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Attrition is Killing You!

In this episode of the podcast, the boys dive deep into the world of talent strategy and employee satisfaction with Dr. Jim Kanichirayil, VP of growth at EngageRocket, researcher, writer, podcaster, and a seasoned professional in the tech industry. Dr. Jim sheds light on the dissatisfaction brewing among workers within traditional employment structures, pointing towards the rise of freelance work and the gig economy as potential alternatives.

We explore the phenomenon known as the "Great Resignation" and its lasting impact on the workforce, uncovering underlying issues like stagnant wages, layoffs, and limited career growth opportunities. The financial toll of attrition on organizations is also brought to the forefront, highlighting the significant costs associated with replacing employees.

As Chad and Joel question why talent acquisition professionals aren't taking more proactive measures to address retention and productivity concerns, Dr. Jim suggests that short-term fixes often take precedence over long-term talent management strategies. He stresses the crucial role of effective leadership and managerial support in retaining employees.

Throughout the discussion, we delve into key aspects of employee retention and development, including brand integrity, onboarding processes, and the importance of clear communication. Dr. Jim draws parallels between corporate practices and military training, emphasizing the need for continuous learning and development.

We also explore shifting attitudes towards stability and career paths among different generations, advocating for a more flexible and entrepreneurial approach to career management. Ultimately, the conversation underscores the importance of organizational adaptation to meet the evolving expectations and aspirations of employees, fostering long-term engagement and loyalty.

Intro: Hide your kids, lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, rash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.


Joel: Awww yeah, it's Sean Carter's favorite podcast, aka the Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel. Joined as always, the Beyonce to my Jay-Z...

Chad: Yes.

Joel: Chad is in the house. Help us welcome now Dr. Jim Kanichirayil, VP of Growth at Engage Rocket. He's a researcher, writer, podcaster, and just let us know, a proud Gen Xer. Dr. J, welcome to the podcast.

Chad: Feral, feral Gen Xer, not just a Gen Xer.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, you forgot the feral part. [laughter] Yeah, thanks for having me out. I'm looking forward to this conversation. I've been a fan of your show for quite a while, and it's a lot of fun being on the guest side, because...

Chad: Oh, go on, go on.

Joel: Say more.

Chad: Yeah, say more. How much do you own?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: We can start talking about the people in the HR and TA tech space that we want to kneecap, [laughter] but I don't think that's going to be an appropriate course of conversation for us.

Chad: But it's fun, Jim. It is so cathartic just to be able to get out there what you really feel sometimes, which is why this podcast is so much fun. But we'll go in a different direction right now. So, tell listeners a little bit about yourself. Give us a Twitter bio. Who is Dr. Jim? When you get in nice, this soul-searching, who is Dr. Jim?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, that's an interesting question, [laughter] and it's always difficult to answer. I think in a lot of ways I can describe myself as your friendly neighborhood talent strategy nerd, [laughter] because that's typically how I open my shows. But in general, people in my circle know me as the guy that has 15 jobs, so I've spent a lot of time in the talent space. I've been a recruiter. I've always been in startup or accelerating growth organizations on the tech side, either on the talent acquisition side or TA tech or HR tech, and that's kind of where I'm at right now. I've been married for a long time, have three meathead sons [laughter] who are going to make me lose more of my hair as they get older. And beyond that, the details of my life are pretty inconsequential. [laughter]

Joel: I'll add that he's showing us up from a podcaster's sort of pissing match. He has a neon sign in the back with Dr. Jim, and he has a light ring, which I can see in his glasses. So, he is showing us up already. You better bring the hurt, my friend.

Chad: We're not even on video, okay? We're not even on video. [laughter]

Joel: With the purple, with like the pink. And, yeah, very ace.

Chad: No, it's good stuff. Yeah, up your game, Cheeseman. Up your game, Jesus.

Joel: I'm kidding.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, it keeps the attention on my giant five head, [laughter] so there's that...

Chad: Well, this is... I mean, it's good for TikTok, right? Because we're three Gen Xers, and I believe, and I don't know how much Cheeseman is posting yet, but I believe we're all three on TikTok. Is that correct? Are you on, Cheeseman? You're on putting stuff up, aren't you?

Joel: Only because we do video, kicking and screaming. [laughter] The only thing I post are you and our show.

Chad: Okay, okay. So, what about you, Dr. Jim? How often are you posting on TikTok as a feral Gen Xer?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, so that can be a bit of a problem because I'm pretty active on LinkedIn and TikTok. So, typically on TikTok I'm posting three, four times a day.

Joel: God.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: I'm also on YouTube as well. And part of my strategy from just an exposure perspective is just to have much more custom content across all of my channels and grow all three at once. I'm doing the work once, so it just makes sense for me to populate it across the channels that I happen to spend a lot of time on.

Chad: Agreed, agreed. Okay, let's go ahead and get into today's subject.

Joel: Four times a day.

Chad: Joel, he eats at least three times a day. That's the only thing he does three times a day.

Joel: I'm never going that deep. [laughter]

Chad: So, the great resignation is officially over. So, tell the listeners why we're going to be talking about attrition today, Dr. Jim.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, it's interesting that you phrase it that way because I would make the argument that the great resignation isn't over.

Chad: It's all over the papers, man. They're all saying it's over. Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal. [laughter]

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, I mean, I don't know how to process that. I mean, I think when you look at employee sentiment across the board, I think it's safe to say that most of the working class, and if you have a job, you're in the working class, it doesn't really matter like how much you're bringing home unless you're one of those overpaid CEOs who...

Chad: Don't get me started.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Anyways.

Joel: Don't get him started. [laughter]

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, don't get me started either. I would make the argument that the broader workforce, especially in the US context is deeply dissatisfied with the nature of work, and it's evidenced by a lot of what you see in terms of the shifts to the gig economy. You see more and more folks out of the millennial and Gen Z class, and you'll continue to see this. Those folks are moving to more of a freelance type work because the contract, or at least the agreement that we feral Gen Xers were brought up with where you have an employer-employee agreement, that's all a bunch of crap, [laughter] and what you see now...

Chad: We got suckered. Is that what you're saying? We got suckered? [laughter]

Joel: It's a load of malarkey.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah. [laughter] If I say malarkey, I'm going to go like...

Joel: We're sending it to the retirement home, if you say malarkey on this show.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, that's not something that's natural to me, but when you look at what's happening in the broader world of work, and you have so many layoffs that seem to make no sense, and to sit there and make the argument that the great resignation is over, I don't think it's over. I think it's going to continue, and you're going to see some pretty significant shifts in how employees in the working class view the world of work, and what role work and career has in their life going forward, unless some pretty significant things change.

Joel: When you say the layoffs don't make sense to you, I'm going to push back on that a little bit. They make a lot of sense to me. Meta just reported their quarterly earnings, their year of efficiency. They've gone from like 187k employees to 167k. It seemed to work out for them. More efficiency, less headcount, we're still productive, we're better than ever, so tell me why they don't make sense. Oh, by the way, the stock is up 20% in a day. So, I'd say a few shareholders say that it's working. Why do you say it's not, or it doesn't make sense?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, no. I mean, I think that's a great point, Joel, and I think that my comment depends on the lens that you're looking at that statement from.

Joel: Okay.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: If you're looking at it from the perspective of maximizing shareholder value, that makes great sense. If you're an acolyte of the Jack Welch School of Business, that makes great sense because the number one responsibility for business, or the Friedman School as well, number one responsibility of business is to maximize profits and shareholder value. So, in that lens, it makes absolute sense. But when you look at the same data points that you just mentioned, and you look at it or view that from the perspective of the average worker, you have record profits that are happening, that are going on. You have all of the stock prices that are going through the roof. And yet, you have the broader political and business landscape that is unwilling to do anything when it comes to the compensation structures in terms of how workers are paid. I mean, we saw this play out with the UAW strike. You've seen this play out in the discussions about the minimum wage. You've seen this play out over and over again, where workers are being told repeatedly that your role in life is to continue feeding our bottom line.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: And then when we're tired of you, or when you reach a level that is beyond our willingness to pay, we're going to get rid of you and bring in the next class in. That's where it doesn't make sense. For a typical employee to be able to see the numbers where they are from a macroeconomic perspective, a balance sheet perspective, a stock price perspective, and then be told we don't have money for raises, we don't have money to shift you to other verticals within our organization to bring you up in skills. And if you get too lippy, we're just going to replace you with AI. So, go pound sand. So, this is where it doesn't make sense.

Chad: One of the things that gets me, and I think Joel was just... He was putting that out there because that's how most Americans think. And that's how we've been trained to think, quarter to quarter, right? Incredibly short-sighted. We're worried about how the stock hits tomorrow, as opposed to the ability of the company to grow long-term, right? Sustainable growth. Also didn't mention that they just cut all the bullshit VR that they were spending millions of dollars on, right? So, there are a ton of different things. It wasn't just associated to one thing. Although, the media would want you to think that, "Oh, look, it's all about efficiency." That's total bullshit. They were spending money on a bunch of shit in the first place. I'm going to jump back to attrition. An internal memo from Amazon was leaked that said Amazon had lost $8 billion to the bottom line due to attrition. How do we start thinking about attrition, bottom line, upward mobility, retention, and how all of that actually goes to more productivity and more profits, as opposed to the short-sightedness that Joel was throwing out there?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: So, that's a really good question. And I don't think there's any one answer to that question. But if we're talking from a dollars and cents perspective, I think it's important to know, and I don't know if a lot of people actually are zoned in on this. For every instance that you have in your organization where somebody leaves, they weren't fired. They just left. You, as somebody that's watching the books in the organization, are going to burn through 250% of their annual salary, their first year annual salary in replacement costs. So, there's hard and soft costs that you are incurring because you've created an environment that's basically created a revolving door in your organization. I call it the talent attraction hamster wheel. The common complaint within organizations is we can't find enough people. And the answer to that question is multifold. I mean, where are you looking? Who are you looking for? Do you have a profile that you've defined as the ideal profile? And how realistic is that compared to what's out there in terms of overall talent? That's one part of the equation. But the other part of the equation is, who internally is looking to grow and expand their skills? And how are we positioning those people to take on these roles within our organization?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: And the reason why I ask that question is when you look historically at the number or volume or percentages of internal moves or internal promotions, that's usually been around 20% of the workforce. So, if you're only presenting internal roles to... And making them available and creating this matrixed organization where people can freely move across functions, and that's only being presented at 20% of your employee landscape, that's a lot of sunk costs that you've invested in those employees that you're not utilizing, and you're actually increasing the risk that those employees leave because they see no path within the organization to grow internally. And employees aren't stupid. If the new person comes into the organization and is making $20,000, $30,000 more than what I was making in that same role, it's a pretty straightforward decision for that internal employee on how they can maximize their own income. And basically, this is, not to go on about it, I think organizations and leaders within organizations have fundamentally downplayed the value of institutional knowledge and experience within their own doors, which leads to this constant churn and this constant waste of money.

Chad: Well, because it's all focused on the margin, right? I mean, we actually talk about if you can cut a boomer or an Xer and you can hire a couple of Gen Zs, hell, they'll make up whatever the boomer does or the Gen Xer does. And at the end of the day, that's just not... Again, you need to have the experience to be able to get things done in efficiencies. But the big question is, in talent acquisition, why are we not tying attrition and quit rates to productivity and then tying that productivity to the bottom line? Because we heard in the news over and over and over, when quit rates were high that we were having issues with productivity, but they were trying to tie that to remote work. They were trying to tie that to remote work. So, why, as an industry, talent acquisition, why are we not driving the narrative? Because we are not. Let's face it, kids, we are not driving the narrative, the business narrative.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: I don't have a direct line of sight into answering that question, but I think the way that I would approach it is that it's a difficult linkage to make. It's easy to draw the line between time to fill, onboarding, and all that sort of stuff. When you're asking the question, why isn't talent acquisition making the case that we should be emphasizing development and retention? At some level, that's not their job. You have to look at the broader leadership within the organization and especially the HR function to make that case. And I don't think those conversations are happening nearly enough at all levels of the organization, plus it's complex. I mean, what's an easier problem to solve? We can ask the question, how do we do a better job of developing our people? How do we do a better job of retaining our people? And there's probably 15, 20 different ways that you can impact those two elements. And you compare that to, how do we find more people? How do we get more people to apply?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: The way to get more people to apply, the way to find more people, that's a much more linear, less complex argument that you can make. So, we focus on the things that's easier to solve, the "low-hanging fruit," even though finding the right people is pretty damn complex too, because I've been on that side of it. It's not easy, but from an executive's perspective, how many CEOs have come through a talent acquisition pathway into a sizable organization? I think there's a level of blindness at that level to what is involved in the HR function when you look at people strategy in general. That's just my thought. I don't know how well that's borne out in the actual numbers of what's out there.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Do you define turnover and attrition differently?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: So, I take the approach of this, there's voluntary turnover, there's involuntary turnover. And I made the distinction when I was doing my doc, and I don't want to go, like, have people's eyes glaze over. [laughter] Voluntary turnover is when somebody that you value in the organization decides to leave. Involuntary turnover is, theoretically, they weren't good at their job, so you have to get rid of them. Getting rid of non-performers is a good thing. Now, you can make the argument and ask the question, "Well, how can we get more of our non-performers to a level of competency where they're adding value to the organization?" That's a different question. But you always want to cycle through those "misfit candidates," those candidates that aren't aligned with your organization. You want to uncover those quickly and then move them out. But the vast majority of organizations aren't doing a good job of keeping the people that they want either.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: And the reason being, look at it this way. If you look at surveys over the years and you measure, like, The Top Five Reasons Why Somebody is Going to Leave an Organization, two out of those top five are going to be driven from specifically manager-related issues. Manager is not good, or the culture is bad, which is also a function of managers. But what are organizations doing to solve that? How are they equipping frontline managers to really be the connective tissue that keeps the people at the line level in the organization? They're not. Most of the time, your line-level managers, your second-line-level managers, they get promoted into those roles and they have to figure stuff out on their own. And oftentimes, they're just high performers that rose to those ranks. And then they're basically saying, "Well, this worked for me, so I'm just going to show you how I do it. Now, do it my way." That's where you get a lot of conflict.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: And when you talk about your question about is there a difference between attrition and retention, I think it was what you asked. I don't talk in those terms. There's productive retention and there's unproductive retention, so voluntary turnover and involuntary turnover. And I think what you need to do is focus on how good of a job can you do within your organization to keep as many of your productive employees as possible for as long as possible. The bumper sticker version of that is cheaper to keep them, so why aren't you doing a better job of that?

Joel: To me, that starts with your brand. That starts before anyone actually first applies. So, talk about your brand. Obviously, I would say that if you keep people and they're happy and they write good reviews, that's a good brand. And that's going to spill into your customer service. That's going to spill into your marketing. And that's going to obviously spill into your recruiting. So, talk about some of the steps. Brand is one. I'm sure onboarding, the hiring and recruiting process. Talk about the lifespan of what's important in keeping more employees.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: So, there's a couple of things that I want to pull out on this. So, if we're looking at the entire employee life cycle and you want to optimize it for development and retention, one of the biggest ways that you can do that is looking at what's the story that your organization is telling. And Joel, you talked about brand. But brand is beyond more than just something that you say. It's me as a candidate. Can I look into your organization and look across all levels of the organization and see people like me who are at those levels? And can I, at a quick glance, see that they have staying power and stickiness to the organization? So, brand is not something that you just say. You have to actually live in your organization. You need to speak to that just on the talent attraction side. Then when you actually interview and hire people, that needs to flow all the way through that process as well. And I think one of the big gaps that happens, and I'm approaching this from the context of professional hiring, because that's the world that I come from. So, when we're talking IT, white-collar jobs is generally the lens that I'm talking from.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: When you look at that lens and you wanna optimize for development and retention, while your interviews have to be set up that way, where you have those folks represented in your interview panels, but the big element that you need to be focused on is, what's your onboarding process look like. When you look at retention outcomes, that new hires, onboarding experience plays a massive role on whether you're gonna be able to retain them beyond that first year or not, and one of the interesting things that Yasmeen Duncan, who is the Chief People Officer at Magnolia foods, what she mentioned was that people leaders at all levels, when they have a new hire into their organization, they should be applying the PIP upfront concept in the onboarding process, and when we say PIP, everybody automatically saying, Oh, that sounds crap. No.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: It's really... You need to be crystal clear and gaining agreement with the person that's sitting across from you, what are the job expectations, what are the work styles that I prefer, what are the work styles that you prefer, how do we work through our cadence so that we're deeply aligned on what the job expectations are, what the outcomes are, and all of the stuff down the line, and that's really not happening in a lot of organizations, and then you see this experience where six months down the line, a new hire is floundering, and then we're starting with the progressive discipline or wherever to kind of improve performance.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: And by that time, it's too late. So, if you're looking at optimizing for development and retention, one of the big issues is that we're not clear upfront on what the environment is, we're not clear on what the expectations are, we're not clear on what the outcomes are, and we're not actually sitting across from our employees and having those conversations and demonstrating that we care about their success, we talk about caring about their success, but we're not actually putting it into action.

Chad: Well, it's interesting, in the military, we have what we call an AAR, so after every task or every mission or what have you, we do an after action review, which is one of those. Did we meet expectations? What happened? You're going through the pretty much the entire mission training session, whatever it might be, but it's continuous learning, and that's one of the things that the military does so much better than corporate America is shit at, is we constantly training and it's a two-thirds, one-third. We're training in prepping two-thirds of the time to be able to get ready for that one-third, and it doesn't seem... And again, the military is more focused on leadership. I went through more leadership schools in my 20 years in the military, then most CEOS and Fortune 500 companies have ever even thought of going through.

Chad: Is because it's the part of the actual DNA of what they need in their people, whether they leave in four years or whatnot, so it's interesting now, whether you're good at it or not, that's an entirely different story, but it's like it's ingrained in the process, but why is corporate America, is it just too many resources, it takes up too much time. They just don't think it's worth it. I don't understand why it's not a part of every single corporate structure.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: That's a great question, and I wanna draw back to your experience of the after action report, so I've never served so I can't speak from it from a direct perspective, but that is a great best practice, and it's something that needs to be brought into the corporate world but what you often hear, and I empathize with line level managers because they're often under-resourced and over-staffed, meaning you have one line level manager that's supposed to like oversee and position 15, 20 people for success. So, what are those line level managers reduced to? They're reduced to a list of tasks that they need to check off, are these things done? Are these things done? So, you become a task manager and you reference leadership versus being an actual people leader, so if we look at what your core responsibility is, your responsibility as a line manager is to develop other leaders within your organization and build depth, but if you're never really coaching at that level, and you're constantly tied to just a checklist of things that need to get done in the day, how often are you having those conversations, those coaching and development conversations that demonstrate your commitment to that individual on the team and demonstrates your care for their development and your care for their career path.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: It doesn't happen. And oftentimes, you ask any manager, How's your day, Oh, I've been busy, I've been busy, I'm super busy. Everybody's busy, but the question becomes, What are you focusing your attention on, and I think Chad, you and Joel both referenced this early in the conversation, which is that short-term thinking has reduced us to taking a task-level view on everything that needs to be done from a people, strategy perspective, instead of a development view. And here's where I bring that in. You talk to any individual contributor within an organization, you ask them the question, how does the job that you do serve the broader mission of the organization or the team, and they're gonna look at you more often than not, like you have a horn coming out of your forehead, because why managers are not connecting those dots, they're not tying how the work accomplishes the broader mission vision goals of the organization.

Chad: They're not trained to.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, they're not trained to.

Chad: They probably don't know.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, they don't. And the interesting part about that is, I talk to executives and senior leaders all the time about this particular issue, and they say, Yeah, it's a massive issue, we don't have enough leadership capabilities at our line level managers, and I ask the question, Well, why is that? And what happens? Oh, we're getting dragged in a fire fighting all the time, and this is from the senior and the executive level, we're fire-fighting all the time. So, what are you doing to fix that? And you don't really get it much in terms of answers, you might see like, Oh, we got this tool in place. Well a tool alone isn't gonna solve anything if you have a crap process, and if you don't really have the broader people strategy along side of it, and then you throw a tool against it, it's just gonna make whatever process that you have that's already bad, worse. So, it's how are you taking the information that you're getting from your tech stack into actionable things that actually build the leadership capability at all levels of the organization. And especially focused on centering what you're doing to the broader benefit and career aspirations of that line-level individual. That's the gap that isn't being met.

Joel: You mentioned tools, and listeners of our show know that there is no shortage of tools to help you engage employees, not even getting into upscaling, but just engaging, making them feel good. Are those tools working? You mentioned it doesn't work unless you have the foundation to make it work, but in your experience, whether it's 15Five, Culture Amp, I think you own our organization, are companies coming... Are they saying like, these tools are great. They're working. They're amazing. Or is it like, No, another tool it doesn't work. What are you hearing?

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: I'm hearing the latter. Let me give you some context. Here's the problem, and I come from this world, so I'm gonna say some things, it's probably gonna irritate the hell out of a lot of people.

Joel: Good.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Like the company I work for is a people analytics platform, so employee engagement, performance management, all that sort stuff. And the problem that exists in the broader world of tech, HR tech, TA tech, whatever, is that we as sellers within that world have been conditioned to believe that our specific tool can solve whatever problem that exists in the world of anybody that we talk to, and that's a big freaking problem because no tool is gonna solve anything, a tool can enable you one way or another, if you have a crap process, a tool can make that crap process, crappier. If you have a good process in place and you have a good people in place, then that tool is gonna enable you to take to that next level. And the reason why I mention this is that there are so many organizations that I've talked to who have more than one platform in place that's supposed to solve the same thing, and I'm not gonna call out any specific ones, but it seems to be prevalent in a lot of organizations where you'll have duplication of products and capabilities in the same environment and you have people saying, Well, none of this works, why did you get that second platform because the first one didn't work.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Well, it's not the platform's issue. You were sold into something, but did you really look at your people and your process and if that's on solid footing to take it to the next level, and I think that's the piece that gets missed. Technology like I look at it as a neutral entity, if you're not sorted on your people and process side, you're gonna have problems putting technology into that because it's just gonna make whatever you have worse.

Chad: Well, it's short-sighted. Again, we're looking at things trying to hit the easy button on something that's not easy to fix. Yeah, so it's literally the behavior that we've bought into, and then you have vendors that are selling you the easy button, which is exactly what everybody wants to hear, and the next thing you know, it's just not as easy as you think it is.

Joel: I don't know, it sounds like he's saying there's a chance.

S?: 60% of the time, it works. Every time.

Chad: Not 60%.

Joel: Dr. Jay you got... I'm on the ledge, man, you're bumping me out, I'm gonna try to save this on an optimistic note, all the surveys and research that I'm seeing says that Gen Z loves security. They love stability. Maybe it's the pandemic, maybe it's just whatever. But is there hope that the Gen Z generation will embrace sort of loyalty? Stay at companies more often, like, give me something to hold on to. Here, Dr. J.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah, you're seeing the people's eyebrow come up to that statement, so it's an interesting statement that you make and question that you ask, and when I think about that question, I would agree with you under this context, unlike Gen X and maybe even some older millennials, Gen Z are truly taking the CEO mindset to heart, and specifically they're taking the CEO mindset from the perspective of you're the CEO of your own career, and you need to prioritize what's important to you and your development. So, if that mindset, which means I'm not gonna be pot-committed to one employer and one job function and one salary as my pathway to security. I'm gonna look at all the different things that I can do in my skill sets and see how I can monetize that and really look at turning that into multiple revenue streams or products for myself as a professional.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: And I think that's the way forward, and I tend to agree with that mindset that if you're in the world of work and you want to make yourself relevant until the day you decide you don't wanna work anymore, you should be looking at what are the skills and capabilities that I have and how can I monetize that across a number of different avenues so that I'm never overly committed to one income stream, and that's in stark contrast with what the broader corporate world tells us, they're still operating with that boomer mindset that, hey, you graduate, we're a family, we treat everybody great and blah, blah, blah, you'll be here until you retire, well, they still operate under that mindset, and at the same time, they will whack you tomorrow if earnings report doesn't look the way that it needs to look, so hats off to Gen Z for being not as stupid as Gen X are.

Chad: Yeah, well so stability in and what I'm hearing, and what we've heard from a couple of people have we talked to thus far, is that the stability means something different to the generations. The boomers idea of stability is way much different than what Gen Z's look at, what stability is. They're not the same thing. That's what I'm hearing.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: Yeah. And the perfect example, so this is an interesting... And that's an interesting point that you bring out, Chad, because my mom and I have the same conversation, so we're Generation Zero immigrants. I wasn't born in the US, and my mom is from the boomer generation, and she can't wrap her head around like what my actual job is. I often say that I have 15 different jobs and I'm involved in a lot of different things. And she's like, This is a terrible accident impression of her, but she'll go time, Jimmy why don't you get a nice government job? It'll be stable. I'm like, Why would I wanna do that? So, that mindset still exists in the world of work where we were all taught Be the CEO of your own career, but what was the meaning of that when we were coming up in the world of work, the meaning of that was, you're beholden to the an employer and you just do whatever you can to stay employed there, and the real meaning of being a CEO of your own career is actually monetizing all the different skills that you have and try to be as much of a stand-alone corporation as you can.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: So, you're never overly committed to one pathway, and that actually puts you in a constant development mindset, and I think organizations would be well served to look at what's happening in younger Gen X-ers, millennials, Gen Z, and how they're approaching the world of work and bake that in to their organizational strategy, how can we get eight hours out of you for this particular job while still giving you the ability to capitalize on all these other aspects of your skill set that gives you the type of freedom that you want, and I think that's probably the way forward and the way organizations need to look at it, if they're really intentional or care about keeping their employees longer is to adopt that mindset that it's not, Hey, you work for us, it's how can we help you get to the things that are important to you? And take you to the next level and whatever your vision is for yourself.

Joel: That's Dr. Jim. Can we cheer all everybody, Dr. J, for our listeners who wanna connect with you, where do you send them?

Chad: TikTok.

Dr. Jim Kanichirayil: No. Actually, the easiest place to find me is on LinkedIn, so I'm always active there. You can find me on TikTok. You look for the cascading leadership handle on TikTok and you can find me there. But LinkedIn is the best way.

Joel: Chad another one in the can. We out.

Chad: We out.

Outro: Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. It's so weird. We out.


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