Meredith Bell Interviews Evan Hackel about His Philosophy of Ingagement
If you have been watching and learning from our series of great Training Unleashed podcasts – and we hope you have – we would like to tell you about something unusual! Today, we are reporting on a recent podcast in which Evan Hackel does not do the interviewing . . . he gets interviewed.
The podcast is part of the Strong Performance podcast series, hosted by an inspiring woman named Meredith Bell. Meredith is co-founder of Performance Support Systems in Hayes, Virginia.
We are excited to share these edited excerpts from their conversation.
Meredith: Welcome to the Strong Performance podcast. I’m your host, Meredith Bell, and I am passionate about having conversations with guests who will inspire and challenge you. I’m very excited to have Evan Hackel with me as my guest today. Evan Hackel, welcome to my show.
Evan: Fantastic to be here.
Meredith: Evan is on the cutting edge when it comes to the creation of mobile training platforms. Evan, can you tell us about your journey to the work you’re doing today with training and consulting?
Evan: My journey, which is really a journey of understanding the importance of Ingagement, started in my family business. I said, “We need a strategic plan.”
One thing I’ll say to every listener now is that plans make things happen, whether it’s in your life or business.
Meredith: This word Ingage is really a cornerstone of your work, and so I want to talk a little bit about why you spell it differently. Why is it Ingage with an “I” instead of Engage with an “E”?
Evan: I‘m defining it as a higher level of engagement.
Meredith: I’d love to know what are some of the key insights? You mentioned planning a minute ago. What was blocking progress in the organization you mentioned?
Evan: We had all these different parts of the organization and they all had their own goals. We started to ask, “Are we getting the perspectives of the people in the company? Do we really get their perspective when we talk to the team members in the company?”
If you get everyone’s perspective, you can see the whole picture. But worst case, if your organization is an echo chamber of senior management, you really have no idea what’s going on out there and you have a vision of things you can do that are not based in reality. I like to refer to this as “High-Level Dumb” because you’re in that echo chamber. Our goal in the company was to have 40 percent of those 800 people actively involved in some form of leadership and actively contributing. Ultimately, we is more powerful than me because when you build teamwork and success, it raises everyone’s boat.
Meredith: You have said that Millennials are the best workers who have ever entered the workforce and that Generation Z will only be better. Why do you say that?
Evan: What I love about the younger generations is they are lifelong learners. They’re totally committed to self-improvement. That’s what you want on your team.
Meredith: What kind of training have you found to be most effective at engaging younger people in learning?
Evan: Whenever I bring on a new hire, I always personally meet with them and review our vision and mission purpose statements and our strategic plan. And I really go into depth about what’s in the plan. The number one reason younger generations leave work is because they do not see personal growth and they do not feel they are getting tracked.
. . . And my last tip is that younger generations like to work for companies they feel great about. If you get right down to it, they want to feel that business is in fact doing something that makes the world a better place. So make sure you grab people and share that with your team, because that’s where the younger generations get really Ingaged.
About Meredith Bell
Meredith’s first career was in education, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. In 1982 she left public education to start a company of her own.
“My passion has always focused on helping people recognize and maximize their full potential,” Meredith says, “showing them how to become stronger for work and life. For several years I had a solo consulting and training practice, working with companies to develop the people side of their business. I worked with leaders and employees alike, teaching them how to communicate more effectively and deliver positive results.”
Then in 1990, Meredith co-founded Performance Support Systems (PSS), with Denny Coates and Paula Schlauch. After a few years, Meredith and her team created a new tool, called 20/20. It is a flexible survey system that has now been used by thousands of organizations and more than a million participants worldwide for traditional 360 feedback, team effectiveness, employee engagement and customer satisfaction surveys.
Meredith states that in the years of helping organizations transform their way of dealing with people, she and her team came to an important realization:
Neither feedback nor training can, by themselves, change behavior.
About Evan Hackel
Evan Hackel is a 35-year franchising veteran as both a franchisor and franchisee. He is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and principal of Ingage Consulting. He is a speaker, hosts “Training Unleashed,” a podcast covering training for business, and author of Ingaging Leadership. To hire Evan as a speaker, visit evanspeaksfranchising.com. Follow @ehackel or call 781-820-7609. Why not have Evan Hackel address your group about franchising success?