uber ceo travis kalanick

A Lesson From Uber: You Are What Your Culture Says You Are – Like It or Not

John Hollon Culture, John Hollon

Why do so many people think that companies only focus on building strong, positive workplace cultures? The fact is, organizations are ALWAYS building their culture — whether they mean to or not. You know what I’m talking about: Those kinds of businesses where workers spend more time yakking about all the bad management and terrible decision making going on around them than …

passive aggressive

The One Thing It Takes to Be a Real Manager

John Hollon Employee Relations, John Hollon, Leadership

Although it pains me to say it, I’m somewhat of an expert on passive-aggressive behavior. The good people at Wikipedia describe passive-aggressive behavior as follows: The indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behavior, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible. That’s a good definition, but Urban Dictionary gets …


Here’s Why Life — and HR — Is So Very Different in the Aloha State

John Hollon Employee Relations, HR, John Hollon

HONOLULU — It’s been 20 years since I’ve been in Hawaii, but the moment I arrived back in Honolulu last week, it felt like I had never left. My connection with the Aloha State goes back a long way. Not only did my wife and I honeymoon here, but we lived on Oahu for three years in the mid-90s when I …

A Sad Reminder That People Don’t Leave Their Companies, They Leave Their Managers

John Hollon John Hollon, Retention

Sometimes, you just need to be reminded of some basic principles of the workplace. Here’s one to keep in mind as your organization struggles with recruiting and retention: Employees don’t leave their company, they leave their managers. Victor Lipman wrote a book about this last year — The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World — and in it (and …


Office Holiday Parties? They’re OK, But I’m a Big Fan of the Office Holiday Lunch

John Hollon Employee Engagement, Holidays, John Hollon

We’re deep into the holiday season, and nothing gives me pause as much as my fellow FOTer Laurie Ruettimann’s recent post on the perils of the office holiday party. It’s a personal, no-holds-barred view of such annual get-togethers, and I pretty much agree with her sober words of warning. Yes, it’s always dangerous when you mix alcohol, co-workers, and a gathering …

A Workplace Leadership Lesson in the Age of Trump

John Hollon Employee Communications, John Hollon, Leadership

Most employees don’t have much contact with their CEO. When they do hear from them, they tend to listen pretty closely to what the CEO has to say, and while it’s not like God giving Moses The 10 Commandments, it’s pretty darn close. That’s why the comments made by GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney to his staff in the wake of our …

Want to Foster a Risk-Taking Culture? If So, You Better Be Willing to Deal With a $2 Million Mistake

John Hollon Culture, John Hollon, Risks, Uncategorized

You’ve heard managers say it over and over — “we want our employees to feel they can take risks!” — yet you wonder how many companies really, truly believe it. My experience is that despite the rhetoric that they do, most don’t. Over many years working for a variety of organizations, I’ve found that people rarely get patted on the back for …

Yes, American Workers Can Learn a Lot From Their Uber-Loyal Canadian Cousins

John Hollon Current Affairs, Employee Relations, John Hollon, Retention

Everybody knows that Canadians, our English-speaking cousins to the North, are wonderfully courteous and kind, but guess what? They’re also incredibly loyal to their employers as well. Yes, this is yet another example of how the good people in Canada are so very, very different from their American counterparts. Most working Americans know all-too-well that the employer-employee loyalty bond has long …

Election Day as a Paid Holiday? This Is a Workplace Benefit We Need a Lot More Of

John Hollon Audacious Ideas, Employee Engagement, John Hollon, Policies, Talent Strategy, Workplace Flexibilty

The older I get, the more I find that I treasure one long-standing workplace benefit. Yes, let’s hear it for the three day holiday weekend. I’m thrilled anytime I can add a third day to a weekend, because as I learned a long-time ago when I worked a four-day week (yes, I worked four 10 hour days way back in …

Cultural Meltdown: When Values Don’t Match Workers’ Day-to-Day Reality

John Hollon Always Be Closing, Bad HR, Change Management, Culture, Current Affairs, employee experience, John Hollon, Performance

“If there is one job that I as CEO must do for our team members, customers, communities, and shareholders, it is to be the keeper of our company’s culture. It is the role of all team members to understand our culture, internalize it, live it, teach it, and reinforce it.” — CEO John Stumpf, from Wells Fargo‘s statement of values If …