TINYcon 2018: Learn from other HR leaders and take home actionable tips to improve

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"I think the biggest thing is the diversity of thought. Some of the eye-opening ways that people are using the data. Also, the fact that there are people that are not actual customers, but they're here to inquire because they want to be better. "
Heather Young, Founder and CEO
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Transcript

My biggest takeaway from TINYcon has really been the diversity of thought. There's a lot of similarities I think of people, what they're talking about, but there's also just little different angles to it. One of the things that hit me was Howard's talk that was earlier, Howard B. Hauer I think is how you pronounce his name and he just, a lot of his authenticity. I talk a lot about leadership and the work that I do and just his actually, his true display of the leaders that we need in organizations to drive engagement and loyalty just hit me pretty powerfully. I emotionally coach leaders to have candor relationships with their people and then to let that be a two-way conversation. So, I do coach that. I don't coach as much employees to the extent that I do it when I'm doing employee focus groups where I'm saying, "We want to hear your voice." The leadership has actually hired me to come in so we get the true nature of your voice. We want the truth cause we want to make changes. So, in that regard, yes, that  conversation, that happens all the time. My focus is on voice of the employee and so, any way I can get that true voice to help capture what changes really need to happen to improve their experience is going to be my focus. I think the way to get leadership involved into all the feedback that comes in is to number one, require it. So, to have an expectation from the very senior executive, the CEO, the COO, just that C-suite to get completely on board with it and pretty much cascade that objective down to every leader all the way down to that frontline supervisor. I say, "You have so much responsibility and positive power if you just managed a person, a team of one, and that power over that one team member can be super impactful to the organizational results." So, I would say the biggest thing is to start up and have everybody just cascade down that need a requirement and expectation that it's going to happen. I'd have to say my favorite speaker at TINYcon has probably been Margo Wheeler. Yeah, I just, I loved her positive spirit. Her cheerleader mentality. I could see it be fun really working side by side with her. I just liked her mentality. Yes. When I'm coaching other leaders it's interesting. It runs the gamut. It can be communication style, it can be receptivity to feedback, it could be giving more feedback. It could be giving recognition to your team members. While I do executive coaching, it's not the primary thing I do. It's almost ancillary to the main focus and my main focus, which is why I'm so closely aligned with TINYpulse is on voice of the employee.S o for me, any activity, post  survey, so the data that TINYpulse is giving to their customers, I help with that entire process, but what I find is that organizations don't use that information and take action on it. They feel very proud of themselves for listening, but then they don't do the requisite action after that and then really don't track whether or measure whether the actions they are taking are impacting that bottom line for their employees and their employee experience because the employees drive that bus forward. I actually think the number one reason I think is fear. Fear of the unknown. When they dig into it, what am I going to find? And then once they find that thing they're afraid of, am I going to be able to meet the expectations as it relates to our actions that we take to meet that need? It's almost it's overwhelming to them. They receive it and they're like, "I see it, I hear it and I don't know where to start," and the other thing is really a lot of times they don't have the resources internally. So, there's everybody just completely over-leveraged with their time and they don't have that internal person or team that can help to see that process through and it really is something that's a process. I always tell people, this is a journey. Culture change, engagement. You don't just see it in one number. I was working with one client and I had to... We were working with this, their best places to work, but they were low on the list and we had to take the survey results and we had to start a whole process. I mean, they had a whole year of listening and that first year we didn't see a lot of change. We saw just a little bit, but when we went through the second full cycle of listening with action and focus groups, just lots of listening and action, then we were able to see a 40% jump up on their numbers from that next full cycle. So, it takes time. It takes patience. It takes courage to do that hard work, but it's absolutely necessary. The biggest thing is that what TINYcon stands for, TINYpulse stands for is really what I stand for. The idea of really focusing on engaging and retaining our best people and doing that by listening really astutely to what they're saying and then I love the fact that with TINYpulse itself, the tool, how it drives positive recognition of the team members, which is so crucial, and I'll talk about that at my talk tomorrow, but that listening and helping the organizations with how do you aggregate that information in the reporting side of things and then actually take action from there? So, it melds to be a perfect partnership. So, that's the reason why I decided to talk here. I think the biggest thing is the diversity of thought. Some of the eye-opening ways that people are using the data. Also the fact that there are people that are here that are not actual customers, but they're here to inquire because they want to be better and so, they can come even if they're not customers. Come so that you can just get more information and see how other people and users are using it. Actually, the panel was another really impactful thing yesterday to hear the actual users talk about some of their challenges, some of the things that they've seen as far as positive results and some of the ways they're just continuing that process right along. It's not perfection, it's a journey and so, I think that's the most powerful thing about TINYcon is to see that. I think the biggest thing goes back to what I said. My north star is in the voice of the employee and it's in listening to the voice and I think that organizations that do that well really truly listen with an intent to act, not act on everything, but to be strategic with their listening and their action, then those are the ones that actually are able to lead with heart because when they're listening to their people, they use that as their north star. They use that to drive their actions. So, then what happens is the people that are in the front line that are driving the bus forward are feeling really valued. They're feeling like their voice is powerful and in that case they're going to feel like, "Wow, our leaders really care." So, I think that's where the heart comes from. Oh wow. I don't think it would be one size or one particular organization. The biggest thing would be those who are looking to really invest in engagement and retention efforts are going to be the ones working with TINYpulse. Organizations that want to take their listening efforts much more seriously so that they are going to invest in a real substantive way and then expect to do something as a result. I know TINYpulse is not an organization that wants you just to use a tool to listen, but they're really excited to see the case study after the fact to see the impact that the tool has actually had because it really is a tool, right? I've always told people that I've been tool or survey agnostic. In the end, someone said earlier, "Don't use it as a crutch to say, 'Now I have it and I have this tool in place and we're listening.' Use this amazing tool to then help drive action that helps then drive results for your people." That's the winning force. I have an organization that really helps organizations focus on engaging and retaining their best talent. We do that by helping them harness the voices of their employees and use that to impact organizational strategy and we also do that by developing leaders through executive coaching and leadership development programs. How I can help TINYpulse customers? I really think the biggest thing I consider one of my biggest niches is helping organizations and individual leaders find their own truth and so, when you're finding the truth, you find it sometimes through the data. For example, in the TINYpulse data that's coming out, right? Sometimes we might find that truth through employee focus groups. Sometimes it might just be interactions or interviews with employees and so, if I'm able to help you harness that voice, really find that truth for you and your organization, you're going to be able to get to the bottom to really pinpoint what it is your people want and then of course, improve their experience, which is my end goal and I would hope it'd be your organizations end goal too.