This is an interview with Ken Grant, Co-Founder of Vivace Leadership
What’s your story?
It is a well-known fact that 70% of U.S. employees are not happy in their job. They have checked out and are less productive than they could be because they are not fully engaged.
At the same time, companies are increasingly putting money and resources behind building more intentional cultures while offering employees a work experience that can include flex time, work from home, bring your dog to work, and exorbitant lunch rooms. All developed to entice teams to be more engaged while lowering attrition.
This ‘want’ for the ultimate employee experience sounds great on paper, but there is one thing that drives a stake in the heart of any employee and keeps the percentage of disengagement so high, and that is a bad boss! We have all had them and might even be one. This is why Gallup reports that 50% of employees leave their employers due to how they are treated by their managers.
This is why I get up in the morning and why Vivace Leadership was developed – to affect the employee experience by offering managers a better way to think, grow and lead. Our team builds employee-centric leaders.
For 20+ years, I was a brand strategist. I would be brought in to an organization to investigate why a company might be failing, or off-track. And time and time again, it was due to poor leadership, bad communications, lack of purpose and direction, and an otherwise lifeless and dull brand existence.
Over time, leaders can take their eye off the ball, get distracted and otherwise withdraw from the love and admiration it takes to run a great brand culture. With that comes disenchanted employees and in turn a complete disconnect with the beloved customer.
You hear a lot of talk about the customer being #1. I don’t disagree with that, because without a customer, you have nothing. However, a happy employee drives a happy customer, not the other way ‘round!
My passion for the employee has driven me this entire time. To advocate for a better culture, to better connect with each other, to be more productive and thusly be a greater advocate for the customer.
All this shows up in the way my team and I commit ourselves to building employee-centric leaders. We are driven to insert ourselves in the conversation to lower that alarming 70% of American workers who have checked-out, withdrawn and are no longer completely contributing to those around them – their team and their customer!
What exactly does your company do and who benefits from the service?
Vivace Leadership is a management training company. Our team is dedicated, committed, and focused on building employee-centric leaders.
The driving force of our success is our Employee-Centric Management Training (ECMT) program. This goes beyond standard training skills to impart a servant leadership approach that motivates greatness within organizations.
We customize and personalize our training tools to a corporation’s needs and the learning styles of their managers. These include instantly scalable training podcasts, and entertaining keynotes, interactive breakouts, and compelling half-day group sessions; perfect for divisional, regional, or annual meetings.
What makes you unique?
Every training company promotes things like keynotes, breakouts and group sessions. We don’t have a choice but to utilize these standard vehicles to connect with our clients and their teams.
Every training company also promotes some proprietary curriculum that will save the world. We do too, but we think our focus is more important and interesting: building employee-centric leaders.
Our real differentiator comes in the form of our 10 step Employee-Centric Management Training (ECMT) program, which we can break down into 10 powerful podcast episodes. Our Vivace training experts interview and weave-in voices from a client’s leadership/management team to personalize each and every message with real-world stories, reinforcing each ECMT training module.
We believe that when you change the bosses’ management habits, you change your employees’ outcome. Change your employees’ outcome, and you forever change your customers’ experience!
What are you most excited about for the future of your company?
The great thing about the Vivace training podcasts is the fact that every program is different. And they are cutting edge. Yes, our ECTM training modules are baked into everything we do, but the fact that we bring in voices of a client’s management team keeps things fresh and you never hear the same answer twice.
We are also excited about the chance to incorporate our ECMT training within the exciting world of VR. There is a chance this could happen sooner than later as a deal is currently in the works.
Our team is also excited by the notion that the training podcast format can be utilized outside of our own ECTM modules. We have been approached to utilize our podcast/storytelling skills in connection with third party training modules, particularly around change management and the global dignity initiative. This is a super-effective use of our teams’ talents and one we are happy to share.
Do you have core values at your company? If so, what are they and how do they impact your business operations?
We are tireless about making a difference and our work makes a difference.
We are unapologetic about our energy and our way of thinking, as it is bold and emboldened- we want the best for those around us!
Our sites are set on reducing the 70% of people that hate their job by working with managers, by developing a new and improved way of being and doing!
We get excited about our content. It is fun and fresh and a little in your face, blending reality (not sugar-coating it), with hope and aspiration.
We are never shy about the fact that good people leave crummy bosses, so our job is to stop that from happening by instilling a more “human” approach to those around them.
We don’t mind coming in and being the bad guys while you look angelic.
We can do the heavy lifting that you might not want to do or can’t do because people have to like you. WE can say (and do) stuff you can’t say/do, but only thought about wanting to say!
What are some stats that help showcase the impact your company has?
We don’t have any stats as yet, but the two things we will be looking to shift include: lowering a companies percentage of attrition and increasing a sense of place after conducting employee surveys.
If you could give your clients one piece of advice, what would you say?
Don’t think that building a great employee experience will be enough to keep good people around. Think closer; to the managers you hire, what they do, and how they treat your people. At the end of the day, we can all be a little kinder, more transparent, being servant leaders. And if you think you are great already, we can always learn more.
A true employee experience starts from the heart, not from the fist!