49. Stop Setting Goals + When Staff Demand More Pay

Episode 49: Stop Setting Goals + When Staff Demand More Pay (Summary)

If you want to accomplish something in the year ahead, I’ll tell you why goal setting ISN’T the way to get there. Plus, how to respond to staff complaints about pay, benefits, and what they could get elsewhere. Let’s get after it now, on Boss Better Now.

Links:
To learn more about Joe Mull, visit his website ​Joemull.com​.
To hear more from Joe Mull visit his YouTube channel​.
To learn how to invite Joe to speak at an event, visit ​Joemull.com/speaking​.
To check date availability or to get a quote for an event, email ​hello@joemull.com​.
To explore options for coaching from Alyssa Mullet, visit ​Joemull.com/coaching​.
For more information on the BossBetter Leadership Academy, visit Joemull.com/academy.
Email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.
To leave comments, ask questions, or to message us visit our Boss Better Now Podcast Facebook Page.
Connect with Joe on Instagram.
Connect with Joe on Twitter.
Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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Transcript – Episode 49: Stop Setting Goals + When Staff Demand More Pay

Joe:
If you want to accomplish something in the year ahead, I’ll tell you why goal setting isn’t the way to get there. Plus, how to respond to staff complaints about pay, benefits, and what they could get elsewhere. Let’s get after it now on Boss Better Now.

Alyssa:
You’re listening to Boss Better Now. Please welcome speaker, author, and nametag collector, Joe Mull.

Joe:
Happy New Year, BossHeroes. Welcome back! Welcome to the show. Welcome to the one-year anniversary of the launch of this podcast. We’ve been doing it for a year! We made it, Alyssa! We just turned one! High-five, my friend.

Alyssa:
Weeeeeee! That is exciting.

Joe:
How do you feel after one year of doing a show like this?

Alyssa:
I don’t know. Sometimes… sometimes I feel like I’m a decent human. Like that, I have things that are valuable to say. Like, whenever you tell me there’s like 6,000 people or something. I don’t…like, that boggles my brain hole. I don’t know. I think it helps me to not think about an audience. It’s just you and I talking.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
And there happens to be a microphone. But, I mean, it is truly like that this conversation is like the highlight of my month.

Joe:
Yes.

Alyssa:
Where we get to just sit down and talk and catch up and, you know, talk about important stuff too. And hopefully, based on feedback, going to go ahead and say, yeah, people are getting something from it. So high-five, us! Again!

Joe:
High-five!

Alyssa:
We’re doing it!

Joe:
I am with you. This is, um, top of the list for me of the most enjoyable things to come out of the past year.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Not just because it’s intellectually stimulating. Like, I, you know, to be able to bounce ideas off of a really smart person like yourself and kind of try to solve problems for people when they email us. It scratches my creative itch. Like, how do we make some things entertaining for people? But more than anything, just to hear that people like the show is such…and that they want to ask questions. Nearly every keynote I’ve done this year, I have had more than a dozen people come up afterward and say, ‘By the way, I love your podcast.’ And like, ‘We love the show!’ And I’m like, ‘How do you even know about the podcast?’ I mean, I’ve never spoken to your group before. Like, did you just find it, or did you see it in an email? And so, it’s humbling. It’s really humbling to have people come up…

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
and say, ‘You’re a part of my morning routine on Mondays when I drive to work. And, you know, we really appreciate the encouragement.’ That is like nothing else!

Alyssa:
For sure. So, thank you, listeners. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this opportunity! Thank you.

Joe:
Yes. And if you’re coming to our show for the first time, or are brand new to it, or you’re streaming an episode online, know that you can get these episodes nearly anywhere you would find podcasts. On Apple, on Audible, on Amazon, on Spotify, on Google, on Stitcher, on YouTube. We are everywhere! And so can just open up any of those apps, search for Boss Better Now, hit that subscribe button, and then all of the new episodes will be there waiting for you teed up and ready to go when they are released. We release our new episodes on Sunday. Sundays. Sunday mornings, they come out and you’ll always have us there in your pocket. I feel like I should explain the nametag collector reference at the beginning.

Alyssa:
Oh, I was, I was coming back to it cuz I wanted to know, is it like the physical name tag thing-a-ma jiggy? Like, you know, like, when I was in hotels, we always had to have a physical name tag.

Joe:
Right.

Alyssa:
And then, you know, when I went into hospitals and such like healthcare, you didn’t have that. You had a badge, right?

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
Um, and I wasn’t allowed to keep those, but I kept every single, um, business card.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
I have one for every position I’ve ever had.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
So, is that what you mean? Like what, what do you mean with nametag?

Joe:

So, you’re close.

Alyssa:
Ok.

Joe:
Every time you go to a conference, you get a name badge, right? Sometimes it’s on a lanyard that hangs around your neck and sometimes it’s a pin and sometimes a magnet, and sometimes they put those real colorful flags on there where you’re like, I’m a breakout speaker and I’m a Pisces and I’m an ophthalmologist. And you know, and you get like the big row of flags that are hanging down. So, I speak at a lot of conferences. I have for years. And every time I go to a conference, I get a nametag. And so, I would come home, and I would end up having this nametag in my bag. And so, a couple of years ago when I was redoing our office, I needed something interesting to hang on the wall. And I thought I had this kind of stash of these name tags. And I thought, why don’t I turn that into like a little display? So, I ordered – so there are people in the world who actually voluntarily, willingly run like 26.2 miles at a time it’s bananas, but there are these people.

Alyssa:
Baffles the brain.

Joe:
Right! These people who, who will show up and run for like four hours by choice. And then at the end, you get a medal. So, I… I ordered this marathon medal rack.

Alyssa:
Nice!

Joe:
And in the vein of being a Gen-Xer, my marathon rack is a Yoda quote. It says ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ And it’s got all these bars on it for medals. And so, I started hanging all of these conference badges on this thing and it’s…if you’ve ever seen me on Zoom from my actual office, it’s on the wall right behind me. And so now over the years, it’s grown. There’s something like probably a hundred different conference badges on there now. And it’s, it’s a really neat visual thing to look at. So that’s why it said name tag collector.

Alyssa:
That’s super cool, actually. I like that. I like that for you.

Joe:
I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I will post a picture of it over on my Instagram @JoeMull77. So, if anybody wants to check it out, and I’ll tweet it out too, when this episode comes out, we will put it out. So, if you want to see what it looks like @JoeMull77, either on Instagram or Twitter, you can take a look at it. You also get to see pictures of my dog.

Alyssa:
Cool. So exciting. Yay!

Joe:
Well, because it’s the new year, Alyssa, it’s the time when folks typically set their new year’s resolutions. They set some big goals for themself in the year ahead. Have you done that? Have you ever gone into the year with new year’s resolutions?

Alyssa:
I don’t do resolutions.

Joe:
Mm-hmm.

Alyssa:
I don’t do resolutions. I gave that up a while ago.

Joe:
Okay.

Alyssa:
But I do sit down and have goals for myself and my business. The way that I do my goals might be a little different than what other folks do.

Joe:
Okay.

Alyssa:
But I’ll share with what I do. So, I actually have it up on my office here. I have across the top. I don’t know if this is…I’m going to leave it there because I don’t think it’s appropriate all of the things for other viewing people. Anywho, across the top are each of my five values.

Joe:
Yes.

Alyssa:
The “who I am”. What represents me. Okay? Financial freedom, honesty, empathy, respect, and passion. Those are my five values that make me me. Then underneath each one of those values are the acts of authenticity. When I do X, whatever that is, I feel most authentic to that value. From those acts of authenticity, I then will write one or two goals for the year.

Joe:
Mm-hmm.

Alyssa:
So, it all stems from my values and acts of authenticity as to what I hope to accomplish. And/or, perhaps, maybe is a frequency of how many times or the experience of that act of authenticity I want to experience. So maybe it’s like from moving from once a week to twice a week of, you know, creating creative content or whatever it might be.

Joe:
Mm-hmm.

Alyssa:
For myself. New this year, for myself is giving myself the grace to say “F” the goals.

Joe:
Mm!

Alyssa:
You know, I had to learn this lesson the hard way, I guess. I don’t know. When we did remote school with my son, my one goal was actually listed out as, let it not be a priority.

Joe:
Hmm.

Alyssa:
Right? And so that. I think I’m learning that lesson. I continue to try to expand that in terms of, specifically for me, I was then taking these goals for myself, and then every week I was holding myself accountable for them. Right? I was writing down what I did or didn’t do to work towards that goal.

Joe:
Mm-hmm Hmm.

Alyssa:
Right? I have said no, no, no, no, no more, ma’am. No more. You are accountable to yourself. You can trust yourself. You do not need to report out on yourself to yourself every single week.

Joe:
Yes.

Alyssa:
Okay? So, I think what I’m replacing some of that accountability with is trust. And so, for a lot of folks, this is going to seem very, like, not tangible. There’s not a KPI, Alyssa, you can’t measure that. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Oh, well, let me just tell you, you can measure it. You can measure it in my mental freaking health. You can measure it. Um, and you can, you could go around and do a survey of my husband and my child. And they will absolutely tell you that I have improved myself in many ways, by making those intangible, seemingly intangible, things, tangible for myself in a very real way.

Joe:
Well, that’s progress! And I’m very proud of you! And what you just shared completely, perfectly syncs up and aligns with what I wanted to advocate for today. And as our listeners probably know, by now, we kind of have a rule that we don’t talk about the segments before the segments. Cause we want this to be organic and kind of extemporaneous. And I think that it’s just more authentic that way. And it’s more interesting that way.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
So, for you to say ‘new this year is “F” the goals’ is actually completely spot on with what the smartest people around behavior change tell us is important. So…

Alyssa:
Excellent! I knew I was smart. I just didn’t know how. You tell me.

Joe:
“I’m smart and people like me!” And you know this, I mean, you read Atomic Habits by James Clear, you understand some of the cycles and the psychology behind how people change. What we know about this is that when people set new year’s resolutions, they’re setting this big, hairy goal that for most people feels unattainable.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
And one of the reasons that people slide away from and ultimately give up their new year’s resolutions, often within as little as three weeks, is because the goal they’ve set for themselves is too big for us to maintain the discipline to get to. What I would argue, and well, not just me, but people who are smarter than me around this, but what I understand to be true, based on what I’ve read and internalized from people smarter than me, is that we do not want to set goals. We do want to set resolutions. What we want to do is identify new habits.

Alyssa:
Mm.

Joe:
New micro-actions that we can turn into routines. And this is important for a couple of reasons. So, let’s put this in context. You know how many people go into the new year and say, I’m going to lose 20 pounds or 40 pounds or five pounds or whatever it is for you, or I’m going to eat healthier? I…you know, these are big goals that we set for ourselves, and that feels quantitative, right? I’m going to lose 20 pounds. That feels like a very specific thing to work toward. And while the intention is good, the very next question is one that we often don’t take the time to answer, which is how are you going to do that? What are you going to do every day or three times a week to do that? And so let that be the “resolution”. When we set the resolution of, I’m going to lose 20 pounds, we don’t do the work to break it down into the small micro behaviors that get us there. Let’s not focus on the destination. If we want to have success, we have to define the journey. And so, instead of saying, I’m going to lose 20 pounds. What we have to say is what’s the routine? What’s the micro habit? And then for me, that’s going to be okay, I’m going to have a 7:00 AM workout three times a week. That’s the micro behavior. And what that does for us is it becomes a discipline that gives us a win every single day. Right? So, when we set the big goal, as I’m going to lose 20 pounds, we wake up every morning and we go, Nope, not there yet. Nope. Not there yet. Nope. Not there yet. Didn’t…didn’t do it. Didn’t do it. Didn’t do it. Didn’t do it. But when you make it a routine, then the goal becomes the discipline. The goal doesn’t become, I’m going to lose 20 pounds. The goal becomes, just do this one thing today that you said you were going to do. And so, what you get to do, and I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, what you get to do every single day when you go to bed is I did it! Go me! Pat myself on the back. High-five myself. I did what I said I was going to do. I have done the thing that gets me one step closer to this bigger thing that I aspire to. And here’s the even cooler thing. When you wake up the next day you go, oh, I did that yesterday. I had a good day and you’ve got the big Mo – momentum. You’ve got yourself inching ever closer to the goal. And so, what I want people to think about out is don’t set the goal. Don’t set the resolution. Don’t say I want to lose weight. I want to eat healthier. What’s the micro-routine that we need to define? What’s the habit? You’re nodding. You’re nodding enthusiastically, my friend.

Alyssa:
Cause I am like looking over here at my whole thing, you know, which again has the goal…has the not the goal…has the value. My values. Right? Okay. So let me give our audience a few examples of how exactly this methodology works. Okay? So, honesty, as one of my values of who I am, my next thing under there says as an act of authenticity to my honesty value is consent to solitude. Specifically, now then my, what I term my goal, but what is, what it truly is, is the micro habit. Okay? Is get up at 4:30 AM. Monday through Friday. Yeah. That is, that is my goal.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
That is the habit.

Joe:
That’s the routine. That’s the micro habit that if you apply discipline to it makes everything else happen.

Alyssa:
That’s right! It allows me to stay into the act of authenticity of consenting to solitude. Another one under the same thing, honesty, meditate daily. Okay? And then I have as the goal increase meditation sessions to 15 minutes.

Joe:
Okay.

Alyssa:
So again, a very…it’s very specific and it’s micro because right now they’re like five. Five minutes. So, I’m working my way up to the 15, right?

Joe:
Yep.

Alyssa:
This is…it’s like, these are so simplistic in terms of what we generally think of as what we’re supposed to do to achieve a goal.

Joe:
Mm-hmm.

Alyssa:
It’s the micro-actions that lead to authentically pursuing the grander scale of authenticity and where you want to be in life and who you want to be.

Joe:
But there’s another aspect to this, which I think is really interesting.

Alyssa:
Okay.

Joe:
Because what I’m sitting here thinking to myself is, oh my God, 4:30!? 5 days a week!? I’m only doing that if I lose a bet!

Alyssa:
That’s me.

Joe:
Right?

Alyssa:
Dude, that is just me.

Joe:
Right but that’s my point.

Alyssa:
But I’m not advocating that for you.

Joe:
Right!

Alyssa:
That’s me.

Joe:
Right. That’s going to be my point here in a second, because…right. If you told me, like, set a goal to get up at 4:30 in the morning, five days a week, like there better be a really expensive vacation on the end of that, you know? Like, I’m getting up at 4:30, cuz I got to get a flight to a really fancy place, you know, every day. But that’s the point, right?

Alyssa:
Yeah, yeah.

Joe:
Too often people try to initiate change by setting a goal or even in a more micro kind of way, defining a routine or a habit that doesn’t appeal to them. Right? They, they kind of put themselves through this slog, well, I want to lose weight and so I’m going to identify this five days a week, exercise habit, and I’m going to go into my basement every morning at 7:00 AM and I’m going to do P90X and they’re miserable because they don’t love that kind of vigorous, intense 60-minute exercise. And so, it really isn’t enough to just define the habit or the routine. It’s got to align with something that you enjoy. Right?

Alyssa:
Mm-hmm.

Joe:
So, for me, I stopped, a couple of years ago, I stopped worrying about the quality of the exercise. Right? I get in my own head about, well, if I’m not pushing myself, and if I’m not doing these kinds of fully comprehensive workouts, like some days needs to be core and some days needs to be leg day and some days need to be by a whole bunch of pushups. I was totally in my own head around that stuff and I wasn’t doing it. And I thought, do what you like. Yeah, go do what you like. Show up at 7:00 AM and do what you like. And if you do 22 straight days of resistance bands… who cares? That’s still going to benefit you. Right? And so, I’m sitting here thinking about, yeah, like of course I would not want to get up at 4:30 in the morning, five days a week. I mean, if I was being punished, okay. I would do it. But like you’re actually choosing to do that be because there is, I would bet… and you’ve been able to maintain it because I would bet there is something inherently enjoyable about it for you.

Alyssa:
<laugh> I can’t <laugh> yes. The answer to that is yes. <laugh> uh, my husband, oh also gets up at 4:30 in the morning. Okay. That is all I will expand. I, that is all I will say about that.

Joe:
Okay. And you get to spend quality time with him.

Alyssa:
That’s right. Okay. Well, it doesn’t solitude does not mean necessarily alone for the entire period of time. Okay.

Joe:
Okay. All right. Well, we’ll push past the awkward moment that we might have created with the inference here and say that’s when you guys like plate UNO. <laugh> right. That’s exactly it. <laugh> you know, and, and here’s the other thing about this that I think is important for folks to recognize. I’m a big fan of Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit because one of the things that he talks about in this book. So, if you’re thinking about this year, and there’s some changes you want to make and you want to actually create these routines and actually find them fulfilling, find them enjoyable. One of the things he talks about is understanding reward and cue cycles <laugh> that we get cued into bad habits. Like if, if you always reach for the sugary snack at three o’clock in the afternoon, and you’re trying to get away from the sugary snack at three o’clock in the afternoon, and you say, I’m going to eat a no sugar, a granola bar, or I’m going to eat peanuts. Well, great. That’s a good habit to identify. But if you don’t disrupt the routine that led you to the sugary reward that you were getting every afternoon — just swapping it out for the peanuts isn’t going to stick. You’ve actually got to disrupt the environment and the schedule around the snack in order for the peanuts to stick. So, he, he writes in the book about these reward cue routine cycles that I think are really important to think about when it comes to change

Alyssa:
Whatever your carrot is, whether it’s Reese’s bar or whatever it might be, dangle it and take it for yourself.

Joe:
I love it. Fantastic. Well, what do you think folks, if you’re, if you’re setting new year’s resolutions or goals, how are you breaking those down into micro habits? Are there specific smaller routines you’re building into your work at work, for example, as a boss, in order to, uh, continue to serve your teams more effectively, we would love to know about those. You can drop a comment in the box below this episode. If you’re watching it on YouTube or streaming it on our blog, joemull.com/blog, or at the podcast website, bossbetternowpodcast.com. And you can email us here at the show, bossbetternow@gmail.com. Tell us what you think. And now this conversation tees us up perfectly for the Camaraderie Question of the Week. Bosses build camaraderie on teams by making it easier for people to find things in common with each other. That’s why every week we give you a question, you can use one on one at meetings, in your Zoomy-Zoom, Zoom, Zooms to facilitate connection, and build camaraderie. So here it is Alyssa, what is something you’ll do less of this year? Because it will make you happier.

Alyssa:
I feel like this is so appropriate that you mentioned in the whole like goal or anti-goal thing, um, repeatedly about, you know, lots of people have this whole, you know, weigh less, you know, lose 20 pounds, blah, blah, blah. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. I am committed to not stepping on the scale. There is nothing that device is going to tell me about my worth in this world. Yeah. And I have given it up. I am no longer going to weigh myself because it makes me happier to not know that number.

Joe:
Giving you the clap here, giving you the applause. Wait, wait, wait, I actually have the, uh, I have the sound effect here somewhere. I think I can drop it on you. Here it goes. Yay.

Joe:
<laugh> that feels like an important boundary. I mean, so many of us get caught up in, I mean, I’m not, I, that is a central piece of, you know, some of the struggles that I have around food and weight and, and there’s some vanity in it, but there’s some health aspects to it and you’re right. Boy, that number and that scale and what it says and what it means. And it goes with the conversation we just had. Right. Cuz if the goal is health and we’re doing, we’re having the discipline to stick to the routines that we know matter, then the number doesn’t matter.

Alyssa:
That’s it, that’s it, the number doesn’t freaking matter. It doesn’t matter. It informs me of nothing of who I am and how I’m operating in the world. Yep.

Joe:
I was doing that for a while when I was, um, losing all the weight in quarantine in the, in the first part of the pandemic and I got down to, uh, you know, the weight that I’m kind of at now and was doing a lot of a better job. I just focused on the routine. I focused on the discipline to, to stick to the things I needed to do every day. I needed to log my food. I needed to eat from this category, not from this category. Uh, and I needed to keep moving and be active. And if I could check those boxes, then the number would take care of itself.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Good for you.

Alyssa:
Thanks. What about you? What are you going to not do or do less of this year?

Joe:
I don’t know that this is, we just had a conversation about how important it is to define specific routines and habits. And now I’m going to give you a vague answer. <laugh> um,

Joe:
I’m going to stop saying yes to, uh, to a couple different kinds of work projects and meetings, uh, because I’ve been just constantly stressed beyond my capacity for years. And it is, this has been a really slow struggle for me. Um, there are lots of things I like to say yes to because I have some values around helping, um, because I have some values around really trying to appreciate the opportunities that I get to do this kind of work. Um, but you reach a, a, a certain point in a business like mine, which is based on speaking and training where you just don’t have capacity to say yes to everything. And that means that you have to decide what are the right things to say yes to. And once you figure out what those are, it means you got to say no, and you’ve got to say no to some things that you might have said yes to a few years before.

Joe:
Hmm. And that is really hard for me. I struggle with that. Um, so I’m really trying to look at it as, and I’m, I’m very lucky. So, you know, we’ve dropped Jamie’s name on this podcast a couple of times, and she has really helped me with this where I’ve started to say yes to some things. And she’s been like, no, no, no, no, no, no. We said we weren’t going to say yes to this because you know, this organization can only afford, a quarter of what you normally get paid. And so, you want to say yes to this cuz you like the people and that’s important, but you’re going to have to go and find another gig to make up for the revenue that you were supposed to get from this one that you didn’t get. And now you’re going to have to spend twice as much time away from your kids. You’re going to miss twice as many of their baseball games, you’re going to do twice as much work for a quarter of the pay and that’s not live the life that you want to live and that you have earned for yourself, Joe. And I’m like, Jamie, your boss should give you a raise. That’s a really great point. <laugh>

Alyssa:
Yes. Let’s give that.

Joe:
Yes. So, I’m very lucky that I have people around me. Jamie included…my wife included… that are helping me get better at setting some of those boundaries.

Alyssa:
That’s awesome. The, the, I think regardless of who, of, if you’re an entrepreneur or not, or you’re in the middle of an organization learning to say no is applicable to all of us, we just have to find where we’ve been saying yes. And it’s been killing us slowly and maybe not so softly.

Joe:
Yes. Well said. And that’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:
Remember BossHeroes, you can get original videos, encouraging messages from me, subscriber-only access to our training and events, breaking news, and more by signing up for my twice-monthly BossBetter Now emails. They are free, and we never sell your info. This is just another way that we try to achieve our mission of filling the workplace with better bosses to sign up, visit bossbetternow.com. And that brings us to our last segment today – another Mail Time.

Joe:
I have an email here from Dan and, uh, Dan sent me like a seven-paragraph email. And so, Dan– very much appreciate all the context and backstory. I had to compartmentalize this a little bit, cuz it’s not a two-hour show. Uh, so I’m going to read you this kind of compartmentalized version of his email. Uh, and then we’ll chat about it. How would you go changing the narrative that staff are overworked and underpaid or that that big box store is hiring at $16 an hour — and I can go work there for less and get better healthcare benefits. How would you respond to staff trying to leverage the situation? If you don’t give me a raise, I’m going to be forced to go look for another job. It’s been really tough to find replacements on average. It used to take me two weeks and now it’s closer to three months.

Joe:
And finally, how would you respond to crazy or to entitlement? People asking for a 20% raise, but no additional work or telling us that our whole industry is underpaid or that the money we saved from not throwing a huge Christmas party last year should have come to staff as bonuses or that our 2021 raises should have been doubled. My goal here is to retain staff, show our benefits and strengths, and boost morale, and end the pot stirring all without going broke. Honestly, I feel less equipped to handle financial questions than any other staff issue. I’d like to hear the Boss Better version. By the way, our team gets high flex with time off, 37-hour workweeks, between three and eight weeks of PTO per year depending on service time, we had no layoffs during COVID and no wage decreases despite significant reduction in our revenue in 2020, our staff have more help than they did pre-pandemic. And we have increased appreciation efforts as our stay interview has indicated that this was needed. We also have a good culture and good owners to work for –no hot heads. My coworker and I have been enjoying your podcast for the last few months, sharing clips, and discussing them. We appreciate all the work you guys are doing. Thank you for that. Dan. Lots to deconstruct here, Alyssa, I have thoughts, but let’s start with you. 

Alyssa:
<laugh>. I have thoughts. He says, okay. So, I have some thoughts too. Um, I guess my, the one thing that stands out to me, um, from Dan is it says, he says, I feel less equipped to handle financial of questions. I feel you, man. I feel you, uh, knowledge is power. And so, in this case, and in all cases, what I’m going to tell you to do is do your own research. You know, you have people coming to you saying that they’re, they can get, you know, X, Y, Z from down the road, blah, blah, blah. And they can have this, and they can have that. And okay. Find out, call them up, call up that big box store, see what their packages are, see what they’re offering. Okay. You have the knowledge of as to what it is that you are offering, get the logistics down on paper, because then it doesn’t become this big, bad, scary thing.

Alyssa:
This thing that they’re trying to, uh, you know, bash you over the head with, or trying to, you know, uh, tease from you, right. It becomes what is known. It’s scary because you don’t know it mm-hmm <affirmative> so broaden your, your research base to include the things that you don’t know, um, about the other offers that are out there. And here’s what I will tell you when you say about, you know, the crazy or the entitlement ask people, asking for raises, but no additional work or duties. I, I don’t know how accurate it is to call it crazy or to call it entitlement anymore. Mm-hmm <affirmative> the world is a shifting Dan. Yes. And we’re either going to go with the flow or get, run the hell over. Yeah. Because the landscape is changing. And I can bet if I, I was a betting person that when you do your actual research, you will find that some of those claims of what they’re offering are true, that they are going to be better than the package that you offer currently.

Alyssa:
And that’s the reality that you now need to understand. It isn’t crazy. It isn’t entitlement. The work-scape is changing. And so, while you might think that it is insane for people to want more money and work less, that’s not the case. It is changing. We’ve done whole episodes about The Great Resignation. And this is why we have to get in the bus, in the car, to understand we’re on a moving freaking highway. Okay. Get on the bus, Dan <laugh> it’s changing. It is changing. And so, the first thing that you need to in order to get yourself on that bus, is that knowledge — make it truth for yourself. What is out there? What is, is available? The second thing or the second part of that is to also understand that they are “going to be better”. And I’ll use that in parentheses, whatever we want to say, employers out there in terms of wages, work hours, you know, benefits, all of that stuff.

Alyssa:
What do I always say at the end of the podcast? It is our tag — “Remember commitment comes from better bosses”. The way you get them to commit. The way that you get them to stay is not by every demand that they have. If it’s not budgetary possible, you, you then have to just be okay with the fact and understand some people are going to leave, but there are some people that are going to stay because you commit to understanding their needs and commit to being a better boss, working towards meeting those needs and that you commit to making that place that you’re currently in the best freaking workplace. It can possibly be given this set of parameters with this pay, this job, this environment you have control, you have the possibility to change that environment by you being a better boss and then inspiring other people to stay based on that alone.

Joe:
You know, the pay piece is a double-edged sword, right? Because it’s not everything just like you alluded to like we can have market pay or better, but if we’re lacking in some of their areas, including the, the quality of the supervisors that we report to people will leave, on the other hand, might be an outstanding boss. And it might be a whole lot of other things in place. But if there’s a perception that pay, ain’t cutting it, then all those other things fall by the wayside and people go across the street for an extra dollar and a half an hour. So, Alyssa, your response is very much in line with, with how I responded to this. Um, my first blush reaction to Dan’s email when I got it was that it felt like Dan wasn’t fully in tune with the moment that we’re in right now around pay, um, this kind of, you know, it, it, there’s some exasperation in terms of some of what Dan is sharing here in the email, you know, and, and describing some of their requests as crazy or as entitled.

Joe:
There’s some values judgments taking place here. And I’m reminded of a, a conversation that I had just a few weeks ago at an event with a group of oncologists who each of them makes $750,000 a year. And they could not believe that their MAs wanted more than $15 an hour. And they had a very kind of “how dare they” attitude about it. And I am not here to indict anyone who has put forth the time and effort that it takes to become an oncologist and rightfully earned $750,000 a year to cure cancer. That is not what I am saying, but there is a gap between so many levels of employment in the workplace. And when we refuse to part with our excess, for folks who aren’t having enough, cuz folks $15 an hour still, ain’t it. Okay. Still, it really isn’t a living wage in this country anymore. And so, there is a shift just like Alyssa is describing that what we have perceived as market pay or appropriate pay is being very quickly left behind. I think one of the questions that Dan and his team have to answer is if I can go get a job at Best Buy selling TVs for dollars more an hour. And if the work that I am asking people to do for my enterprise is more sophisticated than going over to Best Buy and selling TVs. What does that mean for how I should be paying people?

Joe:
I think Alyssa’s point is spot on. I think there’s some homework that needs to be done. I, there is a massive recalibration taking place right now around what generous pay is. And remember perception is reality. And so, my first plus reaction to the email, Dan was, if you have this much angst from this many people around pay, and you’re continually struggling to answer those questions pay, you probably need to do a market correction, or you are seeing some shifts in the market around pay in industries, outside of yours that are pulling talent away from you, that you are going to have to counteract. And I know that Dan may not be empowered to do that. This may be a conversation that he needs to loop ownership into or lead loop the partners into, but your folks are seeing this out in the marketplace. I mean, imagine telling your folks that they’re crazy for wanting this level of pay when it’s happening elsewhere.

Joe:
I mean, imagine that you are living in a house with an icebox and for the first time in your life, you just saw a refrigerator and then someone tells you, no, you’re nuts to want that you should be grateful that you have this I, this icebox and we’re going to continue living with an icebox. No, there’s no one doing it. Or, or imagine that in your job, you manage documents for a living. And for years, anytime you had to send a document, you had to feed one page at a time into a fax machine. And then somebody shows you email and everyone around you has it. And it makes everyone’s life easier at work tenfold better. And then you tell your people, listen, we can’t afford email. We have to stick with the fax machine. I mean, okay, you can embrace that strategy if you want, but all those people are going to leave because you’re asking them to work harder with less in an old world that has passed you by. So that’s my first blush reaction here, Dan, but there is a second part to this.

Joe:
I get, I, you know, from your email, I think it’s clear that you work in a healthcare environment. You know, like a lot of places, your insurance costs are going up, your expenses are going up. I know that the margins are small. If we want to be honest about where are people getting the, before I go into the other part of this, where are people getting the funds to pay their people, more owners, owners, and executive salaries, people having to trim around those edges to push those down to staff, or you have to create new revenue streams that didn’t exist before. That’s where it’s coming from. You’re not going to get it by cutting expenses, your expenses aren’t going to get smaller. Yeah. You’ve got to look around executive pay ownership, compensation, and new revenue streams. Now let me step away from the pay side for just a second, because there is another part of this.

Joe:
It does sound like you really do compete in a lot of areas, right? Like we said, pay isn’t everything. You described a number of things that tend to fall off of people’s radars sometimes. And so, if you are in a situation where you just cannot find more money to pay people, then what you might have to do is have an open conversation about what you can and can’t do and what you do. And don’t provide, you might have to pull people together and say, hey, listen, we would love to do a market correction for you. And it’s prob maybe it’s something we could do next year. But right now, this is where salaries are. We’ve… we’ve heard a lot from you about salaries and none of this is couched in any kind of how dare you, uh, or, or validating whether they’re right or wrong or should or should not ask for these things.

Joe:
It’s just, we hear you, however, here’s where we stand. And you may even have to show them like, if you can financially prove that your owners are cutting salary, that, that, that you’re cutting in every way that you possibly… So, we can, you can show them numbers that say, listen, these are the margins. This is, we just can’t do it. Which is why we do these other things like the shorter work week, like the flexible schedules, like the extended PTO based on service time. Um, and you know, I’ve heard some of you say that, hey, I can go sell TVs at best buy for $16 an hour. Yes, you can. But you’re working evenings, you’re working weekends. You’re not going to get this level of PTO. You’re going to pay for 45% of your healthcare benefits instead of 10% of your healthcare benefits. Let’s just compare apples to apples.

Joe:
And I want to help you be able to do that. So, you may have to pull people together. I know that there are a lot of organizations right now who are actually creating like little dashboards or report cards that show the total package of what employees get because they’re struggling to compete on pay. They’re saying yes. We struggle to compete on pay. So let me show you these 12 other things you get by working for us, that you don’t get elsewhere so that you can lump all of that together when shaping your perception of your work experience. And I want to say again, as the manager, Dan, you may not be able to drive this by yourself. If, if, if there is a gap that exists on your team, between pay and, and, and the team, you may not be able to be the middleman.

Joe:
You are going to have to involve ownership because if we create that separation owners are going to sit there. And, and again, they’re going to have that mentality of how dare they ask for this, but if they understand what’s happening out there and they do the research and they see what’s happening in the market, and they understand that, yeah, we’re going to lose talent. Yeah. The field has changed. We need to compete differently for talent. Then they’re going to reach into their own pockets and…and share some of those funds. Whereas they may not have done it before. There’s a kind of revolt brewing here across the workplace, and you are seeing it live in real-time across your people, Dan. And so that’s a conversation that has to happen with them.

Joe:
I told you I had thoughts. I love them all. Yeah. Uh, and, and the last thing we, we touched this and then moved away from it quickly, be very careful Dan, about branding their requests as unreasonable or worse as character flaws, right? That’s that, that is a dangerous territory to be. And that is a values judgment. That is not necessarily fair to impose on them because you don’t know what their financial circumstances are. You don’t know what other offers they’ve gotten. They’re not, you know, you could look around and say, all you, people are crazy and entitled. And then all of a sudden you have a completely inexperienced staff and not all positions filled. Yep. Right? Well, folks, I, I, I think this is a really interesting conversation and it’s, again, it’s a moment that we’re living in, and I would love to hear how many of you out there are responding to this moment where there is a shift toward more generous where maybe owners, executives, and leaders are struggling to figure out where to get it from.

Joe:
Are people embracing that where you work? Are they creating new revenue, streams? Are they cutting their own salaries? Um, I had, an executive tell me recently, she went to her five owners and said, I can fix your problem tomorrow. If I can get $20,000 from each of you, they make an, they each make an extraordinary amount of money. She said I can fix this tomorrow. If you will each give me $20,000 out of your salary. If we can move it as a budget line item into this other personnel bucket over here where I can compete around salary. And I do not have to tell you the pushback she got. Yeah. Uh, so keep in touch with us around this friend. Um, email the show bossbetternow@gmail.com. Drop a comment in the box below. We’d love to hear from you on this topic.

Joe:
That’s our show for this week. Friends, please take a moment right now on your device to subscribe to our show, whether you’re listening on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Audible, Amazon, Google, iHeartRadio, right there. Inside that app, you can hit the subscribe button and new episodes will be teed up and ready to go for you each time they are released. Thank you for listening and thank you for all that you do to take care of so many

Alyssa:
This show is sponsored by Joe Mull and Associates. Remember commitment comes from better bosses. Visit joemull.com today.

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