Each week GGC Principal Gail Golden lets us take a look at her open tabs to see what’s going on in the world of workplace psychology. Here are her insights on the week’s news….
Companies have long known how to set a fair wage — look at market rates and pay accordingly. But if you want to keep top talent, you might follow Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price’s lead. One of Dan’s employees challenged him, saying he felt ripped off by his low wage. After getting defensive, Dan made a drastic and controversial change in how he compensated his workers. The outcome – dramatic revenue growth for the company. A $70,000 minimum wage might seem crazy. But at Gravity, it seems to be working.
It’s intuitive – make your employees happy, and they’ll make your business prosper. But hard data supporting this connection is lacking. That doesn’t mean it’s not true, but to get hard-nosed business executives to invest in their employees’ happiness, we need proof. Developing better partnerships between consultants, business schools, and I/O psychology departments would be a good step toward generating those findings.
When you think of business executives, I’m guessing John Belushi doesn’t leap to mind. But for over a decade, actors and coaches from The Second City have been using improv to teach innovation. Years ago, I had the great pleasure of collaborating with them on a presentation about how improv creates a safe climate for people to share their ideas. For a brief intro to improv’s “Yes and” concept see my video, below, and this article.
Sometimes, the best thing a business can do is listen to the screams of “Oh, man, corporate doesn’t know what it’s doing!” Asking users for feedback is obvious, but consider asking your user-facing employees first. In the early ’00s I consulted to Best Buy, where they were doing some groundbreaking work on surfacing employee insights. One of the tools they worked on was “prediction markets,” a kind of internal crowdsourcing. Today, Cultivate Labs is refining this technology.
Women are more risk-averse than men when it comes to financial decisions, right? Well, not so fast. Research suggests that the difference comes from financial education, not gender. When women receive the same financial management training as men in early adulthood, they invest their money in similar ways.
Another gender myth busted.