Butler 17:36
I feel like we talked about that, too, in a podcast where it’s like, you know, where you can shop shaping wasn’t that we talked about job shaping? Are we planning on recording something on job shavian talked about

Paul Harvey 17:45
that. I don’t know if we actually did a show on our sorry,

Caleb Sanchez 17:49
no, no, on that note. So those are, that idea of being able to adapt other elements to your job description is really cool. But it has to be a conversation with everybody, it has to be your entire team, and there has to show value to what you’re doing. And if there is a pain center that needs to be incorporated, they can do they can do that. The thing, it comes down to open communication. And that’s been a huge hindrance. It is well just, for example, just talking about money, how much you make, companies don’t understand that, or a lot of companies don’t understand that having open communication about your salary, benefits the company as a whole, I’ll tell you why. When I know what you’re making, we’re working the same job, right? When I know what you’re making, you know, what I’m making, we have the benefit of sharing market value understanding of market value for that position. So if another company raises the salary for a similar position by an astronomical amount, 30,000 40,000, whatever it is, we can share that information instead of secretly saying I’m gonna apply to this job. Instead, it gives the company that understanding that the market value for this position has risen. So maybe we should identify that or risk losing these people to these other jobs. Yeah. And it also provides comfort within your team, if you know, you guys are making them the same area that have the on the same levels, but related to your expertise and the amount of time that you put into this position. I

Frank Butler 19:13
don’t know if we had that conversation with Dan Gilmore or not. But I know that there’s been conversations around Can you talk about salary, you know, and I think the ruling at one point was, you can talk about it outside of work. But you know, if your company says you can’t talk about it during work hours, you’re not allowed to. And I and I’m agreeing here that I think they need to be transparent with it for you know, myriad reasons. I think one of them is this idea of the differences in gender and pay and gender right. You know, we know that that women still make a little bit less for the same job and I I should not be so I would say it’s quite a bit actually. I still think it’s something like 20

Paul Harvey 19:51
or 30%. And that’s not a small thing there. Frankly, there’s so much so much of that conversation is lost in debate of what is the difference? Well how about if you if you control for this didn’t account for like maternity leave how it does it? If, if we just knew the answer to this, right, get past all that all the bickering and say, Okay, here’s the here’s the extent of the issue, what do we do about it,

Frank Butler 20:11
I’m on the strategy side of the world. So you know, when you get into the worker side of it, it’s, you know, that’s not my strength per se. But I know that on the strategy side, I see it a lot when I work with small businesses, that they’re dreadfully afraid of sharing their strategic plan with their employees, which then, you know, if you don’t do that, it makes it hard to write job descriptions, you know, or tell people what they’re working toward, or making them understand what their job actually is, or what their, what their value is to it. And so I see this a lot with small businesses in particular, it’s like, oh, we can’t do you know, you’re not putting anything that’s IP in these strategic plans, you’re saying, these are our goals for the year. And this is how it’s gonna benefit everybody. And you know, now we got to figure out the tactics to get there. But you know, it’s so close fist, it was so many of them. That’s amazing. It’s really is amazing. Why

Paul Harvey 20:56
what’s their thinking? Like? Are they afraid that like, their employees are going to like, you know, here’s the plan. Yeah,

Caleb Sanchez 21:03
it’s the secret sauce. Oh, earlier, I said, it’s, it’s because you’re afraid of looking dumb in front of your employees. That’s really what it boils down to whenever and upper manager is trying to put together these concepts. They keep them close to their chest so that other employees assume they know what they’re doing. So that the people that are following you assume they know, whenever you share that vulnerability, you as a manager, say, Hey, this is what I’m working on. This is what I’m thinking. Does anybody have any input? What What can you say? That opens the field to more information coming from those job descriptions that you’re trying to create? And it opens that communication. But yeah, everyone preaches transparency as a word, and that word has been used so much, that it’s lost its meaning almost, because companies don’t know how to do it. And that’s the thing is, is a lot of managers, they’re not doing it on purpose. People aren’t hoarding all their information and not telling their their employees because I don’t think my employees can handle that they’re doing it almost as a defensive mechanism.

Frank Butler 22:00
So I could see it as being sort of like a self confidence issue on one side, there’s probably some impostor syndrome stuff on the in there as well. I can see a lot of avenues of things that would impact why some of this lack of actual transparency or clear communication or being open and honest and answering things would lead to some of the challenges that we see in the in the average workplace for sure. And you know, I think, immune in let’s just take this to the next level. It’s not just the workplace, it’s think about relationships, right? Like, the number one reason people get divorced is usually around financial issues, right? And you just said, right there several times is talking about finances in the workplace. Right? You there’s they’re afraid to do that. But I mean, we’re also afraid to do that at home. Because somewhere along the lines, we’ve been taught that this is some taboo subject, for whatever reason. And it’s like, it’s Shema,

Paul Harvey 22:50
this is cultural. Keep in mind, this is somewhat US centric, right? Countries are different about this.

Frank Butler 22:56
Oh, yeah. No, I remember in Germany, they people would ask how much I earned like, it was just like, yeah, how much you make? I’m like, Okay, I’m not used to that question. Oh, it’s very

Paul Harvey 23:04
uncomfortable. Absolutely reached the point where some people are far more comfortable talking about their sexual orientation in at work than their salary.

Frank Butler 23:12
So that’s really weird. Yeah, I, I’ve been dealt much more transparent with people like ask stuff. I’m like, Yeah, I’m making this much for this, I’m doing this. And, you know, part of it too, is I’m a state employee, so you can look up my salary. But. But that said, I also think that I want people to understand like, this is where things are. And I can also help them understand the context of why I might be above a certain person or below a certain person as well. So

Caleb Sanchez 23:39
But going back to the imposter syndrome, and all those fears of explaining what you’re struggling with, to your employees, and everything, I would take it a step further, almost away from psychology and put it into biology. So people, whenever you’re confronted, you go away from these higher methods of thinking, and you go into defensive mode. So you fight or flight. Exactly. If you guys remember from high school psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The very first Yeah, the very first two levels before you can have any upper level thinking is safety and security. And whenever someone comes at you and says, I don’t think that this was a good idea, Frank, you you push this project, I don’t think it’s good. You automatically your body goes into this fight or flight response, because you have these irrational thoughts of I’m gonna get fired from my job, I’m not gonna make a living, my family’s gonna be out in the street, et cetera, et cetera. You’re not actively thinking about this, but it’s a subconscious concern, even with marriage to go into that conversation. Whenever a spouse comes and asks you, Why did you pay 200 on this credit card, whatever, you automatically go into defensive mode. And that takes away any upper method of thinking and that’s why you will go into a fight. And there’s actually a trick that I tell people especially like an interview situations, because as you know, interviews whenever you go and talk to an interview and employer, tensions are high If you’re freaking out, you’re emotional. You should have a drink or food, pastries or coffee, whatever to bring to that prospective employee and set them down and take a bite of yours first and then have them take a bite or SIP or whatever, offer them something. Because whenever you take in food or drink, you’re signaling to your body that this is safe. You’re okay, because, yeah, in high tension, high stressful environments, the blood comes away from your intestines, your your ability to adjust, and it goes into your legs into your hands. That’s where your hands shake, and that’s why you sweaty, but whenever you have that small signal, you’re just saying, Okay, relax, take a breath, it’s gonna be okay. So it makes for good conversation.

Paul Harvey 25:40
Pavlovian response. Now. The boxer don’t actually

Caleb Sanchez 25:45
use it. It’s so cool. And it’s automatic, you feel like even even if you’re going to have a difficult conversation with your spouse, go to dinner, have it over dinner, bring in make a cake for them or whatever they like. And before you go into it, say, hey, let’s, let’s have a couple of bites and talk about this.

Frank Butler 26:01
So for those of you who are trying to avoid sugars, like my wife and I are find some alternative, like keto friendly, it’s something either keto friendly, or I think it was called like a moon fruit or some some random thing like that, whatever. It’s still good, but trying to avoid the shares.

Caleb Sanchez 26:17
It’s one of the coolest tricks I’ve ever heard about. And so and it actually works. We started using it and it absolutely works. That’s

Frank Butler 26:23
that’s very good. Okay, so there you go. That’s a for the Busybodies out there. It’s a nice little lesson.

Paul Harvey 26:29
Bicycles the quest like practical tip we’ve ever had on the show, I wouldn’t say

Frank Butler 26:33
so I would say this is super cool outside of keeping your resume up to date.

Paul Harvey 26:40
But especially if you follow our advice on that resume dusted off.

Frank Butler 26:47
Yeah, you’re gonna be doing that a lot. So it’d be smart to. So you know, the one thing we had talked about, and we’ve already addressed this sort of this, this misaligned expectation, so they’re paying more, but they’re not really building the expectations into maybe a job description. And even if it’s not the job description, at least in the conversation with either the employer or the potential employee about sort of what they’re looking for, what an average workday might look like, or work week, or whatever. Are you seeing that abate in any way? Or is it still kind of a big problem that is ongoing at the moment now that we’re kind of through the pandemic? And I mean, obviously, we still have some of that great resignation kind of migration thing going on, but it’s not as pronounced.

Caleb Sanchez 27:29
Yeah. Right now, what I’m dealing with primarily is trying to bolster the workforce. So everyone is still having issues, hiring and retaining employees. And so a lot of what I do is teaching companies, the tools to keep people to make people want to stay. And I think that we are going to a place where it’s going to be more comfortable getting applicants in the door, but it’s going to be harder to retain them. Because people want to shift jobs. I want to go into a little anecdote, because this is something that I that I heard that just kind of stuck with my head about companies that want to retain their own employees. So there’s a bank, big bank with 1000s of employees, I cannot think of the name off the top of my head. I can get that to you later. But they were using data. Is it kind of creepy, but if used in a cool way, identify when people were thinking about leaving the company? So they were

Frank Butler 28:23
saucing that a few times already? Yeah, using like Slack. And yeah, people Yeah, like that. We were talking to a company here in town, actually, that was using slack. And they could actually predict based on the conversations on slack when somebody was going through withdrawal behaviors, and looking to leave. So

Caleb Sanchez 28:40
yeah, those those feelings are amplified around your birthdays around major holidays. Christmas is a big one, illness or loss of a family or friend, because all of these events are causing you to reevaluate your own life, like what am I doing? Is my work valuable? Do I enjoy what I’m doing? Is it worth spending 40 5060 hours a week away from my family to do this job. And this bank started using that data to identify when people were leaving, and they would find openings within their business and send them to that employee around that time that they’re struggling or when they’re perceived to be struggling saying, Hey, I think you’d be a really good fit. This may not be in your department. But if you’re interested, let’s have a conversation about it. And there may not even be really pay incentive, like maybe a little bit higher salary, but you just tell the employee, hey, I really appreciate your work, you’re doing well. And I think you’d be good over here too, if you’re interested, even if they’re not interested, that shows that employee that this company cares about me and they value me but it also is good for the company because they don’t have to hire externally for this position. So they already have this person that’s been there. They know the values and mission statement and all this stuff within the company. They know who to turn to whenever they have questions. They know that Sally and accounting is really helpful, whatever and they can push them over there. And they had tremendous success with keeping people in house and also making them feel valued member part of this company, I’m sure

Frank Butler 30:07
they were tracking, like their emails and all that kind of stuff or how they like message things, you know, I’m sure that whatever was digital, they could track it. And well, they

Caleb Sanchez 30:14
were using by my understanding, they were using large scale information, like identifying birthdays, and identifying the Christmas holidays and all that stuff, sending better data kind of stuff that well, and they were and they were talking to the managers manager, they were asking them, Hey, is anybody having like a hard time? Or is is what’s going on? Not anything personal in depth, just say, Hey, this guy has been kind of down. And that was it. It there’s no loss, even if you send an email, and they’re completely uninterested doesn’t hurt anything?

Frank Butler 30:44
Well, I was gonna say, I think what’s really good is that it kind of it kind of reminds me of the Hawthorne studies a little bit, you know, going back to our early early days of, for those of you not real familiar with the Hawthorne studies, essentially, they were they went to a factory, and they started Dimming the lights expecting the performance to go down, but it actually went up because all sudden, they were being watched. And so they in this was a phenomenon, nobody ever

Paul Harvey 31:06
asked questions, like, just how you doing? Like, just, they were being shown an interest in, you know, not just stared at, but like, engaged with monitored? Yeah,

Frank Butler 31:16
yeah. Cuz they would dim lights, and then ask questions and all that. And so that level of engagement showed that management matters. And so that’s sort of what was at Hawthorne studies were like, 1947, or something along those lines. Somewhere around there,

Paul Harvey 31:29
somewhere on there should know that.

Frank Butler 31:32
But yeah, so that sort of, you know, that comes back to this is now I would feel like this is almost that version of that modern Hawthorne studies kind of using data, understanding when, when we say when to engage in when to when to provide that appropriate monitoring. And, you know, even obviously, if you’re doing the same job for a long time, it can get boring, you know, and, and people also want to have some sort of, like, what am I working toward? Right? Not just what am I working for? But what am I working toward? And so having an idea of, oh, there’s other opportunities for you in the organization or promotion that you can get those sorts of things are invaluable to help incentivize people. Now, I think, you know, a lot of it, for some people probably sounds very topia ideas, and they kind of are, but the reality is that if we didn’t have this lack of trust between us, and sometimes HR or our management, it would be easier, but you know, they haven’t done anything to make people feel trusted. And yeah, I usually say that’s the difference between like, the great companies, and just good companies, because the great companies are the ones that go out of their way to take these extra steps to figure out better ways to incentivize and, and encourage their employees to stay and find ways to reduce turnover, whereas good companies, they’re less loyal, less caring, treating people more like a, an asset that’s disposable, then, yeah,

Caleb Sanchez 32:54
absolutely. Um, so it makes me think of our idea, just taking care of people. And what I tell any company that wants to make these cultural changes, like right out the gate. First of all, no, don’t try to change any everything in your company, without having metrics in place to even gauge how whatever change you’re enacting will be beneficial or not, the very first thing you can do as a manager as upper echelon, wherever position is just go and talk to your employees spend 15 minutes a day just walking floor or if you work for different buildings, just once a week, go on a Tuesday for 20 minutes and just say, Hey, how you doing? How are things like tell me it just having that honest talking? It’s going to take time, because like you said, people don’t trust their employers, a lot of the times they see them as sneaky, backstabbing, etc. And that isn’t necessarily because of that company itself. It’s because of the media. That’s how we have grown up knowing about how the workplace functions. Just spend time talking to your people. I will I want to talk about one concept that keeps coming up. And that’s the idea of the exit interview. Sorry, there’s gonna be a little transition. This

Frank Butler 34:04
is good. We have. Yeah.

Caleb Sanchez 34:07
Okay. So traditionally, we think of the exit interview or, as I want to talk to this employee to figure out what went wrong and how we’re gonna fix it. Right? So it doesn’t matter how that employee is terminating their their job, they can be going to another company, they can be quitting altogether, they can be getting fired, it doesn’t matter. Traditionally, you have the employee come in, you guys talk through, talk it through, but that employee is going to give you incredibly generic answers. Because tensions are high emotions are high, you don’t want to burn bridges. If you do that, and then you’re probably not going to have an exit interview. So you’re gonna get false information. Well, salary wasn’t what I need it to be or my family, I’m having a hard time with my family, etc, etc. I, I’ve been preaching that the exit interview should not be for the benefit of the company at all. So in an exit interview, your job as an employer is to provide support to that person leaving a job I tell them, hey, we appreciate it, I understand why you’re going. And I wish you the best. If there’s anything we can do for you, if you need a letter of recommendation, you let us know. And then six months later down the line, send them an email, just say, hey, hope everything’s going well, just checking in, etc. And I tell people that because everybody around that person’s circle of influence their family, their friends, knows where they work, and they know how they feel about their work. So if you leave this company, they’re going to sit and it ends on a bad note, their entire family, their entire friends, church activities, whatever everybody’s going to know, Well, I hate that place. And especially in Chattanooga, reputation is everything. And if you just give like, you’re not going to benefit from having an argument at an exit interview, you’re not going to really benefit at all, your job is to show support for that individual. Because that’s how you build relationships.

Frank Butler 35:50
I, I’ve always told people, I tell my students this a lot, if you’re a good manager, you don’t, you can’t be bothered, if an employee gets promoted above you. In fact, that’s going to be valuable to you, because they’re going to see that you are able to develop people, if somebody leaves your organization, you have to be supportive of that, you know, I would want to be the type of if I had reports that they come to me and say, Hey, I’m looking at this job, because I think it might be a good fit for me, if there if I have that kind of communication, it gives me two options. One, I can either go, Well, maybe we can figure out something in my own company where I’m leveraging that, that interest you’ve got, and I can keep you or two, I’m going to help you because if that’s what you really want to do, then I want to make sure that you’re not going to be burned out unhappy, in, in, you know, it gives me the opportunity to rethink about what we need to do. But also just like, hey, it’s your time to move on. And if you’ve been a great employee, you know, that’s the that’s the point, I want to help you get to that point, which is a different, definitely a different take on the exit interview. Because it’s usually I find that all the exit interviews, I’ve heard about a very one, either sterile, contentious, especially if a person is like leaving on bad terms, they’re either going to like just spill the beans and go crazy or there isn’t one. Or they’re just you know, it’s very lean in the information you get because people don’t want to be confrontational in any way. Because it could be considered confrontational

Caleb Sanchez 37:11
interviews are always like they’re setting up to be confrontational. Right. So that’s just my last

Paul Harvey 37:16
one I did was over 20 years ago now. But I remember just walking out of that thing, just being baffled. It was like, they basically said, what, what made you leave in? How can I help you understand why you were wrong about all those things. Nobody’s learning for what you’re trying to achieve your who you’re trying to convince, like, I’m leaving, like, I’m not going back.

Frank Butler 37:33
But it’s Paul’s like, I’m going to graduate school get a doctorate. So that ain’t just trying to convince yourself.

Caleb Sanchez 37:38
Well, yeah, that’s what it is. It’s justification, the company is trying to justify their position. And that’s all it is. And I think that’s the absolute wrong approach your approach to be individual growth, if that person, even if he or she is a terrible employee, leaving the company that benefits the company, but it benefits the individual as well. They go, they can go find something that they enjoy doing. Maybe they don’t want to be an accountant, they want to be a musician. Cool, absolutely. Follow it, go for it.

Paul Harvey 38:03
That’s what I always wondered why there isn’t more of that mindset of like, okay, someone’s leaving this company or fired? Or, like they, they could they and everyone they know is still a potential, you know, yeah, true employee or a customer or something. I never thought it in terms of an exit interview like that. It’s kind of blew my mind, actually. But it’s, it seems weirdly short sighted to like have a bad breakup, basically, with employees, knowing that they’re still going to live in the same town or same area, I think all their family and friends are going to think you’re a bad place to work. They want to shop at your store, whatever. Yeah,

Frank Butler 38:33
I try to find some research. Now. There’s been research on like layoffs, for example, and the impact on reputation, but that’s that’s firm level, looking at big firms, you know, and so you lay off 10,000 people, yeah, that that comes across negative, it has a temporary blip. But I mean, you’re talking about it different impact, it’s more of a shareholder response kind of thing. But there’s not been a whole lot that I’ve seen about the impact of of downsizing, and how people are let go, you know, or like in a merger and acquisition, when you inevitably, right size, the organization you’re taking over, you know, whatever it might be, I just haven’t seen a whole lot done around what is that spillover effect, based on how you treat the people? I mean, I think, you know, just to me, if I leave a company under really bad terms, I mean, yes, I’m telling everybody that it’s it’s bad company, don’t work for them, they don’t work for them Don’t you know, don’t shop and buy their products, whatever it might be find alternatives. And I think you see it anecdotally quite a bit. You know, whether you’re reading something on like Reddit or you know, we’re talking to other friends who have had a bad experience with a company they’ve left. And I think it comes back to several lessons is one you know, companies need to be much better about managing their people in probably we should stop saying managing their people but leading their people and managing things. But the other is there’s there is an impact and as you said here like in places like Chattanooga, or maybe like Savannah, Georgia, smaller towns, those those kinds of small and mid sized companies are based there, there is a much broader impact that could occur from bad treatment of people. Yeah. I mean, and I think there’s plenty of small business out there. What is it 80% of the businesses that have small businesses small to midsize businesses versus that 20% of their big, you know, whatever that, you know, fake made up statistic is, it’s like the 8020 rule, like 20% are the big companies and they employ 80% of people, but it’s like 80% of the companies boy 20% of those small and midsize whatever.

Caleb Sanchez 40:29
So I hope that anybody listening to this that is bringing business to Chattanooga, because it is such a growing city, we’re having small businesses pop up almost daily, and we’re even getting large businesses in the state of Tennessee, but also Chattanooga, you need to just thinking, from being salesy, to being a relationship person to actually having genuine conversations with people. I’ve been to networking events here in Chattanooga, where people from you can tell, like you can visibly see the people that come from other places and people from Chattanooga, because the people that come from other other places, especially in California, New York come to mind. They approach you as sell, sell, sell, sell. That’s not how you build relationships, and Chattanooga is such a relationship oriented community that it will do you wonders if you just take a minute to actually care about the person, because that’s it.

Frank Butler 41:21
I remember Savannah, the joke used to be about Savannah, because I grew up in Savannah was that, you know, most places were like, how are you doing? You know, in the south, it’s always like South is always watch for like, how are you doing? Or what can I get you to eat or something like that. And Savannah was always the opening was, what can I get you to drink? Yeah, it’s always that sort of that approach in the South was always more not sale. But let’s let me kind of invite you in. And in. I think New York is always that has always to me has that feels much more transactional, almost. And so

Paul Harvey 41:51
Massachusetts, so I have no idea what you were talking about.

Frank Butler 41:54
Visit He was just here a couple weeks ago. So let’s get with this. So how I guess your focus more on the Chattanooga in the region around here? Or would you be willing to help people brother out or

Caleb Sanchez 42:09
Yeah. So what I tell people is that if you hear anybody that say, says, I hate my job, or I don’t understand, or this generation doesn’t want to work or anything like that, I can help you. Because we can have those conversations and help you realize that that business concept of business is changing, for the better, I think we’re going in a really good direction. It was painful. And it’s going to continue to be a little painful, just growing. But yeah, I want to help companies identify how to build a good culture, how to make people want to work for you. And I wanted to help employees identify their skills within that company. So they

Frank Butler 42:44
can find you at executive And we’ll put the contact information on the website too, for folks are in the show notes. So that way, at least they can find you. We’re not actually selling the services. I think a lot of you people out there listening probably need some guidance in this area. And, to your point,

Paul Harvey 43:00
Caleb, Frank, and I have said this ever since we started this show, this is probably at the tail end now of like a once in a century opportunity to hit the reset button and not go back to the way things were pre pandemic if we don’t want to. So I don’t think we can.

Caleb Sanchez 43:15
Honestly, I hope you’re right.

Frank Butler 43:18
I think there’s it’s a perfect storm right now, right? You’ve got the boomers retiring out. Even the later generation Xers are retiring out in some senses. And you’ve got a lot of jobs to fill. And we’re seeing that momentum around that we lost, you know, a bunch of people in certain types of career fields. And we’ve got shortages galore. And there’s just a lot of challenges for every business right now. So I think it does come down to it’s time to for businesses be aware. And I think the key is that I think the employees are starting to see that there’s more power that they can have they used to, as you’d mentioned, because they can’t get a job, they can find something that might fit them more, even though I know there’s been all sorts of other stuff that goes on around that, because everybody’s going through growing pains right now. So it’s it’s better to get help around these areas, because it is a challenging time. I mean, we’ve we’ve had a lot of conversations, we have one with Charlotte law card from four day, which is their thing is 100% of the pay 100% of the productivity for 80% of the work time, right? Yeah. So even though it’s called four days a week, some companies I’ve worked with are like 60 hours, 70 hour kind of thing. And they’re like, Yeah, you’re you’re not going down to a 32 hour week. So that’s why I do the Oh yeah,

Caleb Sanchez 44:33
so much is wasted so much time is wasted in the average work day, like your white collar. Typical white collar job with two to three hours of work is actually done during the work day. Yep. So yeah, I very much agree with that. The bottom line and what I want everyone to take away from this is that everybody just wants to feel valued. Everyone wants to feel that they matter. And they do and and every position like I said earlier, matters. It benefits. So employers just Need to identify ways to show that value?

Frank Butler 45:02
I was going to say you say it’s like they do matter. And if you’re a manager that has the mentality that your employees are disposable, you better change that attitude pretty quickly, because you’re going to be having to do all your employees work, because you don’t have any.

Caleb Sanchez 45:17
Oh, we’re seeing that left and right companies are shutting down because of that concept because of this fear. Like he’s hit everywhere, everywhere.

Frank Butler 45:23
Yeah. So it’s wild. It’s wild. Well, Gail, we appreciate your time, we’d like to say, we will put your contact information up on the website. And yeah, I appreciate you coming by and doing this, you know, this is a lot of fun. It was fun. And we always like to get people who are who are dealing with it on the ground. And so, you know, Paul, and I have done our share of consulting and stuff. But at the same time, it’s, it’s one of those things that it’s, you’re probably more connected to it than we are, because we also have to do our regular jobs, academics, but, and this podcast and this podcast, which takes a heavily heavier lift than people might know. And we might actually be getting into that more at the southern Management Association since we’ve submitted a professional development workshop down there about podcasting, but we’re going to actually cover tipping, and we’re getting the leading scholar on tipping to come in from Cornell to be our guest interview. And it’s since our conferences down in Clearwater, if we get the agreed, they agreed to our session, we’re trying to get one of the Darden Restaurant Group leadership to come in to to talk about the impact of the hiring shortages, because, you know, have been incredible, you know, you brought up like McDonald’s and lot. But you know, we think about the restaurants and all the shortages they have. I mean, I know even in Chattanooga, like we were at ribbon Moines, which is one of my favorite barbecue places, since bones got shut down by the tornadoes, that they are definitely short staffed. And a lot of restaurants are, but I think some of that deals with the tipping problem, you know, and having to work when there’s actual times of day that are promising versus like afternoon at three o’clock when you’re making 237 or 271, or whatever it is, you know, versus going and getting a job that you can pay it get paid 15 $16 An hour and be consistent and know what your hours are every week and not get cut and blah, blah, blah. But I think it comes back to it all comes back to people matter. It just people matter and treat them like they do. And that’s all we that’s all we really, I think genuinely want as people. Yeah, sometimes it’s just listening.

Caleb Sanchez 47:18
Yeah, just having a culture of where people want to work and grow. That’s really what comes down to exactly. So well, guys. Thanks for having me.

Frank Butler 47:26
Thank you. I think that’s it for me, Paul.

Paul Harvey 47:29
I think we’re good. Thank you, Caleb. Good day. Good day. All right. Bye everybody. Busyness Paradox is distributed by Paul Harvey and Frank Butler. Our theme music is adapted from its business time by Jemaine Clements and Brett McKenzie. Our production manager is Justin Wuntaek. We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, and we’d love to hear from you. Please send any questions, comments or ideas for future episode topics to input at Busyness., or find us on Twitter. Also, be sure to visit our website, Busyness to read our blog posts and for links to the articles and other resources mentioned in today’s show. Finally, please take a moment to rate and follow or subscribe to our show on Apple podcasts. Spotify iHeartRadio Google podcast or I don’t know wherever the heck you get your podcasts.

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