The Benefits of a People-First Culture

Hands-on Management 3.0 leadership workshops focus on tangible practices to help managers, team leaders, middle management, and C-level executives increase employee engagement and foster transformational change within their organizations.

Anthony Vaughan

In business, we have metrics for everything. ROI, CPM… KPIs for every aspect of our products, our marketing, and our sales. But when it comes to workplace culture, many organizations seem to leave analytics behind. 

Today we sit down with Anthony Vaughan, a prolific talent strategist, people leader, podcaster, and the founder of The E1B2 Collective, a company working to change how organizations view the employee experience.

We discuss how businesses can build a people-first working environment that not only makes employees happier but produces quantifiable results.

Learn more about The E1B2 Collective here: https://www.e1b2collective.com/

Key Points

  • Building Employee Experience into the fabric of your company
  • Why putting employees first is good for business
  • The importance of D&I

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Transcript

*Please note that the transcript has been automatically generated and proofread for mistakes. But remains in spoken English, and some syntax and grammar mistakes might remain.

Elisa Tuijnder: [00:00:00] In business, we have metrics for everything, ROI, CPM, KPIs for every aspect of our products, our marketing and our sales. But when it comes to workplace culture, many organizations seem to leave analytics behind. Our guest today is a prolific talent strategist, people leader, podcaster and the founder of a company working to change the way organizations view the employee experience.

We’ll discuss how businesses can build a people first working environment that not only makes employees happier, but produces quantifiable results.

Before we dive in, you are listening to The Happiness At Work Podcast by Management 3.0 where we are getting serious about happiness.[00:01:00]

I’m your host, Elisa Tuijnder, Happiness Enthusiast and Management 3.0 team member. In this podcast, we share insights from industry experts, influencers, and thought leaders about what it takes to be happy, motivated, and productive at work. So that loving your job becomes the norm and not the exception. We will be publishing every fortnight on Friday, so be sure to tune in and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Our guest today is Anthony Vaughn, a renowned talent strategist, brand developer, partnership director, podcaster and founder of the E1B2 collective. A company working to change the way organizations design, work, and implement the employee [00:02:00] experience. So thank you so much for joining us, Anthony, or maybe as just call you AJ.

Anthony Vaughan: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Yeah, let’s just go with AJ for a bit. Let’s

Elisa Tuijnder: stick with AJ. Fine. Great. Hey, so we’ll get into your many job titles and many hats and organizations in just a moment. But what we do here on the podcast is we always start with the same question, and that is what does happiness mean to you?

Anthony Vaughan: In what setting? I think there’s a couple different ways I could go with it. What setting do you feel? Hey,

Elisa Tuijnder: so we leave it quite broad. Some people try and answer it in a work setting, but other people find it easier to go in what is happiness in general?

Anthony Vaughan: I’ll give both.

So in, in a work setting, I think happiness for me is just making sure those that I lead as well as myself. Are in an environment that is contextual. And so what I mean by that is I personally, as a leader, I try to really understand every single person that I interact with, their communication styles, preferences how they wanna [00:03:00] work, how they want to interact with me cadences of meetings workflows, all that good stuff.

Like I get really detailed in trying to understand how they want to experience work. And how they wanna experience the career mapping goals or how they want to experience the time and the output that they actually do. And so I’d just like to curate that entire experience cause I think that will give them happiness.

And then for myself I look for that as well from a work perspective. And then on the personal side, happiness right now is to think really just finding a groove of a balance of good communication between mothers, family members, partners, things of that nature. Just trying to find a really good pattern that we all can have a really good, healthy relationship in.

So that’s happiness personally right now.

Elisa Tuijnder: Awesome. I hope you got that. Hey, so as we mentioned, you wear many different hats and already in the intro, that was very clear. So what do you consider your, what do you [00:04:00] consider your main area of expertise, concentration? Are you that HR leader, a brand developer, partnership manager, or do you do all of the then things at the same time actually?

Or is there actually a difference between all of those, or they’re just

Anthony Vaughan: nuances? Yeah, so I do a lot, so I have a lot of time doing partnerships and structuring those partnerships that can drive sales, that can drive mergers, acquisitions integrations. I am a thought leader in the space. I am a founder in the space.

I am a product guy in the space, so I have a lot of, I’m a strategist in this space as it pertains to people, strategy and operations, and putting teams together. And so I think, just with the multiple projects that I always have going on at one time, it gives me an ebb and flow of different responsibilities.

So some days I’m a, I’m an advisor, some days I’m a founder. Some days I’m internal working for, something from my day-to-day perspective on partnerships or sales. Some days when trying to recreate product. [00:05:00] And other days I’m just having one-on-one meetings and just trying to do the more traditional employee experience thing.

So it just really depends on what I’m working on.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. Hey, so what’s often the case with people who do so many different things? And you already said it, you’re a thought leader. Like there is, I’m guessing this overarching goal and professional vision or belief that kind of guides all of these different parts of it.

And for you that is within employee experience, but maybe a certain type of employee experience. Can you maybe go into that a little bit

Anthony Vaughan: deeper? Yeah, everything circles around putting employees first. That’s that’s literally the core. Yeah. Everything circles around putting employees first, contextualizing the experience, and then building tools, technology and resources that can support that overall arching goal.

Cause I think when people hear putting employees first you think of, okay, we’ll have a thoughtful 1 0 1. We’ll do a pulse meeting, we’ll do. So some really high level light things. We’ll talk about their careers, their passions, things of that nature. But from my perspective, I like to try to build technologies, tools, [00:06:00] resources strategies that can be baked into the core fabrics of a company where it’s not a nice to have, it’s not something you have to intentionally think about.

It’s literally baked into the fabrics of what you do and you’re held accountable to it as a leader or the comp it’s what stands the company upright. So putting employees first that centralized focus of everything that I do.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah that’s very aligned with what we do at Management 3.0 where, we think that is just the essence of everything and it starts with that culture and it’s not some kind of afterthought or add-on that, some CEO can go Hey, HR would be nice putting some employees first, no, that comes from, this should be first nature.

Hey, so you’ve obviously read it and spoken and worked extensively in the realm of employee experience and workplace culture. How did you get interested in, into this in the first place and why do you feel this is such a vital part that you put your whole weight behind it and do all these different things in that realm?

Anthony Vaughan: Yeah, I’ll keep that one simple, but it’s a long story. [00:07:00] I So I, I started a company at 19 and we quickly grew to 200 full-time employees. Awesome. And as you can imagine, that’s really scary, really exciting. Being 19, 20, 21 the financial perks that come with that are obviously pretty exciting.

The professional recognition and the bragging rights to a certain degree, if you wanna look at it that way, are pretty exciting as well. Not a lot of. My friends at that time were doing anything close to that. But what they didn’t understand the scary variables of that work the lonely variables of that work.

The unknown variables of that work were the leadership and people opps part, frankly, actually just got off a call with a partner that were positioning our product to try to get in front of startups and small businesses. And that was something I was sharing with her is that, I want to be thoughtful about how we’re positioning this product because a lot of startup founders like myself at that time, [00:08:00] are not taking enough time to learn and develop themselves around leadership and people operations and the strategies that hold those things upright.

Yeah. So they’re not taking their time to truly understand how to go about one-on-ones internal communications, team design. Creating performance and management processes that actually are equitable, that, that drive motivations like, Founders are not thinking about this. Leaders, they’re thinking about the product, right?

Yeah. And then the beginning of that process, so you figure, let’s call it zero employees to 500, that comes as an afterthought. And so to answer the question directly. As we were, getting towards 300 employees going into our third year, I made a very crucial mistake and did not have a one-on-one conversation with the most important person of inside the company that was connected to Under Armor, who were our product and service integration partners.

And frankly, we were getting 95% of our revenue from Under Armor. And [00:09:00] after about seven tries of that individual, trying to have a one-on-one with myself and seven times me denying that one-on-one and chasing girls or going to the bar whatever I did at the time, he said I’m leaving the company.

And I said, whatever, I don’t care. And then eventually it dawned on me that I do care, and that not only at a humanistic level that I care, it actually affected the business. It went to zero. Under Armor left, looked at it as a red flag, and every single partner and employee didn’t appreciate the way that I handled that situation.

And that was the linchpin. So that’s how I got into this space that taught me you could never make that mistake again. You have to focus all of your energy on writing that wrong. And so that was kinda the beginning of this overall journey that I’m on today.

Elisa Tuijnder: That’s amazing. And thank you so much for sharing that personal story.

Yeah. And, thanks for sharing a mistake. Because I think that’s where we learn. Often most hundred hundred percent from that. Hey. So is that then when you you founded E1B2, which is, which you describe as Human [00:10:00] first collective of brands and practitioners, and that was in 2019.

So can you tell us a little bit about what E1B2 means, what this stands for, and did that come out of that mission of helping people? Don’t make the mistakes that you

Anthony Vaughan: just made. Yeah, it was connected to that, but that was later. Yeah. But so after that company, I went on to do some cool things.

I went in houses ahead of people. I studied very intensely, 45 minutes a day, seven days a week around all this work. And so eventually throughout starting another business, going internal as the head of people, I eventually found myself having a lot of issues with, I think, the way that traditional HR teams and leaders were approaching the word of work.

And as I was a head of people internally I kept seeing little gaps. So I would see a gap in the people analytics and like big data and predictive analytics and how to put teams together and how to recruit better. I kept seeing little gaps there. I kept seeing gaps in D&I kept seeing gaps in.

The [00:11:00] recruiting communications and employer branding. I kept seeing gaps in internal comms. I kept seeing gaps in compensation and I kept seeing all these little gaps. And so I said to myself, I don’t know where I was, but I was listening to a podcast, driving somewhere. I’ll never forget it, and there was a podcast by Gary Vanderchuck, who I think we all know at this point.

Everyone knows him for his motivational content. But what people don’t know is he actually runs a company called Vayner X. It’s a holding company, so he’s building the biggest communications holding company in the sector. And I said to myself why is there not a holding company for the people sector?

Because if we all don’t put our business caps on for just a moment, there are so many different verticals. Of people, right? You have on the product and services side, you have internal comms, you have D&I, you have performance management systems, you have HRS systems, recruiting systems. Yeah. Mean, there’s so many I could just keep going on and on.

Yeah. Yeah. And so I said to myself I wanna build out something in [00:12:00] every single sector. And I started to do that. And so the E1B2 collective employees first, business second, that’s what that stands for. Awesome. That was my goal when I set out. And my goal was to build a company in every single one of those sectors and do that in a partnership community structure.

Every time I start a new company, I find partners that are doing that work well. I bring a new twist to how to do it better, and I go from an idea to usually 12, to 15 to 50 employees and partners pretty quickly by taking a partnership’s approach and bringing a slight little twist that I can bring to what they’re already doing well, or sometimes I start from scratch, i e beyond brand and some other projects.

That’s a nice little roundabout for you. Yeah, it

Elisa Tuijnder: is. Hey, so up till now we’ve been talking a bunch about employee experience and communication and all these things. And why for you, for example, it was incredibly [00:13:00] important how your whole company fell apart after that AJ, but in your own words, do you wanna share with our listeners what, for you, the tangible benefits are in adhering to a people first culture and focusing on employee happiness and wellbeing.

Anthony Vaughan: Yeah, it grows a bigger business objectively.

Elisa Tuijnder: It’s not just the altruism,

Anthony Vaughan: isn’t it? It’s yeah. It grows. I tell people all the time, let’s assume that you don’t care because some people don’t. And that’s what I’ve realized. Like some people just love their husband or just love their kids or just love their spouse or just love their family.

Like some people don’t love other people. And I know that sounds crazy, but I don’t wanna say that’s okay. Cause I don’t believe at a human being level that’s okay, but in a business, don’t care about that. If you, that is not what drives you. Then do it because it literally grows a business.

Understand that putting employees first let me give you a practical example. Putting employee first at the beginning of recreating your recruiting structure and systems is a good idea because you’ll find better [00:14:00] talent. Meaning if you go to every single employee that you’ve already recruited and say, how could we have recruited and communicated and supported you better during that hiring process?

An onboarding process, now you take all that data and you actually go back to your engineers and your teams that have the technology that they’ve built. You go back to your CHRO and your leaders and you really sit down and ask yourself, okay, how can we take this data, this these insights that are completely from the employees around the people that we just got done hiring, and they’re giving us this insight of how we could do things better?

How can we bake that into how we’re gonna recreate our recruiting process? That makes a lot of sense because they’re literally gonna tell you, Hey, here’s how I probably would’ve been more excited joining the team. Here’s how you could have improved the onboarding process. Here’s how you could have made sure that I was more aware of what the actual company was about, and I guarantee the productivity numbers over that 90 day, 120 day window, yeah, probably would’ve went up.

Which means alignment of teams would’ve, would have went up, [00:15:00] which means you probably would’ve done a lot more work and had a lot more productivity, which is all connected to sales. And so that’s a small example, but that’s how I think about it. Let’s put employees at the center of our strategy first.

Like just get the employees data first. And then get the suits and the ties and the executives and the subject matter experts involved and have them take that data and couple that with their subject matter expertise. Yeah.

Elisa Tuijnder: And that’s so important to get into people’s heads. And I sometimes hear, especially now with oh, recession coming.

We’ve gotta go back to the bottom line and get rid of all of this people first thing. And I’m like, yeah, but the bottom line is the people first thing. Cuz you’re gonna yeah. You’re gonna, you’re gonna lose out otherwise, do you think does the biggest challenge for companies to building these positive work environments and having these people first environments, is sometimes their CEOs or the people that are the gatekeepers of this, or do you see any other big challenges [00:16:00] to creating these environments?

Anthony Vaughan: The big challenges is the timeline and timing. The big challenge is, and I just dealt with it recently, the big challenge is if a company of any size. Is going through a merger, going through an acquisition, doing an org reschuffle new capital. It always seems like things that are on the more business or product or service side of the business or the marketing side of the business, it usually trumps the people side.

And so that’s always the biggest, I think, hurdle that we all come across is that you have to find a company that has not been with a lot of other things. Psychology of a leader that understands his work and frankly a leader at a decision making level that has been burned, that has actually felt what it feels like to not put employees first or not to seriously in a previous company that they founded, a previous company they were executive in whatever it’s going to be.

And that’s a lot [00:17:00] of boxes to check and that’s where I think a lot of HR people and a lot of people in this space in general, miss the mark, they, miss the mark on not understanding how to connect it to pure business results. They miss the mark on not being, not keeping a pulse on what matters to the company right now.

If a company right now, for example, is going through an acquisition. Then maybe you tailoring your conversations around team alignment and the communications that can support new team members combining maybe that you’re in to get them to realize that people is a focus, right?

You gotta you gotta tailor what you’re trying to pitch or what you’re trying to roll out from a people perspective to what matters to those that are actually driving the business decisions, if that makes sense. Yeah, absolutely.

Elisa Tuijnder: Follow up on that. Cause you, you already said, you’re pure tying it into your pure business results.

What I hear a lot is that people find it really intangible sometimes, [00:18:00] and, how can you almost quantify some of these ROI by doing it? Do you want, do you have any good examples there as, I’d love to, I’d love to hit people sometimes with them.

Anthony Vaughan: Yeah. The, I think the biggest quant the I think the biggest ROIs that I like to look at, or the KPIs or the OKRs, whatever term you wanna throw.

Yeah. Yeah. I look at speed in which we’re able to get teams aligned and move faster, and I connect that to like getting a product out, or I connect that to rolling out a new marketing initiative or I connect that to making a tweak that will drive more alignment between a sales team and a marketing team and connect that to an increase of sales overall.

Like I always connect. Whether it’s team alignment, having more authentic communication during recruiting, driving more strategic initiatives from internal comms. I always connected to is this allowing our product, our marketing, our sales. The infrastructure that we believe the company is built is standing on.[00:19:00]

Does that connect to making those things better and bigger and larger and more productive? Cuz that’s what’s gonna get the attention of a CEO. That’s what’s gonna get the attention of those C-suite executives. And so again, if you can and really honestly, like for example with Beyond brand, what we essentially do is we generate more authentic conversations.

Early in the hiring process, we give an applicant really detailed information like, Hey, this team, you’re about to join the leader of their team. This is how they make decisions. Here are the pet peeves. They have X, Y, and z. I don’t do that for my health. I do that because when that person comes in, They actually know, hey, the leader’s looking for new ideas in these categories.

Because we tell them that early in the hiring process. So the second they join the company and they’re just start rattling off new ideas the team leader’s oh my gosh, this is amazing. I can hit my KPIs os I can hit the goals here. I can [00:20:00] hit our three month sprint goals.

And they’re like, so dumbfound. They’re like, how did this happen? It’s because we pushed all the authentic communications of what you needed. Early in the process. So again, now you got your goals financially, but it’s all connected back to the recruiting and the communications and everything in the

Elisa Tuijnder: beginning.

Yeah. And it also makes it better on the person looking for a new job. It’s always a two-way conversation. It’s, it’s they also get to assess whether that would be a team that they would want to join and whether that fits their skillset and their culture.

Anthony Vaughan: Can I be very frank with you?

Yeah. Beyond brand is the, Is a company that has had success, but it should be 10, 15 times larger than it is. And I bring that up, is because the way you just got it that fast, I’ve had not so many people get it that fast, right? And it’s because, and I don’t know why actually I was gonna bs.

A reason why, I don’t know why. I’ve always said to my partners, like [00:21:00] Beyond Brands should be a five, 10, 15 million company. In my objective opinion, I believe every single company. And the recruiting team should bake in some sort of version or variation of what we’re doing with Beyond brand. It just makes business sense to be fully transparent in the beginning around little micro areas of the work so that like your point, applicant can say, no, I’m not gonna fit well with that decision making framework.

That was exactly the company and the style that I had previous that I, the reason why I left not gonna work for me. Yeah. And you what? That rather than them being there for six months. So I don’t know.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, I think that’s a culture problem, isn’t it? That’s also corporate America culture problem.

I’m guessing. I think we see that le like I know the, we see that here as well. Definitely that kind of feeling of, oh, we’re not even gonna disclose the kind of rate of pay. And, but I think, why put in all the effort and why put in all the time, you’re also not gonna get the best candidates, right?

If you’re not gonna be transparent about it. It’s a win-win situation. It’s not just [00:22:00] for them,

Anthony Vaughan: but if you know someone that really believes what you just said. I’m looking for a, I’m looking for a healthy debate that I can do on my podcast. I’m looking to bring someone that really believes what I’m saying is not the best way to go about it, or not the most thoughtful way, because I just wanna hear someone I wanna hear.

It’s you should see me in sales meetings when like someone’s like trying to deny something I’m trying to put in front of them, and their reasoning is just so I’m like, Anyway, you’re gonna have me start like blacking out and saying crazy. I just don’t did it. Like

Elisa Tuijnder: a lot of the times these things are just because that’s how they’ve been done and it’s yeah.

And people can’t actually come up with the arguments and they just go, they end up getting flustered and be like, Hey, that’s just the way it is. That’s just the way it’s supposed to go. Yeah. And challenging the status quo is what we are all about and that we want to do as well. Yeah.[00:23:00]

Sara Ramos: I hope you’re enjoying this podcast episode. You wish you could also have conversations with inspiring, supportive, and fun leaders from all over the world. You can. In the Management 3.0 membership community, we have over 300 leaders for more than 50 countries willing to share their experience. Go to management30.com/community and apply now.

If you mention the Happiness At Work podcast, in your application, you will get 10% off your first yearly membership. Immerse Yourself, embrace diversity and be brave in the Management 3.0 membership community. You will find the accountability, support, and tools to help you become the leader you want to be.

Go to management30.com/community and apply now. Now back to the conversation.

Elisa Tuijnder: So you also work at Top Employers [00:24:00] Institute? Yeah. Which also caught my eye when, doing some research here for the podcast. We know for those who don’t know, which is a, it’s a global organization, which basically helps organizations assess and improve their workplace environments. And you give out certificates and you give, you mark people’s, their outstanding performance, et cetera.

So do you wanna tell us a little bit more of what you do there? Okay. And, Whether you like it. Yeah. I have the value is top employers. Yeah. Yeah.

Anthony Vaughan: Oh, that’s actually good cause that makes a lot of sense cuz you’re global. Yeah. A lot of here in the States where we’re actually trying to work on that from a PR perspective, trying to get more and more people in the States aware.

So in a nutshell, what Top Employers does is to your point, so we analyze the HR best practices that are occurring or not occurring inside of a company. So right there from the get go, It separates, in my personal opinion, us and what we’re doing from anyone else in the market that I believe is trying to provide a stamp of approval to a company that says we’re the [00:25:00] best place to work.

We’re the top employer. A lot of companies, as you know from an employer branding perspective, they’re trying to recruit talent. They’re trying to say, Hey, come to my company. This is a great company to work. The issue is the best practices, the HR practices that exist at those companies Are actually not one of the greatest be places to work.

It’s actually not that good there and it’s because they’re not being challenged. They’re not being pushed. And so what Top Employers does very well is they have about 250 questions and an analyzing process where they may go into talent acquisition and they may say, Hey, show us your HR systems. Show us your ETS system.

Show us. Show us the best practices that you follow as it pertains to hiring communications. Show us that it’s equitable. Show us that it’s fair. Show us that it’s thorough. Show us your career mapping principles. Like literally walk us through the experience that an employee is currently for an applicant would be feeling.

And then once they go through that, they get an [00:26:00] overall score 60, 70, 80%, and then that gives them that seal. And then on top of it, there’s a benchmarking process where they can analyze the gap. So if they got an 80%, okay, where’s a 20%? Where are the things you’re not doing so well? And we provide those thoughtful tips and nuances and advice from that perspective.

And then on top of all of that, we’re thinking about rolling out an initiative where we’re trying to help provide like visual profiles and more deep dive explanations for the applicants coming in via video, where the leaders at the company can really articulate some of the core principles of those categories and those questions and really share the impact of being a part of top employees in the seal. And I love the work there. I’m really passionate about it. It fits right there within that employee’s first methodology because I believe if you really care about employees, then don’t show us as a top employee. Show the applicants, show the employees, show the world that you [00:27:00] actually have the HR best practices in-house and stand on what you’re saying to the world that you were doing.

If you really are. A great place to work or a top employer stand on it, show us that, believe in that, show the applicants that and be able to analyze those gaps and improve yourself and be excited for that development and growth. So I love the work there. And that’s like a overarching breakdown of what it does.

Yeah.

Elisa Tuijnder: Do you also speak to current employees and people who went through the process but were either not successful or, I dunno, I just always wonder because. With these processes, whether like actual, a lot of employees actually get consulted as well, or is this just an analysis of, the processes that should in theory then bring these results, but maybe sometimes something goes wrong along

Anthony Vaughan: the lines?

Yeah, there are times where we work with clients and they don’t qualify. It’s because they don’t have certain things in house and those conversations are difficult to have, but I think. We’ve had a lot of clients come back to [00:28:00] us and say, we, we may have been a little bit defensive early throughout that process, and we were a little disappointed that we weren’t able to get the seal but thank you.

Because like going through that process, we actually analyzed and looked at our gaps and we took your advice and we doubled down on D&I I, we doubled down on internal comms. We doubled down on our recruiting best practices, and we made some adjustments and tweaks and that adjustment and tweak helped us.

You know what I mean? So we have had that happen, but what we’re excited about is companies leaders on those teams usually couple weeks after, are a little bit more appreciative of the process, even if they didn’t get the seal because it identified gaps that they didn’t know exist. Yeah, it

Elisa Tuijnder: shouldn’t just be a certification process, right?

It shouldn’t be just ticking boxes. It should be for them as well too. Reevaluate and think, right?

Anthony Vaughan: A hundred percent. And then, like I said, that’s the differentiator I think that personally, drove me to wanna be there is because it’s [00:29:00] actually analyzing, like we’re actually saying, Hey, we gotta see this.

Shut. Yeah. Walk us through how you’re approaching it and right in the middle of that conversation of someone’s not really thoughtful about and D&I strategy. Our team members, our HR analyzers, they’re gonna know that, like they’re gonna cuz that’s what they do all day. Like they’re gonna know if you’ve actually thoughtfully put the work in to have a great D&I strategy and how that shows up.

Elisa Tuijnder: So yeah, absolutely. Hey, I wondered so one of the things I always like to ask fellow podcasters people who are, I get to meet often a lot of podcasters on the podcast, and I always like to ask them whether are, doing this, talking to me, talking to other people all the time on a podcast, whether that kind of has changed your view, whether on workplace happiness, whether you’ve learned much, whether, yeah, just.

Do you enjoy it? Does it get your brain going? It does massively for me. So always like to,

Anthony Vaughan: Yeah. No, I learn a lot. I develop a [00:30:00] lot of new relationships. I learn I learn what other folks are doing. For example, I interviewed someone from American Express only internal comms slash they work on the, they leave the internal com slash D&I team.

And I realized and really respected and learned that American Express is one of the only companies that I’ve come across so far that it has 45, 50 people on a D&I team exclusively. Wow. Yeah. I’ve never heard of I’ve never heard of that robust of a team focusing on D&I missions exclusively.

And so being on that call or being in that conversation on that podcast and being able to unpack what they’re doing within that team the systems, the technology, the tools, the outcomes that are occurring within that team. That was intriguing for me. And I’ve done like 750 episodes, so I’ve learned so much.

That’s Yeah.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. That sounds great. I just love, I get to speak to all these people from across the world about what they’re, what the cool stuff is that they’re doing. Yeah. And I get to learn from that and share that [00:31:00] with our listeners, so it’s fantastic. So here on the podcast, we are super big fans of tangible practices.

That’s in the DNA of management 3.0 as well. Things that people can start implementing as soon as they’ve heard this podcast, not something super complicated or something that they have to have massive senior buy-in from, and I know we’ve talked about a few things, but could you offer us any tangible, practical examples, tips, I dunno, anything in that realm for, people embracing or wanting to embrace that people first philosophy.

Anthony Vaughan: A couple things. I’ll keep it on like the management side of things. Number one, mandate. Don’t ask mandate. I’m being very serious when I say that word. Big upper case letters mandate. That every single manager of people, small manager of six, manager of five, manager of eight they need to not only know up here, but have it in an HRS system.

Their freaking phone notes somewhere they need to understand. These [00:32:00] three things, the workflow slash communication styles of every single team member they have on their team, and they need to adjust to that reality, the career mapping goals and skill development goals that they have of that individual and figure out in detail a way to support them.

Go to HR, go to other executives, help them curate an IDP plan, an individual development plan. And an individual development plan should not be negative, it should be proactive. I’m tired of seeing companies that have a reactive approach, cuz typically when the IDP is rolled out, someone’s about to get fired.

It’s just like the last, it’s the last savior. Let’s just, no, it needs to be completely reversed. You need to, it needs to be a curated, thoughtful, contextual IDP plan, individual development plan for those that can’t spell it out or think about it. But that needs to be like, Proactive, thoughtfully baked out co-created with that individual that highlights everything that they’re trying to do and [00:33:00] where they’re trying to go and who they want to be within the company, long-term, short-term, mid-term and the skills that connect to that.

And then I would probably say the last thing would be, remember that D&I , I’m absolutely gonna give you this tip. This is something I’m thinking about. What’s happening right now is most companies realize that de and I on the recruiting side is going to be important. Like we need recruited to have diverse talent.

Like I think that’s like pretty much

Elisa Tuijnder: a reality. Hopefully getting to a standard. Yeah.

Anthony Vaughan: But realize that D&I needs to be baked into every piece of the business. So to give you one very simple tip, if how D&I can be baked into. Recruiting, for example, could be some of the things that we talked about today.

Being very thoughtful around being very honest and transparent and inclusive during the communication process in the [00:34:00] recruiting stage. So recruiters out there, listening managers that are gonna be a part of the hiring process, listening after that screen call. So that round one interview.

Be as detailed and consistent and clear as you can around how you make decisions, your pet peeves and fortify really crucial small wins that these individuals can capture if they were to be hired and be very detailed. Be very detailed, and allow them to exit themselves with that process because it’s not a good fit.

Or allow them to ask better questions so they can lean in. Push aside the more standard processes involved in the hiring process. Push that to round two, and I know it’s a little bit backwards, but be more thoughtful and more detailed. Round one cuz it’s going to, it’s gonna flush out those that are not a good fit and it’s going to attract those that are good fit.

And then you could do more of the traditional checking the boxes. So check the boxes and screen check the boxes in [00:35:00] Round two. Get really deep in round one. Yeah.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. I like that. I really like that. And that is how we try and do, we’re recruiting at the moment, at Management 3.0 and that’s really how we’re trying to do this as well.

So first round one is basically let’s get to know each other, but not just, we get to know them, right? They get to know us. Yeah. And just how we work and how we, what we do, we are as individuals, so super important. Hey AJ. So if anybody wants now listen to your podcast or wants to get in contact with you with any of the things that you do, how can they find you?

Anthony Vaughan: Probably LinkedIn is the best place. And then email directly. You can probably email me. Let’s do, I’ve got so many. Let’s do Anthony Vaughn. So Vaughn, v a u g h a n 2015@gmail.com. That’s on my personal email. That’s probably the best. And then based off what you’re looking to do or trying to collaborate around or just wanna talk, I can send you in each direction of what I’m working on.

Perfect. [00:36:00]

Elisa Tuijnder: All right. Great. Thank you so much for this conversation. We’ve been through all of the all these different sides of employee engagement, but I love how you incorporate that all in one. Need package that is you, AJ. Thousand percent, which is awesome. So thanks again, and yeah.

Let’s see, what are our paths cross again

in the

Anthony Vaughan: future? Oh, a thousand percent. Thank you so much. All right. Awesome.

Elisa Tuijnder: You’ve been listening to The Happiness At Work podcast by Management 3.0 where we are getting serious about happiness. Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and if you enjoy our shows, don’t be shy. Write us a review. Share the happiness with your colleagues, family or friends. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn under Management [00:37:00] 3.0.


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