Barney: No Jerks in the Workplace!


Christine Barney doesn’t allow jerks in her workplace, and it’s not because she’s a softie.  As CEO and Managing partner of rbbPR, she has learned that a “civilized” workplace, as she puts it, is a more profitable one.

Janet Kyle Altman of Kaufman, Rossin (left) and Christine Barney of rbbPR

Christine spoke at Kaufman, Rossin Presents in September, sharing the conclusions that she has implemented at her own firm and for clients.   Attendees included leaders from financial, media and non-profit organizations.

Eliminating jerks from the workplace, she shared, reduces costs, increases the loyalty of good employees, and improves productivity and customer satisfaction.  She spoke of workplaces “stifled by a culture of fear,” and prescribed four steps to liberate your organization:

  1. Listen!  Get off CEO Island and listen to your employees.
  2. Move from stop to go – invest in tools and policies to accelerate positive behaviors.
  3. Trust employees, and treat them like adults
  4. Create one culture, where all levels benefit, not just the highest level.

Attendee Aubrey Swanson, President and CEO of AUBOOM Media, found the seminar very valuable.  “As an entrepreneur, this seminar has really put things into perspective. As I grow my business and workforce, I now know how important it is to hire the right people, provide the right benefits for each individual, and not to have clouded judgment when it comes to certain employees because sometimes the entire team will work much better as a whole if there isn’t a jerk around.”

Kaufman, Rossin Presents is a monthly seminar series for entrepreneurs.  Over breakfast the fourth Friday of every month, attendees learn about new ideas, sharpen valuable skills, and gain new perspectives to improve their businesses.

Janet Altman is a Marketing Principal at Kaufman Rossin, one of the Top 100 CPA and advisory firms in the U.S.

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