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To Sell a Good Experience, You Have to Create One In-House First, with Bradley Rencher, the CEO of BambooHR

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The U.S Bureau of Labor statistics reported that people quitting their jobs rose to 4.3 million in August 2021. Professor Anthony Klotz coined the term for this mass exodus, the “Great Resignation.”

On the surface, it’s not good for business nor is it good for people. We’re way past the canary in the coal mine. If a three-alarm fire is bad, how bad is a 4.3 million alarm fire? What about a fire alarm with millions more? 

Certainly, the pandemic has had its effect in the Great Resignation, but to say that workers are leaving their jobs only because of that one factor is a huge oversimplification and a poor excuse. The reality is that, for way too long, companies have searched for all the ways they can make more money and have ignored their most precious asset in doing so — their employees.

Bradley Rencher, the Chief Executive Officer of BambooHR, believes that employees have been left out of the business conversation for far too long. BambooHR is a HR company that builds software products to help businesses create positive experiences for their employees. BambooHR supports more than 20,000 businesses and has millions of users all over the world. 

But to reach this success, BambooHR first had to learn how to take care of its own employees. What is BambooHR’s X-factor that has helped it nurture its greatest asset so everyone and everything at the company can really be an asset to their own customers? Find out on this episode of Business X factors.

Main takeaways: 

  • It’s the Values, Not the Money: Despite the overriding perception of many employers that money leads to job satisfaction, a survey by global jobs website, Glassdoor, indicated that three out of five jobseeker said they’d consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, while 73% indicated they would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own. Employers who look to boost recruitment and retention should prioritize building a strong company culture and value systems by listening to employees, being transparent, providing regular feedback and having visible leaders that practice what they preach. 
  • Poll Your Employees: When companies start losing employees, an anonymous survey could be an eye-opener to find out what makes them unhappy. Make the survey detailed enough to get the answers you want, encourage everybody to take part, then analyze and share the results and step in to make changes. 
  • The Culture = The Founder: Company founders inspire the culture of an organization whether they intend to or not. The problem is that culture often gets twisted in the growth path with the focus more on building than the original vision of the founder. To get back to the core values, remember why the company was started in the first place and get back to the vision of the founder or founders.                                                                           
  • Nail the One-on-Ones: Whether it is the first meeting when an employee starts or a regular check-in, one-on-ones are one of the most important productivity tools you have as a manager, according to Elizabeth Grace Saunders, author of How to Invest Time Like Money. Managers should block regular time in their schedules, prepare discussion points, be fully present, share a win or something positive, express gratitude and most importantly, listen and don’t make it just about work.

Key Quotes:

“We’ve been talking about customer experience. We’ve been talking about cloud. We’ve been talking, maybe about security and privacy. That’s really been the topic that dominated the world… Where’s the employee been in that narrative and conversation for the last 15 years? It’s taken the pandemic and the great resignation for us to get slapped in the face as business leaders to say, ‘Hey, there’s a part of this conversation that you’re not having. And it’s the experience your employees are having with your brand.’”

“I think we’ve been focusing so much on customer experience that the employee got lost. That was the big idea. And so, I’m like, if this is really accurate, the market opportunity for this is unlimited because it’s really the conversation to have.”

“There were about four or 500 people at the time. And I just said, ‘Hey, everybody. Who would like to send me an email?’ I got 500 emails not saying, ‘Oh, I love the ping-pong table. Or I love that I get free food. Or I love my standing desk.’ It was none of that. None of the little things that we spend so much time obsessing over. What mattered was the values.” 

“As you scale a product. If you don’t actually have a roadmap, you don’t actually know what it is that we’re building in the product. Guess what you’re going to end up with. You’re going to end up with basically a Franken-stack product that no one can really use and build. Same thing with your culture.”

“We were getting feedback from our employees, like, this isn’t working. I’ve had a different experience somewhere else. Could we please look at this?… And so, in the last 90 days we looked at that and made some changes. I don’t know if we hit the mark to have everyone’s hopes and dreams… But we did really listen and step into what it is that’s important to our employees in the experience that they’re having here and do what we thought was right.”

“People don’t intend to go show up and then just to be an average employee. They really want to have an impact to do something, to contribute in some way. What holds them back many times, there’s policies, misunderstandings. Maybe they don’t understand what they’re doing contributes to the overall business. There’s all these things that it’s almost like they’re running in mud.”

Business X factors is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by Hyland.

For over a decade, Hyland has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, leading the way to help people get the information they need when and where they need it. More than half of 2019 Fortune 100 companies rely on Hyland to help them create more meaningful connections with the people they serve. When your focus is on the people you serve, Hyland stands behind you. Hyland is your X factor for better performance. Go to Hyland.com/insights to learn more.


Episode 33