July 20, 2022
“If you raise (the price of the) effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.” – Costco CEO Jim Sinegal on hiking the cost of their popular food court item.
In this week’s edition:
LIVIN' ON A PRAYER
Raise your hand if you’ve ever offered someone your “thoughts and prayers.”
Everybody’s hand up? Thought so. (Your Facebook post from five years ago totally ratted you out.) The ubiquitous phrase — used to provide condolences for everything from The Great British Bake-Off to the passing of your BFF’s Tamagotchi — has almost become, well, a parody of itself.
But for people who are truly suffering, “thoughts and prayers” solves nothing. Yet, tragedy after tragedy, we see it circulating throughout our feeds and lives — even at work. Which raises the question: Are “thoughts and prayers” appropriate in a work setting? We polled our team here at Trainual and found that of those surveyed, 40% have used the phrase at work and 60% have used it outside of work.
And when asked, “what’s your gut reaction to the phrase,” the general consensus was pretty… meh.
So, what can we (business owners, colleagues, and friends) do instead of offering “thoughts and prayers”?
Thought you’d never ask. But first thing’s first — when it comes to workplace religious accommodations, employers are required to allow “an employee's sincerely held religious beliefs or practices” (such as prayer). So, banning the phrase (or banning the offering of prayer) is a big nope.
But there are four things you can do to offer support and uplift your people when it matters most — without using “thoughts and prayers.”
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
To-may-toe, to-mah-toe. Sounds like the same thing.
While the concepts sound similar and have sometimes been used interchangeably (albeit incorrectly), there are subtle differences between “remote-first” and “remote-optimized” workplaces.
Let’s talk remote-first… first.
Just like it sounds — remote is the default work mode for all employees. That could look like a business that has a company hub but sources all their workers from different time zones. Or, one that’s fully remote — no centralized office, no in-person collaboration.
Basically, remote work is part of the foundation of the business, and as a result, determines how the company hires and trains their employees.
These businesses are designed so that all employees can contribute, whether they work remotely or in-office. Also referred to as “remote-friendly” or “hybrid,” this option usually involves time split between working from home and in the office.
Why’s the difference important?
It comes down to your employees. And perhaps, more specifically, your prospective employees. Remote flexibility is popular — while some people want to work remotely full-time, others don’t.
Because there’s something to be said about working with others face-to-face. In a survey from Buffer, 52% of employees who work remotely reported feeling less connected — it takes more effort to build relationships remotely versus in-person interactions.
So while remote-first workplaces do offer a lot of convenience, remote-optimized work environments provide your employees with more choice. People who prefer to work remotely full-time get the opportunity to do so, while people who want a more hybrid balance of home and office get to have their cake and eat it, too (it was Alex from accounting’s birthday 🤷).
You’ll find that one title will fit your remote business model better than the other. And your choice will help your employees (current and prospective) determine how they best fit into your company.
PLEASE SIR, CAN I HAVE S'MORE?
What’s the Marshmallow Test?
It’s as delicious as it sounds. Back in 1970, a couple of Stanford professors conducted a social experiment to study the concept of delayed gratification in young children (typically ages three to five). Here’s how it played out:
Surprise, surprise — a lot of the children couldn’t wait. No second marshmallow for them.
But wait, there’s more.
Researchers followed up with the children who participated in the experiment over the next few decades, and the results showed a unique pattern. The children who were able to wait for their second marshmallow typically grew up to be more successful than their less-patient peers, scoring higher in life measures like SAT scores, social skills, and stress responses.
Okay, but I can’t go back in time and do my own Marshmallow Test.
Not until someone starts doing some serious work in the time travel department (anyone got a spare DeLorean?). But if you think about it, the entrepreneurial lifestyle is one big Marshmallow Test.
When you start a business, you’re sitting at a table with your time, energy, and money in front of you. You could grab hold of them now and no one would blame you. But, if you can wait, you could reap rewards that are double (or triple… even quadruple!) the worth of that initial sacrifice. Just goes to show that delayed gratification is a hallmark of a successful entrepreneur — so don’t always grab that first marshmallow.
Conferences. Remember those? Yeah, us too.
And let’s be honest — most of them sucked. And no, we don’t need another free jump drive, [insert random big name sponsor].
Good thing we don’t play by the typical conference rules.
Cue… Playbook 2022!
Trainual’s bringing the SMB event of the year right to your laptop. Two days of epic speakers and jam-packed sessions on leading, systemizing, and scaling. Whether you need strategies for growth, marketing ideas that resonate with the right audiences, or hot tips on small business trends, Playbook 2022 has you covered.
September 21-22 | 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. PDT
Cost: FREE (go ahead, read that again — yep, still free.)
What’s knowledge sharing?
In business, it’s sharing info between individuals, teams, departments, and other company leaders. Often, it revolves around how-tos, best practices, and other knowledge learned through experience.
Is knowledge sharing a need or a nice-to-have?
A LinkedIn survey revealed 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they were given the opportunity to learn and grow. Remember that replacing someone can cost up to two times their annual salary. So in the long run, investing in team growth prevents drops in both your business’ culture and finances.
Speaking of hiring, you want to dazzle the right candidates before they even start, right? Especially those hungry for knowledge and experience. When you can show candidates how you’ll invest in their professional growth, they’ll be much more inclined to choose you over a company that doesn’t.
To be competitive in today’s market, you need to share knowledge with people outside your org too. You might not be Gary Vee, but you have some major industry expertise (and so do your team members!). When you share that knowledge with other entrepreneurs and professionals, they’ll start to turn to you and your team as the go-to industry experts.
Okay, I’m sold. Where do I start?
Here are some tips for implementing knowledge sharing in your business:
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
You’re probably craving some gooey marshmallows right about now (whoops). Before you cave in for a snack break, catch up on the hottest small business news from last week: