Ep. 44: Kevin Sheridan on The Top 3 Ways To Recognize Others

In this episode, David sits down with Kevin Sheridan, New York Times Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, and Employee Engagement Expert, to discuss how leaders can better engage their employees and the top 3 ways to recognize others.

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Kevin’s Bio:
Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 101 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 101 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 100 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement for three consecutive years, as well as being designated as a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin’s Links:
Website: https://kevinsheridanllc.com/
“Building a Magnetic Culture” by Kevin Sheridan: https://amzn.to/3y6fo1Z
“The Virtual Manager” by Kevin Sheridan: https://amzn.to/3D7ljaz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.sheridan.54540
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kevinsheridanllc/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kevinsheridan12
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1/

Key Quotes:
1. “I’m a creature of habit.”
2. “Employees that are engaged are willing to exert extra effort.”
3. “Recognize your employees.”
4. “Great bosses create engaged employees.”
5. “Thank you gets you 20% of the value of recognition.”
6. “Great managers who create great engaged employees genuinely care and they trust.”
7. “Fun is the missing driver of engagement.”
8. “The #1 reason people quit their jobs is job stress.”
9. “It’s so important to adopt fun into your culture.”
10. “Trust is the secret sauce to this virtual relationship.”
11. “Do a job that you’re passionate about.”

Links Mentioned In The Episode:
“Building a Magnetic Culture” by Kevin Sheridan: https://amzn.to/3y6fo1Z
“The Virtual Manager” by Kevin Sheridan: https://amzn.to/3D7ljaz
20 Non-Negotiables For Hiring blog post: https://kevinsheridanllc.com/2015/03/the-non-negotiable-list-20-red-flags-for-interviews/
“Good To Great” by Jim Collins: https://amzn.to/2WcU4uz
“Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand: https://amzn.to/3gjiOse

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Show Transcript

David Horsager: Welcome to the trusted leader show it’s David Horsager I got i’ve got a special guest today, he is on his journey to climbing seven of the tallest that the tallest mountain on every continent and that’s not his main thing, though he’s.

David Horsager: graduated from Harvard he’s a his clients are even American Airlines Harvard and.

David Horsager: Walt Disney corporation he’s got some amazing books his first book was a New York Times Wall Street Journal.

David Horsager: and USA today bestseller we’re going to talk about that book and his one of his other books, because i’m very interested in how you’re building trust virtually and hybrid these days as well, but before we go any further welcome Kevin Sheridan.

Kevin Sheridan: Thank you so much, David pleasure be.

Kevin Sheridan: On your on your podcast.

David Horsager: Well, I really I really appreciate it and i’ve heard great things we connected from coach Johnson and really, really appreciate that connection, but before we go too far just give us a little background on you.

Kevin Sheridan: So i’ve had a wonderfully eclectic career, I began in commercial banking I worked for chase Manhattan Bank as an auditor at 22 years old and they flew me to about 55 countries to do audits and then I morphed into investment banking I worked at Goldman Sachs for.

Kevin Sheridan: A little bit, and then I realized that i’m an entrepreneur, and that I am.

Kevin Sheridan: Somebody that wants to start companies, so I found it three different companies and sold the last one back in 2014 which was great and.

Kevin Sheridan: Then I wrote by two books, he mentioned David and you know that that first book that I wrote building a magnetic culture.

Kevin Sheridan: hit, as you said, six of the bestseller list, and when that happens, and you get the moniker New York Times bestselling author author you become a speaker and so that’s what I do i’m a keynote speaker at conferences.

Kevin Sheridan: and obviously the pandemic had a lot of those conferences canceled but things are turning around and,

Kevin Sheridan: and the the silver lining to this pandemic for me was that you know in March of last year.

Kevin Sheridan: People were calling me was like Are you the author, the virtual manager, which was my second book, because everyone went remote and, like my friends are calling me saying, are you pre ship, how did you know this is going to happen and i’d love to Sam a soothsayer but.

Kevin Sheridan: yeah that book has never been more relevant.

David Horsager: never been more relevant let’s in let’s get into those books, but before we do one thing i’ve noticed about the leaders, I have on is great leaders.

David Horsager: You know, are leading themselves well, you have any personal habits routines yourself daily you get up you got it you’re speaking to others, you got to be have a full tank to share wisdom you’re writing you’re.

David Horsager: climbing mountains, what do you what are you doing daily whether it’s health physical, mental what what are you doing to to stay fresh relevant capable and just just you know leading yourself well.

Kevin Sheridan: yeah it’s so interesting you bring that up because i’m a creature of habit and I get up early typically i’m up at 530 and before I get out of bed I do for stretches.

Kevin Sheridan: I stretch my legs and my back and just a great way to wake up in the morning and then, I have a couple of glasses big glasses of water.

Kevin Sheridan: And then I make my coffee, which is great, and I also periodically throughout the day i’ll get about two and a half hours of workout in just to say stay in shape i’ve cut carbs out of my diet, which is a great way to you know just keep the weight down I try to get outside.

Kevin Sheridan: and especially on days like today, I live in evanston Illinois and it’s just nice to get some vitamin D through the sunshine and live four blocks from lake Michigan so it’s nice to walk along the way, so Those are some of my regular routines to.

David Horsager: That I love it two and a half hours of exercise throughout the day what How does that work, what does that look like.

Kevin Sheridan: Well it’s with a lot of stretching i’ve got a bike in my apartment here indoor so you know I watch.

Kevin Sheridan: I watch my Chicago cubs lose another game.

Kevin Sheridan: While I worked out and then i’ve got an ab cruncher, which is a great way to keep the abs in shape my building here is.

Kevin Sheridan: Has a fitness Center which I try to do the treadmill and i’m actually packing i’m on my way to Florida.

David Horsager: Alright let’s jump I love that you know this is interesting, what you said about a routine so often, when I talk to leaders sit next to leaders and speech, especially ones that are healthy.

David Horsager: Not not just physically but emotionally and mentally and everything else, they have a routine they get up, they have a physical part to their to their routine for sure so very interesting and and carbs are are evil that’s for sure.

David Horsager: But that’s that that’s let’s let’s jump into the books let’s jump into a building a magnetic culture everybody knows we’re going to share your website and everything how to get that and how to find out more about you, but, but you know you talk about.

David Horsager: I was interested in this your take on employee engagement, we talked about you can’t get engaged without increasing trust, but.

David Horsager: you’ve got to a way of defining employee engagement, give us give us a little glimpse of that and then, and then I want to touch on some at least of the 10 engagement drivers.

Kevin Sheridan: Right yeah employees that are engaged are willing to exert extra effort they’re completely committed to their employer that’s the second trait of employees they’re not likely to quit even in times of adversity and they are also.

Kevin Sheridan: magnets to create engagement with their co workers.

David Horsager: So how do you get them there, how do you take them from let’s say disengaged to engage, what are the, what are the key drivers, what are the key words what are some things we can do tomorrow and.

David Horsager: I hope everybody got grabbed the book building a magnetic culture but let’s get into what what can we, what can we start using right away that would help us increase engagement our teams.

Kevin Sheridan: So when I wrote building a magnetic culture, I had spent 35 years as a management consultant.

Kevin Sheridan: Doing employee engagement surveys, so we would survey employees for our clients and ask them, you know what rocks your world what engages you and what is disengaging it.

Kevin Sheridan: So I have 35 years data that I could turn to my research analysts and say okay i’m going to write a book.

Kevin Sheridan: and never dreamed it wind up on six of the bestseller list, but I said I want you to do a key driver analysis and show me definitively, what are the top 10 drivers of engagement.

Kevin Sheridan: So if the bogey is we want employees to be engaged, what are the drivers of engagement, so statistically he ran a key driver analysis and Lo and behold at the top of the list recognition.

Kevin Sheridan: David you’re doing a great job keep up the great work David I couldn’t help but notice what you did fantastic keep doing what you’re doing.

Kevin Sheridan: recognize employees number two driver career development David where do you want to be in six months, for your career and how can I help you get there number three driver and actually number three is actually number one who’s your boss faded.

Kevin Sheridan: who’s your boss do they do number one and number two because great bosses create engaged employees great bosses recognize employees and great bosses care about your career develop those are the top three drivers is pay important yeah but it’s not the be all and.

Kevin Sheridan: You want to make sure that you’re paying people fairly or maybe a little bit above wage, but the pay is not even in the top tip.

Kevin Sheridan: Unless, of course, you’re not treating people fairly and they get you know pick up the paper and then realize oh my God that competitor of ours is paying me more money paying more money for my job.

Kevin Sheridan: So pay is not the be all end all communication is on the list, and so, hopefully, that helps.

David Horsager: yeah love it is there any tips, you have around how to recognize.

Kevin Sheridan: Absolutely so it’s so funny bring this up, because people people evd with a thank you and thank you get to 20% of the value recognition, so what you want to do is three things when I say David, I noticed what you did you did a great job on that.

Kevin Sheridan: Secondly, I want to let your peers know what you did and i’m an openly communicate why what you did is so intrinsically important to our organization so give them the meaning.

Kevin Sheridan: as to why and then you want to do the third thing which was give some form of restitution David because of what you did here’s $100 gift certificate to your local restaurant and make it a restaurant, that is not a well known it’s like the.

Kevin Sheridan: Family owned business typically Italian say take your family to bartos dinners on me.

David Horsager: I love it.

David Horsager: I love it in our work, we talk about spying people be be specific personalize that if you can and make sure it’s authentic or nobody knows it doesn’t matter at all so.

David Horsager: When we talk about appreciating people recognizing people, we want to spawn but I mean this this flows right without noticing and.

David Horsager: letting the peers know openly and giving something that they would value, and I think that family restaurant what a great idea everybody needs to eat right so let’s let’s go from there would tell us about you know you said something in the book about the secret sauce.

Kevin Sheridan: Secret sauce yeah the secret sauce is just genuinely caring you know great managers who create great engaged employees just genuinely care and.

Kevin Sheridan: They trust, so they trust their employees to do a great job, but you know so many.

Kevin Sheridan: Unfortunately, so many managers are viewing their employees as human resources or cogs on the wheel of productivity, as opposed to human beings, so take the you know the secret sauce is just saying you know.

Kevin Sheridan: caring about what this person is is passionate about so they ask you David what’s your passion outside of work.

David Horsager: Well, my my four kids and my wife, I mean families a big deal.

David Horsager: I love to fly fish.

David Horsager: and

Kevin Sheridan: You and I.

Kevin Sheridan: Can I share a lot I love the downhill ski.

Kevin Sheridan: Okay, well, two of my passions are fly fishing and in downhill skiing and at 60 years old, I still have game on the slopes.

Kevin Sheridan: So, the reason I asked you is is that if you’re a manager someone you ask somebody what’s your passion so.

Kevin Sheridan: Knowing that if I was your manager David, knowing that fly fishing is your passion, I might pick up a book at Barnes and noble.

Kevin Sheridan: If it still exists.

Kevin Sheridan: You know offline on the bitter river have your fish the bitter root in Montana.

David Horsager: I have not.

Kevin Sheridan: Oh, my God you’ve got to get out there.

David Horsager: I did, is, I mean the end of the week.

Kevin Sheridan: I did the cycle I the better route there, there are six different trout in that river and I did the I caught a rainbow I caught up a cutthroat I caught a cut bow.

Kevin Sheridan: I caught a rookie I caught a Brown and then I caught the most elusive trout in the world, you know which one that is the bull trump.

Kevin Sheridan: hmm most fly fishermen will never catch a blue a bold trout in their life and I came off at river and I I married into a family of five fishermen who are much better than I, and when they learned that I did the cycle, none of them had ever done the cycle.

Kevin Sheridan: And I did so.

Kevin Sheridan: yeah you want to put the better route on your list.

Kevin Sheridan: fun.

Kevin Sheridan: So, so what I would do is your manager is I pick up a book i’m fly fishing or the bitter root river and I just leave it on your desk saying with a post and they’ll say David I thought you’d enjoy us, you know how how meaningful, that is an employee.

David Horsager: Tell me this you said some you some other things in the book actually talked about fun also what’s, how do you do it, I mean people well we we got to work we get to give value, what about what’s the same time about fun.

Kevin Sheridan: We have fun as the thought is the missing driver of engagement, given the fact that the number one reason people quit their jobs, and this was.

Kevin Sheridan: So true, especially after this pandemic we’ve been through the the anxiety at work has never been more height.

Kevin Sheridan: So what better recipe to prevent people from quitting than fun the number one reason people quit their jobs is job stress, so what better way to alleviate that job stress then instilling fun, so we would do all types of things that Mike if I company.

Kevin Sheridan: HR solutions you know somebody was joining on their first day we’d have a team meeting we do onboarding we would actually tell the person that they had to stand on the conference room table and singing their favorite song which, of course, was a joke, but they perform.

Kevin Sheridan: And we never made them do it, but we pretended.

Kevin Sheridan: Then we asked them, you know what do you like to do to have fun, we would have cotton candy day we shut the company down every two weeks to go over to millennium park he can have ice cream.

Kevin Sheridan: or go to navy Pier and ride the Ferris wheel it’s just it’s so important to adopt fun into your culture.

David Horsager: I love it tell you know the one other thing that I think is a challenge for people and you talked about in the book recruiting the right hire.

David Horsager: How I mean hiring right and hiring wrong that is costly, how do you but you know before you, you tell you a lot of building the magnetic culture and these ideas have fun and you know ask them what their passion and recognize people, but how do you hire right.

Kevin Sheridan: This is the single greatest mistake that companies make is they, they accept a.

Kevin Sheridan: They see warning signs in the interview process.

Kevin Sheridan: And they ignored.

Kevin Sheridan: don’t ignore them if you go to my website you go to my blog there’s a blog that I did called the non negotiable list.

Kevin Sheridan: The top 20 things that companies ignore that they shouldn’t ignore. So some of the warning signs, you know can’t look me in the eye.

Kevin Sheridan: that’s a problem that’s a trust issue or.

Kevin Sheridan: And certainly in different cultures, there are some exceptions.

Kevin Sheridan: If you ask somebody a question and an interview, and they give a quote unquote answer that doesn’t answer your question that’s a problem.

Kevin Sheridan: I want to hire people that not only listened to the question that I asked them that directly answer it that’s on the non negotiable list as well.

David Horsager: Well, these are some great ideas lots of lots of ideas three ways to recognize and asking people about their passion.

David Horsager: Making it fun at work non negotiable is go to the website, it is kevinsheridanllc.com let’s jump over to the new book, you know.

David Horsager: People are having a big challenge in this virtual environment i’ve got a.

David Horsager: big international pharmaceutical that we’re working with they’ve got you know people in Japan and US and Europe and you’ve got the.

David Horsager: Maybe the managers in Europe and they’re managing someone in Japan, they may be, see them once a year, or not even that.

David Horsager: How do you, you know, all we do without of the Institute is how is trust right, we believe, lack of trust of the biggest cost in organizations So how do we increase trust in a virtual or a hybrid environment, how do we build trust in that environment.

Kevin Sheridan: Well it’s just it’s you know it’s palpable that I wrote that book 14 years ago and it’s never been more relevant but trust is the secret sauce.

Kevin Sheridan: To this virtual relationship So how do you build trust you show compassion is show compared you show concern about what that virtual employees dealing with you have regular check ins.

Kevin Sheridan: So communication is the critical element to success with this virtual relationship so you need to make sure that you have instituted in your outlook calendar a regular checkup at least once a meet once a week and you know daily communication.

Kevin Sheridan: You know, and maybe quarterly visits, if this person is remote somewhere else you know take them out to that family restaurant, you know, once a quarter, if you will.

Kevin Sheridan: include them in all relevant meetings and Those are some of the ways that you build that that trust.

David Horsager: So what do you, what do you were working on these days, what are you learning now.

Kevin Sheridan: Oh it’s interesting.

Kevin Sheridan: You know this.

Kevin Sheridan: When I was doing all those keynote speeches prior to the pan back and I always talked about you know do a job that you’re passionate about.

Kevin Sheridan: The pandemic threw a wrench into a lot of those events, and so I would talk in my speeches prior to.

Kevin Sheridan: Prior to the pan damage like you know i’ve even thought, maybe this will get old I don’t want to travel as much, and you know what do I want to do my next career um I want to write the lyrics to country music.

Kevin Sheridan: So, with the pandemic I pivoted and i’ve actually written six songs I write the lyrics I don’t write the music.

Kevin Sheridan: i’ve never had more fun David because I grew up in northern Wisconsin so I grew up on country music.

Kevin Sheridan: And my first song is called please tell me why and it’s about getting older and it’s certainly it’s not about me but it’s like the first stanza.

Kevin Sheridan: To my first country music science, please tell me why, as I get older the things that are supposed to be soft get hard in the things that are supposed to be hard get soft please tell me why.

Kevin Sheridan: Please tell me why I just discovered the first Gray hair on my chest I can’t help but wonder how far south, this will go.

Kevin Sheridan: it’s all about fun.

David Horsager: it’s fun.

Kevin Sheridan: Though i’m in the process of finding a musician to write the music to my six songs.

David Horsager: All right, what a pivot hey the pandemic, you know that getting away brought a lot of a lot of good about it may force people to be creative.

David Horsager: To maybe get live out more what they’re passionate about it, forced you think about all the way back to Isaac Newton when he got away from the you know the black plague or bionic plague, you know, is when he a lot of his work on calculus and everything else came out of this time.

David Horsager: Forced you know moving away right so.


David Horsager: that’s that’s fascinating what what’s your what’s your biggest hope for the future, what do you hope for in the rest of your life, you want it, you got to get Everest done this year, and you know.

Kevin Sheridan: i’m just i’m looking forward to moving to Florida, and just being in a.

Kevin Sheridan: loving relationship and staying healthy and eating healthy and.

Kevin Sheridan: i’m on my bucket list, I want to learn to play the guitar I love to sing So when I moved to Florida i’m gonna buy a guitar and you know teach myself.

David Horsager: Great there you go and you’ll be you can just jump up to nashville once in a while.

David Horsager: Do you have an outside of your own books, you have a favorite book or resource right now.

Kevin Sheridan: Well, I tell you, Jim Collins good to great changed my life when I read that book, I was like that is just seminal and i’ve actually shared the stage with him several times.

Kevin Sheridan: And so business wise that’s my favorite book my favorite.

Kevin Sheridan: Book you know actually.

Kevin Sheridan: was written by a Russian woman Ayn Rand and that’s atlas shrugged yeah and.

Kevin Sheridan: What a great book.

David Horsager: Lots of stuff here any last any last tip or takeaway before we let you go to get ready to move to Florida.

Kevin Sheridan: You and I have emailed each other right.


Kevin Sheridan: So, you know how my signature line is.

David Horsager: What does it say.

Kevin Sheridan: have fun.

Kevin Sheridan: And that came from my wonderful.

Kevin Sheridan: redheaded 91 year old grandmother she never said goodbye to anyone she’d raise your left hand and she’d say have fun and I hope you do David.

David Horsager: Thank you so much Well, this is, been a great conversation Kevin shared and remember kevinsheridanllc.com to find everything about Kevin all of his books takeaways resources and everything else.

David Horsager: And we wish you the best on that next big mountain both moving to Florida and Everest and with that this has been the trusted leader show thanks for joining us and stay trusted.

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