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Developing the Organization: Cultivating and Celebrating Talent

Employee Management
July 27, 2023

About the Webinar

Once employees have contributed their invaluable talent, skills, and time to an organization, a crucial opportunity arises for employers to craft exceptional employee experiences that embody their company culture while driving remarkable business outcomes. In this upcoming week, we will delve into the strategic methods through which organizations can establish impactful incentives, foster a robust company culture, and ultimately attain enduring success.

What You Will Learn:

  • Create meaningful incentives to motivate employees
  • Develop and maintain a strong company culture
  • Support people initiatives to drive exceptional business outcomes

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About your Hosts


Beatrice Runyan


As Associate Vice President of Client Development, Beatrice brings over 25 years of HR experience and over 15 years of payroll experience. She has served in multiple industries and has facilitated HR content to multiple audiences across the United States. Beatrice holds an MBA, as well as a PHR, and SHRM-SCP certifications. A resident of North Carolina, Beatrice is a first generation American with dual citizenship in Switzerland.

VHR Coffee Talk Webinar Developing the Organization: Cultivating and Celebrating Talent

July 27, 2023

Abraham Gonzales-Pollick: All right. Hello. Good morning or afternoon. Everyone wherever you are. My name is Abraham and I’ll be moderating today’s coffee talk. We are so excited to wrap up this month’s session with developing the organization. Specifically cultivating and celebrating talent. A couple weeks ago, we had our first session on the topic.

Which was presented by our Associate Vice President Beatrice Runyan and we have posted that presentation on our venture. com website where you can go and review the webinar and others that we’ve posted. Today’s topic is an extension of the first conversation and, we are so excited to invite Beatrice Runyon back to take us through the conversation.

Beatrice Runyan comes to us today with over 25 years experience in HR. She has led teams across the U. S. She also is a panelist on multiple HR topics for many organizations and different industries. We are so excited to have Bea talk to us today about cultivating and celebrating talent.

At the end of the presentation, we’ll have a few minutes for Q& A if anyone has a question. And at the end of the presentation, we will be sending out the a link to the presentation. Beatrice, Welcome.

Beatrice Runyan: Great, thanks, Abraham. I appreciate that. Good morning. Good afternoon and welcome. I’m looking forward to spending the next 15, 20 minutes together as we go through this really exciting topic.

So, what we’re going to talk about today is, you know, if you look at today’s competitive business environment, organizations really need to be able to not only attract and develop, but also retain their top talent in order to be successful. So this presentation, we’re going to talk a little about the importance of cultivating and celebrating talent within your organization and also really creating some meaningful, impactful incentives for your organization.

So the first thing we’re going to jump into is impactful incentives. So when. You looked at what employees want, and this was from Catherine Wragg from Leading with Heart. They looked at what are the top 5 qualities that employees look for in an empathetic senior leader and they want them to be open and transparent.

They want them to be fair. They want to make sure that they follow through on the actions that they say they’re going to do. They also want to make sure that they encourage others to share their opinions. They are open to hearing all sides. It’s not just what they say they want to do there. They’re open to taking, you know, feedback and opinions from all sides.

And they also want to make sure that they’re being trusted to handle difficult conversations. Most people don’t want to handle difficult conversations and those aren’t fun things to do, but they’re necessary and so they want to make sure that they can trust the leaders are having those difficult conversations when necessary.

So you as a leader, some of the things that you can make sure that you do is you want to make sure that you’re communicating effectively with your employees. You’re also aware of things that are going on within your organization. You want to have a, you know, community focus, look at the greater community as well and see where are there areas where your organization can make an impact.

You want to be authentic. You want your employees to make sure and make that they feel that you’re being authentic in your actions and your motives. You also want to find ways to make sure that you’re continuing, mostly motivating your employees that they are encouraged and appreciated and want to make sure that they are happy that they’re there and that they’re motivated to be there.

They also want leaders that show compassion. So being compassionate and also acting with integrity. Making sure that you are closing any open loops that are out there. You’re following up with anything that you have said you’re going to do. Being thoughtful. Also being empathetic. You know, a lot of employees want to make sure that their leadership is being empathetic to different situations. And last, but certainly not least is helping to promote well being within your organization.

So, leadership styles that we’ll focus on, you know, identifying and connecting with others, helping to understand the individual point of view. So, leaders who are empathetic, as we said previously are really genuinely interested in learning about the people around them. You know, that that people matter 1st and foremost, they like to know and understand what drives each individual and also what may motivate them to the way that they feel.

Empathetic leaders enjoy finding out about why people are the way they are and then it helps them to be able to connect with lots of different types of people and also adapt and tailor their style to each individual that they’re working with. And they enjoy finding out, or , to take action to help their employees, you know, grow their careers.

So they wanna help build that strong team. So not only caring about their team, but also helping to leverage their strengths, improve you know, providing constructive criticism where it’s needed that will help the employees grow and be successful in the job. And really, then also asking for feedback and then pivoting if the feedback that you get you know, you may need to change direction.

You also want to make sure you’re looking at if there’s any cultural differences and looking at diverse mindsets and taking that into account when you’re interacting with your employees. So, when you’re looking at incentives, you want to build programs that are relevant for your employees. So you 1st thing you want to look at is, you know, the company culture.

Is this really a great place to work? Or is it just you think it’s a great place to work? What are your employees saying? What are others saying about it? And why is it a great place to work? What makes it a great place to work? Find out those things and then, you know, who who is working there that comes into play a lot of times because a lot of times people, you know, potential employees may say, hey, I really want to work for this organization because I know X, Y, and Z employees that work there and they love it there and they can’t say enough great things about it. So I really want to work there. That helps build that team environment. And then you also want to look at the development.

You may have really great programs. But do you have the time to implement them properly and you’re not just kind of throwing out a program out there when it’s really not implemented properly and that the employees aren’t getting the full benefit of those programs and then also, you know, continuing to evaluate those programs.

They may be relevant now, but are they going to be relevant in the future? So you have a great program now, but a year from now, that program may need to be revamped. And then you want to also look to make sure that there’s equity in the programs that you’re putting out.

So you also want to jokingly say, you’ll come down to earth. Really try to experience your company as your employees, what they face on their day to day jobs, whether it’s job shadowing or different things you can do to kind of see what they experience on a day to day versus you in a leadership role. And you also want to look at how your customers experience your company and what it’s like for them using your product or services.

You want to also when you’re looking at pay and other incentives, if you decide to not implement a certain program or not do a pay increase, is it worth the loss of that employee? If they’re, you know, if they’re a valued employee, is it worth that loss to not do those things? And you also want to be transparent about your pay structure and any incentive criteria, because the worst thing is, is having it be this sort of nebulous black hole and employees don’t know what the incentive, what the criteria is to get those incentives if you’re having a bonus program or some sort of incentive structure, you want to be fair and make sure that all the employees understand what the criteria is to get those incentives.

Some other things that you can look at doing is doing training and workshops, having regular training sessions and other workshops that can help to enhance employee skills, keep them updated on industry trends.

Anything that is going on there, relevant to your organization or your industry, implement some mentoring and coaching programs where you can pair some experienced employees with newer employees to have them. Give guidance and support to the newer employees, encourage employees to create a personal development plan to set goals and look at, you know, where they can grow within the organization where possible also provide some cross functional opportunities where employees can work in different departments to help broaden their knowledge and skills.

And then if you’re able to do so offer financial support for employees to pursue further education or professional certifications through tuition reimbursement programs.

Another thing that we want to consider is, you know, burnout. Burnout is a real thing and it can impact high performance and business outcomes.

So a lot of employees are now taking inventory and asking themselves, is this all really worth it? Am I getting, you know, a balanced incentive here? So, you know, burnout, it’s a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion that can affect anyone, especially those that are working in stressful or demanding environments.

And so as leaders, you need to be aware of the signs of burnout in your employees and take actions to help to try to prevent or address it. So some of the common signs of burnout are things like emotional, mental, or physical exhaustion. So employees may feel tired, drained, overwhelmed by their work. They can also experience headaches, insomnia, or other health problems. Disengagement is another big sign of burnout where employees may lose interest or not be motivated in their work. They can also avoid or withdraw from both their colleagues or their customers or clients. You may also see some increased absenteeism. So employees that are burned out may call in sick more often, or maybe they’re taking longer breaks. They may also have difficulty meeting deadlines or completing tasks. They may also start to isolate themselves and they may feel lonely or may disconnect themselves from others. They may have trouble communicating or collaborating with their team members. They may also be very sensitive to feedback. They may react negatively or very defensively to any type of constructive criticism or even suggestions. They may have lower self esteem or confidence in their abilities. You also may see some decreased productivity. Employees who are burned out may perform poorly, make errors in their work. They can have trouble concentrating, solving problems, or even just being creative. They’ll miss deadlines. They may miss details in projects that they’re working on. They may even miss meetings.

So, as a leader, you can help prevent and reduce burnout. By making sure you’re providing your employees with very clear expectations, make sure they have enough resources to do the work that you’re asking them to do and providing them with regular feedback good and bad, you know, you want to have, you know, constructive criticism and also praise when they’re doing things right that you’re asking them to do.

You also want to foster a supportive and positive work culture where the employees feel that their well being is valued that they’re being recognized and they have the autonomy to do the job within their roles.

So now we’re going to talk a little bit about cultivating and celebrating talent. You’ve got these great employees and you want to continue to cultivate and also celebrate talent and really talent development is very crucial for the growth and organization is excuse me success of any organization. So you want to nurture those skills. Skills and knowledge and the potential of your employees to make sure that they can perform at their best.

So, sometimes it may mean hitting the reset button on your management and leadership approach. So, employees are going to feel how you respond, whether negatively or positively. Depending on the circumstances, and they may hold on to those feelings for future interactions, and that will affect how you cultivate that relationship.

So you want to think with a global mindset and you want to factor in as many attributes of the person. You want to see beyond beyond what you see of that person. And you want to really want to become a bridge that connects how and what people do. And connects them to a purpose. You know, what is the driving purpose? Your, your mission, vision, values within your organization. And then you want to also balance your visceral behavioral and reflective approach. And what do I mean by that? So, if you look at your visceral approach, that really is driven by, you know, your intuitions, your emotions, and your instincts that, you know, trusting your gut feeling, like they say, tapping into your emotions to connect with others. Things like empathy, emotional intelligence if you’ve heard of things like that, and just authentic leadership.

When we talk about a behavioral approach, that’s going to focus more on observable actions and behaviors, setting clear expectations, again, providing that feedback, encouraging accountability. Things like effective communication, coaching and leading by example.

And then when we talk about the reflective approach, that’s more introspection, self awareness, learning from your experience, analyzing past decisions. Seeking some feedback and continuously improving. So things like being humble, being adaptable, and having a growth mindset. And we do have a whole series on leading with a global mindset design thinking methods and HR that you, we encourage you to peruse on the Vensure website.

And now here are some things that you can do to help reset your approach and help cultivate your talent. So when you’re looking at cultivating your talent, you really want to look at it through the employee life cycle. It’s not just an action step that you do at performance review time once a year, however frequently you may do performance reviews, or if an employee comes to you and says they’re ready for something else, or maybe they’ve received an offer from another company. So these are really steps that can be nurtured throughout the entire life cycle from You know, recruiting all the way to offboarding.

So you want to build relationship and trust and then look at the relationship of the employee versus just the task you’re asking them to do. And then how do you do it with people who have a different style or approach than you? You want to have frequent one on ones where you get to know the person, celebrate their wins, talk about goals, practice and promote wellness.

You want to continue to evolve. You want to learn more and have new insights and then try new approaches and ask your employees, you know, what their connection preferences are, how they, how they prefer to connect and what success means to them, ask if they have any feedback for you, you have to be willing and open to receive that feedback and also if there’s any feedback to help improve leadership with the entire team and then last, but certainly not least, you want to do what you say you’re going to do.

And then when you’re cultivating talent, you look at these different things. You want to tap into your strengths and create a strong employee experience by again, doing feedback, coaching, mentoring opportunities, making sure there’s role clarity for your employees, upskilling your employees if their employees that are have been there a while and they need to upskill their other talent.

Making sure that initial training is done well, providing some encouraging personal development plans, some ongoing training, and offering stretch assignments where it makes sense. And then for impactful incentives, you want to make sure from the very beginning that that offer is a meaningful offer when you’re hiring a new employee.

Having those total rewards for the employees, making sure you’re looking at the, the whole reward program, not just their salary. And then that comes into play with the compensation strategy. How you look at their total compensation. Are there any awards or recognition that you can provide for your employees?

If you have the opportunity to offer educational assistance programs, and then being flexible with these incentives, you may need to decide that they need to change and get tweaked. And then from a confirmation bias, some of the things that managers may unconsciously or consciously run into. So, when you’re confronted with new information that confirms what we already believe, we’d be, we’d be, excuse me, we’d be may be more likely can’t get those words out to accept it as true and accurate.

We may overlook any flaws or inconsistencies. We may incorporate it into our already existing belief systems and then recall it later, using it to support our belief in that discussion. On the other hand, if new information contradicts what we already believe, we may respond differently. We may become defensive about it.

We may focus on criticizing the flaw while that same flaw would be ignored if the information confirmed our beliefs, or we may forget this information quickly and not recall reading or hearing about it at a later time. So, some of the assumptions that you look at is, you know, stereotypes in a book coaching and mentoring for dummies.

Marty Brunstein suggests that, you know, when you assume, you know, something is accepted as fact, as accepted as true and it’s fact without being proved or demonstrated. So, when you are stereotyping, you’re assuming that people from a group are different than you, then the group that’s different than yours are all relatively the same in their thinking and behavior.

Believing that differences are negative and assuming that those of a different group have nothing in common or too difficult to ever understand, or that equating sameness with equality by assuming that managing everyone the same way is the same as managing people equally and consistently. So you want to help create a robust company culture by being, you know, people focused, increased motivation, recognizing and celebrating achievements motivates employees.

To continue to perform at their best positive work environment, having a culture of celebration will create a positive and supportive work environment will help to foster teamwork and collaboration. And then by attracting top talent, if you have a reputation for recognizing and cultivating talent that will attract other skilled professionals to your organization.

Improved employer retention: employees are going to be more likely to stay with their organization that values and celebrates their contributions and by developing the organization through talent cultivation and celebration. It’s a powerful way to drive employee engagement retention and overall success. So, by investing in the growth of your employees and appreciating their contributions, you can create a thriving workplace that will attract top talent and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

So, with that, I will open up to see if we have any questions.

Abraham Gonzales-Pollick: Thank you, Bea, for that awesome content and really really great perspectives on cultivating talent and celebrating talent. I think it was really interesting to bring in the perspective of employee burnout and what that looks like as we are cultivating talent. Thank you for taking us there.

Well, it looks like we are. Just slightly over time. And so in the spirit of getting people back to their day we will go ahead and end our session for today. And any questions that have come through, we will be sure to reach out to those individuals and, and help provide some more perspective and thoughts.

We will also be sending out this presentation here shortly. And again, as always you can visit. Visit our Vensure.Com website and under our resources tab, you should be able to find other webinars that we’ve presented here in the past. And also you can find some blogs and articles that we’ve posted as well.

We thank everyone for their time and we look forward to our next session.

Beatrice Runyan: Thank you everyone. Have a great day.

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