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Episode 31: How to keep your staff happy & motivated

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All Xero Gravity episodes

Hosted by Elizabeth Ü and Gene Marks

An appreciated employee is your best asset. So attracting and keeping staff
must extend far beyond good pay, benefits and free Friday lunches.  

Workers are on the hunt for real perks, flexible schedules and a salary package
that will keep their job satisfaction level high. Above all that means being heard,
respected and trusted. Intangibles that say, “I’m appreciated.”

How will you stand apart in today’s highly competitive marketplace, where businesses one-up each other for new talent? Can you find employees who will enjoy their work, stay longer than a year or two, and become advocates for your business?

In this episode of Xero Gravity, Comedy CPE founder, Greg Kyte and Josh Reeves,
CEO at Gusto, debunk the myths of what makes employees tick, and share ways you
can boost your business culture to ensure they stay motivated and happy.  

Small Business Resources:

Episode transcript

Promo You’ve just tuned into Xero Gravity. A podcast for small business leaders and entrepreneurs across America. Now to your hosts, Gene Marks and Elizabeth U.

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Elizabeth U: Welcome back to the Xero Gravity podcast. My name’s Elizabeth U and my co-host is Gene Marks. Say Hello Gene.

Gene Marks: Hello Gene.

Elizabeth U: We’re so glad to be back. Talking about today we’re going to be talking about how to keep your staff happy and motivated.

Gene Marks: Do we really care about this topic: Why don’t these people just go to work, do their jobs and go home? Enough of keeping them happy and motivated. What do you think, Elizabeth, I’m I right here?

Elizabeth U: I think that other small business owners who are hearing you say that are licking their chops and they can’t wait to steal your employees away from you. The competition is tough for the best employees out there and if you are not keeping them happy and motivated, guess what? They’re going to leave. They’re going to find someone else who is providing all of those perks, flexible work arrangements and the salary that is going to keep them happy and motivated.

Gene Marks: It’s really funny. I was literally at a client this morning and they’ve got about 60 employees now. Its two brothers that run the company. They’re horrible managers and they admit that they’re horrible managers, so when their employees have issues, they’re horrible at dealing with it because they’re just like, “Please, just be quiet and get your work done. I’m not used to doing this kind of stuff.”

It’s a really important thing to learn. The employment rate is low and there’s competitive for good people, right?

Elizabeth U: It’s true, especially in this day and age where a lot of people earlier in their career track. I mean, they aren’t necessarily places for them to go within the company. They’re looking for a raise by going somewhere else or they’re looking for that culture that’s a really good fit for them or they’re looking for that flexible vacation policy. I mean, there are so many reasons that keep people motivated and it’s definitely not one sides fits allGene Marks: Yeah. We got two really great guests on. First is Greg Kyte. Greg had joined us before. He is the founder of Comedy CPE. He’s a standup Comic CPA kind of a guy. That’s his night job, but during the day he’s a Controller in a medical services company with a bunch of employees so he deals with employee related issues all the time,

Our other guest is Josh Reeves. Josh is the CEO of a cool company called Gusto. They were formerly called ZenPayroll. They’re a zero partner and they are a wonderful, beautiful payroll service, all cloud based and online. Josh’s whole existence is dealing with clients; companies and their employees and making them happy not only with their payroll but also with benefits as well.

We’re going to be talking about creating a team culture, what kind of compensation and benefits that you may want to be offering, and other types of incentives that these guys might be recommending to help you make your employees happy and keep them employed with you for as long as possible, so looking forward to this conversation. We’ll be back in a few minutes and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Our esteemed guests are Greg Kyte, and Josh Greg, last time we were talking to you about business confidence, so how confident are you that you can keep your staff happy and motivated?

Greg Kyte: I think I’m very confident that I can keep our staff happy and motivated. At my company we do have one problem and that is nepotism that we’re dealing with. One of my big bosses; he’s one of the investors in the company. She horned his son into a position in our maintenance staff, and of the people I’d like to be able to deal with a little bit more effectively it’s the son of boss that we’ve got going on that, but other than that I feel very confident we’re able to keep people very happy; very motivated at my workplace.

Elizabeth U: That’s great. Well, we’ll send your boss a copy of this recording so that maybe that will help you.

 

Gene Marks: Josh, let me jump in here. first of all, Gusto Payroll, tell us a little bit about what your company does and I’m also curious how many employees you guys have as well.

Joshua Reeves: Absolutely, thrilled to be on the podcast with all of you. Gusto, our mission is to help businesses run more easily and help them put people first. That means things like payroll, health insurance, workers comp, HR; a whole host of services that have been very painful for a long time and we’re now nationwide. Started the company about four years ago. The team today is about 300 people spread between San Francisco and Denver.

Gene Marks: That’s pretty amazing. The reason why we wanted you to be on this show is, I mean, you run a 300 person company so I’m interested in some of your thoughts on motivating, finding and keeping your employees happy, but as CEO of a company that provides payroll services and benefits to your clients; do you get out of the office as much? Do you, yourself, have much interaction with your clients and I’m curious to see what you see some of your better clients doing out there when it comes to keeping their employees happy as well.

 

Joshua Reeves: Yeah. I mean, it’s an honor and a privilege. Our guiding philosophy is service. We’re here to serve our customer, and we have bakeries, flower shops, cafes, churches, hotels spread across the country..

It’s always an inspiration; always an amazing moment to talk to them because these are, , family run businesses. It’s great to discuss with them topics related to community, team, philosophy, people’s impact and feeling appreciated for the work they do …

Gene Marks: Right.

Joshua Reeves: And especially in our industry, a lot of the products have been very sterile: very focused on just workflow and data. We do a lot of that but the really exciting conversation is around how do you build great teams and how do you help people feel appreciated for the work they do.

Gene Marks: You’re in the middle of payroll and benefits. Is it all about money? Do you find that people … That’s what their biggest concern is or do you think that employees are looking for more?

Joshua Reeves: No. I mean, I think they’re looking for a couple of things. I mean, for one thing, for sure, it’s important in a modern capitalistic society, the idea currency, work, salary; these are all fundamental ingredients to being able to take care of family, take care of self, but at the same time you see with the demise of lifetime employment, people move across different jobs. They want their work to matter. They want to feel like they’re having an impact. They want to feel like the problem they’re solving: the mission of the business they’re a part of is something that they believe in. If that isn’t aligned then it leads towards frustration and to other person really not doing their best work.

There are a lot of these more psychological topics, which I think are just as critical. The real cool part is small businesses have been talking about these topics for a long time. It’s really corporate America that, I think, has lost some of the visibility to how much people are the foundation of every company.

Elizabeth U: Greg, along those lines, How are your clients languaging their mission or how are they living their impact so that the employees feel motivated?

Greg Kyte: I agree with Joshua that there’s not a lot … Money plays a role in this. I’ve been really intrigued by a couple of things that I’ve seen and if you talk to a homeless person and tell them that money can’t buy you happiness they’ll tell you that you’re full of crap, but if you talk to somebody whose … Talk to a multibillionaire that money does buy you happiness they’ll also tell you that you’re full of crap.

Some of the studies, as I said it’s either between $50,000 to $70,000. Once somebody is making above that threshold amount of $50,000 to $70,000, that generally their happiness that’s related to money is satisfied and that any money they make above that amount isn’t really going to impact their happiness other than just in a marginal tangential way.

Then, you start looking at other things that are going to become more important to people. I’m a big believer in Dan Pink’s book – Drive in terms of intrinsic motivation that people are looking for.

Greg Kyte: I’ll save you the money and the time because I can sum it up in one sentence then you’ll get the whole thing. He said there’s three things that intrinsically motivate people, that’s autonomy, mastery and purpose. If you have a job where you feel autonomous like you’re able to make key decisions, you’ll be motivated to stay in that job. If you have a job that you feel like you’re good at and that you’re constantly getting better at, you’ll stay at that job and you’ll be motivated to do that job, and if there’s some overarching purpose that resonates with you, you’re going to be into that job and you’re going to stay with the job.

That’s really what we try to do at our job. I’ve really focused with … Because I basically manage all the employees; all three of them. Josh, take that. You’ve got 300. I somehow manage to juggle three employees, but my big thing has been to give them autonomy: to show them these are the areas where you are master of this domain. Make sure that you’re kicking butt at what you’re supposed to do in this area.

and I think that’s made a huge difference for our guys.

Joshua Reeves: I love that framework. One of the ones that reminded me of, when I think a lot about work and we’re talking this topic of is it just more than work? Is a job just a paycheck or can it mean more in a person’s life? One of the structures that I always connect to is work is magical when someone’s doing something they love, that they’re good at, which is needed. If you have those three ingredients along with a chance to work with people that have shared purpose and values, now that’s just a part of living.

Absolutely, compensation is an important ingredient to that, but work is such a huge part of a person’s day, week, month. It can and should mean much more.

Elizabeth U: Josh, I have to ask you there’s so many of the words that you’re using … I mean, I will apologize I’m going to be totally frank. I’m sitting here rolling my eyes a little bit because, yes, sure; impact, mission, values. Every company is using those same terms. What have you seen that really helps a company stand out either to attract or retain employees?

Joshua Reeves: Well, getting into the tactics that’s what makes it real. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the experience someone’s having. One thing I would say right off the bat is there is no right or wrong approach. There’s no perfect formula.

The most important thing is … if founders stay authentic to their values. I can give you several examples in the context of Gusto. One of our core values is ownership mentality. Everyone’s an owner in our business that means everyone has equity so everyone’s literally on owner in the company, and so how we approach decision making. Transparency is a core value. We actually share with the entire team every financial metric; cash balance, revenue,. Literally, everything is shared across the organization. I’m not saying that’s a formula for everyone, but that’s something that’s very authentic to us in the way that we’re operating our business.

Elizabeth U: How do you see that translating into different behavior as far as the staff are concerned?

Joshua Reeves: Yeah, the beautiful part is it doesn’t become a job anymore so no one is being hired to do a single task. They’re hired to help the business be successful. It’s on me to help articulate what is our goal as a company for the coming quarter; for the coming year, It’s, “Hey, we’re all here for the same reason. Let’s go help make this business as successful and as best as it can be.”

Greg Kyte: I think one of the things that harp on lately in terms of that, it has to do just with your company culture, with sharing your vision and your values with your people. One of the things that I encourage people to do when I give my presentations is to go through your core values of your company, and for each value every company should have at least one story that goes along with each of their core values. Specifically, a story where they have risked or sacrificed something solely to uphold that value. If you don’t have those stories of risk or sacrifice that correspond to your values they’re not really your company’s core values … They might be values that you wish your company had, but they’re not really values of your company.

That goes back to the whole autonomy, mastery and purpose stuff, your vision and your values. That ties in directly to the purpose that people feel for being at work. If you’re saying we’re a company that’s like this but you’ve never … We’re a company that holds the highest level of ethics but you’ve never fired a client for being shady. Well, you need to find the client that makes you the most uncomfortable and you need to kick them out of firm so you’re not serving them anymore because that’s a great story of risking; of sacrificing something to uphold your values, and then that shares that culture because culture … is just the combined stories of a group of people and so that builds culture within your firm, it drives it home.

It’s a real powerful way and I’d say a necessary way to make sure that you really have the right core values and that you’re giving your people the purpose that they need to have to be able to intrinsically motivated at your workplace.

Elizabeth U: Greg, thank you so much. That would definitely prevent the eye rolling that is potentially at risk when people are just listing off their visions and values; they impact without actually sharing their stories. I love that: the risk and sacrifice stories that along with these values.

Gene Marks: Greg, if I wanted to jump in. As a controller of a company where you’re at with your employees, does your company allow you to work from home; remotely and do they have a work-from-home policy?

Greg Kyte: I have ways of working remotely. A lot of that took a lot our systems to the cloud. Yes, but pretty much only for me in terms of working remotely because all of our other employees they have to do with maintenance factions where they, actually, do need to be physically present at the building to take care of those. Say, if we’ve got a leaking pipe in the surgery center, you can’t really do that …

Gene Marks: Got it.

Greg Kyte: We don’t have the cloud applications to deal with that quite yet. However, we have implemented quite a bit of flexibility. I’m a big believer in … There’s a book called; Results-Only Work Environment. The ROWE book? It’s called Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It.

Elizabeth U: That’s a great title.

Greg Kyte: It is. They postulate in that, do anything you want whenever you want as long as the work gets done.

I got two maintenance guys that work together at one of my buildings. They make sure that they cover for each other. If one of them can’t get into work on time, the other is there making sure it happens. If we have a huge snow storm, which this is where we’re right now with winter bearing down on us, we have a huge snow storm. It doesn’t matter when you thought you’d come to work. You’re coming to work now to dig this place out and to run the snow plough around.

At the same time, if you were up all night pushing snow with our snow plough, you’re probably … It’s right for you to not have to be here if there’s not hanging fire that you have to deal with, so we try to do a lot of stuff that’s not so much remote work but it is stuff that gives them as much flexibility as we can give them.

 

Gene Marks: Josh, what about you? Do you guys have a work-from-home policy? Do you find that your employees are asking for that? Do you find that you need something like that to attract good people, and if you have a work-from-home policy, is that something that you think is a really good tool to keep people motivated? Is that something that a company should have in 2016?

Joshua Reeves: Yeah. I think ultimately, Gene, it comes back to what I said which is that there is no right or wrong approach to any of these topics. It’s maintaining authenticity to a company’s value system. It takes time to actually understand what does the company stand for.

At Gusto today, one of our core principles is community and a chance for us to collaborate because so much of our market; our space has companies that just think about it as process. We actually really think it’s important and our team does, too, to have everyone be together, and so we’ve built an office that is very comfortable in that vein. We actually take our shoes off when we come into the office. It was inspired by when we started the company. We were living in a house in ... I was raised that was so we basically kept that tradition as we’ve grown much bigger.

If I was to generalize to other businesses, I think it really does tie to the nature of that service or the ways that the work is done more individual or more collaborative.

Ultimately, if the company has scope for a much broader footprint whether it’s not just a city but a State or a country and you want to have people be very distributed, then absolutely it makes sense to have folks be in different locations or potentially even work from home, if that’s the best way for them to serve the customer.

Elizabeth: For both of you, how it is that you’re actually measuring happiness or measuring how motivated an employee might be? I know at Xero, we have an engagement survey that happens every year and we can see in the different departments who’s feeling most engaged and if not, what can we do about it.

If we’re talking about this topic of keeping your employees happy and motivated, there is some assumption that you know how happy and motivated your employees actually are, so how do each of you cover that?

Greg Kyte: At my company, there’s a lot of hands on, face-to-face individual meetings and individual interactions. I think that’s actually a benefit that we have. I would also say that, at least, in theory I’ve got to assume that if there’s any way for a larger organization to have more of that face-to-face interaction with their people that that’s going to be, not just the best way to gauge employee engagement; to gauge employee satisfaction; to gauge employee happiness, but it’s also going to result in employee engagement, satisfaction and happiness. Just the natural outcome of having those interactions; making people feel like they’ve been truly heard and that they’re important to the organization through those face-to-face meetings.

Elizabeth U: Josh, how about you?

Joshua Reeves: Yeah. I think you’ve brought up a good point on the data side. I would say annually is actually really not sufficient. I think it’s important to do it even weekly. We actually do what we call an employee NPS. Now, NPS is a metric that stands for Net Promoter Score. It’s used oftentimes to measure customer satisfaction

On the employee side, we actually do these surveys, like I said, weekly and several times a month just to quickly gauge … It’s very lightweight; a sentiment, and it’s mostly used as a benchmark to say how are we doing compared to last week or last month, and then there’s also a chance to share specific feedback.

That’s one bucket I would call surveys or data or different ways to collect feedback, but the heart of it, and I agree with Greg, is the one-on-one; the role that a manager plays. At Gusto, we actually don’t call people managers because I think that term implies a lot of control. We call them PEs or People in Powers because the role of the manager or a PE at Gusto is enable someone to go do the best work of their life.

That one-on-one conversation where they’re actually talking to the individual, hearing about what’s going well, giving them feedback but also then understanding where do they want to go whether that’s in their career context or in a learning context, and how that ties to the opportunities that exist inside the business. That’s actually another key input as well.

Gene Marks: What do you think is the most popular benefit that has grown in popularity this year among your clients? Is it Paid Time Off? I mean, Paid Time Off has become such an issue this year in media events with some companies in Silicon Valley. I mean, Jeez, you’re competing against the companies that are offering unlimited Pay Time Off in some cases. Do you see that trend going on those small businesses or is there another benefit that you see being offered more often than not over the past year or so?

Joshua Reeves: A lot of times when someone is a business and they’re thinking about satisfaction, morale, team, community, the topic jumps to what is the type of benefit, perk; financial incentive being put in place. There’s actually a whole other set of really important pieces that affect if someone feels great at work.

Those are a bunch of things such as when you receive an offer, what was that experience like? Your first day on the job, did you feel truly welcomed into the organization and what was the first two weeks in terms of getting trained and able to understand what does success look like; are you on track, are you being equipped to be your best self in the office? How well do you know your colleagues? How well do you know your team? What’s your one-on-one like with your manager? What’s the relationship like with your manager? Do you feel like they’re on your side trying to help you, empower you verses tell you what to do? How is compensation set? Do you feel like there’s a fair, logical progression to how you can achieve your own personal goals while the company is also achieving its goal?

These are all topics that, again, don’t just tie to financial “Perks,” but they have a massive effect on the quality of someone’s experience inside an organization.

Elizabeth U: Those are some really great ingredients for a happy and motivated employee experience.

 

Elizabeth U: All right, so now, it’s time for the elevator pitch, a short segment where we encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. Our guests will compete against each other and also, Gene, in delivering a 90 second business pitch for a random product or service. The person with the best pitch will take home a $100 Amazon gift card.

Today’s pitch is based on an article in Inc.com that listed seven unusual ways to motivate your employees. One of them was by installing a nap room. Apparently, siestas at work motivate employees and increase productivity. Your charge for the elevator pitch is to sell a unique and unusual means of motivating employees and to demonstrate exactly how this increases productivity.

Here are the game rules: one, you must identify the problem. Two, your pitch must offer a solution. Three, you must identify your target market. Four, your product or service must have a compelling and marketable name, and finally, , number five, your pitch must be creative and outside the box, so we’ll start with Greg today. Please give us your elevator pitch.

Greg Kyte: Are all of your people as productive as they could be? Of course, they’re not. Why? Because all of your people are not as happy as they possibly could be. Happy people is the key to productive people because studies have shown that happy people outperform unhappy people. Happy people are more cooperative, they’re less self-centered, they work better with others; they have lower rates of burn out, absenteeism, they have fewer work disputes and they’re even more effective leaders.

What is it that’s been scientifically proven to increase happiness, you ask? Great question. The Neuropeptide Oxytocin. How does one get more of the Neuropeptide Oxytocin? Great follow up question. According to the research of Gretchen Rubin, a six second hug triggers the release of Oxytocin from the pituitary gland into the blood stream and the Neuroeconomist, yes, there’s, apparently, such a thing as a Neuroeconomist. The Neuroeconomist, Paul Zak recommends that people get at least eight hugs per day. That means that your people; the people at your organization, their productivity could be boosted simply by getting eight, six second hugs per day.

However, a problem exists where in most organization; HR discourages that much hugging at work. That’s why what you need is you need an independent contractor. You need an outsourced Chief Hug Officer is what you need. Someone who’s willing to come to your employees eight times during the day to give a hug that’s possibly awkward in length and by doing so they will get a surge of Oxytocin. They’ll be happier and more productive at your work, and I’m willing to be your outsource CHO.

I haven’t worked out my entire pricing model, but I believe it’s about $2 a hug should do it.

Elizabeth U: Wow.

Greg Kyte: If you wanted to go to the Platinum version, that’s $4 and I’ll crack back as well.

Elizabeth U: Wow.

Gene Marks: Greg, that’s awesome, man

Elizabeth U: All right. Josh, are you ready for your elevator pitch?

Joshua Reeves: I think one of the interesting parts of a startup, and even a small business in general, is that there’s always a million things to do and as a result, it’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. There’s always more to get done, it’s exciting, there’s progress being made and time can fly by.

As we all know the most important thing in a business is focus; making sure that the new things being done well are the things that are the most important to the organization.

As one reference point here at Gusto, we want to encourage people to be able to take a step back so everyone on their one year anniversary, actually, gets a free plane ticket anywhere in the world, and it expires by their second year anniversary.

That concept can be generalized whether it’s giving a weekend getaway, being able to take a trip to a museum or a park perhaps that would be the service is basically in a way to detach from the day-to-day. You could call the product perhaps – Detach.

The benefit is by changing the environment; a person changes their perspective. They actually think differently. Definitely when someone travels at Gusto and goes to a different country or region, they actually come back a healthier person. That’s the main metric. It’s actually just them being able to take a step back and think about how they’re spending their time and making sure that they’re spending their time on the most important thing, and if they’re healthier a person, they also end up being a healthier teammate as well.

Gene Marks: That’s awesome.

Elizabeth U: All right – Detach.

Gene Marks:                 Alright, it’s my turn. First of all, the problem, of course, is motivating your employee, creating teamwork, getting people happy, interested and glad to work for your company all working together as a group. They want to come to work as one team, and there’s no better activity that defines a team, yes, ladies and gentlemen than softball; my very favorite sport in the world. The ball is bigger, it’s underhand thrown, it’s not a little hardball thrown at my head. Even losers like me can succeed at softball.

The solution that I’m going to propose is a new product; a new service, actually, called the Softball Sorcerer. It’s a company with softball coaches, professional softball players that you; your company can hire to bring in; to teach your people how to win at softball.

By the way, winning at softball is not just about hitting the ball very far or catching it in the field. There’s a whole lot of things people can do by cheering on the side, providing the right kind of food, providing the right kind of adult beverages as well to make sure the experience is really good.

The Softball Sorcerer Company has identified this problem by turning your team into a team of winners that can go out, and defeat other companies and come out on top in their league as champions. There is no way to feel better about your company than coming back to work every day and talking about what a great game you had the day before.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Softball Sorcerer; a fantastic service that your company should hire. Turn yourselves into winners; build the right kind of team.

Elizabeth U: That’s great, Gene. I imagine you might also have some gains as far as savings on your insurance premiums or health insurance premiums because everyone’s so healthy from playing softball.

Gene Marks: Yes, they’re healthy; they’re out. We won’t even talk about pulled hamstrings, strained muscles and all of that. That will probably increase our healthcare expenses.

Greg Kyte: Right.

Gene Marks: Listen, those are details we’ll work out later.

Elizabeth U: In my judging here, I would say that all of you identified this problem very well. Greg was saying that unhappy employees are unproductive. Josh was saying there’s too many things to do and time just flies by, and Gene also saying you need to motivate your employees and get them working together as a team.

As far as the solutions go, I think that Greg definitely gets the point here as far as creativity. Also on the fifth point that your pitch must be creative and outside the box. This was really great. Although, I also appreciated how Greg was adhering to HR rules making it very clear that this needs to be an outsourced position so that nobody falls afoul of your Human Relationship’s policy. Let’s call it Human Resources.

Greg Kyte: Possibly, there needs be some …

Joshua Reeves: There you go.

Greg Kyte: Certification program for the person administering the hugs.

Elizabeth U: Exactly. I assume that’s another service that you provide, Greg.

Greg Kyte: Yes.

Elizabeth U: You had a revenue stream as the certification for Chief Hug Officers. All right, I’m going to sign up for that. I think I might be able to start my own small business on the side as Chief Hug Officer (CHO).

I think Greg gets my vote for this one. Although Josh, I think that this whole point that you do need to detach, take a step back, see the forest for the trees, bring new perspectives back to the office. Very good point and I think well taken that I hope our small business officers will appreciate that it is important to offer your employees creative ways of taking a step back from their day-to-day existence, but in this case, Greg’s going to take home the prize. Sorry, Gene.

Gene Marks: I’ll live. Don’t worry. I’ll be out playing softball.

Joshua Reeves: Congrats, Greg.

Greg Kyte: Thanks, Josh. Your idea is probably actually one that might get implemented by a company so I think yours was great as well.

Joshua Reeves: We’re all winners.

Greg Kyte: Yeah.

Gene Marks: We’re all winners. Now, according to Greg’s recommendation we should all go and hug it out.

Elizabeth U: It’s true. Well, thanks so much for joining us today. Greg and Josh, it’s been really great to chat with you and I hope that our listeners have got a lot juicy tips to take back to their own workplaces as far as motivating their own employees; keeping them happy.

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Gene Marks: If you have any questions you’d like answered on the show...

Elizabeth U: Tweet us (at) Xero using the hashtag #XeroGravity. Or, text us your questions to (415) 813-9878. We’ll answer them on next week’s show!

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Gene Marks: Elizabeth, I’m pretty annoyed by this conversation. I thought the Softball Sorcerer was really going to win it this time teach your employees how to win because it is all about winning. Its teamwork and … Anyway, I think …

Elizabeth U: I don’t know. I hate to break it to you I’m not a softball fan. I would be much more into any number of other teambuilding exercises but I never feel more stupid than when I’m running after a ball.

Gene Marks: Well, both Josh and Greg gave some great advice on keeping our employees happy and motivated, and it was an enjoyable conversation. What we talked about earlier about how so many employees, particular millennials as well, are looking more, not necessarily for more compensation, but just more flexibility; independence and freedom in their life. providing, not letting people work from home, giving them the ability to make decisions on their own It’s all about quality of life and balance, and I think the two of those guys gave us some great ideas.

Elizabeth U: Right. Also, understanding that the work that you’re doing is meeting a need out in the marketplace. The ownness is really on the employer to make sure that you are articulating to your employees and helping them really experience the impact that they’re having out in the world

Gene Marks: Yeah, and it’s funny also the two different styles. I mean, Greg, messes around. You can tell he’s a funny guy. That, from a cultural standpoint, it’s fun to work with somebody who’s goofy like he is. I got to imagine he’s just fun guy to work with. Josh, not that he’s not fun guy to work with. He’s a serious guy and he’s into what he’s doing. I mean, he is really committed to providing a beautiful payroll solution to small businesses around the country. There are a lot of people that really love to attach their wagons to a guy like that because you feel like you’re really doing something important. You have a mission. everybody thanks for joining us so much. That was a great conversation. I hope you guys got something out of this as well I know. I certainly did. I know Elizabeth did as well. Again, thanks for joining us. We look forward to seeing on our next episode of Xero Gravity.

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Head to xero.com/signup and use the promo code XEROPODCAST to get a discount on a 6-month subscription. It’s valid until March 31st 2016 for small businesses new to Xero.

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