Business Thought Leadership | How Do You Treat The People You Pay?

How Do You Treat The People You Pay? (vs. the ones that pay you?)

By: Paul Hickey, Founder and Lead Strategist

I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with some amazing business leaders via social media.

Not the fancy ones on Shark Tank or anything, but real, in-the-trenches business builders and leaders, who know exactly how to communicate with their people.

Cy Wakeman encourages leaders to “Call People To Greatness” in spite of their circumstances and excuses. She says “Ditch The Drama.”

Andy Frisella says “tell the truth.” You’re doing your people a disservice by sugar-coating or being nice in the moment to get through it. Man, that’s great parenting advice too, as I’ve found out the hard way with my 8 and 6 year olds recently.

I digress. Claude Silver says “spread the love” and has an amazing overall positivity to her.

All of these amazing business leaders have focused their message on how to treat their own team, co-workers, “employees,” if you will.

My perspective on this comes from many, many years of both being the one “getting paid,” and the one “paying.”

Let me explain.

Of my 17 year career, I’ve been in the “agency world,” although I’m not a huge fan of that term, for about the last 8 years. This means, essentially, that I’m the one “getting paid” by my clients.

Since 2011, I’ve had my own employees, but in the last two years, have been the owner of a company with employees. Point being, I’m in the middle – getting paid and paying.

A thought while running today was related to a new tool / tip I learned about recently that would really help a client that I was working with heavily about three years ago.

I immediately thought, “man, Sally would LOVE this, I should totally email her tomorrow after I post my Data Driven Daily Tip about it (it has to do with Facebook Business Manager).”

Then I kind of remembered how I was really treated by Sally and all of her co-workers. Man, did they LOVE their company culture, but treated everyone outside of their company like a total outsider. To the point where they would make weird finger snaps that meant something that only they knew about in a meeting with vendors. They’d also say things like “in two sentences or less, answer this question…”

Then they’d rudely cut your ass off if you went into a third sentence. Incredible.

I’m still going to sent Sally the tip, thanks to the influence of people like Cy, Claude and Andy – and Gary Vaynerchuk, whose message of 51/49, patience, humility and not having expectations of others have truly helped my mindset as I navigate entrepreneurship – especially in the client services game.

But, the perspective and lesson I’m taking away is this: I believe Sally and her people fall in line with many others (who I’ve honestly forgotten because negatively loses and positivity wins) that treat people poorly when they can. They tear them down or make them feel inferior so they can feel superior.

And the greatest excuse to do something like this is: “Well, I’m paying you….so…..”

So?

Just because you’re paying someone doesn’t give you an excuse to treat them like shit or make them feel inferior.

Doing the right thing always wins. The true test of both character and business acumen is – are you treating everyone the same?

Are you treating those you pay just as well if not better than those who pay you?

I know I’m always trying my best and reflecting on how I can do better.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Paul Hickey has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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