San Jose PayPals are Not Brandful

Soon after writing my last blog post, PayPal’s President, David Marcus, did exactly what I had advised not to do. He threatened his employees to use PayPal products or leave the company.  While that is one way to transform your workforce into a brandful one, it is not what I recommend.

I commend Marcus for being on the forefront of understanding the value that his workforce brings to the success of his company. Most CEOs do not rely enough on their employees to build the brand. In an email to his “San Jose PayPals” he asserts: “everyone at PayPal should use our products where available. That’s the only way we can make them better, and better.” This kind of executive mindset is exactly what’s needed in any organization that wants to build or sustain a brandful workforce. However, how you do it, needs to be effective and genuine.

Let’s not forget, people are not only rational, but emotional human beings. While it may seem simple: “Just tell them what you want them to do,” it doesn’t work that way. Last year, I wrote about the emergence and growing importance of the field of organizational psychology to the corporation. It brings something to the table that the traditional MBA approach misses: feelings. And yes, we all have them.

What PayPal needs to do is better understand why the employees in San Jose are not as brandful as those in other locations. Marcus says they don’t use PayPal or refer business nearly as much as the rest of the employees, who are so passionate about PayPal that they even hack into vending machines to make them accept PayPal. Trying to change behavior without understanding it does not make sense. Hey, I get that businesses need to move quickly, but consider the consequences of doing it the wrong way.

I tried reaching out to Marcus to see if I could help. tuned and I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can read an article and the full email he sent out.

Check out more Brandful Workforce blog posts or download the book, The Brandful Workforce: How Employees Can Make, Not Break Your Brand, on your kindle app.

“I Don’t Care!”

What NOT To Do To Get Employees To Care

Here are three methods that I would rather not try.

I was speaking with a colleague recently who was complaining about employee complacency. It happens in many workplaces and it can become a downward spiral. When a critical number of your employees are disengaged, it seems to rub off on the others. How can you inject some motivation or positive energy to turn this around?

While I can suggest a great book that offers solutions The Brandful Workforce – How Employees Can Make, Not Break Your Brand, I’m writing this post to let you know what surely does not work.

No-No #1

One failed tactic is to rely on a rewards program to create a caring environment. Even though, it can be set up to reward those employees who are most caring, rewards programs are usually not properly integrated into an on-going and sustainable culture of caring and the programs seem more of a staged and temporary approach rather than a genuine attempt to make permanent change.

No-No #2

Why not just tell them to start caring?  Have you ever heard a manager say: “Hey, I need you to care more about your work.” It’s wrong to think that apathy is a rational decision being made every day. Talk is cheap and that’s why this approach does not work.

No-No #3

Here’s the best way to permanently ban caring from your workplace forever:  Use threats. They typically become a tactic, not out of thoughtful consideration, but out of desperation. Sometimes senior leaders place ultimatums on middle managers who don’t know what to do. And unfortunately these managers may be victims of poor corporate cultures. Without support, tools, and resources, some managers turn to penalizing employees with bad reviews, bad schedules, extra work, no bonus, or other punitive measures. This usually creates even further deterioration of employee sentiment as they can start blaming each other.

Yes, Yes, Yes

So, what’s the secret to having employees who care? Care about them.