Stephanie and Joey Coleman, author of Never Lose an Employee Again: The Simple Path to Remarkable Retention, explore the crucial role the employee experience plays in creating a happy and engaged team.
Learn the steps team leaders can take to create a place where everyone LOVES their job. They delve into the power of creating memorable experiences throughout the employee journey—starting with the hiring process and through an employee’s first 100 days, which plays a vital role in long-term commitment and loyalty.
This episode is packed with lots of practical tips to give you ideas to start implementing immediately. Listen to the end to learn one easy thing you can do today to show your appreciation to your team.
Links from the episode:
Never Lose an Employee Again by Joey Coleman
If today’s podcast resonates with you and you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap Revisited yet, get the first chapter right now for free!
Thanks to Posh Virtual Receptionists, Postali, & LawPay for sponsoring this episode.
Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts
Stephanie Everett (00:35):
Hi, I’m Stephanie Everett.
Sara Muender (00:36):
And I’m Sara Muender. And this is episode 454 of the Lawyerist Podcast, part of the Legal Talk Network. Today, Stephanie talks with Joey Coleman about his new book, Never Lose an Employee Again.
Stephanie Everett (00:50):
Today’s podcast is brought to you by Posh Virtual Receptionists, Postali & LawPay. We wouldn’t be able to do our show without their support, so stay tuned because we’re going to tell you more about them later on.
Sara Muender (01:00):
So Stephanie, I hear you have a great interview with Joey today, and so do you want to just jump right into it?
Stephanie Everett (01:06):
Yeah, we’re talking about how to get our employees engaged from the very first time we connect with them, and honestly, we covered so much and had so much fun that it’s pretty long. So let’s jump right in and let everybody check it out.
Sara Muender (01:20):
Well, here’s Stephanie’s conversation with Joey.
Joey Coleman (01:27):
Hey there friends. Joey Coleman here. For the last 20 years or so, I’ve helped organizations to keep their customers and their employees. I’m a recovering attorney and I’m thrilled to be on the Lawyerist podcast today talking about ways you can create the remarkable experiences that’ll keep your employees engaged and retained in the long term.
Stephanie Everett (01:48):
Hey, Joey, welcome back to the show.
Joey Coleman (01:50):
Hey, Stephanie, super excited to be here and thanks to everybody who’s listening in. So excited to be back on the Lawyerist. I feel like it’s a little bit like old home week because I’ve been on the show before. As I mentioned, I’m an attorney or I used to be an attorney, so super excited to be back amongst my people. I
Stephanie Everett (02:06):
Love it too. And you’re talking about one of my favorite topics, which is how do we create really amazing experiences for our team members? So often, and the last time you were on the show, we were talking about that client experience and obviously a lot of people put a focus there, but we forget that one of our most valuable assets on the team really is our team. They’re amazing. They’re people. We need to treat them. Such
Joey Coleman (02:32):
So true, Stephanie. Yeah, we can’t expect to be able to deliver a remarkable client experience if we don’t have a great team experience, a great employee experience because those are the people who are going to be delivering the experience to our clients clients.
Stephanie Everett (02:46):
So your newest book goes all into some details. Why don’t you kind of get us started and kick us off with what should we be thinking about when we think about an employee experience? Because I think it starts earlier than we realize
Joey Coleman (03:00):
It really does. I think there’s kind of a philosophical thought that we should have in our minds as well as more of a tactical thought. And with your permission, I’ll kind of give a quick overview of each. Here’s the philosophical thought. I’ve talked to managing partners, founding partners, senior partners, folks throughout the legal profession for decades. I mean, this is the world I grew up in. I grew up the son of a criminal defense lawyer who had a small practice in Iowa, so this is kind of the world I was born into and I have heard so many Lawyerist say to me, I wish my employees cared as much about the firm as I do, and I understand that statement. I sympathize with that statement. I empathize with that statement. I probably even said that statement when I was running a firm, but here’s the thing.
Your employees wish you cared as much about them as you care about the firm, and I know that people listening like, let’s be candid. You wouldn’t be listening to the Lawyerist podcast if you didn’t care. You would just be practicing law and going through your day to day, and we’ve all run into plenty of Lawyerist that do that. You come here because you want to play at a different level. You want to hold yourself to a higher standard. You’re looking for ideas for inspiration. So I know you’re the kind of person who actually does care about your people. The challenge tactically is one that takes us back to kindergarten. If you may remember, in kindergarten, at least for me, the coolest day was always show and tell where you got to bring something from home and show and tell your classmates about it. The challenge I think in most workplaces, whether it’s a law firm or elsewhere in our society today, is the leaders are regularly telling their people that they matter, but they may not be showing them, and it’s not tell and show it’s show and tell, right? So we need to be showing more than we’re telling that we actually care about our people, and that begins to your point with the very first interaction they have with our firm, which in most instances is seeing a job listing or a position advertisement saying, we’ve got an open position at our firm we’d like you to consider. It starts there and it continues through eight phases of an employee journey until they become a raving fan of your practice, loyal and committed to you working with you for the long term.
Stephanie Everett (05:25):
I love it, and I think we all do care. I know I care. As an employer, we forget, right? We get busy, we do all the things and we forget that we have to bring that intentionality to it. So let’s jump in. As you said, it starts with a job posting or advertisement. I noticed you didn’t call it a job description, and I know the difference, but let’s kind of kick it off there with why this posting, it really is a piece of marketing material and why it’s important, how we can maybe start by standing out there.
Joey Coleman (05:57):
Well, I think where many organizations struggle is they think that when they’re putting out that they’re hiring, that they have an available position, that their goal should be to say, here are all the things you have to be for us to like you when the reality is, especially in our economy today, you need to be putting out into your job posting or your position advertisement, all the reasons why someone should, should I spend my time with you? Why should I come work in your or organization? Now, of course, a piece of that is the type of person you’re looking for. I don’t mean to diminish that, but if you look at the typical law firm posting, it starts out with one to three paragraphs about the firm’s history and how awesome the firm is and what we do and blah, blah, blah. I mean, this is kind of going on a date and before the waiter waitress has even taken your order, the person has launched into a diatribe of their entire life history.
You’re not excited about this. You’re like, look, I appreciate that you have a background in history, but what’s in it for me? What is actually going to come of this relationship if all you like to do is talk about your yourself? I think if we put ourselves into a prospective employee’s shoes and we think about somebody looking for a job and they’re seeing all the different postings and positions that are available, we need to be attracting and repelling with our job posting. What do I mean by that? In the same way that you’re posting needs to be very clear about the type of person you’re trying to attract and who’s going to thrive and succeed in your work environment. We also want to actively repel people by being so explicit and so specific in how we describe our brand and our culture and our firm and who we’re all about the right candidate should read your job posting and say, I have to work there. The wrong candidate should read it and go, oh my gosh, I’m annoyed that I even spent time reading that. Because you don’t want those people in your hiring process and going through your interview flow. You want to keep those folks out and only be dealing with the best possible candidates you can.
Stephanie Everett (08:11):
Yeah, I love it. Then we get into the interviewing process and we’ve talked about this a lot on this show, but maybe if we could just hit some high points of what you think we need to be thinking about and doing differently that you might say that is new to us that we haven’t heard before.
Joey Coleman (08:28):
Yeah, so I will tell you, I think one of the most, as a writer and a speaker, Stephanie, because I have the pleasure of speaking to audiences around the world, I always try to take positions that are grounded in logic and research and intentionality, but are maybe not things you’ve heard in other places. So for example, one of the things I talk about in Never Lose an Employee again, the new book, is that I believe you should give the candidates the questions before interview.
Stephanie Everett (08:56):
Joey Coleman (08:56):
Now, a lot of people that do interviews are, Joey, what? I’ve never even heard of that. That’s insane. Why would you ever do that, folks? In what scenario in your practice would you send a young associate, a member of your staff into a courtroom in front of a judge or a jury with no preparation or no documents to help them succeed? You’d never do that. That’d be insane. The consequences are too high. Well, the consequences are just as high when you’re talking about bringing someone into your organization, especially if you’re a small to mid-size firm. If you are a 5,000 lawyer law firm, a mega law firm, and you bring in the wrong lawyer or the wrong paralegal or the wrong receptionist, yeah, it’s not good, but the organization, the entity can handle that. If you’ve got two Lawyerist and two paralegals and you’re trying to hire a third, if you bring the wrong person in, that’s going to put you in a death spiral very quickly in terms of your culture.
So I think we should help our candidates to succeed by giving them the questions in advance. I’m not saying you have to give them all of them, but probably 85 to 90% of the questions and then be open to asking questions based on their answers. Trial attorneys are really good at this trial. Attorneys go into a trial and they’ll ask a witness something on the stand and they’ve got their list, but they’re always listening for, as my dad used to say he was a criminal defense lawyer, listen for the golden nuggets to fall from the sky. Watch for them. Be paying attention for when the witness says something that you’re like, wait a minute. That’s different. I want to pull on that thread. That’s something that didn’t come up in the depositions. That’s something that didn’t come in in our evidentiary research or in responses to interrogatories. The same is true for interviews with candidates. You don’t want to just have a script of everything. You’re going to ask them and Rotely go through it and Oh, yeah, well, they answered the eight questions I wanted to ask, so woohoo, they get to move on to the next round. No, pay attention to the type of answers they give and then pull on the thread of those answers. If they say something that’s interesting to you or intriguing to you, spend time in that. Even if that means you deviate from your list a little bit,
Stephanie Everett (11:15):
And just so we’re clear, I hope our audience wouldn’t go there. This isn’t a cross-examination though. It should be a friendly conversation. Totally, totally. You’re recruiting these people like you, and even if you think in the first 10 seconds, this is not my candidate, you never know who your next referral source is, so I have to remind people all the time, we want to create that positive impression throughout and really treat our candidates with respect. And I mean, I shouldn’t have to say that, but sometimes I do.
Joey Coleman (11:45):
Oh, Stephanie, I’m so glad you did and I appreciated you and I join and echo your sentiment. All too often an interview feels like at worst, a cross examination and at best permission to treat the witnesses hostile, your honor, and it’s like, no, it should be, this is a friend, this isn’t a grilling, this isn’t an examination, this is a conversation, and you should be as quick as the person who’s leading the interview to share your answers to the questions as you are to ask them to answer the questions. One technique that I found throughout the years is incredibly useful is if you ask a candidate a question that is kind of a difficult question or is something that is designed to get them to give an answer that they haven’t given in the typical interview they’ve done, what I like to do is say, and if it works for you, while you’re thinking of your answer, can I share how I would answer this question? Not for you to copy my answer, but to show that I’m willing to be vulnerable, to be honest, to tell a self-deprecating story, fill in the blank, because that creates some reciprocity and some permission that creates some space for the candidate to feel a little bit like, oh, this is a conversation, not a cross-examination.
Stephanie Everett (12:58):
Yeah, so helpful. Alright, there’s so many in the eight phases. I want to keep us moving because the next phase is I think where you give some really fun examples of how we can start thinking about this differently. So we’ve had an amazing interview experience, we found the right candidate, and now what we typically do is send a really boring lawyer type letter that has all the disclaimers and it’s like, please join us.
Joey Coleman (13:25):
Yeah. It’s so fascinating to think how many offer letters are written at arm’s length, so consider the typical offer letter. It’s got information about, by the way, reminder, you’re an at-will employee. We can fire you anytime we want. Oh, and by the way, you’re not going to be eligible for any of your benefits until the third Sunday of the fourth month at the lunar eclipse, and then you’ll kind of qualify and all these permutations and things and it’s written in a very sterile format. Contrast that with an experience that I imagine everyone listening has had at least at some point in their life. You go to the mailbox and you open it up and you see an oversized envelope. It’s beautiful. You pull it out and there’s scripted calligraphy handwriting on the front addressed to you. You turn it over and maybe there’s a wax seal ceiling, the envelope.
You open it up and there’s another envelope inside of that envelope and you open that envelope and there’s another envelope inside of that envelope. It’s like the Russian nesting dolls of mail pieces and you keep going, and finally you come upon this beautiful piece of paper that invites you to the wedding of someone or love or care about, and the experience of you having that invitation is the manifestation of the invite to the next chapter of that person’s life or that couple’s life contrast the emotional feeling of receiving that invitation where you’re like, oh my gosh, we have to go to this. This is going to be epic. It’s going to be amazing. Oh, we’re so excited for them. This is wonderful. Quick honey, let’s R SV P. How many chickens do we want do compared to you are an at will employee. We can fire you at any time you want.
What is the type of emotional energy that your offer is creating? And in this day and age, Stephanie, so many offers are sent via email. I’m not opposed to sending an offer via email, but I’d be willing to bet that no one listening to our conversation today can tell me, boy, I got an amazing offer via email. It was so personal and it made me feel so good and it was so connective. No, it feels like it’s a rote auto automaton that sent out this, Hey, I checked the four boxes of the HR discrimination policy and we’ve included all that information and here we go. Now before anybody gets too anxious, I’m not saying you shouldn’t include the required elements in your jurisdiction of an offer and that you should deviate from HR law and employment law requirements. What I am saying is there’s a way to think more strategically about doing that and bring a little bit of care and concern and excitement to the extending of the offer.
Stephanie Everett (16:13):
And I guess because we live in a remote world now and email is happening more, how can we think even creatively? We’ve often asked people, Hey, are you available to get on a Zoom call with us at three o’clock today because we know we want to make do it kind of in person video, right? So do you have any tips there in considering that also, it’s just a fast paced world right now because candidates are getting job offers like crazy. So you have to sometimes you like we have found we’ve had to speed up our hiring process. We used to have it be really long and we’re like, Nope. Now we got to get these people through and get ’em excited and get ’em on board.
Joey Coleman (16:52):
Stephanie, two important and key points you make there. Number one, speed to offer and speed of communication with candidates is hugely important and is only increasing. Any candidate that is interviewing for a job with you is most likely interviewing with three or four other organizations. And if you’ve identified that their great talent and you want to bring them into the fold, chances are better than not. Someone else has either made that same decision or is making that same decision contemporaneously. So you want to make sure that you are responding quickly. I love this idea of a zoom call. Imagine inviting someone to a Zoom where not only are you on the call, but everyone on the firm is in the call and maybe they’ve got party hats on and balloons and there’s excitement and there’s energy and you come on the call and they all start clapping and you say, Hey, we just wanted to let you know we think you’re amazing, the interview process with you.
We would love to extend you an offer of employment. We’d love to have you join our team. We’d love to have you be part of what we’re building here. We think you’d be a great fit at Cetera, and everybody on your team is clapping and there’s excitement that’s going to create a completely different experience. Another option would be to send something in the mail. Now see earlier comment about speed, but here’s the thing. Imagine a package showing up at your candidate’s house from FedEx. And I don’t know about you Stephanie, but when the mail comes into our house in the afternoon, there’s the regular post, there’s a boatload of packages from Amazon and then there’s a FedEx envelope. Guess which one’s getting open first? Yeah, that’d be the FedEx envelope, right? Because that says, I cared enough about you to spend the extra money to get it there quickly. Now I’m not denigrating U P s, it could be a U P S package or a D H L package or whatever, but something that says, we wanted to rush this to you because that’s the value we’re placing on this relationship already. It’s a very subtle way to say you matter to a candidate.
Stephanie Everett (18:56):
I love that. And if you are in the same town as somebody when I had my own consulting business before this, when I got a new client, and so it would work same with an employee, I would actually courier a gift package over to them with maybe a book or whatever swag you wanted to include in and the letter. And people think it’s really expensive. It was 10 bucks. It’s not very expensive to courier things. And now there’s even all these crazy other apps and roadie and whatever you can use to deliver stuff. So the options are boundless, have fun with it, get the person excited, you’re recruiting them to be on your team. Ima you want to think of the N F L draft with that person holding up the jersey? Yes. Like number one. Yes. I’m on the team and I think hopefully this sparks some ideas for people. We got to take a quick break, hear from our sponsors, we’re not done. When we come back, we’re going to keep moving in because we have a lot more to cover.
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Stephanie Everett (22:11):
All right. I love all the ideas. By the way, the book is filled with so many fun ideas from other companies of ways. They’re kind of implementing these little things, and I just got so encouraged. I think I told you before we hit record, my team’s probably annoyed with me right now because I was like, look at this cool idea. And they did video high fives as people were coming into the office on the first day of work. How can we do that? How can we get, so I always love all the ideas that you’re giving and sharing with us, and now we’re really into the heart of the onboarding process. And this is where most of us, if we could talk a more boring process, how many people get excited about the first day of work because they’re going to come to work and fill out HR forms?
Joey Coleman (22:55):
Exactly. Stephanie, it’s so crazy. First of all, thanks for the kind words about the examples. One of the things that was really important to me when writing the book, and I have the same philosophy when working with clients or speaking on stages, is stories work and examples work. And so that’s why this book has over 50 case studies from all seven continents. Yes, we even got a case study from Antarctica in there, right? Nice. Because humans are the same globally. I understand that there are cultural differences, and I certainly respect those, but when we think about bringing someone onto the team, to your point, they want their first day to be remarkable. When we think back in our own careers to the first day, whether it’s the first day at the current job you have or a first day at a previous job, chances are better than not, it was underwhelming.
You went to the first day with hope, with excitement, with optimism and possibility like, oh, what’s this going to be? Also with a healthy dose of fear and uncertainty and skepticism of, oh, are they going to like me? Am I going to know what to do? I really don’t know the dress code here. I’m not sure about the language. Where am I going to sit? I’ve not seen my desk. Am I going to have a computer? Do I even get to meet with clients on the first day? What’s going to happen? So we have this beautiful tension of uncertainty and excitement that most firms meet with the most blase interaction you could ever imagine. To your point earlier, it often involves lots of HR forms opting into which insurance coverage do you want, or which 401K plan do you want to opt into or retirement plan.
There’s probably some discussion of harassment in the workplace and what our rules are, and you’re like, really, we’re opening with talking about harassment. Should I be concerned that there’s harassment in the workplace? Since that’s on the agenda for day one, we have all these things that we routinely check off the list on the first day, and I’d like folks to consider two perspectives. Number one is everything you’re covering on the first day something that has to be covered on the first day, or could you spread that over the first week or two or maybe even month? Do we really need to know which healthcare coverage and which retirement plan you want to opt into on day one? Or could we let you get a feel for things for a couple weeks and then opt into it and instead make the first day about you, about knowing the team, about rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands into a case and actually working on something often at this phase in the journey?
So there’s eight phases in the journey. We’re in the fourth phase, the activate phase, the first day on the job, I often am reminded of the wonderful lyrics from country music legend Bonnie Rai. Give him something to talk about. So at the end of the day, when that new employee goes home and they walk into their house and whether they’ve got a roommate or a spouse or a partner or significant other children, their parents are there or they’re calling their roommate or their parents or somebody on their way home. If they live alone, the first thing that loved one is going to ask is, how was your first day? How do you want them to answer that question? If I were to ask any of your current employees at the end of their first day what it was like, would they say, well, it was okay.
I’m still not exactly sure. I met a couple people. It was a little overwhelming. I kind of got left in this room to fill out paperwork by myself for a while and we all went to lunch, but they were kind of having a cliquey conversation that I didn’t really understand it. They seemed a little more interested in talking about themselves and their cases instead of getting to know me, but we’ll see if tomorrow’s better. Or do you want them to say, oh my gosh, I made such a good decision. This place is amazing. I mean, I know it’s only the first day, but I could see myself working here for years. What is the difference there? The difference is your intentionality as the employer about how you structure the experience of the first day on the job.
Stephanie Everett (26:48):
Yeah. And do you have any kind of tips or concrete examples that could help us think through some of the easy buttons we could hit there?
Joey Coleman (26:56):
Well, let me tell the quick story since you alluded it to it earlier, the High five Tunnel. So there’s a sports company in Canada called Jam. They do kind of corporate sports leagues and corporate events for team bonding and that type of thing. And when they have a new employee join Jam, what happens is as that employee pulls in into the parking lot in the morning, their boss is standing outside to meet them at their car and walk them to the door. So they pull up, think of this as kind of like, I don’t know, you maybe have had this experience when the grandparents come to visit and the kids are running out the door before the car’s even been put in park. It’s that kind of vibe that kind of, we are excited to see you. Oh my gosh, we’re so thrilled you’re here.
They then walk them into the building and they hear music pounding, and that music is that candidate’s walk-on song. So if you’re familiar with professional sports, lots of times when they announce the athlete, they have walk-on music as part of the interview process in a question whether they just are asking a lot of things about the person. They asked them, if you were to have walk on music, what would your song be? Now many of the candidates have forgotten that they shared that answer because it was a while ago in the interview process. Now that music’s playing, now they’re feeling it emotionally, they’re excited, and as they turn the corner, they’re met with the entire team who are all lined up to give them high fives. They’re starting their day with a high five tunnel. They’re running through, they’re doing high fives, and the team is dressed in hockey sweaters or hockey jerseys with their name on the back and the year they joined the organization as their number.
So they’re celebrating and do dooo and they’re feeling excitement, and they’re led into a conference room where up on the TV screen is a Zoom call with all of the remote employees. So even people who aren’t in the office are there, they’re participating. And then the CEO asks a provocative question to the candidate, and when I say provocative, it’s playful, right? Because their whole organization is about play and entertainment. So they’ll say something like, all right, tell us the truth. What’s your secret binge watch on Netflix these days? What’s the show? You could, you just can’t get enough. You’re loving it. And now we’re into something personal. We’re having fun, we’re engaging in a different way. And they go through a series of questions that come from the other members of the team, and they’re fun questions and they’re playful, and the candidates feeling welcomed. And then they present this new employee with their rookie jersey. Now, their rookie hoodie has their name on it the year they joined, and they will wear this at team gatherings when everybody else who’s been there for a while will be wearing their hockey sweater. And then on the one year anniversary of your starting employment, you get your hockey sweater with the Embroid fun number and name, and it’s really nice. So they’re building in from day one, this visual representation of what tenure and longevity in the organization is.
Stephanie Everett (29:49):
Oh, I love that. I think we forget that so much of this process, it doesn’t just end there on day one. It goes and as you say, really a hundred days really that first year, the onboarding takes longer than one day, one week. And so we have to kind of build out that intentional program to get those employees on the team feeling comfortable, not just with their role, but with the team, with other people and all the things that come with that. We just kind of forget that it’s not just about learning their role. There really are other layers to this.
Joey Coleman (30:25):
Absolutely. And it’s not just about their task. I mean, you alluded to earlier, it’s it’s not a job description. It’s not just a bulleted list of you will do these things. It’s a deeper conversation about who will you be bring to work, what is the experience, the perspective, the diversity of thought, the framework, the ideas, the excitement, the energy that you’re going to be contributing to this firm to help propel us and lead us into the future. And the more we can embrace that in our conversations, the better quick statistic on this, seven out of 10 employees, seven out of 10, so 70% will decide whether they are going to stay with an organization long term based on their experiences in the onboarding phase. This is the most crucial time. This first a hundred days is the most important time in the entire employee life cycle.
It is more dispositive of tenure, retention and engagement than any other time period in the entire employee experience. So I’m not asking you to run a sprint for the entire experience with an employee. I’m asking you to make an investment of a hundred days. What are you doing to lay that foundation that will give you an employee who is focused, who is committed, who is part of the team, who’s engaged, who’s excited, and who’s going to stay with you for a long time? Because the other piece of research shows Department of Labor did this study where they asked people, did you have a strong onboarding process? And for the people that said yes, they looked at their tenure. 69% of those people had been with the organization for more than three years. And in this era where so many employees are leaving quickly, on average 40 to 60% of new hires will quit before the one year anniversary. Wow. 40 to 60% depending on your industry. I mean, these numbers are staggering. Yeah. If you just make that investment in the first a hundred days, you can completely avoid that defection and those departures.
Stephanie Everett (32:29):
So how do we balance out that we do need to do this training and we also want to give them some work and we want to make it fun and for them to learn the company history and culture and get to know the team. And so do you have any tips there for us of how to think about those a hundred days to make ’em really effective?
Joey Coleman (32:46):
It’s interesting. I have two little boys. I have a seven year old and a 10 year old. And I remember our pediatrician when they were very little, we were talking about the food they ate, and so they were on solid foods. And at 1.1 of our sons was all about yams. He just wanted to eat boatloads of yams. Like I was afraid he was going to turn into a yam. And I remember our pediatrician saying to us, it doesn’t matter what they eat in a day, what matters is what they eat in a week. You want to have diversity of experience in terms of their foods over the course of a week. Don’t worry if they’re over-indexing on one or the other in any given day. So I think a lot about this, when I think about employee experience, we don’t want to have five consecutive days of training.
We don’t want to have five consecutive days of you’re off on your own, figure it out, swim in the deep end. We need to blend these things as much as we can. We might have a day of training and then a day of just doing or a half day of training and a half day of doing. The thing is, so many organizations think about onboarding as orientation. They think of it as like two or three days, and then we’re good to go when the amount of time that you spend and your commitment to training and ongoing personal growth and development for your team is directly related to how long they will stay at your organization. So if you have a culture of growth and learning, you’re constantly looking for new ways to explore and to teach and to learn and learn from each other and not just about the law about other topics. You create that type of culture and it propels that type of experience into the future.
Stephanie Everett (34:29):
Yeah, there’s so much we could do. There’s so much we could dig into. And I, I’m sad that we’re running out of time. It’s just going so quickly. People are busy. And so I’m sure everyone’s like, well, this sounds great, and when am I going to get all this done? So if there was a takeaway, somebody who’s listening that says, this sounds great, what’s one thing? And maybe they’re not in the hiring process. Maybe they have just the current team and they need to get them reengaged and recommitted to the jobs they’re doing because we know that that’s an issue. What would you tell them? Where should they start? What could they do immediately to kind of get these ideas going?
Joey Coleman (35:05):
Stephanie, I love this because what we know from the research is that 65% of current employees in the United States, and the number is similar globally, but in the US it’s 65% of current employees are actively looking for another position. So you may not be hiring right now, true, but 65% of your team is thinking about putting you into a hiring right now position. Okay? So what are we going to do to connect with those people that are already part of the team? I say this from a place of respect because I’m guilty of it too. We are probably taking our current team for granted. It’s probably been a while since you substantively showed them as opposed to told them, right? That show and tell analogy showed them how much you care. So here’s one tip takeaway that folks could implement. Just when you’re done listening to this podcast, press stop and do this exercise and it will do more to move the dial on your current employee engagement and experience than any other thing.
And the total investment is going to be less than three minutes. You’ve got the tools you need already, and the cost in terms of practical dollars spent is zero. So here’s the idea. Pull out your phone, flip your phone to selfie mode on the video camera. Now, I want you to think of one member of your team that you couldn’t live without. The one member on your team that is just a contributing, they’re a linchpin in your organization and you’re going to film him a video. Now, for purposes of this hypothetical, I’m going to explain to you what that video could look like, and we’re going to pretend that I’m making the video for Stephanie. Okay? So here’s how the video goes. Hey, Stephanie, I was listening to this podcast today that I love, and they had this weird guy on that kind of challenged us to think about the person on our team who contributes the most, the person on our team that we couldn’t exist without the member of our firm for whom this firm’s success in the future and today is relying on because of the contributions they’ve made in the past.
And we know just what an incredible team, player and member of the organization they are. And I got to tell you, I immediately thought of you. I love the way you bring your full self to work. I love the way you walk into the office in the morning with a smile on your face and a spring in your step. I love the way that when things are falling down all around us and we’ve got clients going crazy and the phones are ringing and judges are demanding stuff and we’re not exactly sure what’s going on, you keep your cool. You’ve got perspective, you’ve got great insight. And if I were to list out your contributions to this firm, I would need a bigger library than the one we have in our office. It’s just you have done so much. Thank you. Thanks for being you. Thanks for contributing to this team, and please know how much you are loved and appreciated.
Now, here’s what the research shows. Number one, the typical video sent via text message gets opened and watched in full within 90 seconds of receipt. So you’re going to cut right through the noise and immediately get to that employee. Number two, you’ve just given them a digital artifact, proof that they matter, a video that expresses how you feel that you may have said some of these things before, but you said ’em in passing in the hall or during a review or over lunch in a crowded restaurant. The research also shows that not only will that person watch that video quickly, but they’ll watch it more than once and they’ll share it with their closest loved ones. Why? Because in 2023, humans are dying for proof that they matter. We are dying for relevance to feel that the work we’re putting in is having an impact. So many people are spending their days doing posts on social media looking for alike because that makes them feel the slight hit that something they said or something they did was valuable. If your team is getting the hit of whether they are liked or valuable from their social media post, we’ve got a lot of room to grow.
Stephanie Everett (39:19):
Yeah, I love that. I’m going to do it right now. I’m going to not stop with just the most, I mean, the most was hard. So immediately. So I was like, I want to do that for each team member every week until this thing goes live. So we’re going to keep it going because yeah, everyone on the team brings that special something to the team, and we don’t tell them in a meaningful way enough. So this is so great. We’ll make sure, obviously the link to the book and to all the things, all the different ways to connect with Joey are going to be in our show notes. It is an excellent read. Everyone should grab it. It’s never lose an employee again, right? So the compliment to never lose a customer again, I love when I get encouraged and excited by all the new ideas that you bring. So I know when we next time we talk I’ll, I’ll be able to tell you about all the things we implemented from this book.
Joey Coleman (40:13):
Stephanie, I love it and I so appreciate that because I’ll close with this. I believe there are three types of speakers or writers, right? There are those who make you think differently, those who make you feel differently, and those who make you act differently. And while I certainly would want anyone who reads, never lose an employee again, or never lose a customer again, to think differently and to feel differently if you don’t act differently, I haven’t earned the investment of your time. Forget about the investment of buying the book. Let’s be candid, buying a book 30 Bucks. It’s not a big investment, but the hours that you will spend reading the book, that’s time you can’t get back. I want to see you implement, and we’ve put all kinds of things into the book that are designed to help you with that. There are downloads, there’s an experience, the book that you can sign up for while you’re reading the book, there are assets that are available to you. There’s ideas because I want folks like you have already shared to take action, and I’m excited to hear what people do when they read the book. So if you read the book and you come up with an idea and you implement your team, send me an email and let me know how it goes. My email is in the book multiple times. It’s super easy to find me. Send me a message, and I would love to hear what you’ve done to make the experience in your firm even better for your employees.
Stephanie Everett (41:31):
Love it. I want to hear too. So this has been great. Thank you so much for being with us today, Joey.
Joey Coleman (41:37):
Oh, thanks Stephanie. And thanks to everybody who was listening in. Hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I enjoyed getting a chance to chat with Stephanie.
The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany Felix. Are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First. If you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, are right for you. Head to Lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10-minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you.