By Doyle Sumrall, NTEA Managing Director
This article was published in the
July 2016 edition of NTEA News.
During meetings with
NTEA members, it’s easy to see many companies in the work truck industry are
implementing positive changes. By and large, it seems people are having fun —
not necessarily in terms of storytelling and jokes around the water cooler. Though
there certainly may be a bit of humor involved, people seem to actually be
enjoying their work and making the process fun — a great trend.
As baby boomers
approach retirement, millennials will start filling the gaps. This younger
generation tends to view work differently. A recent Forbes article,
“Fun, Fun, Fun — Millennials Want To Have Fun At Work”
(tinyurl.com/millennialsatwork), details this shift. The article references the
experience of Karl Moore (renowned professor and leadership expert), stating,
“When Karl was young, fun was not seen as relevant — he remembers being told,
they call it work for a reason, it’s not supposed to be fun! However, the
traditional values of respect and equality in the workplace are no longer
enough; instead corporations are now turning to quirky and innovative values to
round out their culture. Creating an environment where work isn’t just work,
but a place where lifestyle and interests align is where the attention is
starting to be placed.”
In today’s world, work- life balance has become a much
higher priority. Richard Branson, Virgin
Group founder and chairman, was cited, saying, “People ask me, ‘Why
don’t you have some fun now?’ but they were missing the point. As far as I was
concerned, this was fun. Fun is at the core of the way I like to do business,
and it has been key to everything I’ve done from the outset.” Many NTEA members
have adopted a similar mentality.
During a visit with
the president of a Manufacturer member, I was impressed with the company’s method
of communicating customer and supplier connections. The main office area
featured wall art with large circles composed of segments forming three rings
around a center circle. The center was designed to represent the core idea of
connectivity with customers. If a customer was listed on a segment touching the
center circle, all aspects of the relationship were in place. Likewise, if a
customer was positioned on an outer ring, work was needed. This provides a
great visual and a positive way to keep important actions at the forefront. The
business took a similar approach with suppliers. In talking with the company’s
president, I could tell open collaboration was a central theme.
even add fun to their core value statements — an impressive precedent. The
number of NTEA members making fun part of their environment is energizing.
Following are key
reference items offering perspective on making work enjoyable.
questions on workplace fun, contact Doyle Sumrall at firstname.lastname@example.org.