Talent Retention With A Difference

by Alumni Content in Alumni Leaders Podcast   |    Last Edited: 16th December 2020

Podcast Name:            People Leaders Podcast

Episode:                       Ep. 96 – Talent Retention With A Difference

Air Date:                       16th June 2020

Host:                             Jan and Michelle Terkelsen, Founders and Managing Directors at People Leaders

Guest:                           James Sinclair, Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni

Jan and Michelle from The People Leaders podcast chat with James about why organizations should be actively engaging employees when they leave instead of just handing out a cupcake and a high five.

Companies spend fortunes trying to find the perfect employee – the random person on the internet who has the skills, culture fit, and other buzz words needed within the organization. Then they spend more on continuous education, retention, and performance. These are investments that businesses should be maintaining relationships with, even when they inevitably walk out the door.

These people are going to go out and get new skills, new education, new opinions, new everything. Why wouldn’t you want to stay in touch with them?

You’ll Learn:

  • Why organizations are reframing their response to employees leaving.
  • That known-person recruiting greatly improves the odds of successful hires.
  • Moving into the business recovery phase could mean turning to alumni retirees – they have invaluable experience seeing through and returning from a crisis.
  • Alumni programs are a useful resource for businesses to stay in touch with and support employees who have been furloughed or laid off during the pandemic.
  • Why the conversation around leaving is an important one to have with employees, even at the beginning of your relationship. Let them know that the employee experience won’t end at the exit interview.

Original Link: https://peopleleaders.com.au/james-sinclair-interview-talent-retention/

Announcer (00:02):
Welcome to the People Leaders Podcast, the audio resource for managers and business leaders, creating high performing teams. Join leadership and team development experts, Jan and Michelle Terkelsen each week as they explore both subjects from every angle. Through practical tips, valuable insights and compelling interviews with leadership experts around the world, you'll learn how to bring out the best in your staff and how to give your best as a leader.
Jan Terkelsen (00:29):
Hello Michelle.
Michelle Terkelsen (00:30):
Hello Jan.
Jan Terkelsen (00:31):
I'm really excited about this podcast. We have a wonderful guest called James Sinclair. We have touched base through LinkedIn and we are very interested in his company, which is called Enterprise Alumni. And when I asked him to explain it, he talked about recruitment and when people leave they usually give you a cupcake and a high five. However, he has a really wonderful perspective about how you can really engage people when they do leave. He also has a background in large enterprise innovation. He's worked for companies such as IBM, SAP and EDS. And for those who are in America, you would understand those large companies, but outside of his day job, he contributes a lot to media on the future of work and large enterprise innovation and entrepreneurship. And he has some fantastic opinions around how to create diversity in high-performing teams, what he terms a second degree talent pool, which I love. And also he has some clear opinions on exit interviews. So we are excited and-
Michelle Terkelsen (01:45):
Yeah welcome James.
Jan Terkelsen (01:48):
Come on in.
James Sinclair (01:49):
Thanks guys. Jen, if you could just join every call I'm on for the rest of my life and do that introduction, I just need a little bit of theme music.
Jan Terkelsen (01:58):
And the other thing that we're interested in is you said that you were an ENTJ. Michelle and I are Myers-Briggs practitioners. And one of the questions I've always wanted to ask you is what is the gift of being an ENTJ and what's one of the downfalls that you find?
James Sinclair (02:14):
Oh, got to be careful with my language on this one.
Jan Terkelsen (02:16):
No, no, that's all right.
James Sinclair (02:19):
I think one of the gifts... I'm going to start... One of the downsides is it sometimes can be perceived as arrogance. It can sometimes be perceived as not listening to others as not welcome to outsider opinion. All the things that come with the fine line between are you leading or is this a militia dictatorship? And I think ENTJ sometimes has some of those qualities that can be perceived as being openly a little bit one sec is it your way or the highway? I think, however, it's not really that. I think there is an impatience of information. So for how I think it applies to me and I am not well versed. I did it with a company I was with many years ago and the lady told me what I was and gave me this booklet and said, I'm not sold you want to read it.
But I think it's, we come to opinions very quickly. We're willing to trust gut. We're willing to run fast and we do listen and we take it on board. We just don't always recognize and we don't always perhaps take the moment to say, thank you for your opinion. Thank you for your idea. I hear you. And that's opening something I've always worked on my life of being like, I'm not interrupting you, I promise. I already understand what you're going to say. I don't need you to it. I don't need the other eight words of that sentence and openly. I mean that with all the love and respect in the world because it's true.
Jan Terkelsen (03:36):
Yeah. And that's a typical scenario that we find with extroverts, but those who have a thinking aspect to their preference and also that judging aspect as well. So you had that beautiful dynamic in the ENTJ.
Michelle Terkelsen (03:49):
You summed it up very well. Well done, Jan. Now I'd like to know, tell us about Enterprise Alumni. Who are you? What do you do? What are you focusing on?
James Sinclair (03:59):
Yeah, thanks Michelle. So our focus is on the post-employment experience. And as Jan referred to it. Companies spend millions of dollars trying to find that perfect stranger, that perfect random person on the internet that is going to have the skills they need and the culture fit and all the other buzz words for their organization. Then when they join, they spend even more money on trying to create high-performance, trying to create continuous education, retention, whatever you want to call it. And then when you leave, "Well thank you for your service," and that's the end of it. And there is no other asset, there's no other concept where you would just let someone you've invested so much in just walk off your balance sheet or walk out of your company. And so we focus on when you leave, why wouldn't you stay in touch with these people? These people are going to go out, they're going to get new skills, new education, new opinions, new everything. And ultimately you need advocates out there, especially now.
Michelle Terkelsen (04:53):
Oh without a doubt. And when I just think of people who are going on maternity leave, there is a lot of time and energy invested into that group of people. Some do decide to come back and some don't. It's always perplexed me as to why organizations don't spend even a 10th of the time and the energy and the effort on the exit as they do on the entry into the organization. And so what I'd like to know is what are your thoughts about exit interviews?
James Sinclair (05:26):
Well, alphabetically, numerically-
Michelle Terkelsen (05:31):
It's always I just don't understand. We always thought that's a gold mine of information and people are not tapping into it. What's that about?
James Sinclair (05:40):
So I think to get to the exit interview, the conversation one has to recognize what are the odds of success of trying to find someone via LinkedIn, Indeed, Dice, any of these job hunting sites versus someone I know? I know your performance, Michelle. I know what you got paid. I know you're learning. I know your manager reviews. I know what you hate. I know what you love. I know all of these bits and pieces. I know the content you create, which means the chance that you're going to be a good fit for the role is extraordinarily high, because the true only way to understand a culture fit forgetting all of these AI techs that are going to try and work out whether or not you're going to really mesh with the organization. The only real way to know how great you are, is to work with you.
It's exactly the same as dating to a certain expect. I'm not looking to go into the gutter, but everyone at the beginning of their relationships has that dating period on their best behavior. Everything's good. Of course, I washed my mugs after I finished my coffee and then four months in three mugs in the sink. And I think it's the same with employment as well. It is. And the second thing is if you come back to a company, you're high-performing tomorrow. There's no awkward first meeting where, "Who's that? What's that? Can I talk? What's the politics?"
So respecting that leaving is inevitable is such an important thing. And the more you don't make it a thing, and it's just inevitable. Of course you're going to leave. And when you leave, we're excited because the job you're going to is because of what we gave you here. It's because we fought for you here. You're not leaving in spite of us, you're leaving because we're so great. And so that leads to the exit interview, a long-winded answer, which is, it should be as amazing as how you joined the organization.
There's a lot of conversation that people don't leave companies, they leave managers. Yeah, some of the time. Other times it's because there's another opportunity. That's just better than perhaps you couldn't get in this organization. Or if you think about career growth, most people grow into a next job, but they're not quite ready for. The falling upwards or inwards for a job. So the reason you didn't get the promotion at the company you're in is you're not quite ready for it, but another company doesn't know that and potentially offers you that role. And so I think that's the amazing thing. So to end that soap box, shock that people don't spend time on making sure leaving is amazing is I think a quote from the Starbucks CHRO, but I'm probably wrong. But he basically said, "Treat everyone like a customer at every single step of the way. Your employee experience should be a consumer like experience. If you wouldn't do it to a customer, don't do it to an employee."
Michelle Terkelsen (08:00):
Oh yeah, absolutely. We love that idea in terms of treating your employees as you would a customer. That's a really high standard to hold and worthwhile. You are repaid by doing that. Okay, Jan.
Jan Terkelsen (08:15):
So I wanted to talk about high-performing team. So Michelle and I are really invested in creating high-performing teams. And one of those elements is how to create diversity. And it's not just in age and gender. A lot of it is diversity of thought. So we would be interested in hearing your opinion is how do you create diversity in teams?
James Sinclair (08:41):
I believe, and I'm really keen to hear your views and your experience. I believe high-performing teams come from small teams with diverse opinions, little budgets and unfair goals, unfair expectations. When you have those kind of smaller agile teams, they can run faster and do quicker. I think there's a lot of data around that, but I think diversity of opinion is the biggest piece of it, which is you don't need... Again, whether you're talking about neuro diversity or gender or race, whatever it might be, it's just opinion of thought. People who've had different experiences. Been there, done that, never been there, never done that has no idea what you're talking about. That person is equally valid to be in the room as the person, especially around the ideation phase, where you're thinking, how are we going to do it?
Because ideas are the easy part. The execution is always the hard part of a high-performing team. Brainstorming is generally the funner part. But I think that comes from this concept of where are people going when they leave and who do we miss? Who is amazing that went somewhere? I think I read a study a little while ago, that said one of the great things you can do with a high-performing employee that you think might get trapped or stopped in your organization is kick them out and essentially kick them to another company. And I'm sure, again, my data's a little bit wrong somewhere, but kick them somewhere out, let them get that experience, let them get everything they're looking for and then actively nurture them, actively talk to them and recruit them back into that senior role as and when they're ready, because they're going to walk in hot and ready to high perform, if we can use that as a verb.
Michelle Terkelsen (10:11):
Oh and that's such a courageous way to think about things. I think some managers tend to be a little bit risk averse about that sort of thing. And if I just think about my experience over 25 years ago, I left an organization to start my own business. And that CEO was my first customer because we had such... and is still a customer today because he was courageous enough to say, "Yeah, if that's your dream, go and follow it and hey, we'll be your first customer." And it's worked both ways.
James Sinclair (10:43):
And that's a company, by the way. If I may say, you're bleed fall. Is that a fair statement?
Michelle Terkelsen (10:48):
Oh absolutely.
James Sinclair (10:48):
That's a CEO, and I think they know that. And I think big companies also know that. I mean, we have one customer that I think something like six weeks after you hit your new job, they automatically either send you flowers or cookies or some cupcakes and something that just says, "Look, congratulations. We hope you're settling well. We miss you." And it's okay. Or even if it's not, we miss you. I forget the exact phrase, but essentially like gone, but not forgotten. You're not a traitor. We understand why you left. And we just want you to crush it wherever you might be in the world.
I think that's where these alumni programs come into play, which is instead of creating an audience of just screaming at these talent communities, we have these jobs, it's a community. How can we help you? How can we deliver value to you? How can we make sure you're doing great exactly as your CEO did to you, Michelle, which is what can we do for you? And there may well be a time that you get a chance to repay that favor, whether it's just saying something nice, liking something on LinkedIn. I'm sure you've paid it back in droves in a million different ways, in addition to just your services.
Michelle Terkelsen (11:47):
Yeah, and what I like about that is that you're putting the person first before the role. We care about you and the relationship and the connection with you first, and then in the future, if the connection works and is still going strong, it makes a perfect-
James Sinclair (12:04):
Michelle Terkelsen (12:05):
James Sinclair (12:05):
You can't judge people on competencies. It doesn't work because two people with identical competencies could be very different performers, thinkers, all of those things. I think, you hear these things like hard to fill roles based on specific competencies, or these are our talent shortages. We have another customer who's basically saying, look, we know we're going to have a talent shortage in this area. I think it's like AI or blockchain or something fancy like that. And they're saying, what people or what skills should we look for in someone where they're probably going to be able to learn that and we'll hire them with these skills, knowing we can teach them X, whatever that might be. And so this concept of having this pool of alumni, and again, whether you're a small business or a fortune 500 is no different. There's no reason not to maintain some sort of a connection to these people, forget the recruiting costs, which are dramatic.
I mean, we know that if we rehire you, Michelle, we already know. I mean, there's something like, I think one of our customers hires 20% of their talent pool from their alumni. The other day we heard on a webinar, the guy from Merc City and Dre, he runs the global alumni program there. He said, "I think 10% of all City employees are alumni." And they think they save $75,000 per hire because they stay longer, more productive, quicker, less recruitment fees. So forget all that. It's the impact on the organization. It's the impact of I know your bullshit, I know your politics. I'm coming back, I know what I'm walking into.
Michelle Terkelsen (13:27):
Yeah. They're killer stats.
Jan Terkelsen (13:29):
I know. So if we've got the HR directors listening to this podcast now, what a wonderful project. You're future proofing your organization. And that's what we need to do.
James Sinclair (13:44):
Must do. You don't have a choice. It's innovate or die. And I hate to be so crude about it, but you've seen that in the past couple of weeks. We have a banking customer in America. Every time we speak, suit tie, always wood in the background, big wooden doors, very old fashioned. I think we can all picture what that company looks like and all of a sudden in comes COVID and he turned up in his baseball hat looking amazing. First time I've seen him actually smile and relaxed in a chair. And he said, "What's happened is you've got this older generation openly. These people who have been at the company for their entire career, who had always said, no remote, no Slack, no zoom, no this and this happened. And they looked down and said, well, one second, we need to look to our next level of leaders, the tomorrow leaders and ask them, What the hell do we do?"
And they essentially ceded control to these leaders that were up and coming and said, what do we need to do to become agile yesterday? And let's just rip the bandaid off and it's worked amazingly for them. The question is whether companies have the guts to do it. I think that's what transformation is. It's the guts to be able to try something.
Jan Terkelsen (14:49):
That's right. And then continue that process. So that's what we're thinking about now is how do we then set people up for success as they move back into a new hybrid way of operating. Do people really have the willingness and the guts to change a little bit of their policy, to trust that their employees are going to work because they've had to. And now it's like, okay, now that we don't have to, can we still incorporate some of those bonuses? The ways in which people want to work because they want to be autonomous. They want to have a little bit of freedom.
James Sinclair (15:25):
Performance. I mean, it's your thing. High-performing teams is performance based results. I don't care if you work for a minute or a 100 hours. Results, that's the business I'm in. And I think that's what remote teams is going to suddenly uncover. I don't need to see you in the office to know you're working. I need to see the end result. Have you executed? I think that's where performance management is going to go. I think that's where the more agile organizations are going to go, which is judge you purely on the ability to execute.
I don't mean results is in successful results because I think people sometimes confuse that. I think you see that with quotas a lot where the people that are going for the quota and they're just fighting for it and they will just stomp on people's heads and they'll kill anyone to meet their quota. And then you have the nice guy or the nice girl who will take a little bit longer. She'll hit the quota, but it's going to take her a minute longer, but no enemies on the process. And which one gets the reward because one didn't hit that quota, but has no enemies. The other one hit their quota and killed a few people on the journey.
Jan Terkelsen (16:21):
Yeah, absolutely the way in which we do it. And that's why I think when you mentioned values, I think that's a really important input into the way in which we do anything and also manage performance. Are they living the values of the company in the way in which they're executing on their performance?
James Sinclair (16:45):
Yeah. I went through the same exercise. I come to the office every morning, about 6:30 in the morning and that's been my routine for a decade plus. Suddenly when that's not the routine, huh. I've always judged that being here on time, whatever on time means was the first achievable goal of performance, turns out it's not in the slightest bit, in the remotest bit. So I think this opportunity has also been a chance for people who are willing to look internally a little bit, to have a little bit of a reset to say, you know what, how do I judge myself? How do I know when I'm having a crappy day? I mean, just to be clear, I'm sure we've all had a day where, it comes four o'clock and suddenly like, okay, now I'm ready to work.
And you've spent like six hours doing literally nothing. I think it's important to have that honesty. I think you've got to work out how to measure that in your teams as well, and be really be able to talk about it. That's the open thing. You've got to talk about it and it can't be an awkward topic.
Michelle Terkelsen (17:37):
Jan Terkelsen (17:37):
That's right.
Michelle Terkelsen (17:38):
There's a real opportunity for managers and we found this as well, is I could actually set somebody in assignment or a task, and I know that I would actually touch base with them throughout the day, throughout the week, just to course correct. But now really the pressure's on me to be really clear about what is the expectation of this task that I'm handing over. And so there is a real spotlight on your ability to communicate very clearly as a manager based on the performance outcomes. Not just, these are the things I want you to do. It's always about what is the result that we're looking for? Yeah. A very different skill set shift for managers at this time.
James Sinclair (18:19):
And the human shift. I mean, we've all been working the same way. We've all been trained a little bit. I think you nailed it, Michelle. It's going from, what do you want, to what do you want to achieve? You just got to add that word at the end of it. You know what I mean? And you're a hundred percent right. And it's not easy and it's not supposed to be easy. If it was easy, every company on earth would be succeeding and crushing it. It's supposed to be difficult. I think you nailed. It's about honesty. It's about change. It's about incremental change. It goes back to having diverse teams because different people work in different ways. And sometimes the worst idea spurs the great idea. I mean that's why they tell you in design thinking, never have a negative view against someone else's idea, even if it's awful, because it just might set off a flash that is a better idea or a new idea. And I'm a massive believer of that.
Michelle Terkelsen (19:03):
Oh, so are we. Yeah. Without a doubt. So really interested in your COVID-19 response and recovery. Tell us about that.
James Sinclair (19:14):
Yeah. So we started seeing some very quick things from our customers. We've had a mass influx of customers who've had to furlough or terminate employees. So I feel like we have quite a good pulse of what's happening both in the market, but also on the recovery. And we saw two very clear things in some of our customers that made us feel that we had to actually talk about it and again, have the conversation.
The first is one of our customers started trying to target and reach out to all of their retirees with a very simple question, would you return? And so I rang the customer and we were talking through it and I thought the reason was obviously, well, they're going to need to ramp up because the recovery is going to be like a V and they're going to need people. And the customer said, Oh no, yes, we're going to want to have talent and we want to have that talent pool. But the reason is because our retirees have not only seen a crisis, they've recovered from a crisis. And a lot of our existing employees may have seen a few crises, but they haven't recovered. They weren't in a leadership position during the Brazilian X or this issue or the financial collapse. And I thought that was a really interesting concept of, yes, you want to tap into a talent pool that's available. But this concept of experience that you can't buy.
You can't buy the experience of having seen mass devastation and recovery all in one cycle. I thought that was really clever of the company. The second was yes, there are going to be mass layoffs, mass rehiring that you need to essentially get your talent pool in check very, very quickly. You don't have the time to say right, we're going to go out. We're going to interview. We're going to train. We're going to see what plays out. No, no, I need someone to start yesterday and I need him productive tomorrow. And that's the answer.
And so how do you find a pool of people that know your company, know where to park, know how to log in to the crappy system, whatever the hell it might be, it's your past employees. And so going back to these high performers and saying, "Hey, we have an opportunity for you. We'd love you back." I mean, we've got customers, obviously in hospitality and travel and tourism, and they're furloughing all these people and they're filing some of them and it's devastating.
We have one CEO that comes on and does a town hall every single week with all of the furloughed staff. And literally just gives her state of the nation of here's the stuff I'm hearing, because I think I'm hearing more stuff than you might be. You're hearing it from the news. I'm hearing it because I'm on the government council for recovery. He's doing this amazing kind of town hall where he just talks like a human and says, this is what's happening. And on the last call he said, or a few calls ago that he said, I listened to him. He said, I pray that when we come out of this, you will have with new skills. We are doing everything we have to as an organization to let you have access to our learning, to university programs, because you better walk out of this better. You better walk out of this earning more money.
I was like, huh, that's a CEO I want to work for. Number one, really human. Also taking all of their learning content and making it available to people that don't work at the company anymore. I think this is just about community. It goes back to what you said, Michelle, what you said, Jan, about how can we help you? How can we create a value for you? And in turn, maybe we'll get that back. Maybe you'll say, you know what, I'm going to fly on this airline because I used to work for them. They were great and I'm going to support them, even though I lost my job.
Jan Terkelsen (22:23):
Yeah. And that's just trusting that whatever you put out will come back. It's kind of like one of those universal laws, isn't it? So I'm interested in your opinion, James because I hear that you do have some strong opinions on if we've got people who are listening to the podcast now and they're managing remotely, what advice would you give them to future proof themselves? What are some of the things they should be doing right now?
James Sinclair (22:55):
So it's not going to apply to everyone. I can tell you one of the things that we do as an organization when we're interviewing people is we ask them, hey, when you leave in a couple of years, because leaving is inevitable and we want to talk about it before you start. The more you talk about it, the less of a thing it becomes. What job do you think you're going to go into? Is your next role going to be managing people? Is it going to be in this? Is it going to be in that?
We just hired an amazing girl a few months ago. And I said to her, I said, do you think you want to head count in a few years? It's like, "ha no one's ever asked me what my career, no one ever has made me think, what is that?" I said, "okay. So don't answer it now. But just so you know, I want an answer of what is the job you're applying for in two years, because now I know what I have to deliver for you." Now I know exactly what I have to do and it's not my concept. I think I, again, borrowed it from someone where I was like, that's genius. But I think this concept of how do you future proof is be human. Be honest, be open. Don't be a dictator as a company. And instead you've got to ask, how can I serve you? How can I help you? If you're not doing that right now anyway, you're going to have a massive breakdown of talent. If you're not focusing on people's mental health.
If you're not asking, how are you feeling? Which is very weird for a lot of people to ask, how are you feeling? One second, that's a bit too personal. That's a Facebook type question. And this is a LinkedIn type conversation. I think there's a moment of just like bullshit. It's human to human. I got to meet all of my customers kids. I've got to meet some of their husbands. I've seen some of their awful artwork. Some of their overweight cats. I know more about the customer from the bank that turned up in the baseball hat was wearing head to toe university football team clothing. Head to toe, looked like the mascot. I know more about him in 30 seconds than I've known over a year and a half relationship. I'm actually hoping it continues because I really like the casual nature of saying, I don't have to fake it. I can be human. I can literally say to you, sorry, I've got to do something over there. I'll be back in a second.
Everyone gets it. It's life. And when you throw it out the window and stop pretending it doesn't exist, you try and put up this picture of perfection. And when you throw it out a window, everyone can just loosen their shoulders. You know. I always tell when I used to be in large enterprise innovation, I always used to say that you have to swear within the first 30 seconds. You've got to open it up and be like, "Okay, what the F are we working on here?" You got to say the F because it just makes everyone relax for a second. You've got a bit of a chuckle. You got a bit of a laugh, but you also get everyone being like, okay, well I use that word as well. It's not a secret.
Michelle Terkelsen (25:16):
It creates psychological safety, doesn't it? Knowing that, Oh, you're just like me or okay I can feel as though I can be real me and be real. I love that.
Jan Terkelsen (25:31):
So I suppose wrapping up James, is there anything that you would want to share with our listeners now, knowing that, with the change in our work environment, what's coming up for you. So if you're talking to the head of an organization, what would be that advice? I think you've given some unbelievable truth bombs in this conversation already. So what advice would you give an organization who is actually going to move through this new environment? So they're actually accelerating through it. They're on the front foot.
James Sinclair (26:16):
So selfishly, because of what I do for a living, it's the employee experience doesn't end at the exit interview. If you even have an exit interview, which is generally how I talk about it. But if you really want to protect yourself as an organization, talent is the only protection you can have and having a tap on your talent, whether they are with you, not with you, second place candidates across the entire ecosystem is not optional. Companies that are starting these alumni programs today in two, three years, when they have tens 5,000, 1,000, 100 alumni in those pools are going to have this amazing pool of people they can turn to and say, "Hey, I'm filling this position. Anyone know anyone? Anyone want to come back?"
We have an amazing company that will offer you as an alumni, a referral fee. If you refer someone to the organization. The reason is why wouldn't you? Can you give me any reason you wouldn't stay in touch with people that you've invested so heavily? And if your reason is because they're a traitor, well, you're going to be out of business in a few years anyway.
Jan Terkelsen (27:12):
Yeah, great. Just quickly, James, from a mechanical point of view. How does an organization remain in contact with their alumni? What is the process? Is it email? Do they have webinars? How does it actually work?
James Sinclair (27:26):
So a quick answer is it's not by when you leave and you're throwing your Blackberry in the trash bin like, "Hey, do you want to join our talent community?" It's, "Hey, do you want to join our family? Do you want to maintain a connection?" So whether it's webinars, learning, discounts, events, opportunities, freebies, discounts that you can only get here, thought leadership. There's so much stuff that companies have also the empathy view or the employee resource groups. If you cared about being a mentor, a volunteer or leaning into inclusion at the company, you probably still care about it when you leave. So do you want to stay part of that conversation?
And so it really is very different for different people. So it's about understanding. You've got five different generations of people in your workforce and an intern is going to want a different experience to the retiree, but you've got to understand and ask what that experience is, but I go back to you, Jan, what value can I bring you so that you think it's worth your time to stay in contact with us as an organization? We have to. It's a privilege for you to stay in contact with us, not a right. I think companies need to recognize that.
Jan Terkelsen (28:24):
So, Michelle, I know I'm going to put you on the spot, but do you have a takeaway from all of this? Because I've been writing notes down as James has been speaking because I love your quote and I'm air quoting now. Talent is the only protection you have. And that is absolutely true because that is going to be the difference between an organization who is truly sustainable and high-performing, is the talent that they have.
Michelle Terkelsen (28:49):
Like so many. What was going through my head is I hope that all the HR managers that work with us are listening and I'm going to have a conversation with them about this is such a big and vast untapped opportunity for all of them who are all focusing, who tend to focus on just one aspect of the employee value chain. And this is life. It is a cycle. And so what you've done is expanded our view about what this cycle is. I just really commend you for that.
Jan Terkelsen (29:23):
So James, how can people get in contact with you?
James Sinclair (29:27):
So I'm very accessible. I'm obviously on all the socials, LinkedIn, James Sinclair, and so forth. But generally I would say visit our website, enterprisealumni.com or find me on social, reach out. Even if you're a smaller company and you don't need a platform and you don't need something like us, we can still have a conversation because number one is you're going to grow and you will need us at some point. But the second is I'm happy to have these conversations of start somewhere. Exactly as you said, Michelle, which is you got to start somewhere, you got to do something. This is the story of life. It's not the story of career anymore.
Jan Terkelsen (29:55):
And you were certainly someone who is easy to have a conversation with James, so it's been really wonderful. So thank you very much.
James Sinclair (30:04):
Thank you Jan. Thank you Michelle.
Michelle Terkelsen (30:04):
Yeah, let's keep in contact. Yeah, definitely.
Jan Terkelsen (30:04):
Announcer (30:09):
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