S5E29: Best Practices are dead batteries. Let’s talk about next practices with the workforce with Karl Ahlrichs

“As a leader, you have to know your people and be aware when their behavior changes.” Karl Ahlrichs

In today’s episode, we are joined by Karl Ahlrichs. Karl specializes in helping professionals make order from chaos. He’s a national speaker, author, and consultant presenting on people issues in all industries and is often quoted in the local and national media. Karl’s experience is ideally suited for times of organizational change, as he pulls up on risk management and organizational development theories to replace best practices with next practices. He owes much of his communication mastery to working as a writer and editor in daily media, to the on-the-job writing experience, and to the process of becoming a published author.

Karl Joined Gregory and Appel insurance in 2010 after serving as the founding partner of Exact Hire, bringing his HR operations diversity and belonging in learning and development skills. Karl’s affinity for design, composition, and learning started at a very young age by taking and examining 1000s of boring pictures with the goal of improving his craft. In 2003, he was named the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Human Resource Professional of the Year for the state of Indiana. He is also on boards of several organizations, including the Maryland Society of CPAs.

What motivates high performers only comes from a quality relationship with a boss they respect, and that only comes from intentional conversation where the boss appears to listen to them. Money is a very small part of why employees quit.

Leadership requires somebody with communication skills. However, there is a heightened hunger for empathy, where the leader shows their team that they’re invested in them as people, not just employees. Empathy goes beyond attention and means being willing to say, ‘I feel your pain without being judged or called out.’

The topic that is never discussed enough is mental health. When a person is in pain, all they can think of is the pain. When the person is not in pain, they can think about anything and everything. As a leader, you have to know your people and be aware of when their behavior changes. When someone has a mental health issue, they exaggerate their core behaviors and become more of what they are.

When your people exhibit extreme behavior, pull them into privacy, make good eye contact and ask if there is anything you should know. Leaders should also ensure that they look after their own mental health so that they can be prepared and tuned in to their teams’ mental health.

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