Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Posted by Tonia Morris on Jun 29, 2021 12:30:00 PM

Tonia Morris, Generational Connector and Founder of Tonia Morris Speaks, talks about diversity, inclusion and belonging, reimagining the workforce, and attracting new talent.

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Podcast - Tonia Morris - Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce


Episode with guests: Tonia Morris

Founder of Tonia Morris Speaks

(This episode was recorded in June of 2021.)


Key Episode Take-Aways:

1. If all employees are financially astute, nothing has to be hidden when company finances are being discussed. (click to jump to this topic below)  And I just love the fact that, you know, the way he formulates, that transparency, and then also, making sure people are financially astute to what's going on that right there was a game changer, because if I can teach you about finances, when we have to make decisions, we don't have to hide it, we understand it

2. Transparency is key to having everyone buy in and feel that they can truly help the company succeed. (click to jump to this topic below)  I told them transparency, they traditionally probably wouldn't have said, you know, but I said those things and what she told me, she said, I believe in you. And I really want to be a part of your process. She said, yes, you weren't, you know, you're a smaller company. She said, but I just felt your energy, and I felt your authenticity and your transparency.

3. If you do not have inclusive leaders, or an inclusive culture, it is hard for people to truly be themselves at work. (click to jump to this topic below)  You really hear this terminology which really gets under my skin, bring your whole self-bring your whole self to work? Well, if you're not, if you don't have inclusive leaders, if you don't have a culture that is inclusive, it's hard to do that, you know. And so that's why I do a lot of diversity work with organizations, not just to check the box, but to create a culture


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Announcer 0:03

The "Change the Game" Podcast is sponsored by Prairie Capital Advisors, helping businesses think forward. For more information, visit prairiecap.com/ggob. That's prairiecap.com/ggob.

Announcer 0:23

Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast, where we share stories of open-book management and highlight capitalism at its best. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of “Change the Game” Podcast with special guests Tonia Morris. In this episode, Tonia Morris talks about diversity, inclusion and belonging, reimagining the workforce, and attracting new talent. Here's your hosts Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker.

Steve Baker  0:51

Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast where we are changing the game by doing business differently and highlighting stories of capitalism at its best.I'm Steve Baker. And here with me co-hosting is Rich Armstrong, president of the Great Game of Business and co-author of our new book Getting in the Game: How to Create Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change. How are you doing Rich?

Rich Armstrong 1:09

I'm good Steve, how are you?

Steve Baker 1:12

Fine, I'm probably just a little flustered. Because I'm truly excited. I'm blown away by the fact that we have a really special guest with us today. Some of our audience have met Tonia at our annual conference. Tonia Morris is the founder and CEO of simply HR Incorporated and creates relevant and thought-provoking conversations regarding the new challenges in today's workplace, things like communication, divide work ethics, employee retention, rewards, and maintaining a positive work environment. These are all really hot topics. She comes from a human resources background but has also researched and collaborated with industry leaders and led focus groups to better understand the needs behaviors, expectations and career desires across multiple industries and organizations. Tonia is also consistently one of our highest rated speakers at the annual conference. And Tonia Morris, welcome to the podcast.

Tonia Morris 2:10

Oh, thank you so much. It's good to be back among two experts. I'm excited.

Steve Baker 2:17

You just keep talking because I like the way you talk. So, you know, we when we think about the subject matter at hand, diversity and inclusion comes up a lot. I just want to point out that, you know, a lot of our listeners are entrepreneurs. And before we get into a lot of this, I'm curious, you know, you're an entrepreneur yourself. You spent a long time in the corporate world. But you took the leap. Why did you take the leap? And what made you take that leap to start your own company?

Tonia Morris 2:49

You know what, I am glad you asked that question, because I think it's so important, but I really, I had a good job. I had a good government job; I had no reason to leave. I had, what nine weeks of paid vacation, had a pension, I had everything big office good pay, I had no reason to leave, right. But I felt that the workforce was changing. Because I'm a life learner. And I wanted to make impact. And I just thought that I see what's going on, especially with the millennials who started coming into the workplace. And I would go to board meetings and executive leadership meetings and I'm going up to executive leadership teams, and I will talk about this different generation has come in and work with and no one knew exactly what I was talking about, and I mean, what is she talking about. And I started studying this workforce, and then I became a professional speaker. And my goal was to change the way organizations embrace generation inclusion. So, I'm the GNI girl, I'm the generation inclusion girl. And so, I went on a quest, and I left my good government job, they would tell you what all the perks I had, and everybody thought I was crazy. But I knew that I want to make an impact. So that I want to answer your question, impact and change the way the workforce is. And we are witnessing it right now. And I'm so glad that I was a part of that process.

Steve Baker 4:14

You're right in the heart of it.

Tonia Morris 4:15


Rich Armstrong 4:17

Yeah, you're definitely right, Tonia, is that the workforce is changing rapidly. And I think the entrepreneurs and business owners are filling that, you know, in incredible stress right now in a lot of things. And one of the biggest challenges and we're seeing it right here with our own parent company SRC Holdings is that there is this war for talent, as they say, right. And even at SRC, we have 100 job openings right now that we have posted. So, from somebody that is coming here to make that impact and provides HR services and really understands those challenges. Well, I just wanted you to share with our listeners, what are some of the things that they can do to attract and retain good people in winning in that war.

Tonia Morris 5:01

You know, I'm so glad we have been having conversation and I said something in 2018. And no one took me seriously. And I said that the traditional workforce will have a war against the gig economy. And it is planned out before us very nicely. And when I mean about the gig economy, the freelancers, the ones that want to be solopreneurs. Now, they don't want traditional anymore. So, what I say to entrepreneur that, and I have experience, I can't find people as well, too. So, I'm suffering from that as well. But we said something last year at the Great Game of Business conference I spoke is reimagined, it's time to reimagine the workforce. And it's not for corporate, it's for all of us. And what I mean by that we really have to tap in on this notion of what's in it for me for the from the employee perspective, right? And so even entrepreneurs we can no longer people are leaving traditional benefits, traditional management, traditional everything, right? So, the blueprint, right now we have an opportunity, entrepreneurs out there have an opportunity to really create a blueprint, because the blueprint that we have has been disrupted in 2020. So, what do I mean by that? So, looking at how to attract talent, because really, it's not a war on talent, it's a war on bringing and attracting talent to you. Right, there's a difference, right? And so, the question, I did a survey, well, why don't people want to work for traditional organizations, or just work in general, last year, 4 million people resigned last year, so I call it a resignation error. So why 4 million in one month to say, you know what, I'm going to do my own thing, right. So, I think we got some competition here. And I think one of the biggest employers is a government. I'm not trying to be political, but it's the government with all of this, you know, stimulus helping on that doesn't help us. But aside from that, I think that we have four to five generations in the workplace with different purpose, different motivational factors. And if we have not been flexible, we lose. Okay, that's the that's the game we lose. So, the question is, what can I do to attract all of it? You're right, and there's no one size fit all? So, you know, we talk about why give great benefits. But what kind of benefits are you giving? You know, what kind of perks you're giving? So, we got to look at it beyond just a medical, dental and vision. What about eldercare, we all had to deal with that last year? You know, what about, you know, the mental care now we've been exposed and know that our employees are dealing with that. And some of us are dealing with that as well. We can't, we cannot lead like we used to, we've got to have empathy, empathy. When we're leading. That's a core competency. Now, it's not you do, as I say, or what have you, you know, you have to lead with empathy. You have to be inclusive. We don't a lot of stuff that's coming into workplace, right, we like I said, we got the oldest to the youngest, we got the traditional still here, and we got the Gen Z that they need us, right? And so, do we spend time developing this workplace? I always say that professional development is important. But guess what? Life Skills Training is the game changer. I mean, it really is. And you may say, I got I don't have time to raise people? Well, I know, you will say I don't have time to raise people, but the life skills because life gets in the way. And so, we got all these different things that are playing our employees, and we have to be creative. So, with alignment, it has to be in alignment with our goals and vision and mission. That's why I love Great Games of Business. I met Jack stack on the golf course. And I'm like, I just think that he got it right. And so, I think we have to do something different. And I think it's going to be based on really where you're going and how you can allow people to go along with you. Traditional is not working anymore. That answer I hope that answer your question.

Rich Armstrong 9:16

I think it does. And I want to jump ahead just a little bit. Because you're bringing up that the idea of, I heard what I heard was flexibility, being able to address a lot of generations in the workforce. But I'm curious when you talk about Jack having it right. What are some of the elements about open book management or some of the principles and practices around open book management or Great Game of Business that you think, kind of lend to us better addressing that those that generation? What are some of the things that come to mind?

Tonia Morris 9:50

The first thing is transparency.

Rich Armstrong 9:52


Tonia Morris 9:53

I mean, I think that he has his passions about people, making them better. comes through. Like I said, I've met him at a conference when I was speaking. And we just kind of talked a lot.

1. If all employees are financially astute, nothing has to be hidden when company finances are being discussed.

And I just love the fact that, you know, the way he formulates, that transparency, and then also, making sure people are financially astute to what's going on that right there was a game changer, because if I can teach you about finances, when we have to make decisions, we don't have to hide it, we understand it. And so, I really believe that Jack has done a great job with making sure employees are along the journey. ups and downs, they're waving with you. And I love that because often time, you know, I work with a lot of clients, and they don't work in the favor, and they shield it from employees because they think employees are going to leave. But what they are learning now if you don't be transparent, they're still leave. So, I just think that it's a mind shift. And I think Jack got it right with the mind shifting and being unapologetic about it, which is important to me. That's what I like,
Rich Armstrong 11:04

Hmm, that's great.

Steve Baker 11:06
That's so good. So, I really love how you call yourself the generation and inclusion girl, because it's so big. I mean, it's like these are all the things we're talking about. And the hot button topics of diversity and inclusion are part of that. I just want to ask a few questions so that our listeners can understand a little bit more about the definitions of these things. So, diversity itself goes way beyond just checking the boxes on race, ethnicity, gender, etc. Talk a little bit about that, if you would, and then I have a follow up for you as well.

Tonia Morris 11:42

Well, I think we are in a global space right now we're going to be diverse. It's just it's just like brushing your teeth is expected. That's what it is. And it's nothing wrong with I think we put so much emphasis on diversity. And so, for me when I think about diversity, equity, and inclusion, if I didn't know, you know, you guys, you probably say that word sounds very compliant, right? And people don't want to talk about if it's like, oh, what is this? It's almost like you making me do something that I really don't know if I really want to do it. Right. So, I come from my angle of generational inclusion, GNI, because I think it's for different groups with different lenses come to work together. And some is difficult to embrace, and some is not. But I think it's an easier conversation when I say you know what, when you go to work every day, you're working with people from different background, it's still diversity. So, I have framed in such a way that it's like, yeah, that's relevant. Yeah, that's not so harsh now because now I'm not trying to throw nothing at you. I'm just showing you that it's already exist and we're in our world and we just have to embrace it. I try to keep it very simplistic.

Steve Baker 12:54

Well, I liked it because it's a much friendlier conversation.

Tonia Morris 12:58

It is!

Steve Baker 12:58

What you said about you know, can we lead with empathy? So, my follow up is this so a lot of people listening are they share broad-based employee ownership, and you know, Jack and SRC is all about, you know, 100% ESOP, we believe in it we the changes lives, we see it every day. Now. Equity out there in the world means something different it Can you define what equity means versus equity ownership in a business.

Tonia Morris 13:25

Okay. So, when you think about equity, you're going to hear disparity and compensation among race. When did I mean when gender if you will, access? Okay, that's what equity means, right? I had the opportunity in my early years in my career in college to participate in the ESOP program, that was the best thing I could have ever done. That's why I love ESOP. I was I worked for an organization in my freshman year all the way to my graduate. So, you can imagine I participate in the ESOP program. But what I quickly learn is that ESOP is equity at its finest, right, at its finest. And also, it's a deeper I think, for organizations that are offering ESOP program, the playing field is so much better because now I'm giving you access, there's nothing to say there's no it's a disparity, because again, when we win when the company wins then everybody wins, and that's what I love about it, everyone wins, and you get to participate. So now it breaks, it breaks those barriers, not having equity among your compensation. You see a lot of equity issues or challenges among compensation, if you will, you know, those kinds of things, but I think this is the ESOP programs are great programs, and I think is one of the programs that's been around for a long time. I definitely we encourage employees or employers I should say to consider often as a benefit because this new generation right now when they think about ownership because they There's a difference between a 401k retirement plan. Okay. It's about positioning terminology. So, when they think about retirement age thinking 60-70 years old, right, and they can't see that far, they only can see 30 days. Right. And so, when you talk about ESOP, you shift the conversation, let me just give you an example. I got two boys got a millennial and Gen Z, they are the future of our workplace. Millennials represent the largest population in the workplace. So, we got to look at benefits that's going to attract them that go back to that tracking. But terminology they don't like. Like, for example, saving account they think is for old people. And when you get old, that's when you use it. I use an example for my son Bryce braces, a Gen Z, I suppose I need you to save money. Oh, he was not hearing me, right? I said, Bryce he has his own business, you need to start saving money. That means Oh, he thinks I'm old. So, something said to me, let me just change the terminology right, terminology. I said, Bryce, how much are you worth? So, let's put away your worth. And that clicked with him. He wrote a check for a large amount and put it because he sees value in that right now. Because he feels like he's worth. I had to flip the script and change the mindset. So, for those out there that are contemplating or do have an ESOP program, it's a branding piece, it's about being a part of something. It's ownership. Right. So, I think we have to brand all of our benefits, we have to brand everything that we do, because we got a population or workforce that drives on branding.

Steve Baker 16:45

For sure, I love it speak a different language.

Tonia Morris 16:49

Speak that language.

Steve Baker 16:49

At SRC, we often shift the conversation to wealth generation, retirement because different generations respond differently. As you've just pointed out, I love your terminology. That's cool.

Rich Armstrong 17:01

I do love that approach of just is to give the owners and the businesspeople, different tactics to be able to create that conversation. And I'm curious about that back on our conversation of kind of attracting that new workforce. You mentioned transparency as being one of those, those principles and practices of Great Game that can help with that. But traditionally, for business owners, that has been an area that they're very uncomfortable about, right, financial transparency, education, is there any techniques there in changing the conversation to get owners to embrace that kind of thing? Or is it going to just be pure? Millennials are going to come in and say, I'm going to demand it or I'm walking out the door, that kind of thing? What's going to change that? I'm just curious about your thoughts on how to get the entrepreneur or the business owner to change their behavior and their thinking about that.

Tonia Morris 17:58

I think it's how we recruit, I think it's how we onboard for example, I hired someone, and I cast my vision I gave I was very transparent about what the goals I want from a monetary standpoint, because oftentimes, we don't talk about, you know, this is the goal to have the revenue, I want it to be a part of that. Right. So, I opened up my onboarding process with this new hire about yes, I talked about core values or whatever. But I said, I'm looking for people that want to be a part of every aspect and every leg of the way of my success. And I said, this is from the financial bucket, this is what I'm looking for. For each bucket.

2. Transparency is key to having everyone buy in and feel that they can truly help the company succeed.

I told them transparency, they traditionally probably wouldn't have said, you know, but I said those things and what she told me, she said, I believe in you. And I really want to be a part of your process. She said, yes, you weren't, you know, you're a smaller company. She said, but I just felt your energy, and I felt your authenticity and your transparency. And I will say months when we are low. Hey, we didn't do well this month. What do you suggest we need to do? Right? So not? I couldn't offer ESOP programs to them. But I can offer an ESOP environment.

Rich Armstrong 19:15


Tonia Morris 19:16

It's about the culture, you know, so you know, employee ownership of the culture. And so even from the finance thing, that things that we don't want to talk about as a business owner that we had a bad month, and it doesn't look well, but we still believe, right? Yeah, we're still transparent. And so, when you do that, because I believe the workforce today is looking for purpose. And we got to give them an opportunity to have purpose and you do that by having these authentic, inclusive, transparent conversation. You know, so it's a nice change because I believe that the employer and employee relationship has changed, right? We cannot continue to do the same thing. You know, I'm not telling people we're not doing well. Now, some of you may say, well, if I tell them that we didn't make payroll, we are struggling with payroll, will they leave? I still think it's how you brand and how you position it, you know, and you want to let them know, you know, oftentimes, we have to make difficult decisions. They don't know why. You know, and I think once they know why, then they can better understand because, you know, I had a client right now they're really struggling. They can't give, you know, raises the way they want to, because they didn't do a good job with their pricing, you know, when they have contracted and budgeted for it correctly. So, you can't go back to the client and say, I need more money or what have you. So that's the mistake they made, right. And so, I'm not saying that you go in and say, hey, we had some incompetent leaders is that, you know, we didn't forecast like we needed to, that's much better than saying, we don't have money to give raises, you know, so I think you can frame those conversation in such a way, layman terms where people feel that you're telling the truth. You're transparent, but we're this is what this is our plan of action. I just think you just have to have authentic, inclusive conversation about the business about everything.

Rich Armstrong 21:13

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Steve Baker 21:16

So, Tonia, I want to ask this, you know, I there are a lot of catchphrases out there, a lot of them. You know, it's like we have more in common than we do not in common and, and I don't want I'm not being flippant, I really want to do is maybe you talk with so many organizations, what are some ways that our listeners can make sure that everyone feels included?

Tonia Morris 21:39

Well, I think I talked early on about empathy. But I do feel that there's a piece that we miss, and I call it Dibs.

Steve Baker 21:49


Tonia Morris 21:49

Dibs, Dibs So we know diversity is we're going to be that we're going to have diversity of thought, gender, race, so on, then we know inclusion is a big piece, we want to be very inclusive, what that mean is that we want to kind of include everyone, but the game changer is belonging. That's what a B comes from belonging. So, for those who are out there listening, ask yourself, why would an employee feel like they belong in this organization? What have I done what have I offer to make someone feel everyday they can get up and belong here, you have no control of diversity it's going to be there? We do want you to be inclusive, but ultimately, the game changer is belonging. And I always say this when I do a lot of my speeches, can we all get alone, so we all can belong? And I really mean that because there are some people generation or employees there are isolated right now. You got older people that may feel isolated because we're moving too fast for technology. You've got a younger generation may say nobody's explaining nothing to me. They don't want to, and I don't feel belong. And so, every spectrum, there's an element of belongingness missing.

Steve Baker 23:03

Got it? Okay, don't leave me hanging now. I heard Dibs. Is there an s?

Tonia Morris 23:10

Yes, there's an S on it, Belonging(s).

Steve Baker 23:12

Yeah. Okay, okay. dibs. So, what I love about this is we were just talking about really, if I can paraphrase it an ownership culture, right, your company, you may not have employee ownership because of the size of your company. But I think ownership starts here, you know, in the heart in the head before it hits the wallet. So, this belonging, though, I just would like to state that when we think about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, as soon as you said, and I thought, Man, that's great, because it's way down, right above survival, right? It's just, you know, it's, it's basic, I can't really be my best creative self until I feel like I belong. And when you read about things in society, you know, people will belong anywhere. If they don't have a good home life, they might join a gang or they might go right, people, so why not? Why can't they belong here? I love that that's really speak to ownership,

Tonia Morris 24:05

3. If you do not have inclusive leaders, or an inclusive culture, it is hard for people to truly be themselves at work.

You really hear this terminology which really gets under my skin, bring your whole self-bring your whole self to work? Well, if you're not, if you don't have inclusive leaders, if you don't have a culture that is inclusive, it's hard to do that, you know. And so that's why I do a lot of diversity work with organizations, not just to check the box, but to create a culture. That's a business practice a business case for it. But ultimately, if you want to attract employees, if you want to retain employee, they you have to get outside the box and do things, different benefits. Things you would have never thought of. You have to survey your workforce to determine what it is they want, don't assume. And then you have a panel of people that make those decisions. If you can look at how you want your employees to come to work and feel like they belong. What does that look like because it's different for everyone and So I think when we start when we are seeing it now, because they used to be, you know, you know, COIVD had us thinking that, you know, everybody had to be in the office, we all quickly became a software company, meaning that we had to use zoom and WebEx and every we became a software company. So, it's not a matter if, is, you know, it's not when it's now. And so, we are forced to do things different than we would have never thought of. And so, my goal, and my heart is to bring back I shouldn't say bring back, reimagine the workplace for the future, where everyone feels like they belong, I don't think that we can push we have to push boomers out or what I think there's a place for every generation, as long as they can feel like they belong.

Steve Baker 25:46

Good god, I hope so, Tonia,

Tonia Morris 25:49

But you know what, we just got to have more conversation, we get we talk, we need to talk to one another, and not talk at each other. Understand what the trigger the triggers are, you know, because many of us, we got children and like I spoke two years ago at the Great Game of Business. And we talked about, you know, as baby boomers, sometimes with the younger generation come in, there are some triggers that take us back and we have children, and we go right into mommy and daddy mode quick. We just have to make sure we understand that there are some different perspectives in the workplace. Now.

Rich Armstrong 26:25

Tonia, I'm thinking about our listeners right now. And there's probably some listeners that are saying, okay, I get that I do have this challenge that I need to attract and retain my people. But how do I do that? Can you explain a little bit of how you? What is your process? What are some of the things people could do to learn how to go about changing that culture in changing the way they even think about? You know, that in the workplace, I'm just under trying to understand the how,

Tonia Morris 26:56

Okay, so and it's good that you ask that question, because what's unique about the services that we offer, we come from an HR background, so we know people, okay, DNI is just a process. So typically, I help organizations that do not know where to start. Like, I don't know what all this stuff is all about. So, we take them to their reality, we have a four-step process where we do an assessment of your reality is a DNI assessment or culture climate survey. And that's the first thing is assessing where you are, okay, taking that data. And then we work with the leadership team to strategize and get to strategize a word of the goals are going to be around, you know, the DNI goals around our business goals. Then we mobilize meaning that we start getting that leadership on board, you got to start talking in facilitating which leadership's doing focus group, make sure they have awareness. And then the fourth piece is implementation is where we do allow to facilitate a dialogue. I call them brave conversations. I don't like to assume that I can do a PowerPoint presentation, and everybody gets it. I want a group of people that come into the to the workshop, got their own opinion, we're going to agree to disagree, but we're going to listen, learn and unlearn some things. And that is the best way to be able to begin the process of changing to an inclusive culture is not a marathon, it's a process, people are going to bring what they know. And it's okay. But we have to share and understand we got to be heard. So that's how I do it.

Rich Armstrong 28:33

Thank you for that.

Steve Baker 28:35

Tonia, beyond running your own company, and speaking nationally, and all these kinds of things. You co-authored the book Compassion in the Workplace, and you wrote the book, Before You Say I Do to Entrepreneurship. Can you talk about your books and tell us where our listeners can find him?

Tonia Morris 28:54
Yes, yes, yes. Okay, so the first book, the Compassionate in the Workplace, which was co-authored with some different authors. And the reason why we collaborate on this book, because I knew the workplace was comprised of four to five generation. And so, my, my chapters, it's compassion on one generation at a time, and I just believe that we lost compassion, we have more, we have no patience for anybody. And pretty much we're fast moving and in a hurry. And so, I wanted us to get back to passion, because I think that we all need it at some level. So that's why I wrote that, co-authored that book. But the one that you know, I really love is Before I Say I Do to Entrepreneurship, apart from my HR consultant and management training program, I have a coaching program that a lot of employees are transitioning, and they don't know how to transition out right. And so, I just thought about, you know what I used a marriage analogy because it's almost like flirting and dating you know what, this this special guy or especially woman, and I take you through a process of dating. And but you know, before you got married the same thing with entrepreneurship, for example, when I tried it before I transition out, you know, I was interested in entrepreneurship, right? So, I start dating it, meaning that, you know, I would go to conferences, I was just really intrigued, right. And so, I found myself getting flirted with it a little bit. So, I talked about how you flirt with them a little bit, but you may like some aspects of it, but not all the aspects of fun, but all the aspects of it. But then when I finally realized I really like this here, that's just like, I see this guy I really like, like my husband came in, I really like Kevin, right? So, I think I'm going to be really serious about Kevin, right, I'm learning to do all the right things to keep Kevin attracted to me, and I'm attracted to Kevin, I did the same thing for entrepreneurship. And then I talked about when we get engage, is building people around you to make sure you can be successful. And then you just say I do you get the marriage license, which is a registration license for your business. So, I just take you through that whole process. And I mean, it was a thought and I said, oh, this sounds really good is not boring. So, I just take you through my journey. And then I talk about in the marriage in when you're doing when you're married for a couple, you know, years or whatever long it takes. Sometimes you need counseling, right. And I also say you need coaching in your business to go to the next level, right? So, I just took you through the whole analogy of how you can transition from working for someone to working for yourself but using it from entrepreneur route to a marriage route.

Steve Baker 31:41

Very good. You can get a prenup with entrepreneurship.

Tonia Morris 31:47

You know what? I do talk about that in there as well how that works, too. So, I mean, seriously, I took it all. I've been married for 27 years. And I use some of my analogies, you know, how my husband I met, and how the business aspect because I it took me five years to determine if I wanted to transition but I prepared. You know, I did the networking stuff, I built relationships, I got all the certification, I got all the things I need. I was getting ready for this big day, you know, that marriage day. So, when I transitioned? That was the day I said I do. So, you're going to find that on Amazon, or you can go to my website. It is simplyhrinc.com. But it's on Amazon, both of them.

Rich Armstrong 32:34

Oh, that's great. Great. Well, we usually wrap up our podcast by asking what is one question we should be asking you right now. What did we miss?

Tonia Morris 32:46

Well, I think you're very inclusive in your question. But I think what we should be talking about is what organizations should be doing to attract the new future workplace. And I think that we're trying to figure it out. Because you know, many of us, especially in the HR world, you know, we do a lot of HR outsourcing as well. They are dealing with the COVID to return back to work the policies around that right. And we get so caught up in all of that, and we're still trying to keep the doors open. And then this DNI piece that is, some people thought it would go away. But it's a new conversation. People are now being very open about a lot of stuff. And so now the conversations are here. And so, the question is, how do we have a workforce where we can bring some of this stuff in the workplace, you know, and talk about it, but not so much just talking about it? What are we doing from a small organization to a large organization, or a business is what are you doing to ensure employees feel like they're in the right place, because this new generation right now, they are all about diversity, equity, and inclusion? And this should be top of mind. It should be in your interviewing process. It should be all over the place your vendors, your suppliers. Now, they're asking about what are you doing from a diversity equity inclusion standpoint. So, it is a fiber of our organization. So, I would say to the listeners out here Get to know how DNI is a business case it is not something that we just talking about is not this Fufu nice stuff, and it's going to blow away. It should be the fabric of the new workforce.

Steve Baker 34:28

So good. Well, listen, I there's so much good stuff here. You probably have seen me writing feverishly trying to keep up, but I always like to kind of do a quick sum up to see if I really caught all the good stuff that you've been sharing with us, Tania. So, some of the things that I picked up not necessarily in order but how I absorbed them. First of all, I really love the way you kind of come at it from generation and inclusion. It's a much friendlier conversation versus a compliance conversation. Also love lead with empathy and compassion. Take your team along with you on the journey. Benefits instead of assuming the old stuff works, why don't we ask what they want, don't assume anything. Maybe it's something different than what we thought it was, and maybe talk with each other instead of at each other about all of these very touchy, very sensitive topics. And then for I think, for me, the big one was the game changer. As you mentioned, it Dibs, diversity inclusion, and here it is folks belonging, it's all about culture, create a culture of belonging, I think that's a great way to think about this. So, you got a lot of good stuff here, plus the books Compassion in the Workplace. Before I Say I Do to Entrepreneurship. Tonia Morris it's been great, we'll make sure that people know that they can find you at simplyhrinc.com Wow, thank you for this time, really appreciate it.

Tonia Morris 36:01

I appreciate it, I'm always open for good conversations. I will be at the conference this year, I'm going to speak and probably do some more work, you know, with SRC as well. But yeah, if anybody you know, I love to talk to people when I get there in Dallas, and I'm passionate about this, and I'm really big on making impact in today's workplace. I think we just have to think a little bit different and shift the mindset.

Rich Armstrong 36:26

Doing things differently. Yes. Thank you, Tonia.

Steve Baker 36:28

Thank you, Tonia, for helping us Change the Game. Let's keep the conversation going. Send us your questions, your stories, your best practices, ideas, challenges, and of course your victories. That is capitalism at its best. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you next time.

Announcer 36:45

The "Change the Game" Podcast is produced by the Great Game of Business To learn more, visit greatgame.com.


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Topics: Company Culture, Employee Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Transparency, diversity, inclusion

About The Podcast

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Hosted by Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker the Change the Game podcast highlights true life stories of organizations influencing positive change by doing business differently. They’re teaching people how business works and closing the gap between the haves and have-nots. It’s capitalism at its best. Inside each episode, you’ll discover stories of entrepreneurs who are Changing the Game.

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