December 14

Episode 152: Harnessing HR Strategy for Organizational Growth with Josh Ewell


In today’s episode, Mike talks with Josh Ewell, a seasoned HR leader with extensive experience in fostering organizational growth through strategic HR practices. Josh, with his unique insights from a 20-year career in the US Navy and current role as the Director of HR at LSINC, delves into the critical role of HR in shaping the future of organizations.

Josh highlights the importance of creating meaningful relationships, fostering personal and professional development, and solving complex challenges in the HR realm. He shares his experiences from his tenure at the White House and discusses how his strategic approach in HR has positively impacted LSINC’s growth.

Josh Ewell’s Bio

Joshua Ewell is a 20-year US Navy veteran who believes that we’re given the opportunity to create meaningful relationships, foster personal and professional development, and address and solve complex problems that have a lasting impact on the lives of the people that we serve. While serving as a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy, Josh had the distinct honor of working for and with many dedicated professionals across multi-functional disciplines overseeing personnel and professional development. His time spent serving at the White House was among his greatest duty stations as he was able to have an impact on a monumental scale.

Currently, Josh is the Director of HR, LSINC, supporting commercial and federal clients with product development, engineering, strategy development, strategic communications, intelligence and counterintelligence, and security services. LSINC does this collaboratively with integrity, innovation, and servant leadership.

Josh earned a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland University College along with multiple graduate certifications. He believes in a continuum of learning in an effort to showcase the critical role that learning plays in resource stewardship.

In this Episode…

Listeners will learn how strategic HR practices can:

  • Transform organizational growth and development.
  • Foster meaningful workplace relationships.
  • Encourage continuous learning and professional development.
  • Address and solve complex problems with innovative HR solutions.
  • Apply lessons from diverse experiences, from military service to corporate leadership.

Links & Resources Mentioned…

Read The Transcript

Mike O'Neill: Welcome back to Get Unstuck and On Target. I'm Mike O'Neill with Bench Builders. Whether we're working with supervisors to improve their people skills or it's me coaching a CEO one on one, getting leaders and companies unstuck is at the heart of everything we do. And that's exactly what this podcast is all about.

Each week, we invite great guests who share their hard won experiences of getting themselves or others unstuck, back on track and moving forward. And I hope it gets you unstuck and on target as well. Joining me is Josh Ewell. Josh is the Director of HR for LSINC, who supports commercial and federal clients with product development, engineering, strategy development, strategic communications, Intelligence, counterintelligence and security services. I was particularly interested in inviting Josh on because he is an HR pro. he had a 20 year, stint in the U S Navy. And as I've gotten to know him, it's really pretty clear that he lives by what he writes, and that is, we're given the opportunity to create meaningful relationships, foster personal and professional development, address and solve complex problems, and have a lasting impact on the lives of the people that we serve.

Josh describes himself as an HR strategist and people first advocate. And as a strategist who leans into this people first. Advocate mindset. I really have asked Josh that what we will be talking about today is why is growth and development so important to an individual? Why is that important to an organization?

And why should HR leaders of companies of all sizes see that as a strategic imperative? That's what we're going to talk about. Welcome, Josh.

Joshua Ewell: Thank you so much for having me. I greatly appreciate the ability and the opportunity to get on the podcast with you and just kind of through my experience and what I'm doing now, kind of, hopefully help somebody out there.

And if not, just learn and those kind of things that I absolutely love doing myself. In this world of H. R. professionals and day by day growing and understanding the complexity of what we're dealing with day to day. So, thank you.

Mike O'Neill: Well, I'm looking forward to speaking with you and let's go back a little bit.

I understand you are chief petty officer in the U. S. Navy. And for those who don't know what that means, that's a leadership role. role. in what ways would you describe being a chief petty officer? How did that prepare you to be a key H. R. Leader?

Joshua Ewell: Yes, sir. Well, thank you so much. And I appreciate you kind of going there first.

That that was The better part of my professional career was spent in the Navy. I spent 20 years, six months, 21 days to be specifically exact, because you don't forget that, right? When you enter the Navy and you, you enter in an enlisted position, you're taught from day one what the chief is. The chief is the individual that you go to, that you ask the questions, that has the experience. Some would consider them salty, from, from the From the time that they spent on ships sailing to just the day to day engagement that they have. They are the blunt force and brute force behind everything we did in the Navy. It was the, the moniker was go ask the chief. So if somebody didn't understand something, didn't know anything, or just had that general advice, I need advisement.

and this is at all levels of leadership. The chief was the person to go see and go and go engage. That still holds true today. And so as I was coming up in the ranks. And kind of looking at my trajectory of what I wanted to do. there was about two or three times that I was steadfast and I'm getting out of the Navy.

I'm going to do four years, six years. I'm going to get out and go do something else. And I have to say that I'm, I am blessed that I did not. And that I had great leadership in front of me to help me navigate my own course. And there were a lot of chiefs, senior chiefs, and master chiefs that I were, I was able to. Learn from and just, just even by watching and emulate those, those, astute leaders in, in just the day to day operations of what we were doing, the strategic vision of what you had to do and, and how you network within that. So, the chief in the Navy also creates a network, a bond, a brotherhood sisterhood that I could be on the West coast and need something or need advisement and reach to somebody out in Japan and that I've either served with or I know of.

And so it was. It was that relationship building that network and how do we continue to grow? So it wasn't just fostering a climate of growth success. It was fostering a climate of we're all in this together. And the success of me doesn't compare to the success of all. And it was a continuous selfless service that they taught me that it was my hope that I was able to teach somebody else.

So as I kind of went through my career in the Navy. that was that, that, that pinnacle get to that chief rank so that I, I was able to make a bigger and a larger significant impact on people, as well as the command and those that I served and I served everybody. So it wasn't a, the folks that worked for me or the, the, the commanding officers of the executive officers of the department has that I worked for or worked with.

It was, I served everybody and that's kind of how I looked and envisioned it. And part of that was that growth. How much can I empower you to grow yourself and thereby develop other people? So in that 20 years, I spent about 12, 10 or 12 of those years as a chief petty officer. and when I got in the service, I was executive administration.

So I've always kind of been added in the world of HR, just at a different. View vantage point, I guess one would say, different systematic approach, but it's people and that's kind of what we did that emboldened me as I, as I transitioned out into the civilian life and looked at retirement of what I actually wanted to do and what I saw as my.

Path forward once I started transitioning was people, like you, like you mentioned earlier, and I appreciate you, you, you said it a lot better than I think I wrote it for you. but it's that people advocacy. It's that people advocate. I think we're nothing without them. I think that that a business, a structure of a business has to put people first.

Right? So part of what we had in the Navy was, you know, just people. People first, mission always, and you were always ensuring that that balance was there. If I don't have qualified people who have a growth mindset, then I don't achieve what we're trying to achieve. And we've got, we've got some hard charging sailors sitting out in the middle of the ocean right now.

And without those chiefs behind them pushing and making that ship go forward, it doesn't exist, it doesn't happen. And so that's what I always wanted to be internal to the U S Navy. but more so I think it gave me the. Capacity now to kind of look at a different platform because in the Navy, when you're going from other ship to shore station to an aviation command or something of the like, I equate that on this side as well is a organization, an agency, a business unit.

Are different platforms with different needs. And so you have to understand that need inherently understand that need, but there's that base foundation that people want to grow. so for me, achieving the rank of chief petty officer was, was an amazing, opportunity, but more so the, the ability to serve in that capacity was the thing that I hold probably and cherish the most, for my time serving.

Mike O'Neill: In my time in an HR leadership role, one thing I always found is when we would recruit, ex military, I always found that they picked up skills in the military they might not have picked up otherwise, but I did get this clear impression that the military really does value, Investing in those who have said, yes, and growth, not just by rank, but capabilities is kind of paramount.

That's really what I like to spend the most of our conversation on. And that is, you know, growth and development. and I know that this is kind of how you are hardwired, but for those who are listening, part of me kind of wants to kind of build a business case, why this is important now, admittedly.

I'm biased, but from a strategic standpoint, you're supporting an organization that supports both civilian and non civilian type things. What are you finding, as a HR strategist, why is growth and development important in the private sector?

Joshua Ewell: So I think you hit a point that kind of resonates deeply with anybody that has served in the military for any period of time. And that is. Embedded in what we do and how we break down to build up through either boot camp or OCS or one of the candidate schools to, to, to launch that career is that breaking down as a civilian into what I need you to be and mold you into that shape.

So the Navy is very unique in that perspective as well. When you cross over into becoming a chief, there is an evolution from what you were enlisted E1 through E6. Into the chief cutting officer and, and, and kind of embedded into that. So it's. It's embedded early on in your career, but it's more so impactful as you start moving up, especially and more specifically to the chief rank.

So, as I, as I launched into my transition, that's kind of 1 thing that I kept with me. You're not going to be able to pull that out of somebody. It just kind of sits with us. the growth development being. The key component, and I think when we're talking about criticality of, of what is needed for anybody to succeed, that is that continuous growth development, and we're talking about the fundamental level.

So if I have somebody in the private sector, and for us here at Helsink, we are both commercial operations for the business side, as well as government contracts. So we are dealing with your civil servants and your military in different capacities. And so having folks who are professional in both areas and arenas, is, is, is a must for, for when we strategize this recruiting aspect of what we do.

But in that we are specifically seeking out people that want to grow and you can tell that through conversation. You can tell that through partly resume and what they've built, but that conversation of where their mind is. I think when you're strategizing from the HR perspective. The unique thing that I, that I, that I really appreciate about the opportunity I was given here as an HR professional is looking at the landscape of what I have.

I have professionals that are in the HR space, and we've got about 32, 34 of them. I've got, security personnel, not your desk security, those kind of, but like sitting in, doing personnel security and those kind of thing, as well as manufacturing. So it's, and engineers, and so I get a wide array of how do I help everybody.

And when you're strategizing, you can't leave anybody out, right? So you've got to keep one ear to the ground, the foot on the ground. You've got to be that foot soldier and what we're doing day to day to figure out what that growth mindset is for that business unit or those specific people. And so I think when you're strategizing and you look at the entirety of the landscape.

You take it piece by piece, right? So what works for my manufacturing side, where they're looking for soldering, soldering certifications. I always mess that word up. I don't, you can never figure it out that one, or they're looking for leadership certifications, or they're looking for forklift training or OSHA training as compared to somebody on my HR contract that is looking for a master's degree or. one of their, one of their certifications, whether that's SHRM, PHR, or HRBP, or one of those, you have to hit them different. And so you've got to understand your people. And I think one of the most critical aspects of what we're talking about when we're talking about growth and development is knowing your people.

I think you have to know, I don't have to know everybody. What I do need to know is the leaders that are, that are put in place and put in position to. Care for and grow and develop these all of our, all of our workforce, because if I can get to them as that partner with them, then we can strategize to figure out when I can put them in class.

How do I, how do I fund it with us being a smaller business? I'm always looking for opportunities to maximize that dollar, right? The return on investment. I'm not going to send. What am I manufacturing electrical folks at your robotics class? It's not needed. So that would be, you know, when, when we're strategizing, I want to see if I can get them out to, something that'll help them grow that skillset.

But I'm also dealing with folks who this isn't their passion. This isn't what they're wanting to do. So we have career sit downs with certain people that come and seek us out or that I seek out specifically because you can just, if you're good in the HR space, then you can read people. And I think, I think that's 1 thing that the Navy taught me a while back was how to engage and read folks.

And so we will bring them in and sit with them and just give them, I'm very honest, I'm very transparent and everything we're doing. And I make sure that they understand. From our perspective that I care, and that's what they want. They want somebody to care and invest in them. I have folks who don't have their high school diplomas. some of these individuals have. The aptitude to do it, they just don't believe they have the time or the drive or something's an impediment in their way. How can I help them remove that? And so I think as HR professionals, that's our job to figure out what that roadblock is, that impediment so that we can help say it's not such a large barrier if you just go left or right.

And allow us to help you in this. So I think when you're strategizing, you have to take it as a holistic approach, looking at the whole picture, but then individualize it on different levels, depending on what you're trying to do. And, and when you're able to build that, I think the other big key component to this is buy in.

So I, I not only have to get the individual to buy into what I'm trying to sell, but I've got to get leadership to buy into what I'm selling as well, because they're the ones that I'm going to have to work through and work around for scheduling for, financial or whatever. Helps resources that I need to make sure that these people are impacted with that growth and development training with the personal and professional side of the training aspect of it.

So I look at it both ways. And then I, for us, it's strategizing how to adequately resources as it compares to what the business needs and where we're going from there as well. So.

Mike O'Neill: You know, Josh, as I'm listening to you describe from your vantage point, you want to make sure that there's a mindset of let's find ways to offer growth opportunities, irrespective of where you are in the organization.

One size does not fit all and some folks respond better. To that than others. There are other folks who they get into a role. They're happy in the role and there's nothing wrong with that. But, offering growth opportunities as you've been describing. it obviously makes sense to me. I've already acknowledged my bias.

I'll share another bias. And that is, I have found myself most of my career supporting just real practical. Operations manufacturing in particular and the organizations that I've been involved with supporting is they pride themselves in promoting from within and that's good, but there's a tendency to promote someone who's good at a certain role.

They may have good technical skills, but they turn them loose to manage others and at least in my experience, that's oftentimes where a new supervisor can lose. Traction because there's usually not enough emphasis on how to manage others, those people skills and they figure it out. They figure out eventually, but in your experience, how important is.

People's skill development in an organization such as yours, if you're going to support the organization best.

Joshua Ewell: Absolutely. Thank you. So, when we're talking about soft skills, I think I brought that forward with me from the Navy. So, what we did really well, I think, in the Navy was put in place things that would aid in that.

Functional as you grow into these roles, I'm going to give you the pre training to get into that role, but I'm also going to give you post training in the sense of leadership training is on both ends because I need you to understand what you're getting into. But then I need to figure out. As you got into it, what you were lacking, and then let's be honest and truthful.

And how do we engage in that respect to ensure that the skills you continue to grow those. I have met quite a few people who are very content in what they do day to day. at many different levels as well. I think the problem with that though, is the engaged part of me. I just, I don't know if I have. I just can't stop.

So what I end up doing is kind of really reaching out to those folks because you can see that in an organization. And I think if not, I think if we're not all firing off on that same cylinder, in the mindset of growth, then I haven't done what I needed to do right. So a lot of what we do and how I strategize kind of that, that feeling is, is what you said earlier and what we've talked about, and that I take that individualistic approach.

So if I know that somebody is content in what they're doing, how do I reach, how do I reach them? And a lot of it's just conversation. It's just like you and I are having right now or how we, you know, how I have, I. I have a conversation with a good friend of mine over the phone. You know, I'm gonna ask him how they're doing.

I'm gonna ask him how the spouse or the kids, and then organically, we start talking about, Hey, you know, I was thinking of this. Have you ever thought of doing X, Y, and Z, and whether or not that's, I had the, I had a great opportunity here in the city of Huntsville and if anybody ever is on this podcast out of Huntsville, and I hope there are a few, there's a civic engagement, through the city of Huntsville, through the DE& I, directorate here, Mr.

Kenneth Anderson. And I think I did the second iteration of the course and it was an eight week course and you got to meet so many civic leaders and it was all about civic engagement, civic leadership. How do I give back to my community? And it was something that I sought out more so for my growth. Right. Where you network with people in different industries, nonprofits, those type of things that, you know, would help not just me, but if I had somebody that was having an issue here, I could call somebody and say, Hey, I have an issue with this individual. Can you assess whether or not it's a housing issue or something like that?

So what I try to always promote is kind of where I've been and what I've done to folks and how I've gotten where I've gotten. I typically say that I'm not the smartest. I'm never the smartest in the room. they're even in the Navy. When I had these young folks, these young sailors come into the Navy, they're already knowing how to code.

They're knowing how to do a lot of those things. But what you hit on was a soft skill, right? Because they can do that behind the door in their rooms, you know, in a cafe, but they don't engage and talk. And so in the HR space, If you're good at what you do, you're engaging, you're talking a lot. I think I do a little bit more than some people, but, I think that's a.

Things for me that allows me to kind of connect and I think that connection helps foster that of what we're talking about with those folks that are content and continuing with growth mindset from every single level. And that's at the CEO level, that's at your C suites, your leadership levels, down to your team leads.

We have done what you've discussed where you put people in place that should not be there. And not that they couldn't do it, they just don't have it yet. And so what I think a lot of times is there needs to be more strategy, not only around the growth and development part, but looking at the strategy going forward where, where we would discuss that engagement of, if I put you, Mike, into that next role, what does that look like?

And then that leader chimes in and starts discussing, hey, I believe they're missing it through these evaluations that we've done or the counseling or just the talks. I already know that they're missing XYZ. What can you bring in to help us with that? And I think it's an advocate from the HR perspective, being that advocate for them and going on the floor.

I don't sit in my office. I get up and I'll walk to the floor. I will call our folks that are in Virginia just to check on them. I'll call folks in California 2 hours behind us here in Huntsville and just checking on them. What do you need? What do you got? I know my folks. And so I think that's the other key component of this is knowing your people.

But I also know the managers and I know the folks that are struggling a little bit. I've got 1. Who has never done performance reviews and always looking to come sit with me to go over them. And my biggest thing is I'm not on my time. I'm on your time because then that opens up and also meeting them where they're at.

So I will go to their office and just say, Hey, you got time now for me. When do you, when do you want my time? Right. And just being open. It's difficult from the HR perspective because you've got so many things to do, but I think that breeds that engagement from even the leadership side saying he's available.

He cares and those kind of things. And I think that's where you really hit the mark and you hit the nail on the head. But I think when we put people on those positions, what ends up happening, unfortunately, is sometimes you lose good people. I think I read something a little bit ago where it stated, you know, people don't quit.

Oftentimes the people will leave for money, but they'll leave quicker for bad managers or bad leadership, right? And they're just going to leave because they don't want to have to deal with that. So what kind of soft skills can we teach? And how do we teach that? Do we bring somebody in? Do I send you out?

Do I get you a book? Do we talk about the book? I've got one that likes to read. So let me foster that in them. Hey, here's a couple of recommendations outside of me. You know, I would get this from some HR people that I think this would be great for you. The other person wants to be in a classroom. So let's figure out how to foster that and get you in the classroom.

But it's, it's, it's a, I don't want to say a shell game. It's a, it's a continuous moving of the blocks of how do we build and continue to make sure that foundation sets and always having that growth mindset internal to you to have the ability to strategize, but continuous change management as well along the way, because it's going to shift.

And people are going to shift and your desire to do what you're doing now might shift in a year. So just being always ready after ready for that change as well, I think is critical to what we do day to day in the HR space.

Mike O'Neill: You've had a career that spans, different settings and therefore you've had an opportunity to either personally get stuck or be part of an organization that got stuck or worked with someone. When that happened, what did it take to get unstuck, Josh?

Joshua Ewell: I think that's happened over, over a little while and it's happened to me a few times, so I can speak to that personally and I can speak to kind of that vision on the outside. If, if I can have a few seconds on that. For me, it was what more can I do? Right? So, I was, I was doing really, really well in my Navy career and as you transition, you kind of have to redefine who you are and that, I'll tell you, that is probably one of the toughest times that I've had in my life career wise. I've got a great support system with my wife, with my kids, And the, the, the career, because I knew they were there, they were stable, they were good, the career wasn't I'm, I'm leaving something that I've known for 20 years.

And that's a very hard thing to do to come over into something that you don't know. And it's scary, but I can tell you for me, what kind of helped on stick that and kind of make me. I don't want to say geeked up for HR in a sense, right? But kind of, kind of fallen in love with the fact of what we can do with this is what we're going to be able to do, right?

If I put enough energy into it, I'm going to get the same response that I had in the Navy. So I kept telling myself that just keep doing it, regardless of what gets in front of you, just keep doing it, regardless of what comes down, pounding on the door. Keep doing it. And my unfortunate part was when I transitioned out, I was on, on the contract over Minnesota defense agency.

It's on the HR contract. I did that for about nine months. And I came over to the corporate office in the HR space that I'm in now as a director of HR and it COVID hits. So I got over here in January 20, COVID hits March timeframe. And everybody's world changed. We're shutting down places. We're trying to keep people afloat.

We're trying to make sure that everybody doesn't have feelings that they're going to lose their positions or jobs or all that. So they can feed their families. and how do you navigate telling somebody they got to get a shot, right? That they might have some kind of accommodation, whether medical, religious, or otherwise, and how do you navigate that on the commercial side, as well as our government side?

Because the government was a lot more stringent on the requirements for that piece. So, It was a continuous and at this time, I think I graduated. It was my master's in 2020. So it was, how do I get myself better? And when we're talking about gross mindset, it was, how do I keep going and finish something that I started?

And it wasn't just that it was me looking at the kids in the eyes and going, okay, for you, I'm doing this. I've done nothing. Since my oldest was born for myself, and I really believe that in my heart, everything, the moments I walk on this earth and the breaths that I take from the children. And so everything that I do, regardless of its education, regardless of its positional things here, I'm doing it so I can get home and just spend time with them.

And let them grow and let them see that you don't have to be the smartest. You don't have to be the, the, the, the best at this. What you have to do is try your hardest. And I think through that becomes genuine and authentic of the person that you are. I was able to get unstuck through that and some very good people that saw something in me that, that basically tells you not to give up and then, Hey, here's your path forward.

So it was more encouragement. in the unstuck part from the HR perspective, that was a personal one for me, but from the HR, the unstuck. What happened to be kind of an overall view of that. And what I mean is when I got here in January, 2020, the office that I took over was great, but then you start asking yourself, what can I do?

What's my impact? What's my legacy? What do I leave behind? If I'm, if I leave tomorrow. And so it's, it's, it's fostering what we're talking about now, growth and, and, and mobility in engaging outside sources. So technical colleges, Drake State in California, phenomenal out here, Athens State, UAH, UAB, all of this collegiate thought process in this small town.

It's not a very large town, but it's got a lot of things there. And when we're looking at that, how do we, how do we engage and how do we make relationships with that? So I think. For me, it was, it was the genuine, authentic engagement of these places to bring forward to this workforce, the ability to have a path forward set already, and all you've got to do is walk through the door and your path is your path, but I'm opening a giant door that you didn't have to kind of navigate and figure out, because that's probably one of the hardest challenges.

And a lot of times it's the things that people don't want to do. But how also do I bring in that training, in that education, in those soft skill development to the organization? And how do I get buy in from the top? I can have the buy in. So it was that dual hatted working with leadership saying, this is what we need.

This is how we get there. And I got to build a relationship and then telling my workforce, Hey, I'm creating and building the relationship. Just walk through the door with me. You know, and you're not alone, right there with you. So it's, it's, it's that continuous and it hasn't stopped since we started that, that evolution.

It hasn't really stopped. And I don't think you ever become unstuck in that way because as soon as you're able to meet that challenge, I think there's another, another challenge that that kind of sticks you. And so if it's not the growth and development aspect of it, it's. How do we redefine and shape our manufacturing department?

Or, and how do we continue to give you increases and feed that within you, that fire within you to where you can then take management positions and, or have five or six people under you that you're leading to get you those other skills that you might not have thought you had. And all we had to do was, you know, force you in the fire and kind of help you through that.

So, when we're talking about stuck and unstuck. I, I think that you can navigate some of that and I think the way we've done it was creatively fostering relationships with the collegiate aspect out here in Alabama or Huntsville, and kind of working with different industry partners to make that happen as well.

And just kind of we're a small woman owned business, but we have a very good foot. In the door here, as far as our presence, the folks that were able to bring in and partner with, in those endeavors for that continued growth and development for our workforce.

Mike O'Neill: Gosh, I appreciate you sharing not only a professional example, but a personal example.

You know, we've covered quite a bit here. What do you want to be the takeaways for our viewers and listeners?

Joshua Ewell: Oh, yes, sir. I think first takeaway for me is, we, we, we often look at what we do day to day and it becomes mundane. It becomes a, what we have to do rather than what we want to do. Right? So, 1 of 1 of the, I think the, the, the, the 1st takeaway for anybody listening to this is I think there's true sentiment in, you know, you, you, you got to love what you do.

And I think for me. It's loving to serve folks that I know at some point will have an impact on them and their family. And I think if you can keep that in your, in your view, that never leaves you, I don't think any steps that you take is ever, you're going to always keep them in mind and care for who they are, their well being and their development.

I think the other thing is. that as HR professionals, HR leaders, I think you've got to continue to strive for your seat at the table. I think it's critical. I think it's huge. I think it's impactful. And when you're looking at smaller companies, sometimes you think it might be easy because of the way you're structured.

But it's not that the seat is that proverbial word, but we're talking about that your voice is listened to, that you're That your advice that you're giving forward is taken into consideration and provided that that empowerment for you to do what you have to do. And then I think it's all about relationship building, networking and relationship building.

Not not only external to partners that you can work with other HR professionals that you can bounce ideas off of. But also internal to your workforce and build those relationships from that ground level. I'm talking about engaging the janitor when you walk in and getting to know those people as well as your C suite as well as my manufacturer that I just brought in and onboarded seven days ago.

What do we know about these folks and what do we know about their wanted desire and do they want to be in this industry? And if not, how can we help them succeed to, to Grab and go after their goal and if that's through the growth and development that you're helping with that, that's phenomenal. That's something that I strive to do, but I think the care concern authentic being authentic, is, is as HR professional.

Sometimes that's lost, right? So you get some of our positions that are a little bit harder where you're talking about having to terminate somebody or where you're having to have. Counseling sessions or that engagement with people telling people, you know, we can't do this for you or your ex got denied, or you're not getting promoted or those kind of things.

So those things can be taxing on folks. And I think as HR professionals, who do you have to go to complain to? Right? So you have to build that network out to where you have solid kind of bouncing of ideas back and forth. so those would be my takeaways. And the only last thing is, is you do have to take care of yourself.

Right we often forget about us and whether or not that is that growth and development of what we're talking about specifically here is. Just because you've got your SHRM cert or you get your PHR, what more are you doing for yourself to grow and, and, and, and engage? What webinars What just out of the box thinking are you engaging in so that you have that ability to kind of find out who you are more than what you were.

So that would be what I would kind of hopefully leave somebody with throughout this

Mike O'Neill: podcast. This is what I heard. Love what you do. Yes, sir. Don't ever give up on finding ways to assure that HR has a seat at the table. Minimize the importance of relationship building. Yes, sir. And if you're doing this with a kind of a servant mindset, though, that's not the term you use, but from a caring standpoint, sometimes when you spend all your energies Caring for others.

Sometimes your own self can take a back seat. And so self care, those are four great takeaways. Josh, thank you for sharing, a bit about your experiences and the things that kind of light you up. That's very, very obvious. So thank you.

Joshua Ewell: Yes, sir. I know. Thank you so much for allowing me to be on here and engaging you on this.

It's been nothing but a pleasure of mine. So I thank you for just giving me the opportunity to come on here today with you.

Mike O'Neill: Well, I've enjoyed it as well. I want to thank our listeners for joining us today for even more insights about getting unstuck and moving your business forward. I invite you to subscribe to the bottom line newsletter.

You can do that by going to bench dash builders. You know, I have found that the clients that we work with, they usually had one of two problems. Either they were frustrated because they were losing the employees they wanted to keep, or the leaders, they found themselves stuck in the weeds of the day to day and they're failing to execute on their long term strategy.

So if you're listening and you're struggling with high turnover or poor execution, and that's slowing your organization's growth, let's talk, head over to to schedule a call. So I want to thank you for joining us. And I hope you have picked up on some quick wins from Josh that will help you get unstuck and on target.

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