128. The Things They Don’t Teach At Work (part 2)
The two big things most every company is missing
If my childhood teachings were truthful, girls are made up of sugar and spice and everything nice. Seems pretty accurate to me.
The one part of it I’ve questioned is the generality of the word “spice”. Which spice do you use to make a girl? Is it all spices? Is it just one? My wife definitely has a pinch or two of cayenne, but is there more? The recipe for girls is just a little bit too vague for my liking.
Fortunately, companies are much more straight-forward.
Companies are made up of only two ingredients:
It’s that simple.
No sugars, no spices and just some of the nice things but not all of them.
Products and people. In fact:
The quality of the PRODUCT and PEOPLE are a direct reflection on the quality of the company. It is a one-to-one correlation.
For instance, if there is inferior product and uncaring people, the result will be an inferior, uncaring company.
As I said before, it’s really that simple.
If you want to create a great company, you must focus on creating a great product with great people.
The Secret To A Great Product
So how do you create a great product? Well, it turns out that comes down to the great people. See? It’s getting even more simple!!
A company and it’s products are only as good as its people
Having great employees is critical to a company’s success. One might say it’s everything. Perhaps the only thing.
But it’s not just any highly capable people that matter. A company is not just a collection of individuals, but it’s about how well the collection can collaborate.
Think of those superstar sports teams who always pay for incredibly talented players (coughYankeescough), but when those talented players arrive, they just don’t live up to expectations.
Individual talent alone does not make great team work. You know what makes great teamwork? Great teamwork makes great teamwork.
There’s no “I” in teamwork but there certainly is a “we”.
If the individually talented folks can gel with the rest of the group and, in the process, raise everybody’s level of output, those individuals are highly valued. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t be on the team.
Collaborative interaction, when done effectively, increases productivity. It’s that whole 1 plus 1 equals 3 stuff.
The more productive, effective and collaborative the employees, the greater the growth potential for the company.
How Great Team Collaboration Happens
Collaboration in a company is all about the company culture. The better the company culture, the greater the productivity and the higher quality the employee collaboration.
A culture that is transparent and supportive, that focuses on EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS and healthy discourse, is one in which collaboration and productivity thrive.
Did you ever see those commercials from the California Dairy Foundation about happy cows? Great milk, they said, comes from happy cows.
Well, great companies come from happy employees. Not that I’m calling you a cow but… well… um... let’s just move on.
There are more than a handful of studies that prove, time and again, that happy employees are significantly more productive than unhappy employees. I’m talking 12 to 13% more productive. That’s nearly an extra day of productivity every week simply because they are happy at their job.
What is the key to creating happy employees?
How do you create happy employees?
Well gosh darnnit and throw a pig in a pile of pickles if I thought you’d never ask.
The key to creating happy employees is empathy. Empathy is the secret ingredient.
Yup, it’s that simple.
When individuals and leaders show empathy, healthy discourse, productive collaboration and general employee happiness is improved. This has been shown over and over in studies ranging from the Journal of Applied Psychology to Google.
Empathy is a critical trait of highly productive companies.
Do you know the single most recognized reason that people are unhappy at - and leave - their jobs?
You guessed it, it’s because their managers lack empathy. 2 out of every 3 people say they would quit due to lack of empathy in the workplace. In fact, there is a yearly study called the State of Workplace Empathy focused solely on this very subject. That’s how critical empathy is to every company’s success.
The bottom line for all of this is that the two most important elements for the ongoing success of any company are;
1. Hiring great PEOPLE
2. Increasing EMPATHY among leaders and staff
And herein lies the problem.
Companies are not training employees how to be better at either of those. Despite the fact that these two things are critical pieces to a company’s success, there is little to no employee training about how to be a great interviewer nor are they training employees on how to increase empathy.
This type of training is Just. Not. Happening.
Last week I talked about defensive employee training and offensive training.
To recap, defensive training is when you educate employees about things that will help avoid errors and potential lawsuits. This includes cyber-security training, HR processes and other such things.
Offensive training is education that enhances the employees’ skillset and brings value to both the employee’s and the company’s growth potential.
Though a lot of companies are providing certain offensive education opportunities for employees (like coding classes, product management certifications and tons of other things), can somebody please tell me why so few are actually training employees on the two most important aspects of company success?
Every company in the world would benefit by training employees to be great at interviewing and strengthening their levels of empathy.
What am I missing? I just don’t understand.
I mean, WTF…. Right?
Have you been with a company that proactively teaches empathy and/or interviewing skills?
If you have or haven’t, please reply in the comments. I want to know.
“If you were able to believe in Santa Claus for like 8 years, you can believe in yourself for like 5 minutes"
- job interview advice
Portugal-ing. In Portugal, it’s illegal for bosses to text employees after work hours. Time to work remote from Portugal, eh? (Stop texting, it’s late)
How Aussie’s Ride. That time an ostrich chased a couple of cyclists down the road. (pedal faster)
I Told You! Finally there’s proof. Drivers of expensive cars are 3x more likely to be d*****bags. (the cut off)
Another Useless Site. This ones for all my running industry friends out there (start scrolling)