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Secretly recorded staff meeting reveals big problems at Paycom…

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been hearing about another big staff shake-up at Paycom – the HR/payroll software company that’s been the primary, if not only, Oklahoma tech industry success story of the 21st century, with the company growing from a pencil and paper, SBA loan-backed start-up into an SP500 corporation in just 26 years times.

This current staff shake-up is a little different than what happened in 2023.

Back then, Paycom went on a mini-firing spree to quell an employee revolt that ignited after the company went back on its work-from-home pledge.

This time around, the company is getting rid of employees for alleged performance-related issues ranging from “underperformance” to “not being team players.” They’re also turning up the heat and pressure on employees who survived the first round of riffs, changing their job descriptions and responsibilities, and leaving them all to wonder if they’re next on the chopping block.

You know, stuff that’s great for employee morale.

The reason Paycom is doing all this is pretty cut and dry – they desperately need to fix and save the company’s flagship software!

We know this because earlier this week we acquired via the Ogle Mole Network a 23-minute-long audio recording of an all-hands-on-deck product department staff meeting led by Paycom CEO Chad Richison.

Taking place on January 9th, Richison told his product team that he’s “embarrassed” by the company’s software and that he’s canceling all of his 2024 ski trips because the only thing he wants to do in 2024 is “fix the product.”

Check this out:

Man. You know a company’s software must suck when its billionaire founder and CEO cancels his ski trip to stay in Oklahoma!

In other news, I’m not a software company CEO, but I’d imagine having a product that doesn’t suck is a key ingredient for both current and future business success!

I guess Richison is aware of this, so he told his employees that their number one priority from here on out will be “spec'ing” software. Even if it’s something the employee wasn’t hired to do, he’s going to make them do it or, well, he’ll fire them.

I don’t care what your job is in this department. You’re going to have to spec… That’s the job now. Is it something you want to do? We’re not being wrong by wanting this. We know a bit about building a software company. Has anyone else built a software company with a Big Chief tablet, Number 2 pencil and SBA loan? So let’s follow my plan

First of all, I’m not 100% sure what “spec'ing” means, but it sounds kind of erotic.

Second, I appreciate Chad Richison’s wrestling singlet to riches story. What he’s built at Paycom is impressive.

That being said, I don’t think anyone today is going to blindly follow a man just because he used a pencil and a problematic notebook to create a company 25 years ago. I know that’s cool to him and his ego, but he needs to come up with a new mythological reason for people born this century to trust him.

In the meeting, Chad also mentioned the company would be bringing on new staff to try to fix the problem:

“We need more people. Not less. We’re going the wrong way on people. Having no one in a chair doing something is better than having someone in the chair doing nothing. Having no one in the chair doing nothing, but have someone in the chair doing nothing.”

I’m not 100% sure what Chad meant with that word-gibbersh, but I guess it would explain why my social media feeds are being bombarded by Work at Paycom ads.

I appreciate Paycom's efforts to hire me, but as someone whose favorite thing to do in life is sit in a chair and do nothing, I don't think I’m Paycom material. Womp womp.

Once again, the meeting audio we were provided was 23 minutes long.

When Chad wasn’t complaining about his company’s software or telling people that they now have different jobs than the one they were hired to do, it sounded like your typical corporate staff meeting that makes me so happy I no longer have to sit through corporate staff meetings.

Chad did typical CEO things like tell the employees how important they are, how important their product is, and other random items from the Corporate BS Bingo Card.

He also made sure to tell them is the only reason he works for Paycom is that it pays his bills, and in fact, the best job he ever had is not being the billionaire CEO of a tech company, but a bouncer at a Beach Boys concert in Tulsa.

Anyway, you can check out the full audio from the meeting in that clip or over at YouTube.

I really hope Paycom gets their software issues rectified and gets on the right path.

Once again, outside of the Pioneer Woman blog and that penny auction scam site, Quibids, they’re about the only Oklahoma tech success story in the last 25 years, so it would be nice to watch them continue to grow and employ Oklahomans.

I hope the people they laid off land on their feet and find new jobs. I also wish the people who are still employed at Paycom – and are now having to do a job they may not have been hired to do to save the product – the best of luck in either adapting or finding new employment.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

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