Episode Description

How to Increase Employee Satisfaction: With Natacha Roussy

Companies are having a hard time keeping their younger employees these days. This is something that’s been affecting today’s podcast guest as well. Natacha Roussy is the Senior Manager of Talent & Projects at Groupe Dynamite. Her job is to recruit people, and lately it’s been tough for the company to keep those new hires.

Many companies have been struggling to meet the expectations of young employees, leaving them in a constant state of recruitment. It all comes down to one question: what can companies do to increase the satisfaction of their employees? Listen to this episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast to find out!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back. Today you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in-person.

Today it's my pleasure to introduce our guest. Her name is Natalie-- Oh, man! I went to school with a Natalie, but her name is Natacha Roussy. Natacha, welcome.

[00:00:34] Natacha Roussy: Thank you.

[00:00:35] Kim Ades: I apologize for that.

[00:00:37] Natacha Roussy: That's okay!

[00:00:39] Kim Ades: And Natacha comes to us from Montreal, from a company called Dynamite Group or in French Groupe Dynamite.

[00:00:51] Natacha Roussy: Exactly.

[00:00:53] Kim Ades: Welcome! So tell us a little bit about you. What do you do? Tell us a little bit about your background. Did you always live in Montreal? Just teach us a little bit about Natacha.

[00:01:04] Natacha Roussy: Yes, so I'm a Montrealer, I really am, through and through. I grew up here, I did all of my schooling here. I mean, we have some great universities in Montreal, so I ended up going to a couple of them [chuckles] just depending the degree I was doing, the different universities applied.

[00:01:26] Kim Ades: What degrees did you get?

[00:01:28] Natacha Roussy: Oh, I have a Bachelor of Arts from MgGill. So that was in the humanities that I did that. And then I have also a Master of Arts from Université de Montréal, so the University of Montreal in religion. And then I got a certificate further down the line in a Human Resource Management UQÀM, so the University of Quebec in Montreal.

[00:01:54] Kim Ades: Wow. Okay. Very, very interesting what you studied. And so what are you doing now? Tell us about your life today.

[00:02:03] Natacha Roussy: Yeah! So right now I am at Group Dynamite, as we said, I've been here for a couple of years now, and I am the senior manager of talent. So I am in HR and we have a talent team here and our focus is... primarily it's recruitment, but then we also take care of certain projects.

Like, we manage the onboarding for our new hires, you know, we want to make sure that people when they come in, they come in on the right foot, of course, as much as we can. And we also manage the campus program. So, it's internship season now, so we're going right into that in the next couple of weeks, and that's always a big season for us as well.

[00:02:50] Kim Ades: What kind of positions are you hiring for? Are these people on the floor or people for your head office?

[00:02:56] Natacha Roussy: It's all the head office roles. And so it's really across the business. So any head office function we'll we'll be looking for.

[00:03:04] Kim Ades: Okay, great. And just tell us a little bit about you personally. You grew up in Montreal... Married, divorced, kids?

[00:03:12] Natacha Roussy: Yeah. Married, two kids, they're still pretty young. We'll have both of them in school next year, so that'll be fun. And besides that, what can I say? I mean, you know, we do all of those fun kids' activities most of the weekends, all of the sports and everything, that's really changed the way we used to, like [chuckles] you know, the normal things that you have when you start having kids and homework and sports and all of that kind of stuff. So that keeps us very busy, definitely.

And then, apart from that, I mean, what can I say? Like, culturally-- I mean, I love cooking, so that's like my biggest thing. So my kids, you know, sometimes that works out in their favor, sometimes it doesn't because trust me, if they could just eat hotdogs and macaroni and cheese they'd be much happier.

[00:03:58] Kim Ades: Are they cooking with you?

[00:04:00] Natacha Roussy: We try, we try. Yeah.

[00:04:03] Kim Ades: Very important. Okay, okay, got it. So they prefer hot dogs, you prefer something a little more exciting.

[00:04:09] Natacha Roussy: Like risotto, let's say.

[00:04:11] Kim Ades: That's reasonable.

[00:04:13] Natacha Roussy: Let's say.

[00:04:13] Kim Ades: Let's say. Okay, what is your greatest challenge? What do you want to discuss today?

[00:04:18] Natacha Roussy: Yeah, I think for us right now, and even... It ends up impacting everything, 'cause it really is my day to day, you know? It's what I spend the most time on. It is recruitment in this-- you know, we talk about this great recession, this great resignation, all of these things. Now I'm seeing this great midlife crisis. Every single time I see this, or I see a sign that says "help wanted", I'm like, "[sighs] we need help too!" [chuckles]

So I would say definitely on the attraction side of things, like, recruitment has been nonstop, and it doesn't seem to be ending. And yeah, it's a challenge, for me, for my team, but even just for the business and then obviously it goes into other conversations that I'm having, you know? Like, if I'm going to the dentist and it's taking a long time, it's like, "oh, sorry. It's cause we don't have enough hygienists". So it's all consuming at this point.

[00:05:20] Kim Ades: It's a big problem in the world.

[00:05:21] Natacha Roussy: Yeah.

[00:05:22] Kim Ades: Okay. Question: how's your retention?

[00:05:26] Natacha Roussy: It's definitely not like top tier. We'd be considered okay in retail, but that's never saying much. So it is pretty high, we're above the 25% mark, where ideally you'd be, what? Sitting at like a 15%? Yeah.

[00:05:43] Kim Ades: Okay. So let's talk about recruiting and retention, because I think they go hand in hand and I think it's nearly impossible, it's really impossible to solve one problem without looking at the other.

[00:06:01] Natacha Roussy: Agreed.

[00:06:01] Kim Ades: Okay. So, let me kind of give you a little bit of my own history and then I'll explain to you where I'm coming from. So we've been coaching entrepreneurs, leaders, executives for the past almost 18 years. And so we've done a lot of work in the area of understanding extraordinary leaders and extraordinary companies, and what differentiates the two. And most recently, because of exactly what you're describing, a great resignation.

But not just a great resignation, not just the fact that companies are suffering and really having a hard time finding talent and keeping talent. There's another thing that's going on and I'll share what that is. It's that parents of young adults are also struggling with their young adults. Right?

So we see a lot of anxiety, a lot of depression, a lot of overwhelm, a lot of burnout. We're seeing a lot of that. A lot of conflict, a lot of tension, friction, et cetera. And so what we were doing over the past few years is really, really taking a very close look at what companies are doing a great job, a better job than the average of recruiting and retention. And what we discovered was that amazing companies usually soar, they do a great job in four areas and I'll tell you what those areas are.

And when you look at your recruitment, you can't look at it outside of the grand company, right? Like, you can't look at it in isolation. You have to look at it in the whole entire organization. Are we doing these parts correctly? Because you could be recruiting, recruiting, recruiting, but if you're not retaining, there's a problem. Right? And at the same time, who are we retaining? Are these the right people? Is it the right fit? Are they contributing properly? And are we able to match correctly? Right?

So here are the four areas and whoever's listening, you might want to write them down. I've been talking a lot about these four things, I think they're very crucial. So number one is it's very important to outline what we call visibility to the future. And what that means is that if you're hiring, a person needs to understand their career path. They need to know where I start, what I need to achieve, how do I hit those milestones, and then what comes next.

If visibility to the future is blurry, they get disenchanted. And if you don't stick to your promise, they get disenchanted too and then they look elsewhere. Okay? So, earlier today I had a conversation with a young mother. She went on mat leave, she's working for one of the five largest consulting companies, and she was eager to come back, and her manager said, "okay, what are your plans?" She said, "well, I'd like to be there for two or three months and then potentially get a promotion". The manager said, "sorry, that's not going to happen".

And so right there, visibility to the future got completely blacked out. Right? And so when she heard that she was like, "wow, I can't see myself being here without an opportunity ahead of myself". So that's very important. And I think oftentimes, you know, career paths can take twists and turns, but what it really means is that they need someone who will mentor them through their next career stages, that might mean a really great manager, a really great leader.

And what we find is, and this brings us to item number two, is that in order for someone to stay, in order for there to be an attractive spot for someone they need to see and understand who they're working for, and understand that that leader has very strong coaching skills.

And so, in the example I just gave you, that leader did not have strong coaching skills, that leader missed the boat, they missed the opportunity to retain incredible talent. And partially it was because of the way the conversation went down. And so thing number two is, are your leaders equipped to coach their team members? And I would say that a lot of times leadership needs a little help in that department.

So one of the things we look at is are business owners, are executives able to coach their team? And we find that there's a weakness there. So that's number two. Number three is that individuals want to grow, they want to learn, they want to know that whatever they're doing makes a valuable contribution, has meaning not only to the business, but to them. And so where do they fit in the grand scheme of things? And how important is the work they're doing?

And by the way, if we go back for a minute to "great coach", what that also means is that great leaders, great coaches, acknowledge contribution, acknowledge effort, acknowledge the work that people are putting in. And a lot of times people leave because they don't feel acknowledged, they don't feel validated, they don't feel valued. So that goes into the leadership category, right?

So we're hitting three things so far. Number one, visibility to the future. Number two is strong leadership and strong coaching skills. Number three is they need opportunities for growth. They need to know that they're learning. They need to know that they're contributing.

And number four, and I think this is very important, is that nowadays when we're hiring people, there's a great deal of unknown. They're coming into a job, but they are not sure what are they coming into. There's this rollercoaster that's taking place, right? An emotional roller coaster. And there's nowhere for them to stabilize that rollercoaster.

And so what we really recommend is working with a third party who can help you provide some support. Call it emotional support, educational support, training support, whatever it is. Third party, external support, so that when work becomes stressful or overwhelming or tense or whatever it is, there's a place where they can go to express themselves and work through it. Because what we find is when things get tense, people bolt. They're like, "I don't want to deal with this. I'm outta here".

And what we want to do is provide employees an affordable and accessible means to work through their problems and express themselves and be able to ask a question saying, "hey, here's what happened, am I crazy? Or did I deal with it properly? Or am I looking at this correctly? Is there a better way?"

So for us, in our case, we're providing coaching for that very purpose. But if you look at those four elements, and you look at your organization and you say, "where is our organization falling short?" So, Natacha, what's your feedback on these four things?

[00:13:27] Natacha Roussy: So I would say we do all of them. None of them enough. I think all of those things happen, but is it to the extent that people need, or is it happening in fits and starts? You know what I mean? Like, fits and starts. And that's where I-- because in terms of like, you know-- and I can speak to each of them, but in terms of visibility, we try to give visibility, but are we giving enough? Are we transparent enough in terms of long-term goals?

In some cases, I think it's safe to say yes, but then in others, maybe not. Are we being-- and when we're talking about future visibility, I think it also goes maybe with coaching, but even just being very realistic in terms of what the long-term expectations are for a role, let's say, just so that people understand maybe to your point what they are getting into, and I think that's somewhere where we could do a bit more work. Same thing for leadership and coaching.

I think we have some leaders that are great at coaching. I think some of our leaders are still being coached to be better coaches. I can say the same for myself as well. So I think that's definitely a work in progress. In terms of acknowledgement it's one-- and this goes back to the coaching, though I know we said that and back into the leadership, I think that's an area where we're not celebrating victories enough, we're not acknowledging people enough.

And I think it impacts the overall-- well, to your point, people's sense of purpose and what they're doing and all of that, so I think that's definitely something that we can all... like, we can all work on that. That's something that even if it's small things we could be doing more there.

[00:15:11] Kim Ades: Well, and you know, it's funny, right? Because what we're really talking about, you're saying "I have an attraction problem", but the greatest source of attraction is your existing employee pool. Right? But if they are not a hundred percent happy, then you can't leverage that.

[00:15:32] Natacha Roussy: Yeah.

[00:15:33] Kim Ades: Because really, truly, if people are happy, they are the attractors, but that's not happening right here. Right? And so the question is, how do we increase the satisfaction and the retention of our existing workforce? And so we need to ask some questions around that, because recruiting and retention go hand in hand. We can't do one without the other.

[00:15:56] Natacha Roussy: No.

[00:15:57] Kim Ades: And if your mandate is to go out there and do only one without addressing the other, honestly, it's like a black pit, right? You're just putting more and more individuals into this huge hole, but you're not sure if there's anything on the other end to catch them. Right? So they must go hand in hand.

[00:16:17] Natacha Roussy: Yeah.

[00:16:17] Kim Ades: And so one of the things that you just mentioned, which is the idea of visibility to the future, the question is who's responsible for that? And that's also blurry. Right? Do the managers know that they have an obligation? That they have a part to play in laying out somebody's future? And perhaps they, on their own, don't feel so comfortable with that. Right? So it seems like blurriness goes down the organization and that all needs clarity, that all needs to get cleaned up. But I hope that gave you some food for thought.

[00:16:52] Natacha Roussy: Absolutely. I mean, there's really... and I think, you know, I don't want to say band-aids, but I think there's little things that we could do that could slowly make big differences across any one of those points and we'd slowly see, and then obviously it gives you something to build on, right? You build momentum.

[00:17:11] Kim Ades: Of course.

[00:17:12] Natacha Roussy: And I think we need to build momentum.

[00:17:14] Kim Ades: Yeah. And if you put these four buckets and if you examine each bucket really closely, if you do some analysis, it will be easy to find ways to, again, close that black hole.

[00:17:29] Natacha Roussy: Yeah.

[00:17:29] Kim Ades: Right? So it's about analysis, but you got to know what you're looking for. And so this allows you to look at the categories and say, how do we measure up? How can we improve? What are the resources out there that will help us close that gap?

[00:17:47] Natacha Roussy: Yeah, that makes-- honestly it makes perfect sense. It really does. There's certain things that we do. We do annual surveys, you know? Well, we're trying to add them more frequency so that it's not-- we're taking more of an actual pulse of what is happening in the moment.

I don't know if we need to increase the frequency a little bit, maybe, 'cause I think right now it's like twice a year. And then we need to have like action items and project plans in place to be able to do that for sure.

[00:18:18] Kim Ades: But it's interesting, right? Like, surveys are good to get like an overall pulse, but I want to encourage managers to know the pulse every moment. Right?

[00:18:27] Natacha Roussy: Yeah.

[00:18:28] Kim Ades: And so, are they tuned in? How can we equip them to tune in? And that is part of the training that goes into helping them learn how to coach.

[00:18:37] Natacha Roussy: Yeah.

[00:18:38] Kim Ades: Right? It's kind of like performance reviews. There are some organizations that do those annually and at the same time, I never want an employee to be shocked at what they hear. Right? And so I want them to know how they are doing from a performance standpoint every single week, not just once a year. And so that is dependent on the relationship between the leader, the manager, and the employee. So there's a lot of pieces here that, that are worth looking at and working on, but again, analyzing every bucket is the starting point.

[00:19:15] Natacha Roussy: Yeah. No, that makes perfect sense. I think those are all points... Like I said, some of them I think we know we're working on, some of them, the leadership coaching piece to me... the acknowledgement piece, but if it, like you said--

[00:19:32] Kim Ades: More than that.

[00:19:33] Natacha Roussy: But to me, when I look at these things, that's the biggest one for me, I would say.

[00:19:39] Kim Ades: Yeah. Well, you and I can talk about that after the podcast. But thank you for coming onto the podcast.

[00:19:45] Natacha Roussy: Thank you so much.

[00:19:45] Kim Ades: Thank you for bringing this challenge because I think right now it's a universal challenge. You said it before, it's everywhere. It is everywhere. It's in restaurants, it's in doctor's offices, it's in the grocery store. It's everywhere. And so we are seeing it. It is a trend. And I don't think that organizations are quite equipped to handle it. They don't even know where to begin. And so I love the conversation. Thank you for bringing it to us.

For those of you who are listening, I hope you took something away of value from today's podcast. If you have a challenge that you want to share with us, please reach out to me. My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.

And if you have a challenge you want to share, but maybe not so much on the podcast, please reach out to me as well. Again, my email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. Natacha, thank you for being our guest today.

[00:20:36] Natacha Roussy: Thank you so much.

[00:20:37] Kim Ades: Please like, please share, please spread the news and please reach out. We want to hear from you and we will see you next week. Have a great week, everyone.