How Purpose-Driven Work Strengthens Employee Retention

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APRIL 4, 2024

In this episode of the Restoration Playbook Podcast Leighton Healey interviews Holly Murry, who shares insights into her 28-year journey at FRSTeam, emphasizing the importance of connecting work with meaning. Highlighting personal stories and 'Goosebump Moments', Holly advocates for creating a workplace culture that instills passion and meaning in daily tasks, ultimately leading to a more meaningful work environment, engaged workforce, and stronger employee retention.

Read more about Holly's approach to employee retention on R&R Magazine, here.

Episode Transcription

Holly Murry:
As somebody who's been around for over 28 years, uh, part of what makes you stick in an industry for this length of time is that level of passion for helping others and, and finding that that be the focus of your training, be the focus of your time when you're communicating with your team really, I think can create a great, retention rate with your staff because you're showing them that passion.

Hire for character and culture. Don't hire for skills.

You can train skills.

I think when you think about hiring in our environment, you know, we use KnowHow to teach the skills of. You know, how to fold a piece of laundry or how to, um, pack an item up, right? For safety, you know, that's what the training is for, is to teach the skills.

You have to hire for character. You have to hire for, how do you show up for other people? Do you want to help other people day in and day out? Do you like the idea of restoring someone's life back after a catastrophic event? Because if those don't align. Even if they have all the skill sets, they're, they won't stay very long because they're missing the meaning of the work, right?

The why we do this. And if they're missing the why of what we do in the restoration industry, you know, they're, they're not going to stick around that long.

Leighton Healey:
Hi, this is Leighton Healey, and this is another episode of the Restoration Playbook podcast, and I'm excited to talk about another principle in our book, Winning with Workers. This principle is titled, Connect Work with Meaning, something that we've not only seen at work in the workforces and the employment experiences of some of the best employers in this industry, but it is a principle that we have seen in our research is very important and it connects deeply with the workforce today. Our guest today is Holly and Holly is the President of FRSTeam. FRSTeam is one of the leading restoration providers of contents cleaning in the industry and Holly stands out as someone who has done a tremendous job being able to connect, work with meaning in the lives of her team.

Not only is Holly a great example of how she does this in her own life and through her own career, but she has developed some systems and some methods for how she can help workers to see the meaning underneath the work that they do and it powers and it fuels retention and excellent customer service and great interactions with each other.

So let's get into it.

Leighton Healey:
Holly, welcome to the show you're someone who when I was thinking about this principle number three, Connect Work with Meaning, your name was front of mind, I said, we have to talk with Holly. The the industry needs to hear from Holly. You're someone who I think has really, found a way to infuse meaning and purpose, not only in your own work, but in the lives of your team at FRSTeam. So let me, let me start by giving an opportunity to introduce yourself. And I like to ask Holly, introduce yourself and tell us something about yourself that sometimes it takes a person a long time, to learn this about you.

Holly Murry:
So thanks for that Leighton. My name's Holly Murray. I'm the president of FRSTeam. I've been with FRSTeam over 28 years. So really long time and something that people, it's really hard to say like what someone wouldn't know about me. I'm kind of an open book. I talk with a lot of people.

I, really share my story and my journey throughout my entire career with people. I would say maybe one of the things that people may not know about me is that I sit on the board of a charity. So back in Colorado, I still play competitive slow pitch softball. I don't know if those terms really go together, but, I had an amazing opportunity.

over ten years ago to play with a friend, she passed away from cancer. but in her honor we started a 501 and we run a huge, charitable softball tournament every year. where we have hundreds of people come out, We typically raise over 50,000 a year and give that to people who've been impacted by cancer in the local softball community in Colorado.

And so maybe that's something that in the restoration field, maybe a lot of people don't know about me, but as far as work and my history, I think most people know kind of a lot of my journey and story because I really love spending time with people and getting to know people in our industry and learning from them.

And so I really get an amazing opportunity to kind of share my story and learn other people's stories throughout their career. Which is exciting.

Leighton Healey:
Awesome. Awesome. So even in your free time, Holly, even in your free time, you're connecting, you know, pleasure and, passion and volunteering with meaning. So this is a red thread that. I think is stitched through your whole life.

Holly Murry:
Yeah. I mean, I think most of us are impacted by things that happen throughout the course of our life. And when I was in high school, my, one of my best friends at the time was diagnosed with terminal cancer at a very young age. And I think for me, that really impacted me of spending every day being able to help somebody else really brings you joy.

And if you can find a career in an industry that allows you to kind of involve that in your day to day, there's no better joy in your life that I think you'll ever have. Whether it's helping my two children, trying to help my husband, helping my coworkers or my employees or my franchisees, or helping others in your community.

I think that level of trying to help make the world a better place is really something that at least feeds my soul. So

Leighton Healey:
Well, that's, that comes through when we interact and you and I get to hang out, that comes through, right. It's the stuff that, you're passionate about. It's it's like soul stuff. It's there's deep roots I would say that some of the, some of the, the, the vibrancy, you know, you bring to connection and relationships, um, it's kind of like if Holly was a tree, you'd be like, there's some deep roots here because, you know, there's some pretty robust blossoms here, right?

Like there's, there's obviously some deep roots here. S it's fun to learn about those, those roots and we're going to go deeper, but let's start by introducing FRSTeam. I mean, FRSTeam is a leader in the industry. This is a large organization; tell us about FRSTeam.

Holly Murry:
Yeah, yeah, FRSTeam really works in the content space. So we started over 30 years ago as a restoration dry cleaner. So handling all the textiles and electronics and over the course of the 30 years we've expanded our service offerings. But all of our facilities are full, dry cleaning, laundry. They now offer electronics restoration and some level of contents restoration, whether it's couch with electronics in it, or maybe one of our restoration partners and contractors need some extra help on a specific claim.

And so I used to tell people that if you think of contents, if there's a house or a commercial building and you turn it upside down and shook it, the stuff that falls out. We handle predominantly the things that fall into that category. And for us, there's over 50 locations and franchisees across the US and up into Canada as well.

Leighton Healey
Yeah. Which is awesome. I mean, so what we're talking about is not just, you know, you infusing meaning into work and say, um, you're, you're wherever you're located in the world is, you know, you're, you're trying to amplify that value across a network of 50 locations and hundreds of technicians.

And, um, so we'll talk about that. Cause, cause, you know, principles within the purview of your, of your staff is one thing, but how do you scale? How do you scale leadership principles? And, uh, and then how do you, how do you enroll other leaders in your organization to care about those? So let's anyways, my mind, I don't want to get the cart out of the horse here, but I'm, I'm interested.

So what's been your journey personally? I mean, you mentioned. Just kind of almost flippantly, you're like, "Hey, I've been at the company for 28 years."

I mean, that's a really, uh, I think that's a powerful story. So, um, you're passionate about what you do, Holly. And I think you're passionate about the people that you work with. So could you, could you reverse engineer that? And for someone, maybe even they're like a first time FRSTeam employee who's, who was asked to watch this podcast to get to know the leader of the organization.

But like, what's, what was your journey? Where does like, this is Holly's journey, and then this is where you start to see meaning and purpose and fulfillment really start to, to become an interwoven part of how you work.

Holly Murry:
Yeah. So I would say for me that the finding meaning at FRSTeam started from the day I was interviewed. So one of my ex business partners, Courtney Nicholas, who has since retired out of FRSTeam, uh, was who I interviewed with over 28 years ago to be an employee. And at the time I was interviewing for a technician position, right? To go out, pack up people's clothes, clothing and belongings and their sentimental items and bring them back and inventory and clean them. And I remember even in the interview process with Courtney thinking, I called my dad that day on the way home and I'm 22 years old at the time. And so excited.

I think I found my first job post college. I interviewed with this amazing human. And I'm going to get to help people and restore their home and their lives after this tradgedy. And I remember my dad, who's a bit of a pessimist thinking like, well, maybe they won't pay you when you're on the road or when you're driving.

And, um, but just, I think that came across in the interview. And so my journey started there really at the bottom of FRSTeam or the lowest position available, right? As a technician doing the cleaning of people's shoes or their items. Packing them out. And throughout the course of my 28 years, I like to think that I've held every position in the company.

So, and again, I think it kind of always revolved around helping people. So when you start out as a technician, I got an opportunity, right, to advance my career. By helping other departments. And so if the dry cleaning side of our business got backed up, maybe I would come in an hour every early, early, every day and press shirts and then learn a new skillset, the billing department maybe got backed up at one point.

And so I learned and helped to learn and understand how to do estimates in the pricing platform. And I would say that that really catered my path or kind of. Outline my path within the company, where with each new learned opportunity to help another department or help another office, I was able to move up and kind of advance within the company.

And then I moved to the ownership side when we opened a location in Colorado. I joined the ownership team at that point back in. 98, I believe that was, so a really long time ago. And then me and my partners franchised the business in 2006. And so there's something really thrilling and exciting when you get to help departments or other people learn a new skill set.

Because I would say then. As you move into leadership, it gave me an opportunity to then be the leaders that helped me learn new skill sets. And we get to pass on that to like the next generation.

Leighton Healey:
Very cool. You know, it's, you know, and I'm curious when you, if you could go back to your day one self and tell you that, hey, one day you're going to be leading this organization and it's going to be, you know, coast to coast. Um, do you think you would have believed that?

Holly Murry:
No, would have, uh, there are still days today, Leighton, that I wake up and think that I am incredibly blessed, um, both through my career and my history and my path. But I don't think I ever would have I think there's a part of you that thinks I'll advance and maybe not be in the seat that I'm in today, but I don't know that I ever had the foreworth or thought process that at some point I'd be sitting in the president's role.

I think there's still days today that I am like, wow, when did that happen? How did that happen?

Leighton Healey
Yeah. I mean, who knows? Maybe technology will give us that opportunity one day, but for now it's just kind of a fun, you know, it's just a fun kind of thought experiment, but now do you think that there's anything unique about, because you made a comment earlier and I thought it was, um, I thought it was just a, just a great.

Picture into the industry. He said, you know, I started and I was just, I was cleaning people's shoes and I was cleaning, you know, their textiles. And, and I think that's a great example of really just how hands-on and, um, let's call it like elemental, you know, um, these, these industries are, uh, and how. for lack of a better word, intimately you become with a customer's precious belongings.

Do you think that there's, do you think that other characteristics of this industry that you think make it, a good environment to find meaning and find fulfillment, like when compared to other industries, do you think there's any, anything unique about your industry that just creates opportunities to find fulfillment?

Holly Murry
Yeah, I think we probably are in one of the very, there's a handful of industries where you really get to provide amazing kind of fulfillment, right? And you really get to feel the helping others perspective. So when you walk into a disaster and their home is a mess, their items are a mess, and they're dealing with the tragedy, And some of those tragedies can even be loss of life or loss of family.

And I think you get this amazing opportunity. I used to say we get to be there at potentially what is one of their worst days and also then get to be there at one of their best days, right? Because then you also typically get to be there at the end when. If you work in the construction side, right, you get to help them rebuild their house.

And I think for us, when you think about belongings and people's items, there's a huge level of sentimental attachment, whether it's a wedding dress or maybe a flag that belonged to their great, great grandfather, or a child's stuffed animal, something that has meaning. Or their blankey that you get to bring back to life.

And there's something really amazing when at the beginning of a claim, they may feel like everything is lost. And so to be able to restore that, you know, we say restore lives and you hear that use within our industry a lot, and there is a lot of truth to that.

Leighton Healey:
What have you found to be some, effective approaches to communicating and like, frankly, like spotlighting like that characteristic, that unique characteristic of the industry to, to candidates.

Um, you know, one of the stats that we found in some of our research Holly is that 67% of people coming into the industry today come from no general construction background. Meaning they're, they're coming in and they, they didn't, you know, come from like a, you know, they didn't nab them from my competitors.

You know, they're, they were in retail. You know, or they were in food, you know, or they were in, um, hospitality and they kind of just found their way into the industry, you know, uh, probably the most primary sources through referrals. So their cousin referred them in and now they're here. How have you been able to communicate the meaning that

you've discovered in the industry to applicants and to new people?

Holly Murry:
Yeah. So I think when you're thinking about interviewing, I think it's great. You should always go over what your company mission is, right? And does that really tell them about the ability to help others? And whether it's somebody in your HR department that's doing an interview, whether it's yourself, are you really communicating them the wins or opportunities to really help people within the industry?

I would say that from a outward perspective, I think most of us deal with just recruiting as a whole. And so when you're thinking about recruiting, what does your brand image look like in the environment? And this is an area that I think. The restoration industry in particular could really use some work is that, you know, oftentimes when we go out on a home, most people are like, "Oh, I didn't even realize this type of company or business existed."

And I will say that there is, you're seeing more advertisements. Or social media posts, right? Where you can see that we're really trying to appeal to that connection or the meaning of the work versus dirty side of our industry and the dirty side of the work and really focusing on. Whether it's before and after pictures, we coined something many moons ago about Goosebump Moments and finding when you go out with a homeowner, asking them, what's the most important thing in your home?

And do you have something that's sentimental? And that's part of the training procedure, right? And maybe it's something that has been passed down from generation. How you treat those items or belongings, how you present them at the end of the claim, how you communicate. I think that gives your staff and your workers immense joy that, and I can see it, right, that when I'm talking to our field team out in the field and they get to share a goosebump moment about, hey, we found out that this, You know, christening gown belonging to their great grandmother, and it was in a bag shoved up on the top of a closet.

And when we pulled it down, it looked important. So we asked the homeowner and then we put it, you know, in like a shadow frame and made a big deal about delivering it. It was the first thing off the truck. And it really does give you like goosebumps when you get to see that type of emotional reaction.

And that's where I feel like we in restoration really have that ability to give that level of connection. of restoring back the items in the house and the things that mean the most to them.

Leighton Healey:
Beautiful. So a Goosebump moment You can't just, uh, engineer it, right? It's, something where, you know, clearly a person has to, bring some curiosity to the table, have some empathy, um, you know, identify that, you know, that something, you know, in a sense has the makings of a Goosebump making.

You know, item and then, uh, and then probably finding an appropriate way, you know, of asking, understanding that you're probably holding something very precious and, uh, and then being able to, you know, probably just be present for a story or a, or a, some tears or, or is, is that, am I, am I on the right train of thought?

Holly Murry:
Are. I mean, I, you know, obviously we coined it the first 15, right? Go get it, go figure. Right. FRSTeam, the first 15 and the first 15 minutes of the claim, right. Are checking in and asking them if they're okay. Right. And then asking them about. So, um, I think for most people, their belongings or their home or, you know, that you have to connect with them on a level that shows how much you really care about them to then learn about the items that are really important in their life.

And sometimes because they're going through a tragedy, it does require you to maybe ask some key questions because they may not 50, so I forget stuff all the time. And so you would have to almost remind me of certain things, right? And say, hey, do you have any quilts or stuffed animals or soft good memorabilia that means a lot to you?

Or maybe it's artwork, you know, that is really important to you. And I think when you start asking those questions and you walk a home and you walk room by room with someone on the rooms that have been affected, you get an opportunity to really kind of discover their items that are important to them.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah, I mean, I, I mean, as you're talking, I mean, I can think of stuff, I can think of stuff in my house h where, you know, I, I just. I just goosebumps. Would be like maybe heartburn about just like, Oh man, can you imagine someone coming in and just packing the stuff out and being like, Hey, where's X, Y, or Z?

And they say, "Oh, I thought it was just stuff." You're like, no, that stuff means a lot to me. Right. And, um, but when somebody treats it with respect and with dignity, um, I would think that it makes it much easier for me to go along with the recommendations, you know, their, um, their instructions. You know, like, it sounds like it, it's a, it's a bridge, it's a bridge towards other aspects of the job that, um, you know, maybe more difficult or, or, or, you know, probably, you know, probably build some trust is what I'm, I'm getting the vibe.

Holly Murry:
Yeah. Right. We, I mean, it's so important for us to build trust with the homeowner. And I think, you know, I say this all the time, but no one really will ever care how much, you know, until they know how much you care. And I think that speaks volumes in our industry because, you know, whether you have, you know, They don't maybe care about the cleaning technologies that we're going to implement for the cleaning and restoration of their items, but they are going to care that the one sentimental item or handful of items are treated with the utmost care.

And that even if they're total loss, they're not going to get thrown away. That, that these are items that we value as much as they value at that moment, as you're handling their belongings throughout their house.

Leighton Healey:
Great. You know, it's hard for me not to think about, things in my life that, that matter and, um, and, uh, and how, you know, the difference it would make, you know, I can just even think about, I've got young kids and just think about, it doesn't take long for a human to assign like almost like almost an illogical amount of value to an item.

You know what I mean? And, uh, you know, I mean like I'm talking like it takes what, like just months, you know, and then, and then, and a connection can form to a possession that, um, really is not, it's not logical. It's, it's, it is emotional and, and especially when there's a long history with that object. Um, so that's, that's really interesting.

Well, let me put some data in front of you and, and I'd love to get your reaction to it, you know, because you have a unique purview and you've got a, um, a unique and very relevant, um, leadership style. So in the book, Winning with Workers, Um, we, we, we really do a lot of exhaustive digging to try to understand what's going on with the workforce today, because, you know, you lead a very multi generational workforce, Holly, but I think that, um, you and I both know that the workers who are coming in, you know, these workers who we prefer to as Gen Z, you know, these are workers who, um, I guess from working years, they're about 18 to 24 and, uh, and, and they're different, you know, they're, they're different.

So one of the things that we've learned from our data is that 45% of Gen Z's find that the most fulfilling part of their job is working with, with others, you know, working with others. And so that community component, that team culture component is really big to them. And, uh, I think back to this kind of goosebumps, um, item that you had in mind.

And how do you think of, like, how do you think about, um, Infusing meaning and Goosebump Moments in, in a team setting. Um, cause it seems like there's a compound effect opportunity there

Holly Murry:
There is, I think it's important, right? That we're sharing the stories, right? And so we've done everything from, you know, if you run a field team of one, or if you run a field team of a hundred, you know, you can create in essence competitions on who's going to get like, earn the best Goosebump Moment this month from an insured.

And you can even tie financial compensation to that. Right. Um, it allows them to focus on it as a mom of an 18 year old. I would say that maybe I have a very interesting perspective on that, that I do think that how the environment that they work in is really important. They need to really feel. Almost loved, I guess is the term I would use, right?

That their opinion matters. And I think how you interact with your incoming staff, you know, if somebody has been on the job for 30 days or 60 days, and they're in that younger generation and you say, "Hey. Let's spend 30 minutes and then I want your opinion on areas maybe that you think we could be doing something better or different."

It shows them how much value that you put in their opinion. It makes them feel like they're now contributing to the business's success, their own success, and, and, and even their coworkers success, right? And I think the more you can communicate and share the stories or the goosebumps and encourage them through training platforms like KnowHow, right?

You can use that as a way for them to understand this is our goal, right? Our goal is to have you be an extremely satisfied employee while working here, that if you have goals that you want to entertain, We can focus the training around that. Uh, similar. I mean, I went after it when I was younger. I think the younger generation wants it offered more than pursued.

And so with my son, right, he wants to know through whether it's a social media platform, right? You can even have. Like a friend's group on Snapchat or, uh, TikTok or whatever the younger generation's newest social media is. But you could create a channel for the, so that they can work with each other in multiple locations or across the industry to talk about, "Hey, I had this amazing opportunity, um, You know, I got to deliver this item back.

The homeowner was..." there's something about that that you really can't replace and it will draw the workers thinking, gosh, I want that type of job that I can deliver that level of satisfaction and happiness to an insured.

Leighton Healey:
Have you found, have you found, um, any methods of, um, not to strip the humanity out of it, but like, like leveraging that to, to drive referrals from your staff's networks or, um, awareness to potential applicants? Like, is there, is there anything that you found effective, uh, that doesn't, doesn't take away from, let's call it like, um, like the tenderness of the moment and the, and the authenticity of the moment?

And like, there is a. There's a powerful promotional, um, effect to what you're describing.

Holly Murry:
Yeah. I think sharing stories is so critical, right? Whether you're doing that through a monthly newsletter within your company or whether you're doing it through maybe social media posts, whether you have an intranet that maybe you share those amazing opportunities with, whether you're utilizing maybe things like the RIA, where you get together and you get to share some of those amazing opportunities that we get, just really utilizing all of that.

And I would say, you know, we use every one of those systems as best as we can. And from before and after pictures, right? If you, you know, somebody just did, uh, it was like a leather military jacket that belonged to their great grandfather had been in a basement and water damaged for a hundred years. Um, it was really in bad shape and the office took it, right?

Really spent some extra time restoring it. They put it and, and then we push that story out. And I think when we're looking to attract talent and knowing that. You know, winning workers today, right, is about connecting meaning. You've really got to share that meaning internally and externally, right? So if the person that is folding laundry at your facility, how do they know, right, do you involve them when these Goosebump Moments come in so that they can then be a part of it?

And then after the delivery, do Do you share that back to your team at your monthly meeting or weekly meeting to say, Hey, I know a lot of you worked on this job, wanted to share this amazing story. Or if it's a thank you card or a survey, a great survey that came back that talked about the care that you took of their belongings.

The more you can share that with everyone in the company, they then can feed off of that same kind of amazing feeling that you get when you know that you're helping others. Because it's hard to explain to somebody who cleaned shoes all day that they're helping others.

Right? Maybe they don't see it that way. Right, they just think "Hey, I clean shoes." And so I think it's important to share those types of stories that, you know, Hey, we took care of their belongings. They're so happy. And how you share those back to your internal team will then attract internal referrals, which is a huge piece in the data that you share, where people are coming to us from within the industry.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah. Super, super important. Um, and very well said, in your industry, like yours, you have, you know, you obviously have to collect all the items and then the items have to be brought back to a facility and then facility has to be cleaned and items that we returned and, you know, projects have to be managed.

And, you know, it really, it truly takes, you know, I guess you could almost say it takes, it takes a village to create a goosebumps moment. You know what I mean? It's like, but I guess that's an interesting challenge. I don't think. I don't think about that enough is, is how do you provide like contextual awareness of how your, your piece contributes to that moment?

And, um, that's, um, that's interesting because I, I could see how the person who's either, you know, finding the jacket or ideally returning the jacket, you know, has this almost outsized advantage to be able to, you know, in terms of like goosebumps proximity, you know what I'm saying? Whereas what you're saying is, no, no, you have to find a way to, to include others in that experience so that it has the true, the full beneficial uplifting, almost like a, you know, lift all boats kind of, uh, kind of experience.

So, so can you get a little more tangible with that? So someone's listening to this and I say, that's interesting. You know what? I definitely have people in my contents department. I definitely have people in the, you know, back in the back office who deal with AR and AP or something like that. And they're hearing stories about, you know, some job that we just help someone in such a meaningful way.

How do you tactically include everybody and help them understand the contribution that their portion makes to that experience? How do you do that?

Holly Murry:
Yeah. So I think the first is sharing the story. Um, you know, I thought about this a little bit when you think about, you get a great survey, right? From a homeowner who you had an amazing goosebump moment. They sent pictures of the stuffed animal being given to their child, and who's just ecstatic, right?

And I think about what happens with that. Sales and marketing did a phenomenal job of probably sharing that story with our contractor or carrier partner, right? Like, Hey, look at how happy we made you're insured, but are you sharing it back internally? Right? So are you bringing it back to the team? And I think that's probably the biggest thing that people sometimes forget is circling back. So if I could give an operator one really strong piece of advice, it's when you get these amazing moments, make sure that you are recognizing everyone on the team as someone who contributed to that.

right? Because if they don't do their job and they don't work there, they, then it, the circle isn't complete, right? That we need everyone to kind of do their part to be able to fulfill these types of Goosebump Moments and amazing moments. opportunities to help someone and restore their life. And they're all a piece of that and making sure that they feel inclusive in that discussion, inclusive in that meeting, you know, maybe you forgot to include your AR department because they don't typically Join the team meeting, right?

They sit in the office in the back and they just do billings. So I think that's the leadership's job to make sure that you're really sharing those out internally to your internal clients, um, all of your staff, because they're all a piece of the success of the business and they're all a piece of making that happen.

Leighton Healey:
You know what Holly, as you were talking, you know, I just, you know, I just remembered is that you and I, um, we were in our most recent conversation, um, we were talking about books that we were reading and then, you know what you, you did. I think, I think to me, this is good. Cause this is like, you know, like, There's always like the BS test on like leaders.

It's like, did they really, and actually I remember you saying like distinctly, I remember you saying like, you're about to tell a story and said, "Oh, I just got goosebumps." And then you told this story about, um, you know, we were, we were swapping, you know, swapping experiences and whatnot. But, um, I don't know if you remember that, but like, anyways, we're standing by the escalator and you said, "Oh, I just got goosebumps."

And by the end of the way, I'm like, Oh, I got to actually, Participate in like a FRSTeam Goosebumps moment, you know, and and actually I remember I remember it distinctly cuz it's like you it's like you highlighted it and it like piqued my my It piqued my attention and I said I kind of leaned in I was like, well, this is gonna be good So, okay, I'm interested right?

So, um, I, think I don't remember that but I but I I distinctly remember that

Holly Murry:
I, I want to be sarcastic and be like, it was kind of late at night. There were a lot of cocktails flowing at the reception, but, um, no, I do. And I think that's important, right? Like. And that's, I think, the piece that we sometimes forget to share is the employee gets to be front facing, right? The, the field person who literally is hand delivering the item and maybe even recognized and discovered the item on the front end.

And I think whether it's the military jacket or the flag. Right. That was passed down. Um, I mean, I shared tears with some of our homeowners over the years where I showed up at a delivery many moons ago. I don't do a lot of pickups and deliveries anymore, but the homeowner answered the door. She was a little distraught and I had her sit down.

She had me call her. Doctor, she was having a stroke. Um, somebody was looking after her that day and just happened to have me show up at a delivery, right time, right place. Um, and she was okay. Right. And I think like not a goosebump moment with her clothing, but a goosebump moment with who she was. And I think when you share those stories about, Hey, we get these amazing opportunities to really positively impact.

the people that we interact with every day. When you share them back, right, they do bring a Goosebump Moment. Um, know, one of the books is the Apple Experience. There's like three pages in there and you'll, they wrote about some of the Goosebump Moments at FRSTeam. And I think same type of theory is if you can share those moments within your own organization, those You know, it does give everyone, they know that we made this happen and that we are all a part of that.

And I think that really, you know, when you can share that, you can see it just, it really does lift the spirit of your office. People get really excited and, and they almost like, then we'll start seeking out, right? Those opportunities again on the next claim, right? Whether it's the child. I had an employee once who the child lost their very favorite stuffed animal, and it was non salvageable.

It was not going to be restored, but we took it right in the hopes that we would be able to restore it. Well, my employee went after hours. went to the Build A Bear, got a replacement bear that was identical, had it made, and then delivered it back. And I think when I think about that, right, it gives me goosebumps.

And I didn't do that. I didn't make it happen. The employee did. And I think the more we can kind of share those amazing restoration experiences, the more that, you know, Your staff and your team will feel that, right? They'll be like, wow, that's amazing. And, and you do, you get goosebumps when you hear these incredible restoring of people's lives and their items and, and being able to share those.

Leighton Healey:
What do you think about, um, I don't want to take away from the, The, uh, let's call it just the beauty and the humanity of it. But there's like this dopamine moment that, that has tangible value.

Um, I think that it's, it's, it's a fair question is, um, how you believe that? What have been some ways that you have helped leaders and managers that, that have influence in your organization that, um, maybe you've had to help them, To become an extension of, of this or, or to, or to get them more excited about what it is that you're talking about right now.

Like how, how do you enroll a leader in, in fostering more meaning in their team or more connection between the work that team does and the meaning? Like, how have you, how have you found, like, how have you enrolled leaders that maybe even reluctant leaders?

Holly Murry:
Yeah. So I think, right, first of all, you hire for the traits that you're looking for in a leader. Right. And so I think you don't maybe as experienced as many people who are that far from the desire to help people. In fact, I tell people all the time is if during the interview, you get the feeling that this person doesn't really enjoy helping others, we shouldn't hire them.

They're just, they're not going to be the right fit for us. And I think that's like the step one. I would say as a leader, right, I think it's important when you think about how we train and how we support the people that directly report to us. I think it goes back to how you communicate. So if every time I pick up the phone, I ask about Goosebump Moments, and say, "Hey, have you had any good Goosebump Moments?"

Then that's really asking them to look for those opportunities, right? But if every time I pick up the phone, I talk to the leader and say, Hey, I noticed our labor percentage is higher than it should be. Um, what's going on with that? I, that's the answer you're going to kind of get. And so when you think about like your training and your focus for me, you need to ask and prioritize.

Whatever the things that you feel like are most beneficial to you as a company. And if the biggest challenge is retention and staff, we know from the data that to win over those workers and to retain those employees, we need to give them meaning. So that should be one of your rocks. And if anybody follows, you know, Wickman with the entrepreneurial operating system, you know, one of the things he talks about, and this is an old, everyone has seen it, right?

You have a jar, you've got rocks, you've got pebbles, you've got sand, and you've got water. And if you put this Pebbles in the sand and first the rocks don't matter. So I do think it's so important that when you think about what you train on and what you prioritize, you've got to make the rocks, those meaningful efforts.

If that's the key to your location, success in retention and keeping and engaging your staff,

Leighton Healey:
Yeah, I can remember that visual and, um, you know, I think, uh, I, I tend, I've tended to associate with like, you know, priorities, um, in like tangible tactical calendar events, but not in the sense that, look, as a leader, you don't have a lot of, Let's call it face to face time or voice to voice time or, you know, or whatever, right?

Emoji to emoji time, right? But it's, you know, but so you have to choose like what are the rocks in this conversation? And, and what you're saying, uh, what I'm hearing you say is, um, you have to think about what are the things you check in on? What are the things you ask about? Where, where in a sense downstream of that response is health and vitality?

You know, in that team, is that, is that fair?

Holly Murry:
Oh, 100%. I think when I, and recognizing if somebody's health and vitality Is it where it normally is? I think it's really important. Uh, whatever. I'm out on the road today. I'm out in one of our offices in California. One of the employees came in this morning and you can tell by the demeanor, right, that they're already off to a bad start.

And so I think it's important to take a pause and pull an employee aside and be like, "Hey, is everything okay? Something seems to be bothering you." Like you need to really care and pay attention to your employees. If you want them. To care and pay attention to your clients. And I think that's so critical and, you know, just checking in.

And the first question shouldn't be like, "Hey, you're two minutes late." It should be, "Hey, I noticed that you don't seem yourself what's going on?" Right. And I think checking in on your staff and checking on your employees is so important to let them know that you care about them as a human. I've had lots of tragedy, strike, an employee, or even myself. And I think, you know, we don't really ever know. What happened to somebody on their way to work? And so when they get to work, what are they greeted with? What, what happens when they walk in the door? Is it that you're looking at your watch and questioning why maybe they're a minute or two late, or are you, You know, saying "good morning.

Hope you had a good night!" Right? How are things? If it's Monday, "how was your weekend?

You know, did you do anything fun?" Taking the time to get to know your staff, right? Do they have kids? Do they have dogs? What are the important things in their life? You know, I've had an amazing opportunity to work with a lot of our team for a very long time.

Uh, I saw one of our employees the other day that's been with the company. Uh, 27 years. She started a year after I did. And when I see her, the first question I ask her is, "how are you? How are your kids?" Right, "how's life?" Not, "Hey, did you get this job finished on time?" I think those are the important things that as a leader.

You need to do. And if as a leader, it's not your strong suit, because I think that's a reality too, then put it in your calendar. And I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes we need reminders, right? To do a better job. And so if you're watching this and you think, gosh, I really need to get better. One of these soft skills or winning over my workers through this, you know, I'm a big calendar fan.

I think most people that run organizations live in a calendar. So set yourself a reminder every Monday, walk around and recognize one person. from last week that did a phenomenal job

or, you know, share one Goosebump Moment every Friday, or, you know, company wide. Think about the different ways that you can share some of this amazing opportunity to really connect them with the fact that we're helping people and restoring their lives.

Leighton Healey:
I think it's, it's, it's very practical and, uh, you know, I think that, uh, I think a person would lose an opportunity if they said, well, you know, Holly's just very, you know, um, glass half full kind of person. And, uh, and I think you are, but at the same time, um, I remember we were having a conversation once and you, and you said, yeah, like I, yes, I'm positive.

And I I have a very full life. And so I literally have, I literally have a block in my day on Monday mornings and itsays, d this action, you know, that recognizes people because, uh, because you're human, right? You're human. And I, I think it also encourages something that I'm sure you've seen over your 28 years, which is, which is just the compound returns over doing this.

Over a long period of time. Is that fair?

Holly Murry:
100%. I the more that you can kind of get into a habit of doing something over and over again, it becomes right intertwined with your culture. And I think it encourages your team and your fellow leaders to do the same. Right. So, you know, I think it's that whole, um, gosh, there was a great movie and now I'm going to space on what it was called, but, uh, pay it forward.

Thank you. I knew it would dawn on me, right? Um, I think some of us have been to Starbucks and found out that the person in front of you bought their Starbucks order, right? Or you've seen that momentum of pay it forward. So I think of that more from a business perspective of if you are recognizing your team, um, for their successes.

And you're focusing on these Goosebump Moments and delivering meaning to our industry and lives. And you do it over and over again. Then I think, you know, it becomes a pattern. It gets in woven in your culture and everyone starts to do it right. We tend to attract that kind of Like, kind, and quality. So if everybody is honest to a fault, then that's ingrained in your culture.

If everybody appreciates each other and shows gratitude, that can get entwined in your culture. And I think for me, that's not always easy to do. And work gets in the way, I always say, to building a great culture. So for most of us, you know, Monday morning comes and there are about a million things that happen from Friday to Monday that need what may feel like your immediate attention.

But instead of doing that, take minutes or 10 minutes, because that is part of your rocks, what's important to you, focus on that first and then you can get into, you know, checking your 400 emails that came in over the weekend. Uh, but I think that, you know, how you prioritize that or how you set that aside.

is really important. And at least for me, and again, it's probably cause I'm over 50, but I think you're right. I'm an extremely positive person. I love helping others, but even I can get stuck in the minutia of day in and day out work. And I will forget. So it's not that I don't feel it. And I want to tell everyone how amazing they are.

Cause I do, I just, gosh, I got landed with emails or, you know, maybe there was an urgent matter that needed my attention, you know, maybe AR called and, you know, somebody decided not to pay us for work that we did, whatever it is that then kind of becomes the focus. It's good to remind yourself because it actually gives you joy, right?

Because. When you show gratitude to others, you feel more joy than that.

Leighton Healey:
100%. Let me ask you something that as you were talking, I came to my mind, I was like, well, If you are in, if you're doing a lot of the things that Holly's describing, um, you know, you're going to start to experience longer tenures in your staff, longer retention. And then what came to mind, uh, a friend of mine sent me a copy of his, his, his book and there's this portion of it that's took out, stood out to me.

And he said, one of the toughest things, uh, is, is helping, High performers become facilitators of high performers because oftentimes a lot of our identity becomes connected to being the person that got all the high fives or the high, the high flyer, the employee of the month or, you know, whatever. And then to go from, you know, the employee of the month to a person who has the most employees of the month on their team.

That's actually a pretty substantial change. And so I'm just, as you're just, as you're talking about, um, this, this goosebump effects, which I just, I just think it's, it's such a great example of, um, frankly, it's a great example of our first principle, which is build a weird culture, and it's definitely unique to your team.

And I think that's, I could just see people at FRSTeam being like, eh, it's just how we do things around here. Right. You know, I just, I think it's such a textbook example of, of culture building. So kudos, but I guess I'm just thinking, how you help an emerging leader in your company, um, become someone who's willing to live vicariously through the goosebumps generated by their team members and not need that themselves.

You know what I'm saying?

Holly Murry:
Yeah. And I would say that's hard, right? Because I, we promote from within often. I think a lot of restoration companies really, you find somebody who's great at doing, and now you want them great at leading, right? And those are, can be different skill sets. Cause if I'm really great about servicing a customer and getting these amazing Goosebump Moments, and now I need to lead

someone else to go do that. Um, I think it's a little bit of a, a change in how they view the Goosebump, right? And I think the difference is, is. It's still getting the goosebump, but the goosebump is the employee. And right, instead of it being the homeowner whose belongings we restored, it's the person, right?

So I, I try and emphasize there is no greater joy as you move up within a leadership position in seeing the employees that work under you reach levels of success that they didn't think possible. And I used to say, whether it's, they bought their first house because they're in a different position and maybe they've worked themselves up into a management position.

You're just getting to see them succeed. And then I think the second piece of that is supporting them with the skills that they need. Whether it's through online training, whether it's through a seminar training, getting them involved and giving them the tools that they're going to need with truth and honest feedback, you can really develop The next great leaders, but you can only do that with guidance.

And most of us had help somewhere along the way from someone that we mentored and who helped us achieve. And so I think it's. Always important for them to look, okay, you're phenomenal at this, but now I want you to help train and teach that next generation to be phenomenal at this because you're so good at it, right?

You can help them. And then I think it's the same sharing technique, right? When they get one, they share it up, they share it down, they share it outward. Um, you know, I don't get every goosebump moment. But I definitely feel the goosebumps when someone else gets it.

And I think as a manager, there's a lot that can be said about seeing someone that you trained, that you helped develop their skillset, reach those levels of success and get those goals.

You know, Goosebump Moments all over again.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah. You know, it's, Yeah. I think that's, I think that, uh, is, is a really, um, as a very helpful way of thinking about it is, is, uh, you know, based on what you're saying, going back to this, this statement, you know, it's like, you know, how do you help a high performer to become a facilitator of high performers?

It's really, but yeah, what you're saying is how do you, how do you, how do you take someone who has just become totally bought in to creating And experiencing goosebumps moments to shifting that desire to, uh, to experiencing those moments, um, you know, just through the experiences of their teams. And uh, So it's, it's not that you're, it's not that you're like, don't get to have it.

It's, it's in a sense, it's like the, it's like the source and the catalyst of the moment shifts. And, uh, and, uh, let me ask you this, cause you've worked in, you've worked in every role in that company. Um, do you think that, do you think, which, which do you think, Like, I'm coming up with a term here, you know, goosebumps moment.

There's, there's the goose, there's, there's the goosebumps quota, or the goosebumps, let's call it the density, the density of the goosebump moment. Right? Or the, or, you know. But do you, in your experience, um, which offers more goosebumps, the, you know, just to run with it, right? Is it, is it the customer or is it

the collection of staff who your staff collectively got to share in an experience and you're, and you're, you're experiencing the, the, the, the meaning and the fulfillment of, of seeing the fact that you facilitated employment experience that creates these moments for people. You know, what do you think?

Holly Murry:
Yeah. So for me, right, I think when we get to share joy and gratitude, the more you get to share that with the better. And so a goosebump moment is typically between right. The homeowner, right. Who's experiencing this, um, moment of getting something restored and back that they maybe thought they weren't going to get.

And the sense of joy that they get from having this very meaningful item returned. The employee that gets to deliver that, right, gets to share that experience, but it's one on one. When you then get to share that experience, right, it's like saying you plan a, I'm a big sports person, right? So you plan a team

and when the team wins the Super Bowl, does the Only the quarterback get to share in that joy or does the whole team get to share in that success?

Leighton Healey:

Holly Murry:
I think when I think of leaders, right, you may not have been the person that threw the winning touchdown, but you likely are the person that may be blocked or, you know, terrible. Now I'm going to try and start using football metaphors and that's not going to work out well, but, you know, were you the guy that

Leighton Healey:
But I, yeah, but, I even see the water boy celebrating, you

Holly Murry:
Yes, right? Yes, because you're part of the team. And I think for me, I think the collective celebration of our successes, you're just, you're impacting more people. And to me, the joy multiplies with every person that you get to celebrate that joy with. So if I only get to celebrate with just the homeowner,

Leighton Healey: Mm

Holly Murry: It's limited.

It's a limited joy, but when we get to share it across the whole organization or as a leader, you get to share that with everyone. There's just a greater level of joy.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah, I just, yeah, I can just picture a conversation with, um, with a high performing worker, you know, and, and just taking them aside and say, Hey, that story you told was awesome. And I just want to encourage you that, that next time you tell a story, just picture this every time you said, I, yeah, yeah. What would it be like if you said we, right? And they said, I never thought about that before. It's like, because I appreciate that you really take ownership of your work and you care about your customers, but maybe even unconsciously, you've grown accustomed to saying, I like another thing that I did that really resonated with the customer.

Another thing I did. Oh, and then I said this. It's like, what would it look like if we just told that story next time you said another thing that Did for this customer And, um, you know, and say te test, drive it and see what happens. And, uh, you know, I, I bel I I agree with you. I think that, I think that they'll come back and they'll say, yeah, the fireworks were bigger.

Holly Murry:
I mean, think of it. I even see like if I have a sales. And marketing person, right? Who finally gets an opportunity with one of our contractor clients that maybe they've been working on building that relationship for a long time, right? They go by there multiple times, right? This is someone that they've heavily stalked for a long period of time to win an opportunity to service their homeowners and they finally get that opportunity.

And we. Knock it out of the park. I encourage my sales team. "Hey, why don't you bring in breakfast or something to lunch on Tuesday and share with the team, 'Hey, we finally landed the ABC account. And it's because of everything that you guys did on this first opportunity.'" That is really giving us an opportunity again, and just saying thank you to your fellow team members.

And it makes me think about when my sales team does that, not only does. The internal team feel appreciated for their involvement in our success, but I actually think the salesperson gets as much joy out of that because you feel that when you communicate with someone, when you're, you know, it's like the, has anyone ever given you a random compliment?

Whether it's, "gosh, I really like your sweater" or "your hair looks great today." Or,

Leighton Healey: Mm-Hmm

Holly Murry:
You know, "Hey, I noticed, I saw you interacting with your child and you're doing a great job at parenting," right? I think sometimes when those things happen and they don't happen all the time, or very often, as the recipient of the thank you.

Or the notice of you doing something great. There is something that happens with dopamine and the whole bit that makes you feel like, wow, I, that's awesome. Right? Because we work really hard day in and day out. We don't get everything recognized as we do it. So if you can take a few minutes and really recognize someone else on your team for doing something right, instead of trying to find them doing something wrong, You'll change the culture.

You'll give people that same interaction. Like when we were talking about Winning With Workers, right? I think the other big statistic we get is that they like working with others. Well, we like working with others when the others are fun to work with, right? Or appreciative, or you recognize it's the same thought process.

You've got to be able to create that same culture by doing it on a regular basis.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah, very well said, I've experienced both sides of that, and there's a lot of intentionality in, in obviously what you're doing to create an environment that, that facilitates that and, and promotes that. Let me, um, let me put something in front of you that, uh, that we've found in the, in the conversations we've had and the companies we've spent time researching seems to be, um, a very effective tactic.

And I wonder how you think about It And it's something we refer to as reframing, reframing, it's not a unique concept, but, um, but it's built around this, this idea that, you know, the same work task can be described in, in two ways, you know, in a negative way. And that really offers very little opportunity for, for connecting meaning and fulfillment, but then as well, a way that, that is rich with meaning and fulfillment.

And sometimes an example that I would give is. "Okay. Holly, I know it's eight o'clock and I know it's Friday. I don't want to hear it. Okay. But we're going up to 35th. Yes. 35th is on that side of town. And, uh, and we got to get under this person's house and it's a mess. Yeah, it's a mess. Okay. It's going to stink.

Okay. And we're going to get all this stuff. And, uh, and I don't want to hear any complaints about it. And then, uh, and then we'll get back to our Saturday. Okay. So any complaints? I don't want to hear it. Zip it. It's Friday night for me too." Or, you know, or the same jobs is, "Hey, look, I know it's eight o'clock at night, but it's also eight o'clock at night for Mr.

And Mrs. Malcolm. I want to tell you about this couple. They've lived in this house for nearly 40 years. And this couple has been married for 30 of those 40 years. And here's what happened. Their sewage backed up and they were redoing the floors and they made the mistake of moving all their belongings into the crawl space.

And it's not looking good, but here's what we're going to do. We're going to get over there and we're going to make sure that all their belongings very carefully get taken out, get placed in the vehicle. And we're going to show them that even though it stings, that you can still help someone with a smile.

How's everybody feeling?" Same situation, you know what I'm saying? What do you, you know, what do you think about, you know, reframing and does that fit into your model?

Holly Murry:
It does. It definitely fits. I think it fits into all of our model, right? Because it's, it's really about changing how we view it. And I, you know, our leadership team just recently did an emotional intelligence training that was like 16 weeks long. And you had to check in with how you were feeling each day.

And it Emotional intelligence sometimes is about reframing how we view things and how we feel about things. And I think similar to our industry, right, how we view the opportunity to help someone versus how we view work and You know, I certainly didn't graduate. I certainly didn't think I was going to take a career in claiming people's dirty clothing, right?

That wasn't a career path I chose, or at least it wasn't one I thought I was going to choose, but the framing that I received. "Hey, you're going to go into these nasty homes and there's soot and water damage and raw sewage, and you're going to truck through it, and it's going to be disgusting." You know, that, that wasn't the frame job, right?

The frame job was, "hey, we get to go out and help people who've had this devastation in their home. And we get to help make this better for them,

right? Whether it's through the restoration of their property, the restoration of their belongings, right? We get to be there for them at a time that they need us."

Leighton Healey: hmm.

Holly Murry: We get to be the superhero in the story, right?

Leighton Healey: hmm. Mm hmm.

Holly Murry:
And I think that means something to people, right? That, oh my gosh, I get to go help somebody. And I think the way that you said that Leighton was perfect because I think, yeah, it's Friday afternoon. I had plans with my whatever that night, right?

And my significant other and, or maybe I was taking my kids somewhere and now all of a sudden, because we work in emergency services. I'm not going to be able to do that, right? I also think sometimes we can really frame that too from a perspective to say, Hey, I know that we really have to bend over and help them today and tonight, but I'll make sure that maybe next Friday,

You know, especially again, focused on helping the homeowner is critical, but I also think it's important to focus on the employee, right?

And, you know, asking them, Hey, we really need to be there for Mrs. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but I certainly know that You know, you may have other plans and, and can you support them the same way that you're supporting? I'm a big proponent of internal and external customers are equally important to your success.

And it's, I would follow up your framing with how did we frame the need to help, right? Did we check in with them first and say, Hey, this is happening, you know, and making sure, right? Because again, I need them to really care about Mr. And Mrs. Smith. So in order for that to happen, they have to feel like I really care about them too.

Leighton Healey:
Otherwise it's just, it just seems, um, hypocritical, right? Otherwise it says, it seems like a show. And, uh, I think it's so important because, um, you know, especially in your industry, Holly, one of the things I've learned is you can only be a phony for so long. In an industry where, you know, you don't sleep as much as you should or too many hours, you know what I'm saying?

Like you're eventually, eventually the mascara comes off, you know, and the, you know, forget to, you know, button the top button or whatever. You know what I mean? And eventually it's like, if you don't really believe this, it's going to come out, you know? And, um, and so I think that that is, uh, that's really spot on.

Let me, okay. We're going to do two things here. One is, and we're going to, we're going to both do them kind of rocket round style here because there are many different, um, let's call it like, I don't know. Moments that are associated with kind of, let's call it career stages. Why don't we call it career stages?

And I'm interested in if you could give us a practical example of how you think leaders could find a way to infuse meaning and purpose and goosebumps, you know, in those, uh, in these moments. Um, so I want to start with the job posting. So how can leaders in businesses, you know, bring meaning and purpose and fulfillment and, and, and advertise that as you can get that here in a job posting in this industry.

Holly Murry:
Yeah. I mean, I think it's, It's really simple, right? You communicate that we're here to restore people's lives, that you get to help people at their most, you know, difficult situations that have been impacted by some type of catastrophic event or some type of water loss or fire loss. And you're really listing the skill sets that you're looking for versus "Hey, this is 24 seven and you're going to have to like walk around in raw sewage," right?

It, when you list a posting, you've got to be able to focus on helping others, the joy of being able to be there for people when they're most vulnerable, because then I think you're going to get people that want to come work for you with the right culture, right? Hire for character and culture. Don't hire for skills. You can train skills.

Leighton Healey:
Hey, um, that's the business I'm in. Yeah, totally. Right. It's it's, it's, yeah.

Holly Murry: It's why we use KnowHow,

Leighton Healey: Yeah.

Holly Murry:
It is to teach the skills, right? And I think when you think about hiring in our environment, you know, we use KnowHow to teach the skills of. You know, how to fold a piece of laundry or how to, um, pack an item up, right? For safety, you know, that's what the training is for, is to teach the skills.

You have to hire for character. You have to hire for, how do you show up for other people? Do you want to help other people day in and day out? Do you like the idea of restoring someone's life back after a catastrophic event? Because if those don't align. Even if they have all the skill sets, they're, they won't stay very long because they're missing the meaning of the work, right?

The why we do this. And if they're missing the why of what we do in the restoration industry, you know, they're, they're not going to stick around that long.

I mean, you know, even within our industry, everyone has some different processes and procedures that they typically are following, right? And I'm not talking about industry standards for, oh, like structure mitigation and things that I know nothing about.

But, you know, I think for most of us, there's processes and procedures, depending on your software system that you're utilizing. And those are the tasks that we do. It's not the why. So when you're looking to bring somebody to join your, look for a culture match, look for a character match, look for a value match, because those are the people that will last.

You know, for a really long time with your company because they have meeting day in and day out, you know, tasks change too. Like, you know, when I started in the industry, we carried around Thomas guide map books and we called the office from a pay phone. You know, so obviously those tasks don't happen anymore.

So, I think that's important, right? They hire for the character. You got to connect on your value, your character and your culture as a brand.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah. I can see like a FRSTeam, you know, post that says like, take care of the customer. Never gets old, right? Okay. You know, I want to, I want to get to the interview. So, so you're interviewing a candidate, they're sitting there, they're sweating a little bit.

How, how do you, how do you help a candidate in an interview understand this is a place where you can find, you can find fulfillment and meaning? I guess that matters a lot to Gen Z's based on what we've seen.

Holly Murry:
Yeah, I think it's same. You're going to share a Goosebump moment, right?

You're going to share some of the amazing experiences that they can have while working within your company, whether it's an amazing experience with a coworker or whether it's an amazing experience out of the loss site and you have to communicate those.

And I think you also then are going to ask questions around. What makes them tick? You know, what gives them joy, right? And I don't mean what tasks do you enjoy, but like, where do you find joy? And I think if you take time asking maybe non, you know, the basic like work days are here to here and, you know, can you show up every day?

And, you know, I think sometimes we ask, not relevant questions during an interview, instead of saying, you know, what do you do for fun? Right? What keeps you entertained? What gives you joy in your life? Right. What are some of the things that, you know,

I think that's what you're going to pick up on, right?

What do you do outside of work? What's happening in your life? And I think as you get to know somebody through the course of an interview, you can feel off of them, whether or not you're really connecting, especially when you're telling your story, right? Your story about connecting with a homeowner and getting an opportunity.

You know, we went out on this insane loss where. Right. Sprinklers went off and it flooded 17 levels of an apartment complex. And one of the homeowners, right, that we got to connect with and take care of her belongings, she told us this amazing story about, it's like a German little baby outfit that like, her, like, it's a little, I don't even know what they call them,

Leighton Healey: Like lederhosen or some little baby

Holly Murry: Lederhosen, thank you.

This little tiny, like, leather lederhosen outfit, right? And, um, That it belonged to like her, like seven generations ago. And every firstborn child wore it as like their coming home outfit. And, you know, we got to take that and clean it and restore it. We actually put it in this really cool frame and delivered it back.

And she like broke down in tears. And I just, those are the types of moments that you'll get to experience here. Now, If they took from that nasty water damage pouring from the sky, right, then they're missing the water.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah, German people wearing spandex. You're like, you're missing it.

Holly Murry: but instead, if they hear you telling this amazing story about helping this, um, older woman really recover from this loss, it was... they may be a good cultural fit for you.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah, you know, it's so interesting. I mean, I kind of nerd out on, you know, demographer reports on like the changing motivations of, say, of a generation. And, um, you know, it's, it's interesting how, Few, so, so it's so common within, especially the young workers coming in that, um, they, they, their life is absent of what we would call like traditional sources of meaning.

You know, they don't, very low, historically low, um, participation in like faith communities or volunteer communities or, you know, oftentimes a lot of young people, sometimes they, you know, their last two years of high school or we're on zoom, you know what I mean? And so they really, in a sense, feel kind of like a shadow.

You know, kind of floating around, you know, and, um, you and I were talking earlier about Like there's there's like some soul, there's some, there's some roots in what you're describing. And I think, I think, Holly, that I think that if a person even just experienced another human describing like life that includes work like that, um, I think that's contagious.

You know, I mean, you tell me, like, I think,

Holly Murry:
100%, I mean we're attracted there's something where, you're like, you know, we're attracted to joy and happiness. We feel it. It's contagious. We want it, right? We want to participate in that. You can tell when somebody is really passionate about what they do and that you're, you're just, you're just.

You know, there's a natural attraction to it. And I think when you're thinking about attracting talent and winning over workers, you're really getting that opportunity to really bond with them on those. opportunities in our industry, and they feel that and get to see that and think, gosh, although every day may not be roses and butterflies and sunshine, there's something about connecting that is part of our natural DNA and our natural desire is to connect with others.

And this will give you that opportunity. If even for a week, right? Because, you know, it's not every homeowner that I've connected with, do I still have a relationship with, right? It's not that, but like my employees and my co workers, um, I have some employees that haven't worked for us for over 10 years that I still talk to and communicate with on a regular basis.

Leighton Healey:
It, it, it connects. And as you're describing that, I just, The word that comes to mind is, and I think it's one of the most underutilized tools in staff retention, which is the power of anticipation, right? You know, I mean, I, I experienced it in my own life. Like I experienced in my life, like I've got young kids.

I've got a smart, brilliant, hardworking wife who. Who's frayed, you know, at many times, you know, and, uh, we just got back from a sunny vacation and I'll tell you the anticipation of that vacation, I think actually like pound for pound, like offered more satisfaction than probably the vacation itself. And I can just imagine it, you know, an environment.

And a workplace that is infused with stories of meaning and purpose and fulfillment. Maybe your onboarding process is a little chaotic or maybe, you know, or maybe, maybe, maybe there's some bumps along the way, or maybe the first 30 or 60 days are just rougher than normal. You came in during, um, a particular bad, you know, loss, um, season.

Um, The anticipation of wanting to have a story like my interviewer told me, it's got to be a retention mechanism, right?

Holly Murry:
Yeah, definitely. And I was thinking about that too, like other things that offices can do or businesses can do. Um, one of the offices of one of our FRSTeam offices I just visited actually took like the surveys and the Goosebump Moments, created a wall. Right. They

Leighton Healey: Oh.

Holly Murry: bump wall, right?

Where they post them all up. And so think about it. If you have somebody coming in to interview and you get an opportunity to be like, this is what we call our goosebump wall. And these are all amazing stories about different employees getting these incredible moments with the homeowner and restoring their items.

I think it also like, Oh, I want to make it on the goosebump wall. Right?

Leighton Healey: Yeah.

Holly Murry: those are other like tips and tricks, right?

Leighton Healey:
It's super smart, right? I mean, with 50 locations, I'm sure there's like, I'm sure like we could fill a podcast with just you saying like, my team is smart. Listen to this, right?

Like, you know, and so just the way my mind works though, I'm like, golly, there's gotta be a wallpaper that would be perfect for that wall.

You know what I'm talking about?

Holly Murry:
There probably is, right? And I think about that, like, I also get an amazing opportunity to go into other contractors offices all the time, right? Because they're our clients at First Seam. And so if I'm walking into one of our mitigation or construction or packout companies that, you know, gives us work, I get to see that same alignment at times, right?

Where they have their success stories or their success surveys. sharing those opportunities. And then, you know, that you culturally align with one of your partners, which is even better.

Leighton Healey:
Well said. Okay. I can, you know, Hey, I, um, uh, you're an easy person to talk to Holly. You've you've you're, uh, I, I enjoy talking with you. So I've got a real, I got to reel it in here. Cause we've got the power round here. So, um, think about, you know, you know, we were on, we're on stage, wrapping up a panel, um, fireside chat with Holly and, uh, and so I've got four questions.

Um, so first question. What's one thing that you'd recommend leaders stop doing, uh, that, that can really keep staff from finding a sense of meaning and fulfillment in work? It's like, you stop doing this. You're just killing your, your staff's ability to create meaning and fulfillment in work.

Holly Murry:
Yeah. So I, you know, it's interesting that you ask that because I think there's lots of things that we could probably stop doing. Um, I would say being present, right. It's how critical, so stop being not present. And what I mean by that is stop focusing on just yourself and you know, whether it's, you're having a communication with an employee and they're trying to tell you about an experience.

And in your mind, you're like, well, I've got a flight to catch or emails to return. And maybe you check your phone. I think if you could stop and just take the pause with your staff and, and ask them, right,

how their day was and stop asking them, Hey, did we get that job done?

Right. Making it more about them, I think is something that we could really like, stop being distracted when you're trying to interact with your people.

Leighton Healey:
Yeah. You, I, uh, so I spent a lot of time on Zoom and virtual meetings and stuff like that, and. That's very good advice and, and I have, to live your advice out, I've, I've started in the last couple years, I've started a practice that I've started showing my hands in, in, in, in a conversation. So I'm like, okay, okay.

Right. I just found it's like, if you can, if you can see my hands, you know, that I'm like, I'm here, at least I'm more here than, than, you know, but, but, um,

Holly Murry: I'm not over here on my phone.

Leighton Healey:
I totally, I'm, I know, and I, I'm terrible at that sometimes. So yeah, it's good advice. Next question. So one thing, one, if there's one thing that you'd recommend, now I know we talked about being present, but you know, is there, is there one thing that you'd recommend leaders start doing?

Start doing to enable staff to develop a sense of meaning and fulfillment in their work.

Holly Murry:
Yeah. So I would say focusing on your Goosebump Moments, whatever those look like, right. And really making that your rock per se, that is the focus of your business. When you think of customer satisfaction and joy, whatever your kind of rock is, or goosebump moment, making that the focus of everything that when you're communicating.

I think that's the best way to kind of go about that is You know, when you start a meeting off, just have somebody share your goosebump story of the week, you know, find the meaning of what you're doing, the why, so to speak, and making everything that you do revolve around that, right? Does it, that's gotta be your first sense check as a business and making that the focus so that then your employees make that the focus.

Leighton Healey:
That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. You know, every time I do these kind of conversations, I'm like, I'm gonna start doing that. That's a pretty good piece of advice. And, uh, you know, Yeah, yeah, you know what Holly, um, I live in a part of the world where they produce a lot of oil and safety, safety is like super, super important.

I mean, it's important everywhere, but like, it's like super important and, uh, something that's very popular in my neck of the woods is called, uh, in a meeting, you have a safety moment, safety moment, and we're gonna have a safety moment. It's important. Um, and, um, but my brain, I'm like, like Holly is talking about like having meaning moments, like meaning moments.

To start meetings, you know? And, uh, so our meeting's gonna kick off with a little meaning moment or with our goosebumps moment and, uh, 'cause, you know, um, um, so I just, anyways, I think that's really, uh, yeah, I, I've learned over the years that, you know. Uh, there was kind of a mentor of mine and he would say, of the many smart things he would say, he would say, simplicity is complexity resolved.

And he would say, just because something is simple, doesn't mean it's silly. Sometimes something that's simple is, there is just an enormous amount of complexity that's been compressed into one concept. And I think what you're describing in terms of starting a meeting to set the tone by having someone share a goosebumps moment, I mean, it sets the whole tone for the meeting.

I mean, how, how do you be, How do you be a rotten egg after someone tells a story? That's so har heart. There's so much heart in that story. It's like, well, I was thinking about being a stinker, but you know what? That's pretty good.

Holly Murry: not now.

Leighton Healey: That's, that's, that's pretty good. That's a pretty good story. I got something in my eye.

Right. So. Okay, next question. Um, if you could encourage leaders in the industry to make a long term investment, you know, a long term investment in something that's going to pay dividends for years to come, to be able to create an environment that connects work to meaning, what would that investment be?

Holly Murry:
Yeah, I mean, I think obviously from a long term investment standpoint, I think it's important to really think about your culture as a brand and then ensure that you're training to that. So what are your training techniques? Do you train them on focusing on the meaning or are you training to focus on the task?

And can you intertwine meaning into the task? Right? So if part of one of the things I have to do is update the claim file, right? Push a button, stop a clock, whatever it is, because we all kind of live in an SLA type worlds. Where is the button for the meaning? And I think it's important to just think how you can implement that and then make sure that you can repeat that over and over and over again.

Cause it's easy as you grow to get too far removed from that, that you forget that the person that was hired last week is missing that kind of guidance and training. And so make sure whatever, You know, whether it's the KnowHow training platform, that there's meaning in the items that you're discussing.

It's not push this button, cross this T dot that I, but explaining in the midst of that, why, right? Why do we do that? What's the meaning that we're going to get from that?

Leighton Healey:
Yeah. That's a really, um, that's really important. Yeah. I think that's really important, you know, and, uh, So let me, let me, um, bring us to a close here, Holly, with one last question. Um, you're on stage leaders in the industry, um, and, uh. Audience is super bought into what you're saying, because this is very important.

I think it's very timely. Um, My research we've done has said like, yeah, this is like golden advice. Um, but if you could teach leaders one thing about attracting and retaining talent in this industry, what, what would it be?

Holly Murry:
So I'm going to steal this idea. I'm a great stealer of ideas. Um, we had amazing, we have a franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah. And Ryan Fish, uh, presented at our conference a year ago, and he presented a concept that's not new. It's, I think there's even a book about it. So it's not, he stole it from somebody, I guess I would say, and it's called Choose Hard, right?

And I think what I think when I think of leaders is that we get to choose hard. Right. You get to choose your heart every day, whether you want to choose the hard to eat healthy and work out, or you want to choose the hard that's being overweight. Right. Choose hard to have a great marriage and have great communication and dedicate time and focus on a marriage or choose hard by maybe going through a divorce.

And I think in work, we get to do the exact same thing. It's not easy. To show meaning day in and day out. It's not meaning, it's not easy to like focus on your employees and truly care and invest in them, invest in their training, invest in their education. It's hard, but the alternative of dealing with.

Lack of retention and a lot of turnover is also hard. So I guess my one advice for fellow leaders would be pick what hard you want to do, because it's all hard. You just get to choose which hard you want. So if you want to create this amazing culture and you want a company that has long-time, happy, satisfied employees, you're going to have to choose that hard.

And it's not going to be easy, but it's doable. And so I just think about that as a leader every day. None of it's easy. So just choose your hard on what type of environment you want to create for your employees. And do you want to help restore their lives, the lives of your customers, and figure out how to choose that level of hard.

And that's it.

Leighton Healey:
Holly, you can't see them, but I have goosebumps.

Holly Murry:
Ah, I love that. I have to tell you that when Ryan, uh, spoke, not only did I get goosebumps, but I'm pretty sure I bawled at least three or four times during his, uh, presentation. So I get

Leighton Healey:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's great. You know, that's a beautiful way to close, uh, Holly. Um, thanks for being generous. You know, I have, I've had the pleasure of being able to, um, spend time with you, you know, in person. And, and be able to profess that, you know, you're, you're, you're, this is genuinely who you are.

I don't know if I can speak on behalf of your organization, but if they gave me, you know, this random momentary proxy, um, you know, thank you for, for, for being a leader who cares about creating an employment experience. And thanks for being a leader who, who chooses the hard of, um, Bring in your heart to work, because, uh, I, I know that you've, you've had a lot of impact over the last 28 years, Holly.

So, you know, so kudos to you.

Holly Murry:
Well, thank you, Leighton. And, and thank you. I, I have to say that, you know, we've been connected with KnowHow for quite some time now from a training perspective, and I probably speak for everyone in the restoration industry when I say. These surveys that you do and the data that you gather for our industry really does make us better because I think most of us as business owners don't always know, right?

It's a little bit of a trial and error over the years of what's working and what's not working. And I love the fact that, at least like with Winning With Workers, you went out into the marketplace and really helped us realize like these are the things that if we want to hire and retain great talent that we need to be focused on as a business.

And I think it's just a great reminder of that. So keep doing what you're doing. I know that we all really appreciate it, so thank you so much.

Leighton Healey:
Hey, it's our, our pleasure.

Well, there you have it, folks. What a great conversation with my friend, Holly, someone who's really learned how to connect work with meaning, not only in her own life, but she's learned how to show those that she leads, those in her charge. How to make that connection for themselves to fuel more passion and frankly, more meaning in the work that they do on a day to day basis.

So timely, so important and so necessary to win with the workforce today. This is the Restoration Playbook Podcast, where we get into the weeds with the top operators. So tune in as we continue. to dig into our book, Winning with Workers, to understand how workers are responding to companies that have these principles at work that can be repeated, that can be actually emulated in your business.

This makes me think of an episode that we recorded recently with Beth from Seaside Restoration, another company that's doing such a great job connecting work with meaning in their workforce. Check it out. It's a killer episode, super practical, and I highly recommend it. Now, one of the things that Holly touched on is how important industry research is, and we believe that in KnowHow.

So I can't let the cat out of the bag, but I will tell you that we have a big announcement coming up at the Restoration Industry Convention. The RIA 2024 event coming up soon. So you're going to want to pay attention because we are going to be rolling out a new opportunity, a new collaboration to illuminate more data, more research in this industry.

And we're excited to share that with you. So stay tuned and check out the Restoration Playbook Podcast as we continue to deep dive in how leaders in this industry are generating winning output with today's workforce.

Paul Silliman:
KnowHow is an intuitive, mobile first application designed to rapidly onboard new hires, upskill staff, and provide on demand, expert guidance for whatever task is next. Home to your company's proven methods, KnowHow ensures everyone has the skills they need. to get the job done right. With time saving features that make it a breeze for management to build, maintain, and translate standard operating procedures.

It's time to ditch your outdated operation binders and dated, difficult to search systems. With KnowHow in their pocket, your staff have the how to they need wherever the day takes them. Our new process creator makes drafting new SOPs faster than ever, helping you customize, edit, and share your time tested methods and processes with ease.

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