How to Never Lose an Employee Again With Joey Coleman

Joey Coleman is an award-winning speaker who specializes in customer and employee retention. With more than 20 years of experience in the customer experience space, he helps organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans through his First 100 Days methodology. Joey is also the author of Never Lose a Customer Again and Never Lose an Employee Again.

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran is joined by Joey Coleman, the author of Never Lose an Employee Again, to talk about how to create remarkable employee experiences. They also discuss Joey’s 100-day onboarding process, the connection between customer experience and employee experience, and common pushbacks employers have about remote work.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • [02:16] Why Joey Coleman wrote the book Never Lose an Employee Again
  • [04:59] The connection between customer experience and employee experience
  • [06:43] What drove Joey to use his customer experience methodology to help clients retain their employees? 
  • [09:05] How the pandemic caused a paradigm shift in the workplace
  • [17:40] Joey’s 100-day onboarding process
  • [20:25] Joey shares a case study of a company with a great employee retention model
  • [27:48] How to draw the line when dealing with an employee’s personal life

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:00

All right, today we’re talking about how to never lose an employee. If you are an employer, have hired anyone, or have people working for you right now, you’re probably petrified about your good people leaving. So we’re going to talk about how to prevent that from happening. My guest today is Joey Coleman. He’s the author of the book, Never Lose an Employee Again. And I’ll tell you all about them in a second. So stay tuned.

Intro 0:24

Welcome to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we feature top entrepreneurs, business leaders, and thought leaders and ask them how they built the relationships to get where they are today. Now, let’s get started with the show.

John Corcoran 0:41

All right, welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show. And you know, every week it gets to talk to smart CEOs, founders, authors, and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies ranging from Netflix to Kinkos, YPO, EO, and Activision Blizzard, check out the archives, lots of great episodes there. And of course, this episode’s brought to you by Rise25, where we help B2B companies to get clients, referrals, and strategic partnerships with done-for-you podcasts and content marketing. And you can learn more about what we do at 

And I’m excited today. First of all, I want to shout out to an old friend, Jayson Gaignard of Mastermind Talks, who first introduced me to our guest here today. But we have a special connection from our past, which I’ll tell you about in a second. My guest is Joey Coleman. He is an award-winning speaker who specializes in customer and employee retention. This is my second time interviewing Joey; it is always a lot of fun. And previously, we talked about his previous book, which was about how to never lose a customer again. But now we’re going to talk about how he’s applied that First 100 days methodology, which is what he’s been speaking and training on for many years, to the world of employees. So we’re going to talk all about that. And here’s a fun fact: Joe and I discovered we met at a business conference Mastermind Talks. But we discovered that we’re both former practicing attorneys. And we both are in the very small universe of people who actually worked in the same White House during the Clinton years Joey in the Counsel’s Office. So he’s a little bit more qualified than I was. But really interesting, fun guy and speaks all over the globe. So it’s got really interesting stories to come from. But Joey, first of all, I want to ask you about how you decided to take your methodology, which you had been training, speaking on all these years, on stages, but applying it to clients and customers, and how you decided that I’m going to turn this and I’m going to apply these concepts, this framework to helping employers to keep their employees

Joey Coleman 2:37

are Well, John, first of all, thanks so much for having me back on the show. And thanks for the kind words of introduction; it is always a pleasure to get a chance to hang out with you and chat. And yes, the stories we could tell about our times during the Clinton administration were super exciting, to say the least. But you know, it’s interesting, you’re right. I’ve been in the customer experience space for over 20 years. And I was about five minutes into my journey as a customer experience person when I realized that you can’t have a great customer experience without having great employees to deliver that experience. The challenge, I think is in most organizations, they treat customer experience and employee experience as two very different things, even though I would posit they are inextricably linked to each other. Most organizations, at least structurally, don’t approach them the same way. So, while I was doing all of this work on the customer side, and I knew that employee experience was important, it didn’t rise to the same level on my radar screen, until after my first book came out. And a couple months after that I got an email from a reader and all the email said was, dear Joey, if you wrote a book called Never Lose an Employee Again, I would buy it. That was it. And I was like, well, that’s interesting. And it kind of caught me off guard. And I responded, Because Oh, thanks so much. I appreciate that. But long story short, I received about half a dozen to a dozen more emails exactly like that. No additional context, no additional background. If you wrote a book called Never Lose an Employee Again, I would buy it. Now, I don’t know about you, John, I’m not the brightest crayon in the box. And, you know, it took a couple of times before I was like there might be some interest in this. And so I started to pull on that thread of what employee experience could look like and what the challenges were that employers were having all over the world with engaging their employees, finding great talent, retaining great talent, all these aspects of the employee journey. And the more I dove into it, the more excited I got that there might be something here to work with. And that kind of led to me speaking on the topic. And I always have a tendency to speak about topics before I write about them just to kind of see what the audience’s reaction is going to be. And when I started speaking on it, people got really excited. And they wanted to learn more and I was like, Alright, there’s something here and that kind of eventually led into the book and to where we are today.

John Corcoran 5:00

Did you find that there? Now you do a lot of consulting as well speaking to a lot of different audiences? Could you find that there were a lot of companies that did a really good job with the client experience side, and just did like a crap job on the employee side and just didn’t really didn’t realize the disconnect between those two,

Joey Coleman 5:19

What I actually found John was that employee experience and customer experience are two sides of the same coin. If you ever great customer experience, chances are pretty likely that you have a great employee experience as well. Because it’s tough to deliver that remarkable experience for your customers if your employees aren’t happy if they’re not enjoying coming to work. And so what I actually found in some ways was the inverse of that I found a lot of companies that were having a really bad customer experience. And when I started working with their teams, as a consultant, I was like, no wonder you have a miserable customer experience. People hate coming to work here. They don’t feel supported, they don’t feel encouraged. They’re not engaged, they don’t feel empowered. We know

John Corcoran 5:59

how can they possibly motivate to get excited about serving a client, if they’re feeling resentful that their employer doesn’t have their back or isn’t supporting them? That sort of thing?

Joey Coleman 6:10

John 100%. And what we find is that there’s kind of a snowballing effect here that as the employee experience gets worse, and the employees are unhappy coming to work, then when they do interact with the customers, they’re complaining, and there’s a surly and they’re just, you know, not really enjoying it, which makes the customers more irritable. And then those customers continue to talk to other employees at the organization. And it just becomes this spiraling adventure, which has not a positive outcome at the end for sure.

John Corcoran 6:43

Yeah, yeah. And so at what point did you realize that you could take this methodology, which I assume when you develop the first 100 days methodology, that you weren’t thinking of applying it to employees? At one point, did you? Did you think like, I don’t need to come up with a whole new set of factors or, or set of principles, I can take what I built before and apply it?

Joey Coleman 7:06

Well, John, as a pattern recognizer, something I kind of pride myself on and tried to do, I had hoped that I might be able to apply it, not for the least of which reasons is the selfish understanding of gosh, I already know how to speak on these phases in this first 100 days. And it’s like, if this works in the employee realm, that can be really interesting. And I started doing research, and I started looking at studies and trying to figure out what was going on on the employee side. And what I found, and you alluded to this earlier, is in the customer space, somewhere between 20 and 70%, of new customers will quit doing business with you before the 100-day anniversary. And that was staggering to me on the customer side. It’s the place where I started my research on the employee side now it’s like how quickly do employees quit. And what I found is it’s almost eerie. The parallel that it’s again, about 20 to 70%, of newly hired employees will quit before they’ve been there three months before the 100-day anniversary. And I thought, well, if they’re quitting at the same rate, and at the same volumes, and this is such a, you know, crisis that many organizations are dealing with, but not really talking about, I wonder if the methodologies and the frameworks and the philosophies I adopted on the customer side would work over the on the employee side. And not only was I pleasantly surprised that they did, but when I started doing the research, I was able to identify dozens of companies who said to me, yeah, Joey, so we read your first book, and like, it was great for the customers. But to be honest, we kind of broke the rules. We applied it to our employees, too. And it’s worked incredibly well. So I actually had people that were applying this methodology in this framework, before I even thought about writing the book. And they had case studies, examples, and data that we could look to, and I was like, alright, this works in the real world. And that allowed us to kind of flourish from there.

John Corcoran 9:06

So we’re recording this in August of 2023. It’s been a couple of years now people have been talking about the great you know, a great resignation, great resignation, right? You know, and, and people leaving and you know, after co

Joey Coleman 9:21

quitting all these cute,

John Corcoran 9:27

cute to some people.

Joey Coleman 9:29

I believe being facetious when I say, like, people are like, Oh, my gosh, it’s a nightmare out there. And you’re trying to point it into this cutesy phrase to make me feel better about the situation.

John Corcoran 9:39

Right, exactly. And but all those things are relatively new. And what’s really interesting to me is that you actually have the idea of doing this book and started working on this book before COVID happened. And then wisely when COVID hit you said, You know what, this is really there could be some repercussions here. This could really change the world of work, and so you actually put a pause on it. There’s a good thing you did, because I imagine, you know, if you’d written this book and completed it in February 2020, you probably would have had a lot of stuff to throw out.