Fair Exchange


Fair Exchange-Profit-hsaring works — just ask Founding Fathers

I like profit-sharing plans, and I am in good company. Our Founding Fathers saw America as a country that would prosper because every worker is a capitalist.

Fair Exchange-Hard numbers and humility needed in minimum wage debate

Remove the hype, histrionics and hubris from the minimum wage debate, bring in some hard numbers and a touch of humility.

Fair Exchange-Minimum wage, minimum information

Remove the hype, histrionics and hubris from the minimum wage debate, bring in some hard numbers and a touch of humility — keep in mind that we are all human — and maybe something good will happen.

Fair Exchange-Thinking beyond one-size-fits-all minimum wage

To everything there is a season. A time to plant, a time to reap. A time to gain, a time to lose. A time to build up, a time to break down. After a long season of loss and tearing down it is time to build up, reap and share the gain. The economy is turning and we are in a season of growth. The pleas for an increase in wages and a share of the financial gain has devolved into a debate on the minimum wage.

Fair Exchange-If the minimum wage increases, then what?

As a long-time advocate of paying employees a living wage I should be happy that Seattle’s new mayor, Ed Murray, has issued an executive order to “begin the process of raising the minimum wage of the city’s employees to $15 an hour.”

Fair Exchange-Corporations don't need safety nets, people do

It’s the least we can do.” I appreciate the honesty, but why tell me you could have done more? What was the more generous option you rejected? That’s what I want to know when I hear those words.

Fair Exchange-Helping a rookie supervisor around the bases

Some people step into the job of supervisor and instinctively know how to manage people. But most of us find our way by trial and error. Last w

Fair Exchange-It takes a good staff to raise a new boss

Your new boss has no experience as a supervisor. She may not have any experience with the kind of work you do. She is friendly — but close to clueless. You are sure she is going to be a pain to work for.

Fair Exchange-Yes, Virginia, the holidays can be jolly

’Tis the month before Christmas, and all through the house the employees are scurrying — to please their new boss. Good results are achieved and reported with flair in hopes of big profits — and they’d each have a share. But instead, they each received tiny cheeseboards. And that’s just one of the many reasons I would like to untangle Christmas and the workplace.

Fair Exchange-When you work for a weasel ...

Given a choice, I would prefer to work for a moderately capable but honest, hard-working boss than a smart weasel of a boss. And I am not alone in my preference. The top reason people leave a job voluntarily isn’t for pay or a promotion; it’s because of a dishonest or incompetent boss. A few hundred years of literature followed by decades of employee attitude surveys provide the proof.

Fair Exchange-Yes, you have permission to be honest

May I speak honestly?” “To tell you the truth ...” “Well, to be honest ...” All of the above are phrases that make me wonder if the speaker’s preceding statements were nothing but lies. Based on one of those human interests surveys I read recently, probably about half of what we are told each day falls somewhere between misleading or just plain false. Performance evaluation workshop

Fair Exchange-Don’t be cruel, tell me your rules

The day Elvis died, John’s fate was sealed. He made the mistake of singing Elvis hits off and on through the workday. John had a good voice and his co-workers (including me) enjoyed the musical interludes in our day. He sang tunes he knew we liked and stopped the moment we heard footsteps in the office hallway. On the whole he was a fun, helpful and popular employee.

Fair Exchange-Lesson from Charlie: Make up you mind(s)

As soon as I became consistent in how I applied rules and expectations my dog Charlie became a good dog. It wasn’t a coincidence. He could finally see a pattern and could predict my reaction to his behavior. Charlie is my first dog and it took me a while to realize that the “trial and error” method to setting expectations for Charlie wasn’t working. I didn’t know what I should expect from him when I brought him home so I stayed flexible and accommodating. I wanted him be happy; he had been living a rough life scavenging and I was ready to pamper him. My approach couldn’t have been more wrong. Charlie’s sense of security comes from a predictable routine; no surprises, no changes. A few clear rules and boundaries and he is a happy dog. This isn’t to say that he doesn’t misbehave; he knows exactly how long he can bark at a cat before he gets the “no barking” command.

Fair Exchange-What makes a good employee? (gopher issues aside)

Just about everyone sees themselves as a good employee. About a third of us are deluded. I blame parents. My theory is that our parents are the first “boss” most of us experience. They set the expectation that misbehavior has consequences. They make us understand the importance of punctuality, honesty, dependability and cooperation with others. Back in the days when I spent a good chunk of my time training new college grads I could predict who would be a challenge by asking if their parents had rules that came with consequences. If they did, half my work was done.

Fair Exchange-We're all annoying — some more than others

Some people, probably most of us, are best enjoyed in small doses. And that’s what makes harmony in the workplace a real challenge. Forty hours a week working with a person who annoys you is a pain in the tuchas. About a year ago I began posting the Fair Exchange columns on my website. This past week I did a quick analysis of which columns get the most interest — and it isn’t the ones that I fuss over and rewrite several times. The winner (by a landslide) is “Obnoxious employee? — deal with it before his co-workers do.” I shouldn’t be surprised.