Policy Manuals, Cultural Transformation Timelines, Job Security – Answering Listener Questions

Full Transcript Below

[ANNOUNCER]: Breaking down everyday workplace issues and diagnosing the hidden sickness, not just the obvious symptom. Our hosts, James and Coby.



[COBY]: Did we lose a patient?



[JAMES]: No, that’s just my lunch.



[COBY]: Hey, thanks for joining us. I’m Coby, he’s James. And we’re going to do something a little bit different today. We’re going to answer some questions.



[JAMES]: Yeah. This time for our Q&A, we thought it would be kind of cool to look at some questions that Coby actually got after his keynote address at a recent retention conference. So I’m going to toss it back to you, Coby.



[COBY]: Cool. Yeah. so it was interesting to have some great conversations after I gave this talk on kind of attracting, retaining talent, to these different industry groups and, different businesses within different certain sectors. And it was cool to have some questions that actually reflected some previous conversations that we’ve had with listeners, but also kind of some we’ve had with clients. It was kind of neat to see these kind of questions kind of summarize some cool conversations that we have been having over the past kind of like, month or two, kind of culminating into kind of a certain, you know, targeted question. So I think what we’re going to do is, I’m going to actually pose the question to you, James, and because, again, I kind of answered these kind of off the cuff, you know, in front of a live studio audience, so I’m going to pose a question to you, and kind of, we’ll see kind of your initial thoughts, and then we’ll kind of. Then I’ll kind of share my insights, and we’ll kind of go from there. So put ya on the hot seat. So here’s the first question. Are organizations underutilizing how they build and use policies?



[JAMES]: How they built… Well, my short answer is going to be, yeah, are they underutilizing how they build and use policies? I think the problem here is that most of the policies we evaluate, when we are evaluating policies in our diagnostics or in our work, what we see the vast majority of the time is that policies are designed solely from one perspective, and that’s in order to meet legal compliance. And let’s be clear, that’s not a bad thing. you absolutely must meet your legal requirements, as an organization to protect yourself. However, the problem is, and where companies really underutilize these, their policies, is the fact that there’s a failure to recognize that your legal requirements, your legal policies, legal compliance merely sets the floor. It sets the minimum that you are required by law to provide. And yet, many, many companies view legal compliance policies as the gold standard. And so they, yeah, they are underutilizing their policies because they’re not understanding that policies don’t have to just hit your legal minimums. That’s where you start. That’s the benchmark that you can build upon, rather than, you know, the gold standard that you need to aspire to.



[COBY]: Yeah. And that’s actually kind of definitely in line with my answer because when, when I kind of got the bit of a follow up and everything from the person that was going to ask me question, again, this wasn’t exactly how they asked it, but this is basically what they were asking. And a lot of it was when I talked about some of the ways that we use things like our psychological safety and diagnostic tools, we identify whether or not psychological safety is protected and encouraged and provided for in policies. And when I talked about what we’re doing with one client about how we’re helping them reshape the way that their policies are used less as, again, just as you say that legal minimum and more of, It’s also kind of an opportunity to make commitments and kind of affirm stance for what they’re providing employees and how with six electrical safety, for example, having that be an, identified priority for operational success and organization and employee success in kind of early on in the manuals, and then having to be referenced in things like your communication, your Internet use, your, you know, equal opportunity employment, all those kinds of things like that too. That how it kind of refers back to this priority that we have around in creating a psychologically safe workplace allows for it to not just be. Here’s the book of rules that make sure that we don’t get sued to. Here’s the agreement that we’re all going to. We all want to commit to of what we’re providing you and also how you can effectively engage with our organization.



[JAMES]: I mean, it. I know a lot of people don’t like policies. I mean, probably most of our listeners are used to them. I’m guessing most people are in the HR, realm or Operation realm. Yeah, or operational realm. Policies. Policies can be great. Policies are the rules, that govern us. And the rules are not inherently bad. they set the expectations for, of how we agree that we are going to work, within this specific bounds. And you will never have anything related to psychological safety if you’re only focusing on legal minimums. We are. Unless we have a fundamental shift in our employment legislation across North America. M. Across the world, you’re not going to find anything related to the protections around psychological safety and legal requirements. So there has to be something more than this. M and I like the way that you framed it in your response, in terms of it provides an opportunity to state the standard that we are going to hold ourselves to that even in things like. So I know it came up specifically with a client recently around out will legislation. and how. Well, yes, I mean that is a, they need to legally have that language in there be in order to, they need to be clear in what that means. But what was funny was their practices already set, an expectation higher than the legal minimum. But their policies didn’t reference it because it wasn’t a part of the actual legal requirement to do so. And all you need to do is say, you know, we are in, that will state it means x, y and z. But we at X company have chosen to provide more than this. So specifically this was around progressive discipline, right. Making these statements, giving an opportunity to showcase how you are different than all of the other companies, around. Because again, if we’re looking at things from a competitive, sufficient and equitable lens, then we want to be able to stand out above our competition. And this is a really easy way to do so, while showcasing the values that your company has, and making those commitments to your employees in some sort of formalized structure.



[COBY]: Yeah. And what was interesting was when I talked about this again, these commitments, these like you say, standards that we hold ourselves to beyond the legal minimum to put ourselves above our competition, especially in the labor market. I had a follow up question. Someone approached me afterward and said, well, what’s the point of that? Because if we put those statements in these are large policy manuals, that’s, it’s good that they’re there. But like, how do employees know about it? And one of the things we talked about, the kind of that led us to a natural discussion talking about the often mistaken, exchange between using the term employee handbook and policy manual. Because part of it is that, you know, there’s also a bit of value in making, in making your, whether you, whether you do what we say about making this your policy manual be as much about the commitments that you’re making to the employees. Again, if policies don’t need to just be the legal protections from employees, they can also become the cultural protection for employees. If you’re not necessarily going to go as far as including that, regardless of it having an accessible, kind of version of the things that employees need to know is what, you know, employee handbook is supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be a synonym for a policy manual.



[JAMES]: Well, and this is the, Yeah, that’s a huge problem. We see many times, we ask about policy manuals and employee handbooks very early on in engagements with clients. And oftentimes, people will use them as synonyms. And I am, I mean, I just talked about her. I actually like policies. However, I get bored reading a 120 page policy manual. It will take me forever. Like, it’s even having to do that because it’s part of the work that we do. It’s not something that fills me with joy when I sit down to review a hundred plus pages of policies.



[COBY]: Right.



[JAMES]: And this is from somebody who actually kind of likes policies. Giving a policy manual to your employees and expecting them to even glance at it, let alone understand what is in there and the protections it provides them, is ludicrous. Nobody’s going to. Very, very, very few people are going to do that. the employee manual is a cheat sheet. It is a reference point of, here’s the policies that we have, here’s the really important stuff that you need to know, and here’s where you can go look at the full policy if you want to. If you can do that, it will honestly, it’ll save your HR team stress, and headaches, friends. So employees aren’t sending urgent messages of asking the same questions 4700 times. You can redirect them to the policy manual or to the employee handbook, rather than the full policy manual. Or having to continually answer the same questions about how many breaks they’re entitled, whatever that may be.



[COBY]: Yeah. Well, it’s funny because, like, the, the population that reads the, the iPhone terms and conditions is the same population that probably reads your policy manuals. Very small population. But the idea of having this accessible version of information that employees need to know that would reference the appropriate written, sorry, written in common language, we should stay there. So, like a Kohl’s notes version of the Manual of highlights, employees need to know in a way that they can easily skim it and access it. But also referencing where in the actual, you know, legal, legalese version and the policy manuals that the state, the states. And then having language like, you know, any, dispute between the handbook and the policy manual will always default to the policy manual, those kinds of protection pieces. So employees don’t, you know, feel like they don’t have to understand or at least, you know, they can at least interpret.



[JAMES]: Well, the policy, man, the official policy manual always supersedes, right. It is the governing document. The, the policy manual is what governs our workplace. The employee, manual is the cheat sheet, plain language version that interprets the most important information that they need to have, but doesn’t just regurgitate 100 or 120 pages of legalese and expect them to read it.



[COBY]: Right? Yeah. So part of it too is not just because we often mistakenly think that if we make information available to people, that’s the same as making it accessible to people, and it’s not.



[JAMES]: Good point.



[COBY]: And so part of it is we need to be figuring, okay, we’re going to try to again use all the tools in our toolbox to improve how we attract and retain employees, then this is something that we should be considering as another way of doing things. Our manuals, our official statements, to employees can be more than just legal protections written by the, the, either your labor lawyer or just core foundational labor standards written by your HR team. They can actually be something that’s about, this is what we believe in. This is how we are not just protecting ourselves, but almost like we are committing to, protecting the long term value, sustainable integrity of our organization by protecting things for you, not just protecting things from you. And I think that, it’s something that, there is lots that we can do with that. I do think it is vastly underused. We did an episode a little while ago where we talked about the four faces of HR. HR stands for holding red tape, highly reactive, hovering and restricting, and humans required.



[JAMES]: Yeah, I had fun with that one.



[COBY]: Yeah. And if you’re talking about kind of the traditional workplaces where HR is about holding red tape, this, if that’s the workplace that you work in, this idea of your policy manuals being about cultural protections, as much as legal protections, is something that’s probably like speaking Greek. You’re just like, what? Like, that’s not how things work. It can be, it doesn’t have to just be a single use document could, there could be so much more to it. And those that work in the organizations that are kind of humans required, where it’s a more human capital, focused. This is something you’re like, yeah, why are, why isn’t everyone doing this? This is an opportunity that everyone has access to. It’s just an underutilized asset.



[JAMES]: Yeah, no, I think that’s good. It’s it is definitely a really interesting, it’s, it is a bit of a mindset shift. but it can be about more than just. I liked what you said. The, not. It’s about not just protecting, the company from you. protecting you. Not just protecting from you. Providing protections from you. Anyways, that just kind of stuck with me. I think it’s an interesting way to view policies. And a good, good endpoint for that, conversation. I’ll just stop because I’m, I’m rambling now, as usual. All right, what’s next?



[COBY]: Move on to the next question. Okay, so here we go. Question number two. How long do cultural transformations usually take?



[JAMES]: Okay, probably. That probably shouldn’t have been my initial response. the bad answer is it depends. There are a lot of factors that go into timelines, especially around cultural transformation. I would say the most important factors that, kind of determine how long this cultural transformation takes would be the level of buy in that we have from leadership. If we have leadership on board that they are, not only on board in the theory of what we want to do, or that, you know, they’re on board with the outcome that we are trying to achieve, but on board with the work that is required to get there. That’s a huge determining factor. also, I think we need to be clear about what we are talking about with how long does it take to achieve a cultural transformation? Because are we looking at this from a perspective of when will I be done this cultural transformation? Or when will I start to see improvements from this cultural transformation? Or when will I start to see my culture transform? Because the distinction between those is pretty significant. and I think I would encourage people not to look at culture in terms of a static. When we finish x initiative, we will be done, because the strategies and structures we will be built into the organization, really what we want to get to is that those strategies and structures need to be designed to have the client, have the company continue to operate differently long, after we’ve stepped out of our role. if we’re looking at this from the perspective of when will I start to see improvements or when will I start to see the culture begin to transform again, the bad answer is it depends. But with that buy in from leadership and the willingness to implement the changes that are required to, achieve the goals that we want to achieve, we’ve seen improvements with clients in as little as, like three to four months. Ah, right. It usually we need to start with an investigation and diagnostic and understand what’s happening and start building our recommendations, and what strategies we’re going to implement, but time to implement. We can see improvements in that window. and I think that’s important for people to understand that cultural transformations, unguided or, without a hard strategic intent can kind of just last forever. They can kind of get lost in an ever evolving. There’s always something more to do, but we’re never really seeing any improvements versus if we look at it from a, That’s why I really like our diagnostic tools, and the data that we’re able to collect, from them because we can actually make data driven, decisions and recommendations and strategies that are all in line to accomplish a specific goal. And then we can, we have the measurements to actually look at how we are progressing. it’s a bit of a long winded answer, but I like this question and I hate this question because the reality is it does depend, it depends on the level of buying. It also depends on what actions and strategies we have to undertake. If we are building everything from the ground up, it’s going to take a long time to quote unquote, complete a cultural transformation. But also, if we’re building everything from the ground up, usually there’s very little in place. So once we start, implementing some really, dynamic, interesting strategies, we can see the change in response from the front, from employees fairly quickly because it’s easy to identify when something new has changed, when has happened.



[COBY]: Yeah, and I won’t lie, I. You like and dislike the question. I legitimately dislike this question, partially because I feel like whatever answer I give is never the answer that people are looking for. but I also. But it’s because there’s a difference between, when I get asked this question, broad scopes, just generally, like, what is the timeline for a cultural transformation versus when we’re actually working with clients? And we say, well, how long? Now that you know all of our information and you know our unique situation, how long? You know, what would this look like? Those are to me two different questions. Because we work with individual clients, it’s like, well, we have a clear mind of what is the level of engagement you want us to do? Do you want us to be working in the dimension where we’re more of advisors to help you kind of guide you? Are we looking at ways where we’re here to kind of support you, do some of the work with you, kind of upskill your team, build capacity and kind of carry on? Or is it that we’re, you know, we’re provide more of like a turnkey package where like you say, we got to go in, nothing’s built, we build it all and show the, for them. Because again if you have an idea of the scope that they’re looking at, it’s easier to kind of to put in, you know, benchmarks and you know, and outcomes and, and timelines or is much an easier thing, whereas broad scopes, it is really about. It depends because like I say, it depends on the buy in from the leadership team and it, it also depends. It’s me. One thing I often try not to get too defensive when I answer this question is are you asking when can I check the box and move on to something else? Are you asking when do you have to, when do you get to stop paying us?



[JAMES]: Never.



[COBY]: Yeah. Or like you say, when is it that you’re getting, you know, you’re asking for when am I going to start to see progress? And so again, part of it is like, you know, I sometimes I challenge the question and, and this is kind of how I think I answered it when it was asked to me. Kind of after my keynote was because again I wanted to, you know, I want to say, you know, when we are working with goals in mind, then it’s a matter of saying, well you know we can, you can engage us for a certain amount of time. We can build you a plan to kind of within, within that scope and you know, like one client we’re with is an 18 month project. So you know, we can say we could get you to here by the end of it, but we’re going to. It’s about, it’s about providing the evidence and the data and moving along this.



[JAMES]: And measurables along the way, are we on track?



[COBY]: Right exactly. Yeah. Yeah.



[JAMES]: Well completely part of any strategy, yeah.



[COBY]: And I mean, and you know, there’s value in saying, you know, we can get you as far as you possibly can in, within this timeframe as long as you got the support and resources to allow us to hit to do that.



[JAMES]: Other times you give us free reign and we’re doing every. And you want to just pay us to do everything for you. Well, yeah, I mean we do this stuff regularly. We know how to do it. We can, we can perform those actions probably quicker. Yeah, but if we have an engaged leadership team with a champion who is going to be implementing this, who actually has the capacity to do it and is not just doing it off the side of their desks and just need us to advise on that situation that can be done fairly quickly as well. It comes down to the are you dedicating time, energy and resources and making this a priority?



[COBY]: Yeah. Well and one of the, one of the problems is probably one of our more common methods that we use towards these cultural transformations. We use kind of that that more supporting role. We’re working in tandem with your, with your leader, with your team, with your identified champions or whatever and we’re doing some of the work and you’re doing some of the work and we’re kind of building capacity along the way. One of the biggest time sucks is the fact that these people that we’re working with have full time jobs in the company and this is auxiliary to their everyday. So you know we’re able to create schedules and plans and implement stuff but like you know it might be that you know we complete a portion and you know we’re done you know around you know kind of end of march for this one piece and we’re ready to kind of provide the next steps but you know, but because of the time of year it’s around year end or ever like that then we can’t have the next conversation until they’re all free which might not be till the end of April. Right. So sometimes you know, those pieces.



[JAMES]: As terrible as the answer, it depends. Is, yeah, I mean it just, it, it does. There are a lot of factors at play but if you, I think the important information that people want when they asked that question is when can I see some results? When am I going to get some benefit out of this? And if you are willing and able to dedicate the time, energy and resources whether that’s internal or external, we have seen really cool success within three to four months. Not full cultural transformation.



[COBY]: Yeah, the box isn’t checked.



[JAMES]: Yeah, not, and culture, it should not be a box to check if that’s your mentality. Well if that’s your mentality you’re probably not coming to us anyways.



[COBY]: Fair, yeah, no, but no you’re right. It’s the idea of you know, if you are putting the right resources behind it, if you are realistic with your expectations about what results will look like at certain benchmarks then you’re right. Within, within a couple months you’ll start to see the shift happen with some of our stuff that’s more targeted. Like the other thing too is we have some stuff like our recognition program for example. If an organization is, has the foundation they need, they have, you know, they have very little job dissatisfaction. They’ve got a fair amount of psychological safety, and we incorporate something like our recognition program that can start to change people’s kind of like, view of the workplace within weeks. If they’re ready for targeted pieces, then stuff can happen a lot quicker. If there’s a lot of foundational groundwork that has to be accomplished, like if we have to spend months on the policies, for example, going back to the last question, then a lot is happening. But it’s not hitting the employee experience because we have to do so much foundational work. It’s like we can’t worry about getting the house up until we’ve actually made sure that we’ve got the rods build.



[JAMES]: The roof before you build the walls.



[COBY]: Exactly right. So some of it is that too, but yeah, no, but I think that.



[JAMES]: that’s a good point because it really, it really does, it really does depend on what, what we are working on, what exists within the organization, already, and the scope of, like, I mean, going back to our hierarchy, are we starting at the very beginning? Are we, are we trying to first address huge levels of job dissatisfaction?



[COBY]: And I think the reason why I dislike this question isn’t necessarily the question itself is it’s often posed to us by an HR professional because they see value in doing something, but they know when they, when they bring to the higher ups, it’s going to be like, well, how long is this going to take? How much is it going to cost me? And again, fair questions from, leadership. But the problem is the “depends” answer.



[JAMES]: Doesn’t cut it with them.



[COBY]: No. And so, so that, so that’s why it’s a matter of, you know, trying to, you know, find, you know, how do you, you know, we convince people, you know, we can be very persuasive about how this stuff can make a big difference, but when it, but when it comes to, okay, how do I go from idea and inspiration to action, then? Part of it is, what do I need to do to get the buy in for it? And that’s why we often say, if you’re in a situation where some of this stuff sounds great and you’re wondering, how am I going to, get people on board to make the decision makers to get on board to actually make this stuff happen, and they ask these questions, this is why chatting with us and working with us to help create that business case, to address those specific issues can make a difference. Because, like I say, when we know what your goals are, we know about what the situation is, we can give you a, ah, much better answer specific timelines like any consultants can. But if you have an idea, if you hear something like, you know, on a podcast and, like, why I do this, but they’re going to ask me how long is it going to take? And they don’t give us a straight answer. Well, it’s one of those things where, you know, it’s. That’s why it’s best to kind of take the time and actually, you know, do your homework to actually get the straight answer. All right, so I think that’s a pretty good summary or a pretty good capture of that question. I do think you answered the question here better than I did at the keynote, though.



[JAMES]: Oh, definitely.



[COBY]: all right, so here’s the third question, and this one, I think is actually pretty interesting.



[JAMES]: Okay.



[COBY]: Are there industry or generational differences in the value of job security?



[JAMES]: Yes. Next. So. Okay, I need to clarify the question a little bit. so read it and ask me the question again.



[COBY]: Right. Are there industry or generational differences in the value of job security?

[JAMES]: Okay, so do you mean what are the different expectations around job security by industry or, and. Or by generation?



[COBY]: Because I. Yeah, so I’ll give you, I’ll give you a bit of context to this question. So when I was talking about kind of trends in different, sectors, I said, in sectors that employ a lot of entry level employees or mid, or mid skilled level employees, I said one of the higher priorities for, that type of employee base, again, not for everybody, but for, as a large trend is that, is that, is it a high priority, is job security? And has some questions about people disagreed, you know, HR professionals thing, you know, we’re seeing that there’s very little interest in job security that most people are. It’s a, it’s not a high priority for them. And they’re. And the question directly was, is this based on, you know, is, you know, in my sector, maybe it’s not, we don’t see it, but maybe it is in others, or maybe it’s a difference between generation and generation, and I’ll hear your answer and then I’ll give mine, because I do think that we’re actually going to, going to give a bit of different answer here.



[JAMES]: so, absolutely, there are different expectations around job security, but it also depends on how we’re defining it. I think the generational differences are fairly apparent and probably an easy place to start. So when I think about expectations, like it. My parents, aunts, uncles, even grandparents, all worked one, maybe two jobs their entire life, right? It was pretty common for people to spend 25, 30 years in a like, job security was. I know that for the next. I get a job at 18. I know that, and I have this job until I retire. That was how that was. Job security. That doesn’t exist. If you’re framing job security in that light, that is non existent in very, very few situations I can think of. well, my sister is a teacher, so she probably has more job security than many, because of the nature of that work. And, part of it is the, union negotiations that they’ve been in. Anyways, outside of a few very specific examples, job security in that light is almost entirely non existent. the expectation has become less and less common with each generation, to the point where now five years with a company is kind of viewed as long term employment by many. And I think, is it a generational thing? It is an expectation that different generations have, but it’s not. I don’t know that I would call it a generational difference because it’s not dependent on. Anyways, I think it’s more dependent on the way that we as a broader business community have really conditioned people to think that loyalty, or at least longevity or long service, is not rewarded. I mean, why wouldn’t people have that perspective when they see, you know, parents dedicate 15 or 20 years to a company only to be let go if the stock price dips, a quarter of a percent? Or the fact that, you know, companies offer large signing bonuses for new hires and yet provide peanuts for long term staff or for retention initiatives. Right. We have conditioned people to, always be looking for what is next. What is the next opportunity. I can keep my same job title and go to a competitor, get a signing bonus and a raise, stay there for a few years until, and I’m no longer appreciated, and apply for another job like the own. The mobility now does not happen internally. And we’ve conditioned people to not look for mobility internally. We’ve conditioned people to look for mobility externally. So that longevity, long service, quote, unquote, loyalty. There’s no employee loyalty. Well, no, there isn’t. There’s also no loyalty from companies.



[COBY]: Yeah. That is an interesting perspective, because the way that I answered the question was.



[JAMES]: I said, I don’t think I actually answered the question. I think I just.



[COBY]: You gave a lot of. A lot of good context, and you actually, I think largely you were kind of saying, well, it depends. It depends on what you’re talking. Are you talking about job security? You know, being a 30 year commitment is, you know, then, you know, then no, there, you know, then different generations may have experienced it, but different generations in the workforce today probably understand it differently because the way that I answered it was I kind of said, I said no, I said there really is not that much of a difference by industry or generation in the, in how job security is valued because I was referring to today because, and I think that what I should have alluded to was actually you made a really, really good point. What does job security mean? And this is probably how I should have answered it as, I should have said, what does job security mean? Do you mean having security in my job that can be here for 30 years? If, because if that’s how you understand job security, then you’re holding on to a relic of the past. How we talk about job security and the work that we do, especially when working around the seven by three rule and competitive, sufficient and equitable, is, we view job security, we define job security in seven by three rule as the protection of your wages and benefits in the short term. So we refer to job security not about am I going to have this job for 30 years? We refer to job security as am I going to have, you know, can I rely on, ah, my next paycheck? Yeah.



[JAMES]: Am I going to show up to work and experience mass layouts? Am I, or my hours going to be secure?



[COBY]: Am I going to, am I going to not be on the schedule? Am I going, you know, is there, you know, like our benefits at risk? And this is something that I think I probably fast, forward over, not breaking down the difference between how we understand job security. Because I won’t lie. My answer, I don’t think, resonated the way that I meant it to, but because really I was, I was kind of saying that, you know, it’s really about as a company, what do we do to protect people’s like, you know, the security of their wages and benefits? Because that is the kind of job security that people need. Now it’s like I say, it is not common for people to be employed longer than seven, eight years at a single organization. That is, teachers even tell this to students in schools, right? You’re going to have eight or nine jobs, you know, in your career. And you’re right, we’ve conditioned mobility. External mobility is, you know, is the way that we go. Even when we’re looking at the mining versus farming mentality at the talent development, we don’t try and grow our talent internally. We try and mine for the diamond in the rough to bring them in and put them in the right spot. So I think the part of it, what we need to do is maybe we have been misusing or have been all assuming we’re using the same definition of job security. And maybe it’s, some of us see of it as this 30 years of employment is what job security is another, c. You know, it’s about, you know, having, you know, relying on my paycheck being the same and being there for me in two weeks, because those are two diametrically, extremely different things that I think that maybe if we’re all talking about things in a different way, then it’s hard for us to kind of say, well, yes and no, because we’re talking about, honestly two different things. So we can’t have one answer for two different questions.



[JAMES]: Yeah, no, you’re right. I think the distinction is important. it’s really disappointing that we have gotten to a place where there’s no, it’s not even that there’s no expectation of loyalty. It’s that it just doesn’t exist. Right. People don’t believe that it exists. And it’s. We are making generalizations here because there are absolutely, employers, companies out there who do make tremendous efforts to reward, longevity, to keep staff, to make sure that people have internal, mobility and career development and the classical sense of the word in job security, but it’s not the norm. And I think reframing it a little bit and looking at it from a slightly different perspective is important. And when we’re talking about industry, ah, in different industries, there’s absolutely, differences there. I mean, look at agriculture, for example, is one that springs to mind because the work is very seasonal. Under the traditional view of job security, agriculture would have very poor job security because you are laid off at, certain times, you’re, you’re not necessarily guaranteed that you’re going to be coming back each season. the, the needs might change. What, what have you, However do you have, when you sign on for a season, are you, do you have some security that what is the expectation? I think the big piece is expectations that we are placing on people. when you join a company or sign on for a season and you’re, they tell you you’re going to be working x number of hours a week for x number of weeks, is that true? Will you actually have that many hours, that many weeks with the possibility of picking up more if they’re depending on. Right. Or is that marketing language that we use to get people to sign on to our opportunities and then, oh, well, I can’t actually give you 40 hours or whatever you were going to bump you down to. We consider full time now 36 hours, and then in four months time, we’re going to consider full time 32 hours. Right. That, is not securing a person’s ability to maintain their wages.



[COBY]: Yeah. And I think that. And again, and again, this is, this. This newer version of understanding job security is really how most of the work that we operate in. Because to me, I do think that there is a strong connection between the classic definition of job security and employee loyalty. But the way that we view job security is more about, are people secure from being randomly let go? are they secure in their ability to receive a paycheck? Are they secure in their ability to access benefits? And that’s more about that short term. We’re talking weekly job security, not 30 year job security is more how we work, because loyalty in that aspect is not about job security. Loyalty is more about culture. It’s more about, I’ve, created the cultural environment is what keeps me here. Yes. Part of that is I can rely on my paycheck being consistent, being accessible, I can rely on my benefits. I know I’ve got some protections against, wrongful termination or whatever like that. That plays into it. But if we just think about it in terms of job security is the same as loyalty, then we’re undercutting the importance of both. But I do think that organizations would be wise to expand their understanding of what they think job security is. And the saying, maybe in your industry, it’s unrealistic to think about, 30 year job security as even being a thing anymore. And I do think that if we can shift towards this weekly job security, this paid, this paycheck to paycheck job security is something that might give us a better starting point or better understanding. Because as far as I can go back to, my answer was when I said no. Is there industry or generational differences in the value of job security? I think that all people are concerned about their weekly paycheck to paycheck job security. This new definition of job security, regardless of what industry they’re, they’re in, regardless of what generation they’re a part of, all people are concerned. Can I rely on my paycheck and I rely on my benefits? Am I. Can I reliably make sure that I’ve got, you know, opportunities, to be protected from being randomly let go. And those are the things that people. All people care about. And I think that. But if you’re right, if we’re talking about that classic definition of job security, there is wide industry and wide generational differences. But I don’t. I think we almost need to accept the classic definition. You probably should stop using it, and we should only be thinking about job security more. So, in terms of the weekly paycheck.



[JAMES]: To paycheck, job security, I mean, we absolutely. It is something to celebrate. Like long service celebrations. are wonderful celebrating people who have dedicated, 15, 20, 25 years to your organization that should be celebrated, they should be also. They should be rewarded. Just like, let’s make sure that if you. If that. If loyalty, in the classical sense is what you want, you need to show it first. You will receive it.



[COBY]: Lead by example.



[JAMES]: Lead by example.



[COBY]: Yeah, I think this was a good conversation. I’ll kind of give it a quick summary. But before I do anything else, you want to add other three questions?



[JAMES]: yeah, I think the last thing that I will say is that my answers were absolutely better than yours. So James wins.



[COBY]: Okay. So, yeah, feel free to…



[JAMES]: Because it is a competition. Like, really.



[COBY]: Feel free to chime in if you disagree with that statement. All right, so the three questions that I posed to James and then rightfully corrected him on, were organizations underutilizing how they build and use policies? Largely, our answer to that question is that policies can be. Can be more than just legal protection from employees. We could also use them to create cultural protections for employees.



[JAMES]: That was the statement.



[COBY]: And number two, how long do cultural transformations usually take? It depends. And it depends on the buy in from industry, from the organization, and from leadership. It depends on what it is that they’re looking to transform into and also depends on what level of commitment, time and support they have around them to kind of to fast track that. When we do this work, we can see changes start happening within a few months, but we could end up working with organizations on big transformations for over a year. It really depends on what it is the organization is willing to commit to it and what that commitment looks like. Number three, are there industry or generational differences in the value of job security? Well, I think we largely challenge the term job security to be maybe moving away from the classic definition of it being about ten year of employment, years of service, towards looking at it from more of a granular basis of it being about that ability to be secure, from being let go at a moment’s notice, secure from their ability to receive a paycheck and secure in their ability to access benefits. Maybe we need to be shifting towards job security is about weekly or bi weekly or paycheck to paycheck job security, not 30 years of job security. I think that if we do that, we can create a better understanding about how the current labor market values job security and how we as organizations can do more to make job security competitive, sufficient and equitable. All right, that about does it for us. For a full archive of the podcast and access the video version hosted on our YouTube channel, visit www.roman3.ca/podcast. Thanks for joining us.



[ANNOUNCER]: For more information on topics like these, don’t forget to visit us at www.roman3.ca. Side effects of this podcast may include improved retention, high productivity, increased market share, employees breaking out in spontaneous dance, dry mouth, a version of the sound of James voice to start to find a better podcast…

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