Model Behavior: Creating HR Models to Help Organizations Succeed

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and having the cultural mindset to embrace the needed diversity of the workplace.

Today’s guests are Beverly Kaye, Author and Founder of Career Systems International and Shawn Murphy, CEO & Founder of Switch & Shift. To hear the entire show, click here.

On the show today, the two guests talk about the different HR models they’ve created and how they help organizations succeed.

Beverly Kayemodel

Beverly Kaye has been in the HR space for nearly three and a half decades and it still continues to hold her passion and interest. Her journey in HR started when she went to UCLA in the 70’s to pursue her doctorate in change management. She became interested in careers and the subject of her doctoral thesis was mobility. Once she graduated she authored her first book, “Up Is Not the Only Way.” Currently her organization, Career Systems International, employs 40 people and the company works globally on three issues – engagement, retention and career development.

Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go

Kaye’s has written several books and one of her popular ones is “Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want.” The book highlights to managers everywhere at any level that their people want to grow and be challenged. They want to be noticed. If they don’t get that, they’ll either physically leave or psychologically check out. The latter is worse because they’ll stay with the organization but lack in any discretionary effort. The book is a summary of Kaye’s work of 30 years broken down into simple ideas.

Employee Point of View

According to Kaye, these are five areas that employees are really interested in:

– They want to know all their skills will be used. Not just the skills they were hired for but they want their managers to get to know them so that all of their abilities and competencies will be used.

– They want ongoing feedback. They want this feedback in short conversations and not necessarily in a once-a-year performance appraisal.

– They want to know what new directions the organization is going and what that means to them. It’s all about the change, inside the organization as well as outside, and how it affects their careers.

– They want to know their options in terms of the different career opportunities available to them. Most employees know that not everybody gets to climb the ladder but they want to know about the other ways to grow and learn.

– Lastly, they want to know if the organization will help their employability.

Kaye’s firm helps managers answer these questions and engage better with their teams. It’s not the length of the conversation that matters. Often short conversations embedded in everyday work are good enough, says Kaye. She asks managers to look out for clues and cues that help them get to know their people better.

Hindsight, Foresight and Insight

According to Kaye, the concept of hindsight, foresight and insight makes up the framework for career conversations. It is a simple way of thinking about one’s career. At the hindsight step, one needs to think about their abilities and skills and what they bring to the table. It’s also about finding out how other people see you and what your personal brand is within the organization. It’s about self-awareness and checking out that self-awareness with others. This is a critical first step in the career conversation. The foresight step says that you have to look out and see what’s changing in your industry, profession, economy and how will that affect you. Now that you have all the information you need, the insight step asks you to explore your options and goals and figure out how to move ahead. “It’s a simple model to help managers remember that those are three conversations that are crucial part of career conversations. The career conversation doesn’t start with what’s my next job. It starts with what’s my passion and what’s my skillset,” explains Kaye.

Stay Interviews

Kaye strongly believes that managers ask employees to stay when they’re conducting the exit interview. Instead of waiting until the end, Kaye suggests having stay interviews to make sure employees are happy and are taken care of. According to her, stay interviews should be conducted at the end of the onboarding process where a newly hired employee is asked what they feel is the most daunting and discomforting part of their job and what is the most exciting part of their job based on what they learned during the orientation. “At the end of the onboarding process, you must start re-recruiting,” she emphasizes. “These questions keep you aware of the job satisfaction levels and whether or not they’re getting what they need because their motivation is very important to any manager who is running his department or function effectively.”

What Are You Reading?

Beverly Kaye is currently reading Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle. The book is about how bad we’re getting at conversations and how our devices are getting in the way. Another book she’s reading is Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Themby Bryan E. Robinson. The book is about workaholism and how it affects lives.

How Can People Connect with You?

Connect with Beverly via the contact option on her website

Shawn Murphymodel

Shawn Murphy is the Founder and CEO of Switch & Shift, a company that focuses on helping organizations become more human. The company looks at the policies and processes and the ways in which leaders create an environment to allow people to do their best work. Murphy also writes a weekly column for

Human-Centered Business Model

Switch & Shift uses a human-centered approach to help companies transition by challenging the traditional industrial age mindset that employees are here to support the organization and that they are replaceable at any given time. In contrast, the human-centered approach believes in creating a mutually beneficial arrangement where the employees provide their talents, strengths and passion to the organization. In return, they not only earn money (which is a part of the transaction) but also grow as human beings. Meaningful work is an important component of what the workforce is looking for today. A DeVry University research study shows 71 percent of millennials believed in meaningful work being a top career choice. A characteristic of being human-centered is that people feel that their work is meaningful and that is a top talent acquisition strategy for organizations.

Shift in Business Models

As much as he’d love for the human-centered model to be adopted universally, for the foreseeable future, Murphy sees organizations continuing to employ profit-centered business model as opposed to a people-centered one. That’s been the predominant model for over a century and it has worked. Thus, some organizations see no reason for moving away from that. Murphy feels that it may be a viable business decision, however, the trends that we’re seeing in the workforce, and what they are looking for from an employer, have shifted significantly. These trends challenge the profit-centered philosophy where people are seen as ancillary to the value proposition the business provides to its customers.

Relationships are Key

For an organization to shift its philosophy related to its employees is a mindset shift which is often quite difficult for some to make because it’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Yet, human nature says that relationships are the way we get things done. Any organization, small or big, needs strong relationships in order to accomplish goals. Human-centered businesses put a strong emphasis on building a solid relationship with their employees. “A lot of people look at Google and Whole Foods and other similar companies that are continuously at the top of the list of great places to work and wonder why they’re not able to be like them. It’s an important thing to know that you have to place a premium on the relationship with people who get things done in your company,” explains Murphy.

Company Assessment

Murphy and his team initially assess clients through interviews. They try to understand how the company’s customers, both internal and external, view the services they are getting from the organization. It is important to find out what the customer experience is like. That input helps the decision-makers understand what is working and what is valued by the customers. The other follow-up questions Murphy’s team asks are about what it is like to be successful in the organization. The intention behind these questions is to find out if there is a shared understanding of what success looks like. They also try to understand how processes and systems influence performance in an organization. Lastly, they also look at the climate, which is different from culture. “Climate is what it feels like to work somewhere. The greatest influences on a company’s climate are the immediate team leaders based on how they affect performance, how they develop relationships, and so on,” Murphy explains. A research from Gallup suggests that 70 percent of the employee experience is based on the immediate manager. Thus, looking at the skillsets of the manager, their expectations, feedback mechanisms, and so on are important aspects to consider while studying a company’s climate. All this data then helps in compiling a comprehensive plan to shift a company’s culture.

How Can People Connect with You?

Connect with Shawn on Twitter or LinkedIn.