Turning the Tide on Employee Turnover

If so, join us for this Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, where Darcy Eikenberg, PCC, Founder, Red Cape Revolution, shares how employers can improve talent retention and engagement.

Are you a manufacturer who wants to reduce turnover and engage your workforce?

If so, join us for this Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, where Darcy Eikenberg, PCC, Founder, Red Cape Revolution, shares how employers can improve talent retention and engagement.

Darcy uses her skills and talents as an executive coach and speaker on talent retention and engagement issues. Darcy has worked with leaders from well-known companies, including Aon, The Coca-Cola Company, Deloitte, State Farm, Florida Gulf Coast University, Mondelėz International, PwC, and Workday, to improve employee retention and engagement.

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Darcy founded the Red Cape Revolution as a way to inspire people to rediscover their superpowers, bring them to their work, and make a bigger difference in their corner of the world. She has been quoted in Newsweek, Forbes, Thrive Global, ABC News, and Fox Business. Darcy is also the author of Red Cape Rescue: Save Your Career Without Leaving Your Job.

The show begins with Damon and Curt’s matchless energy. They are excited to talk to Darcy about turning the tide on employee turnover. Curt asks Darcy about her career, working with small companies like Coca-Cola and helping people with their careers. Curt also asks Darcy about her hero when she was a little girl.

Darcy’s hero is her dad, Jack, who traveled from New York to a small town in central Illinois. He worked hard and cared about his people. Her grandfather, who didn’t finish high school but became a major company’s chairman, also inspired her.

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After giving a big shout-out to Dad Jack, he asks Darcy to talk about how manufacturing influenced her career.

Darcy reveals that her family has a background in manufacturing. Her grandfather and father worked for a company that later became known for making copper pots and pans. Darcy’s father was the first college-educated person in the family and was asked to run a new plant in Illinois. Darcy grew up seeing the importance of manufacturing and its impact on the community. Darcy aims “to keep manufacturing jobs and grow manufacturing in this country.” She believes it is important to ensure that people are connected to the work and that it is meaningful.

The conversation now shifts to Darcy’s educational background, specifically her time at Northwestern University. Curt mentions that he applied to Northwestern in the past but ended up at a different university. Curt requests Darcy to give an account of her career path, from leaving high school to becoming a Northwestern graduate.

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Darcy says that she attended Northwestern University’s journalism program in Medill after high school but found that the traditional journalism training bored her after the first year. She transferred to the School of Speech for a more well-rounded education. After graduating, Darcy was surprised that her first job was as a reporter for an advertising trade magazine.

This experience opened her eyes to the world of content development and marketing. From there, she moved into change management and behavior, which has become a theme throughout her career. Darcy believes that most college students worry too much about their future and should focus on following the next rock in the stream and moving forward.

While discussing her symbolic “aha moment,” Darcy discloses that she had a successful career at a consulting firm for 15 years, eventually becoming a partner. However, during a C-suite meetup, she learned that the next step up in the company was not what she wanted, leading her to question her career path. She hired a coach and discovered her passion for human development, leading her to become a coach. The guest calls it her “catalyst moment.”

Curt invites Darcy’s simple and hopeful strategies to help stuck people take one step forward and get unstuck.

Darcy suggests that once people recognize that they are stuck, it’s important not to get caught in the swirl of negative thoughts and excuses. Instead, make at least one decision, whether getting a coach or talking to a friend, to help you see things differently. Recognize that they control only three things: what they think, say, and do. Understanding what is in their control can help them escape the swirl and start taking action.

Curt appreciates Darcy’s problem-solving strategies. He requests the guest to share tips and strategies to help employers with their stay strategy to reduce turnover.

Darcy says that the key to stemming turnover is to take control of our mindset and recognize that traditional solutions like pay and benefits are not enough. She recommends three elements for stay strategies: clarity, connection, and contribution. Clarity involves understanding what the team and the business want, which requires doing the homework to identify differences and avoid blanket assumptions.

Connection involves creating community and belonging through communication and team building. Contribution involves ensuring that team members understand how their work contributes to the larger mission and goals of the company. Employers can reduce turnover and create a more engaged and committed workforce by implementing these stay strategies.

Damon emphasizes the importance of understanding what employees want, especially as workplaces become more multigenerational. He notes that younger generations are looking for a larger purpose and vision from their leaders and that leaders need to adapt their approach to solicit input and meet those needs. Damon agrees with Darcy that stay strategies are not just about money but also include factors like a sense of purpose.

Curt mentions a question from Tina, one of the attendees, about leaders who are fearful and letting their employees take control. He asks Darcy for her opinion on the matter.

The guest advises that leaders should replace frustration with empathy and challenge leaders who have given up. They should focus on what they think, say, and do and change their mindset toward their employees. Leaders should engage in conversations with their employees and address avoidance behavior in a non-judgmental way. By doing so, they can help their employees feel valued and avoid losing them to other companies.

Curt can’t wait to know what comes after clarity. He asks the guest to talk about the remaining two stay strategies.

Darcy identifies connection as the second critical aspect of employee retention. Belonging is a basic human need that is magnified by the experiences of COVID-19. Feeling connected to something and having a best friend at work motivates people to stay.

Employers can accelerate connection by creating collisions and implementing strategies like “retention roundtables.” Retention roundtables bring together managers from different departments to cross-pollinate ideas, collaborate and support each other in a safe place facilitated by an external coach. Such strategies help create a more tightly-knit cohort group and foster a sense of belonging.

The guest further delves into the idea of connection. She believes leaders should take the time to acknowledge what’s right and what’s happened and encourage team members to share something they’re proud of that occurred in the past week. It can reveal things that leaders didn’t know about their team members and help build connections.

Leaders can learn more about their team members and build better relationships by taking a few minutes to ask them what they are proud of. This can also lead to other team members adopting the same habit.

Curt asks Darcy a question about the costs of creating a “squishy” environment.

Darcy discusses the cost of turnover and suggests that she’s interested in figuring out the cost to the leader. She talks about some math she’s been busy with to calculate the cost, including the cost of the leader’s salary, their time and opportunity, and their stress. She emphasizes that it’s important to consider not just the salary cost but also the value judgments and associated costs of stress and time.

The third pillar of the stay strategy is to understand what we can and cannot control. We only have control over what we think, say, and do, and it is important to teach others they have control over these things too. People need to learn to speak up and take control of situations, especially when they feel like a decision has been made unfairly. Moreover, Darcy’s book, Red Cape Rescue, provides tools to help people take control in many ways.

Curt asks Darcy about her experience working with different companies and celebrating when a client gains clarity, control, and connection. He asks Darcy which Bruce Springsteen song she would play to celebrate these moments with her clients.

Darcy mentions that if she is feeling good about herself and proud of her work, her go-to Bruce Springsteen song to celebrate with a client is “She’s the One,” which is one of her favorite songs.

Curt further winds down the conversation. He asks Darcy how she helps folks strategize clarity, control, and connection.

The guest reveals that she has a free insider community on her website, redcapeinsider.com, where she shares stories, encouragement, tips, and tricks related to the world of work. She encourages people to sign up and stay in touch and even welcomes questions and comments from members.

While imparting “any last words of wisdom, any parting thoughts with everybody,” Darcy expresses her gratitude for the generosity and support of the manufacturing community in their efforts to make work better for everyone. She highlights the importance of their work and thanks them for their passion and dedication to supporting people like her.

Damon expresses his gratitude to Darcy for joining the show and sharing her insights with the audience. He also thanks the listeners for their support and comments in building the show’s community.

With these conclusive remarks, the conversation comes to an end. Damon and Curt thank Darcy for this insightful discussion.

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Darcy Eikenberg, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson

Damon Pistulka  00:00

All right, everyone, it’s Friday and you know what that means? That means the manufacturing ecommerce success series. I’m one of your co host Damon Pistulka. That good looking guy right over there. The tsunami on two legs. There, Anderson. So host take it away Kurt. Came in, dude. Thank you, brother.


Curt Anderson  00:25

I, how was your Valentine’s Day? I see you like you guys both have read was good Valentine’s day this week. I will see David, did you Okay, well, you know what we’ll talk about how I want to make sure that you you know, I got to talk to Renee, your wonderful, amazing, beautiful wife. Make sure you Okay, so anyway, let’s get back on track. Damon, I totally starstruck today we have a powerhouse. In the house. We have my different Darcy Eichenberg Darcy, happy Friday. How are you?


Darcy Eikenberg  00:54

Happy Friday to everybody and happy belated Valentine’s Day. Yes, I wore my my red cape on for you and show you my love.


Curt Anderson  01:03

The red cape revolution is happening right here as we speak guy. So hey, Happy Friday, everybody. Hope you had an amazing, wonderful, incredible week. And boy, please sit back we have this is going to be a fun filled program. drop a note in the chat box, let us know that you’re out there give Darcy a big hello, we would encourage you invite you welcome you, you absolutely want to connect with Darcy here on LinkedIn.

So Darcy, you’ve had just an amazing, incredible career, you’ve worked like really small or you know, work with small companies like Coca Cola, and these little tiny things. But before I get into this wonderful career in this red cape that you fly, and how you’re helping people all over the country, with their careers, I have a question for you. As a little girl growing up, who was your hero? Who was your hero as a little girl growing up.


Darcy Eikenberg  01:57

I think as a girl growing up, it was my dad. That and I know you’re a girl had to write it. So my dad went from New York to a very small town in central Illinois, where he was going to be the head of a factory that happened to just be there. They had no relatives there. They had no friends there.

And, um, you know, my dad was the person that I studied and role model, you know, he, he worked hard, cared about his people didn’t always have it easy made mistakes. And, you know, in hindsight, I think we can also see more of those things when our parents were superhuman, but yeah, and my dad came from a family where, you know, his dad, who probably was a second in line, and I I fought with them both in my brain when you ask that question, you know, my grandfather didn’t, didn’t go to high school and went to work in the factory when his dad died.

And there were seven kids to feed and worked his way up to being chairman of the board of a major company and you know that those kinds of stories I think we overlook some stories today and they’re very inspiring and they continue inspire me so yeah, so my dad and his dad before him were probably you know, my heroes when I was growing up.


Curt Anderson  03:26

Well as to girl Dad’s here that warms our heart and what’s what’s dad’s name? Jack. So big shout out to Jack and I boy


Darcy Eikenberg  03:36

sent he has since since passed and on another plane, but I talked to him all the time. So I think he’s watching No, I’m


Curt Anderson  03:45

sure he’s absolutely watching. We are sending our thoughts and our prayers to Dad Jack, who’s watching down in his little baby girl here who’s just absolutely doing an amazing job. And so hey, we’ve got some great chat going on in the chat box. Tina is here or fellow mastermind Tina Thank you. She says her dad’s a hero. Nia is here Steve is gonna be coming on the program. Couple months date Daymond we’ve got Whitney we’ve got all sorts of folks so again guys drop a note in the chat box.

Let us know you’re out there. But if you have questions this time we’ve got coached our age and again she is a powerhouse Darcy I’m gonna stick with us for a minute okay, so dad Jack is your superhero and just and you shared a great story you know about manufacturing being on a shop floor good what how inspiring they move to a community and no nobody talked a little bit about what manufacturing meant to you your family and how like it really elevated you to the career that you have today.


Darcy Eikenberg  04:38

Yeah, so so so I mentioned my you know, my grandfather went to work for a company that later became revere copper and brass that people would you know later no for pots and pans and the copper water and pans. And, you know after college my dad also went to work for you know for that company, but During the first college educated person in the family, he was able to work his way into different types of roles. And when they were opening a new plant in a small town in central Illinois, he got the tap on the shoulder to go out and run it and put it together.

And, you know, and I remember so I was born there. So I wasn’t born in New York, where the major major factories were and where the work had originated. And so, you know, what I saw is, we, we would go, you know, we would go to the plant on a Saturday morning, and, you know, we’d walk through the plant and I see all the equipment, and kind of, you know, see the remnants of life on the factory floor.

And I remember picking up you know, little stamped pieces of, of metal, you know, to play with from time to time is all safe, of course, is where before, there probably were more protection seven days before that, that I knew how important that you know, not only the end product because we all have the end product in our homes, right and you know, having a near teakettle, or revere pot and pan and seeing the stamp on the bottom that said, Clinton, Illinois, and knowing that, like my friends and my family, you know, like my friends, their their parents work there.

And, you know, it wasn’t till I was later that I understood all the different types of roles and, and, and that even what my dad really did, and so, but, you know, it’s such a respect, we used to joke that, you know, I go to bed, say my prayers, you know, God bless mommy, God bless daddy, and God bless Revere, you know, the company of your life. I think it’s so important that is we have our manufacturing, factoring jo

bs, and we want to keep manufacturing jobs and grow, grow manufacturing in this country, that we really want to make sure that, you know, people are connected to the work and that the work is actually meaningful. Because it’s meaningful in the community, it’s meaningful and families, as well as for all the customers that those companies serve.


Curt Anderson  07:09

Man, I absolutely love that I can remember somebody just the other day, like when you talk about a small community, like what manufacturing does for a community, like you don’t hear about like, oh, it’s an accounting firm, community or the law firm community, like it’s a full, you know, a one factory town, or like this manufacturer did this for a community.

So Darcy, I absolutely love what you’re saying. And you talk about like that American dream, and you look at the career that you just really have blossom. Now I know being an Illinois, you are a Northwestern grad, if I’m not mistaken.

Now, Damon, you know, I don’t know if you notice, I’m a little kid out of the bag. I applied to Northwestern, but I messed up, I had the wrong direction. I was going to southeastern but anyway, they wouldn’t let me in Darcy, you went to Northwestern, a great prestigious college, wonderful university share, like how, what was your career path of leaving high school going to Northwestern? Did you see yourself where you are now? Like, what did that look like when you’re back in a wildcat? Back at Northwestern?


Darcy Eikenberg  08:07

Does anybody see themselves where they are now, I mean, I think our careers are always created in reverse, right. And this, you know, it’s something I wish I could like insert a chip into every college student, right now, to let them know that, you know, three quarters of the worry that they have about the future, they should let go.

Because Because all you can do is follow the next rock that is on in front of you on the stream, and sometimes you stretch to the right. You know, you step on a big rock, and sometimes you balance to the left, and you step on a little rock, but you know, you just have to keep moving forward. So for me, I went to Northwestern at in Medill, the journalism program.

And after the first year of the program, where, you know, a lot of what was being trained at the time was straight up, you know, traditional journalism, you know, who, what, where, when, how, and that kind of bored me, I didn’t see myself, you know, on the international desk for the New York Times, or writing business news for the Wall Street Journal. And so I transferred into what this was called the School of Speech, communication for a more broader education.

And wouldn’t you know, the first job that I got out of college was as a reporter, but it was for a advertising trade magazine with a world that I never knew existed that oh, wait, there’s these other places you can write that aren’t just, you know, obituaries? And traditionally, yeah, yeah. So, so that’s kind of how I got started into more content development and understanding advertising and marketing. And that led me to excel We’re change management and behavior. And that’s sort of been a theme through all my career.


Curt Anderson  10:05

Well, absolute love. I see everybody, Michael regalos here and again, guys, drop a note in the chat box. Let us know that you’re here. I see I think Tim’s got a question. I’m gonna hit that in just a moment. We’ll hit that one seconds. I don’t want to lose in the chat. Tina, one second. But what I want, you know, red cape revolution. I absolutely love when you and I first connected. I mean, like that just stood out. I was with your brand. I knew you just absolutely loved where you went there. Was there a point in your young career Early career?

When did it hit you? Was there an aha moment? Were like, you know, what? I feel I have like a God given talent of helping people with, you know, being a change agent, or just, you know, just you have rave reviews on the work that you’re doing. And you’re like, you’re truly changing lives. When was there a moment where you’re like, I think I’m on to something, I’m gonna go this direction. Do you remember that time? Or was it gradual? What did that look like?


Darcy Eikenberg  10:54

So you’re, again, really generous in creating my history. And, you know, looking back as opposed to looking forward? And quite honestly, because, you know, I grew up in a family that was a company, family, right. I, you know, after a few jobs early on, I eventually joined a firm, a large consulting firm.

And, you know, I thought that was where I was going to be you know, that I was a lifer. And I and I loved the work we did at the firm. It gave me exposure to lots of different companies, I had the great fortune to kind of peek inside and behind the curtain for lots of big name companies.

And I worked with a group of very high performing, you know, people and very caring, and it was company that was fast growing. And so I got a lot of opportunities really quickly. And I became a partner. And you know, it was, I was there for 15 years. And I think most people would say that, they would have assumed I was a lifer.

But like, you’re like many people, there’s a point as to where you keep growing and growing and growing. And then the next place up, look at it and say, the place that I want. And for me, I tell this story in the book, where it actually was I was on my way to a leadership team meeting that was in Chicago, I was coming from Atlanta, where I was at the times, this was in February, it’s cold. And I was in a rental car and trying to reach me, it’s just before we were Bluetooth, and we could talk and drive.

Same time. I’m not really talented at that even now, but so I pulled over into McDonald’s parking lot to take to take her call. And I remember how cold it was. And she told me that she was going to retire. And then that second, I realized, I don’t want that job. And then I also knew I wasn’t getting that job. And like if I’m not going to get the next job up.

And even if I did, I didn’t want it. What’s next for me? So that started me on the whole journey of the thinking, what do I want to do, and it’s when I hired my first coach and started kind of on my journey of recognizing what it is that I want to do in the next part of my career, I had no intention to become a coach. But I saw what was happening in the world of human development and, you know, realize that I had some assets that these are things that I had been doing, and then also could invest in learning more skills, more competencies. So that was kind of my catalyst moment, as I call it.


Curt Anderson  13:35

Well, that’s phenomenal. So I wanted anybody just join us. We’re here with Darcy Eichenberg red cape revolution. Chin and just this keynote speaker, workshop extraordinaire, author, we’re going to dig into her book, our topic today our is going to be stay strategies.

Before we get there, Darcy I want to talk a little bit about like how you make change and your folks and if you don’t turn off your mind, then sit back for a second. Okay, just Damon you ready? You’re ready for this reading. Or, like if I if I read everything if I shared everything that I read like we would be here for an hour but just here’s a few things that people say about Darcy. Okay. Move past fear faster. Thanks to Darcy.

There’s dozens and if you go guys, you want to connect with Darcy on LinkedIn, please do so you’ll thank them and I later warm engaging fantastic. Some sense of humor passion like it’s just over and over and these testimonials. I’m rarely impressed with somebody within 10 minutes of speaking I listened to Darcy for four hours that was like this. This is a quote that somebody said on LinkedIn. Emotional Intelligence is next level she presented at the Kellogg alumni enthusiastic clearly knows her stuff dropped aha moments.

Career Coaching with Darcy is like having coffee. Your closest friend, energy strategic close coach who asked the tough questions and people said that multiple times. And lastly Darcy He taught me how to be a mentor, Darcy, my goodness gracious, they out I saw Blind Spot Remover was another comment that I saw of yours. How


Darcy Eikenberg  15:09

male? I mean, there’s no, that’s very kind and I’m very proud of the work that, that that I’ve done, but I think I’m more interested in really, you know, where are we going and problems and things that we have the opportunity to solve? And, you know, and, and and it’s great to create results that people talk about. And yeah, I think we’re all still challenged. But you know, there’s, there’s more, there’s more to do. So I’m always glad people like you all who want to, you know, keep moving forward.


Curt Anderson  15:39

So how do you so how do you help somebody, we’re going to get into to stay strategies in a minute, I just like say something like, Damon, we have a number of friends, colleagues here that we talked to, you know, and again, working at manufacturers, maybe they feel a little bit stuck, or maybe, you know, COVID really threw them an awful curveball that, you know, COVID through, you know, it’s hard to find anybody that COVID didn’t throw a curveball at.

So, you know, wherever somebody is that in life, you know, just with these just great raving testimonials, I appreciate your humility, and I just wanted to just share my admiration, my respect, and just, you know, just off the charts of what you’ve done, you know, changing people’s lives. If somebody is stuck, just, you know, could just take us there for a minute, like, what are just some, I’m gonna say simple strategies, but what are some hopeful strategies that people could just start taking that one step forward to get unstuck?


Darcy Eikenberg  16:26

So first of all, I think once you recognize that you’re stuck, one of the challenges that I think happens is that we we, we get caught in the swirl. And you mean, we work with a lot of smart people. And the challenge with this is that a smart person says to themselves, when they’re stuck, I should be able to figure this out, oh,

I just have wet once the deadline has passed, once the kids get out of school once the economy flattens out once you know, and we stay in this world of being stuck, instead of making at least one decision. And I think sometimes, sometimes the decision and this is, of course, I’m biased, is to get out to get a coach to talk to a friend to have a mentor, because we can’t see the label from inside the jar, right?

We’re in our own swirl, we’re believing our own stories. And so having somebody else who can kind of look at what you’re doing. And often, that’s the first place that you know, someone will graciously introduce a friend to me or to introduce them to some of my content.

And I think first recognizing that you actually control only three things. You control what you think, what you say, and what you do. And when you recognize that is all that is in your control, you can get out of the swirl a little faster and start moving into action. Here, but that’s really one of the first things is recognize are in a swirl, and then understand what you have control over and what you don’t.


Curt Anderson  18:05

Perfect. Okay, so thank you. That was very powerful. Let’s slide into stay strategy. So now what we’re talking about is like, how do we how do we stop this turnover? This crazy going on? And you’ve just really been doing an amazing job helping employers are just trying to figure out that whole strategy. Take us there. What are some tips, strategies that you have for folks as far as the stay strategy?


Darcy Eikenberg  18:27

Yeah, well, so I think, you know, we think about stemming the tide of turnover in general. First, I do think it starts with, you know, our we take control of what we think because a lot of leaders I talked to, are throwing up their hands, and they’re like, you know, this is just inevitable. It’s just the mindset of the moment. There’s absolutely nothing that I can do, or I’ve done everything that I can, right.

And often the things that we’re thinking about that we’ve done it you have to do with with traditional solutions, pay benefits. And of course, pay has to be equitable, right? We have our work our company has done our work to say, how are we bring pay up to the, you know, to levels that are fair and equivalent to the value that the roles are creating? So none of these strategies are ways to to underpay or undervalue your people, right?

There’s a there’s a baseline first of doing good work. Beyond that, I think the three elements that make up the stay strategies, programs, and it gets implemented a little differently for each company, but starts with clarity. What is what does our team want? What do our people want?

Often I think we’re making these blanket assumptions. And we haven’t really done the homework to understand where the differences might lie. What might just be the loudest voice in the room That’s actually not representative of the whole. And, you know, we’ve seen this a lot coming out of coming out of COVID coming out of just, you know, just stages of, of disruption, that it’s easier to make a blanket assumption, it’s easier just to say, well, everybody wants more of this, everybody wants more time off.

So we’re going to give them more time off, or everybody wants hybrid work. So we’re going to give them hybrid work, but doing the work to get the clarity. And this is on both sides, too. It’s also the clarity for the person that the you know, your team to understand what the business needs. You know, I feel like in the past few years, we’ve lost a lot of business acumen.

And this is actually a piece that is these a differentiate between people moving up or not, do they understand, not just what we make, but how what we make makes a difference how what we make make something better, and especially in industries where it’s a b2b industry, they may you work with a lot of those types of groups, as opposed to, you know, we’re making pots and pans or we’re making clothes. But, you know, we’re making a widget that goes with 50 other widgets to make a car.

I mean, this is more complex business conversation, the clarity on that, I think is super important. So that’s one aspect of, of the state strategies that when we’re working, we work both with the teams and the leaders to make sure both sides have clarity about what’s most important. So that’s one aspect. I’ll stop there. Well, go ahead. Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  21:38

I you you are hitting the nail on the head. Because if you don’t give your guessing at what your people want, you’re probably wrong, first of all, and then it takes a different approach, right, because we were dealing with a multigenerational environment, people like me, we don’t we’re the were the the older generation, right? We we didn’t have leaders that were sharing a larger purpose, a larger vision.

But as you go into the next generations younger than then people like that is becomes more and more important. And leaders need to, to change how they’re leading and soliciting that that input, because it’s so critical. It’s just it’s one of the things that I think you touched on, and really it drives it home for me is you need to understand what your people really want. Because it’s not just money. It’s a sense of purpose. It’s there’s there’s so many other things around it that


Curt Anderson  22:41

I think that ties in I didn’t read the entire question. Let’s pull up. Let’s see. I think would I skimmed it real quick. I think. So my clients are fearful for certain employees leaving and they seem to be coming weak leaders. I see them not wanting to leave the courageous conversations great. They need to have what advice would you give a leader who is fearful and beginning to let their employees run the roost? Tina, thank you. Excellent question. Darcy, what do you think about that? Yeah. So


Darcy Eikenberg  23:11

I think first of all, when we sense as maybe a leader of leaders that we’ve got leaders that are given up, that are kind of throwing their hands up and saying, Hmm, this is just the world right now, those people they want everything or these quote unquote, kids today, or this older generation, I’ve seen it actually happen on both sides, right.

So I think, first of all, it’s worth challenging the leader to to replace that frustration with empathy. So what I mean by that is to recognize that when we are approaching a situation where we’re making up the story, and we’re not just assuming positive intent, assuming that if this person, if something’s not working for this person, then like, then I want to know why I want to dig into the clarity,

I want to understand, instead of being frustrated at the situation, and giving up and then to the point about the question, you know, looking at more of the details of the question, but I think the leader who is starting to get fearful, also has to recognize all that they can control are the three things, what they think what they say, and what they do.

And you as their leader, or leader of leaders has to recognize that it’s not in complete control that somebody say, but Has somebody done things are there ways they can think differently about this person? Instead of thinking, you know, having the mindset this person is oh, they’re just always going to be a troublemaker, or they’re just always going to ask for more. They’re never going to be happy here. So I’m just not going to pay attention to them and have a thought right or what I say, am I saying, I want you to stay you are valuable here.

You know, what do we need to do together to make this experience the one that you want, no matter when you move on, but even engaging in those kinds of conversations, and then you know what you do? I think when we have avoidance behavior, that sends a message, right, and it’s just, you know, we’re all humans are messy. And recognize that sometimes people are doing things.

And I’ve seen this as the some post COVID behavior, doing behavior that doesn’t actually serve them. But they’ve just gotten into the habit like phoning in for meetings, and multitasking, instead of being present. If it’s an online meeting, we’ve got to call people out on that. And we doesn’t have to be in a mean or judgmental way. It’s just a mirror, right? I’m, I’m making an observation that you’re checked out during the weekly status meeting, right? Is there something else going on here?

Or, or to be direct? I’d like you to really like to make sure that meeting has your input, can you know, we make some adjustments? Right? And, you know, the chances are when you when you call someone out honestly, with empathy, not frustration? Yeah. Oftentimes, they’re gonna be like, Yeah, you’re right. You caught me on my crap. And you know, they may not say that, but they know where you stand and what you want.



Right? I absolutely, absolutely love that.


Damon Pistulka  26:38

That’s awesome. So awesome. Because I was just, I was just talking with a client about this. And we don’t deal with individuals as much as we do with the owners of the business doing it. But same to her very question here. We use a lot of Eos kind of, you know, you have to know, is this the right place for this person at this time in their career. And as businesses change?

People will leave businesses just because it’s not a good fit for them. And there’s nothing you can do as a leader of an organization to change that. But having the hard conversations, like you’re talking about understanding and with empathy, like you said, not frustrated that it’s not working out, but just being honest and open about it. I mean, is it the right place for them now? Are they just simply not happy because the role has had to change or the business and industry has changed or something like that?

That is a time I think to celebrate the fact that help them get to where that is better for them personally. And they can help you make sure that the transition is is not abrupt or ugly, if you if because if you avoid the conversation, we know what’s going to happen. They’re just going to say, Ah, here’s my, my notice, and I’m gone. Right?


Darcy Eikenberg  27:55

Right. And the unexpected departure is always more painful than the one where we’re being honest. And we know, okay, this lifecycle of this particular thing is going to come to an end, how do we close out a relationship with grace and respect. And, you know, again, not everybody can do that. And that certainly doesn’t always happen in a business. But one of the other things that, that you said, Damon, you know, that I’ll often talk to groups and remind them that our work is all made up.

And even when we know a role in a factory or a role in a business management has to have certain aspects of it. When we’re not really understanding not having the clarity of what that what the people are people need or an individual needs. We also cut off the opportunity for them to think about the business and think about other places where they might fit in. And sometimes, yes, people love the role or the pain that that job solved, get solved. And so there’s no need for the role anymore.

Every open job is just a problem to be solved, right. And often we solve problems, we implement new technology, we we have a different client who needs different things a different customer. But when we also can invite our people to say how do you use what you want to do more of how do you use what you bring for some of our bigger business problems? We get to make up different things and keep our people and that institutional knowledge without you know, all that knowledge walking out the door.


Curt Anderson  29:36

Yeah, absolutely love that. So, darts and let’s go here. So I have done you mentioned clarity is number one, then you wanted to pause as we’re talking about the state strategies. Do we want to pick up from there? Is there is there a number two, I feel like I’m on a cliffhanger. Is there a number to waiting for?


Darcy Eikenberg  29:51

Is yes, there’s two and three. So the second one is connection. I think we talked about this a little bit. I mean, this is a basic human Need, and I think it was magnified by the experiences that people had during COVID. But you know, belonging is critical to humans, and feeling connected to something and, you know, gallops classic data, of people leaving managers, you know, not leaving companies.

And also, they have recent data that showed the, the presence of a best friend at work has actually declined. And that’s actually a motivator for people to stay if I feel like I’m seeing if I feel like I belong. And these things can feel a little squishy sometimes. But I also think there’s, I mean, first of all, we all experienced it in ourselves, right? We know the groups where we felt like we belong, where we feel safe. This goes back to the brain science that the brain wants that feeling of certainty and safety.

Our world doesn’t provide that. But the people who know like, and trust us can provide it. So as the employer, how can you accelerate connection, you know, I call it creating collisions, sometimes Ms. Maybe strategies, like I teach, in some companies, what we call retention roundtables, and they are managers from across the company that come together, in some cases, once a month, some cases once every two weeks, and cross pollinate what’s happening for them, what are the ideas?

What’s working, where are they struggling, and it’s fascinating to these people who don’t get an opportunity in their normal work, to connect and collaborate to create a construct, where they get permission to come together, they get safety, to talk about these things.

So they’re often facilitated by an external coach. So it’s a safe place to say, you know, I don’t know what to do. But this, here’s my scenario, and to have others in the same company, be able to support them, be able to share strategies, and connect them with different types of opportunities. And these retention roundtables can be incredibly beneficial to create a more tightly knit group of a cohort and belonging, and you know, and so, so that is another aspect of helping people stay is to know that they’re connected to something.


Curt Anderson  32:21

Absolutely love it. So, lino clarity, connection, I love, you know, you’re talking about, you know, creating that safe environment, and especially, you know, the target that we’re speaking to small companies, you know, 20 employees, sometimes less, right, maybe 510.

But, you know, there’s chances, there’s risks, and a lot of people who don’t want to look like the fool, or don’t want it, you know, like you were talking about technology earlier, you know, if there’s a manufacturer wants to institute a new ERP system, who’s going to take that chance of instituting the wrong ERP system, or you know, hiring the wrong firm or buying the wrong piece of equipment, you know, so let’s take another, and I know, I know, we have a cliffhanger, we have number three coming up.

But take it one step further. I’d love to hear for that small manufacturer, that small entrepreneur out there, how do you, you know, we’re, you know, like you said, he gets a little squishy, I think was a word that you wrote down, you know, how do you create that safe environment to you know, like, we’re gonna make mistakes, we’re human, we’re just gonna make mistakes. But how can we do it together as a team and really create that firm connection?


Darcy Eikenberg  33:19

Yeah, so one of the things that I think is a strategy anybody can implement right now is even with a small team, so let’s say that you have 20 people, you know, on your team, and even if they’re physically co located, and you think I know everything about what’s going on with that person, chances are every time you have a meeting, you start with all the stuff that’s undone, or all the stuff that’s wrong.

And what you don’t do is take the time to acknowledge what’s right, or what’s happened, or one of the things I love to do, to kind of like, just changed the tenor of the conversation. As to, okay, 30 seconds, what’s one thing you’re proud of that’s happened in the past week.

Anything that was tied to your KPIs, or it doesn’t have to be no one else may even know about it. And every time that I’ve had the opportunity to be in the room and facilitate these conversations, as leaders are like building their muscle as to how to do this, how to slow down to speed up, you know, how to slow down the meeting to talk about other things before we get into the juice of what we’re together here today to talk. They always find something they didn’t know.

And they think, you know, I’ve known Randy for 12 years, and I didn’t realize that that’s the kind of thing that really, you know, gets him excited that lights him up. Because when we invite people to say something where they can’t be wrong. What’s What’s the biggest thing you’re proud of in this past week? You’d be wrong if I said I’m proud of staying out of the argument with the car customer who was really getting grouchy, like you can’t be wrong out of it. It’s you know, but it’s revealing. It’s super revealing.


Damon Pistulka  35:11

That’s awesome.


Curt Anderson  35:13

Darcy, we so on our program, we have these little things called moments of silence. Yeah. So we just want everybody you know, it’s it’s lunchtime here in the East eastern time zone. So we just want to savor that just what a great brilliant piece of AI you know what, I’m embarrassed I, I’m, I’m guilty as charged, man. Hey, what are we going to fix today? I’m the fixer. What are we going to fix? Brilliant.


Darcy Eikenberg  35:38

I mean, as leaders that we became leaders, right, you know, stuff done. And we have to recognize that in our world of talent, today, we’re trying to stem the tide of turnover, we’ve got to hit the reset button. And we’ve got to reconnect with people in different ways.

And sometimes that is that we have to slow down to speed up, that we have to take that step back in order to be able to go forward faster. And, you know, I worry that we don’t always teach that, you know, because these are, these are some basic people and relationship skills. But they’re also how to be able to balance it in ways that can scale that you can do things like that with a team and build those habits.

And you know, it’s working, when it starts to mirror back when other people start to do that, when they start to do it in their teams. And they take just, you know, just a few minutes. And again, you know, we’ve all got one of these right where we can time stuff today. And, and it doesn’t have to be a big, you know, going on oh, if I if I get started then you know, Susan will never stop talking. It’s like no, you gotta you got a buzzer. You got a timer. It’s gonna do. Yeah, yeah. Well,


Curt Anderson  36:54

Darcy, how about this comment here? Little mic drop moment for you. How’s that one? So, Hey, Tina is here. She says she loves the comments about the safe collaboration. Our dear friend, our boy, our mastermind partners are here supporting us giving us lots of love.

Attention on tables, and 18 question. Now, let’s question a cliffhanger because I’m not a mathematician or a math major. I think we’re swinging bacon. Right? So guys, you’re gonna have to hang out for no 3d. But we’ve got question for Darcy. I see it wasn’t exactly cost to the cost to the pain so they can find reasons to embrace these changes. What are the costs of creating a squishy? Pasta not having the courageous conversations? While Tina? Yeah,


Darcy Eikenberg  37:49

it’s a great question. This is actually something I’ve been doing more research and looking at some different ways to talk about this. So certainly, there are ways that we will look at what the cost of turnover is in terms of what’s the cost of rehiring, what’s the cost of retraining, but I actually am really interested in being able to figure what’s the cost to the leader, because, you know, we talk about, you know, leaders in teams as if they were entities with one single brain.

But you know, it comes down to a person like a company, like companies don’t make decisions, people, a person makes a decision, they might lead a decision collectively with other leaders. But so what’s the cost to you as a leader, so some of the math that I’ve been playing with? We’re actually trying to figure out a calculator for this.

So anybody who’s like a great calculator maker, you know, come see me. But is the cost of First of all, there’s your salary. And then you know, what’s the cost of your hour? And what’s the opportunity cost of last hour? Because if someone’s leaving your team that cost you time, what’s the cost of your stress? What and then then being able to trickle that down to if you magnify, say, five leaders of leaders, and they’re all $150,000, and if it even cost them seven hours in a month, what is that cost to the organization?

So I think sometimes coming back to not only thinking about the cost from a salary perspective, but also the cost for like, what is the cost of stress? What would you pay, to have less stress about are going to have enough people to get that client deliverable done? These things are value judgments and ultimately, that’s what we pay for. Right? We pay for value. We don’t pay for things we pay for the value we associate with.


Curt Anderson  39:59

The money Full Time, Darcy, you can hang out with us for a couple more minutes because I know we have time if you need to run, if you have another meeting, we’re here with Darcy Eichenberg. We strongly urge you. For you connect with Darcy here, LinkedIn, dropped her website in the chat box. You can use this maybe Darcy has free tools on her website. She has courses, she has classes. She’s just a powerful speakers. I’m going to drop the chat box. We we ready for three?


Damon Pistulka  40:49

In this is just think we talked about the time and turnover? If you have high turnover, who is saying? That’s a bigger challenge, I think in business, then then people even measure it all. Because it’s like, who is staying? Right?


Curt Anderson  41:14

What happens when you lose the rock star,


Damon Pistulka  41:15

right? When you lose rock star, like Michael said, it’s like, you lose your if it’s just if you have high turnover, who is staying.


Darcy Eikenberg  41:28

The things that we often do in the clarity stage of estate strategies is to also identify who are the most important people because he love everybody, we want everybody to stay. But some people have ripple effects more than others. And you know, we only have a finite amount of time in our day and our energy. And so saying, Okay, I see where the not only the formal reporting relationships are.

But those informal circles, the reverberations, and to know that if I can just target time and attention in some of these strategies to these five people, does that actually create more result for me, and teach them the strategies which actually admit it, don’t go to occur. You know, the third strategy, it’s part of what I call the state strategies is the site of control of both understanding when we talked about the sort of the top of our time, what you control and what you don’t. And we only control those three things, what we think what we say and what we do. But we can also teach people well, that they control those things, too.

And so people who aren’t speaking up when something is going on key, or that’s just like not, or a decision gets made, and it lands on them a different way that people were, who are not feeling that they can actually say, hey, when you promoted when you promoted Damon over me, like that sent a message to me, help me understand what you really meant there and what that means to me. We’ve got to teach people how to take control. And that’s part of what my book is about of giving you the tools where you can take control in many ways for yourself.


Curt Anderson  43:13

Turn Darcy, sorry to follow you. So I dropped Darcy’s book in the in the chatbox. And just you know, dozens and dozens and dozens of five star reviews. Darcy you have a great testimonial from Daniel Pink. You have our dear testimonial from our dear friend Dorie Clark. And so guys, I strongly encourage you invite you welcome you. Grab, grab Darcy’s book, it is just a phenomenal read. And as you’re just getting a small taste, to say I know you are busy person and I don’t want to be I don’t want to I could keep you just like that. One gentleman said she kept my attention for four hours, you just really truly have a gift.


Darcy Eikenberg  43:52

In a large manufacturing company.


Curt Anderson  43:56

You know exactly what I’m talking about. Right. His name was Keith, if I’m not mistaken


Darcy Eikenberg  44:02

for an awesome company in southwest Florida growing super fast all over the country. Yeah.


Curt Anderson  44:06

Perfect. So as we start winding down, well, here’s here’s one question I want, okay. You work with all sorts of different manufacturer, not different industries, different companies. So manufacturers, as you said, Now, I’m going to I’m going to get I know Damon, we goof around a lot. I’m going to get real serious knowledge. I say ready, I’m gonna get real serious when you’re working with a company.

You just just the aha moment comes you see the team change. You see that person you know, again, you’re very humble and hope I didn’t embarrass you with some of those wonderful raving comments. When you’ve just had just a wonderful celebration Damon use that word celebrate earlier. I love that word.

Celebrate when you have a celebration. When somebody just has that clarity, they gain control they have that connection. All your three seasons you’re talking about what Bruce Springsteen song are you breaking out to celebrate? That’s my question for you when you are celebrating with a client where you just absolutely crushed it. What is your go to Bruce? song for your client?


Darcy Eikenberg  45:02

Was my go to Bruce straw who well we it would just be too cliche to say Born to Run. I think when I if I’m feeling really good about myself, you know, like if it’s like you know, I’m proud of the work that I’ve done, then it’s probably she’s the one which is an under under Haile a bit a song that I I, I love a lot.


Curt Anderson  45:24

So in anybody under the age of 40 Who’s as Bruce guy, Bruce. So we’re talking about Bruce Springsteen. So Darcy and I are a big Bruce Springsteen fan. She just went see Bruce recently. And so I felt compelled, I had to ask you this. So Whitney, I saw that you jumped to share that link. Again, it was really long link. So I’m going to drop your book. And again, guys, it’s called red cape, right? To save your career without leaving your job. And again, connect with Darcy on LinkedIn. And you’re going to just see like how foot and again, you had a gentleman his name was hodnett.

I think it was Michael hudna, Michael Hartnett, shared how like, he helped shine a light to him, were like you brought his his aspirations his goals came true, and never had to leave his job. So I love these tactics and the strategies that you’re bringing to folks. As we’re winding down, we mentioned connect with you on your website, you have free tools, you have courses, can you share with you have a wonderful community? Can you just share with the folks about your community that you have and how you help folks? Yeah, definitely


Darcy Eikenberg  46:27

red cape insider.com. If you have any trouble with that, sometimes firewalls get wonky, just, you know, connect with me on LinkedIn. But every week, I have what I call my insider community totally free. That’s where I share little stories, encouragement, tips, tricks, just things that are coming up from the world of work that I’m observing, you know, with the great fortune that I have to be able to see things through many different under angle, other angles. So signing up for my entire community, it’s a great way to keep in touch.

I also encourage people who were in there to email me back and send a question or a comment. And so it’s also a way that we you know, stay in closer touch. And then also I get to hear from many of you all over the world.


Curt Anderson  47:10

Absolutely. So hey, boy, just a lot of great positive comments. And just you know, Tina, of course, our colleagues, our friends within the mastermind Whitney’s dropping great comments. We have a bunch of other folks here. Darcy, as we wind down my last question for you, I opened up with who is your hero, we talked about the back your wonderful, amazing dad. He’s shining a bright light right on you today.

And of course, grandpa, and just all these wonderful folks in your family that elevated you, you’re sharing your gifts and talents with folks in your world. 2023. Man, we’re like we’re already halfway through February, who or what is your inspiration today? As we’re moving forward, you’re helping folks with estate strategy, you have this amazing book, you’re helping folks all over the country, who are what is your inspiration today that keeps you motivated.


Darcy Eikenberg  48:01

So I think it’s a what that is my mantra, that’s somebody out there needs me. And that’s the mantra that keeps me going when it gets hard, or keeps me coming, you know, out to situations like this, when I could probably put my foot in the mouth, my mouth or something goofy. But somebody out there needs me. I may not know ever what the one somebody is until they have the courage to reach out or use of my content or buy my book or those sorts of things.

But, but I trust in that somebody out there needs me. And I offer that to anybody who’s ever felt like are they holding back? Are they not trying some different things? Are they not working in a different way that, you know, helps retain their people or grow their team? Somebody needs you and you just may not know what it is they need. You just gotta be out there trying it and doing it.


Curt Anderson  49:05

Man, this is so good. Granville really played it safe, could catch a wonderful, incredible corporate career. And you could have just, you know, wrote and had a wonderful career doing that. And right, and instead you took the you had the courage, you took that leap of faith, you throw on that entrepreneurial hat, and you’re just an incredible, wonderful coach, helping all sorts of folks, and what a gift and what a blessing you are to all of us. This past whatever time it’s been has been just so I’m just at a loss of words.

I feel so fortunate to be in your world and your circle. I have a really exciting year ahead. We can with you and our folks in our little little mastermind group that we’re in Darcy So, Damon we’re gonna wind down Darcy, any last words of wisdom any parting thoughts with everybody?


Darcy Eikenberg  49:57

Well for the generosity that you Without not just to me, which you know, moved and flattered, but also to you all putting all this energy into the world into your communities and the topics you’re talking about. As we think about our manufacturing people, we think about the leaders who are trying to make work work better for everybody. I think it’s so important and thank you for all the work and the passion that you put into it and the support that you offer for people like me all year long, I love it.


Curt Anderson  50:30

Absolutely. So, guys, thank you for joining us today and just boy what a what a blessing. That’s all I can say just what a blessing and boy if I hope you were inspired, if you’re inspired, grab Darcy’s book check out her website join her community. Anytime you see Darcy speaking boy get in the front row absorb all this brilliant


Darcy Eikenberg  50:50

how to speak I love coming out where we were traveling now man I love


Curt Anderson  50:56

the Power House Speaker So guys, thank you for joining us today and just like Darcy did as she just shared be someone’s inspiration. Boy, you just don’t know what somebody’s going on. Is Darcy pointed out through this whole program. We don’t know what people are going through. Just be someone’s inspiration. Damon, take it away my friend.


Damon Pistulka  51:19

Thank you so much Darcy for being here today. I just that speech just that points that it was it was incredible to be able to talk with you. Thanks, everyone who was listening who commented who come weekend week out and help build this show, build the community around it because you’re helping everyone as as we share wonderful people like Darcy in their insights. But appreciate you all. We will be back again next week with another show. Thank you.


Curt Anderson  51:54

We’re up for now break and hang out with us one side.


Darcy Eikenberg  51:58

Hi, all thanks for

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