Creating the Culture to Attract Talent you Want

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Lisa Ryan. Lisa is the Founder and Chief Appreciation Strategist at Grategy. Additionally, she has been the host and speaker at multiple shows and events as well.  Lisa helps companies do the things that will help them attract and retain the talent they want to help their companies succeed.

Creating the culture to attract the talent you want is more important than ever in this era of great resignation. But our guest today is teaching companies how to do it.

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Lisa Ryan. Lisa is the Founder and Chief Appreciation Strategist at Grategy. Additionally, she has been the host and speaker at multiple shows and events as well.  Lisa helps companies do the things that will help them attract and retain the talent they want to help their companies succeed.

The conversation of the episode started with Damon asking Lisa to introduce herself. Lisa said that she is a keynote speaker and she also helps manufacturing companies in preventing their top talent to be someone else’s.

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At first, Damon asked her what she thinks about the great resignation and what is her response to it. Answering this, Lisa said that the workforce today is not wired like it was back in 2019. She said that when it comes to this, companies need to focus on keeping their current talent in place instead of hiring a new one.

After this, Lisa elaborated with a few statistics saying that by 2028, there will be 2.8 percent of jobs in manufacturing that will have available seats. Here according to Lisa, there won’t be enough people to fill these places.

Moving on, Lisa talked about how the manufacturing companies nowadays have a certain swag that keeps these new employees hooked to their businesses. Therefore, Lisa says that this is what attracts the young talent the most.

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Further, into the conversation, Lisa shared a story about a woman who was hiring a person. That woman, throughout the conversation, kept taking notes and she got to know that this man’s wife liked a certain restaurant. After this, when that company hired that man, they sent a gift voucher for the same restaurant that his wife liked.

This is how Lisa says, you have to keep your employees happy and retain them as well. Furthermore, Lisa also explained that when it comes to these issues, you have to make sure to have a plan to keep your employees in place otherwise you may lose them to some other firm.

After this, Lisa talked about her own experience and also shared a story about her own journey.

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The conversation ended with Damon thanking Lisa for her time.

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Lisa Ryan, Damon Pistulka


Damon Pistulka  00:05

All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am very excited for our guests today. I’ve got Lisa Ryan, with gravity. Hey, Lisa, how are you doing today?


Lisa Ryan  00:17

I am fantastic. How are you?


Damon Pistulka  00:19

I can’t really I’m great. I’m really excited today we’re going to be talking about creating the culture to attract the talent you want. I mean, we’ve we’ve all been reading the stories about the great resignation, and and heard the horror stories of I don’t know, if you’ve seen it, or where you’re out there as we run into restaurants that can’t open for days, they’ve they’re closing down hours, you know, and you look at services being limited in all kinds of industries. So I’m kind of excited to talk about this.


Lisa Ryan  00:49

Yeah, it’s been crazy. To say the least.


Damon Pistulka  00:52

Yeah. So. So Lisa, now explain to people what you do, because I think then it’s going to become very relevant for people to understand why we’re talking about this with you today.


Lisa Ryan  01:05

Well, I am a keynote speaker. And I focus really on working with manufacturing and manufacturing associations, to help them keep their top talent from becoming someone else’s. So I also do training and consulting as well. But, you know, for the most part, I get to go to really nice places and talk to people.


Damon Pistulka  01:28

That’s cool. That’s cool. And so So as you’ve been talking to clients associations, or whatever, how much are they talking about this great resignation, and the difficulty in finding talent,


Lisa Ryan  01:44

it is the number one thing by far, it’s, it’s almost impossible to find new people when you are looking. And so that’s the whole focus on keeping your top talent from becoming someone else’s, that you have to look at your business differently. We are not going back to 2019.

The good old days. Yeah, business is different today, employers or employees are wired differently. And when you think about manufacturing and other essential services, where it’s not something you can do sitting at your kitchen table, you have to still look at business differently. So is there some kind of flexibility? Is there something else that you can do to create the type of culture that makes people want to stay? And more importantly, to stay with you?


Damon Pistulka  02:36

Yeah. Yes, that’s for sure. So when you look at this, and you had to, if you had to guess, do you have any indication of like, an average manufacturer, how many people they have lost over the last six months or so does anybody got studies out on that? Now,


Lisa Ryan  02:55

you know, I don’t have studies on that, except for the fact that everybody’s talking about retention and the labor market as they have been for years. But the numbers that I’ve seen is that there are by the year 2028, and this is a couple years old, so it’s probably going to be bigger than now. But there are 2.8 million manufacturing jobs that are going unfilled. So there is a part of that that’s going to automation, because people really have no choice. But the interesting thing about automation, is that sometimes when these younger generations walk into a manufacturing facility, and they don’t see automation, they see no reason to work there.

So it’s hard for those old timer types of manufacturers to find people, but then they bring in automation to take up some of the grunt work, or some of the the jobs that they can’t fill, and then they start attracting people because all of a sudden, they got something really cool in the shop. So it’s kind of this this cycle of what happens that we think that automation is going to replace jobs, but in a lot of cases, what it does is it eases the labor market and attracts new talent.


Damon Pistulka  04:11

Well, you know, that’s that’s interesting, because that kind of technology addition, did it attract and attracting the younger workers and and more skilled workers in some some cases to or differently skilled workers, I should say, not more. But I was talking with somebody here a couple months ago, and they were talking about the importance because trying to attract younger people of manufacturers.

Many honestly have so so websites, and they were talking about your social presence, your website should be needs to be just as inviting to your potential employees and your social needs to be robust and show a lot about a community involvement and other things because that is just another piece that you have to put together to be able to really attract the best young talent.


Lisa Ryan  05:01

Yeah. And it’s so easy. I mean, last week, I finally broke down and I got the iPhone 13 Pro, okay. I mean, the thing’s got three cameras on it, I have no idea what they’re for. But it’s got three cameras on it, I have more power in the palm of my hand than most movie studios. Did you know, 20 years ago? Yeah. When we, when we look at the ease of being able to go into the shop, take your phone, interview employees give kind of like a tour of the shop, do a day in the life type of thing.

You’re creating these relationships, because people are checking you out before they will even fill out an application. And if they go on Glassdoor and see a bunch of negative reviews, ignored, or they see a bunch of stock photos of people on your website, they’re looking at that going, there’s nobody here that looks like me. So just really, you know, having some fun with it, letting people know what your what you’re doing and the things that you’re doing and kind of letting them see that inside or glimpse of what’s going on in your plant.


Damon Pistulka  06:11

Yeah, yeah, you made an incredible point right there about the fact that video is so important. I am I am constantly amazed. We’ve got a recent college graduate in our house here working and, and the amount of time that younger people spend watching video on a YouTube channel, or in general, is incredible.

And those videos that you’re absolutely right, it younger people will go and look at the website, look to see if you’ve got videos to show more about the company, they want to understand more they want to see inside that company before they go there. And when we’re applying for jobs 15 or 20 years ago, it was always you’d apply for the job and you’d go see the place if they wanted you to come in for an interview and blah, blah, blah. And now it’s really because of the the challenge to attract this talent. I think the tides have turned a little bit, don’t you?


Lisa Ryan  07:13

Oh, absolutely. I mean, this is definitely an employee’s market, they are just as much interviewing you because they know that if it doesn’t work out with you, they can ghost you at lunchtime and go down the street and get another job almost immediately.


Damon Pistulka  07:30

Ghost you at lunchtime, I’ve got a I’m gonna write that down. Because you know, it is it is true though. It’s it’s really one of these things where jobs are plentiful. And if you’re hiring entry level positions, they have plenty of options.


Lisa Ryan  07:46

Exactly. And it’s it’s connecting with employees even before the start date, you know, from the time they fill out the application, and you’re starting to just if this is the person you’re going to hire, and say that they have a start date in two weeks, you should be constantly in contact, we are so excited about you coming on board, maybe send them a little welcome video, maybe send them the packet of information that they can fill out before they start on day one.

Because otherwise, if they are sitting in the basement filling out paperwork their first day, and nobody’s talking to them, and nobody knew that they were going to show up, they’re thinking in their mind, did I make the right decision. And if they’re not connecting right off the bat, you have somebody you assign them a lunch buddy, on day one, you you take care of them you make if you can make their first day memorable, but everything leading up to that first day a good experience for them at T minus 14 before they even start, then that is also going to help quite a bit in your retention.


Damon Pistulka  08:52

Yeah, that’s right, the T minus 14 experience I’m writing that down because it you know, we’d never thought of that before, right? You might have got a letter in the mail or you got an email that says hey, here’s your stuff we want you to fill out before we get here. But you’re right and I think back to watching my son get a job here recently. And he interviewed and and the other thing that happens too is if you interview they want yes or no like that. Mm hmm. Because they’re interviewing with other people and they want to move right on if you don’t get an answer yes or no right there.

But he the same thing what you were just saying they there were two or three packages that arrived to our house the weeks before he started and and welcome stuff and you know, just like you said it’s introducing them to the team, anything they could do to really make that a good experience coming into the company which is very foreign to many manufacturers because we’re used to hiring somebody and and Sue comes in and Sue is going to be doing this and sue you know, comes to where she He’s going to work and works with Jed and he’s going to help her out. And you know,


Lisa Ryan  10:05

about how much swag these manufacturers have. I mean, they have baseball caps, and they have golf shirts with their logos on it, and they have t shirts that are designed. And they give this they think that it’s a good idea to give it to their customers, but or their employees who already have it.

But if you send a welcome basket with a swag bag with company swag from day one, you know, and also giving them options throughout their tenure with your company to you know, maybe pick out something for their spouse or their kids or something like that. Because if they want your swag, it’s because they enjoy working there. And they want to spread the word then they’re they’re proud of sharing you with their family.


Damon Pistulka  10:50

That’s a great that is that is a great thing. I mean, if you were if you’re running a company, you should just have a bunch of swag around just to see who wants some? Uh huh. Yeah, exactly. Because you’re not gonna wear it if they don’t if they’re not proud of wearing


Lisa Ryan  11:03

now. And if it’s nice stuff in there, those guys are out at the bar on a Friday night. They’re like, Well, dude, nice shirt. Where’d you get that? Got it from my employer? You know, my employer never gave me nothing. Yeah. It’s a conversation.


Damon Pistulka  11:18

You’re right. I never thought that, that that about that. But you’re right about the Friday night and in the idea about people want to wear it if they like to work there, because they wouldn’t ask if they didn’t. That is it. It’s an easy way for you to understand. But it’s how many times have you walked into places where the customers always get it? And the employees don’t in that? Yeah, that’s wrong.


Lisa Ryan  11:40

It just popped in my mind too, is I mean, when I was in the welding industry, believe me, I had tons of swag from that company. I was always wearing my shirts and everything. And when I left the organization, all of that went to Goodwill. You know, I didn’t have the connection with the company anymore. So like I said, it’s you have relationships with your customers, you have relationships, but it’s your people where it’s going to have the biggest impact?


Damon Pistulka  12:07

Yes, yes. Oh, that’s just it’s so simple to something as simple as swag and sending out a hat or a shirt beforehand. And, and in that t minus 14 timeframe. And I had one,


Lisa Ryan  12:22

I was speaking at an event a couple weeks ago. And there was a woman in the audience that shared the best idea. During the interview and offer process. She was sitting there and she was talking to a gentleman and she found out his wife’s favorite restaurant. And she was just taking notes.

It was in conversation, just taking notes on everything. Well, when he accepted the offer, they actually sent the offer letter in the mail along with a gift certificate to his wife’s favorite restaurant. Thank her for being an instrumental part in helping him to make the decision to come on board. Do you think that life is ever going to let her husband quit that job? No,


Damon Pistulka  13:04

that’s awesome. That’s an awesome thing. And I mean, this is the kind of stuff that that employers, because listen, it’s 100, whatever dollars you’re going to spend on that is nothing anymore in the terms of what it costs to hire good people.


Lisa Ryan  13:19

Exactly, exactly. You have about $6,500 invested in that person before they ever walk in the door. If you add up all the numbers, the time you spent the manpower, the hours, everything that goes along with that the training, the onboarding, yeah, you have about 6500 bucks. So if you’re not making that immediate connection, and that person leaves in a week or a day, all of that money, just walked out the door.


Damon Pistulka  13:47

Wow. That’s, that’s awesome. Because it’s, it’s one of these things that we’ve, we’ve just not really looked at it that much. Because if you’ve been able to hire employees, sometimes it’s a little harder. Sometimes it’s a little easier. But I don’t know. Can you remember a time that has been this hard to hire employees?


Lisa Ryan  14:07

Yeah, you know what? No, I just and it’s everywhere you go. I mean, manufacturing has been walloped. And that is actually a much longer term conversation because we have to go to the guidance counselor’s who at high schools whose sole job is to help the kids pick out their four year college. We have to talk to the parents to let them know that you know what your kids a welder.

He’s going to come out of of trade of tech school with no college debt, and probably making 50 to $300 an hour. Yeah, you know, versus flipping burgers with his liberal arts degree at Burger King. Yeah, so it’s just it’s having those conversations but looking at manufacturing in the trades, is not a less than choice. But it’s a real choice with a great potential great benefits.

All of these things have just been Changing that conversation. But it’s it’s hitting like you said with restaurants. How many times are you going to a restaurant now, and there’s a 45 minute wait, and you’re looking around and half the tables are empty. Or like you said at the beginning, they’re closing restaurants for days or weekends, we tried to get a pizza, my husband and I tried to get a pizza on a Saturday night at our favorite little place down the street, and they were closed due to a staffing shortage.

So this is literally hitting everyone, which is why this whole retention issue is so important. Yes, it’s important for manufacturing. But it’s important for every single business, because people are looking to connect, they’re looking to feel valued to feel appreciated. You know, my husband was part of the great resignation. And he was with a company that he was at for 13 years, as in cost as a cost accounting manager for a manufacturing company.

And in the eight months that he was furloughed, you know, he looked at several opportunities, but couldn’t find anything a whole bunch of age discrimination going on at that time at that point. But even when he got called back, it wasn’t the same for him. And he realized how nice it was to just relax and have a good time and be happy. And so and the company, he realized, they never said thank you, they never kept caught him in the act of doing things. Well, nothing he ever did was good enough. They never recognized him. He made great money. And he got a really nice bonus at the end of the year. And that’s what they thought would keep them.

But when a nother job came up, because he still kept his options open on LinkedIn and still had people reaching out to him. Well, the day before his 16th birthday, one of those places reached out to him made him an offer. And I’ve never seen him so happy. I mean, it’s so you know, you have the say the saying happy life happy wife happy life, I will tell you what, happy husband happy life. Yeah. But it’s a whole great reassessment, Scott is thinking that, hey, I’m going to end do I really want to end my career with this company? And the answer was no.


Damon Pistulka  17:21

You know, it’s so funny. I just had had this same similar conversation with a friend of mine last night, you know, he is at the option, he’s, he’s got a couple of good options in front of him. And he this is the exact thing he’s thinking he’s like, where do I really want to be?

Yeah, should I can be in Company A, that’s, you know, it’s a, it’s a larger family entity. And it’s got more of that feel around it. And they have some really great products. And he says, company B is a public company. And it’s run like a public company. And he’s like, I just and he’s been in it for a while, right. Like, I don’t I don’t know what I want to do. So it’s interesting when you look at that. And I think one of the things that you said that, I think is awesome. And I’m gonna ask you, do you think age discrimination has gotten any better because of this?


Lisa Ryan  18:17

You know, it’s it’s such an interesting question, because I was really shocked by how difficult it was for Scott to get a job in his eight months of furlough. Now, mind you, when Scott was furloughed, everybody else on the planet was furloughed. So I think people had more of a choice. But the interesting thing about this is, you know, the, when you have somebody like there is no way that Scott is going to be at this new company for less than five to eight years. Where if the company were to bring in another millennial, or to bring in somebody that’s Gen Z, you’re going to be lucky to get 18 months out of that person.

Yeah. So as long as you look for somebody that has the willingness, the loyalty, the opportunity to make changes, I mean, Scott is delightful to work with. I mean, they really like him, because he’s just a great guy, which is, you know why I’m keeping him? Yeah. But you know, and the funny thing is, he’s his boss, he’s reporting to a woman who’s 34. I think he’s the oldest dude in the company, but awesome, but he just loves it. And it’s such a good match for him. And he’s constantly sending me things. I remember two weeks into him working there.

He called me like, a person from Sales came in and thanked me for helping them with a project. He was blown away. And his boss, you will send them little texts and send them emails. You know, really appreciate your hard work. You’re doing a great job. His the owner of the company, this is a third generation 100 year old company. It’s a woman owned Business the the granddaughter, I guess is now you know, the CEO of a company. And she actually sent Scott I’m speaking at a conference that’s in their industry. And she saw my smiling face come through her email. And she actually texted it to Scott. And she’s like, Hey, your wife’s name is up in lights.

So they’re, they pay attention at all levels. And it’s just, it’s so little things. It took her zero time. Okay, a minute to send that email to Scott. And he’s like, Oh, my God, look what Megan just sent to me. Oh, cuz yeah, I didn’t even know that thing was out. Of course, I capitalize it put it all over social media. Yeah, that’s beside the point. Yeah. So they’re connecting with me to see what they’re doing. If Scott ever came back and say, you know, I really don’t know about this place. I’m like, Honey, I have never seen you so happy. I mean, look at how great people treat you and what they do. And I’ll be the reminder, if he ever has one of those bad days where he starts reassessing again.


Damon Pistulka  21:04

Yes, yes. And this is this is, I’m glad you started talking about this. Yeah, we had no idea we’re going to talk about this. And the thing is, though we are the topic today is creating the culture to attract the talent you want. And part of cart of the good culture is showing people that you, you recognize them, not just that, that they’re done a great job, but just recognize them as human beings, and they’re here today, and they’re doing something and helping the company. And, and, and they’re just, they’re, they’re putting their time in to be at your company helping you. And just recognizing the fact that they’re there is so important.


Lisa Ryan  21:46

Yeah. And if you’re and if people ask me, What do you mean? Are you are you telling me I have to thank my employees for doing their job? Yes, I am.


Damon Pistulka  21:56

There we go. There we go. And, you know, I’ll be the first to admit, I was horrible at it. I’m only slightly better at it now. But I was absolutely horrible at it. Because it’s, you know, we we were a lot of the people that were running manufacturing companies or companies in the past are, are granted, they weren’t all that young.

And now I think we’ve moved, as we see Baby Boomers and Gen Zers kind of moving into either out of the businesses or or into not the roles where they’ve got so many direct people reporting to them. You know, millennials are the biggest part of the workforce. If they aren’t, they’re really close to it now. And it’s it’s completely changing the way these offices are working.


Lisa Ryan  22:43

Right? Exactly. And people see the world differently. You hear all the time. Oh, you know, all these these young people, they don’t want to work? Yes, they do. They want to, they want to work. And when you think about it, they have the same work ethic, as the boomers, but it’s different for them.

Because as boomers, you know, we would be able to work from nine to five, nine to seven, whatever it is. And then we went home, you know, the answering machine was on if we didn’t want to take a call, we didn’t have to do it. When you have millennials and Gen Z, they are on 24/7. And if you are sending them emails at three o’clock in the morning, because you can’t sleep, their brains are processing saying oh no, I got to get back to my boss and three o’clock in the morning, because they’re on all the time and never ever shut it off.

So the difference the the difference in stress level is exacerbated when it comes to that. And we have to really address things like that overwhelm that overwork that burnout. Because when employees burnout, not only do they leave our organization, but in a lot of cases, they leave the industry, and we in manufacturing cannot afford to have anybody else leave the industry. We have to change that conversation and bring them back in.


Damon Pistulka  24:05

Yes, yes. And, and I never, I’ve not thought about the way you have. Because me if I were sending an email at that time of night, I wouldn’t expect anybody to do anything, right. If someone is like, like my son. You can’t turn the notifications off. Exactly. He can’t


Lisa Ryan  24:26

wake in his butt up. Yeah, blocking me and not even that, you know, dude, I didn’t know you could have gotten back to me at nine o’clock. And it said, No, you already woke them up. And now they’re wired and wondering why their boss is emailing them at three o’clock.


Damon Pistulka  24:38

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I never thought about that. And so that takes takes the people that are managing the people, they have to do something else because, you know, I would do just so I wouldn’t forget right? I would do something like I just I wouldn’t forget or be because it was convenient. But you have to do it differently because it Ah, that’s a great No, that’s great insight on the


Lisa Ryan  24:59

other things too, and I do this a lot, because I send out a lot of emails and do things, you know, when I’m watching TV at night or hanging out or whatever. But there’s a thing, especially and I use Gmail, I’m sure it’s the same in all, but you can schedule interviews, or you can schedule emails. Yeah. So you know, if you’re feel free to go ahead and write the email at three o’clock in the morning, just schedule it to go out at a decent time.


Damon Pistulka  25:26

Yeah, I do that actually. Outlook does it as well. And it is a it does put it in the right time of day. And, yeah, that helps a lot. So when you come back, and you know, we talked about culture, talked about culture, talked about culture, this word has been around for how many years? Have we been talking about culture? Yeah, a long time. And so when you look at creating this culture, that that really can attract all four generations? What are some of the unique challenges that you have when you’re trying to address this wide array of an audience?


Lisa Ryan  26:04

Well, we keep in mind that everybody wants to feel appreciated, everybody wants to be seen, everybody wants to be heard. And so even though there’s some differences in the generations, it really still comes down to basic human connection. And figuring out how people like to be acknowledged how they like to be appreciated. You know, some people are like, Hey, forget the paycheck, give me the plaque and get me up on stage. And there are other people that you know what, if you even said their name in a meeting in front of everybody, they’d be mortified.

So we just look for ways to to personalize, you look at the society that we live in right now. And it is ultra personalization. I mean, I can go online, I can create, you know, tennis shoes that are customed. To me, I can create really everything that I want. And I’m looking for that in the workplace. I’m not looking for a one size fits all Employee Engagement Program. I’m looking for people paying attention to me. So a really great tool that I talk about in my programs all the time is the all about me sheet. And you’re simply coming up with questions. You know, what’s your favorite candy bar? What’s your favorite gift card? What’s your favorite hobby?

What’s your favorite sports team favorite restaurant? Because that way I can reward you, you know, if your favorite candy bar is a Snickers bar, and you know, you knock it out of the park and I give you a milky way saying it’s okay. I mean, it’s the same shape and everything not the same. Unless you don’t like new get, you know, yeah. But if you might not even remember filling that form out six months ago, but if you knock it out of the park, and I give you a Snickers bar, there’s something in your subconscious mind that saying she’s paying attention.

She knows me. Because otherwise if you go to your local coffee club, you know when you get $10 gift cards is dole out to catch people doing things right. You know, half the people aren’t gonna drink coffee, or they don’t like that brand. Yeah, find out. And and when you’re recognizing people, you don’t have to put a lot of money into it. Because if you’re giving out like $1,000 You’re gonna make people mad. The didn’t get the $1,000. But if you’re giving out $25 gift cards to when somebody goes above and beyond everybody else is gonna be like, Yay, you.


Damon Pistulka  28:33

Yeah. Yeah. That is awesome. The all about me sheet man, you could have, you could ask 10 questions. Yep. And have it and even even for the people managing people, it would be incredible to have that because they could be sitting there going, okay. Damon did a great job today, in our whatever or even I really need to strike up a conversation with Damon and I know he likes soccer. So let’s go look, or baseball or whatever it is, and or he likes he likes to you know, likes to do yard work, whatever the heck it is. And, you know, that’s Wow,


Lisa Ryan  29:12

yeah. And you’re keeping it in a little file. It’s not cheating. If you you know, you’re meeting with that employee and you take a quick look at their file so you can remember what their kids names are, you know, that little Johnny one, you know, his team won the baseball championship or was playing in the baseball championship or, you know, whatever it is that you have that conversation. Hey, you know, how are things? How’s things got? How was Johnny’s game? Did they win? Wow, the boss knows the boss is paying attention. I mean, it makes a huge difference.


Damon Pistulka  29:46

Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. And you know, this, this is, this is really good stuff. Because these are good fundamental things that you can do to create the culture that that attracts people that You want, you know, it just it’ll, as you said before, it’s they want to be appreciated, seen and heard. And it’s the simple human to human connection that we’re trying to build, that then builds the right culture in your company,


Lisa Ryan  30:14

right? Well, and when you look at the different generations in the workplace, there are some differences when we look at millennials. And of course, there’s all kinds of things that we make fun of them being the trophy generation, and that part’s ribbons, and everybody gets a prize. But the thing that happened with that, is that they’ve been getting feedback their entire lives, you know, they’ve been being told that they’re doing well that they can do anything they want to do.

You know, they’ve been getting that affirmation, and they expect it when they come into the workplace. They also expect access, because you think millennial, Gen Z, you know, when I was growing up, my parents would be like, Hey, we’re going on vacation to Florida, I had no choice in the matter, you know, get the car.

And now it’s like, Oh, Johnny, it’s your turn to pick where the family vacation will be this year. So they have had access to leadership, since they were little kids. So when you have that brand new employee, he has been with your company for three hours. And he marches into the president’s office, or she marches into the VPS office and expects to sit down so that that VP can listen to what everything that she sees, that needs to change with the company. You know, what, suck it up. And listen. It’s an expectation business is different.


Damon Pistulka  31:37

Yeah. Yeah. Fez, that’s great way to say that. That’s so good. That’s so good. So when we, because I’m thinking about creating culture, again, thinking about the topic of Korean culture and thinking about that stuff. You know, the, the fundamentals haven’t changed, and you got to treat people, right.

And those kinds of things. And you mentioned that a lot. It seems to me more that more as we’re talking about this in the examples you’re giving, it really is about the personalization, and understanding who they are as people letting them have a voice, including them more and what’s going on. And then you can you have a workplace that’s very similar as productivity and other things like that to anytime in the past.


Lisa Ryan  32:34

Right? Well, in my acronym, thanks. My thanks process that I cover in my one book and a lot of my programs is it’s it’s basically the right thing and the right order, almost the right order. But if you look at the acronym thanks, the T building trust, you know, you can’t pick something that’s one and done you try it, it doesn’t work, you know, you have to make a commitment, because otherwise employees are going to be like, Oh, no, what kind of program? Are they going to put us through the HS to help employees to be better tomorrow than they are today?

How are you investing in your people, you know, when you do little things, to help them to be better tomorrow than they are today? Whether you’re helping them providing resources, sending them to training, sending them to trade shows, those little investments that you’re making is cementing their loyalty to you.

The A and we’ve talked about this acknowledge, applaud, appreciate, catch your people in the act of doing things. Well, the EN navigate navigating work life integration. And I think in the last two years, we’ve really seen that as we’re struggling with kids and aging parents and a pandemic, and are we working? Are we essential? You know, can we work from home, the companies that they’ve had employees that have successfully worked from home for two years, and now they’re like, You are coming back to the office full time five days a week?

It’s like the employees are saying, No, I’m not. Yeah, the K get to know your people that goes back to the all about me sheet. What do they like, and the S is to serve a mission, a greater mission. You know, you’re not making components, you are creating opportunities for you know, life saving medical equipment, you’re making parts for airliners you’re making, you know, when people can see that it’s just not a pieces part they’re making, but they are contributing to something bigger. You have your corporate social responsibility. You’re letting your employees get involved in volunteering, about volunteering, and charitable organizations.

And you look at all the you know, when the pandemic first started, and we had companies that one day they’re making beer the next day, they’re making hand sanitizer, you know, how special did those employees feel? Because they saw their employees was able to turn on a dime and contribute to something that was helping society. So when we that that trust help applaud, navigate, no and serve, those are all the things that you need to do to really engage that culture and look at the things that you can change and pick one thing, one thing that you start with, you start there, you commit to it to the long term. And then you move on to the next thing that you want to incorporate.


Damon Pistulka  35:26

You know, you said one thing in there all that was awesome. First of all, there’s one thing that you said that I think will kill this kind of stuff any any faster than anything is when someone stands up and announces we’re going to do this program. Because I think that just kills it right there. Because so many people come from it.

I like your your approach with the thanks. And going through that. And I think it’s almost better just to if you just met with your executives, your higher level managers have the right level of people and say, Listen, we’re not calling this anything, but we’re treating people, right. Yeah. And it’s striking, as simple as possible. Yep. Because then there’s no program of the week that’s coming around that we’re going to make everything wonderful. It’s not it’s going to be hard work. We’re going to have to do this. And we’re going to get better over time. And we’re just going to treat people right.


Lisa Ryan  36:17

Well, and I also talk about people starting with the apology approach, because it’s it’s beautiful. It’s saying, you know, I might say, you know, Damon, I have not been letting you know how much I appreciate you and the hard work you do around here. And I am going to make more of a concentrated effort to do that. Because otherwise, if I have never thank you in your career and one day and say, Thanks, Damon, you are just awesome. You are knocking out of the park, you are like, Oh no, what does she want?

She has never thanked me before in my life. Yeah. But if I come in with that apology approach, and you know that from a human connection level, I’m looking to do things better. You can also hold me accountable. Hey, I thought you were going to start with keep recognizing me, was that just, you know, a one and done type of thing? Well, you know, I try to one statement, you know you did in? And you didn’t say You’re welcome. So I was just done with you. Yeah, no, that doesn’t work.


Damon Pistulka  37:12

Those are great examples. Great examples. He’s it’s just, it’s, it’s great to be able to cover this with you. And now you mentioned this before, and we didn’t talk about it beforehand, you got a new book coming out?


Lisa Ryan  37:23

Yeah, I do. It’s called Thank you very much gratitude strategies to create a corporate a company culture that rocks. Yeah. And in it, I have lots of ideas. I’ve interviewed people to put together case studies as far as what they did in their company culture. There’s just a lot of, and I put it in action ideas in three different levels, from an individual standpoint, because we all play a role in company culture. But we also play a role in taking care of ourselves. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, we can’t take care of anybody else. Then there’s ideas for management.

Because a lot of times your company culture is dependent on what goes on with your management team. But the third level is the organization. And these are those big picture, things like that you’re not going to do overnight, that’s going to take a while to absorb into the root of the company culture. But looking at it from those three ways. That way, no matter where you are, what level you’re at in the organization, there are going to be tips and tools that you can use in this book. So I’m super excited. I just got the cover design back yesterday. Oh, man, and let’s see if I can bring it up. So for those of you who are actually watching the program, there you go.


Damon Pistulka  38:46

Thank you very much. Awesome, huh? That’s gonna be great. So when do you think that’s going to be out?


Lisa Ryan  38:53

It is going to be out in April. Okay. Yep. Definitely in April.


Damon Pistulka  38:59

Yep. Got it. That’s That’s incredible. Lisa, and as you’re saying, as you’re talking about the book, you mentioned one thing, and I was gonna ask you, do you think that people with the whole COVID Do you think we finally realize that we got to take better care of our health through this?


Lisa Ryan  39:21

Absolute general? Yeah, absolutely. And there are studies that back that up when we choose positive emotions over negative emotions, improves our immune system and improves our heart. It lessens our stress. There’s so many things that go along with that we can sleep better at night and we all know how important sleep is for us. So there’s, there’s something you know, and we’ve lost so many people to COVID and, you know, in a lot of them, yes, there was that level of people who were immunocompromised but it’s also we have this different level of paying attention to ourselves. selves.

And knowing how, number one how valuable taking care of ourselves is. But also from a personal standpoint, you really don’t know when the last conversation you have with somebody will be your last conversation. So treating people with respect, ending those conversations with thank you or I love you or finding something good. Because think about how many times you know that that last fight or that argument, and then something happens to that person. And that’s the last thing that was that was ever said.

Yeah. So I think we have a new realization, because I remember and I was just mentioning this at a program I did this week. Remember back in when the pandemic first started, we were all saying, Well, I don’t know anybody who has it, you know. And now there’s not a person amongst us that has not, that doesn’t know somebody who hasn’t had it themselves, or who hasn’t lost somebody. Yeah, I think for me, thankfully, I have not lost any family members.

But my dad’s been struggling. And I lost a girlfriend from high school. And she was a vivacious. And, you know, and I knew her well, and we were going to see each other at the reunion this year. And I think when I saw the Kim died on Facebook, of course, because isn’t that where we always get our news, but it just, it brings things to a whole new level. You know, and I think that when we’re looking at all of this employee engagement, we’re looking at these connections, we’re looking at creating that type of culture, when we care about people, not only for what they’re bringing to our company, but who they’re bringing to our company. That’s where the magic happens.


Damon Pistulka  41:52

That’s awesome. That’s all I’m gonna say, it’s awesome. Because you’re right, it’s really we’re trying to, again, and we’ve mentioned this before the human human connection, we’re trying to understand them, we’re trying to it really, if we to create this culture, what we want is we want people to succeed. Yes, whether it’s whether it’s us, allowing them to succeed and be happy today and what they want to do.

Or it could be that we’re helping them to develop in our in our company, and they go someplace else, because they’ve got a different opportunity. But it’s one that we can’t provide, right, something right. And I think this approach is, while it kind of stinks, now, for some people, we think about this, if we actually can make this change, and we can build some companies. And there are some companies, obviously, with good culture, but if we can increase the percentage of companies that are really getting this, we will have a much different workforce 20 years from now.


Lisa Ryan  42:55

Absolutely. Yeah. And the sad part is the engagement numbers have not changed dramatically for in the 22 years that Gallup has been paying attention to it right now, you will always have between 30 and 32% of the of the workforce is actively engaged. And those numbers don’t change, you have 50% of your employees are basically disengaged or doing as you know, just enough work so that they don’t get fired.

And then you have the bottom 20% that are you’re actively disengaged. So there are companies, of course, since these are averages, you have some companies that are rating 7080 90% engagement rates. And then of course, you have other companies that people are just miserable, they’re toxic, they have horrible managers, and they have to decide, you know, is it worth it for me to stay here? And with all of the different options that are out there? Now, a lot of people are saying, You know what, I don’t have to stay here and they leave. Mm


Damon Pistulka  44:02

hmm. Yeah, it’s just the there’s just not room for for toxic workplaces. And, and not trying to be better at least every day. We’re trying to change it because you’re not going to be in business very long anymore.


Lisa Ryan  44:20

Right. Exactly.


Damon Pistulka  44:22

Yeah, it just it’s so interesting. Well, Lisa, it’s always fun having you on. And so I’m just wondering, do you have is are you doing any keynote speeches here? I thought I heard something about that. Are you doing anything in the near future?


Lisa Ryan  44:40

Oh, yeah, I have. I am fully booked in March, April and May which is really great. Yeah, so I Yeah. Try it. Crazy. Travel starts next week with the National precast concrete Association. I’ll be at the spring Manufacturers Association associated equipment distributors, the American Wire Rope fabricators association. So yeah. If there’s a weird Association, chances are really good. I’m speaking to it.


Damon Pistulka  45:12

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. That’s awesome that, you know, it’s awesome that people are getting out and seeing each other face to face person to person, because that, that helps a lot with it with the connection. And it’s great to see that you’re able to go out and share your work and help people really build these cultures that that will attract the talent they want.


Lisa Ryan  45:33

Yep, absolutely. It’s and it’s, and it’s so fun. And it’s so nice, especially last year, and actually this year, too, when people haven’t seen each other for two years. It’s just been magical. And we really appreciate the opportunity to be back live and in person.


Damon Pistulka  45:54

Yes, I actually have my first live client meeting last yesterday. I couldn’t remember last time I did. And it was it was fun. It was fun. I mean, it’s somebody that I talked to almost weekly video, but it’s still fun to go see him. Right, exactly. It’s still fun to be in the same room and that kind of stuff. But, Lisa, it’s been so awesome to have you here today.


Lisa Ryan  46:16

Yeah, thank you again. Again, we


Damon Pistulka  46:18

had Lisa Ryan here from Grad OG we’re talking about creating the culture to attract the talent you want. Lisa is a keynote speaker, author. She’s got a new book coming out in April, thank you very much. It’s around creating the culture in and sounds fantastic. I’m going to get that and you are speaking at a various amount of various Manufacturing Association events coming up. If people want to reach out to you what’s the best way for them to get ahold of you?


Lisa Ryan  46:49

Well, my website is Lisa Ryan And there’s a lot of information there. But even more so on LinkedIn, I regularly post on LinkedIn, I have a manufacturers network podcast that you have been on. And I am always posting current and past episodes on that, and articles and workforce development tips, engagement tips. So connect with me on LinkedIn. And when you do please send me a note, please include a note that says you heard me and Damon show.


Damon Pistulka  47:24

Yeah, I used to get the connection requests or they just hit Connect and they don’t put a note on there. It’s kind of hard to decide what’s going to happen next on though, right?


Lisa Ryan  47:31

And, and a lot of times it’s so first call sales pitch and those Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  47:37

Well, no, I know. My friend Gail. Rob is Gail Robertson. She lives in Windsor, Canada, but she calls it the the pitch slap. Oh, and that. Yeah.


Lisa Ryan  47:49

That’s what it feels like. Exactly what it feels like.


Damon Pistulka  47:53

Yes, it does. Well, thanks, everyone for being here. Lisa, thank you so much. I just appreciate you and it’s so great to talk to you. If there’s people need to reach out to Lisa Ryan grad aji on LinkedIn. Lisa Ryan speaks comm and check her out. Check her stuff out. Check her book out coming in April. And thank you. You’re very welcome. And we’ll be back next week.

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