I'm a big proponent of a positive work/life balance. When I got married I was also carving out the future of my career. One of the things my wife and I agreed upon was that we would always take time to enhance our personal life together and balance it with our work life. We agreed to have dinner together every evening, and when kids came along, they became part of the nightly ritual of the family dinner and, as the kids grew older, we shared in their sports and other extra-curricular activities. We still maintain a balance to ensure our personal life is equal to the time spent with work, even if it means working after hours at my home office so that the family can spend some dinner and after dinner time together. I learned, early on, that our personal lives can be a great way to relieve the stressors in our work life.
That's not to say I don't think work can -- and should -- be fun. The culture at Shamrock is to try not to take the stressors of the work day too seriously. After all, we're not in the business of curing cancer. We're trying to help people market and sell their products more successfully. It's work that's enjoyable, enriching and, at times, very rewarding. Doing a good job at work is serious, but we can certainly approach our day with a sense of enjoyment, and at times, even wonderment.
As I've often said, I think of employees as family, and we care about them as family. That's why, over the years, we've developed a culture at Shamrock that helps make coming to work pleasurable. Among the things we do to stay in touch are monthly meetings that include all Shamrock employees. Our culture club includes employee volunteers from every department, who help us to define the culture we want to instill in the workplace family. And, like a family, everyone has the freedom to express his or her opinion and make suggestions.
The last few years have been difficult for anyone in business. Some days work wasn't as much fun as I'd like it to be. But we've managed to overcome the worst days and I see far brighter days ahead.
ONE LAST THING...
Part of staying close with my work family (which includes employees, customers and vendors) has always been to ask questions for an open dialogue. It's part of staying in touch with one another and finding out what issues are important. This week, I have a question for you: "How do you manage your work and life in order to keep a sense of balance that's comfortable for you?"
I look forward to your answers. We'll choose the best answer, post it, and the winner will be invited to talk with me about his or her personal and professional plans over a private lunch. I look forward to hearing from you!