In a recent virtual keynote for Lifewave, Clint Pulver tailors his message to salespeople and outlines how the best sellers operate. Learn some practical tips for how to sell better from this short video.
Something I think is important right now, especially in the chaos of COVID-19, is a word that I call “status”. This word comes from my past life in the medical field. Before my professional speaking career, I spent five years in operating rooms working as an orthopedic consultant helping physicians and the medical team to operate on patients. One of the words that was always used was the word “status”. The doctor would often ask “what's the status of the patient” or “can I get a status update”. What they were asking for is the vitals of the patient. Every human being has vitals. These are the things that make sure we're healthy, moving, stable and alive. Those include your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and respiratory rate. If you don't have one of those things, you're not doing very well. We were constantly monitoring the status of our patients.
In the medical field, the status or the vital signs of the patient would determine treatment. If there's something wrong with the heart rate or the body temperature, that would tell us how to treat the patient to make sure we've achieved a good status. Then you repeat. You recheck the vitals. Then we treat again. You repeat this process until healthy stability is maintained long term. Now more than ever we need good managers and leaders to conduct what I call status interviews with their people.
I think it's easy right now to get caught up in the big problems. You're worrying about finances, investments, expenses, current operations, strategies. But your strategies are only as good as your people. We cannot forget about the power of our people. During this time of chaos where most of us are working in the virtual world, the well being of everybody needs to be looked after. Employees still need to be seen, heard and understood. The goal of the status interview is an intimate one-on-one setting where you reach out to your employees and say “I just want to set up a meeting to catch up and see how you're doing”.
To be clear, this is not a time to talk about performance. This is not a time to talk about the goals of the company or the vision statement, or the agenda of what we need to do to keep operations flowing. This is simply an opportunity for you as the manager or the leader to create a connection. It is an opportunity for you to really check the vital signs of your people.
I want to be sensitive to our current situation. Below are a few examples of questions that only certain businesses might find useful right now.
The first question of a great status interview is:
The second question is:
The third question is:
Right now, you have a great opportunity to make sure that everybody is being seen and heard. In doing that, we maintain healthy stability long term with our people. We become a more empowered workforce, and empowered workforces always create greater productivity. We become an organization that truly becomes the best for the world in a time when it's needed the most.
Do you want your people to stay working for you long-term? In our research with the Undercover Millennial Program, the number one contributing factor as to how great leaders create organizations that people never want to leave is quite simply the individual leaders and their leadership style. Managers are the number one reason why people stay and they're the number one reason why people leave. How to create better workplace loyalty comes back to leadership - the choices that you make as a manager matter. What’s even more compelling is a leader who is a great mentor. That is the key. It’s mentorship versus management. This leads to increased loyalty and higher engagement.
Mentors are people that connect mentees to their dreams. The advocacy of people is just as important as the development. Ask yourself, do you know your people's dreams? How do you expect to create loyalty when you're not considering the other person? It's the power of a win-win relationship. It's the power of true connection.
You have to get to the part about the employee. I think that every employee is always asking, “Let me know when it gets to the part about me. Let me know when your vision, the company goals, your quota requirements consider me and my dreams.” Some leaders and businesses hear that response and they think, “They're so entitled,” or “They just want us to give them more.” It's not about entitlement; it's about bringing humanity back into the workplace.
When you step into that mentorship role, you become a person that people want to be with. You become the person that people experience their best selves with. You become the catalyst that allows them to grow. We found that great mentors in organizations are incredible at what I call “sparking the possibilities for their people.” Do you spark possibility?
The possibility to survive and also thrive? Those are two things that every employee asks a boss, “Can you help me survive and thrive?” The survival part is all about “Can I pay my bills? Do you pay competitively? Am I going to be able to support a family?” But then the second piece is the thrive part. It’s the intangible things that employees look for. Not tangible. During our research for the Undercover Millennial Program, no employee ever said to me, “The reason I work here is because we throw the sickest Christmas parties,” or “I work here because we have ping pong tables.”
Now, those were definitely perks but they were not the underlying reason as to what built strong and lasting loyalty. It was always a greater focus on the intangibles. “My manager believes in me, they recognize me. There was this time when I was struggling personally and my manager stepped in and became an advocate. My manager cared.” They said, “You know what, you have a life outside of work and I understand that. So how can I help you?” That is what they talk about. These are the things that really matter.
What we found is these managers and mentors are really good at doing two things. They create an opportunity where they communicate the potential and the worth of their people. Those two things, potential and worth - that’s what matters.
You need consistent recognition for good performance, achievement and results. When's the last time you sat down with your employee and said, “I just want you to know, this is what I see you becoming in this organization”? That simple moment gives employees the opportunity to know that there's potential. Do you create growth opportunities for your people?
Why is that? Because every one of your people that you coach, every one of your employees is asking you the question on every call, let me know when it gets to the part about me. Let me know when what you're doing, what you're saying, let me know when it gets to the part about me. Some of you might be thinking, well, those entitled little sh...ining stars in my life.
I would propose that it's not so much about entitlement as it is about good business. Everybody wants to be heard. Everybody wants to be seen. The greatest leaders that create organizations and cultures where people like themselves best, are always the mentor managers. They advocated as much they developed.
Now more than ever, employees are looking for leadership that supports, encourages, and gives them the tools they need to create an environment that allows them to grow and make an impact. cmi is proud to represent Clint Pulver, the leading authority on employee retention. In his role as a Corporate Keynote Speaker from the millennial generation, Clint offers an engaging and fresh insight supporting your corporate leadership while giving them solid insights on how to inspire themselves and the people they lead.
One of the biggest things that I hear from business owners, CEOs and corporations is how do we retain millennials? How do we engage millennials in the workplace? The current approach has been to treat the millennial generation differently - to view them differently than older generations. I think we have put this generation of millennials and even Gen Z, in a box.
I believe that millennials are no different than the generation from 20 years before. The only thing that's changed is the environment that this generation has been reared in. Millennials are also the largest generation entering the workforce. By the year 2020, over 57% of the global workforce will be filled with a younger and more distinct workforce than ever before. Gallup recently stated that over 60% of this exact workforce is currently looking for a new job.
One of the things that businesses need to remember and consider is that millennials are people. When we bring humanity back into the workplace, and we treat millennials like people, we don't stereotype them with a name. We don't stereotype them with a certain set of behaviors or strategies because they're younger than us. Instead, we need to connect with them as people, because every person wants to be seen, heard and understood.
When we simply connect as people, not as a generation, that's where we find loyalty. That’s the foundation of connection. That's the foundation of any good, stable and healthy relationship.
We need to bring humanity back into the workplace. We need to see people for who they truly are not just seeing them as a generation.
One big millennial myth that we found in our research with The Undercover Millennial program is that they have a greater focus on purpose over paycheck. Think Undercover Boss. We go into companies and learn how engaged their employees are, why they’re not engaged and what to do about it. What we found out of the 10,000 millennials that we interviewed is money is a major factor. Money still matters.
Yes, purpose is important - doing something significant in the world. That's still important, but so is money. I think business leaders and business owners need to remember that. They need to be competitive in their pay structure, their benefit program, their bonuses, because we're in an employee market, and millennials have options. If anybody's out there saying that millennials, don't care about money, all they want is purpose - it's just not true.
It's not true that money doesn’t matter. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Don't be afraid to get competitive there. Because it matters. It matters to companies that are retaining millennials in the workplace. They're engaging them better, and they're able to attract better talent.
Every organization needs to remember that their employees are looking to them, as a company, to survive and thrive. As an organization, you've got to make sure that people can survive. Are you competitive in paying your people? Then focus on the thrive part - that significance in the workplace, the purpose of the job, allowing millennials in the workplace to do something bigger than themselves.
I think above all, business leaders and CEOs are learning that there is no hack to the millennial generation. There is no shortcut. There is no strategy. It all just comes down to human connection. It comes down to treating people like people, making sure people are seen, heard, and understood.
Anybody that says, “because you're this age, you should be treated this way,” or that your business leader should do a certain type of strategy or tactic because of the year that you were born in - this approach doesn’t work long term. We cannot forget that millennials are really similar to previous generations. We always have a problem with the younger generation. Gen X has a problem with the millennials, the baby boomers have a problem with Gen Xers. We tend to always look down on the younger generation as entitled.
I do think there is some validity to that sentiment in terms of growth and maturity. But again, people are people. When we throw away the stereotype, when we throw away the age, when we get to the part about them, they get to the part about you. When we remember people, people remember us.
It's basic communication. Everybody wants to feel important. Everybody wants to feel recognized. The important thing is just simply asking millennials in the workplace: ”What can we do to keep you here?” “What is getting in the way of your success?” And how can you as the business owner and the business leader, help them get where they want to go? That is true advocacy. And in doing so, you create loyalty that lasts and you create a connection where your people truly like themselves best because they work for you.