Top Ten Ways to Fix Corporate America
So my New Years Resolutions include:
1. No eating non-organic red meat (I just don't trust the meat industry at all anymore. And I seriously don't think it's a joke. I think it's unmonitored and dangerous. Plus, I like animals. Gonna really try.)
2. Learn how to play squash and do it as a regular weekly exercise. (I know! Squash? Ew. But there's squash courts around the corner and if I'm realistically going to exercise I have to compete with someone. Beating my "own time" running down the street just doesn't work.)
3. And lastly resolution-wise: Fix Corporate America.
The first two probably ain't happening so I'm gonna go for the third right away. Ready. Set...
Dear Corporate America,
Here's a top ten list of things you should be doing to run a better business.
10. Mandatory Summer Hours
Cut the crap with the wishy washy summer hours bullshit. Half-day every other Friday sometimes or never or whatever whenever. In July and August, all American offices should get a four-day workweek. Fridays off. Done and done. Time to go euro with summers. Hey! Newsflash: Nobody is "working" on those half-days anyway! Stop the illusion of people "working" just because they're "at work". All they're doing on that half-day is planning to get the hell out of there. And resenting being in the office in the first place. And if you don't give summer hours at all-- your employees make it up by stealing stuff (including time) so you're taking a loss. I guarantee productivity won't suffer if you let people have their Fridays. In fact, I bet it goes up. It's time to grow up on summer hours and stop being dickish about it.
9. Promote From Within.
If a job opens up-- it's a real swift kick to the gut when the VP douche imports some asshole friend from some other company when there's a qualified person inhouse who has been paying their dues. Promote the employee who wants and deserves that job! (Everyone else works harder too if they feel there's a chance to move up). Get over yourself and get used to the idea of that employee having a new title and being closer to your precious status. No, a little raise doesn't cut it instead of the promotion. Don't fool yourself. They still have to train your nitwit friend who was "more qualified". Also, the person who you hire into a job should not be just like you. If you feel you need for your hire to be just like you-- you're insecure and stuck in 10th grade, pussy.
8. No Fancy Hotels Ever.
Nobody should ever stay in a fancy hotel for business. $200+ a night? Are you stupid or what?! It's. A. Room. With cooties. No matter how nice it is. They alllll have cooties and jism on the drapes. Don't doubt it. Holiday Inn is fine. You'll be ok. It's a bed and a bathroom. They got interwebs. Save your company some dollars every time you travel (and executives this applies to you especially. set standards.) You wouldn't burn your own money-- why would you burn company money? And for what? To sit in a fancy hotel bar thinking you're cool with your $14 martini fantasizing about cheating on your spouse. Business is business. It's not a vacation! Take a client to a nice restaurant. Fine! But stop with the douchey hotels... (FYI: The bartender or waitress isn't going to screw you.)
7. Block 90% of the internet.
Sorry. I realize this is dickish or whatever-- but it's really pretty ridiculous to have the full blast internet staring at everyone in the face all day at work. It's like having a TV on your desk-- but 20x worse. There's no reason your employee should have access to youtube unless its a part of their job. Bite the bullet and put up a serious wall. Everyone will think you're a dick for being all strict. Whatever. You're paying them to be there and people are way addicted at this point. If they really need a site for something work related they can request access. I would say right now 70% of the time employees are just surfing around reading about nothing. (Except don't block my site! My site provides valuable information! Like this!)
6. All New Execs Go to the Frontline First.
I don't care what kind of business you have-- that brand new VP of Whatever should be on the frontline for two weeks before starting their cushy job. Working the line at the factory. Sitting in on sales calls. Making cold calls. Deliveries. Customer service. Whatever the fruck is your engine. Guy or girl. Doesn't matter. Lift boxes. Drill something into something. Full days. You'll see your employees have more respect for that person and that person will respect the employees more. It builds morale all around. Plus, the exec will get hands on experience with your product and system! So they're not all clueless about shit! Get it?! Make it a probationary period too! If they have a bad attitude about it-- hire someone else. Anyone who is too pussy or snobbish to work the frontline of your business-- shouldn't be someone you're hiring. They should be friggin interested and excited about doing it.
5. Give Raises When Deserved.
If someone asks for a raise--- give it up if they deserve it! Don't make the employee ridiculously go out and interview and land a whole friggin other job as back-to-the-wall leverage! This always struck me as extra stupid. (Do you need your spouse to go out and bang someone to prove to you they're still sexy to other people?) Here you have an employee that does a good job and is apparently worth more than you're paying him or her-- but you force them out in the street to scrounge up some other job to force your hand and cough up cash?! Nice policy. Save everyone time (including that other company) and just pay people what they're worth when they ask for a raise. Play pretend. Pretend they got a job offer for 20% more and see how you'd react. If they don't deserve it. Don't give it. But stop being lame about raises. Demotivate their job search by simply being fair...
4. Re-brand HR.
Pretty much every company I worked for had a Head of Human Resources that everyone was sort of scared of. It was a weird mystery department. They were powercrazed know it alls who sat in their office with their door closed. The overall image was a corporate shill for the higher ups. The hall monitor of the company. It's enough of that crap. If your employees can't trust your HR person with their issues-- you should fire your HR person. HR should be the most open door in the company. Like the friggin school guidance counselor. Why should anyone be scared to go to HR when their boss is grabbing their ass or whatever. They should have the ability to go off the record. I realize it's a fine line--- but HR needs a new face. Because I have no idea what they're really there for besides hiring and firing-- (and usually having "secret" extra marital affairs that everyone knows about).
3. Break the Hoarders.
There's always some long-time employee in the company that has made it their full time job to gather up as much responsibility and power as possible-- and refuses to give up any of it. They act like a kid with a toy chest that doesn't want to share and is constantly on the lookout for more toys. They swat people away when anyone steps into their world. They resent help or advice because it implies incompetence to them. Eventually they spend most of their day squirrely protecting their assets by giving the appearance of being invaluable. And cozying up to one specific clueless higher up. These people are not company people. They're bratty children who can't go with the flow. Just yank stuff away from them if there's someone better to do the job. They might cry a little but they'll get over it and the whole company will flow better. Plus, the hoarder may eventually appreciate the pressure relief once their tantrum is over.
2. Kill Bad Ideas.
Sometimes good ideas morph into big dumb monsters that just suck cash and resources. Was good. Now bad. It happens. Half-way down the road it got all complicated and tangled up on some crap. At some point everyone working on the project realizes the thing ridiculous and doomed-- but everyone keeps hammering away at this upsidedown birdhouse with no door because their boss is scared if the project goes away they'll be blamed. Kill it if it's dumb. Even if it costs you money to do it. You'll be saving cash in the long run. And reward employees with the balls to say something isn't going to work-- instead of treating them like they don't know what they're doing. Cause guess what? If you got five ideas going in your company right now. I bet two are lemons. You know how many will make it through your system? Five. And an employee who can be honest about a lemon-- is an asset not a liability. Failure should be an option.
1. Don't hire your CEO from the CEO club.
It's an old story but it's enough of these asshole CEO shmucks who float around from company to company collecting millions just because of who they know. Frank is a good golfer and our kids go to school together type crap. Newsflash: Frank is an idiot and a drunk and a pervert. Your CEO shouldn't be all about who he/she knows. It's what they know. This isn't greek life on campus. And if you're hiring some dude who's been at 5 companies in 10 years and did nothing but drill holes in it-- you're crazy for hiring them. I don't care about their "reputation". Base it on results. Hire from within if you can. There's no better moral booster than having a CEO who climbed up the ladder through the ranks. The guy you helicopter in and plop down on everyone's head is usually just a fast-talking shithead with big connections and anger management problems.
Come on Corporate America! Time to get your shit together! This is a big year coming up! And you better do as I say or you'll be screwed! Take it from me! The uhh... unemployed guy... who just typed this up while taking a break from his zombie video game! But hey, this ain't brain surgery on a boat! It's just basic common sense crap! Do it.
And send me a check for being a consultant. Whatever you think is fair...
PS. Never drug test. What are you? My mom? Some of your best workers are on drugs. Everyone has issues and there's issues way worse than someone smoking weed at night because they're stressed out at your uptight company. Plus, all people on drugs know how to pass drug tests... Duh.
= Warning: Some comments below may annoy you or make you roll your eyes...