Episode 186.5 – Green Apple Slice


3 Reasons Why Companies Like Cisco Want Their Employees To Have A Life Outside Of Work




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 Work It Daily article, “3 Reasons Why Companies Like Cisco Want Their Employees To Have A Life Outside Of Work” by Jennifer McCann.

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    Good morning. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. We’re going global with Rachel Fisch, Accountants & Alliances for Sage Canada, but she’s in Thailand. So Rachel, how are you?

    Rachel: Good. This is like, I think, the most international of the calls. I mean, we’ve done episodes where each of us are traveling or sometimes both of us are traveling, or I think one time we were traveling to the same place, so that worked out pretty well. But, yeah, no, I am a little ways away today and it’s hot.

    John: Yeah, right. You’re not in Canada anymore there, Dorothy. That’s exciting. Very cool. Bu, yeah, I appreciate you making time to do this call and for everybody listening. Yeah, and found this article, pretty fun article I thought, of 3 Reasons Why Companies Like Cisco Want Their Employees to Have a Life Outside of Work.

    Rachel: So kudos to Jennifer McCann of Work It Daily, who has three things, numbered them and bolded them. I’m very happy.

    John: There we go. I figured if you’re going to be sleep deprived from being on a plane for three days or whatever felt like it, I’m sure —

    Rachel: Yeah, I think I’m traveling for four days for a two-day conference, but it’s awesome and I speak tomorrow and it’ll be a lot of fun.

    John: So everyone listening in Thailand, oh!

    Rachel: Nobody liked the way that she really broke it down. Now, again, these things are things that we’ve talked about a lot, but I kind of think that by putting a big brand to it or a big name to it is just kind of reinforcing. Guys, this isn’t just little mom and pop shops who are into the Cooper thing. This is recognized as a company culture opportunity maybe. I don’t know if that’s the right word. Yeah, even companies the size of Cisco are recognizing that. I love, like if you scroll all the way down, basically the tagline is “Be you with us.” So retain that individuality, right? We want the people who we’re doing business with to do business with us as people and not just kind of this giant machine which I thought was was really good.

    John: No, I mean, I loved it. I loved it. There’s even a commercial at the bottom as well that just shows people being individuals within the office which is great as well. Yeah, for a company the size of Cisco, publicly traded, a lot of pressure to produce, and for them to recognize that we have an organization full of individuals that collectively become Cisco, but they’re not all robots and commodities and the same people across the board. They all have unique talents and unique skills and unique passions that go outside the office and letting them have those and explore those and even encouraging and making it okay is such a big deal because I feel like so many people are asking for permission rather than just doing it and then finding out that no one cared. Why weren’t you doing this all along?

    Rachel: Here’s the thing is that there have been so many studies and metrics to a research and all of those things that are proving that by encouraging your employees in this way, by really making it part of your core culture, it does benefit your business. Even of the three, it talks about being more productive at work, allowing them to pursue their passions, and then the last one, encourages them to stay and grow with the company. So sure, there are employee benefit elements to each of these, but you have to know, these are company benefit elements to each of these as well. If you can retain your top staff longer, all of your staff longer, I mean maybe it’ll be an issue if you don’t want to retain them, but that they will be more productive where they are. This is big business at its core with a little benefit spin on it. Great to really encourage the employee to be their whole self. So when you talk to organizations, “Oh, no, we could never do that,” “Oh, no, that’s just not kind of us,” well, this is actually good for your business.

    John: Yeah. People look at all of these things as expenses or distractions, and they’re not. It’s an investment in your people. If you don’t care about your people, then just tell them. I mean, just tell them because they know right away.

    Rachel: But you absolutely will see the difference in your bottom line.

    John: Oh, for sure.

    Rachel: So maybe it’s like a short-term investment for the longer-term return on investment, but it will come. It absolutely will come in. Company after company has proven that and study after study has proven that as well.

    John: I love that the third bullet that you mentioned, it encourages them to stay and grow with the company because turnover is very expensive, two to three times salary, if you count last production, which is nuts. And then you also consider leadership development. It’s impossible to have a succession plan or to develop leaders when they’re always leaving. It’s just looking at your organization with more of a three, five, ten-year vision as opposed to three-week vision of, oh, this is going to cost money. It’s stupid.

    Rachel: Yeah, or even organizations that are trying to do like a one to three-year plans like, “Oh, well, we don’t know what our staff is going to be like.” Well, maybe if you had a plan and could engage your employees in that plan where they feel like they’re partnering with you for success or for delivering this plan, I think that really goes a long way. But, yeah, not having a plan or making your plan dependent on high turnover in place, probably not the best idea.

    John: Absolutely. No, this was great. And thanks again for taking time. I know you need to go, probably do a rehearsal at stage, mike check and all your fanciness stuff.

    Rachel: I do, yeah. Now, I’m like, “Oh, shoot! I guess I better do that.” Yeah.

    John: Now that John brought it up, way to go. Way to ruin my mood, John.

    Rachel: I was just going to wing it but —

    John: Yeah, but have a great talk and talk to you next week when you’re back in Canada.

    Rachel: For sure. Talk to you later.

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