Do you know what attracts employees to your company? Do you know what helps retain people in your organization? The answer is likely your culture, whether you realize it or not.
Our guest today is Chellie Phillips, a culture expert who shares her VALUE system on how to create a culture that attracts and retains great people.
You can grow your company and keep the culture of your organization.
LINKS FROM THE EPISODE:
- You can visit our guest’s website at: https://www.chelliephillips.com
- Connect with our guest on social:
- Attend our Franchise Sales Training Workshop:
- If you are ready to franchise your business or take it to the next level: CLICK HERE.
ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Chellie Phillips is a sweet-tea-sipping, sassy Southerner on a mission to build people-centered cultures in today’s workplace so both employees and business thrive and succeed.
She’s a coach, corporate trainer and motivational speaker, as well as the international best-selling author of three books: Culture Secrets: Secrets Leaders Can Use to Build a V.A.L.U.E. Culture, When In Doubt, Delete It! and Get Noticed, Get Hired.
Her Successfully Ever After and V.A.L.U.E. Culture formulas are designed to make you irresistible in the workforce so you can land the perfect job or attract the most talented employees. She believes work should feel more like a “get to” than a “got to.” She’s received numerous national awards for her strategic communications skills over the 25 years spent in the utility industry. Now she works with corporate leaders to design and create a company culture encouraging employee support, growth, and community.
ABOUT BIG SKY FRANCHISE TEAM:
This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):
Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team. And as we open today, I’m wondering if you know what attracts employees to your company, and if you know what also then helps to retain people at your company. Well, according to our guest today, the answer is culture and it’s your culture whether you know it or not.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:30):
Our guest is Chellie Phillips, and she’s a culture expert. And she shares with us her value system and value formula on how to create a culture that attracts and retains great people. Now, Chellie is a sweet tea sipping, sassy southerner on a mission to build people-centered cultures in today’s workplace, so both employees and businesses thrive and succeed. She’s a coach, corporate trainer, and motivational speaker, as well as the international bestselling author of three books. The first is Culture Secrets: Secrets Leaders Can Use to Build a Value Culture. The Second, When In Doubt, Delete It. And the third get Noticed, Get Hired. Her Successfully Ever After, and value culture formulas are designed to make you irresistible in the workforce so you can find and attract the most talented employees. She believes work should feel more like a get to than a got to. And she’s received numerous national awards for her strategic communication skills over the 25 years spent in the utility industry. She now works with corporate leaders to design and create a company culture encouraging employee support, growth, and community. So, let’s go ahead and jump into my interview with Chellie Phillips.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (01:43):
My name’s Chellie Phillips and I’m the founder of Successfully Ever After. I call myself a career brand strategist that has morphed into personal branding and then helping businesses grow great cultures so that they can be irresistible to the next workforce generation entering.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:58):
Wonderful. I love that description and it’s a great lead-in for one of the primary drivers I wanted to have you on the show is to talk about your book Culture Secrets. And there are a lot of different things you talk about in there, but I’d love for you to give just an overview for someone that’s maybe not familiar with it to give them a sense of what you cover in the book.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (02:18):
Yeah, Culture Secrets is the third leg of the stool for me. My first book was more about a personal success journey. My second one is more geared towards a young professional setting yourself up for promotion in the workplace. And the third one is all about creating the workplace that we want to be at. Doing the research for the book, you learn that we spend over 90,000 hours of our life at work. And when you start doing the math, that’s a long time.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (02:43):
When you can create people-centered cultures so that your employees feel that they’re valued, they feel that they’re contributing to the success of the organization, it makes everybody feel like they belong. And that belonging is really the key to that successful organization. And that’s something it doesn’t matter whether you’re a huge corporation, you’re an entrepreneur that’s right out of the block and you’ve got a couple employees, whatever it is that you’ve got going for you, it even works for organizations too. So, maybe you’re involved with nonprofit work and everything as well, and the culture of that organization is what draw people to you. It’s what makes them want to continue to work with you throughout the years to come.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:24):
Interesting. So then, in Culture Secrets, I know some parts of this with what you do, but how would you say to someone who maybe is wondering, okay, how do I create belonging? How do I create that within my organization?
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (03:38):
So I came up with a simple formula and I call that my value formula for culture building. And really, the great thing about this is that, as I was doing the research for the book, is that I was able to find examples of this across all different industries and all different types. And that’s one of the neat things to me about the book is that I was able to share stories from other successful people, whether we’re talking about the CEO of WD-40, the head of customer experience at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Atlanta Falcons play, or whether you’re a mom and pop organization that’s looking to franchise and grow your organization.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (04:12):
But as I did the research, what I found there were five key things that if you focus on inside your organization that you’re going to build really strong cultures. It really came down to the V, which is vision and values. A is accountability, L is leadership, U is recognizing the uniqueness of the people that you have and what they bring to the table. And E is growing that engagement, so that everybody… And that’s where you create that belonging.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:39):
Let’s break this down a little bit in more depth here for each of these letters of the acronym for values. So we’re going to go through them one letter at a time. Let’s start with V. Break that down a little bit more for us.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (04:52):
Yeah, the value is what I think is really the key piece that kicks it off. Because, what is the value of your organization? And I don’t mean the dollar amount at this point in time, what it’s worth. What I’m talking about is what do you want to be known for? What is the mission that you have, your ultimate vision for that organization? Because, the people that you want to hire need to be bought into that vision just like you have. And so, when you have the vision, you can really dissect what are the values I want my employees to show up with? Is it authenticity? Is it honesty? Is it integrity? Is it dependability? Is it innovative thinking? Is it problem solving? When you identify the values that are going to get you to that vision, then you can come up with the behaviors that you’re going to be monitoring, and you’re going to be evaluating, and that you’re going to be doing your year-end recommendations on. Because, you are meeting these expectations that I have as an employee.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (05:48):
The great thing as the owner of that business is that you can sit down with people inside your organization. And if you get that buy-in from across the platform, meaning that you have your front end people contributing to what they think their values are and how they show up and what behaviors that looks like to them versus your management and then your upper senior staff, then if everybody can agree and you can narrow it down to five or seven, something simple that people can remember, that we are going to all show up and we’re all going to do these things, then that actually helps you later down the sequence with accountability and leadership as well.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:24):
All right. And next we’ve got A for accountability.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (06:28):
Yeah, accountability is something I think it’s hard for people to teach inside an organization sometimes. I feel like people think you’re either an accountable person or you’re not, because accountability really does start with the individual. And I think that’s the important thing that you put out there is that it’s not your manager’s responsibility to make you accountable. You control that. You can have a pretty good team that you have a manager that’s micromanaging and that’s going around and making sure everybody’s doing thing and cleaning up what’s not going right. Or you can have a really amazing team that is accountable to each other, to themselves, and to the next layer inside that organization. And so, when you make people feel that they have a voice and that they’re heard, and when they’re on the same page is that these are the behaviors that I know people are expecting of me, then that accountability piece becomes easier to incorporate throughout the organization.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:24):
Excellent, excellent. And I know that you have a focus on being people-centered as part of what you teach and go over. And one thing that’s interesting is the second thing you’re talking about is accountability. And sometimes when I’ve seen people, leaders, struggle with, well, how can I be kind or people-centered and also hold people accountable? So I’d love for you to talk a little bit about that.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (07:55):
That’s a great segue into that leader part, so the L. Because, leader is not a title to me. Leader is all about action. And sometimes a leader has to take a hard action. And that means having real conversations with people as well. But it also means that you’re showing up and walking the walk that you talk yourself. So, if I am showing up, and I am doing what I promised you, and I’m delivering when I told you I’m going to deliver, or I’m providing you training to get you geared up to do the job that I need you to do, and I’m holding the whole team to these same standards, and then if I have a problem that you’re not doing it, at that point in time, it’s very authentic. Okay, we need to have a conversation. You can look at what I do, what I show up as and what I expect from the team. You can see what your teammates are doing. And this becomes an I problem then at this point in time, it’s not the team problem.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (08:51):
But we have to teach people how to be leaders as well. Sometimes people get promoted into positions through tenure because they’ve been there for so many years or that maybe they have experience in a certain product facet or a certain process factus, and they may not actually have the leadership ability. Like, how do I manage people? How do I deal with the whole emotional intelligence side that comes from being a leader inside that organization as well? So, when you’re putting people in those positions that are going to be impacting your employees and your teams, you actually have to make sure that you’ve given them the skills that they need to… I call it being a coaching leader. And so, we have to teach our leaders how to coach, how to get the best out of our organization and the people that they’re bringing along with them.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (09:40):
It also makes us better for the future, because we’re setting that standard now. We’re getting them, we’re building them up to be the next step-up as well. And hopefully they’re training who is going to fill their role so that we have that continual source of being able to promote from within. And that’s another culture stabilizer that you have when people feel that they have the ability to grow and develop professionally wherever they’re at.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:04):
Let’s talk about uniqueness with the U and what you mean by that.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (10:10):
That’s one of my favorite pieces. This is where the real buy-in comes with your employees. Because, it makes them feel like they have a true voice. It makes them feel like they’re being recognized for the skills that they bring to the table. It also shows that you value what they show up with every day. We all have a different background, we all have different experiences, we all have different things going on in life. Some people have kids, some people don’t. Some people have been to college, some people haven’t. Some people are taking care of grandparents. Some people have terminal illness in their life. There’s all these experiences that are happening outside of work.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (10:49):
But we don’t leave them outside of work, we bring them to the office with us. And so, being able to find that general connection with people, that genuine, “I care about what’s happening in your life, I’m glad that you’re here with us. You’re offering the value that we need. I appreciate the skills that you have. And yet, I’m here also to know that, hey, I support you as a person.” That goes a long way in creating that relationship, where as that leader that we were talking about that someone feels that I do understand them, I do see them as a whole person, not just as a person that’s in a piece of a process. And that goes back to that whole accountability thing is that I’m going to show up for you because I know that you’re depending on me to do this role. And so, that’s how it all ties together.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (11:37):
But the uniqueness of the people, I think we hear so much about diversity and inclusion. When you really focus on what somebody is as an individual, those things take care of themselves for me. Because, you’re celebrating that person at that moment for what they bring to the table and how their skill, their attitude, the way they show up every day impacts the success of the organization itself.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:03):
Very interesting. Yeah, and tying into that was something we talked about before we started recording here, but talking about turning your employees into brand advocates and how you go about doing that. So, I’d just be curious for you to talk a little bit about that, seemed like a natural fit here.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (12:20):
Yeah, absolutely. My other background, when I got started with my own business, was really about helping people build their own personal brand, whether that was for career development, whether it was an entrepreneur, whether it was other authors trying to pick up readership, whatever. My background is in PR and marketing as well, so it was a natural fit for when you begin looking at branding for people, not just necessarily products, because we’re our biggest assets. And if we’re not selling ourselves so that other people can find us and recognize what we bring to the table and how they can work with us and interact with us, we’re selling ourselves short.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (12:57):
The same thing for a business. So, when you actually work with your employees and you give them that feeling of value and that you’re honoring what they bring by recognizing their unique skills and their ability, you actually turn them into really amazing brand advocates for you. What that does is when they show up on their social profiles, they’re going to be sharing about what happened at work. All the great things like, “My boss sent me to this amazing training, and I’ve learned X, Y, Z,” or, “They’ve given me this job shadowing opportunity,” or mentoring option, or, “They’re rolling out this great line of products.” Whatever it is your employees need to be talking about it in a way that it matters to them.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (13:37):
And a business can do a lot. You can provide them swag to wear. You can provide them things to post on their social media. You can have photo days. You can help them beef up their own social presences, like on LinkedIn, and use it as a professional development training. But the really neat thing is, and the research shows, that we believe what our friends and family says, more so than I believe what a business puts out on their sites and their pages.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (14:04):
So, if I have a friend that’s an employee of yours and they’re talking about all these amazing things that are happening or how great their boss is, or this last employee training, or this last recognition day that they had, when I’m looking for a job, I’m either going to, A, say, “Hey, you got openings,” or I’m going to be looking for other companies that are doing similar things. So, your team becomes great recruiters for you in the sense of people who know them, who like them, are probably going to share the same values as them, because they’re in their circle. So, you can recruit from that same kind of pool of people.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (14:40):
It also helps you in the sales front, I tell everybody, if you’re not working with your sales team and turning them into brand representatives for you, not just while they’re out making a sale, but customers look to see, is this authentic? Are they just showing up? Are they giving me a line that this is what they talk about? Or do they really believe in this product? What are their other customers sharing? If they can share testimonials from how I help someone solve their problem at work, then other people expect them and look for them at the same thing.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (15:09):
Anytime I could make my employees look like they’re the most informed, they have the best solutions, it’s a win-win for the company and the employee themselves. It’s going to turn us both more profitable, because I’m either going to have bonuses to be able to share because I’ve increased my bottom line. Or if they’re in sales, they’re going to have their commission that’s coming off the sales that are coming from greater sales, repeat customers.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (15:33):
And then, customers also look at what your employees say about you. Because in this day, there’s a lot of talk with ESG and different things like that, that we want companies that have a moral compass. We want people that are doing good things with their people, and that’s who we want to do work with. So, when your employees are putting that out there, I can look on LinkedIn and I can say, “Okay, well show me who works at X, Y, Z corporation,” and I can go through their profiles and I can see what they’re putting out there. So, it’s what you’re telling me that you’re doing and what your employees are saying that you’re doing are the same thing. And so, it really becomes a checks and balances, and it comes a really good win-win that you can actually use to your advantage as a business owner.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:14):
Excellent. Well, thank you for giving that level of depth and detail on that. And well, let’s close the loop here on value with the final letter with the E
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (16:22):
The engagement is where you know that you’ve built that belonging that we were talking about. When your employees show up, when you’ve turned them into those brand advocates, when they’re helping you recruit great people, when you see them enjoying what they’re doing and they’re showing up giving you new ideas, they’re solving problems for you, they’re finding ways to make your processes better, then they’re bought in at that point in time. Because, they truly feel like I have a say and I have a voice in how this organization is going. And you’ve probably built you a very long-term employee at that point in time.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (16:58):
And the great thing about that is if you’ve helped them with their branding and the way that they’re feeling valued and that now you’ve built that engagement, the other piece of that is it’s going to be really hard for someone to come in and take them away from you for 50 cent or a dollar more. Because now, they have that relationship. It’s solidified. My teammates, my coworkers care about who I am as a person. My leader, my direct leader, cares about who I am as a person. And even the owner of the company cares about what we’re doing in the department that I’m in. And that’s hard for people to walk away from when you’ve been able to build that solid relationship between them. So, it really becomes that full circle, and that’s when you know that you’ve created a great human-centered culture.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:43):
Excellent, excellent. Thank you so much for going through the detail on that. Chellie, this is a great time in the show where we ask every guest the same four questions before they go. And the first question we always like to ask is, have you had a miss or two in your career or journey and something you learned from it?
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (17:59):
I would say my first miss would being I really hadn’t found my focus. I was interested in a lot of different things and I was putting a lot of different stuff out there. And so, for me as an entrepreneur, it was very hard for people to… So, what is it you really do? It was hard to nail it down. And so, I had to take my own advice. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing is I had been in PR and marketing for years and I knew the processes, I knew what you were supposed to do, but I was so excited about all the possibilities that, let’s try this, let’s try this, let’s use this platform, let’s show up here. And so, just really getting clear on what is my message, and how do I want to help people, and how can I best deliver that message? What platforms work for me and getting that out there. So, that would be my best thing is to really get focused on what you do before you launch it out there instead of looking like you’re sputtering swimming around in all different kinds of pools.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:52):
Let’s talk about the other side. Let’s talk about a make or two.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (18:55):
Yeah, so keeping a full calendar of coaching and speaking has been… I would say that’s when you knew that I can walk away from corporate if I want to. I can support myself doing that kind of thing. So, knowing that what you’re doing now is resonating, that people are finding you for the right reasons, and being able to pick and choose the events that really align with you, when you have enough of them coming in that you can show up for things that you think are really aligned with your message and that your message is going to make a difference for someone. I think that’s been the best thing and the best win for me is that now the opportunities come and you have the ability to sift through them and see what’s the best fit.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:37):
Interesting. Well, you have expanded, you’ve grown, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an author, and you’ve done a lot of different things. As you have grown throughout the years with what you’ve done, have you used a multiplier to help you grow personally or professionally?
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (19:54):
I would say, the best thing that I’ve done in that case is get my own coach. I don’t listen to myself very well. I may have the book knowledge, I may have whatever. Life gets in the way. And it goes back to that accountability piece of the culture thing that we were talking about. If I know I’m going to have to call someone in two weeks and say have I done what I told you I was going to do, then I’m going to make sure it’s done by the time that deadline comes about. Part of that probably comes from the fact I have a little bit of journalism time in my background too, and we had to meet deadlines all the time. So, I work much better if you give me that deadline. But actually getting myself a coach, and having someone that I’m accountable to, and not just doing things on my own has probably been the best thing that helped me grow my business.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:36):
The final question we ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (20:42):
Success to me is being able to do what I enjoy and have time to spend with the people that I love. The speaking and the books, those are passion projects to me, because the message is what matters to me. If you go through some of my books, you’ll see that there was an early story that I tell about a really bad boss. And so, that set the tone for me is… And then, I worked with youth for several years, and so I didn’t want them to experience what I had experienced. So, how do you set yourself up to be able to move and grow forward? To me, ultimate success is being able to pass on that learn and then being able to do it in a way that I can still enjoy life and enjoy the people around me that matter the most.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:24):
Chellie, as we bring this to a close, is there anything you were hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (21:30):
Well, one quick story I’ll share from the book. We talked about a lot of your audience are entrepreneurs and they’re looking to franchise and grow their business. And there’s a great story in the Culture Secrets book and it’s about King of Pops. We talked a little bit earlier that you’re familiar with him, because you live in the same southern region that I’m from. And this is a gourmet popsicle company. If you’re a popsicle fiend, you’ll love these.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (21:55):
But what was really interesting when I was interviewing them for the book is how they moved from the family organization to be able to franchise themselves. And they wanted to make sure that they kept the culture of the organization, that whoever they franchised with was going to have that community mindedness that was so important to them, that were going to be involved with youth, and help grow them, and help develop them in the areas that they came from as well. And so, being able to listen to them and making that a part of the franchise conversation.
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (22:26):
When I was talking to Steve and one of the owners that one of the things that he said was that, “We were just very intentional in our interviews to make sure that before we said yes to an opportunity, that they were willing and they understood that we were going to be following up and making sure that this was going to be happening before we renewed franchises later on.” And so, I think that’s important thing to keep mind, as you’re expanding, is that you don’t have to lose the flavor of your organization, for a pun there on your popsicles, is that you can keep it what it is originally to you and you can help grow that culture throughout the organization no matter where it’s located.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:03):
Excellent point, and it’s something we talk a lot about with our clients and franchisors and budding franchisors that are starting to get into the industry, as so much of what you experience with the King of Pops, is it comes down to selection and making sure you’re bringing the people, the right people in, that fit the culture you’re trying to create. So, that’s excellent. Well, Chellie, how can someone get in touch with you, get a copy of your book, what’s the best way for them to reach out to you?
Chellie Phillips, Successfully Ever After (23:30):
Best way to find me is on my website, simple, www.chelliephillips.com. And then I’m super active on LinkedIn. I’d love to engage with you there and have a conversation.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:41):
Chellie, thank you so much for a fantastic interview. Let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. Takeaway number one is when she talked about the culture of an organization is what draws people to you and also keeps them to want to keep working for you. I thought that was a great takeaway.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:02):
Takeaway number two is her value system or value formula. V is for vision. What is the value of your company? What do you want to be known for? The A is for accountability. The L is for leadership. The U is for uniqueness. And the E is for engagement. What I liked about the E for engagement is that if you do the other four things, the engagement should occur and creates this full circle or cycle to occur.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:29):
Takeaway number three is the multiplier that she mentioned. And I really like this, because she talked about how important it is to have a coach to create accountability. And she said that creating accountability in an organization is important. And I really liked that she said she is practicing what she preaches by having her own coach to hold her accountable.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:50):
And now it’s time for today’s win-win. Today’s win-win is that you can grow and keep the culture of your organization. You can grow and keep the culture of your organization. And I repeated that because she gave the example of what the King of Pop story was, where they have been able to grow, to franchise, to multiply their success and retain their culture. This is a common concern of clients that I’ve worked with over the years where they say, “Well, I don’t know if I want a franchise. I’m afraid I’m going to lose either control.” And really I think what they’re saying is, “I’m afraid I’m going to lose my culture for our company and what we’ve built here.” And so, the point is that if you are selective in bringing the right people into your organization that are connected to and dialed into your culture, it will work. And then, you are able to grow your organization.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:54):
And so, that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.