A Life/Work Balance: Motoza’s Core Values
My very first job out of college was a sales job . . . need I say more? Every company I interned for, even the college classes I attended, were all needed jobs and I was grateful for them, but they all presented a consistent picture of the American work environment millennials had to look forward to: Work your butt off on the bottom rung, do what you’re told, work overtime if you have to, follow the rules, 9 to 5, and then maybe eventually we’ll promote you. Oh and by the way, when you’re not at work, network so that you can build your professional connections. It’s comical, because every company you interview for tells you they are a fast-paced, fun environment, that believes in hard work and having a work-life balance, where they encourage you to be creative and throw out ideas to shape the course of the company’s future. Honestly, has that ever been anyone’s experience?
Here’s the reality of it. Be creative means “only when we want you to be creative and only in a way that is still within the limits of what our company is already doing.”
Fast-paced is code for overworked and stressed out.
Work-life balance means work first and if you somehow happen to have time and energy afterwards, maybe you can join a yoga class once a week.
9 to 5? My experience has been 8 to 6 and you get one hour for lunch, which you are applauded for working through.
I’m still trying to figure out where the fun part comes in, but I think many companies think having a ping-pong table that no one uses qualifies them to list “fun environment” in the job description.
Don’t get me started on “networking”. I’m all for relationships, sharing your knowledge and learning from others, attending mixers and meeting great new people. But when you start to get the impression that people are just shoving business cards at you and begging you for business, “networking” suddenly has a negative and downright frustrating connotation. I’m sure I’ll write another article at some point just to rant about this push to network and the abuse of a perfectly respectable concept . . . . but I’ll subject you to that later.
For now, granted, this is not how every company operates, and even companies that do are generally comprised of great people. I think they genuinely want to have a fun, work-life balance environment for their employees. They just don’t know how to achieve that.
And then there’s Motoza. We have something . . . unique in that we’ve actually accomplished a low-stress, high-productivity, fun workplace. What’s our secret? It actually has nothing to do with what we say, or how we incentivize our employees, or how many games we have at the office, or making our employees memorize our core values, or even coming up with core values in the first place. It’s about the people who already work here. Our core values are not something we strive for. They are something we already have and just needed an outlet to implement it in. Everything from our hiring process, to team-building activities, to daily work schedules, are all built off our core values. Instead of the more common “here’s how our company works, now let’s put together some catchy-sounding core values and push them on employees.”
Motoza was founded on these core values and everything in our company structure stemmed from them first and foremost. We wanted to create a company with a life-work balance, not a work-life balance. How do you accomplish that? Flexibility. Don’t force employees to work when they aren’t feeling well, when their training for a 5k, when they were up all night with a sick child, when they are stressed out over moving, or when they have a family reunion in another state to go to. Life happens. And it happens first. Our mentality is not that people will work better when you allow them to take care of these typical life stressors. It’s that it’s right to support them and have their backs on it. In fact it’s your responsibility to do so. We can even take it a step further by allowing employees to pursue their interests (music, traveling, relationships, and what have you), which just adds to our positive, healthy mentality.
Idealistic as this may sound, and it would understandably be difficult if not impossible to implement in a larger company, for a company as small as Motoza it’s very achievable. We don’t compromise productivity or hard work. We often work late, work on the weekends, or plow through the full day without breaking stride to get things done. But our mentality takes the stressful nature of hard work out of the equation, replacing it with passion and care for our clients, as well as for the company itself.
It’s because of our fantastic work environment that we strive to make the company greater. We want it to succeed so that we can continue enjoying our lives. How many people do you know who actually look forward to going to work? You don’t accomplish that kind of devotion to a company without creating something everyone can get excited about, whether it’s your product/service, or culture. For us, it’s both. This great culture drives us to want to work our butts off to keep it great.