Stop enabling toxic environments
Your daily schedule is probably to wake up, go to your 9-5 job, work your heart out, head home, rinse and repeat. This is the reality for the majority of people in the world. According to studies, the average person changes jobs 12 times or more during their career. On top of the 12 job switches, according to the Social Security Administration, the average person works for 35 years before retiring. So, if we crunch some quick numbers, the average person remains at their job for 3 years before jumping ship and finding something different. Can you guess two of the top reasons given for a job switch? “Because of my boss” and “bad company culture.” We have all been there, and if you haven’t, never leave your job.
There are many types of bosses from micromanager to the never-present puppet figure. There are also many types of workplaces; the eternal ping-pong club or the office where you’ve never seen anyone because your cubicle walls are so high. This is not a criticism of either type of office but there is one solution to all employee retention. Relationships. Companies all over the world invest money every year into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, but how many of those companies invest the same time and effort into Employee Relationship Management? Relationships are the biggest reasons that people leave companies or any type of social circle. People have a need to feel wanted and special.
Employee engagement is the key just like customer engagement. Who are you more likely to send a gift to: an employee who had a bad day, or a customer that is teetering on the brink of indecision about whether or not to purchase your product? Hopefully the answer is the employee, because the cost of replace an $8/hour employee is $10,000. That can get expensive. While we are of course grateful our customers and do our best to care for them, showing our appreciation to our employees is just as important as taking care of our customers.
What do employees need? The number one thing is recognition. Employee of the month barely qualifies as recognition but is rather an incentive. Recognition is remembering birthdays, commenting on family matters that you heard about through genuine conversation. Do you know if your coworker is reading a good book? Does your employee go fishing after work or on the weekends? What kind of snacks do they keep on their desk? These minor details or clues can make all the difference in creating an optimal company culture. When having a conversation with a coworker, they mention the struggles of being a lefty in a world designed for right-handed people. This detail is immediately filed away and prepared for use, as August 13th is National Left-handers’ Day. On the 13th we are going to party like we are all southpaws. Why? We want to enjoy coming to work! I want to arrive and be asked if I am still heartbroken over the NBA finals outcome. I want to be able to discuss hobbies and activities outside of writing blogs and designing websites.
Employee relationship management is not just the boss’s responsibility, though. Every member of the team can try to improve their environment. I once had a job where every day for a year I debated calling in sick. I didn’t leave despite the rough work environment because I needed to pay rent. I had a difficult year. Looking back on that work environment, I recognize one very important thing. I made no effort to change it. What if I had actually learned everyone’s dreams, hobbies, goals and birthdays? I believe that the workplace vibe would have shifted drastically and become a much better place. Relationship management and development is key for a happy life, and not just in the workspace.
Some people are close with their extended families and some are not. My extended family may as well all speak a different language for how well I know them. I have 75 cousins on one side of my family. I can’t even remember all of their names let alone other details of their personal lives. Before family reunions, I have to call other family members to get a quick breakdown of who’s who, so I don’t make a fool of myself. I don’t remember birthdays, ages, or anything important about them. As you can imagine, it makes for some uncomfortable encounters and a bad family culture. There is no real, deep interaction with anybody.
Some people are great friends who remember the important things going on in the lives of their social circle. I am not. I have wished my friends happy birthday on the appropriate day, probably once in my life. I am the king of “happy late birthday.” I don’t have a good calendar and I don’t check Facebook in time to see when people’s birthdays are. My friends are great, they get me gifts and remember exactly when I was born which makes the whole situation even worse. This is a bad friend culture on my part.
What is the solution? If you are my grandma, you have a massive calendar and a giant diary where you write in tiny letters (so everything fits) all of the important dates and details. If you are a good boss, you probably have notes on all of your employees. If you are a good friend, you are probably constantly setting reminders for yourself. What if you had all the information you could possibly need to create a good company, family, and friend culture- all at once? Enter ZooWho.
ZooWho is designed for people like me who feel guilty all the time about being a sub par co-worker, friend, and cousin. ZooWho is all about capturing the important details about people in your social circle so that you can actively engage with them. The breakdown is simple: that coworker of mine who is a lefty mentions their struggles and that August 13th is their special day to celebrate their uniqueness. I hop on my ZooWho app and I make note of these important details, and then I set a notification for myself to do something special on August 13th. ZooWho has some unique features that combine important event reminders with important information, and effective relationship management all in one place. Grandma no longer needs to get carpal tunnel in order to keep track of all the grandkids. She has all their information under one contact. ZooWho is actually the solution that everyone needs to manage the important relationships in their lives. No more forgetting things and feeling like a jerk. You can be the best coworker, friend, and family member.