You don’t have to know everything, you just need to be teachable. The power of knowledge is when it’s put into action, not when it is hoarded and kept hidden.
As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Troy Hall.
Dr. Troy Hall is the Chief Strategy Officer for South Carolina Federal Credit Union and the author of Cohesion Culture: Proven Principles to Retain Your Top Talent.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?
Coming from a poor family in a small, abandoned coal-mining town in West Virginia, I learned a lot about leadership from my parents. My dad was the provider, so he spent a good deal of time at work. Mom was at home and would often share leadership principles with me. She taught me that circumstances do not define me, it’s the choices I make that build my character. Mom said being poor was simply a condition of the pocketbook and not the heart. She told me to learn as much as I could in life and put into action wisely. Whatever I learned no one could take away from me, yet I could give it to as many people as possible. Who would have thought this poor boy from WV would end up with a PhD and have the opportunity to influence many people around the world.
What I do know is that my passion is about helping others be successful. When I was a small boy, I dreamt of being a superhero and my superpower was to transform into different people to fight crime. Today, I help young and seasoned professionals become their best selves through transformative leadership principles and practical leadership advice. In essence, they are not becoming different people, just thinking differently about the world around them and how they make sense of it all.
Thank you for sharing! What are your 3 most effective strategies to successfully retain top employees?
1. Greetings — How we address people sets the tone for how the culture becomes engaged within the workspace. In this context, greetings are more than just “how are you?” They reflect how individuals relate to one another and show respect. Employees will self-identify with being “valued” when people take time to make eye contact, authentically greet them, and offer positive feedback for their work.
2. Laughter — People need to let off steam in the workplace. They need to have plenty of opportunities for hearty “belly” laughs, be influenced with infectious smiles, and nods of congeniality displayed openly in employee gathering areas. When laughter fills the hallways and common spaces, employees are more relaxed and often more productive. Laughter releases tension and creates a more casual environment. People who are more relaxed tend to contribute to innovative solutions, act cohesively in team settings, and show increased efforts toward productivity.
3. Handshakes — For centuries business transactions have been consummated with two individuals who establish common terms and then shake hands in agreement. Today, we have expanded handshakes to include fistbumps and high-fives. It’s a common practice of affirmation which requires little to no training but can make all the difference. When everyone is focused on creating an atmosphere where everyone is offering congratulatory comments and outward signs of an agreement to others, employees feel a sense of belonging and value. Leadership sets the behaviour standard to be imitated and modelled. Imagine the feeling of value employees get when a member of leadership congratulates them for completing assignments, participating in community services, finishing an educational achievement or helping a consumer.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I always look for opportunities to create peace. It may sound silly, aloof and unrealistic. However, I believe you cannot be a victor of your future if you are held captive of your past. If peace is elusive now, does it always have to be in the future? No. Because the future is not predicted just on what has happened, it takes into consideration what is happening and what’s to come.
Peace is about compromise. It’s the common promise we make to each other. Peace is the outcome when we find a mutual place that each person can move into without losing ground from where they have come. Peace allows us to respect and celebrate the similarities and differences between people. It’s understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion in a way to say, “I understand.” Understanding is not an agreement. Understanding is finding the emotional path that connects you to someone else and in doing so, a path to peace and enlightenment is possible.
Can you please give us your favourite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You don’t have to know everything, you just need to be teachable.” My mom told me that it would be far better for me to focus on being a Mr. Learn-it-all and not a Mr. Know-it-all. Share the knowledge you have. The power of knowledge is when it’s put into action, not when it is hoarded and kept hidden.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?
John Maxwell. His view on leadership is so in-tune with how I think. He is a big influencer in my life and although he doesn’t know it yet, we could become great friends.
Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!