Of Ellen And Being Good Employers
Actually, maybe being decent human beings first.
Ellen Lee Degeneres or better known as Ellen Degeneres has had an illustrious career in the entertainment industry is well-known for her brand “BE KIND. by ellen”. However, the 62-year-old host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a daytime American television show sparked outrage online following allegations of a “toxic” work environment, including harassment, abuse and sexual misconduct.
The allegations and stories of Ellen not being an actual nice person started surfacing after famous Dutch makeup artist and beauty vlogger, Nikkie De Jager or NikkieTutorials on YouTube claimed Ellen was “cold and distant” towards her off camera. Nikkie also said she did not receive the same VIP treatment as the other guests.
"I was not allowed to use the nearest toilet, because it was reserved for the Jonas Brothers." - NikkieTutorials
Nikkie De Jager (NikkieTutorials). Image via Seventeen
Like adding fuel to fire, Kevin T. Porter, best known as a co-host for the Gilmore Guys podcast, had tweeted of Ellen being “the meanest person alive” and had asked the public to respond to the tweet with “the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean”. The tweet received a huge traction of 5.2K retweets and 36.8K (at the time of writing).
Image via CCN
Ever since Kevin’s tweet received a huge number of engagements, it was then the floodgates for similar stories of Ellen’s true nature opened and claims were made that The Ellen DeGeneres Show had a toxic work environment.
Staffers—past and present—have allegedly faced abuse, harassment and even cases of sexual misconduct by top producers. Technically, it was not really Ellen’s fault but she could have done something about it, right? Especially when she too, experienced sexual abuse by her stepfather who took advantage of the entertainer when she was only 15 to 16 years old.
Due to serious allegations made by a number of people (although they could not speak about it publicly for legal reasons and risk of retribution), WarnerMedia had started an investigation amid the issue and had only stated:
“...though not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.” - WarnerMedia Spokesperson
The case is that the allegations made have caused The Ellen DeGeneres’ show ratings to plunge 29% which is an all-time low from the same period in summer 2019. The show host has even talked about thinking of leaving her notorious enterprise.
So, what are the takeaways from Ellen, an employer to another employer on how to have a conducive work environment?
A lot of employers may have Google searched (or not, yikes!): “How to have a more conducive work environment?” and a lot of the results will say, “Have team building activities! Lower your expectations!” But, let’s try something a little different this time, okay? Let’s use Ellen DeGeneres as an example (or a lesson?) on how to be a better employer so you can keep your business!
1. Eliminate the entitlement
Image via Nathan Jamail
Yes, you are the boss and a proud owner of a successful company. But, do you respect your employees as much as you want them to respect you? Or do you treat your employee like just another number you can fire pettily when you feel like it? (Yikes, I hope not!) The only right way to gain your employees’ respect is when you respect them first, and treat them like an equal.
2. Lower your ego
Image via The Human Front
Your employees are their own person; which means they have their own opinions and thoughts they would like to voice out. But, have you ever sat and listened to their opinions and took them into consideration or did you pretend to listen and shrugged it off when said employee is out of sight? Let’s hope you don’t do the latter. Listen to what your employees have to say; you are not always right. Maybe what an employee has to say could be a stepping stone to the booming success of your company.
3. Have empathy and sensitivity
Image via Marketing Week
How many times have we heard or seen stories of employers with a lack of empathy and sensitivity circulating on the web? There’s far too many to mention. Your employees are human and with the massive workload on their plates, it is no surprise they can get stressed and burnt out easily. Consider giving your employees a rest day for their mental health and you’ll be surprised to see they’ll give you a better work performance.
4. Use your power!
Image via Human Resources
Do you know how much power you have as a higher up? A LOT. With the power you have, you could easily remove people known for causing harassments or misconducts within the workplace. Listen to your employees’s concerns and create a safe space for them by using your power the right way.
5. Show gratification
Image via Harvard Business Review
Last but not least, show your employees some gratitude. Have you ever sat down and wondered how your company has managed to stay afloat throughout everything? Yes, because of your employees! They have worked their hardest to make sure the company stands strong; they are aware of their responsibilities. So, don’t forget to say at least a “Thank you” to them.
Fame Changes People
However, we are all humans and eventually the power and fame will get to our heads lest we are aware of ourselves. Take a look at Netflix star, Marie Kondo or also known as KonMari.
Marie Kondo. Image via Good Housekeeping
Kondo’s method of decluttering a home with items that are ultimately useless have resonated with a lot of people. Kondo had gained fame for her tidying and cleaning methods that have essentially made home seem more… homey rather than a storage space.
However, not too long after her rise to fame for advising people to declutter, Kondo’s online store went live; selling items that will clutter your space. (Let me rephrase that; selling overpriced items that will clutter your space.)
Kondo then justified herself by saying:
“My tidying method isn’t about getting rid of things - it’s about heightening your sensitivity to what brings you joy. Once you’ve completed your tidying, there is room to welcome meaningful objects, people and experiences in your life.”
Kondo has also claimed she has touched every single item in her store to ensure they bring her joy. Now, why would someone spend so much money on clutter and trinkets that bring her joy? Although no one is forced to buy her products, it still seems like a weird concept that a tidying guru would tell her audience to declutter, and then sell clutter. It is no wonder people have been calling her—although a bit harsh—a hypocrite.
Although society is aware that every human being makes mistakes, the allegations made against Ellen derails 100% from her own brand “BE KIND. by ellen”. A brand is what defines an enterprise. Once you as the leader or the face of your company derail completely from the brand, you should be aware of a possible downfall.
So, enterprise owners: live up to your brand and treat others with respect and humility, no matter how high your status is. Always stick to your business fundamentals, too. Remember why you started up the company; yes, to succeed but are you really succeeding if you are just being a boss - rather than a leader? Stay true to your values as a human being, because at the end of the day, we are all just trying to make it through life as best as we can; leader or not.
Cover image via New York Post