Gary Vaynerchuk is right when he says today’s businesses must know how their employees feel
March 28, 2019
US entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk posts some awesome videos and when I watched one recently showing him telling a room full of CEOs that they should fire their most talented employees my ears pricked up.
The video has been doing the rounds on most social channels and after I caught it on Linkedin it didn’t surprise me that his no-nonsense comments sparked a fierce debate.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch, but what he’s basically saying is that it doesn’t matter who your best employee is, if he or she is making others in your business miserable then the fallout from dealing with the negative atmosphere and politics is going to drag your company down.
And that’s something your business can ill afford, so you’re better off saying goodbye to said starlet, however good a performer he or she is.
That may well run counter to most management theories you’ve ever come across and also risks sending your HR team into a panic. But there is logic to what he is saying, which I’ll come on to.
I started thinking about the video again after spotting a news article about a book by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at New York’s Columbia University, who warned that often it’s narcissists and egomaniacs who make it to the top of the corporate ladder.
And that’s not a good thing, because the reality is that they are the worst kind of leaders.
Why being a good boss is about managing down
“People get rewarded for sucking up, but leadership should be about managing down: turning a bunch of people into a high-performing team,” the professor said.
“A good boss gives constructive feedback and makes staff perform to a higher level. This is relatively rare, compared to ‘my boss doesn’t care about my development and is more focused on politics’. The irony is that those in the latter group get on.”
It’s hard not to disagree, and it’s a point Gary Vaynerchuk also picks up on in his video, when he states that as a business leader, your job is to pay attention to the human elements driving your business and understanding what they want ‘one by one’.
Gary insists that to succeed in the ‘Engagement Economy’ you have to pay attention to the human elements driving your business.
I’d go further than that.
With most products now becoming commoditised the way to win is with unparalleled service and that requires high motivated happy staff. That’s because today all businesses are competing in the ‘relationship era’ and it’s knowing how your customers and yes your employees feel about your business – and then doing something about it – which is going to give you the edge.
How much are you measuring employee happiness in your business?
Customer and employee happiness is key, but how much are you measuring employee happiness in your business?
The annual survey is great and has its place as an overall review of all aspects of their work from ‘how is the training’, ‘how is their manager’, ‘how is their work environment’ but it is not being used effectively as a tool to use for staff retention.
And how often does it just sit on the shelf for 12 months until the next one? What I’m talking about is something totally different, which is understanding how they feel in real time. Measuring is one thing, it’s doing something with the understanding you get that matters.
So you have got to find out how your employees feel and then do something with it!
If you discover that one of your employees has a problem, whether it’s work-related or not, then help them through it.
Alternatively, if they are really happy and tell you, then thank them for their efforts and remind them how valued they are.
And Employee Happiness Score (EHS) can serve as easy to understand number for your entire HR function to get behind. Once you know that then not only are you and your team in a position to resolve any issues, but you can also use it to manage your business – or better still by getting them to manage it for you.
So instead of thinking about firing your star employees, start thinking of how they are feeling – it could be the key to inspiring them instead.