Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to "How to Effectively Onboard & Engage Your Staff." This is the next topic in the 2019 Deer Oaks Supervisor Excellence Employee Engagement webinar series. I'm glad that you've joined us today. We've got a big group of folks on the line. Appreciate your interest.

My name is Greg Brannan from Deer Oaks. I'll be your facilitator. Before we get started, I want to make sure that our technology is working for us today. If you could please locate the raised hand icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen in the GoToWebinar software. And if you can see the slides clearly and hear my voice clearly, please click on the raise hand icon now.

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I think most of us know today that we have a workforce that's in transition, right. And so the job market's probably as competitive as it's been in many years. It's increasingly challenging to find great candidates, right. There's a lot of opportunities for people right now in the economy. Especially for talented workers, there's lots of opportunities.

We've got a shift in the demographics, right. Baby boomers and older workers are retiring and continuing to retire. Each year, more baby boomers are retiring. So that creates a shrinking of an experienced talent pool, right.

Those are folks that have the most experience, nowadays-- or are among the most experienced. There's still some older workers from the veteran generation that are in their 70s and 80s that are still working. But the baby boomers, those in their mid to late 50s and 60s, I mean, they're continuing to retire more and more every year and, of course, taking with them all of that knowledge and experience that they've gained over the years.

And then there's shifts in the job expectations for younger workers. The millennial generation-- folks between the ages of 21 and 36-- I mean, their expectations for work and longevity of work-- or at least longevity of positions that they hold throughout their career-- is a lot different than it was for the older generation.

For example, baby boomers were staying with one organization an average of seven to nine years. The millennial generation is staying with the same job and the same employer for an average of three to four years.

So that's really changed. So that means there's more turnover for organizations to experience, which means they have to continually be hiring good people, onboarding those good people, engaging those good people, and hopefully keeping them for as long as possible.

And so, I mean, this really is a time where it really makes sense for us to focus our efforts in terms of retention and engagement-- to retain our best people and to engage them so they'll stay as long as possible and be as productive as possible while they're with us. It really puts a focus on us doing a great job with that.

And so we're going to talk about two pieces of that today. We're going to talk about the onboarding process, which is once we identify that great candidate, how do we bond them with our organization? How do we orient them? How do we excite them to work for us?

Because there's a lot of research that says that initial bonding experience they have with their employer has a lot to do with how long they'll stay, how productive they'll be while they're there, and how engaged they'll be along the way. So that's an important piece. We'll talk about that in detail today.

In addition, we're going to talk about creating a more engaging environment. So after we onboard people, we get them up and going, creating and maintaining an environment where our employees are going to be motivated to come in and give us 100% every day, to be committed to our organization, to helping us meet our goals and to be engaged in the work and to be as productive as possible.

So we got to talk about those two things today. So let me start first with the onboarding piece. All right. So this is an area that's often overlooked. I mean, there are certainly, probably some supervisors and managers on the call today that are doing a great job with this, that truly recognize the importance of getting people off to a good start and the connection between a quality onboarding experience and engagement and longevity of their employment.

But it's really important. There's a lot of research. There's a couple of studies that I want to talk about. One was from PricewaterhouseCoopers. And most of you have probably heard of that consulting firm.

What they really found was that if new employees came into an organization and did not connect with their teammates, did not create bonds with their co-workers, didn't get to know and connect with their boss very well, if they didn't form those strong relationships in the workplace, that that was a primary reason why they were leaving employers quickly.

I mean, there's the statistics around higher percentages of people leave within the first year if they don't appropriately bond with individual employees and their boss with their new companies. This is a really important piece.

We need to make sure we create an environment and a process that gets people not only bonded to our organization, but facilitates them having good, strong relationship connections with their co-workers and with their supervisor. Very, very important to get them off to that right start.

And so a lot of that, it starts with the orientation process. A best practice in terms of onboarding individuals is to have a structured orientation. Now, I'm not talking about to the point where you've got to have an orientation plan that accounts for every 15 minutes of a new employee's day. No, nothing that stringent.

But what employees want when they come to work for an organization-- and because, think about this-- a new employee-- we've all been new employees ourselves, right-- when a new employee comes into an organization, there's going to be some anxiety. There's going to be some uneasiness.

Did I make the right decision with my new employer? Will I like the people? Will they accept me? Will they appreciate my capabilities? Will I be able to succeed here? Will I like my boss? I mean, there's just a lot of uneasiness for a new employee. It's normal and natural.

And so when a hiring supervisor creates a structured orientation program that's very welcoming for a new employee, where we, number one, spent a lot of time with them, give them some structure-- and I'd recommend a minimum a 30-day formal orientation, where you're giving them a bit of a schedule. And, again, it doesn't have to drill down to every 15 minutes of the day.

But, for example, here is week 1. On Monday, you're going to spend the morning with these two co-workers observing the work that they do. In the afternoon, you're going to spend time with me as your supervisor. We're going to go over expectations for your job description together. Those kinds of things. So have that laid out, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Now, the supervisor needs to stay very involved in this. There's just a lot of research. Folks, in terms of having an engaged employee-- an engaged employee, again, should be the goal for all of us. We want as many engaged employees as possible.

Those are people that want to be there, right. They're committed to the organization, willing to give 100%, and they're going to be really productive people for us. There's a couple basic things we need to do as supervisors, starting with the onboarding process, to create an environment where people are most likely to get engaged and be committed to the organization.

Number one is a strong, caring relationship with their supervisor. And so if we don't spend time during the orientation process or during the onboarding process as supervisors-- and I made this mistake early on in my career.

I've been managing people now for over 25 years. And early on in my management career, I delegated a lot of orientation to other workers. I mean, sure, I would spend a little bit of time introducing the employee around the first morning they started work.

But in that first week or two, I wasn't that hands-on involved with them. I was delegating the orientation process largely to other workers, other senior employees, where I would have the new employee shadow the senior employee And the senior employee actually would spend a lot more time with the new employees than I would.

And I realize now that that was a mistake. The onboarding process should be the primary responsibility of that person's direct supervisor. Because your relationship as their direct supervisor with that employee and the strength of that relationship-- quality of it, the fact that you spent enough time to really get to know that employee and what's important to them and what motivates them. Find out what kind of work they like to do, what kind of projects are motivating to them, what kinds of things they don't like to do so much. Really get to know them as a person.

When a supervisor in the first couple of weeks of the onboarding process spends a lot of time with an employee and really builds that strong bond early on, there's just a lot of research that shows that that employee is much more likely to become engaged, to bond with the organization, become engaged, and give 100%. And then they're going to stay longer. I mean, that stands the reason.

So let's make sure that when we're putting together their 30-day orientation or whatever length of structured orientation you decide to put together, make sure that you, as their direct supervisor, are spending a lot of time with that employee. Now, certainly, I mean, you have a busy job, and there'll be other things you'll have to do along the way. But just make sure you're building in some significant one-on-one time with you and that new employee. That's really key.

Number two, make sure you facilitate other connections with that employee and other employees on the team, or other department heads. And so as part of orientation, of course, a lot of us build in introduction time, right. So an employee will spend time in this department with that supervisor, with this coworker, and so on and so forth. And that's important.

But a lot of times, it's like a check-the-box. We look at 10 or 15 or 20 people that this new employee needs to connect with, and we make sure they spend maybe a little bit of time with each one of those people. But we don't necessarily facilitate a connection. Spending an hour with someone, having them give you an overview of what their responsibilities are and what they do, is not the same as a connection, right. I think we all know that.

To facilitate connection is the process of making sure that people get to spend time together and get to know each other. Make sure people feel welcome and feel like an important new part of the team and have the team embrace them-- hey, we're glad you're here. Let's get to know you better.

And so what I'm talking about here would be the supervisor facilitating as part of the structured onboarding process, that 30-day schedule. Facilitate the team going out to lunch together and really going around, facilitating a really good conversation at that lunch, and to prep the other employees-- let's do everything we can to make this new employee feel welcome.

And then facilitate that lunch or that team meeting, whatever format you decide to go with there. And facilitate everyone going around, talking about themselves, and a little bit about who they are as a person. Really have them take an interest in the new employee, what they did before they came to your organization, what their goals are.

And make sure that they reinforce that they're glad that that person is here. And then be talking offline with some of your senior people to say, I want to make sure that especially in the first month or two that this employee feels really welcome. They're very talented. And I want them to bond with our organization so they want to be here and they want to stay here for the long term.

And so to have others come around informally to say, hey, can I buy you a cup coffee? Or, hey, you want to have lunch with me this afternoon? Or whatever. And to really facilitate and encourage others on the team to spend some one-on-one time to connect with that employee and make them feel welcome-- get to know them and make them feel welcome. That's key.

And that won't just happen. I think we all know that. I mean, everyone's busy. That's not going to just happen. And sometimes new people end up standing around a little bit because they don't have a lot of their own tasks and responsibilities yet.

And so what we really want to do, though, is to make sure that we create an environment. And you've got to prep it ahead of time, and talk to people ahead of time, and create some structure to that so that employee feels as welcome as possible.

All right. So in addition with bonding with new staff, you also want to make sure, as their manager, to not free them from the orientation process too soon. I think a lot of us have experience where you start with an organization, maybe you get a week's worth of training, a little bit of orientation, a few days or week's worth of training.

And then it's like, OK, good luck to you. And then you're launched. And it's like your orientation is over and you're on your own. And you're not up to speed yet. There's still a lot we have to learn. There's a lot of relationships we've not built yet. There's a lot of job functions we haven't learned or certainly haven't mastered yet.

And so it's really important for that person's direct supervisor, beyond that first month to be touching base with the employee to make sure that they have all the resources they need, they're getting all the training they need, just to make sure they're as comfortable as possible, just to have that ongoing conversation and support. Because we don't want to cut them loose too soon.

Another research study I wanted to mention is that the lack of on-the-job training is another reason why employees leave early in their tenure with a new organization within the first six months, is if they don't bond with their responsibilities, if they don't get significant on-the-job training, turnover rates are higher. And there's research that shows a lot of organizations are not doing a lot of on-the-job training.

We're basically doing that initial orientation. We have people watch others do the work a little bit. We might give them a little bit of training. And then we cut them loose. And then they struggle.

And a lot of times, new employees are going to be hesitant to tell their boss they're struggling because they want to make a good impression. They don't want the boss to feel like they can't do the work. And so then you get anxiety and discomfort with that employee.

That's why I want us to make sure, as supervisors, as part of onboarding, is to make sure we're giving employees opportunity to watch the work being done by others, hands-on opportunity to try the work themselves with some oversight from senior people and from their supervisor, right-- giving them feedback, giving them encouragement, recognition. And that's really, really important.

So think about this. You want them to bond on two levels. You want them to bond with you and their teammates. You want to make those interpersonal connections. That's crucial.

But you also want them to bond with the work. You want them to gain confidence. You want to make sure they're well-trained and that they're comfortable that you're going to be there for them and you're here to help them and that you don't expect them to know everything really quickly.

You know it takes time to learn some of these job functions and so on, but that you want to work with them and be an ongoing part of their skill development. And you want to be there to support them and help them to succeed.

And so the more you can have that kind of openness with them, the less employees are going to be hesitant to come and ask for help if they're struggling. And think about it, we all have a learning curve with anything new that we try.

And ideally, you want to have your boss, your supervisor be talking to you regularly, giving you feedback, letting you try things, giving you encouraging feedback. And so, of course, as we're coaching and giving feedback, we want to be as constructive and positive as possible, and to make sure they feel comfortable asking for help if they need additional help later on.

All right. So that's the first piece. Let's make sure we're really doing a good job of bonding employees to the people and to the work.

All right. Now, once we've got them onboarded-- let's say it's a couple months in and these employees are onboarded-- now on an ongoing basis, right, we want to create a culture of engagement. And what I mean by a "culture of engagement," there really are two things we should be thinking about here.

And I want to give you some statistics to motivate you to create the best possible culture of engagement you can in your department, is that employees that are engaged-- I mean, the research is conclusive. I mean, obviously, we want engaged employees, right. But I want to show you what the latest research shows in terms of just how much more productive engaged people are.

An engaged employee-- this is from Dale Carnegie Training-- is 480% more committed to help their organization succeed, 250% more likely to recommend improvement. So they really take ownership and actively want to help the organization improve. And then they're going to be ambassadors for you on the street. They're 370% more likely to recommend their organization to others.

Now, Globalforce has some companion research about job satisfaction that's very tied into employee engagement. Engaged employees are more committed and happier in their work. Because, think about it. If you're not happy in your work, if you don't like your job, it's very unlikely you're going to get real engaged. And so happiness, satisfaction, and engagement tend to go hand-in-hand.

What Globalforce says about happy and engaged employees is they stay twice as long with their organization as the average employee. I mean, that's going to reduce your turnover rate and give you that retention that you're looking for. They're 85% more efficient in their work, 10 times less likely to call out or take sick leave, and 58% more likely to help their colleagues. They're going to be better teammates.

So I mean, this really behooves us to pay attention to making sure you're creating a culture that's going to maximize the engagement of your team, of your employees. And so here's how we do that. I'm going to give you just a few basics that are really, really core.

The first one, we talked about already. The first key to having an engaged team is to make sure you have a strong, caring relationship with each one of your direct reports. And that takes time. You've got to invest time in bonding with your team. Do small talk. And be connecting with people every week. How's it going? How's your life? How's your family? Did you see that game on Sunday?

This is really, really important. There's new research that says that the first two minutes of every workday is a really important time for employees to re-up their motivation. And it's true. The research says that employees actually re-up motivation every day.

And so if you have a supervisor who's positive and friendly and happy to see you every day and asking you about your life and what's going on in your world-- and of course, the more time you spend with people, the better you get to know them and the more things you have to ask them about in the future the next time you see them.

But a lot of supervisors are so busy with their tasks and their to-do lists, they don't spend much time small-talking and bonding. Don't neglect that. That's important. The number one predictor of an engaged employee is, I know my boss cares about me. This is specific research from Carnegie Training.

So think about that. How are they going to know you care about them if you don't spend time with them and you don't ask them about their lives? Not just their work, but about their lives. How is your family?

I mean, I have one of my direct reports here at Deer Oaks, one of my key people-- does a great job. And she and I have our weekly one-on-one conversation every Friday afternoon. And I spend a significant amount of time. I'm not talking about 10 minutes. But I spend a couple minutes every week asking her about her family, her upcoming vacation, how her daughter's doing. During football season, I know she's an Indianapolis Colts fan, so I ask her about the Colts.

I mean, we just talk. And we talk as people. I want her to know that I care about her as a person. I certainly care about her as an employee. And she does great work. But I care about her as a person.

And that's important. We need to connect with our employees in a way that they feel cared about as people. Because that's the number one predictor to that person being engaged and wanting to do a great job for you, as their supervisor.

And so that's number one. Number two is, we've got to create a collaborative environment. And so what I mean by "collaborative" is on a regular basis, make sure you're talking with your people. You're working together with them. You're not just giving orders.

There's two basic communication strategies that are employed nowadays by managers in the organizational world. One is a directive communication approach, where this is a manager, a supervisor who's trying to be real efficient, just getting through things quickly, getting things off their to-do list quickly.

They tend to have a lot of very brief, directive conversations with employees. When they're assigning work, they're telling the employee what to do and how to do it. When they're solving problems, they're walking up to the employee and saying, we've got this issue going on. Please do this to correct it.

And so, not being mean, but being directive is the opposite of collaboration. I want you to see that. So being directive is one way that a lot of managers typically communicate.

The other way, though, is much more motivating for employees. And that's being collaborative. So what I mean by "collaborative" is when supervisors partner with employees, when they're regularly soliciting their input, when there's problems to be solved, they're regularly asking the employees for their ideas as to what we should do to fix this or solve this problem. When they're assigning work, they're explaining the scope of the work, but then they're asking the employee for their input as to how the work should be accomplished.

And I think you can see that's a big difference. If you're telling someone what to do and how to do it, or introducing what you want to talk about and inviting their input and showing respect for their ideas, that's a whole different level of motivating communication, right?

When you're too directive, employees tend to feel like they're being bossed around, even if you don't do it in a mean-spirited way. When you're being collaborative and asking for their input, employees tend to feel like you're interested in their opinion, you respect their capabilities, you value their thinking. That's a motivating environment that's going to lead to more employees being engaged. They're going to buy in to things more. They're going to take more ownership.

And I learned that the hard way. Early in my management career, 20 years ago, I was very directive. I was doing it in part because I hadn't had training to learn how to be collaborative and that it works better that way and it's more motivating for people that way.

But also, I was trying to be efficient. I was just trying to get through things as quickly as I could. All managers and supervisors are busy, right. And so I had as many bottom-line conversations with people as quickly as I could and on to the next thing. I didn't realize that my focus was on tasks and not on the quality of conversations with people.

If you truly want to create an engaging environment for your people, you need to regularly take time and invest in collaborative conversations where you're soliciting their input, showing respect for their ideas, being interested in what they think we ought to do to solve a problem or to complete a project. It makes all the difference in the world, I'll tell you. It really does.

I was talking to a young employee recently, a guy who was in his late 20s, a city planner. And he said that, I've worked for this organization for two years, this municipality. And he said that, my boss has honestly never asked for my input, once. And he was really bothered by it.

And then I asked him a little bit more about it. He looked at me. He's a young guy. He says, dude. He says, I've got a master's degree. He goes, I've got a brain. He says, and my boss has never once asked me my opinion. He said, and honestly, I don't know how long I'm going to stay. I mean, he actually went on to say, I feel like a tool because the only time he ever talks to me is to tell me to do something.

And so I want you to see that as an example that, if we're to direct, if people don't feel appreciated, they don't feel as respected, they're not going to get as engaged. Where, if you slow down a little bit and see having collaborative conversations with your employees as an investment, you're going to create an environment where employees are going to feel more respected.

And they're going to feel more appreciated and see that you're interested in them and that you want to know their opinion and you want to know what they're thinking. It makes all the difference in the world.

So think about this. When you assign tasks, we as supervisors should be assigning the "what," and maybe explaining the "why," right. That's important. But we should let the employees have input in the "how." Right, that's their expertise. We hired them to do that job.

And so if we're telling them what to do and how to do it, we're overstepping. We shouldn't be doing that. We hired the employees to do the actual work. Our job should be the lead and support, but to give them an opportunity and to solicit their input into how the work should get done. So let's make sure we're working to be more engaging that way and regularly asking people for input.

And that really is the bottom line of coaching. In terms of creating a collaborative environment, when people are working for a supervisor that's more of a coach than a boss-- and what I mean by that is, a boss is someone that tends to be very directive, that ends up solving all the problems themselves, acting sometimes like they know it all, assigning the work and telling them how to do the work.

If someone does something wrong or turns in subpar quality work, they're the ones telling them what they should do to improve that work. And in an environment like that, that's not coaching. That's bossing people around. That's being highly directive. And, again, employees don't experience that as motivating. And in the long term, they're less likely to get engaged and to buy in and to be motivated to give you that 100% effort.

Where, if you could be more of a coach-- when you're talking to people, you're in the habit of asking for input. So whether it's assigning a task and you share, here's what I need you to do and here's why. You have experience in this area. What do you think we should do to get this done? Or what are your ideas? Again, creating that environment where the employee is going to want to be engaged and feel respected and want to give 100%.

Same thing with solving problems. When there's a problem, going to the employees and saying, hey, we've got an issue. Let's brainstorm how we can deal with this. What are your thoughts? Have you ever seen this kind of problem before? What did you do in the past?

And even if you're trying to correct subpar performance-- let's say an employee turns in a report and it's subpar quality. Let's say it's missing some of the charts and graphs that you know upper management is looking for. Rather than telling the employee, this is subpar, and I need you to go back and do this and this and this to fix it, and then get it back to me within a day, please-- where you're dictating the fix, it's going to be more motivating for the employee if you give the employee the opportunity. Ask for their input.

Your job as a supervisor is to point out, sure, I was kind of disappointed that this month's report-- because you usually do great reports-- didn't have the charts and graphs attached to it. And I wondered why.

And let's say-- and here's a collaborative conversation-- the employee says, well, actually, I was really busy this month. And so I just did the best we could. But I had too much on my plate. And to say to the employee, I understand. I have months like that too. But actually, I can't turn this into upper management without those charts and graphs. If I give you a couple more days, what could you do to bring this back up to the level that your reports normally are at?

And have the employee say, well, tell you what. If you don't mind, if you can help me take this one thing off my plate right now, I'd be more than happy to go back and add the charts and graphs to the report again. And so to let them take the lead in what they're going to do to correct that performance.

People are always more motivated to follow through if it's their idea. Even kids. Those of you that are parents-- I'm sure we've got a lot of parents on the call today. You can tell the kids pick up their room now. Or you can say, I need you to clean your room today. When do you think you can do it? And if you give the kid a little bit of input, I mean, it's human nature, right. People support what they help to create.

And that's what coaching is. Coaching is creating an environment, both formally and informally, where employees are encouraged to give their advice, to make their suggestions, to come up with corrective action. And you facilitate that. So rather than being a director, you're facilitating conversations with the employees about getting stuff done.

I mean, it works really, really well. I mean, I do that now pretty regularly after starting my career as pretty much a directive boss. It's made all the difference in the world. My early teams then weren't very motivated. I had turnover at Deer Oaks.

We've done very, very well now for several years. The team has been pretty motivated. And we've had no turnover. It really works to be more of a collaborative coach. It creates an environment that causes people to be more engaged or motivates them to be more engaged.

All right. Now, we covered a lot in a very short period of time. Let me open it up for questions. Again, if you have any questions, please type them into the question box in the GoToWebinar software on the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

We have plenty of time today. So if you have any questions, type them into the question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Again, your questions will be confidential. What I mean by that is, I won't be reading the name of the person who writes the question. But I'll be reading the question aloud and then answering it to the best of my ability for all of us.

All right. First question. How should a boss/coach avoid becoming too friendly with their employees and running the risk of losing respect? That's a good question.

I had a CEO that was my boss about 20 years ago-- gave me great advice about this. As your boss, he says, I will always be friendly with you, but I can't be your best friend. I have to have some objective boundaries in our relationship.

And I thought that was a great way to say that. So I don't think you lose respect by being friendly at all. I think people appreciate a boss being human and friendly because that demonstrates they care about you.

Now, obviously, you can get too close, right. I mean, you probably don't want to be friending people on Facebook. I think most of us would agree that's probably too close. I think it's fine to go out to lunch once in a while with an employee, but you probably shouldn't do it on a regular basis, right. That goes from having an occasional work lunch to becoming friends.

So, again, friendly is showing interest, spending some time, build a, connection care about that person. But obviously, you can't cross the line and go to social events at their house every weekend. That's obviously too close. You can't have lunch with them every week unless it's the whole team doing it. That's probably too close.

And so that's what you really need to be thinking about in terms of building the relationship and still having some objective, professional boundaries. But I don't worry about losing respect by being friendly. I truly believe that people have more respect for people that show that they care about them.

I think there's less respect if you don't spend any time with people, because then the people feel neglected. And they're not going to respect people that they feel like are rejecting or neglecting them.

All right. Thank you. That was a great question. Next question. How do you handle an employee who needs to produce work at a certain level but does not have the knowledge yet to do so? Is it always bad to be directive?

That's a great question. And the answer is, it's not always bad. I truly recommend-- especially after all the training I've gotten over the years and through a lot of trial and error myself-- I truly believe that the most motivating leaders are mostly collaborative. What I mean by mostly is 70%, 80%, give or take. I'd even be happy with 50%.

And most employees are going to be understanding at times when you have to be directive. There's some times when we need to be directive. If you have a new employee that doesn't understand the work yet, it's a training issue. You're going to be a little bit more directive with a newer employee. That's understandable. If it's a safety issue, you're going to be more directive. Or if there's only one way to do something, you're going to be more directive.

And so don't feel bad for the times that you're more directive. And this isn't all or nothing. But my problem 20 years ago was, I was directive 80% of the time-- maybe 90% of the time. And I would only ask for input once in a while. But as long as you're mostly collaborative, mostly respectful, I think employees are very patient with us the times that we have to be directive.

And I even apologize nowadays, like with my proposal manager, if I have to be directive with her. Because she's very bright. And she has great ideas. She'd been with us a long time. I'll say, in this particular case, the president has asked us to do things a certain way.

And I'm sorry for being so direct about it, because I know you would have good ideas and have good input. But in this particular case, the president wants it a particular way. So we've got to be very specific. And I'm sorry to be so directive with you about it. Because she knows that the normal way I work with her now is to regularly ask her opinion and her input.

All right. Great question. Thank you. All right, we've got several questions. Thank you for being so thoughtful, folks. Here's the next one. How do you handle a manager not wanting to be collaborative? That's a good question, as well.

I mean, obviously, when we're talking about the people above us, they're our boss, right. And so if your boss doesn't like to collaborate and they just want to be directive with you, I mean, that's up to them. It's not our place to tell them what their management style should be. I think you probably all agree with that.

But we can model being collaborative. We could have them sit in on some of our meetings with our employees when we're collaborating. We could ask to brainstorm with them about certain subjects. We could model it-- model collaboratively.

Think about this. Brainstorming is pure collaboration. And so to say to your boss, hey, do you mind if I get some time on your calendar? I've got this big project coming up, and I wanted to brainstorm with you some of the strategies that I'm thinking about. I mean, that, again, would be you trying to model with your boss that you like to brainstorm and work together to try to figure out the best ways to move forward. So that would be one thing I would suggest. Good question.

All right, next question. How do you handle an employee who is showing significant resistance to change in procedures? That's a great question, too. I use the coaching approach for that, as well. And so let's say you've got an employee you've asked to follow a new procedure, and in a couple of times you've had to call them on the fact that they're still doing it the way that we used to do it. And the organization has moved past that, and we need to get on with the new procedure.

I would bring them in and say, hey, we've talked about this a couple of times. And I noticed that you're still doing this the old way. And honestly, we're going to have to put a line in the sand here. We're going to have to stop with the old way of doing things. I know you were comfortable. And I feel for you about that. I know you were comfortable. But we really have a directive from above that we have to start following this new procedure.

And then, so tell me, what could you do from this point forward to get on board with the new procedure? I mean, I'm happy to support you. But what could you do to get on board with it? And again, have that collaborative conversation where you're letting them know, here's the expectation, but asking them how they're going to comply. That turns it into a more collaborative conversation. Thank you for that question.

All right. We've got several more questions coming up. OK, how can we get our managers to be more involved without them being defensive of our constant requests, especially if they don't see a problem with the onboarding process?

I'm guessing with this question that you're a more senior manager, and you've got some managers underneath you. I'm not 100% sure. So sometimes when I'm reading the questions, I'm not sure of the exact context. And I want to be able to answer it in the context that you intend, as best as I can. So I guess I'm going to assume in this one that you're the senior manager, and the junior managers are not getting as involved with onboarding. And I don't want to make them defensive.

But I mean, if it's more than one person, it's an easier conversation. You can do it in a team meeting, right. So let's say you've got three managers. And let's say folks are not as involved with onboarding as you'd like to see them. You can set the tone and bring them in and say, hey, I've been looking more at best practices in terms of onboarding.

And I do think direct supervisor support, as busy as we are around here, is a real key to bonding our new employees with the organization. And let's have a brainstorming conversation, as busy as we are, as to how the three of you could be more actively involved in new employee onboarding, would be a way I might recommend having that conversation. And that shouldn't make people defensive. That's just a way to get them thinking in the direction you want them thinking.

All right. Next question. I've got a couple more. OK. Some supervisors don't want to treat employees differently out of fear of showing favoritism or unequal treatment. How would you present these ideas to such a supervisor?

I guess I don't see any issue of favoritism with the way that I approach collaboration. Because basically, I collaborate with everybody. And so right now at Deer Oaks, I've got three employees. I treat the three of them the same way. I regularly ask them for their input and their opinion. And so I'm less concerned about that kind of a thing.

And if you think about it, supervisor-employee conversations and motivating employees isn't a one-size-fits-all, right. I mean, a manager is, ideally, going to adjust the kind of conversation they're having to the personality and the responses of each individual.

And so I think where we need to be consistent is, we need to be regularly spending time with everybody and collaborating with everybody. But that type of collaboration might be a little different based on the interaction that occurs between a supervisor and an employee.

All right, next question. How do I engage a team member who has a superior knowledge of the job tasks, but fails to contribute? That's a more common issue than I think some of us might realize, especially with senior employees.

And so you'll get people that are midcareer or people that are a little bit older-- maybe baby boomers biding their time to retirement, who tend to be really knowledgeable and experienced, but stop giving you that engaged effort. They start to plateau. They start to do the minimum.

And that can be frustrating. And so I used a coaching approach with people like that. I try to appeal to their ego a little bit. I bring them in and say, hey, I want to know that I truly appreciate the experience level that you have. I mean, you've been here a long time. And your knowledge base of what we do here is incredible. And a lot of our newer people learned a lot from you.

And then I'm honest with them to say, now, I do recognize that you've been doing this a long time. You've been honest with me and said that you're not as motivated as you once were. And I do appreciate that. And I can understand. But I do want to create an environment that's professionally exciting for you, where you still feel like you're getting something out of it.

And we need you here. I mean, your knowledge base is incredible. So what could I do? What could we do in terms of the assignments we give to you, the actual work that you're doing? What could we do to create a more motivating environment? Or how could we structure things here in the next period of time to make them a little bit more motivating for you?

And then another question that you would say during a coaching session would be, I really need to be able to gain some of the benefit of your experience with some of the younger people. Would you mind if I occasionally pair you up with some of the newer people on tasks and projects so that they can learn from you?

And so those are some ways to try to get someone who's maybe been around for a while, kind of plateaued or not giving you their best work anymore, maybe not being very engaged, to try to get them to step up and give a little bit more effort. All right.

Let's see. Whoops. Sorry, folks. All right. I think I've got one more question. All right. This is a good question. It's a very well thought out question.

As a manager, how do I handle my junior manager wanting to do things his or her way? Let's see. When should I let that person take the lead? That's a great question.

Actually, now we're getting more questions coming in. So thank you, folks. Believe it or not, every single person has stayed with us throughout the Q&A, which I really appreciate, because these are some very well thought our questions.

That's great. And I mean, my honest answer to your question, when should you let that person take the lead? My answer would be, as often as possible. And the way to set the tone-- so think about this. I think a lot of times, we hesitate to collaborate because we as senior managers or we as managers of employees, we have experience. And we have a good knowledge base as to what works and what doesn't work.

And so a lot of times, we might hesitate to ask someone for their input because we already know sort of a best way to get something done. But remember, a primary role of a supervisor is to lead. It's to create an environment where the people can shine, where the people can step up and do the work and feel empowered. And when they have input into it, they're going to be most engaged and most empowered.

And so but that doesn't mean that you don't have an opportunity give input. The most ideal collaborative conversation would be where, let's say, you bring your junior manager in, and you basically say, we've got a new program we're going to implement. I need you to take the lead on it. How do you think we ought to go about rolling this out to the team?

And let's say they give you their opinion. And they say A, B, C. And you think to yourself, A and B is great. I don't think C is going to work. I think we should add D.

And that's called building. And that's a great communication strategy for collaboration, is you build on the junior manager's idea. So when you say, what do you think we should do, and they say A, B, C, say to them, A and B are great. I love that idea. I think A and B will work really well for the team. C, I don't think will work as well, and for this reason. But what about D? What if we did A, B, and D here? Do you think that could be our strategy to roll it out to the team?

And you just continue to try to work through it together. And that's pure collaboration, right. Collaboration isn't, one person does all the work. It's two people working together to find the best possible compromised solution or collaborative solution.

Great question, thank you. Got a couple more questions. We are working on creating a world-class onboarding experience. I commend you for that. And we are engaged from the first interview requests to their 12-month performance review. That's awesome. I should have had you do this webinar today. That's fantastic.

We have measures in place to confirm IT hardware, logins, and phones to be set up before they arrive. We also provide a new hire email that ask questions regarding their favorite movie, book, team, and candy or snack. This is awesome. I'm so glad you're sharing this. That's wonderful.

The snack they choose is on their desk, along with a company shirt, mug, and mouse pad, as well as a signed welcome card and a signed poster on their desk space welcoming them on their first day. That's fantastic. Wow. That's great stuff. I'm so glad you took the time to type this all in and I can share it with everybody else.

Their manager takes them to lunch their first day, as well. We also have a 30, 60, and 90-day new hire surveys that provide details to their experience for improvements, and at the same cadence a brief performance evaluation. What can you suggest to enhance this onboarding experience?

Absolutely nothing. This is great. This is a best practice, what you all are doing. And I think you coined it very, very well. And I'm really glad you took the time to type it in so I could read it for everybody else. You truly have created a world-class onboarding experience. That's wonderful. That's great. Thank you for sharing that.

All right, last question. Will this webinar be available to listen to again? Yes, as a matter of fact, if you're interested in getting the slides from today's webinar or the recording, it is being recorded. All you have to do is hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today, and just put it in the reply, please send me a copy of the slides and the recording link. We'll be happy to send you that information.

All right. Last question today, folks. This will be the last question for the day. Some of our technology has really increased in difficulty. Some of my senior people are having problems learning even after having been trained multiple times and are being very resistant. What do you recommend?

I've read some good articles about reverse mentoring. And I've taken advantage of reverse-mentoring. I'm in my 50s, I don't mind sharing. And I'm still playing catch-up with technology. And so I have two 30-something employees that are great with technology. And I ask for help.

And so I think reverse-mentoring is a great idea. If you've got some senior managers that are struggling with technology, have them pair up with a younger a worker, or at least another worker who's more comfortable with technology. And have them see that it's just a helpful thing so they don't feel self-conscious about it.

I mean, I'm over being self-conscious about being uncomfortable sometimes with technology. I can hold my own. But I definitely, as the newer and the faster things keep coming, I definitely have a hard time adjusting. And it doesn't come naturally. And some of my younger colleagues have helped me immensely. So you might consider some reverse-mentoring along those lines.

All right, folks. I want to remind you now that we have two more sessions in the series this year. The next session will be in September, "How to Become an Effective Coach." And then the last session will come up in December, "How to Motivate Your Employees to be More Engaged in Their Work." If you need any information about how to register for those sessions, again, just go ahead and ask for the links to the future sessions in this webinar series by hitting Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today.

So, again, I want to thank you for your time and your thoughtful questions. I hope you have a great weekend. And I hope to have you on another webinar here in the near future. Thank you so much. Take care.