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How the agency workforce’s expectations are changing

Agencies face increasing pressure when it comes to recruiting and retaining the best talent possible. With employees in the driver’s seat due to the surplus of demand for their hours, they are becoming increasingly confident in expressing their views about what they want from their employers.

It isn’t just about compensation — something that we have discussed previously on the Small Agency Talk Show. In this episode, Patrick Rogan of Ignition HR and Chip Griffin of SAGA discuss some of the non-monetary demands being made and how agency leaders should handle them.

In particular, they look at things like burnout and it’s causes, as well as what employees are requesting in terms of working hours and locations. Understanding how to be flexible while still being consistent at an organizational level may be the biggest challenge.

For agency owners who began their own careers a decade or more ago, it does require a mindset shift, but there are always opportunities to be had, too.

Key takeaways

Chip Griffin: “As agency owners, you need to start with your own job description. First, you need to figure out what it is that you’re doing, that includes how much you’re working, when you’re working, where you’re working. Get that squared away. Then you can start looking at the rest of your team.”

Patrick Rogan: “A lot of agency leaders take on too much. You have a team supporting you. Leverage them.”

Chip Griffin: “The managers who report to you start to adopt your style because they probably haven’t been managers before in all likelihood. If you’re not showing trust in them, they’re not going to show trust in their teams and it just bubbles up for everybody.”

Patrick Rogan: “The inverse of what we’re talking about is agencies, where they demonstrate how they care about their employees and they ask questions and they get involved. The ones that flex – that tends to resonate a little bit better with staff and tends to be a little bit less stressful.”

The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.

Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Small Agency Talk Show. I’m your host Chip Griffin, the founder of SAGA, the Small Agency Growth Alliance. And I am delighted to have with me one of our most regular panelists, Patrick Rogan of IgnitionHR. Welcome to the show.

Patrick Rogan: Hey, Chip. It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me, once again.

Chip Griffin: It is great to have you here. It’s great that it’s Friday, so we’re headed into the weekend. It’s warm here today. It’s going to be cold over the weekend though. So it is what it is. What are you going to do? You know, and warm and cold. And I mean, that’s a proper intro to topics related to talent and HR, because it’s a challenging time for agencies.

We’ve talked about that a lot on this show and, and other venues about all of the challenges that agencies are having from a talent perspective. But today we’re going to talk in particular about the changing expectations of the workforce, because this is hitting agencies when it comes to both recruiting and retaining talent.

And it’s, it expresses itself in a number of different ways. And we’re not going to talk about compensation so much today because that’s, we’ve talked about that before, but there are a lot of workplace expectations beyond compensation that are coming into the mix. And it’s really evolved in the time that you and I have been in our professional careers.

Some of the things that the employees request and get today would be unthinkable 30 years ago. And so, you know, we need to think as, as leaders, perhaps many of who have been in the game for a long time, how they can address some of these issues. So we’re going to talk about that in just a moment, but before we do, why don’t you just, for new viewers, tell folks who you are and where they can find you.

Patrick Rogan: Sure. So I’m Patrick Rogan. My firm is IgnitionHR. I help organizations and agencies with their people challenges, and you can reach me at IgnitionHR.com.

Chip Griffin: And Patrick has lots of great resources there. So I encourage you to check that out. Okay. So the changing expectations of the workforce, and this is, this is something that, to some extent, predates the pandemic and all of the changes that have been going on the last couple of years, you know, it’s been dismissed, I think rather inaccurately as a demand of millennials and things like that.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah.

Chip Griffin: But there, there certainly is an evolution. You know, when, when I started working in agency world, the expectation was, you know, you, you worked day and night to get the job done. You didn’t complain, you just did it. You know, you didn’t come and ask for special favors. If you wanted to go to the dentist, you had to ask, you know, weeks ahead of time and make sure that it was convenient for everybody.

And, and now a lot of that is shifting and particularly the pandemic has certainly accelerated that. As more employees have been doing remote work and having flexible schedules. And so agencies are now being confronted with more and more requests to accommodate these individual circumstances. And, and I think that some of it is driven by the fact that some employees are feeling burned out.

Right. And you know, a lot of folks, you know, are sitting in and complaining about zoom fatigue and the fact that they’re, you know, the border, the dividing line between work and home has changed. It’s not as, it’s not that clear line, cause I’m not going to be office maybe as much if at all.

So, you know, why don’t you talk a little bit about what you’re seeing as you’re consulting with agencies, and then we can talk about how agencies should think about addressing some of the concerns.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah, sure. So I’m seeing a wide variety of things now that I used not to see hardly at all in the past. I actually had a situation recently where I was talking with a candidate for an agency, and she was specifically looking for a position that had a maximum of 20 hours a week work and she only wanted to be within specified time period on specified days and that kind of fit with her life plan. And, you know, it used to be hearing something like that was really, really unusual. Now it’s, it’s a little bit more commonplace and in that particular situation, it didn’t fit the needs of the agency. But I think that’s a little bit of an extreme example.

I think in general, what I’m seeing, particularly since COVID a lot of employees are taking a fresh look at their life and their time working and their time, doing other things, because in some cases they’ve had a little bit more time to do other things, and they’ve gotten a little bit of a taste of that.

And I think that’s a good thing. In other cases, I think there are expectations that are so far misaligned with what an agency needs a workforce to do that it’s really not worth consideration. And I think there’s this whole area in the middle where agencies have the opportunity and agency owners have the opportunity to kind of take a fresh look at how are we managing stress?

How am I leading by example? What are the things we’re doing to make our workplace meaningful to our staff? How are we growing our staff? I think agencies that have that perspective tend to have less of these extreme examples of requests for just things that aren’t – are inconsistent with what the agency.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, I think you’re right about sort of what I would call the murky middle. Most, most of these issues fall in there. They aren’t at the extreme, but they are things that agencies are having to deal with. But I think one of the, you know, we’re certainly seeing that the talent is in the driver’s seat right now because of the scarcity.

I mean, there was already challenges for hiring in the agency space pre pandemic. It’s only become more difficult and particularly with the great resignation or whatever you want to call it. Over the past few months, a lot of people are rethinking things and it’s putting additional pressure on agencies to perhaps consider things that they would have just rejected out of hand even a year or two ago.

But I think that you’ve touched on something important here, which is that, you know, that agency owners are feeling some of this as well. And, what I’m seeing is a lot of agency owners who are feeling burned out themselves and feeling that they need some more flexibility. And so you talk about leading by example, and I think this is one of those areas where agency owners need to sit down and figure out what they’re trying to get from their business and try to, to achieve some degree of balance in the amount that they’re working, the way that they’re working, the times that they’re working. Because I think that does bleed over into how you treat your team and the rules and, things that you put in place and how they respond to them, frankly, because if you’re leading by example, you’re in a much stronger position and, frankly, probably happier.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah. You know, I remember, reminds me years ago. There was a C-level executive in a company that I was in and she had a baby girl, right. And two weeks later she was in the office and I had to take her aside and say, look, I gotta tell ya. You know, I applaud your work ethic, but I have to say it’s a little misguided.

What is what you’re doing right now saying to all the other women who are working here? Is this the expectation you’re going to have with them? She was like, no, no, no, I don’t expect that at all. This is just the way I want to do it. I said yes, but you being here tells them that is the expectation. So, you know, let’s rethink that.

And she’s like, oh, I didn’t think of that. And I think as agency owners, I think those are the things that probably ought to start in your mind in terms of what are the first things I can do is take a look inward. So am I frazzled? You know, am I at the end of my rope? And am I, am I overworked? Am I always the smartest person in the room?

If that’s the case, probably you ought to relook at maybe some of the talent you have and you know, what are some of the things you’re doing? Where are you with sleep? Where are you with exercise and nutrition? Do you take time for meditation? I mean, what are the things you can do to keep yourself fresh?

And if you’re able to do that, simply by doing that, you’re setting an example for other people in your agency, and that’s an area I usually recommend leaders kind of start. Because if you’re frazzled, guess what? It’s going to cascade down. You know, we see it all the time. Right?

Chip Griffin: And it leads to bad decision making too, right? Because if, if you’re tired and frustrated, you’re going to, even if you try not to, you’re going to end up taking it out on your team members. Either because you’re looking to them to relieve some of the burden that you’re facing, or, you know, you just, you want them to be in the same boat as you, right.

You know, you don’t want to sit there and see them all, you know, relaxed and enjoying themselves while you feel miserable. And so you really do need to start there. I always tell folks, as agency owners, you need to start with your own job description. First, you need to figure out what it is that you’re doing, but that, that includes how much you’re working, when you’re working, where you’re working.

And so get that squared away. And then you can start looking at the rest of your team. You know, and I think that a lot of this comes from the fact that agency owners have structural issues beyond how they’re working and how their team is working. So I think a big part of this is if you’ve, if you or your team are feeling burned out, you need to address that by figuring out why.

And it’s not because they’re working 60 or 70 hours a week and answering calls on the weekend. I mean, it is, but that’s a symptom. The real problem is that you’re probably setting the wrong expectations with clients. You’re agreeing to unrealistic deadlines. You’re not controlling scopes of work. You’re not pricing correctly.

So you can’t resource appropriately and still make a good profit. So you need to address those structural issues before you can even begin to think of the HR issues that come along with it.

Patrick Rogan: And also, I see a lot of agency leaders, quite frankly, just take on too much. So let’s say your strength is on the creative side.

Well, that’s great. You lead that function. You have a team supporting you. By the way, give them some responsibility as well too, but maybe sales isn’t your strong suit and you need to rely on someone else on your team to be the lead in sales or maybe digital is an area where, you know, there’s an opportunity and you have someone who’s really strong in digital.

It’s not your strength, that’s someone else’s strength. Leverage them. You don’t always have to be the most knowledgeable person on everything your agency does. Make sure you’re leveraging the talent that you have. That’s the one thing I see that, you know, particularly when agencies are, are like at the 10 person level and they’re pushing to like 15 or 20.

And all of a sudden, it’s like, wait a minute, everyone’s still doing everything here, but who’s best at what and how do we leverage that? That’s I’m sure you see that as well.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that, you know, as, as small agencies grow and you start to add in layers of management, you really have to be aware of this because your, the managers who report to you start to adopt your style because they probably haven’t been managers before in all likelihood. And so, you know, they’re looking to you and saying, okay, well, this is how I’m getting managed. And so then they start applying it to their own teams. And so if you’re not showing trust in them, they’re not going to show trust in their teams and it just bubbles up for everybody. And so you really need to build that culture where people have their responsibilities, you trust them up until the point that they show that they shouldn’t be trusted. And then you have to address it either by solving the problem or by replacing that individual.

Right. Because, you know, if you’re micromanaging people and micromanaging is usually a symptom of a lack of trust, right, then you’re in a, in a place where you’re going to make everybody’s life more difficult. And so these, I mean, that was difficult 30 years ago, let alone today with those changed expectations that, you know, you’re going to be supportive of me in my efforts to grow my career and have work-life balance and enjoy everything that I do every moment of the day and all those kinds of things that, that, you know, people are not unrealistically wanting to achieve out of their careers.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah. And, how you manage your core team more than likely is how they’re going to manage everybody else in the group. And, you know, it spreads, it spreads good. It spreads bad, it spreads murky. You know, it’s, it’s amazing how that cascades. And I think taking the time to focus on those issues in addition to what needs to be done for clients is like the dual role that we have to get the whole team focused on. You know, there’s the business of our agency and then there’s the business of that we, that we support for our clients, and the internal piece, I think sometimes gets overlooked.

We don’t have time to focus on that. We’ve got things that have to get done today. Okay. That’s fine. Then, when are we going to talk about it? Because when are we going to focus on, you know, we’ve got employees maybe who are frazzled and we don’t know why they’re frazzled. They shouldn’t be frazzled. Do they not know what they’re doing?

Do they not have enough support? Are there time management skills? It could be a whole host of reasons why, why things are getting to that frenzied pace where people are running around with their hair on fire. And I found that more often than not, it’s not as complex when you start asking questions. Like sometimes when you intercede and kind of ask them questions, it’s like, well, wait a minute.

Why did you make this assumption? That probably wasn’t true. And it wasn’t due tomorrow, it’s due next Thursday. So, so let’s focus on something else today, you know, do you see that as well?

Chip Griffin: Absolutely. And I think part of it comes down to, you know, leaders need to spend more time listening to their team.

And, and so instead of saying, Hey, where’s this, this or this, what’s, you know, what’s the status of these projects? You need to sit down and, and particularly if you’re sensing that maybe someone is feeling burned out or stressed or something like that. You need to explore that. And as you say, ask those questions and then shut up and listen, try to find out, you know, what their concern is, and you may be able to address them because a lot of times they’re making assumptions that are putting, it’s putting more stress on themselves than is necessary and contributing to part of the problem here.

And so maybe, you know, you can help address that by resetting their expectations or maybe you can fix it by going and resetting the expectation with the client and saying, look, you know, I know I told you we could do this by next Thursday. The reality is you don’t really need it by next Thursday. It’s not reasonable for us to do it.

We can get it to you by the Thursday after that or something like that. There’s a lot of different solutions that we can come up with, but we need to spend that time listening and understanding what the core problem is that we’re addressing.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah, it’s really gratifying. So the inverse of what we’re talking about is agencies, where they demonstrate how they care about their employees and they ask questions and they get involved.

And if there’s a personal problem, they offer support and advice. And you know, you see that. I had an agency recently that needed to separate an employee and they did everything in their control to try and make that work. Ultimately they figured out it wouldn’t, so they figured out a way to do the exit that was kind of as smooth as possible, but that was something everyone knew about.

And the fact that they try and grow and develop and care about their staff, you know maybe they went a little bit overboard, but at the end of the day, there’s a lot of goodwill and a lot of trust that’s kind of baked into their agency. And it’s just kinda, it’s just kinda cool to see because when they get tight deadlines. When they have situations where someone needs to crank out a 60 hour week, people don’t hesitate. They do it because they know it’s not always going to be that way. I guess that’s the one thing that I see more often than not. I see agencies that kind of get stuck in that frenzy mode when they don’t need to be in it.

And then I see others who flex, and the ones that flex – that tends to resonate a little bit better with staff and tends to be a little bit less stressful. Does that make sense?

Chip Griffin: It does. I mean, because, you know, look the reality is in almost every agency, you’re going to have periods of time where were you and the team are going to have to put in some extra effort, some extra hours to get things done.

It’s just, it’s the nature of the business. And so to set an expectation that that’s never going to happen is unreasonable, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be all the time. If it’s all the time, then you have an overall resourcing or management issue that needs to be addressed. But I think, you know, and I think a lot of this comes down to balance, you know, and, one of the challenges that I think agencies have right now is that because the labor market is tight, they’re making a lot of concessions in order to bring people on or to keep people. And certainly as we’ve talked about before, they’re certainly doing this on the compensation side, but they’re also doing it by trying to do the best that they can to be accommodating and understanding of circumstances and giving flexibility about place of work, time of work, hours of work, all of those things.

Which is great, but you also have to have some balance because at some point you effectively have the inmates running the asylum, right. And, and I say that not to be negative towards the employees, but the problem is that what it creates is a circumstance in which you start creating additional issues between team members, because you make an accommodation for one that seems reasonable on its face and probably is.

You know, but now you’ve got someone else resenting the fact that they’ve got that accommodation, they may not even want that particular accommodation. They just, they just look there and say, well, you know, why does Sally get to do that if I don’t? And so you have to look at these things, not as one by one, case by case things, but you need to look at how it fits into an overall policy for how you’re handling your HR issues.

Patrick Rogan: I think you hit it, Chip. I mean, I think consistency is key here. And if, if you’re in an agency that needs that flex, then you probably need that flex from everyone. And it doesn’t mean everyone’s always working 60 hours a week. Maybe you have someone who’s working part-time 20 hours a week. Maybe not the same exact 20 hours each week, but you know, but that even that person was working 20 hours a week, if something’s crazy and everyone else is putting in extra time and they don’t have the ability to flex at all – you have to take, you have to decide, is that a fit for my agency? And is that going to be consistent with what we expect to get done here? And again, it just, I think it comes back to consistency both ways.

Chip Griffin: Absolutely. And consistency helps you when you get these requests. Right. So if you’ve got a policy and you’re being consistent, then, you know, you’re not denying someone’s request just generally you’re saying, look, this is the structure that we have and we need to have some structure.

And this is particularly important for things like, you know, when, where, and how you work. So, you know, you need to be consistent about how much remote work you’re allowing. Maybe it’s a hundred percent, maybe it’s 80%, but be consistent about it. Don’t have a situation where it’s literally, you just kind of have a conversation with someone and they’re more, you perceive this person’s more valuable so you let them get away with murder and someone else, you’re like no, you’re going to have to come into the office two days a week. You know, you need to, you need to have that consistent policy approach to address it. And is it going to make everybody happy? No, but the reality is that in, in managing teams, in running HR, you’re never going to make everybody happy all of the time.

So you need to strike that balance that does what’s right for the business and is as right as possible for your team as well.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah. And I think probably worth mentioning is I do see situations where you have someone who has a very specialized skill and there becomes this very strong temptation to be a little bit extra flexible with that person, particularly, you know, because this is a really hard skill to find and, and we just have to have this.

So, you know, if this person, you know, tends to miss deadlines or come in late or have other behavioral things that are inconsistent with everybody else, you gotta, you gotta really take a hard look at that. Because, understand that people see what’s going on. And if everyone’s pulling their weight and one person’s not, even if they have a specialized skill, I usually push pretty hard to say, wait a minute.

They either need to be consistent with everyone else. Or maybe that’s not a fit for you. I know it’s hard to consider that because it’s a really hard to find skill, but boy, I’ve seen so many situations where that specialized skill, that specialized talent, we just, we just really, really need this – causes so much consternation in other parts of the agency that it just it gets to be a cancer. So that’s one area I’m kind of like, Ooh, be a little careful with that.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. I mean, it happens all the time in the agency world. I’ve seen it happen consistently over the course of my career. I see it happen even today, as I’m working with agencies and they’re managing their own teams and trying to solve some of these issues because you do – you know, whether it’s someone has a particular skill or they’ve got a relationship with a particular client, or, you know, they’re responsible for a lot of business development, there’s all sorts of reasons that agencies tend to accommodate some of these folks who are, frankly, primadonnas in some fashion. You know, let’s call a spade, a spade here. And, so you, but you’re absolutely right. The rest of the team sees what’s going on. And so they then either start modeling that behavior in almost a way of saying, you know, go ahead, you know, do something to me, if you, you know you know, or they just sit there and they, they silently resent it, which is, which is probably even worse because you don’t even realize it until it’s too late and they’ve already gone and looked for another opportunity somewhere else.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I see it all the time, as well as – I’ve seen some of those behaviors in agency owners themselves. Right. And that’s where you really got to take a hard look inside and say, wait a minute. You know, am I allowed to be explosive in the workplace? And by explosive, I mean, just kind of teeing off on employees and being unreasonable and making, you know, slamming your fist down.

And I know we both have seen numerous examples of this over the years, and I was like, really, like you think that’s not going to be replicated? For heaven sakes, don’t do that. I think that’s just really, really important.

Chip Griffin: Well, you set the example with all of your behavior as the agency owner or executive. And so you need to think about it.

If I’m insisting that employees are coming to the office, I ought to be coming into the office, too. If you’re not going to, then people are going to sit there and say, well, wait a minute, why doesn’t he have to do this too? And people do give you some degree of leeway as the owner. And so it’s, it’s not, you don’t necessarily have to be exactly the same.

But you also have to understand that to the extent that you’re not, people are noticing and they are taking their cues. They’re taking the cues from how you behave in terms of, as you say, you know, your behavior as a manager, you know, are you a yeller or a screamer or a desk pounder? You know, are you, are you working at the same level that they are from an intensity standpoint?

You know, but they also look at things like your, your ethics, right? I mean, this is a consistent challenge for agencies. And so if, you’re being unethical or cutting corners or those kinds of things, your team will start to reflect that as well. And so a lot of times, if you see issues with your team or your see them requesting things, make sure you’re taking a look at yourself first and saying, okay, what am I doing in this area where I’m being asked for an accommodation, or I’m seeing an employee have a challenge, or what have you.

Patrick Rogan: I get – over the years I’ve been involved in ethical behavioral issues with employees all the time. And the one thing I’ve noticed about those situations is that there really is no rhyme or reason to the seniority of the person who’s exhibiting that behavior. I’ve had them from owner to first year hire and everything in between.

And, and it, it kinda, honestly, it surprised me. I mean, when I started in HR, I just assumed that was going to be something for people who are younger and just didn’t know better, but my experience has been, it goes all the way. And I think it’s important for agency owners in particular to really hold themselves to a higher standard because it’s going to have a significant impact on their business for sure, but on a lot of other people’s lives. And I think, you know, that higher moral ground is probably worth the time to thinking the introspection to make sure that they’re hitting their mark there.

Chip Griffin: Well, in terms of workforce expectations shifting, you know, there is much more of an expectation, you know, particularly by younger workers that the business is going to reflect their personal not necessarily ideology, but outlook on the world. And so, you know, that becomes a challenge for some agencies in the clients and accounts that they work for. And so you need to be thinking about that as you’re recruiting your teams. And, and as you’re developing new business, because if you, if you have a lack of alignment and we’ve seen particularly some larger agencies have had challenges with this in recent years, and some of them have really been wrestling, we’ve seen a lot of stories in the trade press the last couple of years, with agencies wrestling with, you know, should we work with this sector or that sector that we’ve historically, you know serviced? You know, and team members are pushing back and saying, no, we don’t want to work for an agency that is servicing this particular space. And so those are, that’s a very different environment than it was a few decades ago where, you know, you may not have liked who your agency was working for, but you just kind of sucked it up and went along with it.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah. I would say that the thing that’s standing out a little bit in the agencies I work with and other clients as well too, is that yes, the industry sector is important. But having a vision for your agency and communicating that to your team is so important because they want to be a part of that. They want to be something, they want it to be more than the work that they do.

I mean, if their goal is the paycheck that you provide them, if that’s their primary goal, you’ve already lost, you know? So, you know, what is your goal? What is your industry sector? What is it you want to accomplish as an agency and get everyone to buy into that and spend a little bit of time thinking about your values as well. And check yourself with that as well as everyone else. I think those things we’ve always done, but it seems employees are much more interested in particular vision now than I’ve ever seen in the past.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, I think, I mean, if I were going to wrap up a lot of this changing work workforce expectations into something, it’s that individuals are becoming more willing to speak up for what they want or what they are concerned about.

And, and overall, I think that’s a good thing. It certainly creates its challenges, but you now, I mean, one of the things I see a lot when I’m working with agencies is you have team members who are, you know, very vocal about what they want their role to be. So we’ve talked about, you know, amount of work and location and, you know, those kinds of things that sort of immediately come to mind, but they’re also very clear about, you know, do I want to manage people or not manage people?

You know, they, they want some assistance in growing their career in particular directions and they’re being much more forward and direct with their managers, with the agency owners about these things. And so, you know, that – .It certainly creates opportunities because you start to learn more about them, but it does create some challenges as well, because, you know, in the past you just said, okay, well, you know, this person, you know, this, person’s going to have some people reporting to them.

Cause that’s what makes sense for the business. Maybe they don’t want that. And maybe they’re telling you that. You know, you might have people that you say, okay, you know, I could see them growing a little bit, but I don’t really see a role for them to move up in the organization. They’ll tell you that’s a problem.

And so you’ve got to now start thinking about their roles within the business and not just, you know, general working conditions and, and what their direct responsibilities are.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah. I would say at the end of the day, irrespective of titles and roles and those kinds of things, if the employee – for whatever their time period working for you is going to be, whatever that’s gonna be – if their skill set has increased, if their value in the market has increased, then you’ve given them a fair shake. And not every employee is going to stay in your agency forever. And it’s okay if their ultimate goal is outside of the work that they would ever do for you. If there’s two or three good years of work that they will be doing for you, take advantage of it, you know, and, and support the fact that maybe they’re going to go to a client at some point, cause that fits their goals. That’s totally fine. But I think there is a lot more honesty from employees now where like, Hey, I’m not, I don’t want to do this forever. It’s like, okay, you don’t have to do this forever. You know, there are other things you’ll be able to do here and maybe you’ll choose to go elsewhere. That’s okay. But while you’re here, we want you 110%.

Chip Griffin: Right. And, they are speaking up. And, one of the things we’ve talked about before on this show and elsewhere is it’s important when someone comes to you with a concern, with a request, take a breath. Don’t react with your immediate impression of it, frankly, even, you know, yes or no, it’s, it’s good to take a moment to pause, to think about it.

Understand how that accommodation is going to impact that individual, how it’s going to impact the rest of your team so that you can have that consistency of approach that we talked about earlier in the show. And once you’ve done that, then you can respond, you know, maybe that’s later in the day, maybe that’s the next day, whatever it is, but now you’ve come up with a cohesive approach to this that hopefully will serve your agency well in the long-term, as opposed to just, you know, quote unquote, solving your immediate problem.

Patrick Rogan: Yeah, I would say in particular, if you feel your blood pressure start to rise – and it will, it definitely will.

Chip Griffin: We’ve had it happen before.

Patrick Rogan: Ask a couple of questions to make sure you understand what, what their perspective is. And just put it on pause. Let’s talk about this. I’ve got a couple of things I’m working on right now. Let’s talk about this this afternoon or tomorrow. It’s amazing how different you will feel after a period of time.

And then you can address it appropriately. So many times I, like, I hear about the conversation and this is what I said. I was like, really? Did you mean that? Well, I didn’t exactly mean it, but it just felt right at the time. I was like, okay. So if we change the time, it might make a big difference, right? Yeah. I guess it could.

Chip Griffin: Right. And, and a lot of this goes back to what we talked about very early on and you got to start with yourself. Right. So if you’re, if you’re feeling stressed and overworked, you’re going to react, you know, the wrong way to a lot of these kinds of situations. You’re going to be frustrated.

You may accommodate too much because you’re just afraid of losing a resource that you either have, or you’re trying to acquire. Or you may react in, you know, just heck no, just do what I told you to do because you’re frustrated. And neither of those are good responses. Much better: take a deep breath, come up with a plan, come up with a solution that works and is it going to solve everything?

No. But you will come out in a better place if you do that well. So unfortunately we have run out of time here today, but Patrick, you have exceeded my expectations for what we would have. So we will wrap up this conversation about workforce expectations, how they’ve changed, how you can adapt to them in the current agency labor market, but I, I wish everybody a great weekend, a great week ahead.

And I look forward to seeing everybody back on the show very soon. And Patrick, I look forward to having you back again very soon as well.

Patrick Rogan: I look forward to it as well. Thank you, Chip.

Chip Griffin: Thanks everybody.

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