Episode 112.5 – Green Apple Slice


Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote

The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Medium article, “Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote” by Dr. Cameron Sepah.


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    Good morning. Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices, and I have with me my co-host, partner in crime, all world Wonder Woman of Canada at Sage, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hey, John. How are you doing?

    John: Doing great, doing great. I had so many in a row where I got your title right and then I just blow the streak.

    Rachel: Totally blew it, yeah. That’s okay.

    John: But no, everything’s good. I appreciate you coming back and you’re travelling like crazy again this week coming up starting tomorrow.

    Rachel: Yeah. We’re doing this Sage One Certification tour right now and so travelling all across Canada teaching accountants and bookkeepers Sage One so I’m really excited to do that.

    John: Yeah, yeah. That’s so fantastic. But of course, every Monday, people know that we get together and talk through an article that we found and I found this on — it was on medium.com actually, and it was an article by Dr. Cameron Sepah and it was Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote.

    I thought it was really interesting. It’s a rather long article. If you want to read the whole thing, go to greenapplepodcast.com and there are links there. But it started out with a quote from Netflix Culture of, “The actual company values, as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go.”

    Rachel: Yeah, and so he really talks a lot more about kind of employees’ behaviors and how behaviors aren’t affected by whatever vision statement you have on the wall but it’s actually affected by not only the behavior that they see in their managers and in other executives and things like that but also, just being aware of who around them is getting promoted or fired or praised or reprimanded or anything like that and so he kind of talks about as children, we learn what to do or what not to do.

    Sometimes not because we’re told to or not to, it’s because we get rewarded for certain behavior or get reprimanded for certain behavior and so you learn to change your behavior to avoid those reprimands or to get the rewards and so that kind of innate natural instinct stays with us throughout our employment and so our behavior actually changes not based on what we’re told to do but based on what we see getting rewarded and getting reprimanded and so I thought that was pretty insightful.

    John: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. It’s really on the firms or on the corporate leadership to really just make sure that the appropriate behaviors are being rewarded and that too many times, firms, there’s a spectrum, a matrix that they have and on the left side, they have performance behavior high to low and then they have across the bottom, the values congruent with the firm spectrum low to high, and so you have these low performers and low values congruence people and of course you fire them right away.

    That’s easy but the problem is we have a lot of people that are high performers even though they’re kind of toxic for the environment but because they’re so high performing, firms are scared to let go of them and the problem is, you need to fire them quickly and the analogy you give is no one’s going to quit on their own. It’s the same like baseball. Managers have to go out and pull the starting pictures because no one wants to leave.

    Rachel: Yeah, and especially if they’re high performers, and that’s where the challenge comes in and that’s a great way to show how much you value those congruent values and people really fitting them into your culture that you would let a high performer go because they are completely toxic to the rest of the environment and just like basically how you know, drew it out in this chart thing and there’s words in there that we can’t say.

    But if you take a look at that, you can probably kind of go through your staff list and figure out who all fits where, especially when you kind of read in more detail the description of each of those categories but what’s more important that it kind of tells you what to do about that. So when you do have those employees in the lower left quadrant that are low value and low performance, fire quickly, right?

    So what that action is going to be for each of these types of employees and then of course he goes through the different types of employees and then what those actions should be and those actions should then be congruent with your values which will then reinforce what you want your values to be and the behavior that you expect from the rest of your staff.

    John: Right, right, because the bottom right quadrant, the people that are really congruent with the values of your firm, but maybe not performing as high, you can move them to a different department, you can find a different role for them because the fact that they fit your values is really key and probably more important than the performance side which is kind of countered to what most people would think. That’s pretty much the only reason why I’m still on this podcast because I’m pretty much an incompetent nice guy. That’s pretty much the category that I fall into.

    Rachel: Wait, wait. What does that make me?

    John: That makes you an outstanding, nice — well, it uses nice guys as the category but you’re in the top right. You’re off the matrix, that you have your own category. It’s off the charts.

    Rachel: Perfect.

    John: But yes, everybody, check that out at greenapplepodcast.com and subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes.

    Thanks so much and have safe travels the rest of the week, Rachel.

    Rachel: Thanks. Talk to you later.

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