Corporate Values: Fun
By Aaron Grossman, CEO
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Can work be fun? I think it should be.
I remember my first job out of college. I worked for a property-casualty insurance brokerage firm and was tasked with looking to insure health and fitness clubs across the United States. The job was very entrepreneurial and I learned a lot.
The culture was very stodgy, with very little collaboration and camaraderie expressed throughout the day. We were, in fact, voted the Scrooge of Cincinnati, based on our lackluster work environment. The job itself wasn’t super exciting, but it paid the bills. It didn’t take long before I found the experience quite boring and downright BLAH.
My parents always taught me that a job paid the bills, and to focus on that. It really bothered me to think that the majority of my life, I would be forced to do something that I wasn’t passionate about because “it paid the bills.” This job gave me a lot of flexibility, and I was able to come and go when I pleased. I would come to work late, and often leave early. I would do the absolute minimum to get by.
About a year and half in I realized that I needed more in my life. I needed something that would pay the bills, but also would challenge me to learn and grow.
My next job was taking a position with a national specialized staffing firm. It was here that I connected to what a job should be like. I’ll never forget the moment when I looked at the clock one day and realized it was already 6 p.m. While the required hours were 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., I didn’t care about the time.
I loved being able to tangibly help people find employment every single day I came to work. I loved the instant gratification I could receive just by making a successful job placement. Furthermore, the culture in our office was energetic. People liked to work hard and play hard. Every month, there was something going on to connect all of us outside of work. Suddenly, a job wasn’t just about making money. Instead, it was an engaging experience that was FUN!
From that moment on, I knew what a job should feel like. Eventually, when I had the opportunity to start my own company, I wanted to create an environment that was engaging and fun. I know that our work is not easy. Our service relies on people to live up to what they say they’re going to do, and that doesn’t always happen. You have to have thick skin.
It’s one thing to promote an enthusiastically engaged culture, but it doesn’t solve for the most important piece of the puzzle: PASSION.
I wanted to hire people who had a passion for helping others and were driven. It was important for me to work to create a family environment. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, babies and weddings. We honor those that align with our company values by having monthly values virtuoso winner. We work to create social events a couple of times a month that promote relationships outside of work. Best of all, most of what we do is accomplished through our staff and not me. While I encourage these things, I feel a FUN culture is executed by the people who want to work in it.
It’s one thing to promote an enthusiastically engaged culture, but it doesn’t solve for the most important piece of the puzzle: PASSION. In order to be engaged in what you do, you have to have a passion for it. I said this earlier, but I really love helping people find employment. Even more so, I love knowing that someone I placed into a job has been promoted, or I earned the trust of my customer because I made the “right” match. Unlocking potential in the things I am connected to drives my passion, and working in the employment space allows me to express it. If you don’t have a passion for what you do, you’ll have trouble unlocking your own potential, and that’s never FUN.
I learned a lot from my first employer out of college. I can’t thank them enough for that experience. If you’re a business executive or someone in management, what are you doing to create an environment that promotes a fun atmosphere that allows for your staff to be enthusiastically engaged? If you’re an employee and you’re not passionate about what you do, what are you waiting for? You may not know what you’re passionate about, but you do know that what you’re doing today . . .isn’t it! Find your passion and turn your job into a fun experience that aligns to the life you want to live. Remember, you only get one ride on this rock! Make the most of it.