You’ve heard the horror stories of employees with terrible bosses, you’ve spent hours hoping you weren’t that boss and not knowing how to tell if you did something wrong. The truth is, it’s a lot more effective to focus on what you can do to make your employee’s lives better. So to help you do that, we created the Employee Diaries.
What They Are:
These are stories from Grow Disrupt employees, highlighting the things that Stephanie has done that made their lives easier as employees and helped them find ownership in their roles within the company.
This Week: Susannah Scheller, “The Reason I Quit.”
I’ve been working for Stephanie part-time for the last 5-7 years, and it’s been really cool to watch Grow Disrupt shifting and changing into what it has become today. It’s also been super cool to watch Stephanie grow as an employer and move from treating contractors (like me) like she treated herself (Which, let’s be honest, she wasn’t the kindest boss to herself...) to what happened this weekend and the reason I decided to quit.
Now I know, you’re thinking “Hold on, isn’t this supposed to be about the good things Stephanie has done that I can emulate in my business?” And you’d be correct! Stick with me for a little bit.
To fully explain, I have to back up a bit…
When I graduated college, both Stephanie and I knew that I would eventually come to work full-time for Grow Disrupt. But at the time, a full-time position hadn’t opened up, so I applied for & received another part-time job to fill the gap in the meantime.
Fast forward to two months into working 3 part-time jobs and I was burnt out. So burnt out that I was making mistakes and, atop mental health issues, was feeling like a failure in all of my jobs.
Then the Workation happened.
I knew I’d be on-site running tech for it, what I didn’t know was that it would be the catalyst my life needed to change.
As I sat there listening to Jeff Hoffman teaching all of these incredibly successful entrepreneurs, I felt sick inside. Jeff was reminding them about how we can be rockstars at our jobs if we focus on one thing and avoid doing the things we don’t thrive in. And where was I? Running 3 different jobs in 3 very different cultures. I knew I had to choose one job, one culture, and one place.
The Monday after the Workation, I turned in my resignation to my other employers.
It was frightening at first. On the surface, one part-time job was salaried and bringing home 1.5x more than my hourly paycheck from Grow Disrupt. So how did Stephanie convince me to choose Grow Disrupt over my other employers?
She didn’t. Actually, she didn’t know that I was planning to quit until I called her to inform her that I would have more time to work for her. And she was, as far as I know, unaware that I was sitting there, running tech and thinking through which job(s) I needed to quit. Though she clearly understood something was wrong because halfway through the last day of the event, she reached out via text to check-in.
Most importantly to me, Stephanie has developed a habit of taking care of her employees.
Are we responsible for getting our job done and owning our results? Absolutely. But I came home from that event with a beautiful journal and pen (which she handpicked and had inscribed with our names in our favorite colors for each of her staff) and knew who I wanted to work for.
Time and time again, Stephanie has gone out of her way to find little ways to take care of her employees (like buying dinner for us after big events that went off successfully). And it’s those little things that matter in the end, because it means more at the end of the day to know that I have a boss that cares than to have a cushy paycheck.
Additionally, the more I thought through this, the more I realized that, although the part-time salary appeared to be generating 1.5x more income than Grow Disrupt, it was because the “part time” job was requiring nearly full-time hours and I was unable to put in the full amount of hours Stephanie was offering me. Although the salaried job was supposed to be paying a higher hourly rate based on a part-time assumption, the job hadn’t lived up to the promises made and it empowered me to make the decision to cut the more stable, higher salary and move to a position I knew would cover my needs, physically and emotionally.
So my advice to you? Find those little things to do for your employees. Cultivate a culture they know they’ll be cared for in. Because if you take care of them, they will have a desire to take care of you.
About the Author:
Susannah Scheller is the Technology Director and Engagement Curator for Grow Disrupt, and was the first permanent hire made by Stephanie! She has spent countless hours studying the world of business under Stephanie, and has over 5 years of experience in content creation and Technology Execution. Having recently completed her Bachelor of Music, she has begun devoting her focus to the creation of content that helps to support small business owners’ company growth the world over.