On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup speaks to Bob from ADP about the anti-stay interview.

Some Conversation Highlights:

What I would argue is, over time, we’ve had these ebbs and flows of why DEI matters, and I always use the social context and then I bring it to the corporate world. But my view is, just think about where we are now and this period of history that we believe wholly in the value. And one of the values that ADP by the way is that each person counts. So regardless of your racial, ethnic background, regardless of your gender, regardless of your LGBTQ plus status or not, all these things matter to us.

And we want you to be your true, authentic self during your interview and at work because that’s really where the value is created. Now, I’ve been around the DEI space for quite some time. And what’s very interesting to me is that yes, you saw it in the past. I remember my first experience at Pepsi, at Frito-Lay specifically, and we were talking about DEI back then, and Steven Reinemund, who was the CEO at the time of PepsiCo, Tony said, “Hey, by the way, we need to diversify our company.” This is the late ’90s. He said, “50% of your hires need to be women or people of color. And, oh, by the way, if you don’t do it for your business unit to function, you’re not going to be able to get a hundred percent of your bonus.” They go, “Wow, that’s magnificent.” Right?

Tune in for the full conversation.

Listening time: 26 minutes


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Bob Lockett
Chief Diversity and Talent Officer ADP

Bob is the Chief Diversity and Talent Officer at ADP. In this role, Bob is accountable for the Diversity, Corporate Social Responsibility and Talent Strategy. This includes incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into ADP's talent practices.


Music: 00:00 This is RecruitingDaily’s Recruiting Live Podcast, where we look at the strategies behind the world’s best talent acquisition teams. We talk recruiting, sourcing, and talent acquisition. Each week, we take one overcomplicated topic and break it down so that your three-year-old can understand it. Make sense? Are you ready to take your game to the next level? You’re at the right spot. You’re now entering the mind of a hustler. Here’s your host, William Tincup.

William Tincup: 00:34 Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you’re listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today, we have Bob on from ADP and our topic today is something I’ve wanted to scratch for a long time. And I’m so thankful that Bob wants to talk about it as well is the anti-stay interview. So let’s just jump right into it. Bob, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself and ADP, for those that are living under a rock?

Bob Lockett: 01:00 Well, William, thank you for that kind introduction. A little bit about ADP first, and then I’ll tell you briefly about my background. We are the world’s largest payroll provider. When you think about who we serve and the markets that we serve, we have over 900,000 clients globally, and we pay about one in five/one in six folks in the US, depending on who’s counting. And we have products and services that run the gamut from recruiting software to payroll platforms for different-sized businesses. I like to think of us as a HCM or human capital management technology company that provides excellent service. And that’s the way we build our business model.

Bob Lockett: 01:49 Now, a little bit about me. I am the chief diversity and talent officer here at ADP, and I have responsibility for succession up to the CEO level. In addition to that, I have responsibility for our performance management system, our engagement surveys, our cultural surveys. Also, I have responsibility for career growth and development. In addition to that, I oversee the ADP Foundation and on the diversity side of the house, I have responsibility for our DEI strategy as well as our environmental strategy as well.

William Tincup: 02:28 Yeah, which is growing in importance. It’s interesting. One of the things for the audience the ADP does is they have great labor data. In fact, a lot of my friends on Wall Street pay more attention to ADP’s labor statistics than the Bureau of Labor statistics. If you’re not already zeroed in on that, they have just wonderful data that they’re sitting on top of.

Bob Lockett: 02:53 Absolutely. Well, I’m sure Neil Richardson and Marcus Buckingham who are the co-heads of our ADP Research Institute, would love to hear that, to say that we pay more attention to the data that they produce than the data that the government produce. So that’s a very, very good sign, William.

William Tincup: 03:10 It is. It is. It is. It’s interesting. And to your point about DEI, I’ve programmed a conference. Well, it was a training deal last summer. So I interviewed a hundred DEI experts at corporate side. And really, I was just trying to figure out what’s top of mind, and it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with what’s being blogged about or written about or whatever. And one of the things that… A theme that came back, and I wanted to bounce it off you before we get into stay interviews was, two things came back. One is diversity was siloed off to the side for years, not funded, and it was off to the side. And it was Janet’s responsibility or Tony’s responsibility, whatever, there was a person over there. And one of the things that came out of that was it’s fully funded and it’s everyone’s responsibility.

William Tincup: 04:10 The proliferation, it’s everyone’s responsibility to care about diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity, equality, and everyone… Now Tony, or Betty, or whatever might own it but now they have budget, programmatically and otherwise to do something with it. And it’s also bubbled up to a C-suite and board-level discussion point on where are we at with this. And the other thing that came up, which I found fantastic is the environmental part of diversity that I don’t think a lot of… It’s on as many people’s radars maybe if they’re not global. But it’s having a great diversity and inclusion statement of where you are, maybe an annual report, maybe a status report, or whatever where you’re at, so that everybody knows where you’re at on your journey. And in parallel with that, showing people where you’re at with your environment as well.

William Tincup: 05:15 And so, have you seen the same things, in terms of the funding and the differences of before the lip service, let’s not say lip service, that’s probably harsh, but maybe the idea that we wanted to do diversity, and Janet or Tony was over there, but if they’re not, if there’s no budget, and the board’s not talking about it, then somehow it’s deprioritized. Right?

Bob Lockett: 05:39 Yeah. So, William, I’ll give you a couple of comments. I will tell you, in recent history, it has become a business imperative. And for years, people have been trying to think about DEI as a… And they always came back with a business case for diversity. What I would argue is, over time, we’ve had these ebbs and flows of why DEI matters, and I always use the social context and then I bring it to the corporate world. But my view is, just think about where we are now and this period of history that we believe wholly in the value. And one of the values that ADP by the way is that each person counts. So regardless of your racial, ethnic background, regardless of your gender, regardless of your LGBTQ plus status or not, all these things matter to us.

Bob Lockett: 06:33 And we want you to be your true, authentic self at work because that’s really where the value is created. Now, I’ve been around the DEI space for quite some time. And what’s very interesting to me is that yes, you saw it in the past. I remember my first experience at Pepsi, at Frito-Lay specifically, and we were talking about DEI back then, and Steven Reinemund, who was the CEO at the time of PepsiCo, Tony said, “Hey, by the way, we need to diversify our company.” This is the late ’90s. He said, “50% of your hires need to be women or people of color. And, oh, by the way, if you don’t do it for your business unit to function, you’re not going to be able to get a hundred percent of your bonus.” They go, “Wow, that’s magnificent.” Right?

William Tincup: 07:16 Oh.

Bob Lockett: 07:16 Now, mind you, that was 23 years ago. Right? So just put it in context. Just imagine how we stayed the course with that, it would’ve made all the difference in the world and that difference in the world would’ve been, wow, we could’ve advanced and moved the needle. So here’s what happened. But we went through that period. We had a new CEO come in and then you have people change out organizations and well, now, and in corporate America, we’re always onto the next thing.

William Tincup: 07:42 That’s right.

Bob Lockett: 07:42 What’s the next bright, shiny object now? Yeah. I always go back in history and say, “Have we stayed the course with DEI? Just imagine…” And I’ll give you periods of history because we repeat ourselves over and over again. And it goes something like this. We have a catastrophic event that happens. Following that catastrophic event, people get motivated about it. And then all of a sudden things trail off and they go, “Okay, onto the next thing.” Then another catastrophic event happens. And my argument has always been, with DEI efforts, “Keep your plan simple. And oh, by the way, if you do that, and you connect it to your business and talk about economic opportunity for all because a rising tide does lift all boats, it’s not selective, then you’ll make progress.”

Bob Lockett: 08:24 Let me give you an example. Let’s go back to the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Right? A height of why we need to have DEI efforts. Yes. It started. There was great enthusiasm. And in fact, if you look at the data, you had more African Americans at the time that got a chance to run businesses, elected to Congress, and the like. Then of course-

William Tincup: 08:48 That’s true.

Bob Lockett: 08:49 We lost interest in this. Right?

William Tincup: 08:51 Yeah.

Bob Lockett: 08:51 We said, “Oh, you know what? Yeah. That’s not our thing.”

Bob Lockett: 08:54 Okay. Next, the law has already changed. We fixed it. Okay. All right, let me modernize it a bit. Let me take you to 1954, Brown versus the Board of Education. Right? Another tremendous opportunity for us to say, “Yes, the law says we should be equal, but yet we didn’t do those things that we needed to do.” All right. All right. So let’s modernize it a little bit more. Let’s go to 1964. Let’s go to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Hey, another opportunity to talk about equality and guess what we do. We get excited about it. We start our efforts and all of a sudden it trails off. Okay? Now, I’m going to modernize it. Let’s take us back to the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, William, when we had all of these great corporate DEI initiatives. Guess what? The number of African American CEOs, it’s been fairly constant at five to six.

Bob Lockett: 09:44 Yeah. Oh, by the way, the number of executives in corporate America that happen to be African American, the numbers are still roughly the same. We’ve made great gains with women and great gains within other markets. But the question still remains. How do we create an environment in which everybody feels welcome, that they can be their true authentic selves and bring a tremendous amount of value to the organizations so the companies can achieve their outcomes? And those outcomes happen to be, how do we become more profitable? How do we reward our stakeholders which includes parts of our community as well? So all those things are relevant and important.

Bob Lockett: 10:18 Now, the last thing I’ll mention to you because you did mention the topic of ESG, so to speak. In which environmental things are really important for organizations to have. And in fact, greenhouse gas emissions is at top of mind for many companies.

Bob Lockett: 10:32 And oh, by the way, we’ve got a distinct advantage because we’re a data company, for the most part, a technology company so we’re not like a manufacturer of oils and chemicals. Right? So we have a little bit of an opportunity to say, yeah, we can put plans in place to regroup, do our part too. So if everybody does their part relative to what they pollute and contribute, then the world will be a better place. So you do see these efforts in initiatives at a heightened level of visibility for senior leaders and companies and to boards.

Bob Lockett: 11:05 And oh, by the way, boards are saying, “For your environmental piece, we want to hold you accountable to some metrics. And oh, by the way, we’re going to tie it to compensation.” The same in the S which is the social piece, which is typically the DEI space that says, “Hey, by the way, if you really want to make meaningful progress in corporate America, you’ll tie it to compensation. If you do that, people will change their point of view and they change their narrative about what’s important.”

William Tincup: 11:29 Right. It’s really interesting to see the gentleman, I think it was Steve at Pepsi, how forward-thinking he was because you also look at your customers, especially Pepsi and Frito-Lay customers at the time, and you’ve got a diverse folks of people that you’re serving. For no other reason, then you’re serving a diverse group of people, why wouldn’t you push this forward as a business imperative as you stated? Well, we could talk about this forever and we will on our next podcast. But I definitely wanted to ask and get your take on level settling on what I’d learned.

Bob Lockett: 12:03 Wait. Are you inviting me back already?

William Tincup: 12:05 Oh, yeah. No, that’s absolute… A hundred percent, Jason’s already got this scheduled. No, it’s done. It’s done. So we’ll start with the anti-stay interview. I know that both of us have seen this very similarly, but let’s start with your take on the exit interview. Because I want to start with the Genesis of how we got to this place. So this idea that we part ways with somebody and then they give us some valued information about how we can make things better. So I’ll just start and say, “Yeah, I don’t value exit interviews at all.” I’ll go extreme so that you can be a little bit more moderate. But I take that data and just, yeah, okay, that’s… I mean, how can I trust anything that’s been said here?

Bob Lockett: 12:55 Well, William, it’s a great topic for discussion because like most companies, we collect a tremendous amount of data. We want to understand why people left. Now, we also have to take that data and combine it with the fact that we’ve got these social media platforms now like Indeed or Glassdoor that also associates, while they might not tell you these things from the exit interview standpoint after, “Hey, look, I’m leaving. Here’s why I’m leaving.” Hey, good luck, because they may not want to burn bridges. But if you look at some of the anonymized comments in some of the social spaces, you’ll see how they really feel about the organization. And you can almost marry up who left and who made those comments. Having said that, I think the exit interview has a place if you believe in continuous improvement like we do. Because at the core of who I am, William, I try and think like a scientist.

Bob Lockett: 13:51 And one of the things that scientists do is they continue to gather data and they refine their approach over and over again. And that’s part of the way we do our DEI strategy. So if you take it in that context and say, “How do we collect data?” And maybe there are some nuggets that come out of this so we can adjust and change our thinking when it comes to systemic issues that people face in the organization.

Bob Lockett: 14:12 For example, if they say, “I had a horrible onboarding experience.” That’s something that you might glean from an exit interview or, “Hey, listen, I was there for 12 years and I never got a promotion.” So you sort of see these things and you started to wonder, “Okay, so let’s look at our systems to see if there is any evidence to help us think differently about it in this continuous do loop if you will, of feedback and action.”

William Tincup: 14:36 Yeah. Yeah. No, I think that the way you’re doing it actually makes sense to me because you’re looking at it on aggregate as well. So when you’re looking at it on aggregate if 17 people try to say the same thing, okay, there’s something there. There’s only 20 people in there. Okay. So that’s a lasting experience. That makes sense to me. And it also makes sense that that would be something that you could then target and say, “Okay, our onboarding, we can get better at onboarding. All right. Well, let’s look at what works well and what doesn’t. Let’s pick it apart and let’s rebuild it.” Then that part makes sense to me. It’s just taking their word as gospel. And you’re looking at the aggregate, which makes the most sense to me.

William Tincup: 15:24 The stay interview came after the exit interview. The exit interview’s been around for a long time. The stay interview was concocted to basically gauge interest so somewhere in the employee satisfaction. We’re old enough to remember the annual employee satisfaction survey that no one ever read. And so, we did them every year. We filled them out every year. We turned them in, and everybody looked at it and they went somewhere and nothing ever happened or nothing was ever communicated backward. Then we modernized that by doing it more frequently.

William Tincup: 16:06 Let’s do something that’s not working, but let’s do it more frequently, or let’s do it in pulse surveys where we ask somebody every day, one question and get one data piece. And again, to like mood where they’re at that day, that particular moment, et cetera. So let’s just talk about stay interviews in the context of the brokenness of that model of asking someone either annually or every six months, or every day, every hour, whatever, how they feel, and how does that relate to, do they like their job and are they productive in their job? And do they love what they’re doing?

Bob Lockett: 16:49 Yeah. And by the way, William, this is a fairly complex topic. And first and foremost, I will tell you, I don’t believe in the stay interview.

William Tincup: 16:57 Yeah.

Bob Lockett: 16:57 I want to be…

William Tincup: 16:58 Nor do I.

Bob Lockett: 16:58 I want to give my disclaimer upfront.

William Tincup: 17:00 No, no.

Bob Lockett: 17:01 And there’s a real reason why I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in it, that as an independent act, I can go to my members of my team and say, “Hey, listen, I really need you to stay. I really want you to… You have a future in the company.” Because that’s a one-off event. If it is part of your routine as a leader then you are in effect keeping your people engaged. And more importantly, what I believe, the research is coming out from our ADPRI is that if you keep people connected to the leader and to the purpose of the organization, and if they feel seen, valued, and heard, guess what, they’ll stay.

Bob Lockett: 17:45 But the key here is for you to pay attention to them on a frequent basis. And I can give you personal examples. One of the things that I do as a leader is that I check in with my team once a week. We do it through technology and we do it through one on ones and that’s a weekly occurrence. And the reason I do that is because I want to understand what’s going on and what challenges they’re facing. It’s very difficult for me to do that if I only meet with them once a month. If I only listen to the challenges that they have once a month, guess what, what about the other three weeks in that month?

William Tincup: 18:21 That’s right.

Bob Lockett: 18:22 You’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to stay connected with your people.

William Tincup: 18:27 And God only knows what has happened in those three weeks.

Bob Lockett: 18:30 That’s exactly right.

William Tincup: 18:30 They could have had some extreme highs, some lows, some middles, and all of a sudden you hit them at that one point. I think one of the things you’ve really nailed is they feel it. If you’re doing it all the time, they know that you care and you’ve created space and they feel comfortable enough to give you feedback and give you… Basically, open up and be vulnerable, which is really what you’d like both as a leader, and anybody that you work with is like, “Listen, when you’re struggling, tell me. When you want to get promoted, tell me.” And I’ll ask. So the other side of that is I’m going to be asking. So when we talk it’s just us.

William Tincup: 19:07 I do this all the time when I talk with our folks is, I’m like, “It’s just us. Nothing’s being recorded. You can say whatever you need to say. Let’s just… It’s okay. If we need to cry, let’s cry. Let’s get there.” And I think the stay interview, as a lot of companies do stay interviews, they do them as a reactive measure. And I think you nailed that it’s not a reactive measure if they feel the experience all the time.

Bob Lockett: 19:41 And William, you’re spot on. You’ve got to do it all of the time. I mean, that’s why you have the frequency of conversations. And the researchers show, if I pay attention to my people, they’re more likely to stay, and they’re more likely then to share their concerns. And so, as an independent event, I think a stay interview is a complete waste of time. As a part of an integral ongoing dialogue, it can be valuable. Now, having said that, but again, independently, I don’t believe that it adds value. If it is part of your daily routine or your weekly routine and you get to know your people, you understand what frustrates them. You get to see their body language. You get to see what’s what they’re dealing with at home. And so this is not just a one-off thing.

Bob Lockett: 20:30 And so, just imagine how ineffective it would be if you didn’t have a relationship with your people. Number one, to give them feedback, and number two, to go say, “Hey, I really like the work you’re doing. I want you to stay,” but I have never spent any time with you. They would look at you like you had three eyes.

William Tincup: 20:43 A hundred percent.

Bob Lockett: 20:44 “Why are you doing this now versus doing this?”

William Tincup: 20:47 Where were you?

Bob Lockett: 20:47 “And so something must be up. Where were you before?”

William Tincup: 20:50 That’s right.

Bob Lockett: 20:50 And so my belief is if you do it right as a leader, you’re always on top of what your people are working on, what goals they have, what things they’re struggling with, how they can get better at what they do, are they happy with their comp, do they believe in trust in you, are you representing them to get them exposure, and the like, so all those things matter much more than just-

William Tincup: 21:15 Micro experiences.

Bob Lockett: 21:15 Right. Exactly. Those experiences are much more important than just a one-off event.

William Tincup: 21:19 Occasionally, I’ll find the person that loves stay interviews. And this is how I break them. You’ll love this because we’re totally in line on this. When I find the people, I’m like, “Oh man, it totally makes sense. Absolutely.” I said, “Are you married?”

William Tincup: 21:38 “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.”

William Tincup: 21:38 “How long have you been married?”

William Tincup: 21:39 “20 years.”

William Tincup: 21:40 “Oh, fantastic. So if you checked in with your wife once a year and just checked in and just see how she’s doing, how does that work for you?”

Bob Lockett: 21:50 I love it, love it.

William Tincup: 21:53 Done. “Well, I mean, of course, it’s different.” I’m like, “No, actually it isn’t.”

Bob Lockett: 21:59 It really isn’t.

William Tincup: 22:00 No.

Bob Lockett: 22:00 It’s a relationship. Right?

William Tincup: 22:01 It’s a relationship. See, you think it’s different, but they don’t feel that it’s different because they’re putting their everything into what you want them to the job and the productivity and the company and the belief, the momentum. You’re asking for their heart and their soul, and then you want to periodically check in with them. That doesn’t work. It doesn’t work in marriages to find that as you wish, and it doesn’t work with employees. So that’s my… If you ever find someone that’s in love with stay interviews…

Bob Lockett: 22:35 I will use that William. Do and believe, man, that was fantastic.

William Tincup: 22:38 To see their face when you go… It’s like lamb to the slaughter. You’re just walking you into this bit. It’s like, “Okay. Yeah. Yeah.” But the thing that I love in a way that y’all do it is, as you said in your intro, you’ve got performance, you have engagement, you have all of these things that are in your span of control and you’ve melded those together. It’s not called stay interview. I’m assuming. I don’t know we have it really standard. But the way that your actions are showing, you’re creating these micro experiences for employees. You’re doing it with your team, but I would assume that you’re also getting your team to do it with everyone else, et cetera. So it proliferates the organization. But to create these experiences where it isn’t one-off, it’s continuous. It’s a relentless pursuit of having a better relationship with your employee.

Bob Lockett: 23:35 William, I love the way you phrase it. It is a series of micro experiences. And to your point, I try and show my team specifically, as well as the broader ADP, how much we care about each other. And if I can get people to have a sincere understanding of how deeply I do care about them, and I want to see them succeed, and I want to see the organization succeed, and you can make those connections that are really meaningful. And we talked about ADP’s culture. And one of the things, we had a campaign of, “Why do you come and why do you stay?” And I came for the HR technology. I stay for the people. Why? Because they care. They’re genuine. It is family-like. I can’t say it is family because there are new on… You’ve got to deal with craziness with family sometimes and you have to do it at work too. Although that’s not a preferred thing. Right?

William Tincup: 24:31 But everybody’s got that crazy uncle. That’s just the way it is. Come on.

Bob Lockett: 24:36 Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think for us, it’s a matter of the routines. What are the routines that you go through as a leader that help you keep your people engaged? And, oh, by the way, this is not some big corporate jargon campaign. It’s about me and my team. And if we… Because the organization is made up of smaller bits of an organization, i.e. the teams. And if the team leader engages his people the right way, checks in with them frequently listens to them, understands them, provides the direction and guidance and provides them with a sense of value, and teaches them that, “Look, I’m open. I can help you with whatever you’re struggling with.” Then you start to see different outcomes.

Bob Lockett: 25:22 And by the way, I went to West Point. I spent time in the military too. And as Marcus was doing his research, I was actually practicing all of the things that his research showed that the team leader is the most important. That the team leader has to check in with a level of frequency. And oh, by the way, even if your people don’t love the work they’re doing if they believe in the leader and they’re connected to the leader and they believe in that their seen, valued, and heard, guess what they do, they will still go through and do tremendous things for you.

Bob Lockett: 25:55 I’ll give you an example. There’s nothing worse as a leader in some of the military training we used to do than not eating all day and getting to a position of… And you’ve got to dig a foxhole. And you’ve got your soldiers who are dead tired, but if they believe in the leader, guess what they’ll do, they’ll do it. They’ll be tired, but they’ll say, “Hey, this is part of my responsibility. I trust that my leader’s going to do the right thing to make sure we’re taken care of.” So I carried all of that with me to corporate America because I do believe it’s the leader’s responsibility to create the right conditions for success for his or her team. You do that by frequent conversations, which absolutely says, “You don’t need to have a stay interview if you do those things.” I have yet to have a stay interview in my career.

William Tincup: 26:43 Right. Well, because again, if you’re continually having conversations with them, there is no reason for that. But I love the way that you’ve positioned the leader of, “Hey, it isn’t your job to wait until they have a problem to come to you.” This is, I think a power dynamic that you really are nibbling around the images of this saying.

William Tincup: 27:06 The power dynamic is yes, you have a fancy title and yes you’re paid more and okay, yes, you have the folks, the subordinates, if you will. But if you think for a moment that you have to wait until they knock on your door, you’re going to be surprised when they leave. You’re going to be blindsided when they leave. You will be shocked. But if you’re talking to them and you flip that power dynamic around and say, “It’s my responsibility as a leader to check in with every single one of my team members and find out where they’re at, what they’re doing, how can I alleviate some of the obstacles or help them with some of the things that they’re going through, whatever that is…”

William Tincup: 27:46 And some people as you do this, do you check in with them? And the check in’s pretty light. “Hey, how are you doing?”

William Tincup: 27:53 “Man, I’m doing great. I’m doing fantastic.”

William Tincup: 27:54 “Is there anything that’s in your way?”

William Tincup: 27:56 “No, man. I’m killing it. I’m doing really well. Thanks for checking in.”

William Tincup: 28:00 You’ll get this feedback from them that’s, “Hey, thanks for checking in.” It’s like, “Well, that’s kind of my job to check in.”

Bob Lockett: 28:08 Right. Right. Absolutely. But it’s interesting because I’ve often looked at the role of the leader is doing that. When I’m on a call with my team and we’re talking to someone external, I often make light of the fact I said, “Well, I actually work for them.” Which I do. That’s my job to work for them. Of course, I set strategy and I have insights and they might not have about the bigger picture and they’re more specialized in their roles but I often go back to this idea of servant leadership that my job… Leadership has never been about me.

William Tincup: 28:42 That’s right.

Bob Lockett: 28:43 It’s truly about my people.

William Tincup: 28:44 That’s right.

Bob Lockett: 28:45 If I can get them to believe, if I can get them to perform at higher levels because they know that I have their backs that changed the narrative. If I create the right conditions for success, we win. And again, this ties back to this idea of, “Do I need a stay interview?” I’ve never done one. Never plan on doing one. I’m going to talk to my people up front. Because by the way, by the time you conduct a stay interview, they’ve already made a decision. And if you’re in tune with your people, you already know what the answer is.

William Tincup: 29:13 If you’re not-

Bob Lockett: 29:14 If you’re not in tune, you’ll be going, “Oh my gosh. Why did they leave?” Well, you should know.

William Tincup: 29:20 Because I know you love history. If you go back to the Civil War, this is actually what lost the Civil War for the South, was Gettysburg. Had General Lee listened to his generals and listened to his people and not charged up the hill, the South would’ve probably won the war. They were 40 miles from DC and the union was in disarray. They just had a brand new general, General Meade who had just been promoted literally by Lincoln and went out to Gettysburg, gathered all of his generals together, and said, “Hey, what do we do?” So you have the polar opposites of leadership of one person not listening to all their generals and not getting kind of building consensus and not just building consensus, but really listening like what should we do in this particular moment? You have another general that does the exact opposite. And that was the turning point. That was literally the turning point of the war. Because had Lee marched 40 miles to get to DC, the war’s over. It’s done.

Bob Lockett: 30:32 Love it. Let’s not forget about it. Somebody’s failure with…

William Tincup: 30:33 It’s all right there on the battlefield. It’s literally all right there on the battlefield.

Bob Lockett: 30:38 Yeah, I would agree. I often like to go back to World War II as well. I always look at that period of history too. And my favorite general, even though he sort of got a reputation for being brash was Patton.

William Tincup: 30:55 Oh, I love Patton. Oh, I love Patton.

Bob Lockett: 30:57 And Patton’s view was about people. “Never tell your people how to do things, tell them what you want done, and let them amaze you with their ingenuity.”

William Tincup: 31:07 100%.

Bob Lockett: 31:08 And so, just think about the task that he has. He was the only general who never lost a battle in combat in World War II.

William Tincup: 31:18 Wow.

Bob Lockett: 31:18 And so, against tremendous odds, he always won because number one, he had two principles. He delegated authority. Number two, he believed in his people and he provided the inspiration so they can achieve outcomes that were far beyond what they thought they were capable of doing. So if you put that in context, let’s take it to corporate America again. If you put it in context, you can inspire your teams and your people to be great. You can help them be great by giving them the platform, talking to them, checking in with them frequently, making them feel like they’re seen, valued, and heard. I can’t emphasize that enough. Making them feel like they are connected to you as a leader, and that your word is your bond. So, living by this set of values and principles is equally as important, and then once you start winning, I have this philosophy that winning begets winning. And once you start winning you-

William Tincup: 32:14 You have a winning culture.

Bob Lockett: 32:15 … don’t want to ever lose again. Exactly. You don’t ever want to lose again. So that’s the culture at ADP. We believe in winning. And if we take care of our people, which is one of the key leadership priorities for us, which is always listen to your associates, act like a business owner, and make the client your North Star. But the key in that, is always listen to your associates. And that’s where you find the component of leadership that’s so critically important.

William Tincup: 32:42 I love that. Two things, two strands to pull left. One is there’s a linkage between culture and values in the way that you’ve kind of modeled, and that’s the second part of this is what do we call this? Because if we don’t call it stay interview and we throw that out, which is, I’d like to do that today. What do we call it? And in linkages between what is the connective tissue between values and culture in that, I want to say employee experience, but I don’t want to lead the witness.

Bob Lockett: 33:13 Well, listen, first and foremost, I look at an organization’s values as the umbrella for all things that happen in the organization. It creates the culture. Because to me, culture is action against your values. So think about it in this kind of context.

William Tincup: 33:31 It’s not chicken and egg. I like this. We finally solved this.

Bob Lockett: 33:34 Right. Right. Exactly.

William Tincup: 33:34 This is not chicken and egg.

Bob Lockett: 33:35 It’s umbrella. I mean, think about… For example, one of our values is each person counts. Another value of our corporate social responsibility. And so, if you take those two values, we have to act in accordance with our values. And if we do that, now we are… Because culture is about behavior too. So what is a culture like? Well, how do things get done in that organization or in our organization? It’s done based on a set of values and principles. So that’s the way I would look and answer that question. The second piece of that is, well, what do you call it if you don’t call it a stay interview? How about we just call it leadership? That good leaders check in with their people frequently on a weekly basis.

William Tincup: 34:20 Oh, I love you.

Bob Lockett: 34:20 Whether it’s through technology or it’s not. So let’s just call it leadership. There’s a responsibility that you have to keep your teams engaged, to keep them connected, to help them achieve outcomes. And oh, by the way, retention is so important that if you’re a good leader, you’re going to spend time and try and keep your people engaged throughout the whole process.

William Tincup: 34:40 Yeah. Try to have pulled somebody out of Patton’s, out of his control. Try to pull somebody out of his unit. At that time, when they had all of that momentum, try to pull somebody out there. There was no one. They loved…

Bob Lockett: 34:52 None.

William Tincup: 34:53 Everybody that was under him loved him. That’s just…

Bob Lockett: 34:56 Absolutely.

William Tincup: 34:57 Drops mic work off stage. Bob, thank you so much for the time and wisdom today. I absolutely appreciate you. And I love that we… First of all, I love how you also got me to rethink exit interviews because I was just really down on them. But the way that you look at them on the aggregate and you learn from them, there’s some really, really cool things there. So thank you for that.

Bob Lockett: 35:19 Absolutely. Thank you. I appreciate you having me, William.

William Tincup: 35:21 Absolutely.

Bob Lockett: 35:22 Hopefully, this is not our last time interacting and just…

William Tincup: 35:24 Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no.

Bob Lockett: 35:26 I’m sure we’ll get a chance to chat some more about some great topic in the future.

William Tincup: 35:30 All right, my friend. Take care. Thank you. And thanks for the audience, appreciate you.

Bob Lockett: 35:33 You. Thank you. You have a great one.

Music: 35:37 You’ve been listening to the Recruiting Live Podcast by RecruitingDaily, check out the latest industry podcast, webinars, articles, and news at-

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William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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