Episode 83.5 – Green Apple Slice


Ten Company Rules That Destroy Trust And Teamwork


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 Stitcher.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Forbes article, “Ten Company Rules That Destroy Trust And Teamwork” by Liz Ryan.


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    John: Hello! Happy Monday, everyone. It’s John Garrett coming to you live. I don’t even know if this is live. It’s a podcast. How does that work? But Green Apple Slices and I’m here with Rachel Fisch. How are you doing, Rachel?

    Rachel: I’m doing good. How are you doing, John?

    John: Everything’s good and I found an article online on Forbes by our friend Liz Ryan.

    Rachel: I love Liz Ryan’s articles.

    John: Yeah, yeah and writes really good articles. There’s a lot of lists with numbers. So you know what you’re getting into.

    Rachel: Yeah. This one’s Ten Company Rules that Destroy Trust and Teamwork. It’s ten of this or seven of that or four of — anyway, but what I appreciate about her writing is that it’s easy to read, it’s good but it’s also meaty and it’s got something that you can take away and something that you can start implementing or something that maybe you didn’t know. So anyway, I really appreciate her writings.

    John: Yeah. and this one’s great because I mean she just starts it out with just talking about how, employers will care if they know that the company or firm cares about them which is just that the whole Green Apple message or just genuinely taking interest in the people around you. It’s free and it’s pretty simple. It just takes a little bit of time but it’s really cool. She outlines ten insulting company rules is what she calls them that create fear in the culture of — and I think there are accounting firms out there that are ten for ten on these rules. So hopefully they’re listening.

    Rachel: I think so. Well, I’m sitting there going insulting and like standard old rules, I’m like I’m sure nobody has these rules anymore. I’m sure you could read through this list and go, “Oh, no. We got rid of that a long time ago” and I’m reading the list and like, “Oh, my goodness.”

    John: Yeah, the very first one. It’s like, “Oh.”

    Rachel: Yeah, that would be fun. These aren’t that vague and it’s really funny, I thought it was kind of appropriate that this theme of fear has kind of come back around full circle. We talked about fear a few weeks ago and we were talking about the fear of looking stupid which I don’t think you have. But we were talking about that and we touched on a few other fears as well but in this article, Liz talks about the fear taking over some of the old standard rules that are still alive and well and some companies and end up actually feeding the fear which is not cool. If we know that the opposite of fear is faith or in this case trust, then these rules goes straight to feeding that sense of mistrust between you and your staff. If we are instilling rules that cause mistrust, that mistrust naturally goes into fear, right? If you don’t follow these rules, what’s going to happen if you don’t? I thought that was a really interesting take and a bit of a follow-up to what we were talking about a few weeks ago.

    John: Yeah, absolutely and unlike me, I don’t really have much of a choice in the fear of looking stupid. But you as a firm, do have a choice and whether or not these are rules. So yeah, and I mean actually it reminded me a couple of months ago, I talked with Tyler Crawford and AJ VanderWoude at BMSS out of Birmingham, Alabama and that firm is just doing really cool things. They don’t have any of this. It’s just such a cool thing that they have going and if there were more firms out there and companies out there like that, then it’d be great. I mean so I guess we’ll rattle off the ten just in case you don’t want to go to greenapplepodcast.com and click the link. But yeah, I mean, first one was just could you imagine requiring employees to bring in a doctor’s note?

    Rachel: It’s a thing.

    John: When you’re sick or when you go to do a doctor.

    Rachel: It’s a thing.

    John: She even says, you’re hiring adults so why do you treat them like children?

    Rachel: Yeah, absolutely.

    John: I mean it’s just crazy.

    Rachel: And actually, just today so as we’re talking about this article just today, it got released that there’s new employment standards proposal — getting proposed by the government of Ontario which includes forbidding employers to request doctor’s notes. So it kind of seems like it’s an issue that you are not allowed to ask for a doctor’s note if the employee has only been sick for less than ten days in a year. I thought that was kind of interesting. It kind of seems like it’s a thing.

    John: Yeah, yeah. And number two is actually a personal favorite because this relates to me totally. It requires employees to get their manager’s approval to transfer within the company and she said it should never been easier to job hunt outside the company than inside it and that happened to me when I worked for a pharmaceutical company and a guy wanted me to move over into business development and the manager that was over me, she did not want me to leave her department so I quit. I mean not immediately but I left that company. So now, I mean I hesitate to use the term talent when it comes to me but —

    Rachel: I do too, John.

    John: But now you have somebody that at least knows — yeah. I mean now you got to print a new ID badge at the very least. So there’s that but yeah, I mean that’s the thing is why shouldn’t you try to re-recruit, if you will, the people that you already have and just use them in their best way.

    Rachel: Exactly, yeah.

    John: It’s almost like I finished your thought.

    Rachel: You’ve kind of did actually.

    John: This is really creepy.

    Rachel: I’ll just stop talking and see where you go and see if you end up making all my points.

    John: Oh, I doubt it. Number three was any appraisal process that pets employees against one another, the bell curve and forced ranking and all that stuff. That just creates fear and everyone’s looking over their shoulder and you’re not actually working together pulling in the same direction. You’re all just pulling in your own direction to survive.

    Rachel: Yeah, exactly.

    John: So I’ll let you take it from here.

    Rachel: Well, it does talk — so I won’t maybe go over each individual one but it does talk about things like the anonymous feedback, being able to create a culture where your employees actually genuinely can talk to each other. When they see somebody struggling, they’re not incentivized to fill in a negative feedback form. They are encouraged to go and talk to them and help them out and see how they can increase their performance or whatever.

    I think that that some of those types of things especially when it comes to those peer reviews are kind of tricky but open communication and maybe even assigning like group mentors or things like that that will help to build out the team would be really great. Anytime there’s an incident of absence or lateness, right? We’re now in this world where you should be able to work from anywhere.

    And so that needing to be at the office from 8:00 to 5:00 or whatever it is. Now, I read a few of these things. I’m like yeah, but it’s certainly perfectly normal for your employer to have a certain level of expectations and if you have agreed upon that upon employment that you can go back and say well, you can’t expect me to be in the office or like actually that was the term of your employment. So there certainly does need to be what those expectations are and agreement that yes, I’m going to satisfy those expectations or whatever. There were a few in here that I was kind of like, I’m not totally sure. But as long as the expectation is there, then I don’t think that it’s going to be too much of an issue. Funeral notice, I’ve never heard of that. But for the death of a loved one —

    John: Right. Yeah, I mean I think the overall theme is just trust your employees.

    Rachel: Absolutely, yeah.

    John: I mean just treat them like adults, trust them, and that’s what it boils down to. You show them trust and they’ll trust you back. I mean it’s that simple and all of these rules that you have built up in your organization prevent that from happening. It’s almost like the natural state is for them to trust each other but then when you put these rules up, it creates an unnatural order of things.

    Rachel: Exactly. That was like the end of my thought right there.

    John: So yeah. This was great and everyone have a good rest of the week. If you want to check out the article, go to greenapplepost.com.

    Rachel: That’s right.

    John: If you’re listening on iTunes or Sticker, it’d be supper cool if you just leave us a rating and shoot us an email, hit us up on Twitter. Let us know what you like or if you see an article that you think we should talk about, that’d be even better.

    Rachel: Tweet it to us. Yeah, that’d be awesome.

    John: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So that’s it. Everyone, have a good rest of the week. Rachel, you too. You’re part of everyone. All right. Have a good one.

    Rachel: Thanks. You too, John.

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