The Ever-Changing Workforce and How To Handle It

The Ever-Changing Workforce and How To Handle It

The PeopleStar Podcast — Season 1: Episode 18 — Posted March 23, 2022

The Ever-Changing Workforce and How To Handle It

The Ever-Changing Workforce and How To Handle It

The PeopleStar Podcast — Season 1: Episode 18 — Posted March 23, 2022

About the Episode

Kirby Scott Ingles came over to the PeopleStar Podcast to share his wisdom regarding leadership and coaching.

Throughout his career, Kirby has worked with a lot of people and has heard and seen the changes in the workforce. During the pandemic, a lot of people were laid off and now that things have stabilized a bit, employees are truly questioning their alignment with the company values, ideals, and mission. If people truly connect with a company’s culture and are mission-driven, they will perform better and be happier.

Tune in to this episode and see how you, as a manager, can connect better with your employees!

Key Takeaways

1

The workforce has changed and evolved through the years, specifically during the last couple of years.

2

The pandemic layoffs got people really scared about their work-related future.

3

If people are happy at and with their work, they will perform better.

4

Employees cherish when they see their work has an impact.

5

“Lead from your feet, not from your seat.”

Additional Resources

If you have any questions or challenges about Leadership and HR and want our opinion, please send it to support@trakstar.com with "Podcast Question" in the subject field.

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Episode Transcript

People Star Podcast_Kirby Scott: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

People Star Podcast_Kirby Scott: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

PeopleStar Podcast Intro:
Welcome to the PeopleStar Podcast. We deliver leadership perspectives from industry experts on their people, architecture, routines, and culture as they solve HRs newest challenges. And now your host, Julie Rieken.

Julie Rieken:
Good day, Julie Rieken, PeopleStart podcast, and today I'm super excited I've got Kirby Scott Ingles here with us, and Kirby is a career and leadership coaching person. He does this for a living and is interacting with people right now, over many years, and has learned a lot about kind of what's going on in the heads of people in this new work environment. And Kirby, you and I kind of had a little bit of an introduction, and we talked a lot about some of the things that you're seeing in people's sense of life and belonging and purpose as it relates to work. And I just thought, what a cool topic right now because we're all trying to manage these various elements of our lives. So Kirby, welcome to the podcast!

Kirby Scott Ingles:
Thank you, Julie, appreciate you having me on here, it's a pleasure to be with you today here on the PeopleStar Podcast.

Julie Rieken:
Cool. Listen, in your interactions with people in the last couple of years, we've all as employers in the U.S. been hearing about the great resignation, I heard today the renegotiation, you've heard of the migration, whatever it is, the workforce has shifted, and you've been experiencing people firsthand and some of the reasons that they're making these life changes as related to work. I'm just interested to hear, could you have? What have you heard? What's going on out there?

Kirby Scott Ingles:
Yeah, it's kind of had two different phases for me, at least. In the beginning, it was a little bit more about mergers, acquisitions, organization shifting, and so, in the beginning of the pandemic, in 2020, that was a lot of the attitude. Am I going to have a job, you know? Am I going to be here? One company laid off 10,000 people, you know, and people were scared. And as that has begun to slow down a little bit, for the most part, it has really begin to shift to workplace, health and wellness, a little bit, well, belonging, do I belong to this organization? Do I identify with this organization? Does this organization believe in the same things that I have? Because more organizations are coming out, you know, and being pretty transparent about what they believe and what they think and how they're going to approach things as well as folks really want to be a part of something that they really care about, that aligns with their values, their idea of this thing called work. And for them, work is starting to take on a little bit of purpose and meaning and what they do. So work isn't like a four-letter word anymore, that's a bad word. It's something that people can do and they can express themselves. And that expression is really starting to come out a lot more now. And it's, the pandemic has really put a hamstring on a lot of people, made them kind of reevaluate, rethink, as is this something that I want to continue to do? Does this align with my values? So that's what I'm hearing right now, that's what I'm seeing, that's a lot of the conversations that I'm having with folks, and some people are making that transition, they're making that shift, they're making that move because they want to have that sense of mission, like they're doing something every single day that's having an impact, not just necessarily getting after what most organizations are in the bottom line is profit.

Julie Rieken:
That's really insightful. I've been hearing similar things, and I think it's interesting because it's put a really different spin on the way organizations think about the kinds of things that they're doing to help their people, and find that sense of mission, and that's, that shift in how, we as organizations, approach that need has really been fundamentally different. And when I think about that, I wonder what kinds of things, when we think about, the difference between what people want and what employers have, how do we advise employers to think a little bit about keeping people, because if they're looking for something that has a different kind of a mission or they're not feeling that mission, how do we help employers find that mission? How do we help people in their jobs find that mission? What do we do? What's your advice?

Kirby Scott Ingles:
Yeah, this has got quite interesting. I've probably helped more people transition from their positions because they're, they're working for other organizations and finding more meaningful work for them, as of late. But there have been a few directors and senior directors that I have worked with inside organizations who are managing a group of people. And I recently had this conversation with a senior director who worked for a startup software company, and he was asking me, you know, about, he's lost several employees over the last few months, and we began to talk about some of the reasons why they left. And as soon as he began kind of disclosing that they had left for this and left for that, it really became a conversation of how are you showing your people that they're having an impact because they really didn't feel like they were having that sort of impact, they didn't feel fulfilled, you know, they were doing the job, they were cranking out tasks, the accolades and the list were piling up, but they really weren't connected with what the organization was trying to do, and that was, is customer satisfaction on the back end. And so really, the conversation really became about how are you showing progress within your organization? One of the big things, this is, helping people first find meaning and purpose and then showing them progress. And part of that progress is a showing customer satisfaction. And so what is that individual doing in your organization that has that connection? So we've got to find that link that connects the person who is doing the task, or building this widget or the software and how that impacts the end-user, which is really the customer. Or maybe how does that have an impact in your community? So we're trying to show like the direct correlation with everything that they're doing so that they really do have a greater sense of meaning, and purpose, fulfillment, and then belonging to an organization that they actually believe in because a lot of managers and senior directors that I have worked with have said, when I've asked them about their company's mission and vision and their values, and they're like, yeah, that's the thing that's on the wall, it's some flowery statement and very few of them actually live those things out, and it's more of a marketing gimmick than it is something that drives people within the organization.

Julie Rieken:
You know, that's, it's actually, as you describe the story of this manager managing people and having work and making and getting things done. So here's, here's the manager, right, hey, this task, the employees get it done, and at the end of the day, what the employee may be is looking for is, well, was that worth it? Did it make a difference for somebody, this thing that I spent my day doing, how did it affect somebody? And that, that final link seems to be really critical in terms of people's sense of purpose and belonging at work.

Kirby Scott Ingles:
Yeap.

Julie Rieken:
And I would imagine that that would have positive effects on employee retention if they can actually get that third piece in there, although that's not easy sometimes, that's a whole work stream in and of itself. So how did you help this person? How are they going to go ahead and take that component?

Kirby Scott Ingles:
Yeah, and it was it was challenging, it was challenging because obviously, you know, they work in an IT department, and so that's very hard to show that they're going through that stages, but it's something that we're currently working on and he's really beginning to develop. But what he's doing is, is he's taking the results that the company is getting and he's sharing that with people. For example, I also worked with another individual, and one of the things that they always did was as they complain because the company kept spitting out new software all the time. So no, every two years when they upgraded software, used a different software and they were frustrated, and employees always wanted to go back to the old thing because that's what they were comfortable for. But the reason why most people didn't buy into this new idea, which is part of climate and cultural change, is that you have to actually show progress. And so when we do these changes, when we make these updates, like what is the progress that you're showing? Like, how is this having an effect on the regular organization? And you've got to be able to try and connect those two together, and it's a difficult process, don't get me wrong. But, you know, unless you do that, then they're going to lose faith, they don't see that what they're doing is making a difference. And that's going to probably get some folks to start leaving your organization because to be honest with you, there's really kind of three types of people in the workplace, you know? And I was told this a long time ago, and it proved to be pretty true. And you usually have the employee that is hunting Monday through Friday just for a paycheck, you know, they just want to get paid, go home, drink beer or watch football like we are right now, but that's their normal life. You know, they just, they're just hunting the paycheck, they're just trying to get by.

Julie Rieken:
Yeah.

Kirby Scott Ingles:
But then about a mid-career comes in and they start to think about, OK, I want a sense of security, I want that retirement, I need that pension, and so they're looking towards that retirement. And then you get to towards the end of a person's career, right, somebody hitting their 40s and 50s, and they're starting to think beyond retirement. They're starting to think about the impact that they have, and work becomes more of a sense of, of contribution, you know, that has more meaning. And for some folks, they might even call it a calling. So I think that's where we're kind of at, and I think that you have to be in order to be able to do that, it does come with a little bit of experience, right? So you have to know who you're dealing with in the organization and what their needs and demands are, so you really have to get to know those individuals, and it almost serves as almost a one-on-one coaching aspect for me. If I was the manager, I might have more of those conversations and I might help show people progress on an individual one-on-one basis, because that might be easier than throwing up some slide in the office or something like that or in a briefing or a meeting and saying, hey, we built 700 widgets, it has this amount of impact, we got four star reviews, that's not really getting after what we're trying to do by showing meaning and progress so.

Julie Rieken:
You know, I wrote down a couple of notes while you were talking, and I think one of the things that isn't a native space for, I will include myself in this group, is the idea that when we show progress, it's more than just a checklist of a software release, it's more than just look at the company numbers, I mean, I hate to put it in these terms, but there's a bit of heart, right? Like, how did you make a difference? What was the end result? How did you make somebody's life better? And that is oftentimes as we're driving business forward, it's a really easy space to overlook, and yet, what I think I'm hearing you saying is that element of how did I make a difference with this thing by doing whether it's to customers or to other people in the organization could be a really key element of how to make people feel better in their current environments and to respect their needs for, for belonging and impact inside their organizations.

Kirby Scott Ingles:
I think you're totally right. You know, one of the examples that I use quite often is I remind people what it was like during the beginning of the pandemic in that first year when they shut down sports. And it kind of goes back to what, a cliched term is, lead with your feet, not from your seat. And another one is the CEOs getting to know the janitor of the organization from top to bottom, do you know what your people are saying? Do you know how your people feel? Do you know your people? And that's a huge challenge. And at the beginning of the pandemic, all these organizations shut down, these big football stadiums, baseball stadiums, everything shut down. And that had such a profound impact, and people didn't realize it was more than just the players that were affected, it was more than just the owners, it was the people who picked up the garbage from those events every single day, it's the electricity people that turn those powers on and off, it was the grounds crew that have to show up to work and take care of the field every day. You know, there were just so many people, it's the guy selling tickets to the parking spots outside, it's the restaurant owners for those events, it was just so much and we were having such a tremendous community impact. And I'm like, you have to take that into consideration. And I think when people hear that they're like, wow, that's an expansive list of people, and it's like, you have to think about who all your stakeholders are. And it's just not the people within the building.

Julie Rieken:
I think you're right. It's not just the people within the building, so Kirby, this has been super interesting because I've been putting a lot of thought into how we are shifting as organizations to meet sort of the, where business meets humanity. And I think we've had a lot of good business and this, this, all this shift has, has released a lot of humanity of the things that we're seeking and how do we blend those two so that we can find and hire the right people, and it's certainly something that I'm going to give a lot of thought to, and I want to thank you for sharing those insights and those stories with us today they're, they're really helpful, I think, for me to think about for our own organization and hopefully for all of our listeners, so thank you.

Kirby Scott Ingles:
You're welcome, Julie. I appreciate it.

PeopleStar Podcast Outro:
Thanks for listening to the PeopleStar Podcast. For the show notes, transcript, resources, and more ways to get a seat at the table, visit us at TrakStar.com/Podcast.

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