251: Engagement, Happiness, and Pride at Work, With Dr. Rick Garlick

February 21, 2023

Read Transcript

Dr. Pelè (00:00):

Hello, happy people. Welcome to the Profitable Happiness Podcast.

Dr. Pelè (00:07):

Hello everyone. This is Dr. Pelè with the Profitable Happiness Podcast, and it is my pleasure today to introduce you to one of the thought leaders in the engagement space, in the human potential space, and really in the space of how do we take employees and make them most productive at work. Uh, today I'm joined, uh, by Dr. Rick Garlick. Dr. Rick, how are you doing today?

Dr. Rick Garlick (00:33):

Dr. Pelè It's always a pleasure to be with you. I love our conversations because I know that we share a lot of the same ideas and, uh, iron sharpens iron, right? And we have the opportunity to really sharpen our thinking on, uh, the topic of how to motivate employees and how to make people happy and productive in their workplaces. So it's a, a great pleasure to be with you.

Dr. Pelè (00:53):

Absolutely. Likewise. And, and by the way, just for the listening audience, you know, Dr. Rick is one of my favorite people. I'm gonna be really upfront here, <laugh> that this is an individual who told me, just go for what you believe, regardless of whether or not people understand, uh, how happiness, for example, works with, uh, organizational performance. Keep doing the research. Keep showing up every day. Dr. Rick, I want to thank you for just being a light in my life. Thank you for that.

Dr. Rick Garlick (01:21):

Well, you know, it, it's easy to do PE cuz you're such a talented guy, and I know we have a mutual admiration society, but, you know, nobody ever became great by doing the same thing that other people are doing. You know, we become great by stepping out and being true and authentic to ourselves and our research and what we believe. And that's how we advance the conversation. It's not due to conformity. And I, I love the fact that you bring some new thinking, some things that people aren't talking about. I try to do the same thing, and I think between the two of us, uh, we'll solve the world's problems in the next 40 minutes.

Dr. Pelè (01:57):

<laugh> <laugh>. I love that. So, so, Dr. Rick, let's, let's paint a picture of the business landscape, the world in terms of the, the problems organizations face. And then after you help us share that, I'd love for you to tell us how you, you know, you've got a, an incredible history, how you actually came to the forefront of helping people solve that problem. Now, just for the viewers who are, uh, watching this, or the listeners, let's take a look at some statistics before I, I, I invite Dr. Rick to, to really opine here. Job stress right now is costing, you know, the world, us in particular, 300 billion a year. That's just from stress alone. You have, uh, uh, people saying that, uh, engagement and, and depression and, and rather the lack of engagement and depression. All these kinds of things produce costs that are up to a trillion dollars, not to mention, you know, disengaged workers all over the place. So, Dr. Rick, obviously there's a problem here, but tell us what your perception is when you look at the world of work. How are people getting through this and how can they get through these kinds of problems?

Dr. Rick Garlick (03:05):

Yeah, you know, I think it's interesting because what you just stated is, is absolutely true. And there's so much being written on things with the great resignation and quiet quitting and all that. I started my career, um, in the 1990s working for the Gallup organization. And it's a, it's a group that I have still a tremendous respect for to this day. I'm so proud of my affiliation with the company and during, its, some of its very early developmental stages of some of the products that people are really familiar with today. But Gallup and so many others have put out literally millions of surveys. We've spent bazillions of dollars, we've spent all kind of time, money, energy into incentive and motivation programs. And where are we at today? Yeah. You know, essentially, you know, it used to be when I would talk to companies, when I would go into companies to advise them on their employee experience initiatives, I'd always ask them the question, why, why do you wanna study employee experience?


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and their answer to me nine times outta 10 was, we'd like to connect the employee experience of the customer experience cuz they believed in the service profit chain that happy employees mean happy customers. And I, I think it's more than that, but we'll go with it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, we saw that for many, many years. It was the focus of people's efforts in understanding employee experience. Well, if you look at the American Customer Satisfaction index today mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we've lost in the last couple years, 20 years of gains in customer experience. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think we'd all agree. If you've been on the phone to a call center or you've been in any kind of a customer facing interaction, customer satisfaction unfortunately has probably never been worse than it is today. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So what do we hear? You know, why is customer service so bad?


When we bring it to people's attention, we always say to them, say, I can't get enough people to work for me. I can't keep my employees mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And now the number one question that people are asking is, how do I retain the people that I have in the jobs that, that I've hired them for? How do I attract new people? It seems like there's a lot of people out there, there's a lot of jobs out there, but people struggle keeping their employees mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think in our conversation, and I I, I'd like to defer to you for the, the next comment here, but I think you know the answer and most people's mind is, well, let's just give more money <laugh>. And we know, we know that that's just not it. Right. <laugh> No,

Dr. Pelè (05:47):

No. Uh, money will quickly, uh, run out of, uh, of vogue. Once you hit a certain plateau, you buy a few more things, then you need more. And so, so it's not about the, it's about how you feel that, you know, whatever makes you really produce the best that you can produce at work. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, you know, Dr. Rick, you said something in, in your, your response to me that I, I just, I wrote this down and I, I want to revisit this because it's so important. You said that people have been measuring things like engagement and some of these intangibles for years, and the needle hasn't moved. I, I took a look at some research myself of, you know, all the engagement surveys over the years with from Gallup, and it's pretty much still kind of where it's been for years. You know, 70% of people are not engaged at work. You know, some people are actively disengaged. How can we continue to do, to, to hope for new results if we're doing the same things every time? And, and what could be different and what could we look for that could change that, that needle, if you will?

Dr. Rick Garlick (06:50):

Well, and I think you and I have been talking about this in our personal conversations about the fact that so many times when we ask people about engagement topics, we're asking them to self-reflect on what they think. You know, do you know, do I have the materials I need to do my job? You know, do I get along with my manager? All these sorts of things that are typical for employee surveys mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But when I think has been lacking, and I finally have come to this conclusion after so many years of studying this, and it ties back even to some of the, the work I did in my doctoral dissertation. We're focused too much on what people think mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the rational side of the experience, and not enough how people feel. Ooh. And this is where I, I think your work and profitable happiness has really tapped into something very important.

Dr. Pelè (07:40):

Mm-hmm. You, you know what's interesting when you say that? I, I ha I'm reminded of, uh, I think it was Renee Decart who once said, I think therefore I am. Mm-hmm. And I, I think you and I right here are boldly challenging that when we say we are, perhaps it's, I feel therefore I am. Right. You know, when, when you talk about things like pride and profitable happiness. But we'll get into that. If I could take you way back, Dr. Rick mm-hmm. <affirmative> to, to a topic. I don't know if you were expecting me to ask you, I, I wanna go way back to childhood here. <laugh>

Dr. Rick Garlick (08:09):

Hit me with anything. <laugh>

Dr. Pelè (08:12):

Tell us your story. I mean, how does a guy like you show up, decide that you want to get this kind of education, go through the rigor of a doctoral process like we've done, and, and come out and be focused on this topic? Why, where did you come from and how did you get here? You know,

Dr. Rick Garlick (08:28):

I, I think that's a great question. You know, I, I know you and I both have a musical background, and, and there was a time in my life for many, many years when I wanted to be the next Elvis Presley <laugh>. And, uh, yeah. I, I, I, I knew that, you know, from the time I was seven years old, I was interested in music and singing. And I thought, uh, you know, my friends told me I was pretty good. And so I thought that there was a career in this. However, at one point in high school, I started discovering how many good people were out there and realized how difficult it is to make it in the music world. So I started having a, a different perspective, and I was really fascinated by human behavior of why do people act in the way they do? So I started taking psychology courses in high school and was really interested in human behavior and human thought, and decided that I wanted to be a psychologist.


But, uh, you know, it was one of these things where I really loved teaching. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, from the, the time I was, when I was in seventh grade, I taught my, uh, English class for a week on comic books as literature mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, uh, you know, I was 12 years old. I was lecturing, I was giving all these, uh, metaphorical comparisons between the, the superheroes and Greek mythological characters and all this sort of thing, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So anyway, I, I loved understanding human behavior, but I loved the teaching piece. Yeah. And, uh, I became a professor for a few years and loved teaching, but didn't really love the political aspects of the university environment. And a very wise person said to me, well, you need to find a different group of students. So from that point, I kind of moved into my consulting career. Like I said, I started with Gallup, and I love the fact that Gallup was so mission driven mm-hmm. <affirmative>,


And, uh, you know, it was one of these things where I always felt like I really needed to do something important. Teaching was important. Yeah. And then, you know, the work of helping people be heard. One of the things that was great, i, I, I thought when I first went into corporate work, I thought my work is only making wealthy companies wealthier. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And for me, that wasn't very deep. Right? Yeah. So people, I remember Larry Emond, who was the chief marketing officer of Gallup at the time, talking to me and saying, well, you know, you're really helping companies deliver better products. You're helping your clients. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then when I started getting into the employee work, I thought of my father who had worked in an auto factory for 30 years Mm. And going in sometimes 12 days, a 12 hours a day for seven days a week to better his family.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I thought if someone ever really focused on improving the quality of his workplace, how better his life could have been. Hmm. And that's when I, I got involved with Gallup and Pale. I, I know I've told you this before. I remember sitting under the tutelage of Dr. Don Clifton mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, uh, Don Clifton, who the, the Clifton Strength Finder is named after, was an incredibly inspirational individual. But he did all of this research that showed that every social ill that you can name, I mean, I, I can't even tell you how many things that he correlated, sickness, you know, substance abuse, domestic violence, all these sorts of things, tied them into one key factor. Job dissatisfaction. His belief was that if you're working at a job that you hate for eight hours a day, regardless of what you might make in terms of compensation, but if you hate that job and you don't like being there and you're unhappy, yeah.

Dr. Pelè (12:09):


Dr. Rick Garlick (12:10):

Spills over into your personal life. So his belief was that if you could improve the quality of people's workplaces, you could ultimately improve their personal lives and improve communities and ultimately improve the world. Yeah. So I love that mission, and it's something I've been on ever since. And all the jobs I've had, I've tried to bring that piece in of how do we really improve the life of the employee? And because we live in a, a service economy, you know, everything is now service driven that people are the product. Right? Yeah. So, you know, if, if you can do that, you've accomplished something great. And I think we're all seeking that mission.

Dr. Pelè (12:48):

And, and boy, what a powerful mission that is. Um, I can tell you that one of the foundational things that our audience, which would be leaders and those who influence other people and companies, our audience really has to come to agree with one foundational piece in order for all the work we're talking about. Such as what you've mentioned, uh, from Dr. Clifton. Um, you know, for all of this to make sense, they have to consider one thing. And that is, is it about behavior measurement first or is it about measuring the emotions that create behavior? Right. We talked about that earlier. I think there are so many people. In fact, I once worked for A C E O, um, a lady who in front of a lot of her employees and myself, she said, um, I don't believe in this emotional stuff, guys just get to work <laugh>. And I'm sitting there going, wait, wait a second. This emotional stuff is pretty much all there is. What, what, what, how would you help any leader listening today to fully understand the importance of these things we cannot see?

Dr. Rick Garlick (13:54):

Well, you know, it's interesting clearly, because in reality we can see these things and, and let me explain that mm-hmm. <affirmative> is that we have now really advanced the whole area of neuroscience. Mm-hmm. And this is, this is something that, I don't know when that person made that comment to you, but, you know, say 10 years ago, we didn't have any capability of getting into that black box that people, you know, have between their two ears. Right? Yeah. <laugh>, you know, it, it, it's sort of like that's, that, that's where a lot of the behavioral work came in and, uh, behavioral science, cuz they could look at behavior, but they didn't know what happened, you know, between the ears. Yep. Well, now we do, because we've got all kind of neuro imaging, we understand so much about the brain and how it works. And, uh, I, I told you before, and I, I won't take up too much of our time, but I remember I wrote something in my doctoral dissertation that still is in the library at Michigan State University.


And I'm embarrassed by, because I know now that a statement I made was dead wrong, <laugh>, when I used to say that cognition, how we think preceded how we feel, and we know now from neuroscience that it's how we feel the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the other way wrong processes, information, and the decisions we make are emotionally driven mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they're supported then by, you know, the, the rational logical side of the brain. But, you know, we make the decision first with our emotions. And then, you know, the thinking part of our brain is really kind of the tail we think is wagging the dog, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, the prefrontal cortex, that emotional part is really what drives our, our decision making and drives everything we do in life. It's all based on emotion. And, you know, there's a library full of books now that support this.

Dr. Pelè (15:42):

Yeah. No, and, and not, not only emotion, you know, it's, you know, just echoing what you're, you're, you're sharing here, the research and the science has shown us that there's even a level deeper than emotion called habits. Right. Like, when you get down to like, you know, the basal ganglia and how that sort of stores these automatic subconscious behaviors that so many of us show up with, you've gotta factor in habits along with emotions, all of which can't easily be seen. Right. Yeah. But let, let's talk about your work because I, I, you know, we met, we met when you were involved in a fascinating study around the concept of pride. And as you know, my work in the happiness and profitable happiness area, um, has strong links to that mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So give us a sense of, you know, what you studied with respect to pride and, uh, how that's working these days, uh, in, in the world as you consult and, and, and help people.

Dr. Rick Garlick (16:37):

Yeah. So it's interesting. I think pride and happiness are probably close cousins, right? They are

Dr. Pelè (16:42):

<laugh>. So,

Dr. Rick Garlick (16:43):

So really it's the whole idea that, again, if there's something emotional that's driving our performance at work, what is it? Right? And we talked before, I, I shared my story about how I was looking for mission in the work that I do. I, I wanted to do something important. And, you know, when you look at even Maslow's hierarchy, the whole idea of self-actualization that we wanna do work, that we feel good about, that, that's important that we feel is making a difference. My son's an engineer and he talks to me about how he wants to change the world through his engineering jobs, you know, and, and he's got ideas about how he can apply his engineering skills into really helping infrastructure problems. And I, I love that because, you know, what he does is so over my head, but we are all looking for that sense of mission in our work, right?


At the end of the day, we want to come home and feel proud of what we did, regardless of what that job description is. Yeah. So if I'm, if I'm a janitor at a local school, you, how do I see my work in terms of something bigger that I can be proud of, or if I'm, you know, working at a fast food restaurant or things that sometimes people might see as menial mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we can find bigger purpose if we stop and think about it. Yeah. So there's that individual pride that we studied and we find that there are some key drivers to it. Like things like having a sense of defined mission about what I do, being able to connect my contribution to both my customers and my company's success. Those sorts of things fuel individual pride. But you and I, I mean, if we're, we're very proud of the work we do, we can take that pride anywhere, right?


Like we can leave a job and we can take it to another company mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But if people wanna retain their employees, you know, we've also looked very strongly at the idea of company pride, that I'm proud of the place for whom I work. Now, culture plays a big part of that, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if I'm working for a culture that I'm proud of, you know, we talk about things like, you know, equity, inclusion and diversity, you know, as being things that connect people to company that I feel like I'm included. I feel like I'm, I'm valued corporate citizenship. If I see my company has just been named to a best place to work with all of those things, bring that emotional connection to me that make me wanna stay put. Yeah. When I, when I did this work pride study pay, you might remember that my, my favorite statistic out of that entire study Yep.


We looked at people who had high pride in their company, moderate pride and low pride, and we really wanted to compare the high pride in the low pride. Yep. 48%, almost half of the people in the high pride group strongly agreed with the statement that if I were offered significantly more money Yeah. To do the same work at a different company, I would choose to stay with my current company. Yeah. <laugh> versus only 2%. And, and I'm not convinced that those people didn't just check the wrong box in the survey. Yeah. 2% or basically nobody in the low pride group strongly agree with that statement. Yeah. My friend Dr. Bob Nelson was just talking in a webinar we did about his wife mm-hmm. <affirmative>, who was offered $100,000 more to go to a different job and chose to stay at the, the job she was at because she was happy. Wow. She was happy at that job. <laugh>.

Dr. Pelè (20:13):

Now that, that is, that is a, a referenceable, uh, uh, example. That is a powerful, you know, I I should say that, um, you know, I'm proud to say that I met you and Dr. Bob, uh, regarding the work proud study when I was a vice president at that company work Proud. Um, and so I have a very intimate, you know, understanding of the things you're sharing, but I wanna make sure that because of that, I can ask you another very, very deep question, which may not get somewhere else. So here, here goes, uh, Dr. Rick, here's a question that I really think only you can answer here.

Dr. Rick Garlick (20:46):

I it

Dr. Pelè (20:47):

Now, Dr. Rick, I have to be honest with you, when people talk about engagement, when they talk about pride at work and some of these, uh, intangible, what some may call soft, uh, you know, soft, uh, things, you find leaders, some leaders who want to exploit that and just wanna plug in engagement tools or plug in recognition tools or do these things that don't quite hit sometimes the sincerity mark mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you have employees running around knowing in their minds, oh, they're just trying to get me more engaged. That recognition I just got isn't real. It's fake. Uh, this sense of pride they're trying to pump into me. I don't believe it. You know how, this is the question. How do leaders get beyond this sincerity bump to really show up and create cultures of pride and high engagement and happiness and so on and so forth.

Dr. Rick Garlick (21:43):

Yeah. And I think that's a great question. And you know, I, uh, I've worked with a lot of companies and I have great respect for the leaders with whom I've worked. I've worked at the C-suite. And, and again, we're being very kind and respectful, but, you know, so many times people in the C-suite, they come from several types of background. They may come from a legal background, they may come from a financial background, they may come from an operations background, and none of those positions are necessarily geared toward thinking about the soft side of people. If you get someone who came from a marketing background or a chief human resource officer background, you, you get a different type of thinking. But I think for people who are enlightened and they get to these top positions because they're smart people Yeah. If, if they can just simply, if the light can come on for them and they can think differently about the, the people side of the business, they realize that all of us have have needs.


You know, we, we all have things that drive us to get up every day in the morning and, and go to work, whether it's our families or whether, you know, it's a sense of meaning or purpose or whatever it is, there's something that companies need to connect with that they're going to maximize performance in their employees. And it becomes, then it's a lot of work. It's not easy. They have to do the hard work to find out for each individual employee what those things are. And that's the role of the manager, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> the manager, uh, at Gallup, we used to say that every manager sp should spend at least one hour per quarter minimally mm-hmm. <affirmative> with their employees. And if you can't do that, you got too many employees to manage. Yeah. But I think when it comes to creating a culture where, where that becomes embedded, it really becomes important to have a strong sense of core values, a set of core values mm-hmm. <affirmative>,


You know, and essentially tie recognition and tie behavioral reinforcement back into those set of values. Now, if I believe in those values, then it doesn't become difficult to do. Yeah. But so many times when you ask people about what are the values of their company, you know, people will cynically almost say, well, the value of the company is to make more money or to make the owners of the company richer. Yeah. <laugh> Well, it, it's gotta be beyond that. Right? It, it's gotta be that you're really out there to do something bigger than just make money or make people richer or fuel the machine, right? Yeah. You know, you're really out there to do something important. And if you don't have that sense of importance, then it, it's hard to fake it. Right? Yeah. And, and so, or, or you can, you can do your job and then the first chance you get to go somewhere else and make more money, you'll, you'll just simply leave.


Yeah. So it really does become, I think, I think it starts with identifying the core set of values mm-hmm. <affirmative> and really saying, okay, this is, these are the values we're gonna build our company around mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when I see you living out those values to reinforce that through recognition so that it now becomes part of the process, I'm not just recognizing you kind of willy-nilly, cuz I'm in a good mood that day. I'm gonna Yeah. Tell you, I think you're doing a great job. Yeah. But I'm gonna tell you, you're doing a great job and here's why you're doing a great job. I'm gonna connect your sense of pride back to the company values, and I'm gonna tell you why what you just did was really important, you know, to the company and to your customers and to your coworkers. Yeah. And I think that that's a very simple roadmap. Perhaps in practice it's a bit more complex, but, but that's the roadmap to follow to building strong cultures around pride and happiness.

Dr. Pelè (25:23):

Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I, I couldn't agree more. I, I just, I, I do wanna highlight that there is still a gap. Um, and as you know, with my profitable happiness work, um, I've actually isolated a very controversial thing and I'll share it with you and get your, get your feedback on it. And that is, I think with respect to things like sincerity or even if you look at all of these, uh, surveys that people do, you know, they keep asking, they listening, you know, uh, listening efforts that they put into the organizations. The question is not whether you listen or whether, whether you, you, you, uh, gather information. It's what do you do with that information? And is, are you, are employees able to hold you as a leader accountable? And that's what's a little bit controversial is, you know, are are leaders willing to put themselves out there and say, Hey, listen, I, I collect all this engagement information, I do surveys, I hear you, but I want you to be able to see what I'm doing about it mm-hmm. <affirmative>.


And I want you to build, I want to build trust that you, you can see that I'm really sincere about doing something based on all the engagement surveys I've been doing. So I think to me, it's a little controversial. Cause not every leader is gonna wanna be that transparent, but I think it's an essential thing that has to happen. Which now let me ask you a question regarding that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what do you see as the future of work? As you've said earlier, we can't keep doing the same things and expecting the same, you know, different results. Right. So what do you see as the future? Or maybe let's say, let's say a, a a a, uh, a, a potential future of work that you'd like to see?

Dr. Rick Garlick (26:57):

Yeah. Well I can, I can tell you first of all, one of my rules of thumb is, and again, having done this for decades, I always say, don't ever ask a question that you can't or are unwilling to take action on. That's the first thing. Don't ask the question. So, believe it or not, I always tell companies that really they shouldn't ask about pay satisfaction or benefit satisfaction unless they're really willing to, to do something about it. Which in most cases, people aren't, you know, I mean, they're not gonna give everybody a big raise. Maybe they should, but, you know, if they give any raise at all, it's probably not gonna be meaningful enough to make a difference. So, back to your question, let me answer it. So first of all, I think this is all going to be really the future of work is gonna be structured around what do employees need to be productive mm-hmm. <affirmative>.


And I think one of the things that the genius is out of the bottle, and I, I think that this whole idea of people going to a central office when they don't have to is, is the thing in the past, you know, there, there used to be a, a mindset that unless you came to an office and physically showed up mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you couldn't be part of the culture. You couldn't do your job, you weren't gonna be productive. And the pandemic sort of thrust remote work upon us, uh, against people's will. But people learn, hey, not only do I like it, but here's the thing, I can be more productive cuz I'm not spending time driving back and forth to work. I don't have to, uh, you know, pay for all these commuting costs. So by letting me work at home, you're just actually giving me a bump in salary and, uh, you know, all all of that sort of thing.


And it's like, I think we've seen, and, and the, the work product study that you referenced show that you don't have to go to go to an office place. You can work remotely and still feel a sense of pride and connection to the company. But you know, obviously we have to think differently about how we connect with our employees, how we recognize people, how we get the team together, all those sorts of things. But that's the first thing I think that people are, you know, basically it's giving people freedom and flexibility to do the kinds of things that, you know, they need to be able to manage their lives. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, you know, with more, you know, with couples, you know, it used to be like one person stayed at home and the other per and took care of the family and the other person went to work.


And now the culture we live in their shared responsibility for that. So everybody needs the flexibility to manage their family responsibilities. And we're also seeing in some of the work that I've done, uh, another role that I hold as chief research advisor for the Incentive Research Foundation mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and some of the, the work that I've shown there is that the number one way that people like to be recognized on an ongoing basis for doing good work. Uh, you may not guess this, but I'll tell you what it is. Th this was number one with a bullet. There was not even anything comparable give people a paid day off.

Dr. Pelè (29:53):


Dr. Rick Garlick (29:54):

And, uh, you know, and what we found out was that people really valued their time, that time was a gift. Mm-hmm. And giving people, like, for example, another thing that people did have typically done is when somebody's doing a good work, the manager takes the employee out to lunch. Mm-hmm. And a very typical way of recognizing people. Right. And we found out, and, and this you don't really need to study for this, but this is one of those findings that it is kinda like, duh uh, it's that people would rather have lunch with their family than with their manager <laugh>. And, uh, you know, so instead of the manager taking people out, maybe give them an opportunity to bring in a family member and go out and have, you know, basically lunch with your significant other or your kids mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so we have to start thinking differently about how we recognize and reward employees and give people more choices and all those sorts of things that we're not used to doing because so much of management has always been up to this point a one size fits all management approach. Yeah. And we've gotta start thinking more flexibly outside the box.

Dr. Pelè (31:01):

Yeah. And, and, and not only the one size fits all, but a a one direction, you know, a unidirectional mm-hmm. <affirmative> kind of thing where, you know, the leaders get what they want and sometimes the employees don't always get much out of it. Right. Right. That, that bidirectional, um, concept, uh, is really I think at the center of a, a lot of these issues that are emotional and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, you can't quite hold them, but if you are, if you're really about reciprocity, you can get so much further. Dr. Rick, you know, you and I could go on for hours and hours. Good. And, and I just want to ask you a very important question. What are you excited about next? What are you working on? What's, what gets you up and going and, and what can we expect from you, uh, going forward? And then of course, how can people reach you?

Dr. Rick Garlick (31:45):

Yeah. So I, I'll tell you, it's interesting you'd ask that because, you know, I, it seems like one opportunity leads to another, right? So I'm doing independent consulting after so many years of working for other people, I'm now working for myself. And, uh, it's opening up opportunities to do all kind of work. You know, so for example, recently, uh, I just did a webinar, you know, that people can find my LinkedIn page, they can find the link to linking recognition to turnover, and then monetizing that, you know, showing people how many millions of dollars they could save simply by enhancing their recognition, uh, process of employees. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, that's, that's exciting because it's sort of like, I, I love the idea of giving people tools that make the business case for things that they, they know they should be doing mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but, uh, you know, I don't have the hard numbers.


Right. So it's taking soft ideas and putting hard numbers behind them and, and that's exciting. And, and that's a way of, of fueling my statistical and research background then to practical business advice for companies. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I'm excited about that. I, I'm, I'm, I have to, I have a, uh, this is something completely unrelated, but interesting. I've got a proposal right now that I'm doing in conjunction with a longtime friend of mine in the World Wildlife Federation. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, looking at how to reduce food waste in meetings and events. Wow. So, I know it's a completely different area, but, uh, you know, so one great thing about working for yourself is that you get to work on all kinds of interesting projects and, uh, this is true <laugh>. And and maybe we'll have an opportunity to do something together. I sure hope so.

Dr. Pelè (33:21):

Ab ab absolutely. Um, you know, I I have to say that, uh, you are doing very important work. In fact, you're doing controversial work because most people still think that Maslow's hierarchy is hierarchical. Meaning first you start by getting paid and taking care of, you know, all those basic needs. And you shouldn't forget about those actualization and happiness and pride things until later. But what you're showing and what you're, you're working on says, Hey, work on these things together, bring pride to the table earlier. Have that conversation help people become happier because it's together the paycheck and the happiness and the pride. That's how you get ultimately to the happiest and most productive employees. Am I right?

Dr. Rick Garlick (34:05):

Yeah. Yes. And let me just say this, that the neuroscientists have done my heavy lifting for me. You know, <laugh>, when, when I, when I was at, I, I also spent some time at Merits, which is a, uh, well-known performance improvement company, and I worked with a colleague named, uh, Mary Beth McEwen, who founded the Merits Institute, and it was all built around these neuroscience principles. And through that she introduced me some, some, some incredibly smart neuroscientists who, you know, getting to know these people. I mean, they, they humbled me with how intellectual they were and that the level of the work they did. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, I think if, and people have really put a lot of that work into more simplified terms so that it's accessible to business people and managers who aren't necessarily scientists. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But it really does. I mean, we live in an era now where we have recognized how emotions are driving the train mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's why I think if we can learn how to tap into those emotions, like the work you're doing, you know, the work I'm doing, if we can tap into that, you know, maybe we can actually finally start seeing some sustainable results after all the decades that of effort that we've been putting into trying to engage in, connect with employees.

Dr. Pelè (35:19):

Yeah. Powerful stuff. Dr. Rick, how can people, uh, get ahold of you? What's the best vehicle for people to contact you?

Dr. Rick Garlick (35:25):

Sure. Just reach out to me. My, my personal email, I need to get a business email, but just write me it. Rick m Garlic, my name, uh, r i c k m g a r l i c k. People always wanna spell my name, like, garlic Spice was this, garlic ck gmail.com or look on my LinkedIn page. And I, I love to connect with people. Uh, I get all kind of LinkedIn requests sometimes for people that, uh, I don't even know, like why they're looking my page up. But it's interesting because I made a lot of new friends that way. <laugh>. Yeah. <laugh>.

Dr. Pelè (35:58):

Well, thank you so much Dr. Rick for, uh, being a part of our conversation today. I really think if nothing else, hopefully someone's gonna be asking the question. You know, I wanna learn more about, you know, how this link between emotion and how it drives performance. I wanna learn more about that, and I think they should definitely come to you, uh, and answer, get that question answered. Thank you so much.

Dr. Rick Garlick (36:19):

I, I love it. Thank you so much. It's always a pleasure to be with you. Like, like you say, we could talk forever and, uh, I, I hope we'll have an opportunity to continue the conversation.

Dr. Pelè (36:28):

Absolutely. Have a wonderful day.

Dr. Rick Garlick (36:30):

Thank you, sir.

Dr. Pelè (36:32):

Thanks for tuning in to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. For more episodes, visit dr pa.com. And remember, get happy first and success will follow.