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MFC - Live!

Episode 7: Trent Bryson

Are you as a company owner experiencing a high turnover rate? Do you feel that you compensate your employees enough, but it still seems that they would rather go elsewhere given the opportunity? 

In this episode of MFC Live! we will be sitting down with Trent Bryson answering the burning question of “Why am I unable to keep my most valuable employees?”

Also available on Podcast:

Video Transcript

Transcript Edited For Clarity

Trent Bryson: Hello.

Enpo Tu: Good afternoon Enpo Tu calling on behalf of my financial coach.

Trent: How are you?

Enpo: I’m doing well, thank you very much! So, today I am reaching out to you Trent because we want to reach into our subject matter expert pool and get some really good advice when it comes to certain topics, and the topic that we have for you today revolves around motivating employees, and to help employers come up with ideas about how best to motivate individuals. So, let me set the stage for you a little bit. Imagine you have a long time client that comes up to you and they say:

“Hey, you know I just lost another director marketing to a startup. I give them all a huge bonus and a two percent raise but it just never seems enough. Why can’t I seem to keep my star guys?”

So really they’re asking how do we keep my most valuable employees working hard. So before you jump into the topic what you give us a little bit of background and then share with us what your thoughts are on this.

Trent: Yeah, thanks for having me trip Bryson CEO Bryson financial as well as founder and chairman of Culture Works HR. We focus on small and mid-sized companies and generally speaking, private equity relationships bring us in to perform due diligence on companies prior to being bought or sold. We will perform due diligence on the companies and help implement them. Whether it’s the risk management, the culture, the employee benefits where we’re trying to: attract, retain, and reward and help employees. So we will be responsible for supporting the company in terms of implementing that and just try to keep them best in class or make them best in class.

Enpo: All right thank you for that background. So, diving a little bit deeper into that topic then give us what you would see as some of the things that you may want to discover or discuss during that initial conversation with this client.

Trent: Yeah, I think that all too often the first thing we jump to is it’s got to be compensation, right? But if we really mean compensation, it’s actually the most inefficient way to pay somebody. I mean in a real basic form for every hundred dollars I pay somebody, me as an employer, I’m paying them a hundred and ten dollars because of the FICA taxes, workers comp, and they’re getting tax and they’re going home with sixty-five to seventy dollars. So, if you think about all the employee benefits or the waste to reward somebody. All too often we think it’s compensation but even our raises are what we talk about, and it’s the most inefficient way to pay somebody. What I also find is that top performers aren’t solely based on compensation. Sure, they like keeping score and they like to be a part of a high compensation structure but a lot of times there is something else driving them. I’ll start with, well I’d say the most underrated thing, the most underrated or one of the most common reasons I see high performers leave has nothing to do with compensation it has nothing to even do with other high performers.

But yet, it has something to do with the low performers. Because what happens is that a high performer wants to be surrounded by a really good team just like a great athlete wants to go play for a championship team, a high performer wants to go play for a good team and when you surround them with people that don’t care or don’t have the talent to do what they need to do, they know in their hearts that they’re not going to win and that they’re going to have to work that much harder than everybody else just to make that happen and while that was cool maybe in the seventies and eighties for that lifetime player to be with a team, I think the same thing holds true in the workplace today and that is good player wants to go play for a championship team. So, when you look at the way that these professional athletes are going and finding championship teams, it’s the same way that a top performer wants to go find a top-performing company. They want to be surrounded by people that are great they want to achieve greatness and want to grow that way.

Enpo: Absolutely, so other than perhaps creating a culture of success and creating a product that is competitive in the market place. What else can employers do to try to retain and attract this talent that’s so vital to their wealth?

Trent: Yeah, I think another big opportunity is just to align the vision. All too often, the one on one conversations aren’t had where:

A. the employee understands what the CEO or the C-level executives wants to accomplish


B. They don’t understand what that star performer wants to accomplish, and unless your vision or your goals are aligned there’s gonna be a tug constantly and so not everybody’s the same but to try to figure out what everybody’s vision is and how they’re going to contribute to the ultimate goal of the company I think is really critical. Otherwise, you’ll just have everybody as almost like rental players. Where they’re there and they’re gonna do their job because they’re gonna get paid well. But, they’re going to move on the next time that they see an opportunity that they feel like they’re going to grow. So, I think to have those conversations when we talk about HR all too often people think oh that’s the little lady that sits there and does payroll and gives a sexual harassment training. Very fast companies in the world are actually those that are saying: human resources how do I take the exact similar people and bring them together as a team and make them perform better than a different company trying to do the same thing, and so that’s why that H. R. is underrated all too often in small to midsize companies. Whereas, Fortune five hundred companies understand it. I was recently watching the show Billions and they have that Wendy Rhoades as the psychiatrist that somehow gets the best out of people. That’s like the perfect HR person in my opinion.

Enpo: All right, that’s very fascinating about that you’re looking at the structure of the company and it’s from that H. R. window you’re able to see that it’s almost an enhancer and having good HR in place is important. So, could you give us maybe just one example of when a company has put in really good retention strategies?

Trent: Yeah let me give you a real-life example. So Rob Blake, who plays for the LA Kings for many many years, went at the very end of his career and went and played for the Detroit Red Wings. Those last two years he goes to win the Stanley Cup, the biggest difference as he came back and ended up being a general manager for the LA Kings and help them win a couple of Stanley Cups. The number one thing he talks about is everybody when he joined the Detroit Red Wings and then when he brought to the LA Kings every single thing that he did was make sure from the receptionist all the way to the CEO knew the goal. When he was with the Kings it was about making the playoffs getting really good players and making a good run. When he was with the Detroit Red Wings everybody in the entire organization knew that the goal was. It was to win the Stanley Cup. That was the absolute goal that’s what everybody was striving for and everybody was trying to do the same thing and I think, yeah I use sports analogies a lot but I think that the business of hockey is a business and so what he did was he took that concept that he learned when he went to that other team and just brought that little tweak to the Kings and changed the face of their franchise.

Enpo: Excellent well thank you very much for hopping on the line with me Trent, your insight is invaluable and I hope that our listeners are going to benefit from this.

Trent: All right thanks Enpo.

Enpo: All right, thank you.

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