Nick Powills: Low Unemployment Rate Swings Momentum in High Expectation Workplace
Nick Powills: Low Unemployment Rate Swings Momentum in High Expectation Workplace

With jobs readily available and companies doing whatever it takes from a cultural standpoint to recruit and hold onto even the most average teammates, hustle is changing

In 2008, when I started No Limit Media Consulting (now No Limit Agency), people hustled.

Jobs were scarce and people truly cared.

These folks were the last group to enter the workforce pre-Social Media’s takeover.

Today, the level of care is a little different. And, frankly, that’s OK.

With jobs readily available and companies doing whatever it takes from a cultural standpoint to recruit and hold onto even the most average teammates, hustle is changing. Hustle is more about running to life/work balance than the other way around. This, too, is OK.

Businesses need to adapt. Businesses need to examine the data, take a good look in the mirror and say, screw it, change is OK. Or, in today’s job climate, those businesses will constantly struggle to win.

I, as a leader, have certainly struggled with the pathway to success – the fight against what I know works for yesterday’s team versus what works for today’s team. I still have fantasies of the hustle, hustle, hustle work environments, the ones where the “work hard, play hard” saying was built. But, those don’t exist in the same ways. They still do exist, just in a different capacity.

So, I, as a leader, also have two choices – I can push the available workforce to follow my way and my way only, or, I can experiment with a hybrid approach that still delivers my high expectations back to our clients in a way that doesn’t stress out our workforce (as much).

This past year, we have had several people quit without another job lined up and several people leave well before hitting a year mark at the agency. The exit interviews provide us with great insight into what works and what doesn’t. While the majority of our team is pretty glued to a 5 or 5:30 exit (meaning, they aren’t overwhelmed with time on site), they don’t want to hustle, hustle and hustle all day. They want to feel included. They want to have a voice. They want to feel appreciated. Yesteryear, we would have said they want their cake and they want to eat it too. This year, we should say, “Give them their cake and go get them the damn fork.”

Listening, learning, maturing and changing is how I choose to lead my business. It certainly isn’t perfect, but when trying to find the happy place of motivation for our team, our clients ultimately get the greatest return. A great return for our clients helps grow our business. A growing business helps us recruit more talent.

The circle of business life continues. As does leadership standards.

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