According to Jay Goltz, the secret to having happy employees is to fire the unhappy ones. And while it sounds like the beginning of a joke, Goltz swears it isn’t. Good management can’t make every employee good. Some are dysfunctional to the core, others are good people in the wrong place, and either case leads to unhappiness. And Goltz further argues that while it isn’t necessary for employees to be happy to do good work, contented employees like contented cows provide higher quality products. “It’s hard to build a company with the wrong people,” says Goltz who admits to firing an employee caught texting after being told three times not to text her friends while working. He couldn’t let her do it a fourth time without consequences.
At a glance such an attitude might hint at a rigid and unwavering boss. But Goltz is rumored to be a rather well liked boss. When an employee accidentally damaged a new company truck, Goltz let him off the hook. An honest mistake is different from a disobedient employee. In the world of business, Goltz is a respected entrepreneur whose frame shop in Chicago is thought to be the largest picture framing business in the country. To him it’s a testament to happy employees working harder to make customers happy.
Of course, “happiness is different things to different things to different people.” But, while research has indicated that a short commute and connection to friends make employees happy, the Easterlin paradox which holds that money doesn’t buy happiness is in dispute. Polls show that people in rich countries are happier. Affluence is more fun because it offers more options – such as working less. But it turns out Richard Easterlin isn’t convinced yet, he would like to keep his paradox until there is a direct co-relation between money and happiness.
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