Two sided stories…

I am a very trusting soul; some might say naïve in my positive outlook. So if someone does lie to me, it cuts me to the core.

Two sided stories…

When I read Eve Ash’s recent blog on Discipline or Sack, I couldn’t help but think her account was one-sided. Her friend simply could not have been completely in the right. I find that issues of this nature are never simple, and there is always more than one view of the world.

I’m a person who is passionate about how people experience working at RedBalloon. (I was really pleased when B&T magazine named us a marketing employer of choice, and I just wrote a whole book on the integration of marketing and HR.

I am a very trusting soul; some might say naïve in my positive outlook. I believe what people tell me. So if someone does lie to me, it cuts me to the core.

Our whole business has been built based on our values – deception can absolutely not be tolerated. The employer/employee relationship is one based on mutual respect. That only comes from open, frank and meaningful conversations.

Why do employees think they need to lie? Do they think their employer cannot handle the truth, that his or her feeling might be “hurt”. I don’t think so. Business is not an adult day care centre – people need to be responsible for what they do in the day.

Someone I know only employs contractors. She has read the statistics from the Gallup Organisation that says: “Australians are the second least engaged with their employers after the French”.

She believes that in changing the relationship to one of supplier/client rather than employee/employer she has shifted the balance. She believes that there is a completely different expectation around the deliverables of the relationship.

It was my father who always said: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” It is about treating people how you want to be treated. Perhaps some employees need to move on from the whole notion that an employer “owes them something”.

I like being an employer. I love watching people learn, grow and develop. Witnessing what they achieve both at RedBalloon and in their careers beyond. This only happens with mutual trust and respect.


For more Get Out of My Way blogs, click here.



Susan Rushworth writes: Following on from what Louise said below, that employers should always put on a happy face, recent research suggested that the leaders who are most likely to transmit their passion for their business to their employees are those who share both positive and negative emotions. Share only the negative and employees get burned out because nothing is ever good enough. Share only the positive and employees sense you’re not being open with them, which reduces trust. Those who share a bit of the emotional roller coaster that is an inevitable part of starting and growing a business are more likely to attract passionate and committed employees. Of course, HOW you share the emotions plays a part, but you can read up on emotional intelligence to work on that one.


Louise Convy from Convy Media Relations writes: Totally agree with you Naomi. I’ve had some excellent staff during the past 10 years running businesses and some who have been absolutely detrimental to my business and my clients.

Most human resources/staff management articles are extremely one sided, and have been for many years. I am forever reading articles about how to make staff happier, telling employers to jump through hoops to ensure staff satisfaction.

One recently by Eve Ash was completely out of proportion and stated that business owners should always be happy or else it may affect the mood of employees. Come on! Running a business is hard and the responsibilities are enormous. You have responsibilities to your customers/clients, to your landlord, staff, bank, service providers, partners, shareholders, and much more. It’s not a crèche or day care centre and employers should not be expected to offer this.

Most business owners have taken a huge risk, invested large amounts of time and money establishing a business. Worked incredibly hard and long hours, secured customers/clients, recruited staff and paid them and trained them.

What ever happened to a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work?!

As a result of these one-sided articles on staff management and recruitment, the attitude is that employers do owe staff and better perform accordingly. There needs to be an urgent reassessment of employees expectations and responsibilities to an employer.

Employees need to learn to appreciate the real demands and trials of running a business. They need to not focus on just ensuring they get their weekly pay cheque but on the repercussions of their work performance. Yet many staff, in my experience, have little care or concern about the loss of a client and the enormous repercussions to a business and its owner. As long as they get paid, that’s all that matters.

Speak to any business owner and they will tell you that their biggest problems/issue is staff. Why? Why are so many companies experiencing so many problems with staff? It cannot just be a coincidence. They can’t all be bad employers.

What is needed is informative, down to earth articles on what employees’ responsibilities are to an employer and how a good attitude and work ethic, loyalty and, importantly, honesty, will benefit the business, its owner, their customers/clients and the staff.

A major reassessment of the attitude and approach of the HR/recruitment industry is urgently required. They need to start addressing the very real needs of companies and their owners and focus on best practice of employees.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.