Don't Be the Last to Know (Business of Software)

C35e01544a0dd94a2cf1619ee8a42ebb?s=47 Claire Lew
September 21, 2015

Don't Be the Last to Know (Business of Software)

Think back to when someone left your company, and you didn't see it coming. You wish you would've known about it earlier. That way, you could've done something about it, right?

In this talk, I share exactly what you can do to avoid this situation . You don't have to be the last to know in your company. See the slides to learn how.

I was humbled to give this talk at Business of Software (http://businessofsoftware.org/) in September 2015. BoS is possibly my favorite conference, so it was wonderful to get to be a part of it.

Here are the citations of some of the research....

Slides #30 - 32: https://sri.cornell.edu/sri/cnss.cfm

Slides #44 - 45: http://www.businessperform.com/blog/2010/10/05/gallup-employee-feedback-358.html

Slide #47: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2013/03/11/im-outta-here-why-2-million-americans-quit-every-month-and-5-steps-to-turn-the-epidemic-around/

Slide #48: http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2015/04/02/what-do-workers-want-from-the-boss/?mod=e2tw

Slide #49: http://www.inc.com/suzanne-lucas/why-employee-turnover-is-so-costly.html

*****

Curious to learn how we've helped hundreds of business owners not be the last to know? Learn more at http://knowyourcompany.com.

C35e01544a0dd94a2cf1619ee8a42ebb?s=128

Claire Lew

September 21, 2015
Tweet

Transcript

  1. Don’t be the last to know. @cjlew23

  2. Hi, I’m Claire Lew. @cjlew23

  3. None
  4. None
  5. Think back…

  6. Someone left your company

  7. Someone left your company and you didn’t see it coming.

  8. You could’ve done something about it.

  9. None
  10. You’re the last to know

  11. You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

  12. You’re the last to know a project is running behind.

  13. You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with the

    company direction.
  14. You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about

    leaving.
  15. None
  16. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At
  17. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At Balsamiq
  18. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At Yesware
  19. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At PrecisionLender
  20. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At Close.io
  21. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At ServiceRocket
  22. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At Adzerk
  23. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At Adzerk
  24. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At NowSight
  25. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At Loopio
  26. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At Mailchimp
  27. • You’re the last to know an employee is underperforming.

    • You’re the last to know a project is running behind. • You’re the last to know an employee disagrees with you. • You’re the last to know an employee is thinking about leaving. At PHC Software
  28. All companies.

  29. All the time.

  30. 85% feel unable to discuss concerns (2009 Cornell National Social

    Survey)
  31. 70% hesitate to speak up at work (2009 Cornell National

    Social Survey)
  32. 42% admit to withholding information (2009 Cornell National Social Survey)

  33. I’ve felt this pain, firsthand.

  34. None
  35. You don’t have to be the last to know.

  36. Don’t be the last to know TODAY

  37. Why it matters TODAY

  38. Why it happens TODAY

  39. How to avoid being the last to know TODAY

  40. None
  41. Why does it matter?

  42. $$$

  43. Disengagement

  44. Managers who give little to no feedback to employees result

    in 4 out of 10 workers being actively disengaged. (2009 Gallup study of over 1,000 US based employees)
  45. For each disengaged employee, a company loses $3,400 - $10,000

    in salary due to decreased productivity. (2009 Gallup study of over 1,000 US based employees)
  46. Turnover

  47. of people would today consider finding a new job. 74%

    (2013 study by Harris Interactive)
  48. The most actively engaged workers (54%) give the highest agreement

    rating to this statement: “I feel I can approach my manager with any type of question.” (2015 Gallup Employee Engagement Survey)
  49. Experts estimate that replacing an employee costs a business 150%

    (2013 Inc Article) of an employee’s salary
  50. Accidents & Mistakes

  51. (2010 survey of 2,600+ across industries) Employees directly intervene in

    only about 2 of 5 unsafe actions and conditions that they observe in the workplace.
  52. None
  53. Why does it happen?

  54. Fear

  55. Futility

  56. 1.8X Futility is more powerful than fear as an obstacle

    to feedback. (2010 Harvard Business Review article)
  57. None
  58. What can we do about it?

  59. Overcome fear & futility

  60. None
  61. Ask & Act

  62. None
  63. Ask

  64. Why is asking important?

  65. Answers only come when you ask questions.

  66. Overcome fear.

  67. Your goal: How do I ask for information in the

    least threatening, least biased way possible?
  68. What makes it so hard to ask good questions?

  69. It’s easier to jump to an answer, rather than ask

    a good question.
  70. We value tasks > relationships.

  71. How can you get good at asking for feedback?

  72. Ask 1 2 3 4 5

  73. Ask 1 Go first. 1 2 3 4 5

  74. Go first. 1

  75. Ask for advice, instead of feedback.

  76. “I could use your advice…”

  77. Admit a vulnerability.

  78. “I’m struggling with…”

  79. Figure out how you’re getting in the way.

  80. “How is my behavior making things worse for you?”

  81. Ask 1 Go first. 1 2 3 4 5

  82. Ask 2 Shoot the elephants. 2 1 3 4 5

  83. Shoot the elephants. 2

  84. Make it clear you’re looking to learn, not to judge.

  85. “I’m asking this question because I want to learn…”

  86. Tell your employees you want them to be honest.

  87. Kindness and honesty are not mutually exclusive.

  88. “Don’t worry about being nice. Be helpful.”

  89. “Sugar-coated answers don’t help anyone.”

  90. “Please feel free to argue with me.”

  91. Ask 2 Shoot the elephants. 2 1 3 4 5

  92. Ask 3 Be specific. 3 1 2 4 5

  93. Be specific. 3

  94. Ask about one thing.

  95. “What’s one thing…?”

  96. Ask about a specific event, milestone, or project.

  97. “What’s something we should talk about at our next all-company

    meeting?”
  98. Timebox your question.

  99. “In the past two weeks…?”

  100. Ask for concrete information.

  101. “Can you give me an example?”

  102. “How’s it going? Anything we can improve on?”

  103. “How’s it going? Anything we can improve on?” “Things are

    pretty good. Nothing I can think of really.”
  104. “How’s it going? Anything we can improve on?” “I’ve been

    wrestling with some big- picture stuff about how the company could get better, and would love your help with it. What’s one thing in the past week we could’ve done better?” “Things are pretty good. Nothing I can think of really.”
  105. “How’s it going? Anything we can improve on?” “I’ve been

    wrestling with some big- picture stuff about how the company could get better, and would love your help with it. What’s one thing in the past week we could’ve done better?” “Hmm, well the other day, I had to sit down with our new hires to remind them what our focus was. So maybe we’re not as clear about our vision as a company as we should be. I’m just concerned that they’re not spending the best use of their time, and we’re more inefficient than we should be.” “Things are pretty good. Nothing I can think of really.”
  106. Ask 3 Be specific. 3 1 2 4 5

  107. Ask 4 Look to the future. 4 1 2 3

    5
  108. Look to the future. 4

  109. Ask about what could be better in the future.

  110. People tend to be more honest when you ask about

    the future, versus the past.
  111. “Going forward, what’s one thing…?”

  112. Ask 4 Look to the future. 4 1 2 3

    5
  113. Ask Do it often. 5 1 2 3 4

  114. Do it often. 5

  115. Practice Habit Culture

  116. One-on-ones Social opportunities Company pulse surveys All-company get togethers

  117. Don’t just talk to managers – go to the source.

  118. Ask 1 2 3 4 5

  119. Ask 1 Go first.

  120. Ask 1 Go first. Shoot the elephants. 2

  121. Ask 1 Go first. Shoot the elephants. Be specific. 2

    3
  122. Ask 1 Go first. Shoot the elephants. Be specific. Look

    to the future. 2 3 4
  123. Ask 1 Go first. Shoot the elephants. Be specific. Look

    to the future. Do it often. 2 3 4 5
  124. Applying this to your company…

  125. The four questions you should ask every employee…

  126. “If someone asked you to describe the vision of the

    company, would a clear answer immediately come to mind?” 1
  127. “Do you think the company is the right size? 2

  128. “Have you ever been afraid to suggest an idea at

    work because you thought someone might shoot it down?” 3
  129. “Do you feel like you're spread too thin right now?”

    4
  130. Applying this to your company…

  131. Company Checklist

  132. During your next leadership team meeting: Ask for advice.

  133. During your next leadership team meeting: Ask for advice. Before

    your next employee engagement survey: Shoot the elephants about why you’re doing it.
  134. During your next leadership team meeting: Ask for advice. Before

    your next employee engagement survey: Shoot the elephants about why you’re doing it. In your next all-company meeting: Ask a specific question vs. “Got any feedback for the company?”
  135. During your next leadership team meeting: Ask for advice. During

    your next one-on-one: Ask a question that looks to the future, not just to the past. Before your next employee engagement survey: Shoot the elephants about why you’re doing it. In your next all-company meeting: Ask a specific question vs. “Got any feedback for the company?”
  136. During your next leadership team meeting: Ask for advice. During

    your next one-on-one: Ask a question that looks to the future, not just to the past. Before your next employee engagement survey: Shoot the elephants about why you’re doing it. In your next all-company meeting: Ask a specific question vs. “Got any feedback for the company?” Ask yourself: “When’s the last time I talked to someone other than a manager?” Increase those interactions.
  137. Ask 1 Go first. Shoot the elephants. Be specific. Look

    to the future. Do it often. 2 3 4 5
  138. None
  139. Act

  140. Why is acting important?

  141. Action is how you overcome futility.

  142. Why ask, if you’re not going to act?

  143. What makes it so hard to act on feedback?

  144. We’re busy.

  145. We’re biased.

  146. How can you get good at acting on feedback?

  147. Act 1 2 3 4 5

  148. Act 1 1 Listen without judgement. 2 3 4 5

  149. Listen without judgment. 1

  150. (Easier said than done.)

  151. Acknowledge your biases + assumptions.

  152. Being right vs. Getting it right

  153. Write down the feedback.

  154. Ask yourself: What does it feel like to work for

    me?
  155. Don’t get defensive.

  156. Being defensive is the killer of an open culture.

  157. Assume good intentions from your employee, and your defensiveness goes

    away.
  158. Act 1 1 Listen without judgement. 2 3 4 5

  159. Act 2 Recognize the messenger. 2 1 3 4 5

  160. Recognize the messenger. 2

  161. Sometimes, that’s all the employee is looking for.

  162. Gratitude is an important contributor to employee engagement.

  163. Set an example in your company for how to handle

    dissenting opinions.
  164. “I really appreciate you sharing that…”

  165. “It means a lot to hear…”

  166. Act 2 Recognize the messenger. 2 1 3 4 5

  167. Act 3 3 Explain why you’re *not* doing something. 1

    2 4 5
  168. Explain why you’re not doing something. 3

  169. Most employees just want an explanation.

  170. Without an explanation, employees fill in the blank with assumptions.

  171. Be direct.

  172. “Here’s why we’re not doing this…”

  173. Don’t make it personal.

  174. “I think” “I feel” “me” “the project” “the company” “us”

    vs.
  175. At the end of the conversation, follow up and ask

    what people think.
  176. “What do you think?”

  177. Act 3 3 Explain why you’re *not* doing something. 1

    2 4 5
  178. Act 4 4 Emphasize what you share in common. 1

    2 3 5
  179. Emphasize what you share in common. 4

  180. Point out what you agree on.

  181. The point of feedback is to learn – not to

    win.
  182. You’re all playing on the same team.

  183. “I know we don’t agree on everything, but here’s what

    I do think we agree on…”
  184. Act 4 4 Emphasize what you share in common. 1

    2 3 5
  185. Act Knock out a quick win. 5 1 2 3

    4
  186. Knock out a quick win. 5

  187. Timeliness matters.

  188. Take advantage of the low-hanging fruit.

  189. Delegate :-)

  190. “Because of this, we’re going to do this…”

  191. Act 1 2 3 4 5

  192. Act 1 2 3 4 5 1 Listen without judgement.

  193. Act 1 2 3 4 5 1 Listen without judgement.

    Recognize the messenger. 2
  194. Act 1 2 3 4 5 1 Listen without judgement.

    Recognize the messenger. 2 3 Explain why you’re *not* doing something.
  195. Act 1 2 3 4 5 1 Listen without judgement.

    Recognize the messenger. 2 3 4 Explain why you’re *not* doing something. Emphasize what you share in common.
  196. Act 1 Listen without judgement. Recognize the messenger. Explain why

    you’re *not* doing something. Emphasize what you share in common. Knock out a quick win. 2 3 4 5
  197. Applying this to your company…

  198. Company Checklist

  199. During your next one-on-one: Write down what they say. Shows

    your listening — prevents you from being defensive.
  200. During your next one-on-one: Write down what they say. Shows

    your listening — prevents you from being defensive. During your next all-hands meeting: Recognize the messenger.
  201. During your next one-on-one: Write down what they say. Shows

    your listening — prevents you from being defensive. During your next all-hands meeting: Recognize the messenger. In your next company-wide email: Talk about the last thing you just implemented because someone gave you this great idea.
  202. During your next one-on-one: Write down what they say. Shows

    your listening — prevents you from being defensive. In your next one on one or all hands meeting: Talk about one thing you’ve been all talk no action on, and explain why you’re not doing it. Explain what you have in common. During your next all-hands meeting: Recognize the messenger. In your next company-wide email: Talk about the last thing you just implemented because someone gave you this great idea.
  203. Act 1 Listen without judgement. Recognize the messenger. Explain why

    you’re *not* doing something. Emphasize what you share in common. Knock out a quick win. 2 3 4 5
  204. None
  205. How to overcome fear & futility?

  206. Ask & Act.

  207. None
  208. You may be thinking…

  209. “I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do.”

  210. If you don’t know your company well, how do you

    expect to run your company well?
  211. “This is all great in theory, but how do I

    remember to do all of this ‘in the moment’?”
  212. Start with one thing.

  213. Culture doesn’t happen overnight.

  214. “Honestly, this makes me a little nervous.”

  215. What employees think and how they feel – that all

    exists whether or not you choose to know about it.
  216. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  217. Prove your intentions through your action.

  218. None
  219. How can I be more helpful to you?

  220. You don’t have to be the last to know.

  221. Thank you, BoS! @cjlew23

  222. Questions? :-)