The Retention Revolution: Leveraging Employee Feedback and Onboarding to Keep First-Year Employees Engaged and Productive Webinar

HR professionals and executives recognize employee retention as a significant challenge, with 47% of HR leaders expressing concern. Join our webinar with industry experts to gain insights on improving retention, preboarding and onboarding effectiveness, metrics for assessing retention, leveraging feedback for learning, drivers of disengagement, and motivating employees for success.

Meet our Panel

Anne Burkett at USI

Anne Burkett

National Practice Leader, Workforce Solutions Employee Benefits·USI

Anne Burkett leads USI’s employer workforce strategic initiatives; related explicitly to voluntary benefits, total rewards, and HR technology consulting. Anne is responsible for strategic partnerships, development of innovative tools and resources that lend to the overall success of USI’s clients. Anne also leads a team of well-trained and experienced consultants who support USI clients go to market initiatives for HR technology. Prior to joining USI in 2016, Anne was Chief Operating Officer at Benefit Technology Resources, the leading mid-market HR technology consulting firm in the country during exponential growth and expanded business lines. Her early career was as an HR practitioner gathering real-life experience similar to our clients. Originally from Kentucky, Anne lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and daughter.

Brad Mandacina - Lockton

Brad Mandacina

CEBS, ISCEBS Fellow·Lockton Companies

Brad is a Senior Vice President and Director of Lockton’s Workforce Tech Solutions practice. The team helps hundreds of employers per year remove inefficiencies and manual processes, find effective ways to engage with employees and help them become better consumers of their benefits. Brad is a keynote speaker, contributes to various industry publications, and named a top benefit technology innovator.

Corrina Nation from IA

Corrina Nation

Senior Advisor·ia HR

With more than 12 years of cross-functional experience including HR, total rewards, and benefits, Corrina has guided clients from all geographies and verticals on their transformational journeys. Prior to joining IA, she held several strategic roles within a global brokerage firm, where she developed health and welfare cost containment programs and implemented an internal technology division. She has supported business development, steered enterprise client technology transformation projects, and blended her technical systems expertise with her extensive knowledge of the provider market to help organizations thrive. Corrina has spent her career developing a unique voice and point of view that she adamantly uses for her client’s benefit. Corrina is a graduate of Florida State University.

Janette Kessler from Click Boarding

Jannette Kresser

Click Retain Product Manager·Click Boarding

Jannette Kresser is the Product Manager for Click Retain, an employee engagement and sentiment tool designed to increase retention of employees, especially during their first year of employment. Prior to joining Click Boarding, Jannette worked in HR Tech consulting which allowed her to obtain a broad understanding of the HR Tech Market as well as the functionality that is available to employers today. Her diverse background also allows her insight into the needs of employers and employees alike, especially in regard to employee retention and DEIB. Jannette graduated from NMSU with a degree in Sociology & Counseling and Educational Psychology with studies in Organizational Sociology.

Josh Hoover from Click Boarding

Josh Hoover

EVP, Client Solutions·Click Boarding

Josh Hoover holds the role of Executive Vice President of Click Boarding’s Customer Service. In this position, he oversees an innovative and talented group of account staff and client accounts. Josh’s broad experience spans more than a decade of Consulting, Human Resources, Business Development, Sales, and Marketing. Josh offers a fresh perspective in HR Technology Consulting as a professional who has managed and sold payroll, developed an HRIS solution, and programmed databases. As such, he has seen the HR process from every position. Josh is passionate about working with clients to find technology to solve their problems and streamline their processes. He finds that developing long-term, strategic relationships is paramount to offering exceptional consulting services and solutions.

Retention Revolution Webinar Transcript

Josh Hoover: [00:00:00] \Good. Well, I guess it’s still technically morning for me. Good afternoon for those of you east of central time zone. It’s still good morning for the rest of us. There’s a bunch of people on we decided we’re going to kick this off right at the noon hour central time. But we’ll, we’ll just kind of banter and hang out.

So I have to do this. Corrina knows I’m going to do this, but I always ask, I’m going to put everybody in the spot and for those those participants, feel free to join in on the chat, but you’re going karaoke. You have to sing, what song are you going to sing?

I love this question. This tells you a lot about a person. Jewel, you were meant for me, I like it. That was one from the

Corrina Nation: chat. What’s the song by the Toadies? That’s,

Josh Hoover: it’s like… [00:01:00] Tyler, Away, or Possum Kingdom.

Janette Kresser:Possum Kingdom. I was, I was call it. I come from the river.

Josh Hoover: I cover the waters.

Janette Kresser:All right.

Corrina Nation: That one’s a good one.

Janette Kresser:Yeah. I don’t know what it’s really called.

Brad Mandacina: What about something by Kenny G? I like, I like the words to his songs. I could do that

Josh Hoover: one. Sounds about right. Yeah. Yeah. I couldn’t

Brad Mandacina: carry a tune in a bucket. We don’t need

Josh Hoover: me singing. I could see you more as a Michael Bolton kind of guy, but I’m going to grow out my hair and yeah, you can

Brad Mandacina: pull it off.

I don’t know. I think you’re putting a lot

Josh Hoover: of confidence in me on that one. Jeanette, what about you? Oh, sorry. No, no, no. Go

Anne Burkett:ahead. Go

Janette Kresser:ahead. I’m still thinking. You know, with the way that my day is going, I’m going to go with sound of silence. There we

Josh Hoover: go. Simon and Garfunkel or Disturbed?

Janette Kresser:Oh, mix. Mix between the two.[00:02:00]


Anne Burkett:Very good. Y’all are good. All right. So I’ve been, I’m debating this one. This is a tough one for me. If I. And in my own little world, I’m singing something country, and I probably know all the words. But when we used to have our little rock band set up here on the Wii my favorite, like, starter song was

Corrina Nation: Eye of the Tiger.

Janette Kresser:Nice. Classic.

Anne Burkett:Alright, Josh, I’m curious about yours.

Janette Kresser:Oh, I’ve got plenty. I know.

Josh Hoover: Number one for today for today, I’m going to have to do some Bon Jovi. I mean, just pick any of them. I’ll do them all. I don’t need the monitors. Let’s go. Name a bunch of them. Not at

Brad Mandacina: all.

Janette Kresser:No monitor. I love

Josh Hoover: it.

Corrina Nation: Corinna, what about you?

I said, I, I answered. I have to, I’m totally, yeah, I’m going [00:03:00] to go possum kingdom or the river one. I don’t know the name of that. I come from the

Josh Hoover: water. I come

Janette Kresser:from the water. That was my fault. Answered

Anne Burkett:right at my head. That I saw them live at possum kingdom for their 10th dose dose. Yeah. Yeah. We were out there for

Corrina Nation: that concert. I saw them on the same tour when they stopped here in D. C. We had to go. So they still rock.

Janette Kresser:Yeah. They do. And

Anne Burkett:apparently they’re recording a new album. I heard. Oh, really?

Corrina Nation: Even better, even better.


Josh Hoover: talk about music instead of retention. No, we’re here to talk about retention. So it’s 12. 01 according to Josh official standard time on my computer. So let’s go ahead and get started. So welcome to all of you who have joined us. This webinar, we’re going to talk about the retention revolution.

Retention has been a major pain [00:04:00] point for a lot of organizations, probably even most organizations, particularly the last few years. We have the great resignation and everything associated with that. Thank you So what we’ve done at ClickBorning is brought a bunch of panelists together, a bunch, brought four panelists together to have a conversation about retention.

And not only are these four personal friends of mine, which I, which I greatly appreciate, I don’t have many of those. So, so thank you for that. But they know the industry and they’ve been around for a long time and they know this space very, very well. So. Let’s go around and do some quick introductions.

Like I said, I’m Josh Hoover. I’m the EVP of client solutions here at ClickBorning. And so I’ll be moderating this session, ping ponging back and forth. We may go down some rabbit holes, but we’ll see either way. It’ll be fun to, to dialogue with these folks. So, and your letter, your name starts with an A, you go

Anne Burkett:first.

Okay, I’m Anne Burkett. I’m the National Practice Leader for Workforce Solutions at USI Insurance Services, and I hail out of Fort Worth, Texas.

Janette Kresser:I’ll pass it over to Brad. [00:05:00] All

Brad Mandacina: right. Thank you, Brad Mandicina. I am with LockedIn Companies, where I lead our tech consulting practice. Where we help clients with all things HR technology.

Corinna, I’ll toss it over to you. We’re going to stay with the ABC

Josh Hoover: theme here.

Corrina Nation: Thanks, Brad. Corinna Nation. I’m a senior advisor at IA. We help organizations transform from as small as 150 to 500, 000. And I am outside of the Washington D. C. area. And it’s, it’s great to be here with you folks today.

Thank you. Jeanette.

Janette Kresser:Yeah, so my name is Jeanette Kresser. I am a product manager here at ClickBoarding focused really on our newest product, ClickRetain which is focused around retention. And we also have Alicia Barr here on the call with us. She is [00:06:00] going to be keeping up with our chat and everything and making sure if there’s questions, so please feel free to put them in there if you have any questions we’d love to get to them.

Josh Hoover: Awesome. Jeanette, you stole my thunder. I was about to say. Oh,

Janette Kresser:I’m sorry.

Josh Hoover: That’s fine. That’s fine on that. Let’s dive in. But if you have questions, please feel free to drop them in there. We may get to them as we’re going through. If not, we’ll certainly get to them at the end. So welcome. And let’s get started.

So Brad, I’m going to I’m going to tee up the first question for you. So according to aptitude research, 86% of employers believe that new hires make the decision to stay at their employer, their new employer, In the first 90 days. So in the first 90 days, that that sounds crazy high to me. But what are the key challenges that those organizations are facing in retaining first year employees and how do they address it?


Brad Mandacina: so I love this stat. I think it’s crazy, but but I believe there’s some truth to it. So When we think about these challenges, I actually want to take a step back and talk [00:07:00] about some of the things that the macro love. And, and so we’ve all heard the stats that boomers are retiring at unprecedented levels.

It’s like every day at five o’clock, 10, 000 boomers retire. They, they walk off the job and never come back. And so that creates a lot of vacancies and a lot of job openings and a lot of employers to think about how they’re going to backfill for those positions. And, and so that, that in and of itself creates a challenge.

And then we think about Gen Z entering the workforce. And they’re not necessarily as focused on traditional jobs, maybe as previous generations. And, and look,

Josh Hoover: these two

Brad Mandacina: points, there’s nothing new to this. We’ve seen this coming. We’ve known this is going to be happening for the last 20 some odd years. So nothing new with this, but the pandemic really magnified the intensity of this problem.

And it changed the way we work. It changes where we work, and in many cases, [00:08:00] why people work, and so all of these things create some of these challenges that are happening for employers and for employees is saying if they want to stay with the place. A lot of places have fragmented onboarding processes.

I would just started and I’m going to deviate. I was talking to a healthcare clients. Thank That has actually two different business unit leaders within this healthcare organization. And we were talking about the, the candidate and the new hire experience and all of that same company, basically the same job.

And they had two vastly different onboarding experiences within their two different business. And, and I think that shapes the way that people think about when they’re, when they’re coming into a job and, and was it a good experience? Was it a bad experience? And then last, when, when we’re thinking about some of these challenges and this, I think everybody on this call can attest to this in some fashion, but we hear the horror stories of candidates going [00:09:00] through the interview process and then ghosting and making the decision to leave before they even start.

We’ve, we’ve heard the stories of candidates accepting two jobs. having two first days and then deciding which one they want. And so that validates, you know, your statement at the onset of, of within the first 90 days people are deciding. So it’s one of those where there are a multitude of factors that are influencing this.

From from the candidate side from the employer side from from all of these pieces that are challenging for employers to keep people and keep them engaged and keep them on board. I don’t think there’s any one reason that that you could you could pinpoint so there’s a lot to it, which is kind of what makes it exciting as well.

Corrina Nation: Yeah, I, I have a, I’ve, I completely agree, right, especially with you hit on a lot of great points, but the one that I would. I think zoom in on a little bit more is, is that candidate experience [00:10:00] because when you’re thinking about retention, I don’t think a lot of companies actually go back to that point.

Right. And think about the candidate experiences as a part of that holistic strategy. So a lot of our clients struggle with that because. They don’t understand their current state process. They don’t understand what it really feels like to be a candidate and to, and what are those different touch points.

You know, how many times was I handed off to somebody right within different departments because. Nobody, nobody owns onboarding, but everybody owns onboarding. And so to foster that experience and to make that day one and to make that day 30, day 60, day 90 first year, it starts, it starts somewhere. And I, I argue that it is the candidate experience.

And I think that. Because onboarding and pre boarding, there’s so many different hands, there’s so many different ownerships, to be really intentional about your process, to be really intentional about what those, why are we handing them off like this, or is this the experience, [00:11:00] experience that we want people to feel.

So, you know, I would say without that point of view on, you know, what is our current state, what is our candidate recruiting process look like, what are those touch points, what are those handoffs, and how does that feel you know, without that, I think retention’s Always going to be a challenge. But one thing you didn’t mention, and I’m totally, I’m already derailing too.

Sorry, Josh. But, you know, I think that if we talk about retention, we can’t not talk about comp. And so, you know, comp for new people that are coming in, you know, the market has, I mean, wow, salary transparency, and we have, you know, market competitive rates. You know, it’s great. It’s fantastic. But what about the flip side of that?

Right? So what about those existing customers or your existing employees? Do have you revisited some of those older com structures? Have you thought about the ways that, you know, there may be some resentment building in some of these areas where, you know, new [00:12:00] people coming in there, they’re the new, new shiny customer.

Well, what about me and so I think a lot of times what we see with our clients are are very outdated comp structures and the way that they’re managing that, you know, 5% here, 5% here, but you know, not to digress. That’s another topic. But I think, you know, worth mentioning that comp is is definitely a part of the equation.

Josh Hoover: Yeah, for sure. And I think you both kind of alluded to this, that gap between the offer letter to the actual start date. What happens in there? How do you fill that gap? We’ve got gonna keep going with the stories. We’ve got a client who literally they say they will have candidates standing. Their office is here.

Their biggest competitor is literally right across the street. They’ll be standing on the street corner with their phone, waiting to see who sends the letter first. And that’s the direction they’re going to go. Like they said, they have thousands of employees that make that decision that way. It’s crazy.

Corrina Nation: And a lot of that timing, Josh, is your process. And it’s not sexy, you know, onboarding tactical processes, but [00:13:00] for how long, where does your responsibility begin and end? You know, it’s not. The most fun, but you know, it can be the make or break between when that offer letter does go out because we all know I think the audience on the phone knows that can be quite a challenge to do.

Janette Kresser:Absolutely. You know, and Brad mentioned something earlier when he was talking as well that really kind of stuck out to me. And he mentioned the why. Why is it that this employee is coming in here? Why is it that this organization is building up this position? How are you going to fit into it? I think, especially with a lot of the younger generations, that why is critical.

And if you’re not connecting with them early, and during that whole candidate experience and their pre boarding experience, if they’re not getting connected to that why

Josh Hoover: We’re starting the culture conversation right there. Go ahead, Corinna.

Corrina Nation: Oh, I, you know, another, Brad, you, you mentioned, you know, the [00:14:00] separate onboarding processes and the why, Jeanette, and, you know, the why is really important.

Your guiding principles and who you are as an organization are really important. But one of our clients, not to one up you, Brad, but here we go. No, these are the horror stories. One of our clients. That we’re working with right now, their global organization 26 different onboarding processes within their business units.

So, you know, and again, that’s a, that’s a large end of the, of the scale, but that’s, that’s what a lot of, of organizations are facing is that the onboarding experience is so fragmented. Can you imagine what the candidate experience is like as well? So we

Josh Hoover: created in that scenario, are they tracking metrics and engagement levels of those 20?

Exactly. Exactly. So, part of the challenge. So I like it, but in keeping with the theme of, I mean, looking at that first year, and I was supposed to say this at the beginning, but the first few questions around the first year of employment and first year of engagement [00:15:00] and I’ll ask you this. So what impact does an effective onboarding or pre boarding program and process, what impact does that have on setting the stage for a successful first

Anne Burkett:year?

It’s huge, right? I mean, we’ve danced all around it. And, you know, and what I’ll kind of say that I was hoping you would, you know, ask this is,

Janette Kresser:is

Anne Burkett:that pre boarding and onboarding process. And when you think about it, I’ll say in human terms, that’s your first impression as an employer to any given employee, right?

So it goes back to are you, is the, is this the alignment that the employee is looking for? It might, right. Actually, it should matter on both sides of that. So how does that, you know, as a leader of an organization, and I think it gets harder as companies get bigger and more complex and more layers and all of that, that basically leadership needs to take a consideration of what culture that they are trying to have

Janette Kresser:[00:16:00] and in what What are they doing

Anne Burkett:around, you know, processes and procedures, the tactical stuff?

How does that either reinforce or maybe disenforce the culture that they’re going after? And you know, so you start thinking about, especially nowadays with remote workers. It’s going to be really important that those workers especially have more touch points with their manager, right? So what tools are in place to be sure that that employee is feeling a part of the team much faster than when, you know, we were all going into the office every day, right?

Because you, it’s really easy to, to. learn a culture when you’re all in there together, but very different under, you know, I’ll say current circumstances. The other thing that I would suggest is having some sort of steering committee, because as a leader, you probably have not gone through any sort of real onboarding experience, especially with your own company.

[00:17:00] Right. So what does that look like today? And And where can changes be made to streamline and make that process better? So I think, you know, having some sort of steering committee with a variety of stakeholders that participate on the whole process, right? And so not only outlining the process, but being sure it aligns with culture and and I would suggest rotating those.

You know, participants out of that occasionally, because you’ll get the new, you know, interesting perspectives, but, you know, I think we all know that employees who feel like they’re part of a team, they’re going to be more productive and happier overall, and therefore they stay. So I’ll, I’ll pause there and see if anybody else has any comments.

Janette Kresser:Yeah. You know, and you talked about engaging with. The, with the new hires early and often, I think that is critical. Understanding, hey, how are they fitting in? Do they have the tools that they need? [00:18:00] Are there introductions that you can be making within the, within the organization, within their team? But having and kind of going back to our previous conversation on the last question, having a process that is uniform and fits everybody’s needs and is automated and you’re making sure you’re hitting those compliance issues and making sure they’re getting everything that they need on time.

You know, the, the pre boarding and onboarding and even their whole candidate experience that is really setting the foundation for the rest of their, their employee journey within the organization. And do you want that foundation to be rocky because things aren’t working they’re not getting what they need.

That is going to have a huge impact on, you know, whether or not they’re going to stay do they feel valued. And so I think that’s, that’s really critical within that first year.[00:19:00]


Josh Hoover: like it. So what are some effective ways that you can foster a sense of belonging and integration in that first year within, within culture? Corinna, I’m going to, I’m going to put that

Corrina Nation: to you. Leadership training at the manager level, I think is, is one of the first things that I would, I would suggest.

You know, we’ve talked a lot about process. We’ve talked a lot about,

you What you want those to look like. And that’s not necessarily easy. The bigger you get in the, in the more you know, decentralized you are, but I think that one thing we haven’t talked about yet was, is, is the manager’s role in this and, and managers are just top of mind for everybody, right? It’s this manager training, leadership training, but what does that really mean?

And what is that, what is your measure of success for that? I think a lot of times. We see clients, you [00:20:00] know, have a ton of tech debt where there’s tools upon tools. I’ll go back to the client I mentioned with 26 different onboarding processes. That was just within one division of their organization, by the way.

But they had thrown HR technology upon HR technology and we’re wondering why It was still broken. Why wasn’t anything working? Why are people more engaged? And at the end of the day, the managers had have no idea how to use the tools. They don’t know what they’re supposed to be prioritizing. The managers are mired in the day to day.

So I think, you know, the tactical can really be dismissed a little bit in the sense that it’s just the tactical, but getting those documented, getting your processes clean allows your managers, allows your future leaders to have the space to do what they’re supposed to do, right? Which is to lead and influence people on their team.

And, you know, without, without the right tools, sure. That’s. It’s going to be a harder process to [00:21:00] enable, but I think, I think the point of view is more important than the tool at the beginning so that you understand exactly what you’re trying to track and what you actually want your managers to take action on.

And how are we going to measure that? What is our measure of success for, for those data, for that data, for those criteria that you’ve established.

Josh Hoover: Corinna, quick follow up question with that, then how much of it would you say, you may not have an answer. I’m just curious. How much of it would you say comes down to leadership versus process?

Thank you.

Corrina Nation: That’s a million dollar question. Yeah, I would say that, you know, a lot of times they are two distinct conversations and they really can’t be. You know, we had a client who we did a process map for, for just onboarding and the process map when they printed it out because they printed it out, they posted it in the hallway.

Leading to the CEO’s, I’m sorry, the CHRO’s office, so that she could see every time she [00:22:00] walked in. This is what it takes to bring on one new person. This is our onboarding process. And it was. It was shocking for her to see that and to actually have the, you know, the tangible reality of what, what it takes to onboard someone just, just in that, and just in that process, right?

There’s HR leaders on, there’s a lot more processes that probably need to be mapped. But I use that example because a lot of times there’s just that lack of Of realization. And so again, I think going back to current state and, and establishing your point of view, it’s really going to help you navigate right, leadership and understanding the overall objectives of the organization when it comes to your larger people strategy.

So I think they’re very much tied together. ,

Brad Mandacina: you know, and I’ll, I’ll jump in here and, and, ’cause I love where you’re headed on this. I think that, that tying together of that leadership and, and the, the [00:23:00] process. You’ve got to have a foundation of trust amongst your leadership teams to question the process And and question how you’re doing things and why you’re doing things and challenge that So that you don’t end up with two or 26 different things Or at least understand why you have 26 different ways of doing the same thing And and maybe people want different things throughout it.

So so I think I think that’s great. I think there’s a lot of that’d be a really terrific case study to understand the why behind that. Not that we need more work to do, but, but I think that’s, I think that’s pretty fascinating. Corinna, I

Josh Hoover: think Brad just volunteered you to write a case study. I was gonna

Corrina Nation: say signing me up, Brad,

Josh Hoover: thanks.

Sorry, I’m gonna sit in the corner now. But on that, I feel like even the client that has 26 processes associated with onboarding and pre boarding. I’ll bet you each, each hiring manager, their employees have a different experience because I think it’s very closely tied [00:24:00] to that, that candidate’s experience.

So what, what are some metrics and indicators that an organization can use to to assess and define success in those efforts for supporting those first year employees? Jeanette, I’ll send that to you.

Janette Kresser:Yeah, so thank you. You know, I think there’s a lot of different things that you can be measuring.

So understanding that that manager relationship, how they feel that they are fitting with their role within the organization. Do they have the skills necessary? Do they feel that they’re in the right role? Or do they feel like, hey, I really need to have some additional training or additional support, or maybe transition into a different role within that organization?

Understanding inclusion and belonging. Do they feel included? I know you were talking about that earlier, and I think that is a critical [00:25:00] part of, of being strong within that organization, but the challenge comes is, okay, great. How do I measure? And, and get actual data points off of inclusion and belonging.

And you know, I think that is something that you can look at with employee surveys or touch points within the organization, but that’s also something that needs to be done. Often and starting early because if you do that once a year touch point with with an employee, then it’s too late. You’re, you’re getting data and you’re not able to, to react in time to, to save that, that employee employer relationship.

But I think, you know, being able to measure all these things, finding a way to measure it and being able to see, okay, is this changing within their employee journey. So, you know, and this is a story that I like to tell when you first get [00:26:00] that that job offer and you, you accept it, you’re excited, you, you’re ready to jump in you know how you’re going to contribute to the organization you know what you’re expecting to get.

Out of the organization. And then you get in there and you start doing the work and maybe those rose colored glasses come off a little bit, reality sets in. And now how do you match that back up and bring that level of engagement and excitement back up again? I think that’s, and you can’t really gauge where that is happening in an employee’s journey, if you’re not touching base and you’re not measuring it.

So. You

Brad Mandacina: know, I’ll jump in here as well, too. And I think there’s There’s tools that exist for those surveys and, and allow you to ask those questions and, and do it frequent and often enough, and ask the right amount of questions and ask them the right way to allow employers to seek that input. The the flip side of this is you’ve gotta be willing to, to make changes, you’ve gotta be willing to [00:27:00] listen and, and find things.

For me, the big metric is, is this has been successful. Is this the employee around on day 366? And, and then let’s figure out what was good about it. What was bad about it, but it’s, it’s asking those questions, making those changes and listening to them along the way. The cool thing about this as well is that from these surveys, patterns will emerge, and maybe it’s not always the candidates that are the problem.

Maybe there’s a bad manager, or the manager needs training. So I think some of that might come out as well, is that, you know, it turns out Brad’s team is great, Brad’s just a lousy manager. And so maybe there’s part of that, and then it’s a, okay, let’s give Brad more training on how to Properly on board, properly trained or teach people tools and processes.

And so I think there’s a lot of ways to look at that, but, but the tools that exist there, make it, make it easier on us as, as leaders and managers. [00:28:00] Well, Brad, I love what

Josh Hoover: you said. Patterns will emerge because say you have a company culture that. Has fear where people actually going to respond honestly to those to those surveys, right?

If, if it’s all rainbows and butterflies, they’re probably afraid to give honest feedback. What somebody, a friend of mine told me that one of his former employers, former being the key word here they did a big survey like that. And he answered very honestly, well, there was a witch hunt trying to find out who that was.

That’s not a good thing. So if you don’t. If you have that type of culture, then you’re not going to get the results you desire. Well, you’re probably going to get the results you desire, but it’s not going to be effective or valuable information. Right. They’re telling you what you want to hear versus what’s the

Brad Mandacina: truth and what’s really going on.

Janette Kresser:That’s a great point. And they’re probably looking for another job, you know, at

Brad Mandacina: the same time. Yeah, Brenda,

Josh Hoover: you popped off mute for a second. Was there anything you wanted to add?

Corrina Nation: Yeah, I [00:29:00] was going to go a little, a little differently. You know, I think that Brad, you mentioned, you know, just overall satisfaction.

And there’s a difference between a happy employee and an engaged employee. And I think that, you know, there’s no single definition of engagement. I, I mean, I, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve looked we, I’m sure we all have on this call. We, we like, I like Saratoga Institute’s definition if you’re curious, but most of our clients tend to, and I think what you were kind of alluding to is that you, you look at satisfaction, but.

That doesn’t really tell you a lot about engagement rights. And then how do you define engagement? So I, I take some of the surveys to your point, Josh, like the witch hunt. I take those with a grain of salt. I think a lot of our clients do because no one feels that there may be folks who just aren’t comfortable.

And I think going back to that manager interaction and training, how do we elicit that from in, in a safe place, right. Between the employee and the manager on a more frequent and less formal [00:30:00] basis. So. Again, just because someone’s happy doesn’t mean they’re engaged, but you know, materially engagement statistics haven’t really changed that much over the last 30 years.

You know, they’ve gone down recently. Absolutely. They’ve gone down recently, but on average they hover around 30%. So again, not to totally derail us, but are we, are we asking the right questions? Are we, do we need to, you know, why, why are we trying to measure something that, you know, is kind of hovered consistently?

So just some philosophical thoughts that, you know, we have as a team here and you know, do we respond differently now that, you know, folks, and I think you alluded to it, we’ve reprioritized. What’s important in our lives. And a lot of folks had work is number one, myself included, I’ll admit, you know, work was my identity.

And while there’s still tons of people out there in the workforce who do identify with their work, there’s a lot less of us now. And so [00:31:00] as employers, how do we respond? And do we, do we change the way we ask questions? Do we change the way we gauge engagement, satisfaction and, and really all of it. So.

Just things that we think about, you know, casual thinking. Yeah.

Josh Hoover: On that, Corinna, I think that’s a great point because when you have those happy employees that are disengaged, what’s their productivity going to look like? Probably not great, but they may be content. To really not do much. Get my paycheck and go home.

Yep, and that, I mean, that’s, isn’t that the definition of quiet quitting? So, depending on, I’ve heard multiple definitions, but that was my favorite one. I mean, that’s exactly what you’re talking about. Yeah.

Corrina Nation: Yeah, and I think, too, that, you know, I, I reject most of those, broader, you know, buzzwords, but, you know, they’re, they’re valid for, they come up for reasons.

And, you know, again, I think the larger, Piece of it was, you know, Brad, you talked about it and Andy too. And Jeanette, I can go and I can go anywhere now. [00:32:00] I can go whenever I want and the pays, the pays right. And the process is better. And I feel they actually had my laptop set up for me on day one. Right. I had my badge provision.

No problem. You know, those things do add up. So yeah, I think, I think again, if I have to go back to the candidate experience, that’s where it starts. But I think as an HR community, we need, we do need to challenge and kind of rethink the way that we leverage these amazing tools, which are valid and helpful.

But to Brad’s point, what do we do with that? And how do we change behavior, which is That’s the hardest part of it all. And you

Janette Kresser:know, changing behavior, not just with the employee, but the organization as a whole. And so it is a two way street. But I, I agree 100% with what you’re saying, Corinna and Josh, I’ll have to tell you that quiet quitting.

That’s a trigger word for me. I, I don’t like it. I don’t, I get it’s coming from it, but oh, I just [00:33:00] like that word, that terminology.

Brad Mandacina: I’m pretty

Josh Hoover: sure I got that definition from you, Jeanette. I’m just saying. So, Corinna, we’ll go back to you. So we’re going to kind of shift gears. Jeanette teed this up a little bit when she talked about how people feel included.

So the first topic was about first, first year engagement. Well, let’s talk about how employee engagement and sentiment affect that retention. So Corinna, the question is, what are an employer’s biggest pain points around engagement and sentiment? And how can these be proactively addressed?

Corrina Nation: Yeah, I kind of, I kind of already, yeah, started on that.

So I’ll finish that thought, Josh. Yeah. So there’s no one size fits all. I mean, we, we, we don’t ever see the same. Everyone’s a snowflake, right? Every company is truly. And you know, so there isn’t one solution for every company, but The biggest pain points that we see with our clients is just taking action on the data.

And, and actually, you know, they do a great job. There’s tons of surveys and touch [00:34:00] points and, you know, you can feel how you feel about those and whether they’re, they’re truthful or not, like we talked about, but it’s also training their managers on how to take action. And so we keep, we keep coming back to it because it’s so boots on the ground.

It’s. apparent that that is, you know, the biggest opportunity for training and development, as well as just enablement of here’s how we’re going to roll this out. And here’s how we’re going to bring you along with us. And here’s why. So Jeanette, going back to your, your point. So and I think managers in HR, they need to have their roles very clearly defined and, and where they fit in this journey.

It sounds simple. But it’s not depending on how large or decentralized you are depending on your shared service model, you know, etc. But you know, training managers, making sure that the tools actually are the enabler and not necessarily the thing that actually changes behavior because I think behavior is what we’re all after right [00:35:00] is is making making those incremental shifts.

An incremental is important to highlight. Because this isn’t happening overnight, right? This is a process. This is a journey. This is a transformation. And so I think focusing on that, you know, constantly evolving mindset, constantly adapting mindset has been what our clients have, have seen, you know, yield the most success.

Janette Kresser:So, you know, I’d like to add on to that a little bit Corinna, and you’re right, making those incremental changes this just because you’re measuring it doesn’t mean anything is going to change if you’re not acting on it and trying different things. You may think that what you’re, you’re implementing is going to really move that needle.

But unless you’re measuring it and measuring it on a frequent basis, you’re not going to know. And I think that is really one of the harder things for organizations is how do I consistently measure this? How can I see how [00:36:00] I’m doing? And are these incremental changes that I’m making having the desired effect?

And so, and then gleaming, Hey, what are the best actionable items that I can take based off of the data that I’ve received? And. I think that’s where it really comes back to measuring often measuring frequently being able to try things out and seeing if it’s having that desired effect. I think that is something that a lot of organizations struggle with going back to that once a year.

Touch point or survey that you’re doing with your organization. How can you measure along the way if what you’ve been trying is having the desired effect and otherwise you’re a year down the road and you may not have made any different. So I think that’s critical is like you said, trying those incremental things, listening to the feedback that you’re getting and measuring it along the way.

Josh Hoover: [00:37:00] Well, not to call anybody out, but I mean, most every client, not all, there’s a couple of exceptions, but most every client that I’ve worked with or asked the question about that. That annual survey, because most of them, that’s what they’re doing. Their questions came from the HR individual that probably pulled off the internet and not really a thorough analysis done from a psychologist or anything like that.

I don’t know if you’re all’s experience is the same as mine on that, but that’s what I’ve seen. And

Anne Burkett:that’s what I was gonna, I’ll say, kind of add into this one of if leadership

Janette Kresser:is not clear on what they want,

Anne Burkett:all the, it, it, then it, it has the likelihood to just fall apart along the way, right? Because they need to be clear about what.

the culture they want the drivers that they want, and then build on that. Because what they may realize is that they are building a culture that does not feed the outcome that they’re looking for. [00:38:00] And that’s going to be problematic, right? So it’s, it’s even because I completely agree with everybody. I love this conversation.

But They’ve got to go all the way back to the beginning, kind of like what Corinna was talking about in the candidate experience, right? You’ve got to go all the way back to the pre, pre, pre. Same thing as, as a leader, or I’ll say owner of a, of a company. What, what is your desired impact culture? You know, what are your drivers?

And then, you know, build everything in essence around that. So your, your metrics, your survey questions, or however you’re going to do it, your management training, and, and then there needs to be transparency and there needs to be trust. And if those things are not all in alignment, Then you’re going to have those ghosting employees and there’s, you know, 90 day quits and, and all of that.

There’s going to be a higher frequency of that because they’re told on this end, Ooh,

Janette Kresser:this is the culture. We’re

Anne Burkett:so awesome. And then they [00:39:00] get in there and go, okay, these don’t connect. And so, so I think it’s, there’s a, you know, I’ll say a larger question discussion, you know, but all of it feeds to whatever that, that.

Utopia is up here. Everything needs to feed up to that. And that includes management training and everything else. Cause the, you know, everybody’s heard and it hasn’t changed. People join a company, they quit a

Janette Kresser:manager,

Anne Burkett:right? So we all, I think know how important it is to have a very strong manager for their team.

And just because this manager is awesome, if that manager got moved over here, maybe they’re not so awesome, right? They get pulled out of their comfort zone. There’s things that I think have to be

Janette Kresser:considered that

Anne Burkett:it’s real easy for management to, oh, well, it’s working, we’re cool. And then all of a sudden there’s a bump in the road and nobody quite understands that somewhere along the line, there was a shift or you know, something broke in, in the [00:40:00] process or whatever.

Janette Kresser:I’m sorry. I got really excited about that one.

Josh Hoover: Well, so let’s take that your response there and let’s flip it. So you’re talking about the drivers of engagement and success. What are the drivers of disengagement and failure that an employer can try and proactively recognize and take action on? What have you seen?

I think

Anne Burkett:the biggest thing is bad managers. Bad managers. You’ve got this great salesman that has been awesome. He’s kicked all the goals. Let’s make him a manager.

Janette Kresser:That doesn’t

Anne Burkett:always work, right? I mean, we’ve always seen, we, you know, we’ve seen that same scenario in different settings, but, but I think, you know, Corinna pointed to it earlier, right?

Be sure that those managers are getting really good training. And then I think Doing what you say, say what you’re going to do and then do what you’re going to say, whether that is a leader, you know, top down manager or whatever. But if, if the guide rails are, Hey, we’re always going to treat our clients a number one, but

Janette Kresser:then the actions [00:41:00] aren’t that.

That will disengage

Anne Burkett:employees. So, so management, you know, from some degree, but also, also the overall messaging and reinforcement of, no, this is what we say we’re going to do, but then you’ve actually got to do it.

Josh Hoover: We and

Brad Mandacina: we’ve got a good vendor partner of ours that often talks about their say, do ratio and you’re absolutely right.

It does make it when I look at this, when you talk about disengagement, I think you’ve got to throw out. Bad hires, bad fit. Jeanette, I think you talked about it at the beginning around, around that euphoric feeling when you start a new job. And so let’s assume that comp is where it should be. And so that’s not leading to disengagement.

And I look at it is, is, and you touched on this, I’ve all touched on it. But around the culture and that cultural fit. And that’s one of those squishy words that’s hard to define. But I heard it once said as culture is what your employees [00:42:00] tell their friends. What it’s like to work here. And I’ve often thought that was a good way of looking at.

And, and so when you, when you kind of dig deeper into that, it’s about the trust of the team that they’re on, the sense of belonging, how quickly are they adopted into the team and made to feel a part of it? Are they given the successful tool or the big part of the tools to be successful? And, and are they shown that people care about them as a person, people want to see them succeed.

And you mentioned the, the sale, the rockstar salesperson that gets promoted to management, maybe not given the tools to be successful. So those things, those things make a difference. And I, so I don’t know that there’s any one singular factor, but I think it’s going to be a lot of, a lot of little things that lead to that disengagement, you know, that people, people come to a new job excited and a little fearful and scared.

And so the little things will add up. So you got to make sure you get those [00:43:00] things right. All along

Janette Kresser:the way, well, and I think we’ve touched on it a lot, but it comes back to trust like that story. Josh shared where someone was trying to be honest with their feedback and it created a witch hunt. That is not how you build trust within your organization.

That’s how you’re, you’re going to, you’re, you’re going to. get people to tell you what you want to hear versus what you need to hear. And so being able to act on that and having that trust, I think is, is critical. And without that, and without that sense of belonging. And I think that sense, that level of trust goes hand in hand with the sense of belonging within the organization.

Am I making a difference? Is what I’m doing important? Am I being trusted to, to get the stuff done? And my, can I trust my, my [00:44:00] leadership to, to have our best intentions in mind and the best intentions for the organization. Brad,

Josh Hoover: you had a really good quote on company culture. One of my favorites that I’ve seen on LinkedIn multiple times.

It’s usually on a Sunday evening, but I see this it’s something along the lines of. Culture is how you feel on Sunday night. Are you excited to go to work Monday morning? Are you dreading it? So as we kind of, as we kind of bring this home, I kind of, I’m going to go off script here, but that’s fine, but we’re all, we’re all, we’ll all have fun here.

So. All of you or Jeanette and I are recovering HR technology consultants, but Corinna, Brad and you are currently HR tech consultants. So my question for you, and I’m going to just toss this up. So what, what do you do with this? How do you incorporate this type of information and these type of challenges into when you’re working with a client to help them build out an HR tech strategy?

I’ll go

Corrina Nation: first. I, [00:45:00] I, I’ve been circling around it, but I think it’s just getting to know yourself really, really well. That’s the first thing that we, we do with our clients. And, you know our clients are, are in a transformational moment, right? And so the technology itself is, is always the driver.

It’s never, it’s never the focus per se, but, you know, getting to know them, making sure they know themselves, getting the right people in the room to talk about. Yeah. Who they are and how they do processes and, and who owns what and business process owners and, you know, the role of HR, the role of the HR BPs, the role of really everyone within, within the people function, I think too many times.

That goes overlooked and we see clients feeling, you know, lost. They feel like they’ve, they’ve purchased a subscription for an amazing SAS technology and they all are well, some more than others. And, you know, have, have, you know, they don’t know what to do with it. There isn’t really a [00:46:00] clear roadmap.

And I think that’s on the client, the organization to really get to know themselves, to understand what. The people’s strategy is to understand the priorities and guiding principles that are going to take you along that journey and really get to know yourself first. And that’s not fun. It’s not pretty.

It’s, it’s definitely not the most you know, like the highest caliber work, right? Sometimes and organizing documents and getting, getting yourself organized and really understanding what step by step you’re, you’re currently doing. But without that point of view. You can’t you can’t create a technology strategy.

And so I think that a lot of times the a the A is lost and you get to be and you’re wondering, Well, how did I What do I do from here? So I would say that’s the majority of the work that we’re seeing is is helping clients optimize their processes and get to know themselves before, you know, ultimately making some sort of large technology purchase [00:47:00] or replacement.


Brad Mandacina: I would follow that up with People process technology always in that order. Perhaps that’s,

Josh Hoover: that’s going back

Corrina Nation: to good little nuggets, Brad. I’m going to steal some of these acronyms. Yeah. Maybe

Brad Mandacina: that’s day one stuff. I don’t know, but, but I think you’re absolutely right. Because you could go out and buy the very best software, the flashiest thing that’s out there.

And if everything before that’s broken, it’s not going to make a difference. And, and that’s oftentimes you alluded to this before, but that’s oftentimes how you end up with an organization that has. Four, five, six, 10 different pieces of software that all do the same thing. And not one of them is being deployed properly.

So you gotta, you gotta kind of take that step back and evaluate. I like your, I like your approach to finding who you are, because that’s, that’s going to lead to success down the line everywhere else.

Janette Kresser:Well, and

Anne Burkett:I think a realistic view, right, of okay, recognizing we are [00:48:00] going to deploy something, you know, we’re at that point now we’ve made that decision.

How are we going to get it done and get it successful, do we have the right resources internally to make that happen. And do we have the right buy in, do we have, again I’ll go back to, you know, another committee, Right. I think when you’re making those type of changes, it is really good to bring in other stakeholders that maybe have a little bit of a different viewpoint so that as you are making this transformation, you are including people that can be your cheerleaders out in the field, right, who have had a part of the process.

And again, I think. Starts back with leadership and being sure that that’s all clear. And, you know, but looking at things not just myopically, but holistically, right? Where does this particular product or transaction fit in the whole? And does it mirror the rest of our values, the, the goals that we’re trying to accomplish?

So, you know, very much holistic view, [00:49:00] but with that the reality of, do we have You know, the right people processes

Janette Kresser:and technology there to get there. So

Anne Burkett:yeah, I, yes, Brad, that was a good reminder. I haven’t heard that one

Janette Kresser:in a while. So good job. Well, and adding on to that is you have this whole change management process, you’re implementing a new technology, or you’re getting a new type of information.

Making sure that you have a good plan of how you’re going to follow up with that to where you don’t just implement it and then walk away and, and assume that it’s going to work, it takes time, and you’ve got to keep coming back to it and having it be a priority. And communicating the value of what you’re trying to do over and over again.

Cause what’s that saying? People have to hear it six or seven times before it really sticks. So don’t be afraid to keep talking about the [00:50:00] value and what you’re getting out of it and how you expect these changes and going back to retention, how these changes are going to affect that, that bottom line retention.

I think

Josh Hoover: the people process technology certainly sums it up, especially when you put it in that order and you have to stick to that order. One of my favorite quotes, I’m pretty sure it was Vince Lombardi football coach who said, everyone has the will to win. Not everyone has the will to prepare to win.

And I think that’s ultimately what it boils down to is that when you’re making those decisions, are you going to prepare enough upfront or are you going to let the salesman do that for you?

Brad Mandacina: That’s part of the problem.

Josh Hoover: So with that. I know I want to open it up to Q& A. I saw at least one question come through.

I get distracted. Everybody knows that. So I won’t so I didn’t follow too closely on that. But Alicia, what, what questions came through?

Corrina Nation: Yeah, Kimberly asked, what are the roles of the manager and HR in the experience? And I believe that was referring to [00:51:00] the pre boarding and onboarding experience.

Yeah, I think we addressed that in the conversation. But thanks, Kimberly, for your question. No, I think that, you know, the role of the HR leader, as well as the manager, it’s really going to differ organization by organization. And I go back to, you know, your, your support model, right? If it’s a, if it’s a centralized or shared services model, if you have a decentralized model, you know, all of those All of those things, plus a whole litany of other factors would apply.

But I think the challenge more so is establishing those roles, communicating those roles, and, you know, clearly defining them. And Jeanette, you taught, you were touching on governance, and I’m like, whole nother conversation, governance. I could talk about that for hours. Ping me if you want to chat. This is going to be a

Josh Hoover: 36 part webinar.

Corrina Nation: I know. But, you know, at the end of the day, you know, each organization has a responsibility to, to define those roles and [00:52:00] to obviously define the start and stop points for each of those roles within the various people processes, not, not just onboarding, right. But everything else that has to happen to keep a company humming.


Janette Kresser:And

Anne Burkett:that’s, I think the practical, the reality is.

Janette Kresser:They should work very closely together. I

Anne Burkett:know back way back when I was head of HR and I would have managers come to me and just go, I don’t like this person or, you know, I need somebody exactly like this person. And I’m like, yeah, nope, that’s not how it works.

Let’s kind of talk through what you’re really after and let’s figure out how to make that happen. And so I think those, there needs to be really tight communications there, no matter what the, You know, I’ll say the technical processes the managers in NHR should be very friendly and not adversarial.

And it, cause I feel like it often is the opposite.

Josh Hoover: I’m going to write that down. Communication is important. [00:53:00] It’s very

Anne Burkett:important.

All right. I’ve

Corrina Nation: got another question for you guys that came in before the webinar. How important of a role does talent acquisition play in ongoing talent development? And is there a gap here that needs to be bridged?

Brad Mandacina: So I, I think they play a key role in, in that in, in the gap that needs to be bridged. I don’t know about that part of the question. I think that’s going to vary by organization and within each individual person and scope of their responsibilities, but talent acquisition is key because they’re out, I’ll say the frontline people and the first interaction and the first face.

of the company that the candidate is going to see and experience and interact with. So they’re going to drive that ongoing. Likewise, if they are seeing themes of candidates in the market, they need to be presenting that back to the hiring manager, back to the teams and saying, Hey, here’s what we’re [00:54:00] seeing out there.

There’s a bunch of people with this designation, or there’s nobody with this designation or this skillset or what have you. So I think they’re very influential in the success of the organization. And and arguably into the ongoing training development as well. So I think that’s it

Janette Kresser:You know, I think also when you’re looking at your, your talent acquisition strategy is you need to make sure that the open positions are being marketed and, and shown as to what they really are.

How many times have you seen a job description and you read through it. And it really has no connection to, to what they’re actually going to be doing within, in the organization. And I think that goes back to, you know, really helping to measure that, that job and role fit with it, with the employee. Is it what they were expecting to come in and do is, are they able to fulfill it?

And I think [00:55:00] that’s going to play a big part into retention as well. Is making sure that the organization as a whole, the culture as it’s being portrayed the, the position that they’re going to be working in is, is really accurate and, and real to what they’re going to be walking

Brad Mandacina: into. We’ve all seen those job recs that are nothing but just buzzwords.

It’s like, it’s like a, it’s like a bad game of buzzword bingo, just peppering in things to try to define something. And it’s just a mess. So that’s

Josh Hoover: a great point. And I’ll reference one of the gaps that I feel like I’ve seen. I may be the only one, but I’ll, I’ll, I’ll take it. Is a lot of times a recruiter will place a candidate, that candidate will become an employee, but then never follow back up.

Was this candidate successful? Did we find the right person? What made them successful? What made them not successful? And then go back and incorporate that into their ongoing recruiting strategy. Especially, you know, what is this hiring manager like versus this hiring manager so they can find the right [00:56:00] people.

Corrina Nation: Yeah. That feedback loop, Josh, I think is applicable and very, a lot of a different areas, right? So, yeah, I, I think that the feedback loop missing and really any of these people processes is, is an opportunity. And it’s, it’s not easy, but you know, it is, it is something again, if you think about incremental change, how do we, how do we.

How do we start improving on it now and not waiting for some catastrophic event or, you know, reactionary environment that a lot of a lot of organizations, you know, do find themselves in right in a reactionary position. So, yeah, that’s a great point.

Josh Hoover: So, Alicia, do we have one more that may be fairly quick?

Corrina Nation: Yes. I’ve got a quick one for you. How can you create opportunities for first year employees to voice their opinions and be involved in decision making processes

Anne Burkett:[00:57:00] that goes back to culture, in my view, you’ve got to be open for it right if you’re not as a leader, and you’re not going to be flexible in open. to different opinions, then it’s never going to happen. So if from a leadership perspective, if, if they are open and willing, which could vary on manager level, you know, corporately or whatever, but that, that person that’s listening, that has the ability to affect change

Corrina Nation: needs to

Anne Burkett:be open to that.

And if that’s not the case, it’s not going to happen.

Janette Kresser:So. I don’t know how to make it happen, you

Anne Burkett:know, in the reality, except just being open to change and then being willing to go make those changes. But I’m sure I saw Jeanette go off mute. So I feel like she’s got something she wants

Janette Kresser:to add here. Yeah.

You know, I think again, it goes back to that level of trust. Making sure that that culture supports that trust and that open communication, but then giving them the opportunity and seeking out that information. Don’t just [00:58:00] wait for them to come to you. They may be, you know, they’re a new employee. Maybe they don’t want to speak up yet.

Reach out to them, find out. Early and often, what are your guys thoughts? What can we be doing better? What, give me some feedback here of how we can make this a better organization for, for not just you, but future employees and current employees.

Well, this has been

Josh Hoover: fantastic. It’s always fun to, to connect with you guys. Alicia, thanks for organizing this and put it all together. And, and Brad, Corinna, Jeanette, thank you so much for your time. And your, your wisdom is great to have that, that. Level of experience and feedback. So thank you everybody.

We appreciate you joining us today and have a great day.

Anne Burkett:Thank you everybody. Have a nice day. Thanks everyone.