Heather Younger Talks About Why Employee Loyalty Is Critical – Episode 085

LFL 85 | Employee Loyalty

Employees are the first customers of every organization. And how you treat them is automatically reflective of your company and determines how loyal they are going to be. Heather Younger, the CEO and founder of Employee Fanatix, has been an advocate for the importance of creating engaging environments for employees in relation to organizational success. In this conversation with Patrick Veroneau, she shares a glimpse of what you can learn from her book, Seven Intuitive Laws Of Employee Loyalty. Tune in and learn more on how to become an effective leader for your organization.

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Heather Younger Talks About Why Employee Loyalty Is Critical

Employee Loyalty Is The Key To Organizational Success

In this episode, we’re going to talk about employee loyalty and how important that is. Especially in this environment where we might have people who are remote or are at the frontlines. How do we treat them in ways that they want, to remain focus on what we’re asking them to do? My guest Heather Younger is certainly somebody who is an expert in this area. She runs a company called Customer Fanatix. She’s also a TEDx speaker. She has an Amazon bestseller called The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty that we’re going to be talking about. She also runs a podcast called Leadership with Heart. I enjoyed this episode with Heather in talking about how do we create environments where employees do feel engaged. There’s so much to this. Let’s get into it.

Heather, thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate having an opportunity to talk to you and your company, CustomerFanatix.com resonated with me for a number of reasons because when you talk about the customer, it’s about the employee first. That’s so important when we talk about disengagement in organizations and how do you create engagement. Oftentimes, organizations forget that their first customer is their employee. If they understand that and treat them right, everything else falls into line.

It does and there are some complexities to that. I think about companies that might have that philosophy, but they might not be physically sound, for example. You have to have a mix of both. It’s amazing how much I’m getting smarter every day. I love the fact that I get to learn every day from things that people might see as failures of other companies or myself or things I’ve done, or things that are like, “That was a home run.” Look inward ourselves first. Self-leadership is the most important. From a leadership perspective, leadership is something that drives a lot of the stuff that I do. It’s been an evolution.

You mentioned leadership driving this. You’re running your own company now. What was the driver for you to start doing what you’re doing now?

It’s interesting because it goes way back to when I was a kid. Fast-forwarding it, several years ago, I worked for a company that was going through a merger of five companies. I knew it when I came aboard but I took it because I wanted to own the entire customer journey. I went on and pretty quickly I could see that the merger was happening. The culture was going downhill. Nobody trusted each other inside the new companies. People’s titles sounded awfully similar to titles of people that were coming aboard on other companies. People were like, “Are they taking my job?” It was a lot of that. What happened was a lot of people inside of the place I was at in Colorado were coming to me and saying like, “What is going on? My manager is not saying things. No one’s telling us anything. I saw this person over here.”

It’s all the whispering, watercooler talk. People weren’t trusting people. I went to the head of HR and I said, “We need to do something about disengagement and distrust like a trust.” She’s like, “You’re right. You should go do something about that.” I’m like, “What?” At that point, I was running an external customer experience for the organization. I’ve been a manager of teams for a long time. I thought about it for a second. I was this culture bearer for the organization where when I see things happening that were great, I’d always uplift and recognize people whether they on my team or not. I always wanted to highlight the good that was happening inside the organization.

She thought I might be the right person to do it, so I did. I created an employee engagement council. It included people from all the other companies on that. Within six months, things started to change. We started to force them to talk to one another. We put them in fun situations where they start to get to know each other, and then the mistrust, doubt, fear starts to lay a little bit. We all knew that this merger is happening. I knew that there were going to be some layoffs happening because they hired all these big people and paid a lot of money. They can’t afford all of it. The product wasn’t growing and selling as quickly as they wanted.

The layoff happened and I get laid off. It hurts. I was the breadwinner of a family of six at the time. It is a big deal, but I realized right at that moment that organizations usually are lacking that person as a catalyst to bring people together, to seek common ground, and to be the voice of employees back to leaders about what it is that their people need. They’re either not taking the time to find out what their people need. They don’t care what their people need or they’re too busy doing other things and that is not a priority. I felt called to do the work, to be that voice, to be the catalyst, and to help leaders understand what their people need in order to give them what they want. I tell you what they need so you can get what you want.

You bring up such an interesting point in terms of being that voice back to leadership. How they decide to hear that is a whole different piece to it. My experience has been oftentimes, coming in from the outside, that employees give me the real answer where they might give somebody within the company just the right answer. We’re the eye as to what’s going on.

Organizations forget that their first customer is their employee. If you treat them right, everything else falls into line. Click To Tweet

My personal mission is to help organizational leaders and their employees find their truth. They find their truth, not my truth. I help them do that through employee focus groups, creating culture teams, evaluating employee engagement, survey comments, reading every darn comment, filtering that up, letting them know what the main things are, and then getting back to them. I have found a smaller percentage of people than I would have thought are not as receptive to the feedback I provide. I have gotten good at it because I’ve been in this customer and employee space, having to be diplomatic but also being direct, and I’m a lawyer. It’s all those things mixed in together. I’m good at synthesizing and not over-complicating it for the executive leadership team.

I’m giving them key themes and recommendations that hopefully, they can buy into and letting them off the hook. They are overwhelmed by themselves. Particularly if it’s a publicly traded company. They got the shareholders, the board, and all these things are going on. It’s like, “All we need from you is a yes to the resource allocation. I and HR or whoever the internal sponsors are, we’ll get it done, but then we also may need you to do videos to show if it’s a remote or whatever it’s at. We need you to do town halls where you are showing your support for the initiatives that we’re doing. In the end, I’m not expecting you to do 5,000 more things, now that I’m telling you these three things that your employees need. If however, you listen to what I’m telling you that they need, and I’ve heard it across the country and the world, if you do these three things, you will see huge differences in this and that. Trust me on this.”

They’ll trust me up to a certain point until they start to see proof. They see proof because we make sure. For example some of the companies that are the best places to work, we’ll see if they’re already there, do they move up? If they’re not there, do they get there? Some of that is proof. We get to go to these recognition ceremonies where they made it to these spots then they see, “It looks like this stuff works. It’s changing our culture. Our employees are feeling better about stuff.” The trick is helping HR grab the business analytics that connects to the people analytics. That means something to the executive leadership team because it’s those analytics, numbers, and end results that speak to them. The key is not just the best places to work and things like that. How does that tie to your key business metrics? Are you seeing any movement of the needle in that regard? I talked to them about that. It’s trying to get really clear. That’s why I have IX as Customer Fanatix. It’s not Fanatic, it’s Fanatix because the IX means it’s driven by metrics. It’s because it’s driven by data. This is not just a gut check. This is data, either quantitative or qualitative, we’re using that to drive the voice of the employee forward in the culture.

Along those lines, you also have a best-selling book, The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty. I key in on that word intuitive.

As you should because it is right. All the stuff that you and I talk about, there are a lot of us talking about it in a different way, all different angles about similar things. They are intuitive. These are not rocket science. You can research this for 25 years and you’re going to come up with the same exact thing I put in there because it’s true. The key is that people over-complicate it. When I try to do a keynote, I try to layout 3 or 5 things you want to do differently as leaders. I say, “Don’t over-complicate this. Please use what I’ve said as motivation. You need to evaluate what it is you’re doing for your people. What emotions are you producing in them.”

My theory is that employee experience and loyalty are driven by emotions. Organizational leaders who have the power to create the experience with people that are inside those walls drive the emotions for those people. That determines whether they want to stay with the organization or they want to walk out the door. That’s what I talk about. It’s trying to help them understand, what is it that you do? From the emotional intelligence and communication perspective, what are you personally doing or not doing, or saying or not saying that makes your people feel unimportant, disrespected, unheard and not valued? What are you doing? What are you saying? What are you failing to do? Once you start to evaluate that self-leadership focus, then you start to see things change in your neck of the woods. We can’t try to control the entire picture but we can control ourselves individually. If each of us controls us individually, what a better world it would be.

When you talk about metrics and the intuitive component to this, oftentimes, I will use research to validate common sense. It’s all it is. It’s the research that’s out there in a number of areas that you talk about around behaviors, personalities, and the impact that it has on the organization. It’s using that research to validate because if I say it myself, it doesn’t mean anything, but if I can pull in a research that says, “This has been studied over and over again that this has an impact.” All it is common sense. That’s the only reason I use that. That’s the intuitive part that you talk about. From there, when you talk about the intuitive component of it, how do you help people? The two areas that I know you focus on a lot is emotional intelligence and personality. How do you pull those two things into an organization?

The beautiful part about Customer Fanatix is I know more about the organization than they do because I’m taking their survey because most of them don’t have time to do this. I and my analysts have, but I personally review all of the 5,000 comments. I’ve done that every cycle over the years. I know your organization well. Let’s say a lack of communication is the thing that boils up, or the method in which you communicate or the mode. I don’t know but it depends on what they say. If it looks like it’s the leaders or supervisor level that are missing the bar as far as communicating effectively, showing appreciation, whatever that might be, then I’m able to make that business case through the data that we need to have training.

That’s how we introduced DISC, which is the communication and behavioral style training. The reason why that’s important is because usually, a lack of communication is the key to conflicts. It’s the thing that brings conflict in most cases. It’s the thing that people are getting confused by things because there’s a misinterpretation of what’s happening. The DISC helps to increase awareness. The awareness portion of it is how I’m able to connect that to emotional intelligence because self-awareness is that doorway to emotional intelligence. Once they know that and realized, “I am like that. I didn’t realize people saw me that way.” Increasing the awareness that way.

It doesn’t make them perfect. It makes them better. What I’m mostly interested in doing is helping people get better, improving every day, and be more aware of who they are, how they are perceived, how they impact others, what’s happening in other people’s worlds. All of those things when you think of emotional intelligence. I don’t necessarily talk to them in all of those ways because I don’t want to use jargon. The awareness part of it is simple in trying to get to the importance of understanding. That is key.

LFL 85 | Employee Loyalty

Employee Loyalty: Employee experience and loyalty are driven by emotions. Organizational leaders, who really have the power to create the experience with people that are inside those walls drive the emotions for those people.

 

We spoke about this before we started the actual show around emotional intelligence. Even that word at times, if you were to use that, it can throw people off or make people defensive because we think, “Emotions, this can’t be. This is a little too soft. What good can come out of this from an organizational standpoint if we’re talking about emotions?” When we come in, we are all emotions. Either we’re frustrated, happy, sad, content or whatever it might be. We show up as emotions. Wouldn’t it be best to understand how to identify what those emotions are and to be able to see them in other people? That’s what the skillset is.

That’s a great way to boil it down. I had gotten to this point. It was like, “How do I simplify most of it?” My clients who are COOs and CFOs don’t love the idea of me talking about emotions. Even when I do my keynotes, I try to provide lots of examples of what this means. When I’m hoping to happen is people are seeing on it. They’re seeing what happened to them before, from their manager to them. They’re seeing themselves on what they did to their employee that morning. In the stories I’m telling, I’m hoping they see themselves one way or another, either as the person who did it or the person who received that negative thing that created the negative emotion. It’s through the stories that I am able to illustrate that to people, but most people were like, “What are the numbers? Where are the numbers? Why don’t you tell me the numbers?” I’m still not going to talk to you about this.

I am a big fan of DISC. There’s a lot of value there. How do you use that within an organization? Is there anything that you do to collectively use that or is it all individual?

How I do it or how I was set up to do it is I do an individual evaluation of each person. When they do the assessment, I speak with them offline before a team workshop. I did that with those people we talked about earlier, with a group of oil and gas guys. Multiple different times, I went out and spoke with them and did that. It works well on teams but I like to do offline work first to make sure that they can ask me personal questions and I can get deep into their areas of improvement. When we get together as a team, it’s more of a fun reflection.

It’s an interesting insight and the questions and the small group stuff that breaks out makes them realize that the guy on the pad and the guy in the office and accounting have similar worries. There’s more safety over here in the field. For them to see that when they’re in that small group and then figure out how they talk to each other to get more stuff done, that’s when the light bulbs come up. I had one guy, he was in the training and he was not feeling it. He was cussing, “It’s not me.” He was a huge naysayer. I was afraid that that particular workshop was going to go off track because he was not feeling it.

He was saying that the profile that was given to him was not who he was.

The entire process is a bunch of bull, everything from his profile. He was talking to people next to him. I was trying to keep my cool. I was like, “Everybody else is doing it. I’m going to make sure that everybody else understands.” About 3/4 of the way through, he goes, “This is so me.” He became a believer towards the end. The next day, I was training another cohort inside the same company. He comes up to me and he goes, “Heather, I talked to my wife about this. I am such a believer. I am so sorry.” Now, interestingly enough, I am coaching him on the emotional and social intelligence side. He’s taken that assessment and he wants to grow in his leadership. This guy is a D in DISC. He’s a person you would think that has the lowest self-awareness. In the end, he’s the one who wants to dig deeper to find out how he can be better so he can lead more effectively.

It’s like a double convert out of him. You’ve got him on the social and emotional intelligence. In regard to organizations, when you’re dealing with top-level, mid-level managers, frontline, what do you think is most important in terms of the work that you’re doing?

In the space that I am in, I feel like meeting people where they’re at is probably the most critical point. Whether as a consultant or a supervisor or anybody, just relating to one of the people. It’s meeting them where they’re at. Each one of those levels, it’s figuring out where they sit, what their life is looking like because then I’m able to fully use my voice to portray theirs more accurately. If I go in as a cookie cutter and assume, “You manage people and that’s it,” I might not know exactly where they’re coming from or where they’re sitting, and then it’s going to be hard for me to get in their shoes. I need to get in their shoes quite a bit in order to advocate for them.

I don’t know if that’s what you were getting to but with each of them, I treat them individually. It depends if there are some executive leaders that are wanting to move up. If I’m doing coaching and they want to move up, I always tell them, “I’m not going to be somebody who’s going to help you do a statistical analysis and presentations on stats. That’s not what I do. I’m more of the side that’s going to be relational.” If you’re looking at, “How do I strengthen my relationships with the people that are at the higher-ups and people who are my colleagues? There are conflicts here. There are barriers here. How do I do that,” that’s the place where I come from. When I go into work with any of those leaders, I’m going to be figuring out what those barriers are for them, and try to help them come up with some solutions to that and move past them.

Self-awareness is the doorway to emotional intelligence. Click To Tweet

That answers much of my question. I asked this not knowing the answer, but in terms of the experience that I continue to learn more about the environments every year that I’m in thinking, “Where is the most impactful role that we have in terms of what we do?” As much as I enjoy working at an executive level, I looked down on a frontline basis and think, when we talk about employee engagement, this runs so much of what happens. I don’t see the president of the organization on a daily basis but I’m impacted by the person that I report to directly. That ripples out everywhere. Do you know what I mean?

Yes, that’s hard. I feel like they have different impacts and equally as important impacts. Now that I have been doing more executive coaching, it’s not the thing I’ve led with. It’s not the main thing I do, but it happens to happen either from keynotes that I do or from other work that I do in the employee engagement space where they need it. They’re looking for coaches and I’m there. What I see from the executive level and the importance that they play in engagement is that they provide access. They open the door. There are green lights or red lights. Let’s say I’m talking to a frontline supervisor and the supervisor needs to access training for their people. At this point, training is not available for that level in the organization.

Let’s say the training is only for the mid-level manager and above, or the training is not even available to the people so that supervisor doesn’t have a lot of power. They’ll go to their middle-level manager or the middle-level manager might go to the director or the VP. In the end, if I have access to the C-Suite, I can say, “There are some things when I saw this in the survey comments that were big,” or whatever. I feel like they do a lot of green, red and orange lights. If we can get them to change the signals, then all the way down to the bottom, things start to change.

There’s a huge impact. I do agree with you that when we talk about being cared for and feeling cared for, it starts with that frontline manager. It does go up to every lineup there up to the C-Suite, but it starts with them. We stay for how we feel and because we see them every day, they produce more of the feelings. There’s a huge amount of impact for the individual employee, but above organization when we’re looking at organizational culture, that C-Suite is so impactful.

I completely agree in terms of if they’re not modeling what we’re doing or you’re doing on the lower level, then it breeds this cynicism of employees saying, “It’s important for us but why aren’t you doing it? Why don’t you follow through?”

I love to be able to work with them on the quirks they have because we all have them, and to help them overcome their own internal barriers because every barrier we have is in our head. I like to be the person who helps them get out of their own way and lead more effectively.

Do you do much around values when you go into an organization? Do you look at their values in terms of behaviors? I asked that specifically because one of the things that I will often run into is not necessarily a value, but one of these taglines that we always hear within organizations that our employees are our most valuable asset. In terms of most organizations, especially those that are disengaged, if you were to say that, employees would chuckle saying, “The photocopier gets more love than I do.”

I do look at values. Sometimes if I’m talking to a leader and there’s someone that subordinates them and they are not living the values, then I ask them, “What do your values say? Do you have that aligned inside your performance review process? Are your values inside there so that you can hold people accountable inside that performance review?” Often they’re there, but no one’s enforcing them from top to bottom in most cases. There are some organizations that you’ll land on where they take things very seriously.

It’s interesting. I teach emotional intelligence on DISC. I’m talking about caring leadership but if I see one of my team members has not done it and acting counter to our organizational values and even our team culture and values, I will call them on the carpet and say, “You understand how important these values are to me and to the team. I noticed that you did this, which was counter to what teamwork means inside of my team. It was undermining. It was not fair to the individual. I’m going to write you up. This is counter to the values we have.” I have done that before. Not a lot, but I’ve done it because it pissed me off, to be honest. It takes a lot to get me mad but when I see someone doing something that’s hurting a team member purposely like doing something that’s undermining, sneaky and all that, it’s not okay with me at all.

They’re like, “I did something not so good with her.” I’ve had to do that a few times in my career. It shocks people. When people talk about soft skills, which I hate the word soft because it’s super hard to do, emotional intelligence, communication, behavioral style, and understanding your impact and what they need from you for you to fill them up so they feel heard. When I do all of these things that sound so touchy-feely. I bet you, that same person who’s doing that to the people, if they feel good from their leader, they’re walking with their shoulders up. I always like to put them like, “Think about the time how your manager made you feel like, what happened?” Those are the things that I like to bring up at all levels. I don’t care what level. No one’s beneath it.

LFL 85 | Employee Loyalty

Employee Loyalty: If we can get leaders to change the signals at the executive level, then all the way down to the bottom, things just start to change.

 

To me, these are the strongest skills. It’s a strong skill, not a soft skill. When you understand the impact that this has, your ability to call somebody out was emotionally intelligent. It wasn’t out of weakness that you were able to do that because the weak thing would’ve been to ignore it or not want to have that conversation. You bring up a bigger point as it relates organizationally when we talk about values. Do we live these values or don’t live these values? What you did was, “You’re not living the value.” You made the individual realize that these things are being looked at. It sends the message to everybody because other people were watching, “What are they going to do here? Let’s see how they’ll put money where the mouth is.”

The interesting thing about all this is that sometimes it’s not lived out in aggregate about the entire organization, but how I look at this is I am an individual leader that has an individual team. I am choosing to live it out in my team. You’re on my team and thus you shall choose to do that. There’s no option to live out the values in my team. Maybe the CEO isn’t living that enough. I can’t help that. I can’t control that. I can control me and you. I can make sure you’re living out values. It’s the one thing that gets underneath my skin when I see people do it, especially when they do it to one another. It’s like, “We’re a team. We are in this together. We were trying to do our best work together in our own little hubs. For you to do this other thing to this team member when it’s undermining, it does not promote a positive culture in the team.” That’s what’s most important because all the teams make up the organization.

You bring up such an important point there about the self because all we can control is ourselves, regardless of what somebody else does. I can’t tell you the number of workshops that I’ve been involved with, especially around emotional intelligence where somebody in the group will say, “Who should be in this workshop is Sally” or “Jim should be here.” Everybody’s chuckling like, “They should be.” I’m like, “They may need to be here. I don’t know, but they’re not here. All you can control is how are you going to interact next time with Jim or Sally because that’s all you can control. Jim or Sally may never come here and never want to figure this out, but that doesn’t impact what you do.”

Holding people accountable on the team and saying, “If you’re going to be that type of team member, you need to be thinking about another place to go. I hope you find that place but if you aren’t in line with the values and you don’t believe the values are important in teamwork. Teamwork for me is a top one. If you don’t believe in valuing your coworkers, I’m sorry, you can’t be here now. We can play and have some serious fun together if you’re interested in living by those values.”

You have to have those conversations. There are those times where the strongest skills are in place and the communication and all that, knowing that it takes emotional intelligence to be able to call someone on it and make sure that you’re living it. We have to make sure there’s alignment here. I’m holding you accountable because I’m holding myself accountable. If I do that stuff, I’m going to feel bad for myself that I shouldn’t have done it. If someone calls me on it, I’m going to say, “You’re right. I let myself down.” I’ve had to apologize. It’s what it is.

You mentioned seven intuitive laws. Can you speak to those?

The biggest one was giving them good managers. That’s the number one thing. In my next book, The Art of Caring Leadership, I’ll be focusing on the leader and what does caring leadership look like. The actual brass tacks of it. Giving them a great manager is the first and then making sure that we appreciate our people. Seventy-seven percent of employees said they don’t feel valued for the work they put in. Fifty-five percent said they would leave an organization for one that values them. We have to make sure that appreciation is the heart of our organization to create a culture of appreciation.

It’s not about bonuses and trophies. It’s so simple. I don’t mean to stop you, but along those lines of appreciation, what do you find is a stumbling block within an organization around appreciation?

I don’t think there are barriers that they can’t remove. There are barriers that they placed there. Most barriers that exist in our lives exists in our minds. There are very few things we can’t accomplish. We’re not going to be able to jump off the top of a building and not die. These are intuitive things. In the workplace when we think about appreciation, it’s the leader or the coworker or the customer. Everybody’s taking a personal responsibility to say, “I want to make someone feel good.” With the leader, the manager of the team, it’s asking each individual what it is that makes them feel appreciated. Not everybody feels appreciated at the exact same thing. That’s maybe the one barrier. It’s to understand our obstacle and thought process to figure out what motivates that person.

One of the other things or laws in the book, which is probably the most important thing out of all things because it emanates everything else, would be listening. Listening to your employees and do something about what you hear. Listening and do something. First, listen, then do something. It’s intuitive. A lot of times, employees are giving feedback to HR, to their managers and they rarely ever hear anything back. When they do hear something, it’s negative. Even if the organization is making movements and taking strides based on feedback they heard, they tell the people that they had anything to do with it. The reason why it’s important that you listen and act is that then there’s power in the voice. The people feel like a level of importance is significant. All of us want to feel significant. That’s why that’s so important.

Almost every barrier we have is in our heads. Click To Tweet

It’s back to alignment again. When you’re listening in and you’re doing, there’s an alignment there. It demonstrates that you’ve been heard.

Alignment is so important in every aspect. The other one is making sure that they are growing professionally and that you’re offering them opportunities for growth, whether it’s inside the organization from training, or outside, whether it’s a career path like job shadowing. There are a lot of different ways to do that but the key is that employees are seeking fertile ground. I don’t care if you’re a Millennial or not. All of us want a place where we can grow. If they don’t find that fertile ground, they will go somewhere else to find that. They will get it somewhere else. The key is if you’re trying to retain your people, you want to create an organization that has that fertile ground where people can stay there with you.

Another one, which is the last one, is paying them equitably. I always tell to tell people that pay is important but it’s the last thing if you’re doing it equitably, to start with. If people can’t feed their families like in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If they’re not meeting their basic needs, money is going to be the number one thing. If they’re meeting their basic needs, money is not the number one thing. It is the last thing, and the other thing is about appreciation, giving them great managers, listening to them, making sure they grow, things like that. Those are going to be the things that are going to make a difference.

It’s so funny how you’re getting all this stuff from a book. Go get the book. You can read all of this. Go check it out and then you can buddy in and put stickies on it and write stuff on it. The next book I have on caring leadership is going to be mostly drilling down to that first concept of giving them good and supportive managers. In the end, that was the crux of all of it. Based upon all of my research and the experience I have looking at, who is it that’s driving the experience of the people? Why do people want to leave or stay? It may not be their manager only. It could be the C-Suite we talked about where they’re not doing green lights. They’re doing tons of reds and yellows, so then all of those managers up the ranks are pausing or having to act and behave certain ways because of the yellow or red light that’s happening.

When I talk about caring leadership with managers, it’s not just the frontline supervisor, which they are the most impactful. It’s all of those folks that can turn the knob on decisions that need to be made to make the experience better. Increased payroll, more paid time off, the gym inside the place, whatever that is. They are the ones that have to say, “Yes, no.” It was all the way down. What does caring leadership look like? I’ll be defining that more. It’s based upon the podcast that I have, Leadership at Heart, all those interviews I’ve had with leaders that I have tried hard to do quite well but not perfectly. On the other end, it’s all that information I received from employees on all the surveys I’ve read and all the focus groups I’ve been in. I’m super excited to have that boil up into some key concepts that leaders can hopefully, go back doing in a way that produces much better experiences for their employees.

I loved how you said that in regards to leaders that are trying to do it well but not perfectly. The other component of this is that we’re all human. When we behave in the right ways long enough, we are given a little bit of latitude to know that we’re going to make those mistakes. As leaders, nobody’s infallible. We’re going to make mistakes. I want that leader that’s going to be able to say, “My bad, I was wrong. I made a mistake.”

That’s the best leader ever. If you’re doing it every single day, all day, that’s a problem. We’ve got to fix that. That’s the best part I love about the podcast I have because I ask the leaders, “When was the time when you weren’t the best leader? What did you do to come out of that?” That’s the beauty right there at that moment where they’re able to be vulnerable and tell us all, anybody who’s reading. How they came out of it gives us all solutions to come out of those things.

It gives everybody else that reports to that individual like, “They’re human too. If I make a mistake, I can say I made a mistake because they did.” Whereas if you deal with somebody that’s always like, “No, I don’t. I’m always right.” I’m not going to feel comfortable saying that I’m going to make a mistake if the person that I report to can’t do that themselves. I love what you said because when I will do work in that area, I want somebody that can say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. I’m struggling,” but I don’t want that person coming in and doing every day saying, “I made another mistake.” It’s not a person I’m going to follow, but I do want that to be in their ability to do that. To get your book, what’s the best way for somebody to do that?

You go to Amazon, look up The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty, you’ll find that. If you’re interested more in leadership and listening to leaders from all walks of life, check out my podcast, Leadership with Heart. Hear all those different people who are leading teams actively. They’re not people you might consider like a thought leader or something. There are people who are in an organization managing and acting right now.

How about your website?

LFL 85 | Employee Loyalty

Employee Loyalty: Listen to your employees and do something. It’s important that you listen and act because then there’s power in their voice. And the people feel a level of importance and significance.

 

It’s CustomerFanatix.com. I am rolling out a second one that will be HeatherYounger.com, but this Customer Fanatix, we focused on helping organizations and their leaders and employees find their truth. That’s going to be the only focus that Customer Fanatix will have. I’m super excited about that. That clarity with the business is going to help, instead of it being everything to all. Being able to meet the organization’s needs in that way is so important. If we aren’t listening, we have to listen better.

I appreciate this conversation. It’s such an important topic right around employee engagement and treating it as though it’s the customer. I love that approach to it. Thank you for taking the time.

Thank you. It’s been great.

Heather did such a great job of talking about her own past experience in terms of the organizations she’s working with, how she helps to create a level of engagement, where this needs to start from which is at the top, and how she does that. Also talking about the seven intuitive laws of employee loyalty as well as what’s next for her and her company and helping others to lead like no other. If you know somebody you think would benefit from this episode, forward it out to them. If you haven’t subscribed yet, subscribe to the show. It would mean the world to me if you would leave a rating or a comment because that’s how this message of helping others to lead like no other continues to get out there. Until our next episode, I hope you’re able to lead like no other and rise above your best. Peace.

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About Heather Younger

LFL 85 | Employee LoyaltyHeather’s personal Why emerged as she sought to find meaning from her difficult experience growing up in the 1970s. As the only child of an interfaith and interracial marriage, both Heather and her Black father were shunned and excluded by extended family because of the color of their skin. While the sting of exclusion left Heather with a lot of questions growing up, it also led her to develop a high level of resilience and a deeply inspired commitment to advocate for anyone who has ever felt devalued.

Today, she credits her capacity to navigate complex social dynamics and discuss identity in the workplace to those early experiences, and is dedicated to creating opportunities for organizational leaders, teams, and individuals to learn strategies for reframing adversity while empowering leaders to change their workplaces for the better.

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