Jennifer Anniston (from Horrible Bosses). Would you choose to work with her?

Jennifer Anniston played an amazing role when she sexually harassed her assistant in the movie “Horrible Bosses”, but unfortunately, things are not so explicit in real life. Neither are the inspirational speeches that Jon Hamm gave while motivating his team in Million Dollar Arm.

However, these movies taught me how to decode the success formula of high performing teams of 2016:

  1. No employee harassment
  2. Respect to all employees
  3. Safe environment for employees

These 3 components are independent of each other, but are required in totality to achieve the amazing results by amazing teams.

What does NO employee harassment mean? It means no physical or emotional harassment. Emotional harassment (incl. bullying) is often ignored in the workplaces. According to a latest survey, 27% employees have experienced workplace harassment in the past. But the problem doesn’t stop here. Does this survey mean that the remaining 73% were treated with respect? Think again!

So what does employee respect mean? It means a lot of things (beyond no harassment). Below is just an indicative list:

  • Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.
  • Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas.
  • Use people’s ideas to change or improve work. Let employees know you used their idea, or, better yet, encourage the person with the idea to implement the idea.
  • Do not nit-pick, constantly criticize over little things, belittle, judge, demean or patronize. A series of seemingly trivial actions, added up over time, constitutes bullying.
  • Be aware of your body language, the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work. People, who are radar machines, are hearing what you’re really saying in addition to listening to your words.

So where do you stand on the above points?

Finally, what is a safe environment? Beyond respect, it means providing an environment to make mistakes and learn from them. It is an environment where your intrapreneurs thrive and bring your company to the next level. It is the environment where a fresh graduate employee can tell the country CEO that there is a change needed in the strategy. This is the hardest of all, but you need this to be successful. What have you done to achieve this so far?

Not sure if you are lucky enough to have Jennifer Anniston as your boss, if not, don’t forget to try out these simple 3 tricks before you get wiped out from the market.


You can read more of my other posts at

P.S.: Thanks to Able Cheong for sharing his insights on this topic.


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