HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Podcast

When They Win, You Win – Being a Great Manager w/ Russ Laraway

In episode 51, we sat down with Russ Laraway to learn more about what makes a strong leader, how employee engagement affects performance, and the steps that good (or even not-so-good) managers can take to become great managers.
Episode 51
The best managers know that boosting employee engagement doesn’t have to be complicated. On this week’s episode of the HR Mavericks podcast, we talked with Russ Laraway, chief people officer at Goodwater Capital, about simplifying leadership tactics. Russ says that good management can be broken down into three simple steps – and he has the numbers to back up his approach. During our discussion, we talked about…
  • What’s missing from many management resources
  • The impact of good (and bad) leadership
  • Russ’s “Big Three”: direction, coaching, and career
  • What employee engagement actually is
  • The relationship between management, engagement, and productivity
  • How to measure employee engagement and manager effectiveness
Russ Laraway
Russ Laraway
Full Transcript
You're listening to HR Mavericks, a weekly podcast featuring leading small business HR professionals who share their experiences and insights to help you know how to turn your HR processes and employee experience into a strategic business advantage. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the next episode of HR Mavericks. I'm Garrett Justice, and today I'm joined by a very special guest. We have with US Russ Laraway, who is the chief people officer at good water capital. Russ, how you doing today? Hey, what's up guy? I'm doing great. Thanks a lot for having me on the show. We are super excited to have you on the show. I know part of why you're on the show today is to announce, you know, the launch of a new book which is called when they win, you win right there. It's beautiful and I know it's it's had a lot of awesome reception just in the last week since launching on Amazon. Right yeah, it's crazy. We were, we were number one new release at least four categories for a period of time. We had held the number one to release in the management category at and for the Audio Book and Um we also held the number usually between four or five and six spots for the hard cover. So we had a we had a really, really solid first week that. That was an awful lot of fun. Yeah, amazing. Like Russ and I were talking about before, I am anxiously awaiting my copy. That's coming soon, so I'm excited to dive into it. So, rust we're super excited to have you have the show. I know you bring just with you a wealth of experience when it comes to especially scaling businesses. From an HR or people function, I know you know in the past you you know you spent four years at call tricks as a chief people officer there. You know you're one of the CO founders of radical candor LLC, which, you know, Kim Scott's best selling book, right was, came from that order. Now you spend time at Google, twitter. You know, background in the Marines. Um. So we're super excited to have you on the show. Before we really dive in and really understand that the core pieces from this book, tell our listeners just a little bit more about you personally and also filling any of the career gaps that I missed, and then, Um, tell us just a little bit more about you. Know, the reason why you wanted to write this book. Yeah, I think you covered my career pretty well. I think maybe one thing worth mentioning is my very first HR job was actually at qualtrics, where I was the chief people officer. and Um, you know, before that I had been in go to market roles, even with Kim at radical candor. My job was the chief operating officer. We were tiny, so it's a little bit of a grandiose title but Um, but it was really a go to market function, marketing, sales, things like that, and actually I fulfilled the most of our workshops. Um, you know Google. I was in three different go to market roles there. You know, I had this team, is largest seven people I had. I had direct quota responsibility for a business that was about seven fifty million bucks. At twitter, I found that our SMB advertising channel, you know, and that was that ended up being hundreds of millions of bucks and or under people globally. So yeah, I think that, you know, and I think that's perhaps interesting to a lot of listeners who would be HR practitioners, Um, to find out that my first job was actually be a chief people officer. And I think the learning from that is that I think there's an increasing desire for HR people to be more operational, Um, more a little stay, a little closer to the business. And and in fact Jared Smith one of the two, one of the three co founders of call trick, Scott Smith, Ryan Smith, Jared Smith. Jared Smith and I are friends. We both reported to Kim Scott back at Google in two thousand five. That's how we know each other. And actually he said he asked me if I would be open to running the HR stuff there because he wanted to run more like an accountable operation and not the way he'd seen hr run in the past. So so that's that's sort of how I got in there and I just loved it. You know, I love I love the space. I think it's still pretty wide open. I think there's a lot of room for improvement, frankly, in the space across you know, all sizes of companies. And so yeah, Um Marines. Probably the most important thing to say there is my last job, that I was a company commander, which is a d seventy five combat marines. Um, loved, loved, love to my time in the Marine Corps and Um, I think I owe a fair you know, whatever success I've had. I owe a fair amount of it to having learned how to be an officer in the Marines. I love it. That's so awesome and, Um, you know, I think that is really interesting context and background, especially for a lot of our listeners out there. That, Um, I think the point you made is absolutely right that today, you know, HR has to be so connected to the outcomes of the business, right, and that's that's what it takes to grow a healthy business that's gonna last today, right. So I lovely to share that. Um. So I want to jump in and talk a little bit more about why this book and then we'll get into some of the insights and so kind of really start off here. I mean you your background and Ertease really is you know, in how to manage people well. And in fact, I'll add to Russ, I mentioned this before we jumped on, but for many of our listeners out there, um, you shared a talk, a seat at a CEO Summit from first round, and there was a first round review article written a couple of years ago about three powerful conversations managers must have to develop their people. So, Russ, I gotta tell you too, that has been one of and for all the listeners out there. That has been one of the most impactful articles that I have read in the last year. I've shared it with hundreds of people and I created my own little like framework from it to help in these career conversations with people who I've managed in the past. So I love the insights and that how tangible you made that Um, and so I'm super excited to dive into this book today too. I just want to thank you for those resources because I know if the books anything like it and it's gonna be great stuff. Thanks. Thanks you so before I kind of get into why I wrote this book, Um First, first of all, that's I think that's probably four years old by now. That um that particular article four, maybe even five, and it's gotten a fair amount. It's gotten shared, shared around quite a bit. And here's the good news, two things for it. One is part four of this book covers that exact Um model, the career conversations model that I came up with. It's featured in radical candor. It's got about six pages in radical candor. Excuse me. Then there's Um, you know. Then there's the first round stuff that you saw, and then I went ahead and blew it out with a hundred pages in here so people can learn in a lot of detail to do it. Second is actually on my website. Um, www, dot when they win, you win. Dot Com slash tools actually created a CODA based tool to help people, um, keep track of kind of the career conversations process. So I really appreciate that. It makes it just it really makes me smile to hear that you've been getting a ton of value out of that, because I think that's, the end of the day, probably why I do most of this stuff. And so why this book? Um, I think that people deserve to be led well, and I don't like the word deserve. I don't. I don't throw that word around a lot. So, but I think people deserve to be led well, and I defend this pretty pretty heavily in the book. But I think the overwhelming evidences that actually they're not being led well. Managers are failing and no one's helping, which I think is a little bit of counterintuitive. Could be counterintuitive for folks because there's more and more content every day aimed at helping managers to be better and yet somehow they're at best stagnant and I can kind of prove that. Yeah, and that's that's really what the point I wanted to make too, started to jump in theirs. You know, it seems like if there's any books that were written about more often than others, it might be like there's this endless supply of like helping people become better managers. It's been something that, you know, businesses and consultants and everyone's trying to figure out for years and so really, you know, tell us a little bit more about you know, why did you feel like there was this this book, and what's been missing from those other resources you know out there? Yeah, so I think I have this fantasy, if you'll indulge me, Um, and the fantasy goes I get to ask all these people that are putting out this manager content, authors, Um, podcast hosts like Garrett UH and many others. I get to ask them how do you individually, one on one, how do you think your stuff helps the average manager be better? And the fantasy, Um, it's a g rated fantasy, don't worry, but the fantasy ends up going towards this idea of a buffet style lunch line. And what I imagine is each author, each podcast host, each writer believes that, Um, a manager goes through the buffet style lunch line, it'll leisurely pace and they pull a little off of, you know, the Kim section, they pull a little off the Liz section, a little off the Simon section, you know, and and off they go there tray full of you know, they've got a nutritious meal. They're available to help them for all of their leadership problems in the future. Right. The problem, I think, is that actually, for the average nitor, doesn't feel at all like a leisurely, leisurely trip through a buffet lunch line. It feels like you're hog tied in the center of a middle school cafeteria. Well, there's a multi thousand person food fight transpiring right like, you know, Broccoli bouncing off your head and mashed potatoes, slane. It's just it's too much stuff. It doesn't hang together and it it becomes unaddressable and and people the content. People opt into. Often they opt into based on a couple of biases. One is, does the content fit their pre existing worldview and therefore they kind of opt in and so and often most nefarious is, are they already good at that thing? UH, and they'll kind of opt into the thing they're already good at. So I decided that the world absolutely didn't need another person's opinion about what it takes to be a great manager. Instead, we have to learn to lead in a way that measurably and predictably leads to more engaged employees and better business results. And ultimately that's the book that I wrote, and it's like the narrative version of that, Garrett is. People just want like the only thing everyone has in common at work is they want to be successful. If you think about it's not nobody anything else. Every single person doesn't, you know, it doesn't have other things and coins what we want to be successful. In other words, people want to do great work and they want to be totally psyched while doing it. And it turns out, again I defend this pretty pretty strongly in the book, it turns out that the manager is the person most likely to create or destroy the circumstances under which that can happen, where people can do their best work and be totally psyched abile doing it. Yeah, so interesting and I think all of that resonates for sure with me. So I totally get that. I want to dive in a little bit deeper to, you know, this leadership approach or this framework that you lay out in the book, which is really your when they win, you win approach, right, and specifically, I know as a as a you know, I haven't had a chance to read the book in a full yet, but I know in kind of going through some of some of it and some of the notes from it, that you have what you call the Big Three. That's part of that, right. It's a direction, coaching and career, and so I want to break that down a little bit more, talk a little bit more about each of those pieces and how they can really work together to help managers improve. Yeah, yeah, the big three actually breaks down into about twelve distinct behaviors. Um, the big three is just a little bit easier way for folks to remember it. Um, twelve distinct behaviors and and one of the things that we did was we asked employees in survey form four times a year if they're managers, were demonstrating these behaviors and we actually could measure that. In fact, we call that manager effectiveness, right, which is basically the frequency with which managers are exhibiting, Um, these twelve over, so leadership behaviors and so anyway, the Big Three is direction, coaching, career. Um, direction is so so actually, I want to do a little, if I may, a little exercise with you to kind of top down this. So I've got, you know, I got this bottom up research that tells us these twelve behaviors strongly correlate with engagement and strongly correlate with business outcomes. There's a top down version two here that, by the way, I did both of these things independently, the bottoms on the top down, they just happened to match up perfectly. So, Um, oftentimes when I do when I give the talk around around my book or I've done training, I'll ask people to do an exercise, and the exercise is that I want them to write a job description that fits every manager in the world. So I don't care if you're the CEO of Google or if you're the managing the Front Line Sandwich Shop People at Jersey. Mike's same job description. And a massive constraint is you only have two bullets now, Garrett, I'm gonna give you the option. You can do this exercise with me now or you can just let me tell you what I've come up with, but your call. Would you care to take a crack? It looks like you do want to take a crack. I'm thinking about it. You got me intrigued. Um, man, off the cuff, I mean, the first things that come to mind really are Um, but the first thing that came to mind for me is, you know, do you care about your people and do they know it? Um and Um, do you help them to be better? Right. So, I mean those, those are some of the first things that come in, but I'm curious. Tell me, tell me how help those. Those are great. You're just you're only using mildly different language than I use, Um to get some very similar ideas. Um, we we probably don't. I mean and I could, I could, actually, I could actually let true listeners see you're you're actually kind of a genius, but I don't think we'll have quite enough time to go into that level of depth. Um. So here's what I came up with. I'm not saying this is right, I'm just saying I've had kind of five years to dial this in. You know, Um, the job of every manager in the world is, first, delivering aligned results and, second, to enable the success of the people on their teams. So you you clearly were all over number two and you're actually kind of close on number one. I could defend that, but we're not gonna have the time. M and so and so. When you think about it, first of all, and deliver and aligned result. The word aligned is doing an enormous amount of work there. Even in small companies like the ones that are that make up your audience, Um, it's actually fairly common that, Um, you know, subordinate organizations can find themselves doing things that are a little bit misaligned to what the company is trying to achieve. Um. Maybe maybe a little less, a little easier to rectify in a smaller company than in a much larger company, but it still happens all the time. So the word aligned is what matters the most there. Um. And then enable the success of the people in your team. There's a couple of ways you can do so. The idea, the word success there has two flavors. Their short term success, like how to be better at this job that you're doing, like tomorrow, the next day, the day after, but there's also this idea of long term success, which is helping to enable people towards their dreams that's that article that you mentioned earlier. You know, part for the book is all about career conversations. So, anyway, if you take direction, coaching career and you overlaid on that job description, direction Um is all about defining the aligned results that we're all going to pursue, making certain everyone on your team, not kind of certain, absolutely certain everybody in your team understands their portion of the aligned result you're supposed to go get and then enable the success of the people in their team while you coach them towards short term success and you do career conversations to help enable them towards long term success. And so the big three matches up perfectly with that two bullet job description. And I promise you we we those two work streams were done completely independently. They just happened to come together in dovetail ver very nicely. So direction four part framework Um, two long term elements too, short term elements. Coaching. If you think about it, um performances really results. And how do you get results? Well, there's a certain way you behave and there's work products that you deliver, and so coaching is about giving people continue coaching so they can continue doing the things they're doing well in terms of their behaviors and their work products. And it's also improvement coaching, which is helping people to under understand what they needed to do better given their work products and their behaviors. And you should do five to one. Continue to improve. By the way, Um, a lot of people don't know. Nobody does that and a lot of people will find that surprising. Explain a detail in the book why. And then career just comes from a model. Cheryl Sendberg said to me. She's Cheryl Senberg, if your listeners don't know, PRETTY ICONIC TECH executive. She's just now. She's leaving Meta or facebook. She wrote lean in Um, you know, and another book as well, and she said you have to have a long term vision and an eighteen month plan. Now, I don't care too much about the eighteen month plan part Um, but short term plan. And the idea is when you understand someone's dream job, that dramatically changes how you invest in them in the short run. And I don't know, have you ever seen a space movie by chance? Yeah, yeah, do you know? Do you know the slingshot maneuver that they're doing every single space movie? Do you know what that is where they're on the spaceship around like a planet. Is that what you mean? Yeah, yeah, exact please. So the missions in jeopardy or the missions changed? Right, Oh hey, we left the guy on Mars by accident. Remember that one? And so and they were Um and they need to like change the mission now because they have to go, go get the guy off Mars. So they don't have enough fuel, though, and so they have to use the planet's gravity to sling shot around the planet and launch themselves into the far reaches of the galaxy so they can achieve their mission. You know, it's and it's like every movie, except, I think, spaceballs. I don't think, but it might be. I don't know. Anyway, I just I challenge some of your listeners to think as managers, to think of their jobs as that sling shot. You know, you're not. I don't launch people like physically, um in the air. I just your job is to help launch them in the far reaches of their career, right, and so that's that's that's the big three and and probably a walnut shell. That's a big shell. I just put them in a big shell. But that kind of what you were looking for. I love it. I mean that just you know, if that doesn't get you excited to go and read the book, I don't know what what will? I think that's that's awesome. Heck and death. Only see how that framework could be super, super impactful as a manager. So you know, the kind of obvious question that I have, and I know you kind of alluded to this earlier, is, you know, does it work? doesiness approach work, and how do you know that it works? Yeah, that's that's an incredibly good question. Uh. So first Um, I I sort of I talked about in the book, uh, that we should be very clear on what we mean by the word works when we if someone is going to claim their leadership prescription works, what does that mean? What I think it means is, does it measurably and predictably lead to more engaged employees or work happiness and better business results? And there's there's a very strong, I think we're gonna get to this maybe a little later. There's a very strong relationship between engagement and business results. Third Party research predicted if if we come to that, I'll lay out a couple of those stats. And it turns out that so so engagement is actually very important. And then it turns out that the manager is responsible for engaging event more than any other factor, and in fact it's not even close by by according to Gallop, you know big employee experience. You know the eight pound guerrilla one study there too, in their state of global engagement. I got to talk to the guy who did the study, Larry Emond, and uh, he said that the manager explains seventy percent of engagement. What that means is in large data sets, when we observe a positive variance from the average and engagement and we trace that back in like statistical package, like statistics, statistically it's the manager that explains seventy of that variance. Um. So better engagement usually means about seventy percent of that. Better engagement is explained by better manager. By the way, same with the downside. Poor engagement generally means poorer managers. Um, and it's the massive it's that's seventy. That means everything else you're doing to try to affect employee engagement is worth less than half of what you're doing to make your managers great. It's crazy. And so so you've got this set of relationships. The manager effects the engagement. Engagement predicts results. And so if you're going to offer a leadership prescription, what I think the new standards should be is that that prescription gets held to measurable account. The leadership is doesn't some thing other than a set of behaviors that brings people ideally happily towards a set of outcomes. That's it. That's what it is, and every kid doesn't matter, if it's government, private, business, religion, it's the same. And so so what's my defense? Well, we discovered through my own first party research. We discovered that when we have when we measure leadership behaviors, remember we call that the manager effectiveness score. We found that plus or minus two points in manager effectiveness, those twelve behaviors are the big three. Plus or minus two points is worth plus or minus one point in EM play engagement. Um. Now, I don't know, to some that may not sound like some big effect, but I will tell you it's the first time I've ever seen in the elasticity like that between a specific set of leadership behavior and employee engagement. So let that's plus or minus two plus plus one for a minute. I want to make that. I want to make that ten and five. So I'm just gonna I'm just gonna sort of ratio about because the next part Um. So that's the relationship between leadership and engagement. Now the relationship between engagement results. So Um at qualtrics we've found plus or minus five points of engagement is worth where plus five engagements worth plus thirty in quota attainment plus five and engagement was worth plus five and contract renewal and and and that doesn't sound like a big effect, except qualtrics as great products that renew at beyond world class rates. So it's actually very hard to find any movement there. And so if you piece that together, Garrett, what we found is for every ten points, so if you ex scale right across your organization, if you improve your manager effectiveness score by ten points, I think we have a model. We used to do that then, so we could affect our managers at scale. You could, on average, expect employee engagement to increase by five points. And if you're doing that in your sales organization, you could expect on average to improve quote attainment by by thirty points. Yeah, it's it's it's nuts. And and by the way, just yeah, the third party research predicts both of those, but nobody ever really put them all together and then came up with sort of a measurable so that's that's how I make the claim that it works. And and and, by the way, I don't. I don't think anybody else. I don't. In fact, I know for a fact there's no other leadership prescription that holds itself to measurable account like that. Yeah, I've never heard one either, and I love that and I think that that's, you know, what so many leaders have constinctively known for a while but I haven't been able to approve. So I love that. There's, you know, tangible results. That's saying, do these things help your improve your employee engagement and get these better business results? I think that's amazing. And just before we press on, the only thing I'll say is it's simple. Like that model. I just three, E R, the big three, leads a better engagement, leads better results, direction, coaching and career. I I acknowledge sounds simple. You know, there's this phrase people use called simple but not easy. So there's a lot of work to do to do those things well, but I would just offer that, Um uh, the simplicity here is a feature, not a bug. I think that, Um, a lot of people have tried to get into these very sophisticated ideas about leadership and it's a very grandiose idea and my leadership style it's it's not that stuff is all potentially a big red herring. It doesn't need to be particularly fancy. Most of the answer is blocking and tackling behaviors around direction, coaching and career that lead to happier employees and better business results. Yes, sorry, going no, that's awesome. I just want to double quick, real quick on the employee engagement piece to make sure our listeners, and and I really understand that you know the employee engagement is a term, especially the last few years, has been used a lot. So I always like to like level set with our guests on the show. Help me understand what you mean when you say employee engagement. Yeah, great, great question. Um. So, as as a relatively new practitioner and people I even going back maybe four years ago, I didn't know what it was, um and, by the way, once I learned what it was, which is, which is it's a it's a measurement that comes out of the thirty year old field of IO psychology. So it's it's actually defined and so importantly, it's not what Garrett thinks it is. It's not where rust things is. In real life we know what engagement means. We we can we can describe in real life in our own words what is engaged. This is an employee engagement. It's actually quite carefully defined and the reason that's important more than any other reason is because it's measurable. And so employee engagement usually it's about five to six questions. What what's in the composite can vary a little bit, but the first question you might ask is about employee satisfaction overall. How satisfied are you with this is a place to work? Is What the question. You know, five points gale. Top two is good, bottom two is bad. Um, you might ask about employee net promoter score, which is Um. How likely are you to recommend this as a place to work? Um, there's fulfillment. How fulfilled are you by the work that you do? There's pride. How proud are you, Um, to work at ex employer? The other one might be discretionary effort. How likely you to go above and beyond? And then last one that's sometimes and they're sometimes not. is called intent to stay, which might sound like, Um, how much do you agree with the following statement? I am seriously considering leaving ex employer. And you ask all those questions on each on a five point scale, top two, if people choose the top two, that's called engaged, and people choose the bottom too, that it's called disengaged, and then the Middle One, I guess, is just no man's land. And so you you you measure that. And this is this is the IO psychological measurement that strongly correlates with business results, and I think it's and I just gotta say you know, because I think you've lost small businesses and and I want a cop that. I was unbelievably skeptical. You're gonna tell me that some magical, mystical measurement that I can barely understand from some field called IO psychology that I've never heard of. This is this is the exact thought process about about four or five years ago. You're gonna tell me that measurement predicts business results. It sounds so soft and fluffy and there's a lot of people who call it a soft measure. You know, and what I've learned over the last four or five years in really understanding this is it's not a soft measure at all. It's integral. It's not something off to the side. It's not something nice to have. It's not something you get too later when you start to build culture. That's all nonsense. It is you can only get sustainable results if your employees are engaged. You get some results sometimes when they're disengaged, but you won't get them for long because people will leave. Those people won't work as hard because people are not proud. You can only get sustainable results if you lead through engagement. So I can and if you'd like, I can talk a little bit more about the relationship between engagement business results. But kind of your back to Russ I can talk all day about this stuff. It's so interesting to me. So tell us, tell us more, a little bit more about that relationship between engagement and then results. Yeah, so I mentioned the party stuff before, right, plus five and engagement plus Five, plus thirty and quote attainment and plus five, engagement, plus five and contract renewal. At a company that has, we're beyond world class contract renewal rates Um and so that five points was very difficult to find. The third party research is kind of cool too, though. So Um. When I was with Kim Scott at radical candor I did some work for a major bank in Canada. You know it's called the Royal Bank of Canada. Really wonderful people, about eighty thousand person bank. I worked specifically for their ten thousand person Um sort of cutting edge digital banking business. Um. That probably sounds so enormous to so many your listeners, but we can still learn from these companies. Just they just have the resources to sort out some of these things that would be tough for first small company. Those sort out. They found that a highly engaged employee drove three times more revenue than a lesser engaged to play Um. So and they the revenue. You can imagine how hard it is to find revenue growth for a hundred year old bank. They Bane in company which was a big like one of the big three consulting firms. You know, Mackenzie Bayane, Boston consulting group. You know some of the very smart people. They found that highly engaged employees Um grew revenue two and a half times more than lesser engaged employees. Um. Gallop back to Gallup, who I mentioned earlier, the eight hundred pound Gerrilla. They found that Um, companies in the top quartile and employee engagement are seventeen percent more productive. That's revenue per head and twenty one percent more profitable. That's operating margin. Um Than than those than the other seventy, you know, the remaining and then they also found earlier that companies in the top quartile and employee engagement, these are publicly held companies. They have um on percent ish better earnings per share than their competitive set. And then the last Um, a tech company that I'm very familiar with. Um. We did an e x value analysis with that company and discovered that seven the percent of their operating margin could be uniquely explained by it's very strong and differentiated and play experienced very high emplay engagement. So you had that third party stuff. You take the stuff that we found at qualtrics, the first party stuff, and it's it's pretty clear. Engagement results. Have this super strong relationship and and and again it's the manager more than any other factor that will change engagement for better for worse. And then so compelling too, because there's you know, there's very other I mean there's few disciplines that I know of, maybe none, that have such a strong correlation to business outcomes. And you know, you can get into the data and you can talk about it and when you really just step back from and you think about it, you know, like like how you explained it at the beginning, when you can help people to be more engaged, right, have better managers, better leaders, help people to be more engaged, it leads to better business outcomes. I mean, it's pretty simple and it seems pretty Tutive, but I love that. You know, there's so much wealth of data that's just overwhelming to really back up that. You know, this really works and it works at all sizes of companies and all companies and all locations and it's it's universal. Right. Yeah, where there's a manager, this will work. M I think, is every single company. Yeah, yeah, it's great. So I guess as we kind of wrap this conversation up again, rest I can talk all day about this stuff. It's really great. But Um, the last question I have to use again, kind of bringing it back home to most of our audience for this podcast, are small business owners or, you know, SOLO HR people. What should their role be in your opinion too, improving um managers and helping have them to produce, you know, more effective were engaged employees. I want to specifically dive into the role of like an owner of a company, because I think so often in small businesses they're faced with this challenge of and there's just not enough bandwidth and they're still working in their business instead of like on their business and unimproved their people. And a lot of times stuff like this is delegated to other people. And so I guess if you were to speak directly to some of those business owners, what would you recommend their role be in this versus like someone in hr? Yeah, well, Um, yeah, so first, you know, they obviously have to go get this right. There's zero question right. That's this got the how to and everything, but that's something that is maybe tangible right now. Um. So, so I have on my website. Um, I mentioned earlier, you know, www dot when they win you, and dot com slash tools. So earlier I mentioned the career conversations tool because you brought up the first round article. There's actually another little tool in they're called I call it quick and dirty manager effectiveness, and right next to that as quick and dirty employee engagement. So we just got done talking about that. Engaged employees drive better results. We just got done talking about how the manager is most likely affective engagement. Well, Um, you can right now go to that, to my website and grab both of those tools. Are Free. I'm not charging. I made them in Google, Google forms. They're they're right there and you could literally tomorrow you could understand engagement at your company. It might take a little enablement. You'RE gonna want to make sure your employees know that. Um, you know you're not. There's no version of retaliation or anything like that. Um, there's software products that do this really well that take a lot of that sort of sampling bias out. Um, my tools don't do that. There Google forms. So you have to do a little enablement because you're gonna need to make sure people know you really want to understand what they think. But you could very quickly understand how engage your employees are and you can quickly understand how effective your managers are or, if you're the only manager, how effective you are. And you know if, in this case, if you're a single threaded you're the only manager, it might be people might be a little bit afraid, to be totally honest with you, but it's at least the starting point where you can start to measure your own manager effectiveness or major effectiveness of all your managers, and then you can you know and you should expect that if that MAG effect effectiveness is high, you should to expect engagement to be high, Um, and if engagement is high, that usually means you're on a path to be able to deliver sustainable results for Your Business. That's what I would do. I go just hit the website, grab those tools there. They're real lightweight, you know, they're not like as sophisticated as like qual tricks or glint or somebody would have, but they're there, UM, but they're they can get you moving in the right direction. I love it. I definitely encourage everyone listening to go check that out. We will drop the links to those tools and the show notes. You can find them there. Um, Russ again, thank you so much for joining and sharing some of your knowledge and some of this research you've done the last years with us. We're super excited to the launch of this book and wish you the best. Yeah, thank you so much for having me on and I just if I may shout out Stephen for tuna, uh, one of the best cold outreaches I've ever got on Linkedin, and I mean, I promised you. I'm most of them are very good, you know, and uh, and so I really really appreciate great. You know, we're near each other and so it was the real, real treat to be able to be able to be on your podcast and hopefully help some of your hopefully help some of your community, hr Mavericks, community, Um, you know, make the businesses just a little bit better. Well, you know, you've helped me become a little bit better manager today, so that's worth it for me. So I really appreciate it. Rest, you know, last question I have to before we're done. If there, if there are listeners who want to learn more about this, obviously they should go get the book. Are there other ways that you would recommend that they reach out and connect with you or learn more about some of the work that you're doing? Yeah, maybe the website. I mentioned a few times. That's a good way. We're we're on. You know, I I worked at twitter, like I'm on instagram. I'm not hard to find them on twitter. I'm verified on twitter. I'm not hard to find. Each of those. I have an account. You know, they win, you win as well. For the book. I'm on facebook. I'm reluctant. I was gonna stayd reluctantly on Linkedin, but I probably shouldn't say. I'm on Linkedin Um, and I've been paying a lot more attention to that since I launched the book. So I'm really easy to find, honestly, Um, you know, like so Um. But the website. The website has all of those all of those handles available and we have contact form and all that stuff on that. Everybody needs to get in touch. Perfect. We'll put the link to that as well as everyone has it so us. Thank you again help you have a great rest today. All right, thanks, Lack Eric. Today, enduring companies know that their people are their most important assets and they invest in helping them excel. But often small businesses with limited HR resources struggle to manage their people, payroll and processes efficiently and create an environment where frontline, deskless employees thrive. That's why we created Eddie. 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