The Lie of Less

Proven over and over

Everyone who’s ever worked a day in Radio has heard the Lie of Less.

As budgets have been slashed, as your own pay has been cut, the Lie of Less tells you there was no other choice.

The Lie of Less says that investors need to see quarterly growth or they’ll sell our stock.

The Lie of Less says that, while it’s not your fault the station is billing less today, the fact that it is means operating costs must decrease more than the lost revenue or your station/company will go out of business.

Jobs must be cut. Surviving staff members must do more, even while they are paid less. It’s just Economics 101.

Everyone in our business has bought into this lie, at least at the station and regional executive level, and I can hear those EVPs and GMs tuning me out right now.

Doug, you just don’t understand the business and how it’s changed.”

Doug, you’re a dreamer if you think you can change this. I have to deal with reality.”

But wait…

The truth is — and has been for decades now — that happy workers lead to richer companies.

That’s right: Perks produce higher profits.

And this, actually, is Economics 101.

In a 2012 paper…controlling for factors like industry, firms listed in ‘100 Best Companies to Work For in America’ have outperformed their peers in annual stock market growth by up to 3.8% since 1984.”

“…the link between satsified workers and richer companies might be unique to nations like the United States…” because of our flexible labor market, but the effect is undeniable.

Under the efficiency wage theory, employees see a happy work environment as a ‘gift’ from the firm, which is reciprocated with a ‘gift’ of greater effort. Studies going back to the 1960s have found that satisfied workers are more likely to work harder because they develop an emotional connection with the office.”

I don’t think this blog is going to change anyone at the highest levels of the largest consolidated radio companies, but I do think we can all stop selling the Lie of Less to ourselves.