Building a successful company is about more than hiring the right talent.  While hiring is important, it is just as, if not more important to help employees grow into valuable contributors to the team.   Empowering employees is an important part of boosting the culture, morale, and employees value within the company.  There are many ways to empower your team so that they feel permitted to become leaders.  Harry Brelsford of SMB Nation sits down with Lisa Shorr to discuss empowering your team and boosting the culture and morale.

Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford 

Hey nation nation back with Lisa shore just coming out of the big snowstorm how’re you doing?

Lisa Shorr 

We are shoveled out and ready to keep going going.

Harry Brelsford 

All right, well, hey, the topic this time is tales from the trenches. Those are always fun. So tell tell me a Texas tall tale.

Lisa Shorr 

Well, this is a real tale, not even a tall tale. This time, I wanted to share with everybody why clients and why MSPs are reaching out to me Harry, and and looking for my coaching, my resources, my guidance, my training, and the main reason a lot of my MSPs and I can speak specifically to a client in Michigan, who I’m currently working with, and they were having issues with confidence in their, in their delivery, they were having issues with their service team confidence, there was some management communication challenges that they were having, and just trying to figure out, how do I boost the culture and the morale of my team, knowing that it starts with the leadership, and, and starts with communication and confidence. And but what we discovered is there was also a need to discuss some empathy. And, and really understanding that everybody on the team has different values, different ways of learning data, different ways of applying their knowledge. And we have to start so that we can build a really strong cohesive team, which results in client retention, and client referrals. So that’s where we started Harry and and we have done a variety of workshops together, we’ve already met, I would say, we’ve done eight or nine workshops together. And some of them are with the entire management team, from ownership to the service manager to a dispatcher and a sales manager all in one. And we talk about, let’s talk about communication. What does verbal communication need to sound like, when you’re speaking to clients versus speaking internally to each other? How do you motivate the team to close more tickets, and to document their notes, which we know in an MSP is always a challenge. So that the team, the service team understands why they need to do it, what is it that they need to work on? And so we have had an evolution in terms of really building that knowledge and culture shift to understanding the need to adjust our voice to handle different situations. And the past few meetings, I’ve been actually meeting with the service team directly. And we’ve been doing projects together we the first workshop was on was all about verbal communication. And what do you sound like when you’re talking to a client? And how do you adjust your voice? Or we talked about a big one was setting expectations with clients. So when an engineer is on site, they and a client comes in similar? Well, shouldn’t this be done already? How many times have we heard that one? Like? Don’t you know how this should be done? You’re only setting up for computers, it should already be done? Well, actually, the reality is it depends on a variety of factors, including the data that’s getting migrated, the software programs that are out, you know, need to be reloaded, or if it can go on, so we created real world scenarios and discussions around what do you say? And how do you say it? We also talked about how do you non verbally display confidence? Because the minute our clients aren’t confident in who we are and what we do? That’s when they start thinking hmm, did I make the right choice today? Right, so

Harry Brelsford 

question for ya. Unrelated or related, the it’s it’s been interesting relocating to Austin coming up on almost a year down here. Now I come from a Texas family so I get it right I slotted right back in but the down here, you know, the question relates to culture and geography. And here’s what I mean. Down here. You go to the grocery store or you’re in a meeting or or you’re out socially. In someone such as myself, if I were talking with a male colleague, it’d be a B, you know? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. And when I go back to Seattle, or I’ve got a friend in New Canaan, Connecticut, just down from you. Yeah, he found that highly offensive. He thought I was, what word? Am I looking for? Anything from mocking him to? It rubbed him the wrong way. In New Canaan, Connecticut. Does that make sense? There’s a certain dialect in different regions go.

Lisa Shorr 

You’re absolutely. So I’m not offended when somebody says Yes, ma’am. To me, I’ll jokingly say, well, please don’t give my age away. When you say, ma’am, you make me feel old. But I’m not that old. We have to be empathetic, to and this is one of my missions in life is to really have people understand that everywhere around our country around the globe. We have different norms, cultural norms, different behaviors that are appropriate in different areas. And so we have to do a couple of things. Harry, we have to one research if there is some really distinct cultural norm in that area, and and apply it so that we are showing respect for others. And we also need to accept it. And if it’s not saying something offensive, I’m calling you SIRs is I think it’s etiquette and respectful. But it’s not something we do have here in New England. Yes, sir. Yes, that’s a southern trait that’s a southern you know, right. Right. And it makes you feel kind of old, but it doesn’t Ness, it but that’s because it’s not our norm. But we have to be open. And this is what one of the things that we were talking about. Everybody in our company, let’s just start little, you know, make start small. And when in and then MSPs mindset. We’re an SMB, right? We’re a small business. We although are so different. I have someone on my tech team now at at secure future tech on my MSP from North Carolina. We have a good time with him sometimes with his accent and the way he says things. And he did you know, say? Yes, ma’am, when he was interviewing with me and all of but that’s southern charm. I identify that as Southern charm. So I hope does that answer your question Harry and give you insights as to adaptability.

Harry Brelsford 

It does. And I’ll end on this. The another phrase that took me a while to get used to it, I went and saw my son and his roommates out in San Francisco. They’re living the dream. And apparently, this generation, so instead of, you know, just a yes, sir, or whatever the acknowledgement phrase is, they’re all running around now saying 100% 100%. And I’d be in these conversations in this time.

Lisa Shorr 

Yep. 100%. And we have to adapt to all those lingos I mean, my kids, like, I don’t even have to half of it half of the vernacular of the Gen Z’s and that, you know, we, we have to learn and adapt as leaders. It behooves all of us to learn and adapt, and, you know, communicate and ask questions. It’s okay to ask questions every if you don’t know. Find out.

Harry Brelsford 

All right. We’ll make that the final word. We’ll see you next time. I

Lisa Shorr 

love it. Thank you so much. All right.