It’s hard to imagine asking your problem employees not to act like, well, like assholes. Here’s a company that actually makes its workers sign off on it.
That’s right, the CEO of SuccessFactors actually enforces the No Asshole Rule (since downgraded to No Jerks) in his office. It’s all part of a “rules of engagement” document that is posted all around their office and on their website. The document is meant to remind employees of the basic tenets of working at SuccessFactors.
Part of the document includes the statement, I will not be an asshole, which employees have to sign off on.
The topic of assholes in corporate culture is getting a lot of press in recent years. In fact, Bob Sutton, a professor of management and engineering at Stanford, has dedicated an entire book to topic, which is titled: “The No Asshole Rule — Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.”
So why the obsession with assholes of late? Mr. Sutton claims these problem workers can lower engagement, raise turnover — and even cost employers a significant amount of money. Sutton estimated that one a-hole employee at his firm actually cost the company $160,000 one year — between the time HR and execs spent dealing with him, the anger management and training classes he had to attend, etc.