In an increasingly virtual workplace, how can supply chain leaders instill a lasting feeling of connection and community in their workforce? As some employees begin to move back into the workplace, supply chain leaders are beginning to face an unprecedented divide between those in the office, and those who continue to work remotely. In this challenging year, managers will need to harness the community and buy-in from their employees like never before. Tom Gimbel’s 3e Management: Education, Empowerment, Empathy system combines three individual elements that work in tandem to kickstart an employee’s experience and ensure that they are given the correct tools to thrive at every stage of the supply chain.
- The pillars of 3e: Empathy, Education and Empowerment and how to train managers on adopting this management system
- Implementing systems that foster and monitor the 3e’s in your supply chain
- Finding success by leading with 3e (employees, clients or customers)
Hi, I hope everyone’s having a great day. My name is Tom Gimbel. I’m founder and CEO of LaSalle Network. We are a staffing recruiting and culture firm that has a very large practice in the supply chain arena. What we’ve been doing over the past 22 years is evolving and go to market strategy that works with human resources and hiring departments to identify talent both on a contract basis, and on a search basis to make sure that you have the people you need to execute your missions and vision. As we’ve been doing this, we’ve also been working on the evolution of what culture means how to manage how to add new people into an environment, and how to create a company, and an organization that can be one of teamwork, collaboration, and how to continually grow and evolve. And during the course, of the past 22 years, we’ve been recognized over 100 times for culture awards and Best Places to Work. So it’s my honor to be here to share some of our secrets, some of our beliefs, and how to keep employees engaged and motivated using a program we call 3d management. So come along for the ride. And we’ll go from here, obviously, I wish this were live and in person versus via zoom, and I hope all of your families and co workers and teams are healthy. A little bit about our organization. As I mentioned, we’ve won numerous awards as Best Places to Work simultaneously, while being one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country. As a 12 Time Inc, 5000. Company. I say that purely from the perspective of who’s this guy talking and giving advice and making sure I’m not telling you what to do while I have a two person company, working out of my basement, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, we’ve lived it, we’ve we’ve we’ve executed it. And then we’ve done it with our clients as well as internally. As we go through my fundamental belief, as a founder, as a CEO, as a business leader is culture starts at the top, and your company is going to be represented by the image and culture and personality that’s projected down. There are many different types of CEOs. There are ones that are very analytical and insightful. There are more charismatic and marketing and sales focused, there are hybrids that do exist might be a unicorn, but they exist. And and now even in this day and age, we’re getting leaders that arise from technology and or supply chain depending on the industry, which is great to have all different types of leaders. But it starts from that leaders personality, how she behaves and communicates how she holds herself and those around are accountable. Culture is the intangible feelings created by tangible actions. So does a CEO hold a town hall? Are they do they do a pre recorded video? Do they call on people and get their opinions? Or do they purely talk about what’s going on? From their perspective? Do they have staff meetings? Or do they have CEO speeches? Are they a company that counts hours and half days? Are they companies that give time off to people and allow them to recharge their batteries? What is the the environment is it one that rewards the best? Is it one that holds people accountable is one that rewards people for showing up versus results in tangible execution. Those are the types of things that creates a culture. When we created three management 20 years ago, it was about three things that I fundamentally believe are crucial during workplace centered companies. And now in this day and age of decentralized, and work from home, and unfortunately quarantine type environments. The three management is empowerment, empathy, and education. I believe that these three E’s are fundamental to building a culture where people of all ages, race races, genders ethnicities, can come together as one and know that somebody actually cares about them, whether it come in whether it’s their direct manager, hopefully their managers manager, the C suite, that people know that there’s a sense of caring, what is empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
And this is so important now in this work from home situation, and world in which we live. You have people who are living in major metropolitan areas in 678 100 Square Foot studios or one bedroom or convertible apartments. That doesn’t have a lot of space, you have people that are scared about whether they’re going to be in the next round of furloughs or layoffs, and whether they have money to pay the rent, health risks, can I take the bus Can I go out to eat, if I’m not wearing a mask, if I do wear a mask, if my parents wear a mask, right, if somebody in my family has, has an illness, can I be around them, these are concerns that drain on the emotions, of people just being scared. You have single staff they’re alone living in or even if they have a house or a small apartment, they’re alone, they don’t have that partner, kids are parents around them, to give them a sense of family. And then you have working parents, which obviously gets a lot of publicity right now. Because with schools being remote, how parents are managing raising kids, especially under the teenage years. And simultaneously having careers is the big challenge that we’re all facing now more than ever, because it’s not employee burnout anymore. It’s human being burnout. Repeat that. It’s human being burnout, people are burned out, by managing their families full time, and a full time job. You used to be able to I have three kids, you used to be able to escape your children for eight or nine or 10 hours a day, even if you were part time for four or five or six hours a day. But now your kids are at home, you’re trying to make sure they learn. You’re still cooking and cleaning and doing those things. Your office is your home, it’s all one area. And it’s a whole different world. Plus this fear of illness of people getting sick of losing your job. And that weighs on you emotionally before we even get into the the social unrest which has existed over the past five months, combined with the election. People are just tired. And if we don’t have empathy to that, right, emotional intelligence, EQ, as a leader, it means you understand that you need to communicate differently to different groups. How do you make somebody feel it’s one thing to be a hard ass to Buddha put a boot up someone’s behind to drive them to do more than they think they’re able, that’s being a good coach and a good leader. As long as you know, how it makes them feel, how they’re reacting, what they’re doing, what the negative consequences can do. I’m a firm believer in holding people accountable, and changing up your style. And sometimes people don’t need Miss nice girl all the time or Mr. Nice Guy all the time. They need somebody to be direct, kick him in the butt and say get this done the right way. But you also have to realize who you’re talking to, and how that comes across. I like to call it compassionate accountability. The majority of us don’t like confrontation. In fact, if you like confrontation, you lack EQ to some extent. If you’re the person on the road that likes to get in front of somebody and slam their brakes on, you’re lacking EQ. If you’re the person who yells at somebody, when they’re they’re driving down the road, you’re lacking EQ. Right? These are the things people don’t like confrontation, clear communication. You can’t show compassionate accountability, if you don’t communicate clearly, holding somebody accountable. First and foremost, is letting them know what the expectations are beforehand. Too often I hear from corporations and employees and hiring managers. They didn’t know what the expectations were that they were being held accountable to. Big mistake. You have to realize that is as wonderful as you may think you are, as most of us do. We do have egos we’re human beings. And when you have achieved a level of success, egos do show up. But people join companies, whether it’s for the paycheck, the reputation, the location, people join an organization. They quit managers, when a manager doesn’t isn’t compassionate, when they’re not understanding where they don’t give clear direction when they don’t publicly praise when they don’t privately punish, right? Those are the tools that work. There’s always going to be unique exceptions. But you have to realize that when people leave now that you might want them to leave. There might be bad people in your organization, but good people will leave bad managers. Audio versus visual learners. It’s one of my favorite topics. Because people think that I put it in writing or we had issues huge company meeting or a huge team meeting, we told them, the difference is, if you give a PowerPoint deck to an audio learner doesn’t compute, if you give a speech to a visual learner doesn’t compute, there’s a reason why people go to go to conferences and meetings like this. And there’s a voice and a picture, as well as writing. Because people’s brains don’t usually click on both, they click on one or the other. And we have to compliment people’s audio and visual learning styles. Make sure you do that, as a manager people.
Grow growth does not equal great culture. So many of you may work for high growth companies. Of course, it’s a great place to work. We’ve been on the Inc list of fastest growing companies, we’re on Fortune’s list of fastest growing companies, we’re in our local to cities, neighborhood lists of fastest growing places, that does not mean you have a great culture. It means that you’re a rocket ship and usually excuses bad behavior. high growth usually is if you can’t keep up, get out, which is okay, I’m not here to tell you what you’re doing is wrong. What I’m here to teach and talk about is how to have a great culture using three management and what what it can be. Because I guarantee you when things plateau, when a high growth company, the real culture shines through growth hides, problems. People can be great as a result of a system, whether it’s alabama football, the New England Patriots, in the NFL, you have these great dynasties of teams. And you can have role players who are really good in that system. But you take somebody out of Google, and you put them someplace else, just because they worked at Google doesn’t mean they’re going to be great for your company. Doesn’t mean they won’t be it just means I’ve seen so many hiring managers in companies over the years that have tried to get the secret sauce of culture by hiring one person, and it doesn’t work. That doesn’t work, you have to believe it from the top down of what people are capable of. People management, people management refers to a manager’s role in the training, developing motivating employees to perform their best, the role is distinct from other managerial roles such as administrative and decision making. So when you get promoted into management, whether it be supply chain, or in sales, or marketing, or any, any discipline within a corporate structure, right, usually, you’re promoted, because you have an area of expertise, you know, supply chain, you know, distribution, you know, manufacturing, you know, six sigma, you know, you know, lean manufacturing, whatever the case may be, you’re usually a subject matter expert in a vertical. But what we haven’t done as corporations is really focused on the people management side of things. We focus on how to execute goals, how to align teams to accomplish goals, but how to truly understand people remember the biggest difference, the biggest difference between sports teams, which we all love the analogies, I just used to have them. And business is the kids dream of being athletes from when they’re little, little kids. So to be on a team, it’s a passion and a hobby. When we’re in business, it’s not what somebody usually wanted to do from the time they were eight. And number two, there isn’t somebody next door trying to offer them more money, or a better job or a better location, or working less in order to do it. So we’ve got to be really careful on the people management side and realizing there’s teaching them how to do the job, and how to take on new challenges. And then there’s understanding the psyche of what it takes to engage people and keep them motivated and earn their trust. traits of good people managers. First and foremost, they care. They show they care. They get engaged in people’s lives. They understand what’s going on. Do they have kids? Do they have parents? Do they have sick relatives? Do they have a spouse who got laid off? Do they know what’s going on in people’s lives?
Again, I’m not saying you have to do that. To be a great manager. What I am telling you is if you do these things, and you actually care about people, it’s exponentially more impactful on the manager employee relationship. People seek their advice often. Think about that. How often do employees come and ask you or another manager about life decisions about business decisions that don’t aren’t how to do my job. But beyond the scope. Those people are viewed as mentors and leaders. And there’s a difference between being viewed as a great leader. And being a manager. Great listeners. Can someone come into your your cube your office, your desk area? And talk? And can you not tell them? everything they need to do? But can you just listen? We talked about emotional intelligence, being self aware. How do you come across, I’m six foot five, I’ve got this wonderful head of hair. Right? I have a little bit of facial hair. I know that I come across sometimes a little big and over ish and scary to people. And I’m self aware of that. There’s a difference between being a six foot five bald male, and being a five foot five petite female, or a five foot nine female or a 511. Man. There just is how people perceive you and me, is completely different. So you have to be aware, can you be self effacing? Can you make a joke? Can you be?
Can you show vulnerability? If you haven’t watched the Bernie brown videos and YouTube’s watch them? It’s true when you can be vulnerable at any size, shape, gender, ethnicity, when you’re vulnerable about your life experiences, it creates a bridge and a connection to the to the employee. Do you have retention good people managers tend to have good retention, not easy people, managers not walk all over me people managers, but people who have a high sense of EQ, and are compassionate and caring. And most importantly, they get their staff promoted. Meaning they don’t give out titles willy nilly. They actually care about the people, and they get them to a point where they earn the promotion. People managers care to identify motivators, personal development, acknowledgement, respect, camaraderie and fun, increased responsibility and challenge. What do your people need? I will tell you this, if I have to go to work for eight hours a day, or nine or 10, whatever it is, all things being equal, would I rather have fun or not have fun. But I’d rather laugh or not laugh. When I rather call my co workers friends or not call them friends. People will say I’ve got plenty of friends, I don’t need him at work. It’s because they haven’t met anybody at work that they really like and want to have his friend. Right? throughout life. People make new friends, whether it’s a neighbor, whether it’s a friend, kids, friends, parent, whether it’s when you retire and move to a new to Florida, and you make friends with the old couple from the other side of the country. We make friends, we can do it at work. You don’t have to be there for 20 hours a day. And personal development. If all things are equal to I want to work in a place where I feel that I’m growing and maturing and evolving or doing.
I think it’s a huge part of life. When we look at children, and we see them laughing, we say it’s a simpler time it’s happy. We say don’t get used to it, because soon you’ll be an adult. But the truth of it is why can’t we laugh all the time? Why can’t we tell jokes? Why can’t we ridicule people in a fun humorous way, like we did when we were kids? Why can’t we do it the way we do with our family. Now you got to make sure that it’s understandable and people are can relate to it. And there’s a high level of EQ. But if you can make people laugh at work and tell them that it’s okay to laugh at work, you’re in a better place. So we did virtually is try to incorporate people’s lives. And what this is easier and harder. Because people can turn off their video, they can log off, the bigger the company, the bigger the group, you don’t see it. But what we started to do was create a connection to teams and to the team. And in doing that, people wouldn’t usually run around with their phone showing a picture of their dog. But when you’re doing a zoom and the dog jumps on your lap, or you hear the barking because you’re working out of your apartment, all of a sudden, our lives became more accessible. Now in my company, we did things like this a lot because we had a lot of social engagements with people because we’re more of a sales driven organization and we wanted that camaraderie that was our culture. So it was easy for us going remote, but for a lot of people they don’t think Like this. But when you’re an office, you see somebody in the elevator in the parking lot in the kitchen in the bathroom. You don’t have those three to five minute windows anymore when you’re virtual. So we have to create that as leaders. So it’s pensively Sal, it’s finding out what works for your employees. Do they have it pets? Are they are they cooking as a hobby? Do they love it? Are they bakers? What are the things that can that can really evolve? We did virtual bookclubs virtual cooking classes. Right. And, and we shared positive affirmations, we also shared any affirmations quite frankly, we had one, right, whatever you’re feeling, and you got some negative pictures up there words, you know what it gave us an insight into what people were going through. And we had different employees step up to run a bartending thing, or to run a cooking class to do a yoga. Those are the types of things when it was nice out and depending on where you’re living, when the weather’s warm or cold. Can people come and be socially distant? And have a pick up a hot dog off the grill? or grab a bag of chips? Or a soda or beverage? And do they feel a little bit like they can go and see the people they used to work with?
Everyone may not come we only had about 40% of our staff come. But what it did do was it gave those 40% of connection. And everybody might not want it. But for the people that do it’s a game changer. And then we went on and did trivia nights, virtual poker nights, sunrise yoga in the morning, happy hours, you know, and the happy hours became something that people got sick out, right? How many drinks Do you really want to have alone and, and doing that, because they got done for the wrong reasons. And sometimes the company did it. A lot of times our employees created it on their own. But the yoga was a really powerful one for us. people playing poker was fun, because it gives people a chance to, to poke each other and ridicule each other about what they have going on. And then we got creative. And we said, let’s do a virtual Piano Bar. Or head of marketing has a friend who’s a piano player, and played in the band. And we had people give a do the zoom chat and they gave requests. And the virtual piano player did that. And we cheered and laughed, and no one could be on mute. And it was funny, it was really really funny. And people were all singing along. And it gave people an idea, and quarantine Bingo. And, and again, you can’t say to yourself, I run a team of 15, I run a team of five, I run a team of 50. And say everybody won’t like this, they don’t have to. They don’t have to. For those of you that have children, or if you had siblings growing up, you do things for your kids, your parents did things for you. And all of you didn’t like it, you just went sometimes. And sometimes that’s a really powerful tool, because even people may think they don’t want to do things, then they do it. And they actually like it. Now, this was one of the hard things because we had five people that had babies during the quarantine, and during the past seven months. And so we had people who were scared. We had people that were you know, alone with just a spouse. And, and we had some first time parents as well as experienced parents who are going through this. And because of COVID a lot of their families and friends for obvious reasons, didn’t want to do baby showers. And so what we did as an employer is say we care about you, we’re going to do this, and we had virtual baby showers. We had virtual wedding showers, and we tried to make people feel connected. And then we said, do all of our young people young being new to the company, not in the age, know the history of the company, how people got to be the vice president during the C suite. And so we did trivia games where people could you know that this buzz phrase of gamification or buzzword of gamification, it’s real people like to play games, and they like to win. And so to go through this and create games for people to get to know, other people within the organization is really powerful. Educate, to give intellectual, moral and social instructions. This is the most basic thing we can do is what I call corporate grandparenting. You have your direct reports, they have their direct reports. How much time do you spend with your direct reports? reports, right, two layers down, usually not as much. Right? When you spend 15 minutes with somebody two levels below you, it’s a game changer. They know a that their boss’s boss cares about them be there’s a reason that you’re their boss’s boss. So you have some insight and some expertise that their boss doesn’t have. And psychologically, they feel that somebody in the upper echelon knows who they are and cares about him. It’s a retention tool. It’s an education tool. And it’s a career changing tool. I started with company wide daily meetings, town halls, for the whole company, for the first 12 weeks of this thing. Every single morning, 10am it got to be a bit much, but you know what i heard over and over and over again, from staff. Thank you. At least we know there’s a constant, we may not be in the office. We know business isn’t as good as it used to be. But we know you’re there and you’re not hiding. You’re being open. And you’re talking to us about what you’re thinking and feeling. What I call happy realism. You can be upbeat, and be realistic. Tell people the straight poop, but be happy.
We have jobs. We’re working hard. We’ve got great team members, the clients we have are great, the opportunity still exists, things are gonna get better. Right? Talk about it. And they did. Most of the companies right now are doing better outside of restaurants, right that hospitality at a point sector. But in traditional b2b, especially consumer packaged goods, right, I know a lot of you in the supply chain space are located are really doing well. And then under promise and over deliver, you can’t guarantee we’re never going to do layoffs. So don’t do it. People can smell a liar. And then be available. If your people need to talk, answer the phone, answer the zoom. If you don’t show your face during the videos, whether it’s teams or Slack, or or zoom, if you block out your face, they’re going to block out theirs, and all of a sudden, you’ve created a barrier that didn’t exist before. Don’t be part of that problem. Empower. giving someone the authority or power to do something, empowering people to make decisions. I’m not saying that if you have a limit of $5 million, or a million dollars, or a half a million dollars in procurement, or distribution or whatever the case may be that you bend those rules, what I am saying is on the things that can be fixed relatively easily. And on some things that may be a little harder. You give people the empowerment, the feeling of empowerment, to make decisions. I read a book years ago by coaches chesky, Coach K at the University at Duke University. And he said the four most powerful words when used together are I believe in you. And think about a mentor you’ve had think about the CEO of your company, looking you in the eye, you just made a big mistake. And they say, Sally, I believe in you. And literally Close your eyes and visualize your boss or the CEO saying that to you. I guarantee you, it feels good. It feels good. I’m the CEO of my company, I long for somebody to say that to me. So I think those are the little things that go a long way. It happens, right? Sh it happens. And I think it’s really liberating for your staff to hear you say it. To know that leadership acknowledges things will happen. No one wants to live in a pretend fairy tale and they want to know that things are going to be okay and that they are okay. We put a creed together for our company. And we’ve had departments do it for their teams. But it’s what do we believe in? In my company, work ethic, learning career growth. We want those three things all the time. humility, accountability, learning from mistakes.
And celebrating the successes, having fun, enjoying what you do. These are the most important things to work at our company. And if you don’t want those things, we’re not a great place to work, which is fine, too. That’s okay.
However, we want to be open and transparent about what we believe in. And I think one of the most fundamental things that gets lost in management is that people think, well, I went out for beers with my team. I’m approachable.
Just because you show up and have a couple drinks. Just because you go To the ballgame, just because you go to the company event, it doesn’t mean they view you as approachable. You are the leader, you need to approach them until they feel comfortable coming to you. You need to initiate it, you need to bring him into into a conference room to talk, you need to take them out one on one for lunch, you need to figure out how to work remotely or going outside or socially distancing, or whatever they fundamentally feel comfortable with and you feel comfortable with. But you need to initiate that, like a parent and a child, you can’t always wait for the child to come to you. Sometimes you need to take the bull by the horns and grab and have the conversations. And until your employees are doing that, you need to be the leader. Because that’s what you are the leader recruiting and re recruiting. You’ve got to continually realize if your best person left tomorrow, how long would it take for you to find a replacement? Even if you promoted from within and backfill that role? How long will it take you to find somebody, interviewing references, work with your human resources department, get the leads, get them acclimated. Now, virtual onboarding, how long is that going to take? Getting the team acclimated with them, you building rapport with them, yada, yada, yada. I’m not saying throw money blindly at your current staff. What I am saying is re recruit people re recruit people, why would you work harder to find somebody who hasn’t proven themselves to the organization, then you would to retain the people you have. So re recruiting is retention. And you should have a plan for how you’re retaining all of your people. Whether it’s one on ones, whether it’s acknowledging work, anniversaries, birthdays, kudos, a spotlight on it within the whole company or department. These are the things if you don’t have a plan for re recruiting and retention, you don’t have a plan.
And when they leave, you are going to be the person that’s paying the price on there.
So remember, education, empathy, empowerment. The three E’s remote working is not ideal for any organization. It might be right for some employees, or for the organization as a whole, where innovation and collaboration is done as a team. It’s not ideal. But using empowerment, empathy and education, you can create an opportunity for your team to continue to evolve, to work together and to feel a connection to their company and their department and you as their leader. Thank you very much for attending the session. If you have any questions. We’re on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,
Atlas sound at work. It’s been a pleasure to speak to you today. Again, I wish we were a person but this is the next best thing. Take care and stay healthy.
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