The Importance of Happy Employees in a Passion & Provision Company - Episode 16 [Podcast]

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In episode 16 of our podcast, Michael and Kathryn speak on why happy employees are not a warm, fuzzy fantasy, but add to the bottom line of every business. Even big, profitable companies are leaving money on the table if their staff is “sleepwalking at work.”

people with their hands in the airIn This Episode You Will Learn:

  • How to know if your employees are “engaged.”

  • What will engage them

  • What is the definition of an “engaged employee?”

  • The true cost of turnover

  • Multiple resources on happiness

“Happy employees contribute to both sides of the equation of Passion and Provision.”

– Kathryn Redman

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The Happiness Advantage

The Coming Jobs War

The Carrot Principle

HealthStream Research


Michael: Welcome to HaBO Village podcast. This is Michael Redman.

Kathryn: And I’m Kathryn Redman.

Michael: And this is podcast that is helping business leaders in small companies create passion and provision companies.

Michael: And all that’s what we are all about.

Kathryn: That is what we’re all about.

Michael: That’s the strive, that’s the battle, that’s the daily pursuit.

Kathryn: It’s true.

Michael: And sometimes it’s a battle and it’s harder than, um, it is as you know as business leaders. Sometimes, uh…

Kathryn: It’s harder than it is.

Michael: It’s harder than it is.


Michael: It’s harder than it sounds. It’s harder – it’s harder than we want it to be. Sometimes it’s a chore.


Michael: And you- and if you’re leading a company you get it, you understand. Sometimes you just wanna pull your hair out because you're trying so hard to create something of value to yourself and others…

Kathryn: And you’re thinking – and you’re thinking to yourself right now, “Goodness gracious me! What kind of week have they had?”


Michael: Yeah. It’s been a – it’s been, you know what? There’s always those challenges and everything else that you have and we’re coming in to the studio today and experiencing just some tiredness. I – at least I am.


Michael: Are you?

Kathryn: You know what? I am doing better than you are, we’re just gonna plough on.

Michael: Yes. Sometimes it just happens because you don’t get a great night’s sleep the night before, and last night was a late – there wasn’t as many hours in the – in the sleeping part. Uh, you know what? As leaders, you probably understand that. You have those kind of, um, opportunities, days that are great and days you're just like, “You know what? This is a little harder than I expected it to be.”

Today we’re gonna talk about – now that we’ve got all that out of the way – be a little vulnerable there for you. Today we’re gonna talk about happy employees. Happy – why is it important to have happy employees in a passion and provision company?

Kathryn: And what do we even mean by happy?

Michael: That’s a great…

Kathryn: That’s such a weird word.

Michael: It is indeed.

Kathryn: We want employees to be happy, happy, happy, happy.

Michael: People get upset when we start talking about the word happy at work.


Michael: Um, sometimes we - we’ve, we’ve encountered people who, um, using words like happy and hope with business actually angers some people.

Kathryn: Hmm.

Michael: Why do you think that is?

Kathryn: I think – yeah.

Michael: I've – I have my own thoughts but…

Kathryn: I mean, I think it’s because people don’t tend to think about work as a place that that’s a criteria, like work is just what you do. It’s where you go to earn a paycheck to work for the weekend and the happy place is actually Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday…

Michael: Yeah.

Kathryn: When you don’t have to put in hours at work.

Michael: Yeah, I think – I totally agree with that and Kathryn and I talked about this a lot. Um, I think what also happens at a core of who we are, is if I could make my place a happy place to work, why wouldn’t I? But I think there’s a – there’s a point in which for some of us, we have lost the ability to believe, based on our experience and all kinds of stuff, that that’s just not what work can be.

Kathryn: Hmm.

Michael: It’s a little too hard. It’s a little too cruel. It’s a little too difficult.

Kathryn: People are a little too difficult.

Michael: You just can’t…

Kathryn: Why answer a struggle?

Michael: You just can’t do that, and so, why do we talk about this? Because I think this is – these are obstacle to thinking why is it – uh, why is happy important, and I think that if you just give us a chance today, um, some of you are going, ''Yes. I totally agree,'' and we’re gonna help you understand more about what we mean by that and how you actually think through that. There’s actually some really practical things that we can look out. If you're a little bit frustrated right now and hearing about happy and you’re thinking you gonna turn us off, because this is not the episode for you, stay with us because I want you to take the opportunity to listen to us and hear why we think that happy employees are important and what we mean by that and that there actually is a repeatable method that you can get to for that and there’s good legitimate reasons on both sides of the equation to, to strive for that and try to figure out what that looks like.

Kathryn: Well and if you listen to us because this concept of passion and provision within your company resonates with you, then we’ll just tell you upfront the reality is that happy employees contribute to both sides of that equation.

Michael: Absolutely.

Kathryn: And so we’re gonna talk a little bit about that as we go forward, but just know that this is not just we want everyone to feel good. This actually has bottom line significant results for how your company functions.

Michael: So, let’s jump into talking about what we mean by happy. So, what do we mean by happy, Kathryn?

Kathryn: So, what do mean by happy? Well, we’re not alone in thinking that um, happiness matters.

Michael: Not at all.

Kathryn: Um, there’s an entire field of study called Positive Psychology, um, that isn’t just the power of positive thinking.

Michael: It’s not.

Kathryn: Um, so, please don’t confuse it with that, but, um, a book was written – I don’t know – I don’t know what that date is on this but, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, A-C-H-O-R, The Happiness Advantage.

Michael: He’s written probably three books now on the research on, um, happiness and he’s also got a couple of TED talks…

Kathryn: Okay.

Michael: So, if you wanna look him up there, he’s been around a while and…

Kathryn: Yeah. And this particular book was published in 2010, I just actually opened and looked.

Michael: And this is 2017…

Kathryn: That’s one way to find out, so…

Michael: When we’re recording this.

Kathryn: Yeah. So, one of the things that’s important is just defining what do even mean by happiness, and we’re not just defining it by looking on Google. We’re not defining it by little smiley face emoticons. Um, really it’s – I’m gonna read the section of the book. So, Sean Achor says this, “How to have - how do the scientists define happiness? Essentially, as the experience of positives emotions, pleasure combined with deeper feelings of meaning and purpose. Happiness implies a positive mood in the present and a positive outlook for the future. Martin Seligman, the pioneer in positive psychology, has broken it down into three measurable components, pleasure, engagement and meaning.”

Michael: Hmm, I like that a lot as a definition. So what, what, what are those three again?

Kathryn: Pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

Michael: Pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: So what, what, Achor is saying here, first of all, this whole idea of positive psychology and what they’re doing, it is a field of study in the academic arena that has been submitted to academic rigor.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: You just need to know that they’re – it is talking about – and really the bottom line of what positive psychology is, is after you assess and look at – it’s the whole field of looking at what has made people successful in any realm or area and looking at the data points that seemed to be out layers but out layers in the higher spectrum. Is there a way to move the average person up because there’s potential there that we’ve ignored, and that’s what happens in a lot of this, this field of study and there’s been a lot of great authors that have come out and that whole subject right there, what we’re talking about is those three key things. One more time, Kathryn.

Kathryn: Pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

Michael: So, when you have – when, when you’re doing something in your going, “I have pleasure. I like this,” “Do you like this?” “Yeah.” “Do you hate it?” “No.” Uh, I’m engaged. I have a measure of pleasure. I have a measure of engagement. I am somehow, um – I’m interested. I am – you have my interest, you have my attention, it seems relevant and I’m involved. We all know what an engagement looks like in a conversation. Are you engaged in this conversation or not? We all know as leaders what it looks like to have an employee, at least generally, this employee, he is engaged or he’s not engaged, and then, meaning is, ''Do I believe that what I’m doing has a purpose and meaning beyond myself at a larger scale?''

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: At a larger scale, am I contributing to something that’s larger for the company and am I contributing something that’s maybe even larger in the community? A lot of people will say, and business leaders, when you’re working with employees they just need to figure this out themselves. Look, you're’ the leader.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: Lead!

Kathryn: Hmm.

Michael: And sometimes leading is actually giving – a matter of fact, always, leading is giving people a vision.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: Giving your employees a vision and then reminding them because people get down into the day to day of just getting stuff done and working for you…

Kathryn: Yeah. And they forget why they’re working and what the point is.

Michael: Totally!

Kathryn: The picture is.

Michael: And it’s easy to lose track of the big picture. Why the heck – it’s, it’s easy to lose track of the why. Why I am doing this? So, when we look at this, when you can give them a sense of – at work they can experience doing their work, a sense of pleasure, a sense of engagement, and a sense of purpose, what you’re going to have – the scientists talk about, you know, all these, these other names for it, but Achor what he did is he came in and said, basically what we’re saying is, in a general level, the – for the average person, happy.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: Are your employees happy? And we’re not talking surface happy. You can tell by that definition.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm. In fact, he kinda goes back to, um, Aristotle, and a definition – a word in the Latin that Aristotle used which I believe is pronounced eudemonia.

Michael: Hmm.

Kathryn: Which translates not just to happiness but to human flourishing…

Michael: Yeah.

Kathryn: And that’s part of the definition that he really likes, cause again, it isn’t about smiley faces and rainbows and emoticons. It’s about, um – it’s a translation of happiness as, he’ll say it’s the joy we feel striving after our potential. So, it’s when what we’re doing is actually drawing our potential out of us and we’re going after it and it’s – it produces all of this positive sense of hope, um, and joy and all of those things.

Michael: Okay. Stop there. If you’re listening to this podcast for the first time, you need to go back and listen to our very first podcast on what passion and provision is.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: For those of you who are caught with that, let’s talk about that a second. When we talk about passion, that’s exactly what we’re talking about.

Kathryn: Yup.

Michael: Passion is not something that’s fleeting, just like what we’re talking about here is happiness is not just fleeting and we’re not talking about something shallow. We’re talking about something that refers to human flourishing, pursuing your potential. Passion is something that comes out of that.

Kathryn: Yeah. And remember – and this is one of the things we talked about in a little bit more depth in that first podcast but, um, part of the reason that we are so passionate about this subject, um, stems back to a book called The Coming Jobs War that Michael read a bunch of years ago…

Michael: I have that here right in front me.

Kathryn: That – and he happens – it’s shocking – has it in front of him, and Michael, remind us what is the statistic on disengagement at least to the point when they wrote this book?

Michael: Well, when they wrote the book, um, 74% of Americans working are disengaged.

Kathryn: And what do we mean by disengaged?

Michael: So, Gallup defines disengaged as “sleepwalking at work.”

Kathryn: Sleepwalking at work. Can you just imagine the impact on your clients, your bottom line, the productivity in your company if your employees are disengaged, if they’re just putting in time, working for the weekend, and really not engaging in the process and then what you’re trying to achieve and accomplish as a company. I mean, it doesn’t take a lot of creativity to think about a scenario in which that would be the case. Just pain, I mean it’s just horrible.

Michael: Alright. So, for those of you who are going – look this is all nice, warm, fuzzy crap, I’m – blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. What’s the point? Cuz I know some of you who are listening to this podcast and that’s what you’re saying right now. At least you thinking it somewhere in the back, there’s this thought rambling around. What’s the point? Get to the point, how it’s relevant to money. Uh, I’m gonna reference a book called The Carrot Principle.

Carrot Principle, uh, was written several years ago and was based on a 10-year study of 200,000 managers and employees. Uh, it was run by a, a health organization, um, and I can’t remember the name of the organization that ran it, but this was a significant deal – oh, HealthStream Research, uh, and the central characteristic truly effective management, the elements that shows up time and again in every great work place.

Alright. So, here’s what’s happening, uh, in this study, 10-year study, they went back and said, um, how do you measure engagement and can you measure it profitably, and they – there’s some great stuff. You wanna get this book like literally page 16 – 15, 16, 17, 18, they start off with saying, “This is huge.” So, for instance, how often people – do you have to hire people? How often do they leave your company? What’s the average retention rate? It – you – it is said by multiple organization that to rehire somebody, hire a new person, and get them up to speed, takes usually 1.2 to 1.5, and in some situations, two times the amount of annual salary.

Kathryn: Hmm.

Michael: So, there’s that much wasted time of efficiency and effectiveness from everything from people who have to train, correct, guide, to the inefficiencies of an employee until they get to the place where they’re humming along. It can take that long. It can take that much money. So, if you’re paying somebody a hundred thousand dollars a year, and they’re humming along and then they quit, to refill that position, not only – it, it could cause you and an extra investment of somewhere between $120,000 to $200,000 just to get them back up to speed. That’s a – that’s something you don’t see on the balance sheet, but it – it’s there.

Kathryn: Yeah.

Michael: It’s a massive cost. It’s costing you money in your investment in them and it’s costing you productivity. Okay? So, here’s one of the stats. Just in that alone, according to author Fred Reichheld, a 5% increase in employee loyalty, 5% increase in, in – not a huge one, in company loyalty which comes from they’re derived – derived, one of the aspects of engagement to a happy costumer or happy employees to the idea that they’re gonna stay around in your company longer, that’s not hard to imagine…

Kathryn: Hmm-hmm.

Michael: If I’m happy with my job – why do people leave their job? They’re unhappy. At some level, they’re unhappy. So, if I’m happy, I’m gonna stick around. If I just get a 5% increase in employee loyalty in my company. It, it correlates to a 50% increase in increased profits.

Kathryn: Wow! That’s big.

Michael: And these are a lot of large companies, and yet, some 75% of U.S. workers are not fully engaged in the job, and that’s what they we’re saying in this book and, and we just said that one minute ago, it’s 74 in another study.

Kathryn: Yeah.

Michael: There’s – the return...

Kathryn: And there are – there are hundreds. I mean, there’s like – there’s been over 200 scientific studies on, you know, 275,000, 300,000 people that, that really correlate this idea of happiness translating in success, and we’re not just talking about success at work. We’re talking about success in every area of life. So job is part of it, but health, friendships, marriage, community involvement, all of that, but also, job career, and business. If people are able to be in a place where they’re happy, then there’s an incredible positive thing that happens out of that, that will impact your company.

Michael: So, you could see by having this, there is measurements. There is proof, lots of really good rigorous scientific proof that says – that people have actually done and says, “These happy employees, these engaged employees, your company can see a better return on equity, better return on assets, and, and a better return on, on profit based on, on retention, based on engagement, but…”

Kathryn: Based on the fact that happy employees take less sick days. They burn out less. There’s just – there’s just a direct correlation and medicine would tell you that, right? People who are happy are typically healthy.

Michael: This is huge stuff folks, and, and some of you know it and many of you know it intuitively. Matter of fact, if you're listening to a podcast called Passion and Provision, there’s a good chance that, that you either know this stuff and you're looking for more answers, you're looking for a community of people that are gonna encourage you more in this thought because it’s not always easy to find people who believe these things, and you’re looking for statistics and numbers and things that can actually prove the – provide the evidence for you, uh, in all this context, and, and some of you're going, “Well, maybe I’m just checking this out.” This is fundamental in our idea or model of running a passion and provision company.

Now, let’s tell a couple of stories. Um, we run a very small shop. There’s less than – if you take our actual number of employees and you take our part-time employees and you take our vendors, there’re less than 15 of us.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: Now, you have to understand, when we say vendors, we’re talking our really close vendors, and our close vendors, our graphic designer, our videographer…

Kathryn: Web, web designer.

Michael: Uh, web design development company and stuff like that, those people have been with us, um, I think the, the one that’s been with us the least amount of time is five years. The most is probably 13, 14 – 12, 13 years with one of the companies. These are people that are, are, are in our secondary tier of our culture. They experience our culture, they like working with us, they find it, um, enjoyable, they find it engaging, and because of that, we find them useful, valuable, engaging, we like working with them, and we all know how to solve problems together. When we have problems, we were able to solve them and get through them. There is a pleasure, a satisfaction, and an engagement that happens with our vendors and stuff that’s really good. The idea of having a vendor who knows your company well, so every dollar you spend is like, “These people understand us. They understand what we’re about. They understand how we go about problems.” We’re not trying to come up with a new way of, “Oh well, you like – you like voice mail and I like to text and I hate voice mail.” That kind of stuff isn’t happening anymore, right? It’s – the inefficiencies kinda bleed away and then the rest of our employees, you know, there’re less than 10 of us on average in the office on a regular basis, and those people are at staff meeting Monday morning and then, they're at our what we call “Wrap,” the last hour of the week on Friday afternoon which is basically are in the house, no work, we’re having Hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer, hanging out, and just breathing deep and building – hanging out together without – socially in a sense, but they’re on the clock and we’re paying for it because we’re engaging in culture. We’re engaging in community and we’ve been doing this for years, and it’s part of what has – what we’ve been able to, um, see as super valuable, but what I’m saying is this, our, our experience is we’re doing this, so we want you to know this is totally possible, and, and we’re engaging in a place where our, our employees stick around, even our 20 somethings, right? The millennials who everybody says are, are not working hard and they’re going off and they’re – and it’s hard to keep them in a job. Um, we’re losing one of our staff members who’s in her late 20s, uh, phenomenal gal. She’s got a great opportunity and, and was offered an opportunity to move to a, a different industry’s per se and a bit larger company and we’re really sad to see her go. She’s been with us three and a half years.

Kathryn: Three and a half years.

Michael: And she was…

Kathryn: Yeah.

Michael: College intern before that.

Kathryn: Yeah. And she’s not leaving because she’s unhappy. In fact, it’s a – it’s a fun thing cuz uh, there’s a place in which, you know, we’re working hard to do everything that we can and yet happy employees still leave.

Michael: Happy employees still leave. It does happen. Now…

Kathryn: It does happen.

Michael: On the average, there’s a lot of folks who’d say, especially if you're in a larger city environment, you're seeing employees come and go probably every 12 to 14 months.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: Uh, there’s a – there’s a steady stream of folks that are doing that and we’re just not seeing it Hal a Bubble Out. We’re seeing engagement. They like it. They wanna be around, um, you know, and you in your 20s, there’re other things you wanna do also and experience other things and not everybody’s cut out to be in one company their whole life, uh, and that’s okay. It’s really – I – it’s hard to have happy employees because you have to be vulnerable.

Kathryn: Hmm.

Michael: You know what, folks? I’m just gonna call it – one of the reasons a lot of us don’t like to do it, is we don’t like to get hurt. We don’t like to get our feelings hurt and if I get too attached to you and then you leave, um, I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I feel betrayed. If I can just – and that’s one of the reasons we do this at work. We separate stuff out and, and I’m gonna pick on men, because I think men do it more than women, but I’m seeing more women, I think, do it too cuz we’re human. It’s like, “Look, I just – you know, just easier if I don’t at all – don’t get into like gushy stuff.”


Kathryn: Yeah. We’re not gonna bring our personal life to work at all. We’re, we’re completely separate because we don’t – we don’t want that messiness, um, and that’s – and, and sometimes it’s just kinda been drilled into us, right?

Michael: Hmm.

Kathryn: Of your corporate training is that idea that, you know, leave your personal life at home and don’t bring it to work, and my argument against that always is, we’re - we're whole people.

Michael: Yeah.

Kathryn: I’m gonna bring all of who I am to work and the only question is, is work gonna be a place that’s gonna walk with me through stuff or a place that’s going to tolerate me while I, um, am being very ineffective because I’m dealing with my life.


Michael: When you’re honest with your employees about that, you know, it’s like it works. People feel cared about more, and, and, and I can see some of you who are wondering right now cuz we’ve had this conversation with folks. You’re thinking, “Well, great. Now the - now the workplace – now we’re – you're talking about being more engaged and then you’re talking about bringing all these emotions in and, and that’s gonna make them less engaged cuz now they're just – it’s all a big counseling session.”

Kathryn: Hmm.

Michael: And that’s really not what – and trust me, that’s really not what happens. Actually, what happens when you have mature people is you have people who share a little bit. They talk when they’re having a hard time. They share and then they get back to work. They feel like they’ve been listened to. It’s amazing how powerful it is when somebody just feels like they’ve been listened to and heard and known. We have a deep desire as human beings to be known, and the only reason somebody says I don’t is usually because they don’t wanna get hurt.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: They’ve been hurt by being known, I don’t wanna be known, I don’t – I don’t have a desire for that, and so, all these things, why are we talking about all these things? All these things go into happiness and happy employees. Now, you can have – you can choose happy employees for two reasons. One reason is just an existential reason. You think people should be engaged and happy in life and everything else. Another totally other reason is, look, you wanna be selfish? You wanna be – you wanna just be the numbers? Then, you need healthy employees, cuz literally, you’re going to drive your numbers up. You're gonna drive your, your – all your profit, your return on equity, your return on assets, and – and you look at it, it’s gonna make your company more profitable, and quite frankly, when you call a company’s tech service or customer support, and you talk to somebody who loves their job and it’s obvious versus somebody who is in a pissy mood and they don’t like their job and they’re…


Michael: And they just got chewed out by their boss and they don’t care, which one do you enjoy working more? Which one represents their company better? Which one are you more willing to engage and tell other people about?

Kathryn: Uh-hmm. Absolutely. There’s nothing worse than getting that person on the phone when you are trying to solve a problem who really just doesn’t give a flying flip about your problem. They’re just – they got their own problems.

Michael: Alright. So, let’s talk about, I think at this point, some really practical things that you can do cuz we kinda promised some of that. Um, why don’t you read this? This is great stuff, Kathryn. Kathryn’s got, uh, some stuff from The Carrot Principle, and why don’t you read that and then we can talk about some stuff that we do in management for the – that we learned from The Coming Jobs War.

Kathryn: Okay. So, one of the – one of the questions you probably are asking is how do you measure, um, your – whether your employees are engaged or they are not engaged. So, I’m gonna read seven questions or indicators. So, there’s indicators of employee engagement. So, this would be as a manager, you’re looking at your employees and you would describe it this way. So, the first one is, “Employees in my department consistently put in an extra effort beyond what is expected.” Second, “Employees in my department are highly motivated to contribute to the success of the organization,” which by the way presupposes they understand the goals and values and big picture of the organization because you’ve done a good job of – as a leader, of actually articulating those things and repeating them and helping people understand what it is that the company is about.

Michael: And we’re gonna come back to that in a few minutes on talking about what it looks like.

Kathryn: Okay. Third is, “Employees in my department consistently look for more efficient and effective ways of getting the job done.” That is a great indicator that people are happy.

Michael: I like that.

Kathryn: “Employees in my department,” this is four, “Employees in my department have a strong sense of personal accomplishment from their work.”

Michael: How many numbers do we have?

Kathryn: Seven.

Michael: Seven. We’re on four?

Kathryn: We’re on four

Michael: Okay.

Kathryn: Seven is the perfect number.

Michael: As for me and everybody listening.

Kathryn: I said seven at the beginning.

Michael: Oh, well.

Kathryn: Oh, you know. Number five, “Employees in my department understand how their roles help the organization meet its goals.” Number six, “Employees in my department always have a positive attitude when performing their duties at work,” and number seven, “My manager does a good job of recognizing employee contribution.” So, those are seven indicators that are, um, the strongest indicators according to the guy who wrote The Carrot Principle of employee engagement.

Michael: Those are good things.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: I think – do you –so, I’m asking all you listeners, do you want that in your employees? If you want that, I would call that good fruit.

Kathryn: Well and then, he goes on, and this is actually really helpful, to take those same exact things and say, “Okay. If you were to put those from the employee’s perspective instead of the manager’s perspective, what would that sound like?” So, I’m gonna read to those real quick, and again, it’s seven. So, number one, “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” Two, “My performance is evaluated in a manner that makes me feel positive about working.” Three, “Conflicts are managed in a way that results in positive solutions.” Four, “My opinions seem to matter to my manager.” Five, “My manager shares all the information my co-workers and I need in order to feel part of the team.” Six, “I receive the information I need to do my job.” Seven, “The organization has developed work/life policies that address my needs.” And l lied, there’s four more. Eight is “I trust my immediate manager.” Nine is “During the past year, communication between leadership and employees has improved.” Ten, “My manager does a good job of recognizing employee contributions,” and 11, “I have recently received praise for my work,” and we’ll put these in the show notes so you don’t have to go back and write them all down, but…

Michael: Happy employees, people who are engaged, they feel satisfied, engaged, and like they have meaning and purpose.

Kathryn: Meaning and purpose.

Michael: They are pursuing their potential. They are contributing to a bigger story. These are huge, huge attributes, huge attributes. I’ve talked about it before, The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton, chairman of Gallup International. I’ve – um, I highly recommend this book. I talked about it often to everybody who will listen, uh, because it actually changed – uh, it – I don’t know if it changed, but it radically, uh, um, engaged me six years ago when it came out in 2010. It was, um…

Kathryn: He was so engaged with this book that we were sitting on the steps of a cathedral in…

Michael: In northern England.

Kathryn: In northern England, in York, my hometown, and this cathedral is like, I don’t know, it’s to die for. It’s the best. I think it’s the best…

Michael: It’s the best cathedral.

Kathryn: It’s the best cathedral.

Michael: It’s the…

Kathryn: Let’s just say it.

Michael: We get to vote that.

Kathryn: We get to vote that.

Michael: In a very scientific study.


Kathryn: Yes. In a scientific completely objective study. Um, and he was sitting on the steps of the York Minster reading this book as if this monolithic incredible work of art was not just right behind him. So, that’s when I knew he was completely sucked in.

Michael: Well, I was inspired by the greatness of the Minster.

Kathryn: Ah, yes!

Michael: To think great and lofty…

Kathryn: To think great thoughts and lofty thoughts.

Michael: They are good thoughts about business. Alright. So, here’s the deal, uh, what I was trying to say is this book’s great and I talked about it – we talked about it in the podcast on management, um, and we will continue to talk about it because there’s two lists that I use and I know we’ve thrown a lot of lists at you today, but if there’re some stuff that’s practical and helpful out of this, um, and some nuts and bolts, the stuff out of The, uh, Carrot Principle and the list that Kathryn’s been reading are indicators or how you can notice and see, um, what managers are thinking about engaged employees and, and engaged employees are thinking about their managers and, and work from their perspective, and that’s really valuable cuz sometimes you're trying to figure out how to put that into a perspective. One of the things that I do is I have these two principles, these two lists that I use when we’re managing our staff on a regular basis. The first – actually, I originally got from The Carrot Principle in one small chapter because they realized that public recognition is – the whole theme of that book is public recognition or thoughtful recognition of accomplishments of employees, that was hard to say, is, um, provides a really amazing, um, benefit to the finances of your company, but you have to have four solid pieces first. You have to have clear goals, clear communication, accountability, and trust. Alright. We regularly talk about that. We have not achieved a nirvana in pursuing that or implementing that, but it is a regular part of our process and we’re constantly going back to how do we be better at goals, communicating those goals, holding people accountable, what does that look like, and building trust. Now, with that said, I also look at this, the five steps of, of a good job written in The Coming Jobs War and the first one is you get – you get paid enough that you're not poor.

Kathryn: Hmm.

Michael: That’s basically the summation of that. The rest of them are, uh, this is a good job. You know you're – you know what is expected of you at work and you have the inherent capacity to perform your tasks at work. Next one, “Your boss takes interest in your success and development.” He takes an interest. That’s a good job. That means there’s a lot of jobs out there that suck because bosses don’t take care of – take an interest in your success and your development. Your opinions count at work and you feel that your job has an important mission and purpose. Hear the – hear the similarities in, in all three of these books. They were written by completely different organizations at different times, but they’re all saying the same thing.

Kathryn: Well, and realize that The Coming Jobs War was not just a U.S. study. It was actually global.

Michael: Global study.

Kathryn: And so…

Michael: The first ever global study.

Kathryn: First ever – yeah, and so those – that list is actually true whether you are living in North America or whether you’re living in Zimbabwe or other third-world countries. The reality is that when people describe what it would be to have a good job, that’s the list it boils down to.

Michael: So, the topic today has been the importance of happiness of employees in a passion and provision company. You can’t have passion and provision without this concept of happiness, passion, all these different synonyms, but what we’re saying is you can’t have this, this type of a company. You can’t have this flourishing company. Financially, you can’t have a flourishing company or relationally and intrinsically, you can’t have a flourishing company for you as a leader, for your employees, even having raving fan customers, really, really, you need raving fan employees.

Kathryn: Yeah.

Michael: I mean…

Kathryn: They’re the ones that create raving fan customers as it turns out.

Michael: They really do. They really do. And, and so, you have to have this premise of today is we talked about this, this is part of our concept and our base philosophy and we see it – and we see it in the research. The research just screams it over and over again. The companies that have really done well, great, great companies to work for that are financially successful and thriving and growing and healthy, they have these aspects. They think about it. Now, here’s what happens, there are companies out there that are, are full of people who don’t care how happy anybody is, the leaders are cranky, the employees are cranky, people come and go and these are still extremely large wealthy, wealthy companies.

Kathryn: Yup.

Michael: Make lots of money, they are on the stock exchange. They may even be in the Fortune 500. They may even be in the Fortune 100, um, but here’s a couple of things I want you to think about, first of all, what we’ve already shown you is just a glimpse of the research is there’s a lot potential those companies have…

Kathryn: That they’re missing.

Michael: That they’re missing completely, totally missing. There – there is a whole aspect that they’re missing financially and leaving money on the table. They’re wasting money with employee turnover. They’re wasting money with engagement issues because 74% or more of their employees are disengaged, which means they’re not even close to putting out their potential. They’re not even close to putting out what, what – they’re thinking, you know, what can I…

Kathryn: Well, and they know it, because many of them are hiring consultants to come in and help figure out how to create the culture that they’re not creating, right?

Michael: They do. Well, some of them are, and they’re like – and they’re trying to do it without fixing the whole thing.

Kathryn: Yup.

Michael: Like, “How do I put a Band-Aid on it?” So, the – these things are going on, but if you want a passion and provision company where you, as a leader, are seeing your company grow and your growing, um, your satisfaction and enjoyment of what you're doing and your passion is growing also, the fulfillment, whether your passion is the actual product or service your company delivers or it’s just building companies or it’s just seeing – offering jobs. I have – we have one friend who grew a huge – a company sold for a lot of money, millions of dollars and he doesn’t need to work again, and he’s back, started another company. You know the number one reason he gave me? I like to employ people.

Kathryn: Hmm. Quite a gift. It’s an interesting realization as an employer when, um, payday stops being s scary thing and starts being something you get to celebrate…

Michael: Yeah.

Kathryn: And, and for me, I’ve had to make conscious decisions at times when things felt scary to still celebrate payday that I actually get to help people live their lives and be employed. It’s super fun.

Michael: So, it probably feels like I went in for a landing and then I pulled up and…


Michael: Took a round…

Kathryn: Still circling, still circling.

Michael: And circling, “No, no, no, no, pull up! Pull up! No! Let’s land thing.” The whole idea – importance of happy employees, hopefully we’ve demonstrated at least at a – at a high level today that insights you think more about it, engage more, learn more, how do I do this more.

If you have questions, please leave them on our show notes page. We want and invite any comments. Um, we really would love that and then, I think what we’re gonna need to do, Kathryn, is set up an email that we can talk about – so people can shoot an email into the company, so we don’t…

Kathryn: Yeah.

Michael: Always have to go to the show notes page…

Kathryn: Sure.

Michael: Cuz I know sometimes that’s hard, and to be able to ask questions cuz we would love to be able to, to interact more with our listeners. We would love it if you would go over to, um, uh, iTunes and hit subscribe. That helps us to reach more people and helps us to know that you're listening and it also helps, uh, the more people we have hitting subscribe, the more opportunities we have be – to reach more people with this message. So, I hope this is helpful today. This is super important to us. We go out of our way. We have a huge, uh, appreciation for it and a high rating in our company of people who just they’re super happy with it, and even they leave, we talk to the employees who a lot of our employees have been gone, some of them for 10 years and we still see them, hug them, uh, and we still talk and communicate and go back and forth because our network builds and grows as we send people out.

Kathryn: Uh-hmm.

Michael: It’s not cut off. We don’t – we don’t – because we care about relationship, you don’t get cut off when you leave Half a Bubble Out.

Kathryn: Yeah. I wanted to add, I heard someone say recently, um, you know, people are gonna come and go. They’re going to be hired, they’re going to move on, and the only question really is when they leave, do you still have their heart.

Michael: This goes down to way more than just having a profitable business. It goes down to having a profitable life and, uh, we believe that profitable lives can make profitable companies. So, for myself…

Kathryn: And for me.

Michael: That’s two us’s.


Michael: Have a great week. Thank you for listening, and again, we’ll talk to you next week. Buh-bye.

Kathryn: Buh-bye.

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