- Gary Vaynerchuk said companies should fire “assholes” who create “toxic” work environments.
- That’s a better way to retain workers than cutting working hours, he said.
- He also said recently that companies need to better appeal to Gen Z, given their many work options.
Gary Vaynerchuk has many theories about what workers expect from their employers.
The entrepreneur and internet personality, who was an early investor in companies like Facebook and Uber, regularly posts TikToks about the workplace and how people have transformed their relationship with him over the of recent years. In TikToks posted this week, Vaynerchuk spoke out against “toxic work environments”, blaming companies for retaining employees and management who compromise the “joy” of their staff members.
He also continued his current comment on why Gen Z is moving away from traditional working arrangements, helping to perpetuate the “Big resignation” and one wider labor shortage. Young people are reassessing their relationship to work pushing companies to scramble bring employees to the officeor even to get employees in general.
“Joy doesn’t come from four-hour workweeks,” Vaynerchuk said in a video, appearing to refer to current movement for a four-day work week. “Joy doesn’t come from free donuts. Joy comes from firing assholes.”
Vaynerchuk’s comments alluded to companies’ largely unsuccessful pursuit of retaining employees and bringing them back to in-person work over the past two years, seeking to bring remote and hybrid workers back after a pandemic relocation. In the years following the spread of COVID across the globe in 2020, remote job openings are finally shrinking, even as workers have begun to stake their job prospects on it; for example, most people said they would look for a new job if their employer made them work in person, a Pew Research Center investigation found last year.
The “doughnut” jab specifically targets companies’ costly and often futile attempts to entice employees back to their cubicles — efforts that involve archway, pizza nightsand even spa equipment.
Vaynerchuk insists companies should make more substantial structural changes to their work environments if they want to attract employees, especially younger employees, who he says have a plethora of options given their online savvy. Namely, he says companies should pay them more than they can work for themselves and reduce their payroll of employees responsible for a toxic environment.
“Gen Z aren’t lazy, they understand their options,” he said. said in another video this week. “‘Hey, do you want to come work that shitty job and make $52,000 a year? Or do you want to stay home and do TikToks and make $60,000 a year?’ Businesses are screwed – if you don’t care about your employees, why the hell should they care about you?”
“It’s very difficult because often the people who bring a lot of negativity to an organization are also the top performers,” he said. “I think it’s very possible to have a work environment where people work very hard but are very happy, but I think that just comes down to how we treat each other.”
Forget the benefits, focus on fixing your toxic workplace
A Harvard Business Review report last year, analysis of feedback from 13,000 employees of 2,800 managers found that “indifferent and uninspiring” leaders were a major reason workers quit their jobs.
“We find that people who seem to be more satisfied with working from home are also people who report not having a good relationship with their direct supervisor, while people who have a more favorable impression of their relationship with their direct supervisor report enjoy being in the office more often,” Jason Schloetzer, a business professor at Georgetown University who co-led a similar survey of about 70,000 remote workers, said Working life.
Vaynerchuk’s reference to a four-day work week – which research shows is good for employees welfare and that recent major pilot studies have been shown to be good for productivity at work – also alludes to a criticism that some experts have made recently.
American politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders have thrown their support behind the idea, for example, citing major recent studies, but some researchers say the push for a four-day work week is more convenient for white-collar workers, as opposed to blue-collar workers, many of whom work schedules more rigid and more immediate needs, such as breaks between long shifts and vacations.
“Nobody talks about the four-day week in my world,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, said at the World Economic Forum in January. “Flexibility is what everyone wants.”
And Vaynerchuk bets people want to be treated right on the clock, too.
“I think the way you will get to that joy is if everyone is nice to each other and if you have the ability and the conviction to fire the three people here who are assholes.”