In the last few years, disengagement at work has become a massive issue. We learned from Dr. Andre Martin’s episode that 53% of managers are burnt out and 1 in 3 employees leave their jobs in the first 90 days.

We sat down with Chuck Lafferty, VP of CRM at ADP, to discuss ADP’s approach to employee engagement and innovation. Chuck dives into building trust within teams, innovative techniques like ‘Survey Roulette’ to incorporate user feedback into development, and the critical role of understanding and caring for individuals.

When employees feel valued, heard, and engaged in meaningful work, you see improved productivity and increased job satisfaction. The episode concludes with actionable steps to improve employee engagement through personalized interactions and empathetic leadership.

Episode Highlights:

  • 01:51 How does Chuck define employee engagement?
  • 04:06 Can you measure employee engagement?
  • 12:05 How can managers engage individual developers?
  • 17:16 Survey Roulette and how it helps engage engineering teams.
  • 22:31 Winning in the workplace 
  • 23:45 The importance of separating the problem from the person
  • 25:30 How can you improve employee engagement?

Show Notes:


(Disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or amusing transcription errors)

Chuck Lafferty: 0:00

Bringing your whole self to work. Every day, you come to work excited to want to be there. You are doing your best work. When you're doing something you love, and you're good at it, that's called a strength. When you're doing something that you don't like doing, but you're good at it, that's called a task. That's gonna burn you out. Think about something that you love doing, but you're not very good at. That's called a hobby. People might not necessarily pay you for that.

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Conor Bronsdon: 0:54

Hey everyone, welcome back to Dev Interrupted. I'm your co host Conor Bronsdon and I'm delighted to be joined by a listener of ours today, the one and only Chuck Lafferty, Senior Director of Application Development at ADP. Chuck, welcome to the show.

Chuck Lafferty: 1:07

Yeah, thanks so much for having me.

Conor Bronsdon: 1:08

It's a distinct pleasure. I know you are a professional podcaster in your own right, and ADP is one of the biggest companies that people don't seem to know about, despite the fact that y'all had 18 billion dollars in revenue last year. Can you tell us a bit about the company?

Chuck Lafferty: 1:22

You know, I think that's a great starting point and I don't know about professional podcasts, but thanks for that. ADP is a human capital management company. We're also a tech company. And what we do is we help your payroll. So you can think of, um, paychecks, you can think of taxes, you can think of benefits like 401ks, medical and dental. How I like to say it is we do everything from hiring to retiring. Mm. Great. So we really help the company out there. Uh, a couple more things about a DP two that people might not know is we're coming up on our 75th birthday. Wow. So we found in 1949, we have over 1 million clients worldwide. It's a huge number. Surprisingly, as we're here at, at this conference, I have not heard a bigger number than this one. ADP moved 3. 1 trillion dollars in client funds in fiscal year 2022. I have not heard someone say a bigger number than 3. 1 trillion.

Conor Bronsdon: 2:09

That's pretty solid. That's up there, that's for sure.

Chuck Lafferty: 2:12

And, uh, we pay one in six workers in the U. S. So, there's a good chance your listeners out there, they might look at their pay stub. Well,

Conor Bronsdon: 2:19

I appreciate that context, and I know that you're someone who's steeped in the ADP culture. You joined back in 2010 as a senior application developer. You've worked your way up. You founded the ADP developer community to help foster new relationships and new communication channels between ADP development teams. As I mentioned, you're also the host of the internal ADP technology podcast. You have a great presentation that you give about unlocking the power of employee engagement. Let's dive into that a little bit. Uh, what's the approach you take?

Chuck Lafferty: 2:48

Well, first, uh, the questions that I get is, what is employee engagement? And so, I think we started there. We define what employee engagement means. Um, really, ultimately, what you want is a happy, productive development team. I mean, who doesn't want to work at a great company where you feel like you're making a difference? We have something called the ADP Research Institute at ADP and they do studies. We study employees, we try to figure out what makes them productive. You know, you might have heard of the ADP Employment Report. You know, this comes out every once in a while and we kind of, you know, it's broadcast on different types of commercial radio shows and stuff like that. We talk about how many people. Private sector jobs or in the economy and so, um, this research study they also do is around, uh, employee engagement. What makes people happy at work and, and, um, and want to stay, um, and productive. And so, uh, Dr. Mary Hayes and Marcus Buckingham did a study in 2020 called the Definitive Series Employee Engagement. You can look it up online and they defined employee engagement as the emotional state of mind that causes people to do their best work sustainably. So that's a bunch of words. Now let me translate them for you. What that means to me is bringing your whole self to work. Every day, you come to work excited to want to be there. You are doing your best work, meaning that you're not just like, you know, of course there's down time and up time at work and stuff like that, but you're coming there every day to kind of make a positive impact, right? Help your teammates out. And do great work. And so, uh, we call that a strength. So, when you're doing something you love, and you're good at it, that's called a strength. When you're doing something that you don't like doing, but you're good at it, that's called a task. That's gonna burn you out. You know, that, that wouldn't be very much fun. Yeah. Um, think about something that you love doing, but you're not very good at. That's called a hobby. People might not necessarily pay you for that.

Conor Bronsdon: 4:40

Hey, I'm good at building Lego, thank you very much.

Chuck Lafferty: 4:44

So people might not necessarily pay you for that. So we try to find what are you good at, and what do you love doing, and we try to match that, and that has great impact on your company.

Conor Bronsdon: 4:54

That's a fantastic philosophy. How do you measure employee engagement?

Chuck Lafferty: 4:58

Okay, measuring employee engagement, that's really tricky. The only way that I'm going to know, If you're engaged, it's if I ask you. It's going to be really hard for me to figure it out otherwise. There's not really like metrics on code or productivity that's going to tell me whether or not you feel fulfilled in your job. So ADP has a tool called Standout. And it's actually a tool that you can buy. It's a survey that goes out to your company, and it has eight questions on it. And the questions are broken down into we questions and me questions. I can give some examples of the questions. I don't have to read them all out. What do you wanna do is you wanna find qualitative and quantitative questions in any kinda thing, like the door metrics. Absolutely. You know, there's quantitative metrics like deployment frequency and qualitative metrics like meantime to recovery and change failure rate. And so this is kind of the same idea. How do you balance these? How do you have a great work environment but also feel challenged? uh, the We questions are about. why did I join this company? And the me questions are more about why do I stay? So let me give you a couple examples of some of those questions that we ask. Let's talk about the we questions first. And these are, these also kind of, to me at least, feedback to psychological safety. So one of the questions is, my teammates have my back. That one, that one kind of makes me feel like, okay, I'm a part of a community. I'm a part of people who are trying to help me do my job.

Conor Bronsdon: 6:12

And there's trust.

Chuck Lafferty: 6:13

And we're going to talk about trust. You should ask me about trust.

Conor Bronsdon: 6:16

I'm jumping ahead here.

Chuck Lafferty: 6:16

That's the next question. All right. Because I'm excited about trust. These questions are not about like, what's the strategic direction of my company? Like, no one's going to know. They're, they, some might, but unless you're reading every single article, you're not gonna know. Do I agree with the strategic direction of my company? It's really worded difficult. But a question like, in my team, I'm surrounded by people who share my values. You know, you're gonna feel that one. Or, um, another question is, uh, at work I clearly understand what is expected of me. Mm-Hmm. That's such a, that's a great one. That's, that's such a telling one.'cause if you don't know what's expected to you at work, you gotta ask, you gotta go to your manager. Mm-Hmm. You have to figure out what you should be doing. And that, then you align, then you can become more productive.

Conor Bronsdon: 6:57

I'm taking notes here. This is, this is great information. So, so you mentioned trust, I'd love to jump in there, as you mentioned, it's something that's very important to you. It sounds like it's something that's very important to the, the survey and stand out. What are your thoughts around trust within, uh, employee engagement and teams?

Chuck Lafferty: 7:12

So trust is one of the most these are all predictive indicators whether or not you're going to be engaged at work. So when I talk about trust, you are 14 times more likely to be fully engaged at work if you trust your leader. So if you're a direct manager, you say, you know, there's always this old adage of people don't leave companies, they leave bosses. Right. I think this one kind of proves it. If there, if you are, uh, if you trust your frontline manager, your direct manager. You're 14 times more likely to be fully engaged. So, that kind of proves that you've got to work on trust. Now the next question is, how do you build trust with teams? How do you build trust with team leads or managers, or between teammates?

Conor Bronsdon: 7:56

And you're a manager of managers.

Chuck Lafferty: 7:58

Yes, I am a manager of managers, so I have to teach this. To my managers so that they can help manage those frontline people. How do you teach building trust? So it's really hard. You can't fake trust. You can't fake caring. Um, you know, that's a really hard thing to do. So, uh, I have a lot of items I can share with you here. Maybe I'll just touch on a couple of them. That'd be perfect. You can ask me to deep dive in any of these as we go along. Um, first one to build trust is people want to know why you're making the decisions that you're making. Um, It's really important because so many times people will go, that's a stupid decision. Why did someone decide to do that? I would go through that myself. Right? Why is management making these decisions? I don't understand the strategic direction of my company. Yeah. Or even my team. Or my team. What am I supposed to be doing? But if there is a reason behind why you're doing that, and you're able to articulate that to your team, oh my God, then what happens to people is they know the goal. They know what they're after, and they know why these decisions were made. They're going to be so much more engaged, so much more happier. They're going to understand what they're trying to do. And then you don't need to be prescriptive as a leader. You can say, this is my objective. This is the reason why we're trying to achieve this objective. Go at it. And the team becomes autonomous. You want to create autonomous teams in your company. Then they can go after it. A couple more, let me just touch on a couple more for you, because I know you want to ask me. I'm excited to share it. All right, the next one is how do we actually build trust and it's through one on ones. It's doing what you and I are doing right now, you know, you want to learn about, um, you want to learn about each person's individual life, their family, uh, their pets. People love talking about their pets. You have a, you have a dog. Guilty. I have, I have three cats actually. Three cats. I bet you, I bet you those cats are really important to you. They are. You know? And if your manager knew your cat's name, you got photos, right? It's really important. People, dogs, pets, anything. It's really important. And it's, it becomes almost like, you know, when I ask you, how's your cat doing? I heard they were sick, you take them to the vet. It becomes more engaging. But also what happens during those conversations when you're doing a one on one. They could reveal something they want to do at work, or something that's making them upset at work, or something that you as a manager might have influence over that can help them. So that's another way to build trust. Another one I like to use, and maybe I'll pass it back to you, but I have actually 27 items in my presentation. I love that. Let's keep going. People can watch the presentation and learn more about it. I guess one more that I'll talk about is, let's talk about just caring. Let's just talk about caring about people as people. That one's really important. Again, like I mentioned, you can't fake caring. You have to be invested in somebody. And what happens with caring is it's kind of, it's kind of double edged. Because you want people to improve. You want people to have a fulfilled life, but also be great at their jobs. And what happens is you're meeting one on ones, you feel like you're investing in somebody, and they could leave. They could leave the company, and that hurts, it hurts. You know, you never think of it from the manager's point of view, you always think like, this company stinks, and I want to leave. But when you think of it from a manager's point of view, you're like, oh, I invested so much in this person, I gave them training and opportunities and growth and promotions, and they decide to take that talent somewhere else. It could hurt, but what I want you to think about is, you gave that person an opportunity for confidence, to challenge themselves, to now go do something bigger. And you never know where life's going to take you, or that person, you could work with them in the future and what are they going to say about you and your team and what you did for them? They're going to have that for the rest of their life. So, that's another way to build trust, is just investing relentlessly in your team.

Conor Bronsdon: 11:43

I love that, and both of these examples, you know, building trust, understanding what matters to people, and maintaining that relationship with that. They actually bring to mind an example from American business history. So John D. Rockefeller, famous business magnate, philanthropist, built a massive business empire. One of the things they discovered when he died was that he had kept files on every person he'd ever met in his business dealings. And he would keep notes. He would say, you know, this is their dog's name. This is their kid's name. This is their, their kids going to Brown. Great. Oh, and they're on the swim team. Let's, I should ask about that next time. And that intentionality in like building these relationships obviously was a crucial part of his success because people saw that he cared whether they were, you know, a business partner or potential customer or a team member. He would go and he'd say, okay, I'm meeting with, you know, Chuck, let me go, like, remind myself, like, oh, Chuck has a, you know, a wonderful daughter who's going to Brown, let me ask about that. And I think that attention to detail and care about people is at the core of so many incredible renowned leaders is they are intentional not only about designing systems and technology, but also in designing their interactions with people. And, um, I think a lot of folks think, oh, you know, soft skills don't matter, but this is, You know, we always talk about in the show, this is a very actionable way to approach and say, Hey, I'm gonna build employee engagement. I'm gonna build trust. Mm-Hmm., what are other ways that you can engage individual developers?

Chuck Lafferty: 13:08

I have so many for you.

Conor Bronsdon: 13:10

Let's bring it on, Chuck. I love this.

Chuck Lafferty: 13:11

Let's talk about it. Yeah. Alright. So, one thing that I want to mention here is I, I do want to talk about what I call innovation ideas. And I want to touch on this one, 'cause this is one way that I get developers really engaged in their work. So, I talk about listen actively, no matter the idea. And what that means to me is that you can come to me with any idea. Ideas are a numbers game, okay? You want as many ideas as possible because one or two, 1 percent of them, we're going to be blockbusters.

Conor Bronsdon: 13:39


Chuck Lafferty: 13:39

So if you're going to come to me with an idea, and I understand, you know, in management it might be hard to come to your boss or your boss's boss, right, with an idea because you want to feel like you're sharing something interesting with them, right? Well, and this is where that

Conor Bronsdon: 13:51

psychological safety piece comes in that you

Chuck Lafferty: 13:52

mentioned earlier. Exactly. And if you care about somebody and you're showing that to them, they're going to want to come with more ideas. But the second you shoot down an idea, it's over. They're not gonna come back to you with more ideas. So what I want you all, the all management leaders, all team leads, all uh, friends of friends that do development, listen actively to that idea and try and build on it. So it's yes. And you know, if there's always this thing yes and not no, but you don't wanna say no, but your idea's not gonna work. You wanna say yes and here's how your idea could work. The, the classic example I use is that if you came to me and said, Chuck. I have these Excel files, they're really good Excel files. We can add and remove data from it, like a database. We should use this as a database. I'm like, so what I'll do is I'll talk to you, and I'll say, let's build on it.

Conor Bronsdon: 14:41

Instead of saying this is a stupid idea.

Chuck Lafferty: 14:43

I didn't say that, you said that. I'm a leader. What I would say is, let's talk about it. Okay, let's have a conversation, let's figure out. How we can use Excel as a database. Does it, does it lock the file? Could, could we read from it often? Like how's all that work? And maybe through the course of our conversation we realize, uh, this might not be the best database.

Conor Bronsdon: 15:03


Chuck Lafferty: 15:03

But guess what? That person's gonna be excited next time.'cause I listened to that one. Yeah. Right. And so that's what you wanna build with development teams. Now what comes to innovation ideas? So now that I'm listening to the ideas, what I do is I don't, and this is a, a side topic, I can dive an hour into this one with you. Around tech debt. I don't call it tech debt.

Conor Bronsdon: 15:21

Wait, lemme ask the producer. Can we break up some more time? What's our, what's our runtime here?

Chuck Lafferty: 15:25

I don't call it tech debt. Yeah. I call it innovation ideas. And the reason why I do this,'cause debt has a negative connotation to it, as, as you know, as most people say. And so I call it innovation. Imagine creating a tech debt team. What developer? I mean, some would, but not a lot. Like if, like you wanna be on a team that solves technical debt, like that's really tough. I mean, sometimes that's what platform teams do is they're solving technical debt for the company. Uh, but what I like to do is I like call 'em innovation. So imagine being on the innovation team now. Hmm. All of a sudden it's like, I, I wanna be on the innovation team. A little more exciting, a little more exciting. And so just that simple switch in the words. So what does an innovation team do? They lower build times. They make application more performant. They find ways to tune queries in the database. They'll reduce the time in the CICD pipeline. They'll add automated testing. They'll make sure everything is in CICD pipeline so that I can extract things like Dora metrics, or have tools that help me figure that out. And so that is the foundation of your application. That is the stability of your application. It's the most important thing you can do in your application. You want your application to be highly available, highly resilient, and performant. And of course, a whole other non functional requirements. And so if we frame them that way, what you're doing is you're helping that team become more engaged to make the application better. And another thing you're doing is whenever I hear, you know, I join architecture meetings and stuff like that, and I'll hear things like, we talk about it, but we never do anything about it. Because now, what happens is we get to fix your problem. Now that's my job. Now my job kicks in, like, as a leader. Now I hear that and I go, well, who's going to make the change? I'm going to put it on your backlog. And now that you get to, you get, you said you were the one that, well, mentioned it was a challenge, you get to fix it. I'm now going to give you that opportunity for that thing that drove you crazy. And guess what happens? They're engaged. And guess what happens when they finish it? They're so proud. That they made it faster or better or stronger. And you've reduced friction. And you've, and you've made the whole team productive. Yeah. Maybe even the whole company. So,

Conor Bronsdon: 17:43

so, important question, uh, when are you writing your book? Ha

Chuck Lafferty: 17:47

ha ha. Um, I have a, I have a lot, I have a lot to say. I haven't planned to write a book yet. But, uh, I definitely am passionate about all this, as you can tell.

Conor Bronsdon: 17:56

Whether you're, you know, watching on YouTube and seeing Chuck evoke this, or listening on one of our podcast apps, it's very clear what your passion is here. I've also heard some really interesting things from your talk and other pieces, including something called Survey Roulette Oh, , which I'd love to

Chuck Lafferty: 18:13

understand. Yeah. Survey Roulette. So this is, uh, one of my, um, one of the leaders on my team named Rick. He came up with Survey Roulette and it's, it's a fun thing to engage development teams. I try to make work fun. It, you know. Technology and stuff like that. It can be, um, a little bit daunting, a little bit, um, monotonous at times and also a little bit. Um, you know, if you work on a defect for two or three days, it can kind of crush you a little bit, you know, you don't feel like you're being productive, so how can we make it fun? Right? So one of the things the team invented was something called Survey Roulette. We do a lot of surveying. We try to figure out whether or not people like our application. And so we, we send out, you know, um, surveys to them and they give us a score and they're also a little text box that says, give us feedback. And so what we do is when we send that out, um, every month we're going to get that feedback in and then we review it as a development team. And so on there, we'll say, okay, developer, uh, max, um, would you like a positive, negative, or neutral comment? And Max will go, I would like a negative comment. So then we'll read it. We'll pick a random one in the survey. We'll, we'll read it. The comment, what it does is it's, it's kind of fun, number one, but number two, the developer gets to have empathy for the clients, the people using the application, because they get to see a problem. Most of the time there's a fix for what they're complaining about. What might be negative in the survey? Let's say it that way. Um, and then we'll say, okay, um, we'll just go down the list. We'll say, okay, Jesse, uh, what, what do you want? And they'll say, I want a positive comment. Okay, we'll read the positive comment. What happens there? It might be a feature that we stumbled across that was just released. And guess what? Jesse might have been the dev that did that feature. Oh my God. Now they're proud of their work and they got direct user feedback. About what we did. So we do this for 15 minutes. It's a fun little thing. I thought I'd share it with some other people. Is

Conor Bronsdon: 19:52

this how you approach discovering features to improve applications people use?

Chuck Lafferty: 19:57

Oh, 100%. 100%. There's, there's so many things we do there. Um, we do things, again, I mentioned surveys. Right. So we, we ask people directly, uh, how they feel. We also do observations. I call this also fueling your backlog.

Conor Bronsdon: 20:10

So when you say observations, this, uh, like ride-alongs for devs basically with customers or what is this? So

Chuck Lafferty: 20:15

it's there, there's actually, um, a field called user research. Mm-Hmm. And you, you might have heard of UX heard user, user design, stuff like that, but not a lot of people hear about user research. So this is people that you know are, are in the industry and, um, we, we have them at a DP and what they will do is they are legit academic researchers. Yeah. They're actually a part of our teams at a DP and, and there's a lot of 'em at a DP. And what we do is, they'll do time and motion studies. They'll do things like watching users complete tasks and figure out how long they take or how easy it was. And we'll ask the users at the end, we'll say, um, how easy was this task, you know? And then we'll get scores from that and we'll be able to take scientific measurements about how productive that was, and then we'll apply it, a hypothesis, then we'll apply whatever the change was and retest. Did the scores go up? and it's the scientific method, right? And so we just keep doing that over and over until the scores are where we want them to be. So that's fueling your backlog. And you mentioned, you did mention seat rides that the other one is called seat rides. That's a little bit different. Okay. A seat ride is not like me flinging you down the hallway in your wheelie chair right now. A seat ride is when, um, you sit with a person using your application. So, when I will sit with a person that's actually using the app, it's mind blowing, because they might have stickies on their monitor, they might have things they're writing down while they're trying to complete the task, and you realize the thing they're writing down is either a feature you already have, or it's a feature that you can now invent for them, so that they don't have to go and write the sticky note down, something you place right away. You won't know that unless you go sit with the person. Just watching them use your app and their environment, what's around them. Is there a mirror? Is there, is there something else they're doing? Is it, how are they facing the computer? What screens do they have? What on? Because then you'll discover, oh, they have Outlook open over here, and they have our app open over here. Why? Why do they have Outlook open? Well, they need to send an email. And so you're going to, you're gonna get so much more about how you can put more things in your app if you discover

Conor Bronsdon: 22:13

that. Yeah, that context is so important, the understanding of how real users use it, because. And this is so common in application development that we imagine this path of, Oh, the user will do this, and then I'm sure you've seen this famous video of, Uh, you know, square pegs go in the square hole. Okay, great. Like, triangle peg also goes in the square hole. Great. Like, it just keeps going in there. We're like, wait, we designed all these, there's a triangle hole, put it through there. No, no, it just goes in the square hole. And I think it's such a common thing for us to discover when we do these, these, uh, ride alongs with our Users, and we go, Oh, you're using this in a different way than I expected. And maybe you don't know about this feature that you mentioned. So the beauty

Chuck Lafferty: 22:50

of what all this, this research does is you are now making your employees use your app more engaged. You are now making them better at their job. They're more productive. And guess what? They become happier because their app is what they needed to do, right? And so now you're scaling your engagement, not just from your development team, but now to the whole company.

Conor Bronsdon: 23:12

That's a wonderful philosophy, and I've heard you talk about how this contributes to winning in the workplace. In fact, you use a quote in your presentation from Doug Conan, to win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace. What does that mean to you?

Chuck Lafferty: 23:29

Winning in the workplace means to me that our team is achieving what we set out to do, our key objectives and results, right? Our OKRs. We are, we are doing things like meeting our deadlines. We are producing things for the company of value. We're measuring our outcomes and they're making an impact. Also, with that, is we have employees who want to stay, who are productive, who are happy, who are feeling fulfilled with their jobs, and feel like they are making an impact. So now you can see the balance. The balance is between having someone become feeling like we're producing a lot of value, but also Being happy. To me, that's winning in the workplace. If we're able to do that, to get happy clients, you need to have happy employees. And so, and to have happy employees, you better give them the tools to do their

Conor Bronsdon: 24:20

job. And engage them, as

Chuck Lafferty: 24:22

you've talked about. This does it. Doing things like this helps engage them. So, how do you

Conor Bronsdon: 24:27

scale that engagement with tooling or, or cultural approaches, uh, across a major enterprise

Chuck Lafferty: 24:33

like ADB? Well, I can talk about our development teams and the stuff we do. Um, you know, we do some of the, uh, the traditional practices of Agile, as you can imagine, like a lot of development teams do. We try to make it a little more fun, though. You know, we have our meetings where we try to keep, as few people in meetings as we can so that people can feel productive. You know, so we're, so we're engaging the right folks in the teams. We do things like survey roulette. We do things like having teammates get together, have meetings. Where there, where there's not just two people talking, you know where the whole team is talking? You can hear high performance, you can hear engagement on the phone. Okay. And the way that you do that is through short chatter. So what you're gonna hear is someone say something for a few seconds or or a minute at most, and another person chime in and say their part and another person chime in. And as soon as you hear everybody on the phone starting to talk like that, you know, you have an engaged team. They, they got past. Tuckman's group stages of storming, norming, performing positive crosstalk, positive, crosstalk. People aren't no butting each other. They're not using names. They're saying what the problem is, not that you know this, John, your architecture's bad. They're saying, um, the architecture's bad.

Conor Bronsdon: 25:40

They're improvising live together. I mean, you used the phrase Yes and earlier.

Chuck Lafferty: 25:43

Yeah. You're not, you're separating the problem from the person.

Conor Bronsdon: 25:46


Chuck Lafferty: 25:46

And then the team starts to excel 'cause they realize I'm not against you. We're against the problem.

Conor Bronsdon: 25:52


Chuck Lafferty: 25:52

And that's how they, that's how they come to each other.

Conor Bronsdon: 25:53

And that separation of the problem from the person is such a crucial thing regardless of relationship. I mean, it's a very common thing you hear talked about in like relationship therapy and it's also something that is obviously crucial for other important relationships in your life including your workmates. Sure. So I love that you're kind of bringing in these concepts and I'd love to close by asking you, what those listening to this interview right now should be doing to improve engagement. What are the tangible or actionable steps they should take?

Chuck Lafferty: 26:22

So the first thing that I want you all to do that, especially if you're a leader, is do one-on-ones. That's, that's the ground rules. That's table stakes. So get out there, spend at least a half hour with all of your direct reports. If you're not doing that, or even if you're a team lead, or you're a business analyst or a product owner, you should be meeting with the people who work with you at least once a week, one on one. That's my big recommendation. If your team is too large, maybe you scale that to be a 15 minute conversation or every other week to make sure you get those in. That's the one I want you to do the most. Your manager, and if you trust your teammates around you. So that's, that's the one that I want you to focus on, figure out how you can actually build relationships with everybody. And then just be somebody who's going to listen, because a lot of people just want to be heard. They want to know that what they're saying is not going off into the void and no one's doing anything about it. So listen to people, acknowledge them, and try to fuel your backlogs with the stuff that you're hearing on your teams. Put them on your backlogs about what challenges your direct team faces and then you as a leader. You're going to excel your development team far beyond just telling them what to do. That's a wonderful

Conor Bronsdon: 27:42

note to close on. Chuck, I can't thank you enough for coming on the show. It's amazing to have people from our community like yourself who've been listening and are also these incredible leaders come on to share your knowledge. I'm excited to continue to follow your journey at ADP. And if you're a listener to Dev Interrupted like Chuck, or maybe you're watching us on YouTube, Uh, make sure you're subscribed and ideally give us a little rating or review on your platform of choice. I will have a link in the podcast notes. It's so important for us to help keep spreading this message, help other teams improve their employee engagement, and help improving high performance across the industry. I also want to give a very brief shout out here at the end to my incredible production team for making this interview happen, along with all the other interviews DevOps Enterprise Summit. Um, Adam Noble, our, our producer, uh, Jackson Wells, who does an incredible job on the audio engineering for us and has dealt with so many details around this event, and then Brent, our stellar videographer who's joined the team recently, is doing such an incredible job of making sure that Chuck and I look great. Uh, it's a lot of work, let me tell you, and uh, I can't, can't thank them enough, um, and listeners, if you ever run into them in the world, buy them a beer, say hi, uh, we love hearing from y'all, and uh, and thanks for everyone who stopped by today, it's been great. Chuck, thanks for joining us.

Chuck Lafferty: 28:50

Thanks so much.