8 lessons on building a company people enjoy working for | The Way We Work, a TED series

8 lessons on building a company people enjoy working for | The Way We Work, a TED series


HR jargon makes me crazy. We have to have all these stupid acronyms that describe things that nobody
understands: OKRs and PIPs. I think we can run our businesses by just talking to each other
like regular human beings. We might actually get more done. [The Way We Work] I really always wanted to be
an HR professional, I wanted to be able to speak
the language of management. And you know what I’ve learned
after all this time? I don’t think any of it matters. There’s all kinds of things
that we call “best practices” that aren’t best practices at all. How do we know it’s best?
We don’t measure this stuff. In fact, I’ve learned
that “best practices” usually means copying what everybody else does. Our world is changing
and evolving all the time. Here are some lessons to help you adapt. Lesson one: Your employees are adults. You know, we’ve created so many layers and so many processes
and so many guidelines to keep those employees in place that we’ve ended up with systems
that treat people like they’re children. And they’re not. Fully formed adults
walk in the door every single day. They have rent payments,
they have obligations, they’re members of society, they want to create
a difference in the world. So if we start with the assumption that everybody comes to work
to do an amazing job, you’d be surprised what you get. Lesson two: The job of management
isn’t to control people, it’s to build great teams. When managers build great teams,
here’s how you know it. They’ve done amazing stuff. Customers are really happy. Those are the metrics that really matter. Not the metrics of:
“Do you come to work on time?” “Did you take your vacation?”
“Did you follow the rules?” “Did you ask for permission?” Lesson three: People want to do work
that means something. After they do it,
they should be free to move on. Careers are journeys. Nobody’s going to want to do
the same thing for 60 years. So the idea of keeping people
for the sake of keeping them really hurts both of us. Instead, what if we created companies
that were great places to be from? And everyone who leaves you becomes an ambassador
for not only your product, but who you are and how you operate. And when you spread that kind
of excitement throughout the world, then we make all of our companies better. Lesson four: Everyone in your company
should understand the business. Now, based on the assumption
that we’ve got smart adults here, the most important thing we can teach them
is how our business works. When I look at companies
that are moving fast, that are really innovative and that are doing amazing things
with agility and speed, it’s because they’re collaborative. The best thing that we can do
is constantly teach each other what we do, what matters to us, what we measure,
what goodness looks like, so that we can all drive
towards achieving the same thing. Lesson five: Everyone in your company
should be able to handle the truth. You know why people say
giving feedback is so hard? They don’t practice. Let’s take the annual performance review. What else do you do in your whole life
that you’re really good at that you only do once a year? Here’s what I found: humans can hear anything if it’s true. So let’s rethink the word “feedback,” and think about it as telling people
the truth, the honest truth, about what they’re doing right
and what they’re doing wrong, in the moment when they’re doing it. That good thing you just did, whoo! That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Go do that again. And people will do that again,
today, three more times. Lesson six: Your company needs
to live out its values. I was talking to a company
not long ago, to the CEO. He was having trouble
because the company was rocky and things weren’t getting done on time, and he felt like things were sloppy. This also was a man who, I observed, never showed up to any meeting on time. Ever. If you’re part of a leadership team, the most important thing that you can do
to “uphold your values” is to live them. People can’t be what they can’t see. We say, “Yes, we’re here for equality,” and then we proudly pound our chest because we’d achieved 30 percent
representation of women on an executive team. Well that’s not equal, that’s 30 percent. Lesson seven: All start-up
ideas are stupid. I spend a lot of time with start-ups, and I have a lot of friends that work
in larger, more established companies. They are always pooh-poohing
the companies that I work with. “That is such a stupid idea.” Well, guess what:
all start-up ideas are stupid. If they were reasonable, somebody else
would have already been doing them. Lesson eight: Every company
needs to be excited for change. Beware of the smoke of nostalgia. If you find yourself saying,
“Remember the way it used to be?” I want you to shift your thinking to say, “Think about the way it’s going to be.” If I had a dream company, I would walk in the door and I would say, “Everything’s changed, all bets are off. We were running
as fast as we can to the right, and now we’ll take a hard left.” And everybody would go “Yes!” It’s a pretty exciting world out there,
and it’s changing all the time. The more we embrace it
and get excited about it, the more fun we’re going to have.

Comments

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    Charles Wilkson

    I have Aphasia it's a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written.
    I understand the demands that have been put on you by work and your home life. They are an insistent and peremptory request, made as if it right to demand it of you. Like if you have no say in the matter. They wish you work hard and meet high standards. To fulfill, there need to have a variety and diverse lifestyle.
    Their demand is full of denoting a type of behavior and personality characterized by indirect resistance to the requirements of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation, as in procrastinating, pouting, and misplacing essential materials. They have a variety and diverse tactics of passive-aggressive. They avoidance extended contact and due to their lack of confidence, shame, guilt and a host of other negative emotions.
    They try to get you to fulfill their need to not feel less than and there need to be better then. In the work involvement, they will have as many people around you just like them. Have you seen friends and family members try these same tactics in their life? This tactic has been futile with you and counterproductive.
    Throughout history, the true slave was the master. The enslaved master thought less of them self and surrounded themselves with others that thought less of them self. The enslaved master intolerance toward those who hold different opinions of oneself. As the years pass the enslaved master became freer from there less them belief system of self.
    Have you noticed that equal right was about freeing the enslaved master from their diminished capacity system to believe in oneself fully? The free thinkers that have acceptance of oneself share their values of acceptance fully in all they do and say.
    Investing in oneself fully and complete is the only way to free the enslaved master. They will see you and hear you in all that you do. You will be showing them you can and know they can be free from their enslaved mentality.
    Thank you for investing in yourself fully and completely.

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    Jett Cloud

    I just saw what you keep on sharing some vidoes of some of your guests talking about the universe. I would like to share my theory that makes more sense than all those speculations of your guests that ended up not answering the questions. Its funny but i think I've got the real answer to all those querries that scientists have been cracking for decades about the universe.

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    ilove2929

    My experience work with 6 companies with different shapes and sizes from private owned, global corporation, agency to start up, i agreed with her wholeheartedly except for the all start-ups are stupid– because tech opens up new opportunity and fields to explore like uber did… Maybe some of them are stupid, but not all for sure.

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    ilove2929

    Think she might have worked with some stupid start ups in the past, not the unicorns… Then she just lost faith on all of them. Like us on our HR dept 😂😂😂

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    Jacque

    Why is that most HR jobs are occupied by women, and especially managers? How to explain this fact? In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 72% of HR managers were women; in 2017, Payscale.com reported that a whopping 86% of HR generalists were women.

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    B Welkinator

    NO NO NO – lesson 6: equal representation. This makes people Beans for the Bean Counters not capable individuals. It is absolutely WRONG to expect numerical equality across sub-groups. To focus on that is to shoot your company in the head. (Exception do NOT prove the contrary)

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    Ryan Linden

    I can tell you right now, 90% of businesses don't want to train people when the hire them. Or they do train them and it's not good enough.

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    Harry Shawyer

    Some very good points but I'm staggered at her assertion that all start ups are bad ideas. Netflix was a start up! Was she being obtuse or am I missing something?

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    rng8891

    Who want's to do the same thing for 60 years? Me for one. I first started educating myself on what I do today, back in the 10th grade. That was 34 years ago. I'm an Engineer now and I'll retire in about 20 years. I don't see myself changing my career path… even if I get laid off. Since graduating College I suffered through Defense cutbacks and a sucking sound that drew jobs south of the border and across the Pacific. And boy it's a good thing she's not an HR director for Doctors. "I know you've spent 11 years to be a doctor, but you won't do this til you retire. You'll find a different career 🙂 " Yes, 11 years, not including any High School Prep – 4 yr pre-Med, 4 yr Med School, 3 yrs as an Intern (6 yrs as an Intern if you want to be a Surgeon). And employees are Adults??? Please…. give me a break. I can't begin to tell you how many people I've encountered – even those in their 40's – who act like it's High School and the Managers are the Teachers. Who wants to party or who had a "Rough" weekend (Drinking) and just don't want to come into work on a Monday. Adults care that a job needs to get done. Adults understand how money is made – They understand greed too, that comment relates to those that "Manage" poorly but get paid highly. Many, many, many times the HR rules are in place because a good chunk of people don't want to show up for work and when they do they don't want to work – and boy do they cry when they are treated differently (think less pay)…..

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    Hans Weissman

    Established companies' HR department is actually its propaganda/secret police department. Just try to voice your concern with these "confidants" and brace for impact……Big established companies only want OBEDIENT workers, nothing more……
    Oh yeah, they want YOU to impress them by coming up with ZERO budget projects: zero time budget, zero monetary budget! EXPLOITATION requires handlers, those handlers wears a hat with an HR logo on it…..

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    Carprincess

    I love how you started off with people need to talk to other people like people. Like yes, that's the best way to work!

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    Kenneth Davis

    What if you were the manager at Home Depot. How could you encourage your team in an environment that makes me fall asleep as soon as walk in the door?

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    Hector Morena

    Is it me or this patronizing woman's voice and demeanor are insufferable after just 45 seconds of watching?

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    Kevin Nguyen

    Though I like most of what you are saying, but are suggesting not having a process and letting people go every few years?

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    Skankhunt42

    I own my own cafe and everything is so informal. I don’t even have job applications. I let my employees wear whatever they want and we take turns picking the music for the day. It’s awesome.

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    S

    Love this! Lots of good tips to think about 🙂 I think this will be a good reference for the future and for those who are creating startups right now!

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    Gloria Hester

    Yes it is up until the last 15 years i had the best hr's up until last 10 , 15 years 😒😝 i think its suck managers letting losers to loaf . 15 years ago only time i saw my hr was when i saw him in the hall . He wasnt an as to people walking around with pink slips in his pocket .

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    Fabiano Birchal

    Nice ideas – despite her view about startups (not all ideas and value propositions are stupid).

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    PrimiusLovin

    Just like I thought, HR jargon, theories, and practices are pretty much useless for the jobs I see myself working in.

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    Herb

    It is so funny when you listen to all these so-called "experts" who don't have a clue. People work for money….bottom line. The other things that keep people happy at work are having enough people to do the job without stressing everyone out, and honesty from upper management. Enough money, full staffing, and honesty…three things that many, many companies do not provide. When a company tells you over and over that there is not enough money for decent raises yet they are building a new plant, hospital, headquarters, what have you, across town, the employees will smell a rat.

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    Wayne Reynolds

    SO MANY companies do NOT care about their assets, and by that, I mean their employees. I worked in corporate America for 45 years and can honestly say that I never had a job that I actually liked and looked forward to going to.

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    Jennifer Swanson

    The systems are in place to protect the corporations from liability, if you're just going to let people do as they please you better have some good insurance!

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    Nature Nurture

    Write down all the points on a paper and throw it in a dustbin. These points are not to keep employees, instead create competitors out of employees.

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    HUINILI LI

    I really hope I can choose two languages of subscripts simultaneously, as it can help me understand the talks instantly and learn the second language.

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    Marcelo Gehrke

    Excelent video! Thank you very much. Simple ideas always work better. The Portuguese translation is out of sync for me, I could'nt find the way to adjust it…

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    Rusty Rose

    Feedback is not truth. It is based on perception, and someone else perception of you and your work. Another person may have a different opinion.

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    Ben Barnes

    Not in the real world hunny, if everyone employee was honest and had integrity they wouldn't need to be treated like babies but they not, not everyone is like this bu most people lie, steal, cheat, check out all the fake people on youtube alone.

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    Ayo Esosa

    Six months ago i lost $78,000 meant for my business, I was completely down with no option, i almost lot it all, i almost gave up till i saw several testimonies about Dr. Joe. I saw a testimony about how Dr Joe he help's people WIN LOTTERY, how he helped a woman restore her MARITAL HAPPINESS, how he help a lady get back her EX LOVER, how he healed a man from CANCER and some days later i saw another testimony no how he helped a lady bring back her Ex lover, later on i saw a testimony that i was concerned about, He help a man win a huge amount of money from the lottery. After all this testimonies his contact was also posted i had no option than to give a try, i contacted him and told him my problems and I told him i would love to win a lottery, He assure me of a winning and promised to give me a winning number in less than 3 days, I followed his instructions and he gave me the winning number which i played and i won a lottery of $410,622,00. To cut the story short my business is back and my family is very happy….
    Do you have an illness and you want a cure, Do you want a promotion in your office, Do you want to win a lottery, Do you want your EX Lover back, Are you having issues in your relationship. You can reach him via Email: [email protected] or Whatsapp: +14053694504

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    david gunneson

    So if you walk in the door and say that everyone is going to take a hard right, and then take a hard left, and everyone just does it without giving any feedback, how do you know that you are making the right decision? If you get nothing but negative and cautionary feedback, do you still plow ahead, even if you run the company into the ground? You can't have it both ways.

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    Nepenthes Spectabilis

    She really had to bring up equality?!? I know it was an example but really? Not a single sane person should want equality. Men and women like and want different things. Can we please start being honest about this….Men and women don't always want to work the same hours! Thus, promoting or hiring based off of genitalia is the definition of sexist, no matter what gender gets it. Hire/promote the right "Person" for the job and make sure they've earned it.

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    Bhanu Sodhi

    Every single organisation is opposite of it , I don't know why they do this , but that's the reason why most people wander in depression

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