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Karl Diffenderfer
Higher Impact
Stop Stressing Over Your Employees
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Higher Impact consulting group has its corporate headquarters in Lancaster, PA with additional offices and team members located throughout the world. We are a collective of coaches and consultants whose core focus is to bring breakthroughs in business and life. We do this by empowering business leaders to be top performers in all areas of their life and business. Our focus is to bring about the greatest impact by taking leaders from success to significance by building a legacy that lasts. We achieve this through one-on-one coaching, CEO Experience mastermind groups, seminars, workshops, team-building exercises, and fight club business owner retreats.

Karl Diffenderfer is a change agent that has been impacting thousands of entrepreneurs and leaders for over 20 years. From the ground up, he built an award winning internet marketing firm and generated over 100 million in revenue for his customers through key business principles and marketing strategies. When presented with the opportunity, he decided to sell the company to transition into teaching others how to build a company that runs itself. He is now in the top 4% of Business Coaches in the world.

In this episode

Karl Diffenderfer of Higher Impact coaching shares that employees are often the biggest source of stress for business owners and managers. Karl observes that some business owners are deliberately shrinking their companies because they don't want to deal with staff issues. In the current climate, you may have the business but lack the right employees to do that business. You need to find the right people, establish a culture that will make employees want to be there, and perform at their best. Karl informs that a big challenge for a business owner is reallocating budget into employee acquisition, management, and retention. He tells us that a key success factor is treating employees the same way as you treat customers. Listen to the end for the details on Karl's gift to our listeners.

Stop Stressing Over Your EmployeesKarl Diffenderfer
00:00 / 25:28

A glimpse of what you'll hear

03:37 Employees are often the biggest source of stress for business owners.

04:50 Employee recruitment and retention.

06:38 Proactively pursue the right employees.

07:56 Reallocating budget, time and money, to recruit and retain employees.

14:53 Benefits from having the right employees in the right culture.

16:45 Three steps to solve your employee issues.

19:28 Learn about Karl. Email Karl at or call him at +1.717.689.4227.

Episode Transcript
(Note: this was transcribed using transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast.)

Centricity Introduction 0:04

Welcome to the Best Kept Secret videocast and podcast from Centricity. If you're a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.

Jay Kingley 0:43

I'm Jay Kingley, co founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to our show, where our guests share their provocative perspective on what their target market is missing out on. I'm happy to welcome to the show, Karl Diffenderfer, founder of Higher Impact. Karl and his team of coaches, at Higher Impact, empower business leaders to be top performers in all areas of their lives and businesses. Karl is based in Lancaster PA. Welcome to the show, Karl.

Karl Diffenderfer 1:14

Thanks for having me, Jay, I'm excited to be here,

Jay Kingley 1:16

Karl, one of the big issues of our times for any business owner or executive has got to be around employees. And I think that many business owners are caught in between the proverbial rock and hard place on one level, they are struggling to retain their employees, particularly those I think that have a lot of skill, a lot of talent, and therefore have the most other options. You know, we've all heard about the great resignation. But that's really about people looking to find, I think a better home, looking to find an environment where the culture is supportive, where they feel like they can be fully engaged in represent what it is that that business stands for. It's also part, I think, due to changing demographics. And of course, a lot of change in perspective, as a result of how the pandemic impact how people do work, particularly when they don't have to be in a position that physically touches their clients. And the hard place is, okay, I have to replace those that are leaving. And if I'm in the fortunate position of having a growing business, I may need to increase my headcount as well. And we know that we are in a very tight labor market, and being able to find not just warm bodies, but the right bodies that have the skills and the mindset, and the personality. You know, one of the things that I am often reminded about, that I think a lot of business owners and employers forget about is your employees are a critical part of your marketing and brand for the company, they represent you to everybody they come in contact with, not just on at work, but also in their personal lives, where everyone they talked to, they are giving their thoughts on what it is, and how they view your business. So Karl, I know this is an area that you and your team of coaches spend a lot of time working with your clients on how to deal with this. So let me ask you talk about the issues the problem that you see, when it comes to this area of staffing and workforce.

Karl Diffenderfer 3:52

You know, the great resignation is upon us for sure. And every business owner that I've talked to, they say their greatest stressor is actually their employees, which I find interesting, you know, you would think that business owners would say, you know, the amount of vacation time they get to take or you know, things like that, or the amount of money they put in their pocket. But I've seen so many business owners shrink their company, because they don't want to deal with people. And so they can't seem to find a habit, they can't seem to find enough employees. And the employees ultimately are stunting their business growth. And they have the business but they don't have the people to do the business. And then when they do find the right people, they're typically mediocre and they don't represent the company well to your point. So we're talking about finding the right people. And then with that the the having the right culture that keeps those people there and excited. You know, you want people that are driven to make the company shine that care about the company. Both of those things are super important right now in this in this market right now,

Jay Kingley 4:54

Karl, let's take a look at both the recruiting and the retention. Let's start with recruiting. What do you see are the issues that makes this so difficult and challenging for employers?

Karl Diffenderfer 5:07

It's a good question, Jay, I find that employers, for the longest time had people coming to them, you know, for 10 20 30 years, there were enough people in the market. So people, it was an employers market where they could be more selective. That's shifted, with all the boomers that have been retiring, as well as people changing their lifestyle through COVID. It's caused the market to change. And so now, the business owner, the company, the organization has to pursue finding the right employees. And they're not used to that. So they have to shift their perspective.

Jay Kingley 5:45

How does that also work into the issue of retention? You know, I hear a lot of employers say that it's becoming increasingly challenging to hold on to their most skilled staff. Again, why do you think this is becoming such a big issue?

Karl Diffenderfer 6:03

Yeah, that's a loaded question, Jay. And we could probably spend several hours talking about that. But it depends on the I believe that it depends on the demographics of the audience that you're hiring. So if you're hiring a boomer, they're going to care about a good workplace as a good culture, people are positive, good attitude, nobody toxic in the culture, that type of thing. If we're talking about millennials, the millennials really want to, they want to make a difference in the world. And so if your company is just providing a widget that you do over and over and over, they're not going to stick around, they want to make a difference. And so they need to care about what they're doing.

Jay Kingley 6:38

We all feel this pain, I think you've articulated not just the pain, but what's driving some of this, and I don't think we're going to get much disagreement among our listeners as to the magnitude of this problem. So that certainly makes the question. So what do I do about it?

Karl Diffenderfer 6:57

It's such a loaded question, Jay. So I think for starters, the the HR department of your organization, or the business center needs to realign their perspective to say, okay, they, maybe the employees used to come to me, but that's not going to work that way anymore. So I need to do something different. And so I'm going to start to pursue the right employees. And so you need to put some strategies in place that help you do that. And it might be marketing dollars, and might be getting your team to, to ask around to friends that they know because like people like attract, like people. And there's, there's a myriad of different things that you can do. But those are two suggestions.

Jay Kingley 7:38

And what I'm hearing you say, Carl, is that this is I don't want to use the word expense. And for me expenses, always money plus time that you're having to devote that this is an expense that you're going to have to put more into this is going to be an increasing cost that you're going to have to bear and you are going to have to get that money from somewhere. So how do you think about, you know, if you're a growing business, or you're a stagnant business, you know, are there different ways you would think about? Where is this money going to come from?

Karl Diffenderfer 8:17

First of all, keep in mind that through this, it is it's not just the money, but also the time, so a lot of business owners need to retarget to spend more time on it. And time is valuable. But yes, on the money side, we need to look at our budget and say, okay, where could I pull money from to actually focus on getting more employees? And the hard part about this for business owners is they they shouldn't have to. Like, it's not it's not something they're used to. So they have to get used to this concept of, okay, I need to put more effort into this. And until they do that they're going to be stuck. And how many businesses have you seen through COVID that are thriving with enough business? They don't have the employees to serve their bid to serve their customer? And I see it everywhere. I don't know if you do, but I do

Jay Kingley 9:11

Absolutely, Karl. And I think that for those businesses, they have got a very narrow window to get their capacity to serve in alignment with their demand, because for each day that that's out of whack, they are doing brand damage to their business. And that is going to take a lot of time, a lot of money to fix. So you know, we're sort of very critical there. But I also wonder and would like your thoughts on there are other types of expenses that businesses do you know, a good business is always doing, if you will R&D. They're thinking about how do I introduce new services? How do I change features and functions on your product? And the challenge I think for any business is you can always come come up with things that you would love to spend money on that's, you know, 200 to 500% of your revenues. So it's always a question of making those tough trade offs. But here we have this new expense category, that's gonna go up to the top. And it's got to be funded from somewhere. So, you know, give us your thoughts on that.

Karl Diffenderfer 10:24

Obviously, evaluate your budget, if you don't have a budget and Jay, I can't tell you how many business owners I run to that don't have a budget. Make one, please. It's not hard. It'll take you a couple of hours. And it's well worth your money, and your time. But look at your budget and say, Okay, well, what areas could I pull out of to make this happen? Obviously, I would recommend hiring a marketing agency that focuses on acquiring employees, and talk with them about well, what kind of budget should I have available for this. And also Jay, one of the point I just wanted to make real quick, going back to what you were just talking about a moment ago, employees also are burning out at much at a much more rapid pace. So if you're understaffed, you're running the risk of losing some of your key employees. So finding those employees is paramount to your business right now.

Jay Kingley 11:15

Karl you alluded to previously, the importance of culture. And I want to slide over a little bit to the retention, because obviously, if you were able to retain all the people that you needed to, then the demands on bringing in new people would be less. So talk a little bit about the investment and in needing to think about your culture, and what types of changes do you need. I mean, there's the old Silicon Valley trope that hey, I need ping pong tables, I need a keg of beer on Fridays. I need to, you know, put all these amenities in, and then people will not only stay with me, but they're going to work these insane hours, because I'm basically recreating a second life. And you know, is that the answer to retention? Or do you think it's something quite a bit different?

Karl Diffenderfer 12:06

Wow, once again, loaded, loaded, loaded. Um, so I mean, first of all, we're talking about people here, and people have feelings, people are driven by feelings. And so we need to remember that they have value. And so we need to look at our employees through a lens of value. This is something I've spent a significant amount of time with business owners on because they become disconnected from the employees. And as time goes by the employees just feel like I'm just working for the machine. And I'm sure you've seen that happen many times. And so the business owner and his key leadership team need to spend time spending time on the employees. And what does that mean? Well, I say that people, business owners shouldn't be trying to just improve the skills of the people, but they should be trying to increase to increase the character of the people. Self development is very important in our culture right now. And so spending time helping those employees, showing that you care about them, that they that you want to help them go to the next level in their lives. One other final point with that, I would say is that the employees need to, they need to get positive feedback from you. And a lot of business owners don't share anything unless it's negative, and their leadership team as well. And people when they don't feel appreciated, leave, they want to feel appreciated in the workplace. So those are two of the major areas.

Jay Kingley 13:34

Karl, just put a bow on this topic before we move forward. You also had mentioned earlier that you need to understand the different segments of employee, or the employees you have, you know, a Baby Boomer and an a Gen Z are looking for different things. So when you think about your culture, you really have to look at your workforce and say, Who am I looking to retain? Who am I looking to recruit, and make sure that I am giving them things that they are going to find not only attractive, but meaningful. As you I think it said earlier.

Karl Diffenderfer 14:08

Can I share, just share one more thing that's so important. So the millennials are actually changing something in our market that I think is really, really important. And that is that they're trying to make it better for the people, not just for the business. And so they're trying to make a change. That's forcing the business owner to look at it differently. The Boomers before they just went to work and did what they're supposed to do without asking too many questions. The millennials are challenging that. I've also found that the millennials are open to being challenged themselves. If you say hey, hey, Sally, do this this way instead of this way. They'll listen, they'll learn. And so there's a shift happening in the marketplace that is more character development focus that wasn't there before. I'm excited to see what they do with the market.

Jay Kingley 14:56

So Karl, I think you've pointed out some key strategic action steps, if you will, that an employer needs to do to both on the recruiting and on the retention side. So let's say that they do that they they follow your advice, let's talk about how that flows through to how their business is likely to benefit. What perspective do you have on the benefits that the business will see from doing what you suggest?

Karl Diffenderfer 15:29

Yeah, well as attitude is everything with your employees, and so if your employees are happy, and they have a good attitude, they're going to come to work happy. And then you're gonna have less, can I say, drama with your, with your team members, and we all would love less of that for sure. And so with that, it takes away a lot of the headache for the business owner, I, I would propose that they're going to sleep better at night, they're going to see their business be more profitable, their customers are going to be happy, they're not going to have to watch their phone in dread of that next employee calling to cancel the next day off or even quit, I'd see a lot of business owners that are just there, they're really fearful that next call.

Jay Kingley 16:10

I think, most employers that I talked to, if they could have one fantasy, it would be for a drama free workspace. And, you know, I think not only does that create issues among the workforce, and you talked about employees burning out, I think when you're the employer, and you're having to deal with all these issues, and you know, the dreaded email or text you receive from a staff member who says, I really need to speak with you, and then they just leave it and you're like, Okay, this is not going to end well, that that burns out the employer, and it burns out the business owner. And so you've really got that on both sides. And I don't want to minimize that emotional payoff to the employer, by doing the right things for their employees on not only is it going to give you the staff that you need to meet the demand that you have, but it's also going to make your life a whole lot more pleasant, Karl, absolutely compelling stuff. I think, if I'm listening to this, and I'm an employer, I'm saying, okay, Karl, so what is it that I need to do to implement what you're talking about?

Karl Diffenderfer 17:26

So many things to do, right? Alright, so obviously, shift your focus, and shift your focus not just to going out and acquiring more employees, like I tell business owners, your employees, or like your customers, they're a different type of customer. So start to view your employees. I mean, you don't, you don't yell and scream at your customers, right? Well, why do you yell and scream at your employees, and not every business owner does does that I know, but, so I hope they don't. But really begin to look at your employees like a customer. And you need to accept that reality. And then, you know, from that you need to shift your your budget to the right place to be able to acquire, the more more employees. Then on the culture side, show your employees that you care. You know, one of the stats that I saw here recently is that 50% of the workplace is looking for new jobs right now. And it's because that they don't feel they don't feel like they're accepted and rewarded and what's the word that I'm looking for? affirmed in their in their work, if you just affirm your employees, you're going to keep more employees. But you also just need to find more of the right employees that that are already looking, they're there, they're looking.

Jay Kingley 18:43

Karl, this is this is one of the key issues that employers really of all sizes are wrestling with. And I think you have put a nice spotlight not just on the problem, but what you can do about that problem. And how that is going to make both your business and your life a whole lot more pleasant. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we're going to learn a bit more about Karl.

Centricity Introduction 19:11

Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client, Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client, would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have to pitch follow up and spam decision makers. Well Centricity's The Tipping Point program uses a proven five step process that will help you get in front of the decision makers you need by spending less time on doing all of the things you hate. It's not cold, calling cold email, cold outreach on LinkedIn or any other social media platform, or spending money on ads. But it has a 35 times higher ROI than any of those things, leveraging your expertise and insights that your prospects and network value. The best part even though you'll see results in 90 days, you get to work with the Centricity team for an entire year to make sure you have all the pieces in place and working. So you can start having freedom of time and a life outside of your business. So email to schedule an 18 minute call to learn more.

Jay Kingley 20:10

Welcome back, we're talking to Karl Diffenderfer of Higher Impact. Let's find out a bit more about Karl. Karl, what are the pain points that you solve for your clients in what do they need you to get rid of the pain?

Karl Diffenderfer 20:23

So in what I do, as a business coach, I increase profit margins, I keep employees happy. Know, we can all attest to the loving and needing more of that have less call offs, keep your team members for longer, and help you enjoy your staff by handling them handling more of the day to day so you can focus where you should be.

Jay Kingley 20:43

One of the things that I think we don't often appreciate, is when a business owner hires an outside resource to work with them. It's actually a reflection who they're hiring is a reflection on the business owner, it is the old, you are the company you keep. So of course, I only want to work with the very best. So Karl, tell us what makes you in Higher Impact, great at what you do.

Karl Diffenderfer 21:12

So our proven system has a 99% success rate with hundreds of customers. And ultimately, as a coach, I'm good at shoring up the foundations of a company to prevent proactively prevent problems before they happen. This causes the business to run at its top performance and minimize your headaches as a business owner. And then finally, identify the key outliers that are holding the person back from their true potential and help them tackle that hurdle ahead of them with confidence and empowerment, which sets them up for future greater success. And I my coaching pays for itself, I pay for myself inside of my coaching,

Jay Kingley 21:49

I encourage my listeners to go to your LinkedIn profile, Karl, and there they will find a lot of support for what you just had to say on what makes you really great. Obviously, on LinkedIn, we can see your work experience your education, things that you post and comment on. So I would like everybody to do that. Because I think you'll come away even more impressed with Karl, but I actually have a slightly different question for you. What has happened in your life that would most explain why you're doing what you're doing with Higher Impact.

Karl Diffenderfer 22:24

When I was 24 years old, I started a company, there was a marketing agency. And boy, was it tough. I don't know if any of you have ever started a company. But starting this company from scratch and growing it up was it was a tough season, we ended up making that into an award way award winning marketing agency that had hundreds of customers all over the world, and generated hundreds of millions of dollars for those customers very successful. At the age of 32, I came to a spot where I was feeling like there had to be something more. And that year, I shifted my profitability from 15% to 44%. Great Year, so less than the amount of time that I worked in the business that year at the age of 32. But I wanted to help people and I wasn't sure how to do that. And through a series of events, I was able to sell that company. And so I sold my company and said, alright, what am I going to do now. And my wife said, You're too young to retire. And I decided to take a business coaching and I've been coaching business owners from all over the world for over 10 years now. And I'm in the top 3% of coaches now in the world.

Jay Kingley 23:33

You really talked about some compelling issues that I know a lot of our listeners are wrestling with when it comes to employees. I'm sure we have some that would love to reach out to you continue the conversation, what's the best way for them to do that?

Karl Diffenderfer 23:51

Yeah, so email is a great way. My email address is Karl and my name starts with a K of and my phone number 717-689-4227. And that's my that's my mobile. And then also you can join me with a whole bunch of hundreds of other business owners all over the world, and our private network called the business leader network, and that's

Jay Kingley 24:14

We will put all of that into both the shownotes and as an insert into the video, make it easy for you to have it to hand so that you can reach out to Karl. Karl, this is normally where as the host of the show. I thank you for being amazing. inside my head, I'm planting the flag of victory. Yet another amazing guest yet more insight for our listeners, which is what I really care about. But you know, while everyone else would do that, that's not quite good enough for me. As the lead advocate for our listeners, I am always thinking about how can I get the most value out of my guests. They Clearly, the topics that we discuss are the primary source of that value. But I'm thinking, Is there something else? And I'm going to put the screws to you, Karl, I think you should be offering the listeners a gift for staying with you throughout the show. So what can you do for them?

Karl Diffenderfer 25:22

I'm up for this. Well, I think one of the things that would help them tremendously would be a complimentary coaching session. And I'd be happy to provide that to any of the listeners and see how we can help you and I guarantee I can help you how we'll find out.

Reach out to Karl, tell him you heard him on the Best Kept Secret show. Take advantage of this, this issue can feel so overwhelming. And I think a conversation with Karl can help you understand how to tackle this what how to prioritize what to focus on so that you take something that is overwhelming and make it something that is actually a solvable problem. For you, Karl, I want to thank you again for being such a fantastic guests on our Best Kept Secret show to our audience. Let's continue to crush it. Until next time.

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