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How to Inspire Lifetime Loyalty with Employees, with Lee Caraher [Episode 464]

Lee Caraher, CEO of Double Forte digital agency in San Francisco, keynote speaker, and author of Millennials in Management, The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work, and most recently, The Boomerang Principle: Inspire Lifetime Loyalty from Your Employees, joins me for the second time on this episode to talk about why building and fostering loyalty with employees is one of the highest callings of a leader.

You can also listen to Episode #079, to hear Lee’s first interview.

Key Takeaways

  • Lee explains the boomerang principle is that companies that encourage and allow former employees to return have a strategic advantage over those that don’t.
  • Lee lists some effects upon culture from hiring back high performers. Boomerangs may stay longer, the second, or even third time back.
  • Careers may span 50 years. Lee discusses the changes to companies and employees over that extended period.
  • Some companies do not mention past employees or acknowledge their existence. Lee explains why not honoring their contributions is bad for company culture.
  • Lee discusses Boomer attitudes, and how they’ve changed, regarding length of employment. The ‘myth of the golden watch’ still prevails, but the reality is quite different.
  • There are reasons that people avoid applying at former employers, and reasons that they should apply. Lee explores these reasons. The key to relevance is to keep learning as an employee. No company is the same as it was a decade ago.
  • Lee’s own company has rehired several former employees, and others are clients. About 90% of their alumni are positive contributors to their bottom line.
  • Lee notes that in her experience, the continuing learning necessary for an employee to stay relevant is tremendous. Her company’s methods have morphed three times since she started it. Everybody changes to keep up.
  • According to Tyler Cowen, people are switching jobs less, and moving less from state to state. Lee compares and contrasts this with her own observations.
  • Lee defines the culture of appreciation. Lee’s father, a surgeon, told her, “If I said please and thank you in the OR, someone would die on the table.” She had to learn to appreciate employees. Research shows it boosts profit 7-21%.
  • Lee discusses the culture of leadership. Millennials like to be acknowledged for leadership. Create an environment for Millennials to thrive, and everyone will thrive.
  • Boomers experienced the best economy ever until the crashes of 2000 and 2008. That economy is over, and it will never again be what it was. Employees need to be relevant to be employed. Employers need the best talent.

Episode Transcript