Episode 166.5 – Green Apple Slice


12 Secrets to Keeping Employees Happy Without a Raise



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 Business News Daily article, “12 Secrets to Keeping Employees Happy Without a Raise” by Marci Martin.


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    Good morning. Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. I’m exhausted from travelling all over the place. I was pulling on Rachel. She is the one who came home. The Accountants & Alliances for Sage Canada guru, I don’t know. There seems like there needs to be another word in there, Rachel.

    Rachel: Hey, John. How are you?

    John: Doing all right, just tired and worn out a little bit. But things are good.

    Rachel: I hear you. I think I might know what that’s like. But I’m actually home until after Christmas, which is amazing.

    John: Wow. Right. You’re going to not know what to do with yourself. That’s amazing. You should have still packed a suitcase and leave for a little bit. Then back later in like an hour later, just your practice. But things are good. The year’s winding up in a couple of weeks. But yeah, we always get together every Monday and chat through an article that we find online. This Monday is no different. I found an article on businessnewsdaily.com by Marci Martin. It’s, “12 Secrets to Keeping Employees Happy Without a Raise.”

    Rachel: I know. It’s true. Because we’ve talked about this before that not all employees actually value increases. What are those things that they do value so that you can start tapping into that? I think that’s a pretty good list here.

    John: Right. Right. I mean from an accounting firm perspective, I mean these are all free or there’s not a cash-out flow anyway on a lot of them. The other thing that’s really important is just that a low turnover rate is really huge when it comes to succession planning and building leadership within the firm. They can always hire outside for that stuff. People forget about that. Then they don’t care or they said they care but they don’t. Then all of a sudden, your back is against the wall. It’s like, “Oh. Well, I guess we should have thought ahead on this.”

    Rachel: Should have done something about that, right? Again, I feel like it’s not a check their writing to vendor named turnover. But it costs a lot of money when you’re talking about not only employees that are disengaged, so actively disengaged, right? They’re fighting against the organization. That costs you money. Then they finally leave, thank goodness. Then you have to find somebody else. Then you have to get them trained up. That whole process costs a lot of freaking money. What are some of the other things that you can do to help balance that out a little bit?

    I think we should skip number one, which is, “Make work-life balance a priority.” I’m not really sure what that is. If we move on, I did like, “Making employees part of the big picture.” Sometimes, what you’ll see in large accounting firms is that need-to-know mentality. That so doesn’t work because if you actually incorporate or involve employees in your vision or in the things that you’re doing as an organization, getting that by-end or aligning your passions is actually extremely valuable.

    John: No, absolutely. Plus, the people on the frontlines might have some really good ideas. Just because they’re not at the top of the hierarchy doesn’t mean that they don’t have good ideas like having work-life balance. Let’s talk about number one, Rachel, and not skip it.

    Rachel: Shut up.

    John: Right. But I mean some of these other ones, I mean even like, “Offer more vacation time,” I mean just rewarding high performers with incremental vacation days.

    Rachel: Here is something really cool. Friends of mine, Scott and Patti Scharf of Catching Clouds, they have unlimited vacation time. What? But what you find with those organizations that have unlimited vacation time is that employees use their discretion and judgment, which are skills that you want your employees to have. They actually end up taking off either less or what would be considered a reasonable amount anyway. If they are taking huge advantage of it, then there are probably other things in their nature that make them not a great employee. But yeah, I think it’d be really interesting to dig into some of that with Patti. But, yeah.

    John: Right, yeah. Because I mean that is one thing that if you’re going to have it, it’s okay for people to take it. I know some firms that have that. People are guilted into not using it because you don’t have a said amount that you can say, “Well, I’m allowed to use this.” It certainly needs to be a part of the culture where that’s okay. Another one here was building employees up, which is huge, which goes to what we were talking about before we got into the list of just helping develop the skills of everyone not just your superstars. There are some organizations that I’ve done the consulting with. They just pile on the superstars. They’re like, “Well, it’s survival of the fittest.” I’m like, “Well, they’re going to quit. Then you’re going to have nobody that knows what they’re doing because you haven’t built them up.”

    Rachel: Yeah. Some of these things in this list are actually — like one affects the other as well, right? “Building employees up,” to me, ties a little bit in with creating a career pathway. Just making sure that people know what that next step is so that they can be striving towards it and so that they know that there are opportunities within the organization instead of just thinking that all of the opportunities are outside of the organization. There’s a couple other good ones here too.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. The last one I’ll talk about is, “Just saying thank you.” You know how hard it is to just tell someone specifically what they did that was really good. You really appreciated it. From the bottom of your heart type of thing not just, “Oh, I guess I have to tell you this.” Then that goes a long way. That’s completely free, completely free.

    Rachel: It is. But John, I feel like I have to tell you this. Thank you so much for calling me every Monday morning. I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

    John: Truly. I’ll be in for the Sage Canada. Make sure that you’re out of bed and getting to work. That’s really what it is.

    Rachel: Yeah.

    John: You’re welcome, Sage Canada. But it’s always great chatting with you. To people who want to check out the article, you can go to greenapplepodcast.com. The link’s there. Don’t forget to hit subscribe, so you don’t miss any of the episodes that we’re doing. Maybe if you liked the show, leave a quick review on iTunes or whatever Android app you’re using. Hope you have a good rest of the week, Rachel. We’ll talk to you next Monday, Christmas Eve.

    Rachel: Yeah. You too, John. Talk to you later.

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