Episode 191.5 – Green Apple Slice


New Study Shows Surprising Links Between Salary, Stress And Employee Engagement




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 Forbes article “New Study Shows Surprising Links Between Salary, Stress And Employee Engagement” by Chris Westfall.

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    Good morning. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices and I have on the other line without a Southern drawl is Accountants and Group Leader for Sage Canada, something like that, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hello. How are you, John?

    John: Obviously not firing on the cylinders this morning.

    Rachel: Apparently not.

    John: But things are good, things are good.

    Rachel: Good.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. We always get together and talk through an article online of employee engagement, corporate culture, things like that. I thought this one was kind of interesting especially from the headline. It was on Forbes. An article by Chris Westfall and it was New Study Shows Surprising Links Between Salary, Stress And Employee Engagement and it’s just hook, line, and sinker right there. I was like, I don’t even know.

    Rachel: That’s all I need to know before I talk starting it with this on a podcast. What I found was really interesting is it starts out with all of the reasons people don’t quit or all of the things that everybody thinks people quit for and people don’t quit for that. Well, okay, sorry. I should clarify.

    It’s not that people don’t quit for that. It’s that when you’re looking at employee retention and engagement, these actually aren’t the number ones. It’s things like stress and salary. I kind of thought that those were important things that people quit their job over.

    But what I’m taking from this is increasing their salary, trying to decrease their stress does not necessarily result in higher engagement.

    John: Yeah, totally, because I mean we’ve all worked around environments and with people, or I have anyway, where someone’s like, “I’m going to quit. I hate this job.” And then they offer them another not even that — even if it’s $10,000 a year, and then all of a sudden they stay and then like a month later, they hate the job again. It’s like well, of course, you do. I mean it’s got to have two commas in it to be life changing millions.

    Rachel: Yeah. It’s also not an equation, right? It’s not like low stress plus high salary equals high employee engagement because that’s not it either. You could actually have some very low level employees that are extremely engaged because of the culture of your organization or because you are giving them things of value that they value that you’re paying them in their currency because their number one driver may not be money but they could have flexibility or they could have, I don’t know, a Ping-Pong table or whatever.

    What are some of those things that they value and pay them in that? Anyway, that was the first thing that jumped out was that it’s not a straight line there.

    John: Yeah, because I mean that’s what the study goes into is if stress wasn’t the trigger for departure, then what is it that tipped the scale? They found that it’s the inability to do challenging things on the job. So people want to grow and be somewhat challenged, not too much but you can’t be mailing it in every day.

    Rachel: Yeah, because there is a tipping point where they’re going to burnout or rest out. If they’re not being challenged at all, that’s a problem. If they’re being overly challenged, that’s also a problem. So what’s that middle space where they will be adequately challenged?

    But I think it kind of comes back to connection in that if somebody is well challenged and so they’re learning something as they’re working, they’re creating that kind of connection, but also if they can be part of a purpose, a joint purpose, because what it also talks about is the listening piece is basically establishing the collaboration where the members of your practice or your firm or your organization actually have a say in what this looks like and it could be a specific project, it could just be the culture as a whole.

    Whatever it is, it’s kind of that way into buy-in mentality which if your team has a say in what this looks like, then they will buy-in to it because they were part of building it.

    John: Yeah, and it’s so huge. Just ask. It’s not even hard. You just ask and then come in back to Cisco which we talked about a couple of weeks ago. They have a thing where they call it just closing the loop on listening where it’s hey, one, here’s what we heard you say that you wanted or how to do things. Two, here’s what we did with that and three, here are the results. It’s communicating back to people that hey, I heard you and I tried to make something different based on that and so here’s where we’re at now.

    Rachel: Which is really great because I find that sometimes when people are asking for input or feedback, they already have in mind what they were going to do anyways so really, they feel like they’re just placating you but this is such a comprehensive, almost like an echo back with as you said. This is what we heard and this is what we’re doing about it and stuff like that. Of course these people feel listened to because action is being taken based on what they’re saying, so that’s fantastic.

    John: It goes back to just asking your people and having a general interest in what they have to say and what they can contribute and yeah, I mean it’s not hard. It just takes a little bit of time and being intentional with it.

    Rachel: For sure and is the best way to do the survey. I feel like that’s the best way to listen to your employees.

    John: Right, yeah, because people will just freely type away and especially when you don’t even give them an open box and it’s all multiple choice. I mean if you have a ton of people, you can do the survey but getting away from your desk and talking to people in person will trump that by a million every time. Do that and yeah, so that being said, Rachel, I will send you a survey to fill out on how I’m doing and then you can —

    Rachel: Does not meet expectations. Oh, sorry, what?

    John: Oh, well, we already did it.

    But everybody, if you want to read the full article, because there’s a lot more to it than what we go into here this morning, yeah, check it out at greenapplepodcast.com. While you’re on that page, there’s a big green button to do an anonymous survey for corporate culture that will help with the book that I’m releasing later this year so if you want to take time to do that, takes 60 seconds and it’s totally anonymous, it would be really cool.

    Check Rachel out on Twitter @FischBooks and I’m @The_JohnGarrett because there’s a billion of them. But I’m The John Garrett so there you go, everybody. Have a good week and we’ll talk to you next Monday, Rachel.

    Rachel: Talk to you later, John.

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