Keeping Your Top Talent to better business results

In this Exit Your Way Live, we talked to Lisa Ryan, the founder of Grategy. Grategy is a platform that helps businesses attract and retain their top talent up to the mark. They also aid these businesses to hire new talent with the right amount of experience and skills.

In this Exit Your Way Live, we talked with Lisa Ryan, the founder of Grategy. Grategy is a platform that helps businesses attract and retain their top talent. They also help these businesses attract new talent with the right experience and skills.

It is known that even the biggest firms require the right environment to attract and retain the best employees. To better understand what companies need to do to establish this environment, we had a conversation with Lisa Ryan.

The conversation starts off with Lisa talking about Covid-19 and all its challenges being a live event speaker. She said that Covid-19 was extremely difficult and still is. For her, adjusting to the no handshake or hugs, was the hardest.

Download our free business valuation guide here to understand more about business valuations and view our business valuation FAQs to answer the most common valuation questions.

She talked about how different organizations had to change to having online events, which were even harder. She mentioned that holding online events also costs money but people where just starting to realize this and how they were paying for speakers.

Deep into the conversation, Lisa was asked about the challenges that businesses faced during the entire pandemic. To this, she responded that it was very tough for employers for keeping top talent in place. They had a responsibility to those employees for safety during this entire time. At a time, where there were still people around that believed this pandemic to be a hoax, it is the responsibility of the employers to maintain a steady environment.

Lisa also addressed the fact, that having an engaged team doesn’t necessarily mean having happy employees all the time. Employees need trust and accountability create a balanced working environment.

Do you want to know if your business is ready for your exit or what you should do to prepare? Learn this and more with our business exit assessment here.

Lisa further talks about the way manufacturing companies can work and handle challenges. She says that engaging in an activity with employees can actually increase their working capacities. It also shows the employees of their importance in the company. Engaging people this makes it easier for employers to keep top talent on board.

The conversation comes to an end with the discussion on the Employee Retention Summit for Manufacturers organized by Lisa. She elaborates on the various manufacturers that will be participating in this summit.

Lisa sheds more light on the summit by particularizing that this event will be focused on keeping top talent that you have, from becoming someone else’s.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

Thanks to Lisa for sharing her time and knowledge.  Click on the video link below to see the entire conversation.

The Business Round Table

Learn about the experiences and stories of other business owners to overcome difficulties, improve processes and make their business a dream come true.

All The Faces of Business episodes are


Check out this episode on LinkedIn
The Faces of Business on Twitter:
Listen to this episode of The Faces of Business on these podcast channels


Exit Your Way® provides a structured process and skilled resources to grow business value and allow business owners to leave with 2X+ more money when they are ready.

You can find more information about the Exit Your Way® process and our team on our website.

You can contact us by phone:  822-BIZ-EXIT (249-3948)   Or by Email:

Find us on LinkedIn:  Damon PistulkaAndrew Cross

Find our Companies on LinkedIn: Exit Your Way®,  Cross Northwest Mergers & Acquisitions, Bowman digital Media 

Follow Us on Twitter: @dpistulka  @exityourway

Visit our YouTube Channel: Exit Your Way®

Service Professionals Network:  Damon PistulkaAndrew Cross

Facebook:  Exit Your Way® Cross Northwest Mergers & Acquisitions

Other websites to check out:  Cross Northwest Mergers & AcquisitionsDamon PistulkaIra BowmanService Professionals Network (SPN)Fangled TechnologiesB2B TailDenver Consulting FirmWarren ResearchStellar Insight, Now CFO, Excel Management Systems  & Project Help You Grow



people, employees, events, talking, technology, day, business, company, associations, fun, employee retention, person, year, speaking, manufacturing, lisa, springs, cocktail, work, cool, Business broker, Business value builder, M&A consultant.


Lisa Ryan, Damon Pistulka


Damon Pistulka  00:02

All right, everyone. Thanks once again for stopping by the exit your way round table or exit your way round table. Here we go. I get it out of my mouth. Today with me. I’ve got Lisa Ryan. Lisa, thanks for stopping by today.


Lisa Ryan  00:17

Sure. I thought I think we’re gonna be talking about all kinds of things. So this is gonna be a lot of fun buckle in people.


Damon Pistulka  00:24

Yes, we are. Yes, we are. And the guy throw a shout out there. Pete Alexander. He’s the one I believe No, no. Debbie Peterson.


Lisa Ryan  00:35

Debbie Peterson. Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  00:37

yes, this. And then I told Debbie, Debbie is so funny because I had Debbie on here on Tuesday.


Lisa Ryan  00:43

Okay, yeah, she was telling me about that. I was talking to Debbie right. And


Damon Pistulka  00:46

I was like, Oh, yeah, Debbie. And she said, Yeah, I remember introduce you, Lisa. Oh, yeah, she’s gonna be on Thursday. And I said, and I introduce Lisa, to Kurt Anderson and Kurt Anderson herb and hitting it off and talking about stuff. And I’m like, and we’re just talking about how cool it is to be able to meet people and introduce people and really how as sucky, as COVID has been, it’s given us this opportunity to really, you know, talk to people meet, meet other people through them and really expand our networks and meet some awesome people.



Yeah, one, it kind of feels like you’re there. You know, it’s like you have these conversations. And I was just talking about stream yard today, that the technology that we are using would have been like 10s of thousands of dollars, you know, just a couple years ago. And here we are in a broadcast studio, having a fun conversation, you know, from the comfort of our own computer. So it’s pretty darn cool.


Damon Pistulka  01:44

It is here we got IRA Bowen on here. He’s another stream yard experienced stream yard guy that I know very well. And thanks for stopping by IRA, we that you’re exactly right. And that’s the thing I get as fired up about it. Because, you know, there’s so many things you can do now with with streaming or another’s. And we were we were trying it today wasn’t successful. But we were streaming from remco to LinkedIn live and Facebook Live with our Thursday event.

We had never tried it before and a couple snafus with it. But we’re we know what we need to do now. And that’s even cool as well. Because we can do you know, from different platforms through stream yard to a live feed, which I’m cool, there’s going to be something for us that we’re going to try a lot to see if that helps us with engagement or if we find new people that way. So yeah, this stuff is this stuff is so much fun, and you doing what you did before the COVID. And now what you’re doing is, you know, the the electronic part just helps you push it push it out farther.



Yeah, well, and it’s it’s so important to kind of stand above all the noise that’s out there, because there’s still a lot of, shall we say, really bad zoom going on. When you can just have a cut, you know, handle yourself online, you know, make sure you have good background Look at the camera. Yeah. But it has been a good year, you know, a transition like in the spring, all of my events basically pick themselves up, and they just move them to 2021.

Because nobody thought in the thousand years is this would go past like July. I know, I know. And then the fall came around. And either the events like outright canceled the bigger events, or a lot of them have just really gotten comfortable to using technology and to having virtual events and like Remo, I’ve done a couple of those programs. It’s just, it’s cool. And like I said, just to be able to see all the different technology that’s out there and not be afraid to use it. You know, that’s the other thing.


Damon Pistulka  03:56

Yeah. Well, so. So you work a lot with different associations now. They have they support a lot of, of the big industry events and things like that. So what have they been doing to try to, you know, stay in touch with their membership, for lack?



Yeah. Well, it’s, I mean, it’s been tough, because for a lot of associations, you think about their annual meeting is their biggest fundraiser for the year, and that’s what sets them off to be able to pay all of their expenses. So even though this year, if they switch to virtual, they didn’t have the, you know, the hotel bill and the food bill and all of that, but they also had to contend with some people that may not realize that, you know, you pay for virtual events, too, and that there’s a cost associated with that. And then moving forward, if they go to live and hybrid, then it’s two sets of technology because you need the technology that’s going to be able to Being bring people in from the outside.

But then you’re still going to have hotel and food and, you know, all of that AV, you know, plus social distancing? Yeah, I’ve seen everything from a so you have some of the larger associations are rife with cash, they’re fine, they have sponsors that take care of them. Some of the smaller ones, you know, they’re trying to, to add resources to do virtual events to continue to provide value to members.

Because what happens if I’m struggling in my business, and I got that association membership bill coming up, I have to decide, is this where I’m going to spend my money that I don’t have a lot of right now? Or has my associations stood by me enough that I see the value and I’m continuing and that’s why I work with my association clients to help them to, to find that value. So that that when their members are figuring out what they’re going to keep and what they’re going to get rid of, that they keep that association membership?


Damon Pistulka  06:02

Yeah. Yeah, I’m sure that’s a that’s a heck of a challenge. You know, I, I know, I’m, I’m not involved in the local Chambers of Commerce. But I, you know, I saw that talking with friends, even four months ago, already that the chambers were just dying, because their, their chamber memberships are going the members are going through the same kind of thing. And, and, and just, they were trying to figure out how to change to virtual when those are, everything is in person.



Right, right. And I actually just had my very first in person event on Monday for a chamber of commerce. And they had number one when they first reached out to me to speak there. And they said it was a live event. I’m like, You mean like in person? Because I was so shocked that somebody wanted me to speak live. But they were going with two different facilities. And one of the facility said, No, we’re not doing live events. So they went with the restaurant that could that did, they had 22 people sign up, but only 12 people showed up.

And most of them for the most part, they were pretty good. I think the thing that I was the most afraid of is what happens when somebody reaches out and wants to shake my hand. Because we’re so prone to that. And of course at a chamber, that’s the first thing they want to do is shake that hand and slip that business card in there. Yeah. And you know, when a couple people reached out and wanted to shake my hand, I’m just like I you know, I’ll give you the fit the the almost fist bump.

But I’ve said I’m just not shaking hands right now, which is killing me because I’m an extrovert and a hugger. But it’s like right now you just don’t know, my brother in law and sister in law both had COVID. And I saw him in the hospital for four days, and he got a blood clot. So it’s a whole Russian Roulette thing. And sorry, people, I’m just not taking chances. But I’ll tell you what, it was fun to be around people. It was really fun to be that kind of normalcy.


Damon Pistulka  08:04

Yeah, yeah. No, I’m, was it now 18 days out of COVID? Or was since I was exposed, you know, so it didn’t hit me that hard. We my wife, and I didn’t have to go to the hospital or anything. But it’s on the phone with that, right? I mean, I mean, our cases were decidedly mild. But still, there are four or five days in there on iPhone like heck, right. And I don’t get sick. And my wife is not sick very often, either. And it’s nothing to fool it. That’s for sure. So your your precaution of being careful. is is it’s normal. It’s Yeah, it’s good. It’s a healthy dose of caution is is fine around that this time. And and it also helps us to to appreciate as you said, when you can get together with people even more.



Right, exactly. Well, and even things like going out to eat. Oh, which you know, before my husband and I would just be like, I don’t feel like cooking. Let’s go out to eat. But now going out to a restaurant is an event. Yeah. I mean, it’s like, ooh, where are we going to go? Yeah.

And we want to have a good experience with it, too. So you know, it’s even for for restaurants, it’s even more important to put on your very best party hats when customers come in there, because it’s not the way it was before. And you have one bad experience with that restaurant. You know, in times when when the choices are. So when your personal choices are so limiting to begin with. Yeah, going back there. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  09:43

Yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. Well, cool stuff. Well, let’s, let’s talk a little bit. You’ve been speaking to groups for quite a while now. And what what really started you I mean, you’ve got the Ba MBA and stuff like that. And but what really started you getting into speaking and what what just really said, Okay, I really like talking about employee retention and do that. But what really got you into speaking, it’s interesting to me to to understand more about that kind of thing.



Well, you know, the interesting thing is I was working as a data entry person in 1987. So I was kind of like the low person on the totem pole. And one of the VPS was offered the opportunity to go to a Dale Carnegie class, and he couldn’t, and he didn’t want to go, whatever he backed out at the last minute. So my boss came up to me and she said, Would you want to go to this Dale Carnegie class Honest to God, I didn’t even know what a Dale Carnegie class was. But I’m like, Sure I’ll go. And it was the that program that I just I just fell in love with speaking and I wanted to do more of it. So from that from Dale Carnegie, and then I was a graduate assistant.

So I had like 23 weeks of Dale Carnegie in a row because I had missed the first week I went back to make that first week up and they asked me to be a graduate assistant. And then from there, I went to Toastmasters. And I was there for years. And then which is a Toastmasters is a public speaking club. If people do not know what that is, and then I had a 25 year sales career. And as part of in what I did in my sales career, I always spoke you know, I was the as the corporate computer trainer when I was in the welding industry. I also would do like oxy acetylene safety, wet seminars and stuff when I was in that industry.

And then when I was in healthcare, I would do continuing education classes for nurses and surgical techs, exciting topics, hand hygiene, double gloving, latex allergies, occupational asthma. And then in 2010, when my very lucrative medical sales position was eliminated via group conference call, with 12 of us getting canned at the same time. I said, Yeah, I said, no company will ever do that, to me, again, complete with finger point. And I started my own business on that day, October 10 2000, October 12 2010, which looking back on it, 2010, probably not the best year to start your own business. But you know, I just had my 10 year anniversary.

So it’s, it’s been quite the ride. And I’ve just always, you know, I spoke to I spoke as part of what I did for a living. And for the last 10 years, I have made my living from speaking. And then again, with COVID. Now I’m pivoting again, to figure out what I can do online. So you know, developing an online course, but more so for the last three and a half months, I’ve been working on this three day virtual summit, and learning a lot about just, you know, the technology that’s out there, and what could be done. And I will tell you what, I put together a super cool event that I’m really excited about


Damon Pistulka  13:14

in a minute, because it’s gonna be that’s gonna be something for people to see. And you’re right, though, because because this I, I love hearing you talk about how you’ve changed because you’re not in front of as many groups right now. But you have figured out the technology that allows you to go to a much wider audience, and and give them a really good experience. And I think that what are some of the things that as you’ve been going through this process that have kind of surprised you about, well, this will really be something that’s even maybe a little cooler than not being there in person.



Oh, God, so many things because the creativity has just been a blast. I think one of the one of the most fun events and I wasn’t even speaking at it, I was just invited to it. But in the summertime, I was invited to a cocktail mixing party, and it was a local company. And they dropped off all the ingredients including the bourbon and gin, to make a gin gimlet and an old fashion. And I set up the computer in the backyard me and my husband that was zoom, we had a bartender that explained the history of cocktails as we made these two drinks. And the funny thing about cocktails, here’s one that you may not know is that the the cocktail itself changed dramatically with the invention of ice.

Before that the drinking a cocktail was drinking like a nasty, nasty gasoline concoction. But once they discovered ice and they were able to make the drinks more flavorful and tasty. That’s when you really saw the consistency of like the gin gimlet is Actually one of the very first cocktails. So now you know, so that was fun. But you know having and just having those I’ve been on zoom happy hours with my clients. I was at the I was speaking at an event the night before, they had a happy hour where they did a dueling piano concert, where they were taking requests. So here you have these two people in New York for an event that is all over the country.

And we were tuned in and we’re making, you know, we’re making requests. Now. We were singing along, but we were all muted, thank God. I was on the Remo event I was on, they actually had the participants have a T shirt contest. And so everybody came, and I was the judge of the T shirt, because I was their speaker the next day. So it’s just just been, you know, a pleasant surprise. And the other thing that’s been super cool about it is that, you know, before, when travel was involved, I could only do one event in a day in a city. And I’ve done three events. I mean, I did a lunchtime keynote, I did an afternoon training session.

And then I was an emcee at a fundraiser all in the same day. So we have a lot more flexibility. But we have things like, you know, making sure that the tech and the work and the lighting and all of that stuff works. Because on that one, three day, the most important speaking day of my, you know, cover my career during that week, three minutes before the end of the first program. My next door neighbor was getting cable and the Cable Guy and the internet guy cut my connection, like, cut it. So it wasn’t coming. That was a Thursday, it wasn’t coming back till Tuesday. So the second one, the keynote, I actually did, or the workshop I did using my hotspot, which worked out fine.

But for the MC engagement that was you know, that was their biggest fundraiser of the year, and I wasn’t taking a risk. So I gave my client enough notice. And then I drove about 30 minutes to where the producers were, you know, doing the whole event out of their house. And they just set me up an emergency station, and I did it out of there. So, you know, the show must go on you make do? Yeah, it’s just it really gives you some cool flexibility that we may not have had in the past. And the other thing too, before I forget, a lot of times, I would I will pre record the session.

You know, and again, like even with my summit, they’re all pre recorded, because we do not want to tempt the technology Gods Yeah, but even when the sessions are pre recorded, and then I’m on a live chat. So it’s a blast to connect with the audience, you know, and let’s be calling them out and say, you know, typing things to him the entire time where if I’m live on a stage, you know, I can’t talk to people and I can’t carry on the conversation in the middle of my program. And it’s tough to talk about stuff. That’s, that’s been cool, too.


Damon Pistulka  18:15

That is that is and it’s something wrong, we use Rhema we do that a lot. We have multiple people that are are with us on stage you know, we’ve got someone that’s monitoring chat, someone that’s moving people on and off the stage, we do a lot of interactive kind of things. So that we really can make sure that we’re we’re including people and the things like you said you can interact with the people that are at the event and it is so much fun. I mean we have all with the events now.

Like you said you can have the information people are learning they’re they’re able to interact with the speakers a bit more than than they could potentially when raw setting like this watching somebody on stage, right. So there are so there are some benefits to it. Well, that’s cool, too. I mean, the cocktail party and dueling piano thing is really cool. And and the T shirt contest. I think we need to try that sometime. Because it will be fun to see with Well, I kind of be scared some of the T shirts that



well no, they set parameters. You have a set parameters that were rare. They were for the most part, I think they were rated PG, but there was they had to be clean and non political. So now you know the non political was the big one. And like I said, the one that I chose for the winner. I would have to say it was rated PG because it didn’t have a swear word in it but it when I saw it, it just it said so it had a martini glass on it. And it had like a dictionary definition. And it’s an alcohol Noun. the glue that is holding us together during the poop show that 2020 is It’s just like, when something makes me laugh out live aloud like that.

I’m like, why would anybody even compete? Now there weren’t there were some other ones that were just brilliant. So, and one of the other ones I liked is that there was a woman and she just had an orange t shirt on. And it said, laziest period, costume period, ever, period. So yeah, they were cute. And they make you laugh. And you know, you just saw, because what they did is everybody came on, and they had about 30 seconds to promote their t shirt, you know, to read it, and then say something about it. So it made it a little interactive, and it gave you some insight into the person too, that you were judging. So I thought it was great.


Damon Pistulka  20:49

That is cool. That is cool. And that’s that is that is one of the other one of the things, you know, that these events are doing. And like you said, being able to do more events, the the amount of these kind of things we can do, because we’re not stuck in a car and a plane or whatever trying to get places we can, we can talk to way more people than we were able to when we were trying to travel, that’s for sure.



Yep, exactly. And the thing is, it’s just to really have fun with it. I think some people are getting all weirded out about there being a camera there, you know, if you go into it with the mindset that, Oh, this is boring, you know, it’s gonna be boring. But if you go into it with, hey, I’m just gonna go and have fun. And whatever happens happens, there’s a little bit, there’s a little less forgiveness, you know, on on the virtual platform than there is on a live stage.

You know, but, but for the main part, I think that people are coming to the understanding that, you know, life happens, and we’ve become a lot more human. You know, I can’t believe at some point, you know, my cat may decide to come in and you know, pay a visit, during the zoom calls, and that used to bother me, I cannot, if Tinkerbell wants to be in the shot, Tinker is in the shot.


Damon Pistulka  22:07

There you go. I mean, in that, you see it with people that have their kids at home, the kids are in the background, or accountants want to sit on their lap, you know, and, and it is it does make them more human. And it alonza is ibehre, a friend of mine, that he talks about emotional intelligence and about bringing, bringing the humanity back into business. And I do think that this has really done that. Yeah, it does. It does make it nice, because, you know, there are challenges that we all have, because we’re trying to work from home.

And if, if, if we were forced to be as rigid as we need to be when we’re in an office, it’d be really yeah, for a lot of people. Very tough. And, and not to mention the fact that I can’t even I, I’m just I feel for the people that have small children, because when you don’t have childcare, right, because they can’t go there and you’re in there try to work and you’re going to try to have them go to a virtual school, while you’re there.

If you had a first or second or third grade or something like that, that was trying to go virtual school or you’re trying to work at home, and you didn’t have a dedicated office. Were a place where we could get apart from you. I mean, I just think that’s a lot of stress for somebody. Yeah. And, and, you know, it just says,



Yeah, well, and that’s the thing. I’ve just as an employer of keeping that in mind, you know, I’ve been working out of my house since 1997. So I’m totally used to it. Yeah, for for people who aren’t, you need boundaries, not only physical boundaries, like I have one of our spare bedrooms is turned into my studio.

But you know, time boundaries, don’t be sending your employees emails at like three o’clock in the morning because you can’t sleep. Because particularly if they’re remote, their brains are saying, Oh, no, I have to be on 24 seven, and they need to step away, or else you’re going to have a whole group of employees that are suffering from total burnout, and you’re not gonna get the best work from them. But that’s a whole nother soapbox.


Damon Pistulka  24:16

Well, that’s funny. That’s funny. You said that though. Because one of the things I started doing is because I do I do struggle asleep I mean, I so if I wake up really, really early, I delay the delivery of my email to a more reasonable time of the day because it is it is you can’t expect people to be on all the time and and and they shouldn’t be


Lisa Ryan  24:37



Damon Pistulka  24:40

So we are going to talk about him keeping keeping your best talent This is something that you talk a lot about so with now you got manufacturers now and you talked with a lot of manufacturers, that’s your nice, that’s where you you jam and have a good time. What are all these manufacturers doing now? When they’re Essential businesses, they have to keep going. And you’re trying to recruit and retain talent and this whole kind of thing, what are some of the big challenges that they’re running into?



Well, I mean, it’s kind of a mess right now. Because you don’t have you know, you you have to do so many things as far as making sure that your employees are safe, you know, with the proper PP, but also making sure that they feel safe, meaning that you’re enforcing that PP, because there’s the there’s still, there’s this percentage of people and you know it, that still think that this whole thing is a hoax, I don’t know anybody who’s ever had covid. So it can’t be real type of thing. And they don’t want to marry or wear a mask, they think that master stupid mask felt work, you know, all of this kind of stuff.

But if we look at it from the standpoint of respect, you know, of just respect, creating an environment where people feel comfortable that people are being held accountable, because having an engaged team doesn’t necessarily mean a happy, happy Joy, joy, you know, everything I do is fantastic. It’s holding people accountable for a standard that has respect that has accountability. And that keeps in mind that you don’t know, you know, what that employee is deal with dealing with that home, maybe they have enough, maybe parents, you know, all of these different things that we as employers don’t know.

And it’s tough enough, even with unemployment at a record high right now, you’re still seeing, we’re still needing to keep our best people because you’re still going to have millions of jobs in manufacturing that are going unfilled. Why? Because all these parents are telling their kids that they need to go to college and they need to go white color job, where what we should be doing is saying go to Welding School, for goodness sake, you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a welder and trade and tech. But for some reason, in our minds, we see those blue collar as central position as lower positions than a four year white collar college degree.

And like when I was in the welding industry, it really was it was back in the late 90s, early 2000s. And it was everything your mother ever warned you about when it came to, you know, the manufacturing plants. Now, the plants that I tour, holy cow, they’re clean, they’re modern, they’re bright, they have the technology, so everything has changed.

And the thing that’s different to about that is that it’s it doesn’t come necessarily with the stress of that, of that white collar office job where you’re always always on, you know, you do your job, you make a project a product, you see the results of your accomplishment, what you did for the day, and then you go home and you have a life. So it’s a fantastic way to make a really good living and we need to change that conversation.


Damon Pistulka  28:03

100% hundred percent I mean, that, you know, at least I am starting to see more people that are that are talking about that. And and, you know, it is, in my experience, the most successful people I know didn’t didn’t necessarily take the white collar route. And, and, and and many don’t, because when you look at, like you said here in 2019, and I hadn’t seen any just because it was not that much this year, but electricians plumbers. I mean, they on signs on the street, the journeyman electricians $50 an hour starting. Yep. Okay. You tell me. If you can even start as a lawyer at $50 an hour in places i don’t think i think that’s 60 $70,000 starting wage. So, so tell me why you shouldn’t go


Lisa Ryan  29:00



Damon Pistulka  29:01

Yeah, welding school, because you can’t make up 30 $40,000 you know, maybe you can 10 years down the road, but you you you can you’re going to go a long ways farther than that, when that’s a starting wage for you as an electrician. Two years into it when you write. And I 100% I’ve seen so many people that have not thought about going in getting a technical degree and things like industrial automation, right? or things like that, where they are. I mean, you’re literally wearing lab coats kind of thing walking around working on the instrumentation and electronics and programming and all this stuff. And the robotics and things now that are required in in manufacturing.

I was just talking to a friend in Tennessee this week or last week that is in a company where I used to work and they have the The human assist robots now and he was telling me about them and how how, you know, those things are really taking over the factories and in that people do part of the work and the robots know and work right around them. If they bump into them.

They it’s really some Yeah, little technology that’s filtering its way into these manufacturing plants because of the labor shortage, right. And because entry to eliminate a lot of the repetitive motion injuries, yeah. And these these things are the technology, my point is I get around to it is, the technology is phenomenal. And this, you can go to college for four years, and you can come out and you can get you can get a job for half the money that you would if you went into a one year or two year technical school and learned one of these other skills.



When you think about it, how many 10s of thousands of dollars, are you in debt? Yes, when you come out with that four year degree, versus going six months or a year or whatever, to a trade or technical school, and then you’re coming out immediately, at 20 bucks an hour or whatever it is 30 bucks an hour, six months later. Yeah. And those debts, you are debt free, you know, in a long shot in in three to three to five years. Yeah, depending on the school that you go to in the trade that you go into.

So it’s just a and again, a lot of it comes from the parents of just having those conversations and the guidance counselor’s at school to you know, there are some kids that aren’t cut out for college. That’s not what they do. They want to work with their hands.

You know, back in back in our day, there was wood shop and metal shop and these things. But if you think back on it, you know, who were the kids that were in those classes, they were like the problem children. And I think that parents still kind of have that image versus No, these are the people we need. These are the essential workers that are going to be able to make a great living great benefits, you know, great hours, because they’re going to be able to have a life.


Damon Pistulka  32:10

Yes. And that is that is and I hadn’t thought about that in a while. But you’re exactly right. If you are a welder in a factory, and yes, you’re going to go there and well every day. But when the clock starts, you start working on the clock stops you stop work.



Yep, exactly. When you when you leave work, man, you leave work?


Damon Pistulka  32:30

Yeah, that’s worth a lot. That’s sort of Yeah, that’s for sure. But it is it is interesting, because how is it changed the recruiting processes for you see, I mean, it’s gotta have your people not coming? Are you hearing that people don’t there because of the whole thing when you’re talking about? I’ve got some, maybe some people at home that are high risk people? are they seeing that people can’t come to work or afraid to come to work? And then are people not? Are you not able to fill jobs more to because you can’t get people maybe to move or whatever to get them? Or what are some of the things you’re hearing?



You know, again, it’s all across the board. But the important thing is, is that, to make that to really focus on that employee experience, you know, to connect with that employee, when you when you offer them the job before they come in before day one, you know, maybe you send them a video, email, hey, I’m really looking forward to you starting, maybe you send them a welcome gift backs, get them from stuff that you’ve gotten from your vendors or company swag or something.

So you’re building that connection, because I can’t tell you how many of my clients, or how many of the people in my audiences, too are saying, Lisa, we hire people, and then they don’t even show up to work. Or they come for half a day. And then they ghost us at lunch. And it’s like, that’s because you didn’t think this they showed up? The receptionist is like I didn’t know that you were supposed to start today, or you go have them sit for half a day in a basement filling out paperwork. Who wants to do that? You know, if you start to think about that first day experience, what is that because a lot of times with blue collar hourly workers, companies don’t think about them.

It’s a sad, sad fact. And if you can make that blue collar person’s day, you know, brighter by sharing that you really care that you expected them to be there that you’re giving them some swag that they know you’re going to take care of. You have a lunch buddy, they get to go out to lunch for free on their first day of job with somebody who likes their job. They’re going to be thinking no employer has ever treated me like this before. You know what maybe I’m going to give this place a chance for once instead a ghost and I’m like I did the last three jobs that I took.

So yeah, and and it’s that connection. Also with the use of social media, because your employees potential employees are going on YouTube, they’re going on Instagram, they’re seeing what is out there about your company? And is it a bunch of corporate mumbo jumbo? You know, I don’t want to say old white guys in your videos. Yeah. Or are there videos that actually look like the people who work for you? That, you know, and and they say, I see myself there. Yeah. So it’s completely different today. So and people are still thinking, you know that this is your grandfather’s factory. Sorry, dude, not happening.


Damon Pistulka  35:40

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m glad you brought that up, because that’s one of the things that that I think people have to put out of their mind is, it’s not the dirty, dirty, dirty place a while was a just not, it’s not for a lot of reasons. But the, this is something that comes up over and over is this employee experience. And it is across industries, it’s cross businesses, and something that if, if business, people are not thinking about it, now, it’s going to cost them a ton of money. And I’m helping the company right now that they’re, they’re doing a redesign of their website. And, and I asked, so what are you doing to your employee page? Ain’t thought about it yet?



Yeah, that’s the last thing they think about. And,


Damon Pistulka  36:30

and it’s, and it was just like you said, they’re not thought about the fact that those prospective employees are going to look at your website, and look at your employee page. And they’re going to care about what you do with the employees, how you some work, support your communities you’re in, and anything else that you can share with them about why it’s a great place to work, as you said, people talking about working there.



Right, and I don’t care. Yeah, and don’t be going in by getting some clipart piece of photo that has, you know, two men, two women representing four different races. You know, your clipart should come from your factory floor, go out and take pictures of people who are ready working there, interview people who are ready working their show what a day in the life is, you know, show the real picture. Because the thing is, the funniest response I ever got for one of my audience members was like, please, if I show them what a day in the life is working at this plant, nobody would ever work here.

I’m like, Okay, well, number one, you got to change that. But number two, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to show people the real story, so they know that what they’re getting into, and you’re attracting the type of people maybe it takes you a little bit longer to find them. But you’re actually finding people who are saying, you know what, that looks pretty cool. That looks like a challenge. I like getting dirty, whatever it is, but you’re not surprising them and then wondering why they didn’t show up again after lunch.


Damon Pistulka  38:11

Well, yeah, not wasted wasted their time or your time. But yeah, that’s a great example to is, and you’re buying them once the first day. That’s so awesome. I mean,


Lisa Ryan  38:21

yeah. What’s it gonna cost you 20 bucks? Really? I mean, it’s certainly


Damon Pistulka  38:26

nothing in comparison, because that it is people just don’t I mean, don’t even come from the interview, you got a job offer. Oh, great. See you tomorrow, they don’t show up. Sometimes you. And especially if there’s someone that you really wanted to hire. It’s just it just makes it makes so much sense to do these kind of things. That’s great. So what are some of the some of the real cutting edge things you’re seeing people do that that helped to keep that that fast people that they want to have in those businesses?



Oh, man, there’s so many, what if I was working with a textile manufacturer, and they actually brought in a dream manager that they were working with. And this was, you know, and with the people in the shop, like there was one person, one guy in the shop, who took that, who is that financial guy, financial University, Dave Ramsey. Also, he took a Dave Ramsey class, and he wanted to teach that so the company paid for him to take the Dave Ramsey class and then he was their online financial, or their person who came in and taught the rest of the people in the plant. You know those things. So they utilize their own people, for trainers.

There was a woman in the same plant that she liked baking pies. And so they helped her create a pie build making business. So like Thanksgiving and all the holidays and stuff. The employees knew where to go for it. Yeah, but they gave people opportunities that weren’t just work related, they gave them opportunities that looked at them as a whole person. And when people feel that level of connection that Well, my employer must really care about me. They didn’t need to be the highest paying employer in the area. But their turnover was so low, because their employees truly felt like they cared about them. Yeah, another one of a fastener plant.

They the CEO, when and he actually had one on ones at all six plants, it took them, you know, months to do this. But he had one on one meetings with the employees there, you know, or group meetings, I forget how he worked the statistics. But and because he really wanted to find out what they wanted, how he could help them. And the first round, you know, he people didn’t trust them. You know, they were like, they were kind of sharing exactly what they thought he wanted to hear.

And then he actually took action on on the ideas and suggestions and the employees were like, Hmm, maybe we can trust him. And the next time it got a little bit easier, and the next time and now Manny does this on a regular basis where he goes in, he talks to his people, and they actually share with him their real thoughts. Yeah, they’re real ideas. He’s not the Emperor walking around without clothes on. Because they are not telling him just what he wants to hear. They’re telling him what he needs to hear. And better yet, he’s listening. And he’s acting on their suggestions. And again, taking that turnover, and brought it way down, because people like being heard.


Damon Pistulka  41:40

Yeah, that’s, that’s really cool. That’s one of the things that I missed so much from not running manufacturing companies anymore, is that being able to interact with the people actually, that are actually making the stuff and doing the things and talking with them, and then getting their ideas and getting the, the engineers, the technicians, other people that are working in department, whatever, and just say, Hey, this is a great idea. Let’s figure out how to use it, and come back. And then what



I’m sorry, one other cool idea that just popped into my head, because you asked about New Tech, and it doesn’t have actually low tech works even better, because it takes less money and less time to do. But this was a spring manufacturer. And what they would do is they would take a part of the week. So they would just take you know, one of the springs that they were manufacturing and make a poster of it and put it on the wall explaining where that spring went.

So that person on the line who things own doodle do, who’s making springs, making springs getting repetitive an injury, you know, whatever. But now he’s saying, You know what, I am making a part that goes into an airplane. I’m making a part that goes here. So you’re connecting with employees and letting them know that they are part of this bigger mission than just, I make springs.


Damon Pistulka  43:03

Yeah, that’s really cool. That’s really cool. Because a lot of that stuff does go into things that you if you looked at it, you go whatever, you know, and yeah, it’s not always obvious. Yeah, it’s obvious. That’s for sure. Very cool. Yeah. I even think back of that stuff. I mean, one of the companies that I was involved with, we made the wheels for the one of the Mars rovers we made. Wow, that’s cool. Yeah, it was a special t machining company. And you know, the wheels are about eight inches in diameter out of aluminum, they weigh next to nothing, but they started as aluminum billet, you know, X ray, all that good stuff.

And then I was I was able, when they were still producing the F 20. twos, we made some of the the things that held the wings on. Yeah, kind of, like, you know, you think about that. And you think back to those things, and, and even you and it sticks out in your mind, because he makes a real difference for the people working in those, huh? Yeah, some great ideas. And it’s just like you said, none, none of this stuff that you talked about, cost a ton of money. It’s time treating people like people in and looking at the whole person. And, and making them feel welcome and cared for.



Right, exactly. So it’s a it’s more thought than money is the investment is just being creep. Being willing to be creative, being willing to be vulnerable, being willing to ask your employees what they want, which you think is a really scary thing to do. But what you’ll often find out is that your employees want a lot less than you think that they do.


Damon Pistulka  44:49

That’s like, hey, I’d like to have cold water when it’s hot outside. Yeah, you can do that. Yeah, that’s, that usually come up and you know, it’s not like hey, we want you know, we want wages. Or strike or whatever the The other thing you can say you can think that would be horrible. It’s usually just the the things that we we should have been doing and probably forgot about.


Lisa Ryan  45:11

Right. Exactly.


Damon Pistulka  45:12

Yep. And it’s good stuff. So well, you know, Lisa, it’s so awesome to talk to you. Let’s before we finish up, though, you got the employee retention summit for manufacturers coming up. So let’s, let’s talk a little bit about that.



Yeah, it’s November 9 to the 11th. It’s a free events. I have 25, Rockstar manufacturing and retention experts that are joining me I that’s 24 programs, one of the ca lotton, which is a foundry I have both their sales manager and their HR director. So we get to see company culture from both sides of that scale. But the you know, it’s just like me and you are doing today, if there’s no death by PowerPoint, we’re just having about 25 to 30 minute conversation, sharing the best tips, tools and strategies to keep your top talent from becoming someone else’s.

And you can just go to and you have to put the www in front of it or it doesn’t work, but www dot employee retention And you can get your free ticket there. But it’s I’m so excited about it. And again, it’s nice. One of the gifts of COVID is that as many hundreds of hours as I have put into the planning of this in the last three and a half months. If I was working my normal speaking schedule, I would not have the time to do this. So I’m super excited about it. Yeah, it’s just a it’s just a great lineup. And you know, where a week and a half out. So


Damon Pistulka  46:51

yeah, yeah. Well, that’s, that’s awesome. So if someone’s listening, and you’re in manufacturing the employee retention summit for manufacturers, go to www dot employee retention. Sign up. Like I said, there’s going to be it’s 25 speakers. That’s, that’s quite a lineup.



Yeah, there. Yeah. And it’s, it’s everybody from Oh, man, I have Alan volio, who is an era renowned economist. I have Sam Silverstein, who’s known for accountability. I have Jessica young, who’s a woman in her 30s, who bought a manufacturing company and has completely changed the culture. Rue Patel was with General Mills for 30 years as a plant manager, and he talks about their company culture. And then we have some personal development like Maureen’s Apollo talking about imposter syndrome.

And MJ Callaway talking about, you know, resilience. So I tried to have this nice blend where it all ties back to employee retention. But we’re looking at it from both that personal connection and that business connection. So it’s just like I said, I’m really excited about it. So I


Damon Pistulka  48:08

hope you can join us. That’s awesome. And we’re gonna definitely visit as much as we can those two days. But Lisa, thank you so much for stopping by. It’s been awesome to talk to you and learn a little bit more about how you’re helping manufacturers with their retention, keeping their top talent and and the employee retention summit that you’re going to have November 9 through the 11th. Just thanks for stopping by. It’s been a great conversation. And I’m just so grateful to have you. Thank you.


Lisa Ryan  48:37

You’re very welcome. Thanks for having me.


Damon Pistulka  48:40

You bet. Well, everyone else we are going to sign out. Have a great day. Thank you.

Schedule a call to discuss your business goals and answer your questions on growing business value, preparing for sale or selling your business.

Check Out Posts Talking About Sales.

Related content

These posts may also interest you

Developing Annual Net Income Projections

In this week’s Exit Your Way Roundtable our guest speakers were Andrew Cross and Damon Pistulka. Andrew and Damon are the Co-founders of Exit Your Way.  Exit Your Way helps business owners build businesses that provide more money today that they can sell or succeed when they are ready.  Today we are discussing the final part in building annual projections.  Estimating the fixed costs and calculating the projected net income.

Developing Annual Projections

In this week’s Exit Your Way Roundtable episode, our speakers were Damon Pistulka and Andrew Cross. They are the Co-Founders of Exit Your Way. The conversation of the episode started with Damon sharing the topic of this episode.  Damon and Andrew help their clients build businesses they can sell or succeed.  Developing accurate projections is a big part in building a successful business.

Annual Strategic Planning and Projection Development

In this week’s Exit Your Way Roundtable episode, Andrew Cross and Damon Pistulka covered the steps business executive teams can use to perform their strategi planning for the upcoming year.  This episode is the first of a 3-part series where Andre and Damon will cover strategic planning, projection development for variable costs, and projection development for fixed costs to project the net income.