By Jennifer Outcelt, RISQ Consulting Account Specialist
In your youth, did you vow to never, EVER be like your parents? And now, do think your parents are some of the most remarkable people you’ve ever known?
I recently had a child of my own and the thought dawned on me, “How can I learn from my own parents to be the best parent for my daughter?”. In contemplating my own upbringing, I decided to let you in on a part of my core personality that will undoubtedly influence how I rear spawn of my own. So how about I tell you about the people who created me? *bow-chicka-bow-wow* OK, I promise we won’t go that far back, but I want to introduce you to one half of my parental unit, my dad. I want to tell you why I feared becoming my dad and why I am now thrilled that I have.
My dad used to have this reoccurring dream. He would be eating a giant marshmallow, and when he woke up, his pillow would be gone! Funny right? Well try hearing that once a week your entire life.
Growing up, my dad, Karl, was what most dads seemed to be; A dad jokester. But that was just the tip of the iceberg… just a piece of the puzzle, just one ingredient in… well, you get the point. My father was exhaustingly… hilarious… to himself. He had a plethora of ready to wear jokes and anecdotes to amuse the masses (whether they wanted it or not). My family called them Karlisms.
*clear throat* “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy” “Don’t use force get a bigger hammer” “Two wrongs don’t make a right but three lefts do”
These Karlisms were heard, ad-nauseam, in perpetuity. As a little kid they were funny. As a teenager, they were annoying. I had heard them all. Why did he bother?! But he didn’t say them just for us. He said them for the people around us. In line at the store, at my mom’s work functions, to my friend’s parents at Girl Scout meetings.
*clear throat* “There are only three kinds of people in this world, those who are good with numbers, and those who are not” “Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like bananas.”
I was surrounded by smiles and good cheer, BLAAH! Kryptonite for a teenager! “OMG dad, you’re so lame!” I was embarrassed when he didn’t say the bare minimum. I was embarrassed at how long he joked with people. I feared his jokes would become so ingrained in me that I would someday become this walking cliché. I told myself I would not be like that, and I would not waste my time acting like a doofuss.
Fast forward to toady… that is all I do. My name is Jennifer and I am a DOOFUSS! (Hello, Jennifer) I make silly dad jokes and I like it!
What I didn’t know growing up (because I truly had it good) was that being an adult is freaking hard! Seeing how many things in the world you can’t control is scary. You see all the hypocrisy and all the bad. But even scarier is seeing how many people are crippled by their inability to detach from the negative or enact positive change.
As a teenager, I was mortified when my dad was asked a simple yes or no question and instead he replied, “Definitely, maybe not, probably so, could be, you never know, then again you can’t be sure, but then again on the other hand it might not be, but let me be perfectly clear when I say this about that…”
But now… that answer is hilarious. Because I’ve learned that it’s never yes or no and it’s hilarious to think you know anything for certain. My father makes light of the world and the uncertainties in it. He uses humor as an antidote. You will never get a completely serious answer from him; a trait I’m proud to carry and hope to pass on. Because I would much rather break the script and make people laugh if it means they have a better day. Life is too short not to laugh and it is too boring to look at the world in black and white.
I hope we can all agree that I’m not that old (30 is the new 20 I think). I don’t have many decades of personally cultured wisdom to drip like a fine wine into your ears. But what I do have is the ability to look at myself… then look at my dad, then look at myself, then back at my dad… and see, that apart from the baldness *wipe brow* (whew!), we are a ton alike.
And this “becoming my father” is not the disaster I thought it’d be. It is because of my father that I find humor in mundane things. He’s the reason I can smile and laugh through all of my mistakes. I’m not afraid to tell a joke. I’m not afraid to make a friend. And I’m definitely not afraid to make fun of myself.
What my dad knows is that humor, no matter how corny, is infectious and a smile spreads like wildfire. I once vowed to never be like my father because I saw his antics as a weakness. I know now that my father (one of the most remarkable people I know) uses his humor to keep himself and those around him strong. That’s the kind of parent I want to be. And I don’t mind being a clown… if it turns a frown… upside down.
By Ashley Snodgrass, RISQ Consulting Employee Benefits Executive Account Manager
You may have heard of Exit Interviews, to find out why employees left after-the-fact, but have you heard of Stay Interviews? Stay Interviews are tools managers can use to find out what employees like about their jobs, why do they choose to stay, and what would make them leave. No matter what industry you are in, it is a tight talent market right now, mostly due to the low unemployment. When unemployment is low, there are not many job-seekers looking for work. So, where do employers with open positions find talent to fill their job openings? This is how employees are poached.
It is easier to keep an employee than to find and train a new one. What is your organization doing to retain employees? Often times in the conversation surrounding retaining employees, employers are guessing what employees want. Do employees want more time off? More flexible schedule? More challenging work? Less challenging work? More benefits? Different benefits? More opportunities to be mentored? More opportunities to prove their skills? In my experience, it seems that some employers are hesitant to ask. By asking your employees, you can hone in on the most cherished benefits that bring value to the lives of your employees.
Additionally, not all questions should center on benefits, as the culture and mission of the organization also factor in to an employee’s decision to stay or go. Do employees feel respected by leadership? Do employees feel like they can raise issues with their managers? Is there trust on teams? Do your employees know what success in their role looks like? Do all employees feel welcome and valued? The conversation surrounding retention and having a loyal team extends to all aspects of work life.
This is where we are able to implement the Stay Interview. Take time to sit down with each member of your staff to find out why they like working there, and most importantly, what would make them leave. Stay Interviews create a dialogue between managers and employees, to bring up hard to talk about issues that don’t surface in the day to day. Additionally when done properly, Stay Interviews are a tool to build trust between employees and managers. The author of The Stay Interview book, Richard Finnegan, was quoted in Forbes.com to say the following, “Hard data proves the top reason employees quit is they don’t trust their managers. Stay Interviews are the absolute best trust-building activity…and therefore the best retention tool.”
Don’t wait until your employees are leaving to find out in their exit interview what could have been done differently. Start the dialogue with your employees today to build trust, loyalty, and a strong team for your organization.
By Tonya Mott, RISQ Consulting Vice President of Operations and Partner
I heard The Magic Castle Hotel creates powerful moments for their guests. In 2018 it was showing up on Trip Advisor as the #1 traveler ranked hotel in all of Los Angeles. When I do a search now it’s showing up as #6, next to places like the Beverly Hills Hotel and The Four Seasons. The hotel is located one block from Hollywood Boulevard’s walk of fame, and is a 1950s apartment building repurposed into a hotel.
This January we decided to take the kids to Universal Studios so I booked us a room at The Magic Castle Hotel. The Metro is a short walk from the hotel and only one stop away from Universal Studios. We were all excited to experience these so-called powerful moments
Here’s what they got going on:
- Popsicle Hotline – Pick up the red phone next to the heated pool someone answers, “Popsicle Hotline” and you request a popsicle. The popsicles are hand delivered by a server in white gloves on a silver tray
- Heated pool – We’re talking 88 degrees Fahrenheit year round
- Unlimited Snacks – Chips, candy, and more
- Unlimited Ice Cream
- Unlimited drinks – Soda, Powerade, soda water (multiple flavors), and filtered water
- Free breakfast – a magician performs tricks at your breakfast table three times a week.
- Free Laundry service – clean clothes delivered to your door wrapped in brown paper with a sprig of lavender
- While we were at the pool the owner of the hotel came over and checked in with us to see how our stay was going and hung out for small talk.
- The morning we headed out to Universal one of the employees hooked us up with passes to ride the Metro for every person in our party (8 of us)
Our book club here at work is currently reading, The Power of Moments. I haven’t started it yet but I’m told by my colleagues that The Magic Castle is mentioned in the book several times as a place that does a great job at creating moments for their guests. As a parent I love creating memories and moments for my kids.