Leading ‘New Breed’ employees in the 21st century can be challenging.  Understanding the importance of leadership skills, helps leaders become more effective with influencing and impacting their teams comprised of individuals from all ages and generations.  Phillip Van Hooser, Key Note Speaker, presented on these valuable skills and styles at The Unified Group’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting & Owners’ Forum.

Upon completion of the forum, the owners of Harvey W. Hottel, Inc., required their management team to view Phil’s presentation.  Diane Colville, HR Director of Harvey W. Hottel, Inc., watched the 1.5 hour video  “In my role as HR Director, I have found that over the period of about 15 years, the mindset of the workforce has changed from the viewpoint of ‘these are the services I can bring to Harvey W. Hottel, Inc.,” to “what can you do for me and what benefits do you offer?” says Colville.

Diane had attended many workshops and noted that the underlying theme was always the same.  “There seems to be a lack of company loyalty that used to exist years ago.  One major driving point to this statement was the dissolving of company pension and retirement plans (strict IRS rules set in the 1980’s) and the formation of IRA accounts and then 401K Plans.  Employees have no reason to stay with companies anymore because their retirement accounts are now portable; company loyalty and longevity were negated with employee-owned retirement accounts,” says Colville.

In turn, the circle of engagement wheel has most of the workforce in the available/or involved circles instead of the engaged circle.  Diane found that the trick is to create an environment where employees desire to move into the commitment circle and eventually into the engaged circle.  In Phillip Van Hooser’s presentation, it was noted that leaders need to create an atmosphere which would inspire their workforce to become more involved.  Manager and field supervisors could incorporate the circle of engagement during yearly reviews to create a baseline.  Then, with the employee, chart their progress to the middle circle and enable the employee to see where they fit in and help them set goals.

“Since watching the video, I am better equipped to help managers and supervisors with employee behavioral issues by having them understand where their employees fit in the circle and that behavior has a major impact on performance.  If Phil were to present this to the HR group, I feel the message might take on a different approach, such as how can we as HR Directors get a better understanding of dealing with issues and trying to see employees in a different light?  In our safety meetings, we are trying to have foremen look at a jobsite with a different set of eyes.  Currently they arrive on site, walk the site, assess what needs to be done and then assign duties.  We want them to start to arrive on site, walk the site, but look for safety infractions and look to make sure the employees have a safe environment such as no exposed wires, holes in the floors, and pipes dangling, etc.” says Colville.

“As an HR professional, a best practice is not to only look at behavioral issues and quote the disciplinary actions, but to use the circle of engagement as a tool to understand the possible reasons for the employees’ behavior, says Colville.  As a result, Harvey W. Hottel, Inc., is working on implementing this process shared at The Unified Groups’ session.