Reinvent the day job for Generation X & Y (part II)

From my perspective, which is that of running a technology enabled services business, I have seen some things you might find unexpected while focusing on reinventing the day job for Generation X and Generation Y.

• All generations respond positively and their levels of commitment rises beyond the commitment they have had at other companies

• Passionate employees far exceed order takers and are willing to put any amount of time necessary to succeed

• Your employees never stop working, they are always thinking about how to make the place they love better

• Your customers, potential employes, vendors, partners and press can all feel the positive energy radiating from your organization

• Your brand can be built from the culture of your company, which in the emerging world of social media is critical

For those might be concerned that this new generation of workers is doomed to drive our country into the ground (or better yet, those who are interested in engaging this new work force) I encourage you to read Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott.

Grown Up Digital is about the Net Generation, which starts on January 1977. (I was born 1 month after this generation started, which I guess gives me a first mover advantage.) Listen to the intro that Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) gives Don in the first minutes of this video and you get an idea of how well respected this guy is.

While this focus on reinventing the day job might not be applicable to every industry, it has served my tech enabled services business quite well.

15 Responses to “Reinvent the day job for Generation X & Y (part II)”

  1. Jordan Snow says:

    “Your customers, potential employees, vendors, partners, and press can all feel the positive energy radiating from your organization”

    This is something that I experience here on a daily basis. At a time that I am getting ready to leave this great organization it has been especially apparent to me. Yesterday I sent out an email to the accounts I have the most contact with (whether it be positive or negative) to announce my departure and who their new contact would be. Almost everyone responded positively, even the people that I had most recently had tough conversations with. Do I think this is because I’m a great person or especially amazing at my job? Not necessarily. If it is either of those reasons it is the atmosphere at this company that has given me the opportunity to let those traits shine. I think the effects of our culture here would be felt well outside of the range of the Web Generation.

    Even as this company grows it is easy to see that there are committed, intelligent people willing to preserve the talent, culture, and success that you and everyone else here have made possible.

  2. Sam says:

    Your accomplishment of this “reinvention” has made me (as one of the youngest employees at Total Attorneys) have a lighter, more positive outlook on the workforce as a whole. When I know that I’m taken seriously as an employee and am appreciated as a person (through incentives and summertime perks,) I do more naturally want to believe in the company that believes in me.
    Thank you!

  3. Andrew says:

    I think it is safe to say that we’ve changed the “game”… and I’m a huge fan!

  4. Tiffany says:

    As a member of the “timeclock generation” who started working when law firms used typewriters, cell phones were a novelty, and we were all a little suspicious of fax machines (or maybe I should just counter Sam with “one of the oldest employees at Total Attorneys), I’ve never seen anything that worked better than the TA approach. Over the past 26 years I’ve worked everywhere from a family-owned restaurant to a huge international education and publishing company, and I’ve never had co-workers so universally invested in the company or with such faith in management. It’s great to show up to work every day knowing that you’re never going to be asked to do anything pointless or to stick with something that could be improved just because that’s the way it’s always been done.

  5. Tara says:

    I’ve been working here for 2 months and never before have I been in a working environment that allows for the true character of employees to shine through.

    Thanks guys, it’s been an absolute pleasure thus far!

  6. Bob G says:

    I absolutely believe your advice is applicable to any industry, as long as you keep an open mind. I can speak specifically to how it can apply to law firms, having worked for a few.

    For instance, maybe I can’t get my job done in less than 40 hours per week, but if my firm can get a group discount at a local gym, I can exercise in less time to have more free time as a whole. Also, I can be given more freedom to make decisions, which makes me feel more invested in my work and the day at least feels like it’s going by faster.

    These are just two examples of how to give employees a better work-life balance. If an employer says he can’t possibly help his employees in his industry, I would submit that he is looking at the situation with blinders on.

  7. Joe O. says:

    I have been an employee of Total Attorney’s for all of 5 weeks and in just this short amount of time I realize what is so right about this place. When an employee who is just hired has the ability to spark (im), the CEO, President, VP, and anyone in the company for that matter, right there a sense of belonging and appreciation for you in the company is created. There immediately is no degree of seperation or status labeling you as a lesser part of the team or co. You realize that you have been brought in to join those, who, before you, were accepted into this unique environment because they also recognized and believe in this concept as well. By allowing each person to be their own individual and express themselves, each keeps belief in their own ideas and is not afraid to be who they are. what you ultimately get as a result of this is a team of leaders that combine together, to form one hell of an army. Yesterday, an email was sent out to all team members (everyone) of Total Attorney’s. It was sent by the President asking if anyone would like to join him for some cold ones, around Wrigley, to socialize and enjoy the music of Elton John and Billy Joel. WOW ! Where else does this kind of stuff happen.

  8. Grace McQueeny says:

    I have only been working here for a few weeks, but this company definitely is different from any other that I have seen in the way that all of the employees are excited to work and “they are always thinking about how to make the place they love better.” Total gives its employees a chance to find their own work ethic and pace, and as long as they get all of their work done well and on-time they are free to do as they please, which I believe enhances the culture and atmosphere of the workplace. I now have a more positive outlook on working, and truly enjoy each and every day come in here. I love the fact that we have a game station on the 5th floor and beer pong tournaments, yet we are still #169 on the Inc. 500. Total totally rocks, and will become even bigger as the years go on I’m sure. Lovely video, by the way =]

  9. Ryan B says:

    For me, perhaps the best aspect of this company is that it is focused on employee’s well-being. We all have a responsibilities here, and we all know that we are expected to perform to at least a certain level, but besides that the main focus is to enjoy working here. Why? Because if we like our jobs then we will want to continue performing well and even exceed our personal standards. I not necessarily thankful to have a job, even in this economy. I feel that I am a capable indivdual with many valuable skills and could find work. However, I am eternally grateful to have THIS job because I have never felt so “at home” as I do here. We have an excellent, highly-capable workforce, and I can walk around assured that we are all trying to contribute as much to the company as we can. I have never seen this before, and I’m pretty sure I would never see this again.

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