Wendy Hanson 0:24
Welcome, everybody. It's so great to have you here. My name is Wendy Hanson, and I am excited, excited may not be the right word to talk about the great resignation today. It's really something that we're going through. And we want to make sure that we understand it, what our impact is, how we can look at it as individuals. And if we understand it, from an individual's point of view, we may be able to help people more at work, and also help ourselves. I'm hearing that more people are getting recruited by companies. And so they're losing managers. And then managers are losing their teams. And people are really in transit. So I brought an expert on who's going to talk to us about this today. So let me tell you about Bobby Bakshi. Bobby is the founder of my purpose D AI. Why focus on helping people claim their unique gifts through transformational learning experiences. Bobby's consulting practice specializes in people and culture, strategy, learning and coaching, and people programs with an emphasis on D and I work. He spent a decade at Microsoft and unicorn startups as people and culture leader building and delivering on leadership development and employee experience efforts. Bobby serves leaders across the globe, he is the author of the 101% you seven steps to creating the life of your choice, and is working on his next book, being 101% you reclaiming your power at work. So he's done a lot of research in this area. And that's why I thought he would be a great guest for us today. So welcome, Bobby.
Bobby Bakshi 2:10
Thanks, Randy. It's really a delight to be here. Thank you for what you do with this podcast and everything that you do at BetterManager. It's really a delight to be here.
Wendy Hanson 2:18
Thank you. Yes, we're, we're making a difference in the world. And that's why getting this information out to people, I think really is going to have an impact. So let's let's all get level set a bit on, what is the great resignation? What's going on right now?
Bobby Bakshi 2:37
Yeah, you know, it's funny, I deal with people globally. And it seems like it's mostly a US phenomenon. And people don't know the term in in other parts of the world. However, there is research, especially McKinsey recently just put out, I think, very important piece of research. Of course, there's a lot out there. But what I want to open with is to say that the McKinsey recent McKinsey report says that employers don't fully understand why employees are leaving. And so there's a real disconnect, you know, a lot of attention is paid to the immediate challenges of the pandemic. And so it's, you know, from the employer perspective about the ability to work remotely, you know, that competitors are taking people because of the opportunity that people are simply looking for other opportunities, or if you know, employees are having health challenges, etc. A lot of that is true, but what we're seeing is that what's more important to employees are things such as being valued by their manager. The sense of belonging, the potential for advancement, valued by the organization, really having caring and trusting partnerships, relationships, and teammates, and flexible work schedules. So you know, I'm hoping that people see that there's a tremendous opportunity. And something that I think the the pandemic is only brought to the surface, but honestly, I think it's been there from the start of the industrial age, is we've got to get over the term human resources. I really encourage people to just scrap that and start over again. And because it isn't business to business, it isn't business to consumer, b2b b2c, it's actually h two H, human to human. So what a wonderful opportunity right now for us to really step back and look at how we do business.
Wendy Hanson 4:40
Yes, I've been, you know, coaching a number of executives recently who I have heard about this problem from both sides, you know, from the piece of, wow, somebody was recruiting me and I went and explored this opportunity. And it looked really good and then they realized well I really do have good relationships at work. And if I change and go into this other company, that's the thing you can't learn about you don't know someone until you live with them. So you're not going to learn about that at the job interview, you're going to, you're going to see many of the bright sides. But I've been hearing a lot of things about the the potential of flexibility. And of course, you hear well, this is an opportunity for me to move and, and companies are really having a challenging time to figure out when do we come back to work, you know, when to Are we going to be hybrid? Are we going to be hybrid forever? And I hear a lot of concern with not knowing those things. And I'm hearing that some people are leaving, because they're saying, Well, you know, I know where this other company stands, I want to be working remotely all the time. So this is where I'm going to go. So I think we also have those current outside factors that are impinging on people's decisions.
Bobby Bakshi 5:57
Agreed, agreed, Wendy, very well said and I want to go back to what you just opened with is that relationship cannot underestimate relationships. And, and the value of people there's research really, that talks about how when you have friends, truly friends at work, that are your peers, that you're, you know, you're more driven, you're in flow, you feel inspired to come to work. And, you know, let's talk a bit about employee engagement. We all know a resume the Gallup research, only 20% of people globally, are engaged, it goes up and down by a percentage point. But really, the point is one out of five people are only one out of five people are engaged, the rest are not. And it's a little higher in the US around 32%. But still, you know, that's, that's a big gap. And I think this issue of really understanding what drives human behavior, and the desire to do what we do, really, to me comes back down to Daniel Pink's fantastic work and the book drive, that he distilled 30 years of research, that is still true today. That its purpose, autonomy, and mastery. If we focus on those three things, and really look at how to bring that up for people in a very authentic way, in a personal way, not just top down in terms of drinking the kool aid for corporations, culture and values, but instead personalizing it, so that each individual finds that intersection of their individual purpose, the team that they work for his purpose, and then the organization. And often, you know, you may have some of that intersection, but you don't have three, very rarely do we have three magical things happen when you do have the three intersecting. And the last thing I'll say on that is, is once you rather know that there's a disconnect, if those three circles are not aligned, or you know, I have a sweet spot in the middle of intersection earlier than later. Because those those individuals can be a real drag. I hope you agree with me. I mean, I think passive aggressiveness is just so pervasive in so many companies. And it comes out of a fear of really looking at the root causes, and what's really deep underneath things.
Wendy Hanson 8:20
Yes, that was something that came up with someone else I was talking with, about the need to have stay interviews, the need to really get to know what is going to get someone to stay in the organization. And that as you say, you know, you can't hide your head in the sand, and then all of a sudden be surprised, you don't want to be surprised. So I think it's an opportunity for people to be able to really reach out and make sure and as we, you know, we talked more today about the human aspect of this. And the purpose, I was talking to a group of our coaches yesterday and asking about this topic, and they said, a lot of people were bringing up to them purpose, you know that I want to work for an organization that I believe in the purpose, and this is coming up more and more. So yes, Daniel Pink was right on target and he still is, and that autonomy, being able to make decisions. All those things make such a difference in how am I going to feel at work? How successful Am I going to feel? You know, do I feel that I can be resourceful? It's really an important issue that we need to take into consideration. We talk also you mentioned things about victim mentality when we spoke last time, how does that tend to show up? What what's your what's your perspective on that?
Bobby Bakshi 9:42
Yeah, you know, in my experience, 30 years and leading and being an individual contributor as well is, I get really sad, truly sad. When I see people pointing upwards at Oh, you know, that senior leadership and that's just how it is and I Who am I, you know, just one individual employee to make a difference. To me that's victim mentality in in a work context. And the reason I'm very passionate about the book, I'm just starting to work on that reclaiming your power, is imagine if every employee truly took ownership on their own and empowered themselves. right to say, wait a minute, there's a disconnect. And yeah, you may get pushback, you definitely will actually, especially in cultures that are slow to change, and innovate and, you know, be progressive with the environment. But it takes each individual to speak up, rather than just doing business as usual, because what we're seeing with these patterns right now, is business, as usual, is not working. It's not working for people. It's Oh, yeah, there's another very important data point. Wendy from Edelman, they do a trust barometer. And they, I think, every year, and have found that the number one stakeholder right now are his employees, it used to be customer. And the gap, if I recall correctly, is about 6%. Right. And I'll tell you that that sort of the two sided piece to that, on the one hand, of course, the customer needs to be number one, you know, because the business serves the customer. But you know, great companies like Southwest Airlines with herb Keller, who always said, treat your employees well, and they will take care of the customer. You know, when you do that, that what an opportunity right now, for us to really expand that. Southwest should not be the exception, I hope that it becomes the norm, that more companies get that when they truly take care of their people beyond benefits. Yes, benefits and pay are important. But again, back to Dan pink, you've got to take extrinsic motivation off the table, don't make it a distraction. You know, treat people well with the extrinsic factors, and then really focus on the intrinsic.
Wendy Hanson 12:04
Yeah, there is so much research out there that says it isn't the pay. And and I talked to somebody today, who was offered like 30 $50,000, I think was $50,000 more. And she said, when I weighed everything, it just wasn't worth leaving. You know, it wasn't worth leaving this organization that I know, I also did a podcast a few weeks ago with Chris Joyner who talked about victim mentality. And that was a really, he did a great job describing that, and I think that's something if people are listening back they should come back to and, and and how do we set ourselves up as victims? And how do we, how do we remove ourselves from that? Hmm,
Bobby Bakshi 12:49
very good. I'm really glad you did that. Wendy, it's a really rich topic. You know, one more angle on that. And that is, it's great for companies to focus on the collective on the team on the we rather than the me. And I think that gets a bit Miss understood, because in my perspective, actually, at a company that I worked at we, we did culture work, and we have a wonderful mural, it's still there, at this company, I can name them, it's edifact. So healthcare software technology company, as you enter this, this huge wall with the word me really big, and then right under it, a reflection of who we are. Right. So if you write that you'll see it, it's really like reflection, or shadow. And so my big hope is that when we focus on the individual, and when the individual gets principles, rather than policies and processes, right, then the organic nature of that becomes that you get the team nature that you want, you don't lead with team you lead with the individual. And and then the the team happens, of course, you know, you need vision from the top. I do agree with that. I think you listen to people, you understand values, you understand cultural needs. And then you distill that into a message that the CEO definitely needs to be the primary component of proponent of, but then every layer, every manager, every person has to personalize it, and take it through the organization.
Wendy Hanson 14:29
Yeah, now, here's the vision, and how am I what part Am I going to play in this vision? Yeah, and how can I make this happen? And then for the executive teams to really know that there's so much knowledge which is closer to the work, which we have known for a long, long time, and oftentimes we don't pay attention to, you know, there are details down there. And if we ask the questions, I think I get back to the stay interview concept. You know, make sure that you're checking in with people and from an individual's point of view, Bobby How do we reclaim our power at work? You know, what are some of the things that individuals can do? Because I think if we look at that, then we can also do just what you just did with me. And the way we can invert that, and say, now what do I do as a manager to be able to help these people that are really trying to reclaim their power? And I need to be open and, and honest and provide opportunities?
Bobby Bakshi 15:25
Yeah, thanks, Wendy. Definitely, yeah, with with that comes real responsibility, right with with the leading with the me that the individual has to be me, we say this all the time with career planning, be clear about what you want, you know, your manager can't help and support you unless you speak up for what you want. And again, I would say go beyond you know, the promotion or the pay raise, those things are important. But really, how do you connect with the mission vision of a company that you get excited to jump out of bed every morning, to go serve and contribute? Right, because that's the heart of purpose is doing something greater than myself. So if you can find that for yourself, and if you don't have it, I really encourage you to do the work to figure it out. So that's intention, that's step one, actually from the book, but I'll give you a quick version of that. And then step two is it's a choice, right? Make sure that you are at choice for where you are and why you're there, maybe you do need to be there for the money. Be clear about it, you know, be conscious and aware that you are saying yes to something, because you have circumstances that have you say that and also be aware of the impact on you, your soul, your individual ness, right when when you make those trade offs, then three is really the commitment to say, Okay, now that I've said yes, I'm going to do what it takes to do my best here, right, I'm going to understand how to contribute and do the best here. Fourth, I say is, is really like power, right? That we bring the power to do what we need to do, you know, ethically and, you know, with integrity to our values, to really do our best. And, and real quickly that 100% issue, you know, in the definition of 100% is that we all only have 24 hours so when I hear people talk about oh I gave 150% or you know effort that to me ties to victim mentality is like you know, if you feel you've been drained, your energy is drained. Take a look at that, and revisit that. And then progressing through it. It's it's getting to that point of integrating all our parts owning you know, that this is the these the gifts I bring, these are the things that don't do well and owning that as well. And again, back to that intention of clarity of where you're going. And and then having Do you know, bringing spirituality into the workplace because that extra 1% is about infinity. That if we all believed in thriving, that everyone deserves to thrive, that it's something beyond myself, that it comes through me, however you define spirituality or religion or God, you know, universe spirit, recognize that things happen with others through others, and I'm a conduit for making that happen. And finally, you know, I think the conclusion of that is the joy fulfillment, and you know, yeah, real, you know, satisfaction with work.
Wendy Hanson 18:39
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's, it's, it's not a simple, there's not a simple formula to things, it really takes time. You know, we often when we work with folks at BetterManager, we talk about really taking time to sit back and reflect, like we are such, like human doings, and instead of human beings, and we just hit work in the morning, we work really hard, we're getting things done. And we so encourage our our folks that we coach to be able to stand back and say, you know, what is the impact that I want to make today? You know, how am I really making a difference with the people that I work with? Because I think if we don't, you know, sit back and kind of coach ourselves around these questions. That's kind of the universal truth have now like now I can step back into the work but but I need to have really thought about what's the difference that I want to make? What happened yesterday, that may have been a good day, part of these stay interviews. I was talking with somebody and we were saying, you know, you have to ask your folks like what's, what is your best day look like? You know, what do you do on your best day? And what are you doing on your worst day, because if I know that as a manager, I'm able to look at that and help people with that. That identify some of their own needs and be able to, through the way I organize my teams be able to meet that person's purpose, you know, their their own personal purpose.
Bobby Bakshi 20:11
I love it. Wendy, I love it. That's a great example of I hope we're all learning these days that we have to meet people where they are, and create that safe space for people to be vulnerable to share the ups and downs. So I love that guidance, because it truly then opens up really the water for the individual to you know, because often we I mean, I'm a firm believer that we all have our own answers. But often we need a prompt. And so for a manager to prompt with questions like you just proposed, I think is brilliant, it's a great way to open people up. And also, I think if people really did look at that topic of the human, or non human doing right, and really reflect in moments of true inspiration and feeling absolutely energized, that that they themselves realize that Oh, yeah, when I really lit up with that project, or that interaction, I was just being happy, I was being inspiring. And then, you know, knew what I had to do. And then I had that satisfaction of putting my head to the bed at night and feeling like yeah, this was a good day. And I made, you know, good contribution to others, as well as serving myself.
Wendy Hanson 21:29
Yeah. It's a lot of it has to do with, you know, do you have the opportunity to use your strengths every day. Because if you're always combating the areas that you're not strong in, and you're trying to work on those, it's an energy to pleader, which is, which none of us want to be able to do. So there. There are some unique ways that we can help people at work as we're talking about how do we retain people? And how do we as managers look at people. And one thing that that you talk about, too, is reverse mentoring. Talk about reverse mentoring a little bit and what it is and the impact of that if people aren't sure,
Bobby Bakshi 22:10
sure, when you Thanks. And before I define it, I think I also want to broaden the horizon here. I know we're talking about the opportunity, the great resignation. But to me, it all overlaps with so many important things that are happening in our environment right now with, for instance, DNI efforts. So it's about listening, right? We say, with DNI, even the largest corporations, their number one strategy is listening. So when it comes to reverse mentoring, the basic concept is to have junior or younger people, mentor senior executives. So typically, you know, it's the young that get mentored by the senior and older, seasoned leaders, but reverse it, and truly reverse it, not just a momentary flash of, you know, a young person, giving an insight, but truly the relationship is built on that aspect of it, for the senior leader to get vulnerable, to admit what they don't know, to be open to hearing different perspectives, and then really listen to hearing what it's like from the person who is mentoring them, who typically would be a younger person or a person of lesser power in the structure in, you know, mostly hierarchical organizations.
Wendy Hanson 23:32
Yeah. Do you know any organizations that have formal programs on that reverse mentoring?
Bobby Bakshi 23:39
Yeah, you know? Sure, sure of and I was at Microsoft, and this is, gosh, more than 10 years ago, we had this concept there. And that was done more as a group setup, where it was one senior executive with a group of about 10 of us that would meet on a periodic basis, I think it was every month. And it was really a Las Vegas kind of room. You know, what says what said here stays here. And the other way it worked very cleanly, was at any point that somebody would share something that may impact the the decision making process for that senior executive, we would clearly call out that, you know, that there may be an impact right in that church and state sort of effect relationship and get the individual to either say yes or no to whether they can take an action or not. So very transparent, and how we navigated it, rather than, you know, Hallway Conversations and one on ones to tackle some very challenging things. It was extremely successful and generative in how it really build trust and senior leadership. Again, a great example of listening because that individual always really their number one role was to listen at I want to bring in DNI I think a lot of good DNI efforts right now are about creating a council, having senior executives be executive sponsors of er, G's employee resource groups. So it's very akin to that, because the good executive sponsors of an ER G, for instance, their primary job is how can I help you? Right, they're there to support and lift up the group, be their advocate and an ally, really coconspirators what I prefer then ally, with their peers and senior executive level. So yeah, I think going directly in reverse mentoring can have tremendous benefits for a company and its culture.
Wendy Hanson 25:42
Yeah, I like the model you describe, I think it's probably an easier model to introduce in a company than a than a one on one situation, you know, unless it was, it was a mentoring situation, and you knew it was going to be traditional mentoring and reverse mentoring so that both sides really see how do we design this relationship. So it works.
Bobby Bakshi 26:04
Yeah, I do want to add one thing, Randy, because it may be obvious to me, but not to the listener, be very careful with how you set up those agreements, both with the participants and the mentor, the executive mentor, because those agreements are really what creates that safety. Just some examples would be like I did mention the Vegas rule, you know, confidentiality, for everybody to agree with that. A cadence of sort of, you know, how they'll navigate through difficult conversations. Just, it's just a host of things. You can think of them offhand, but just definitely do your work and, and get that mutual agreement with everybody involved to refine the rules of engagement, per se, before you launch into it.
Wendy Hanson 26:52
Yeah. And I totally agree, Bobby, about, you know, the DNI efforts about listening. It's, you know, we're finding that over and over, and one of the things that BetterManager is doing down, it's probably a few months from now, but we're going to try to start doing something called empathy walks, which is just bringing people together, you know, because as, as you know, having worked globally, you know, DNI efforts that might be happening in Europe are very different, they look, they look at it totally differently than we would do in the US, and you want people organizations are made up of everybody now. So I need to understand what it's like, I need to understand what my privilege is, because of where I am, or where I lived and, and really be open to other people. So I think that's an area that a lot of companies are going to be really working on and exploring to make work a safer place and a more inclusive place. So um, what's what's the big thing you want folks to take away from this Bobby today?
Bobby Bakshi 27:59
Sure, I think it really ties with that sort of the two sides, right? The victim versus the empowered aspect of what we've been talking about, is i'd love the listeners to leave with some self reflection on, you know, because I'm guilty of being a victim in many situations. So I my wish, is that if we catch ourselves sooner than later, right? And because many times, it's not like a large, it's usually not a big, big thing. But if you just think about, you know, how am I pointing? One, you know, there's that classic thing of, am I when I point one finger out, three of my fingers are pointing back at me. So So rather than blaming, you know, condemning, criticizing others, be it at the organizational level, institutional, cultural, or individual, what's my part? Right? How can I take back my power by really being brave enough, courageous enough? Thank you, Renee Brown, for all of her work with shame and resilience and vulnerability, those type of guidance, you know, deep work that she's done, that I think is actually really easy to apply, if we're courageous enough to go there, do that work, and then just see an end and invite people in to that to be co conspirators with you, you know, and say, Look, it may be messy, it definitely will be messy. Actually, no, not maybe it definitely will be messy as you work your way through it. But give yourself permission to get a little uncomfortable and go there because the rewards I think are tremendous. Yeah.
Wendy Hanson 29:39
And the more that we can listen and empathize the the greater opportunities, we have to be able to retain people because they feel heard, you know, so it's both sides. How do I handle this as an individual, and how does my manager handle this? How do we handle it with a team and how to senior management team advantage of understanding what what do I need to know? How do I need to know how to support people, as we go through this challenging period that nobody understands, you know, when when we're going to be out of even, you know, COVID? And what, what, what's the long term effects of hybrid working? There's so many questions on the table that we all need to be, you know, keep thinking about and, and learning and finding new ways to explore.
Bobby Bakshi 30:28
Yeah, absolutely. Wendy Yeah. And you know, on that note, as we're wrapping up, I would say, take any opportunity in front of you, and look at how you can navigate through that in the best way possible, right, because it can be very overwhelming with all the changes we've been facing, to boil the ocean. And, you know, a great mentor of mine, again, back at Microsoft really taught me that principle of don't boil the ocean. You know, we all say that, right? But really take what's in front of you and do your best for that. Yeah.
Wendy Hanson 31:01
Great. And if folks want to want to get in touch with you, Bobby learn more about your work. What's the best way for them to find you?
Bobby Bakshi 31:09
Yeah, thanks. Of course, I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. That's the best way slash, you know, LinkedIn linkedin.com, slash i n slash Bobby B to B ob y b for Bakshi. That's it. It's, I'm glad I was able to get that URL. And then of course, my website is Bobby bakshi.com, bo, bb YB, AK sh ii.com. And feel free to email me it's Bobby at Bobby Bakshi calm, and I'm sure when do you include that in the notes?
Wendy Hanson 31:40
Yes, we will have that in the show notes and all your your contact information. So thank you. Thank you so much for exploring this topic with me today and hopefully, where we're able to give some things for people to think about some insights for individuals and for managers and companies. Thanks. Yes, thank you, Bobby.