Recently, PayPal’s President, David Marcus berated his employees in writing, on not using the company products and even for forgetting their passwords. He summed up by stating that staff should get with the program or look for another job. Now, as a small business advocate, Techsnoop concedes that companies have the right to set their own standards and rules. Whatever the company thinks is best is their right, within law.

However, there are tried and proven methods for properly managing and motivating staff, and intimidation and ranting are not on the list. In fact, if you were to take a poll of employees around the world, Techsnoop would bet a case of Coke-Cola that these behaviors are guaranteed to make staff sabotage a business just before moving to another job. By the way Coke-Cola, Marcus supports his employee’s hacking of your machines. Perhaps an investigation is needed?

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The problem arose during a test of a new PayPal mobile enabled business some employees refused to install the app on their devices. While testing of technology products is absolutely to be encouraged, this is America and when an employee uses their money to purchase a device, for their use, an employer has no right to demand that it be used to support their business objectives.

If PayPal or any other business wants to utilize employees for product testing, provide the equipment and connect it to their own bank accounts for this purpose. Perhaps the employees do not want the employer to have access to their banking information or do not feel comfortable with mobile purchases in general. Maybe their device is a lower level Android and doesn’t run well with too many apps. Or perhaps the employee feels the application sucks and doesn’t want it on their device.

Remember, applications have broad permissions to access information on your device and can be used for hacking, identity theft and outright bank fraud. Demanding that your employees open themselves to these issues with no obligation to support them in case of an event is unconscionable.

Reactions to this snafu have been mixed. Some have defended the remarks as misunderstood “passion” for his company while others have noted that this leadership style is outdated and that the company needs to look at their products more closely.

Techsnoop believes the words of the message speak for themselves. PayPal is insisting that employees use their personal time and equipment to support the company goals with no reward other than being “passionate PayPals”. Further, Marcus instructs these “Passionistas” to pressure and intimidate their colleagues creating an uncomfortable work atmosphere. Mr. Marcus, as a previous HR staffer Techsnoop wants you to know harassment on the job leads to litigation.

Weigh in on the PayPal discussion in the comments below. Is it passion or intimidation?

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