The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

Episode 3: How Hard Should You Work?

April 08, 2022 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins Season 1 Episode 4
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
Episode 3: How Hard Should You Work?
Show Notes Transcript

With employers across the world facing The Great Resignation, companies are being forced to rethink their policies. In this episode, the team discusses how hard they expect their team members to work and how to build a culture that promotes work-life balance as well as company growth.



Eric Watkins:

Welcome to the growth show where we make it easier for entrepreneurs and leaders to grow their businesses. You'll hear from real leaders with real stories about their successes and failures. So you don't have to make the same mistakes. We won't break out textbooks or talk theory only raw stories from the front lines with actionable takeaways.

Unknown:

The gross show is sponsored by Heil sound, world class microphones for stage studio, broadcast and podcast. Find your sound it Heil, sound.com, and five, Reggie, are your outbound sales campaigns not driving the engagement you're looking for? Revenue leaders rely on reggie.ai to write high performing sales copy that cuts through the noise in books, more meetings, want to see how it works, head over to reggie.ai/grosseto and learn how to put the power of best practices and AI into the hands of your sales team. Here's the next episode of the Grow show.

Eric Watkins:

I have a topic. Serious, serious, serious question something good in there. This is you're gonna laugh at me. How hard should someone work? This this day and age? Everybody so good. I'm telling you, everybody, it's different generation. Right? COVID? I think it changed a lot of people. People want balance. They will we mentioned it when we talk about sales, they may not want to take X amount of pitches or self source because they don't want to get to 150% of their income. They're fine with what they're making right? Now. I have an answer. Let's hear

Scott Scully:

it's my opinion. Yeah, I have an answer. At a minimum, as hard as they have to, to hit the daily result, no matter what. Right? If they can figure out how to do that in four or five hours, great. If it takes them 12 hours. Great. So it's up to them to figure out, quite frankly, how to get really good at the tasks at hand to sharpen their skill set, so that if they do want more time off, they figure out how to do it in a shorter period of time. My other thing that I would say is as hard as somebody wants to. So if somebody does figure out that they can do the job and five hours instead of eight or nine. But they want to work another six on top of that, because they've got huge goals and aspirations, then they should be allowed to do that, too. I hate the work life balance conversation, the book that we read, The one thing I thought was incredible at pointing out like that's different for everybody, like picking the things you want to do, making sure that you do it. Before you lay your head down is different for everyone. Like some people say work like life balance, and then they go home, their home at six. And then they're completely unbalanced with their kids. They turn on the TV, they're not really spending time with their family. You know what I mean? It's just kind of a bullshit statement. Work life balance is whatever that is to the individual. Some people maybe they don't have kids. And maybe they actually want to work 12 hours a day because they absolutely love it. And then someone all of a sudden challenges them on their balance, but that's what they want to do. Like so it's I guess it's hard to define depends on the individual. But if I've paid somebody an amount to get a job done, then then they should frickin work as hard as they need to, to, at a minimum get done. what our expectations are for the position.

Jeff Winters:

So I think the answer here to me is you people don't do I don't think as much back solving for their own life as they could my answer to the question which I'm going to get to is you have to get what you want out of life. And that requires going and sitting and thinking about what you want out of life and back solving for that thing. So I'll give you my example. I when I thought about it like I wanted. It didn't make sense to me to work as hard as I could for a long period of time to have the freedom to do whatever I wanted at 70 That for me that didn't I didn't I didn't get that that like didn't make sense to me. So I was like, Okay, what I'm gonna do with my life is I want to have the freedom to work wherever I want to do what what the freedom was the thing for me, and I want that at a very early age. And so my philosophy that I borrowed for somebody else was like I'm going to do what a There's won't now in order to do what others can't, at some point, yeah, that's what I wanted to do. And I also live my life in extremes, like I do soup cleanses, or I do McDonald's I do. I like run every day, five miles, or I will work out for six months. So like, it very much played into my nature. And somebody was like, Okay, I know where I want to go. Like I said, I think people skip the step of like, I'm gonna sit in a dark and may sound silly, I'm gonna sit in a dark room for a few hours and really deeply think about, like, I'm going to visualize what I do and don't want. And I figured that out. And I was like, Well, I am going to work 12 hours a day, and I am going to work on the weekends, because I know I'm going to do what others won't now to do what others can't, when I want to. That's what worked for me. But I think the key point of my answer is a soup lens isn't McDonald's is a righteous way to go. I don't care what anybody says. And second, spend time thinking about what you want out of life and back solve for that.

Eric Watkins:

Two things. One, I feel like that is the key that is not getting taught to this generation right now. And I was lucky enough to have good examples. When I started at abstract of I saw people who put the work in and work their way up. And I had that clear path, I saw it, I came in. And I said, that's what I'm going to do. Same deal. I've had this thing in my mind, of like, I want to retire by 40. I'm not going to because I don't know what I do. But I want to be able to, if I want to, I want to do what other people want now. So I can do what I want, what they can't later, I love that quote, the good thing about it is if you're if you're coming out of college, or you're just starting your career, just that mentality alone puts you in front of 95% of people 95% of people, and it's not for everybody, right? It's not, they're just some people don't want to work 60 hours a week to get to a certain spot, which is fine, fine, it's their prerogative. My second thing would be,

Scott Scully:

but then they're on the constant search for where they don't have to work very long. Instead of sucking it up, if they really want the time off, like we have it here. Like, if you were in sales here, we've suggested that when you hit a number for the month, you're off. So somebody really could not only work remote, four out of five days a week, they could literally if they wanted to have the last week of every month off. Think about that, like and so why shouldn't somebody do the work, whatever it takes to figure out how to, you know, be able to work smart, like that be sharp like that, so that they could get what they want. We've got all these people that will go to like seven different freakin places in this world, to just try to land on the spot that where they only have to work five hours a day, or where they have every Friday off or where they're 100% remote. And the thing is, they don't even love it. Like they don't even love it. They just go somewhere because the hours once you go somewhere where you actually believe in it, love it, and figure out how to do it in less hours. If the freedom and the hours are the biggest deal for you. A huge problem.

Eric Watkins:

I see people you know, you walk by this is any workplace. It's not just our company you walk by, and it's probably rare at our company. But every once in awhile, you see people on their phones, and not. I checked my phone and I get messages. I'm not saying checking your phone is different than what I'm talking about. I'm talking about someone is literally sitting there scrolling through their phone, in a way where they've probably been doing it for 1015 20 minutes. And I was thinking about this the other day, because I was talking to somebody about employees being engaged or not engaged. And I was like, if we took that person, we said, okay, you can come to abstract for the next 40 years, we'll pay you every week. All you have to do is sit here and scroll through your phone for eight hours a day, the whole day. I want you to scroll to your phone. How fucking miserable does that sound? Nobody would want to do that

Scott Scully:

my son would. So why would

Eric Watkins:

nobody would I would say no, if he just didn't work for 40 hours a week. I think he would

Jeff Winters:

be hard working your son interned here. He was very I think he was

Eric Watkins:

I think he would get to a point where I think anybody any normal person would get to a point of what am I doing with my life? Like I'm gonna do this for 40 more years. I'm gonna scroll through my phone every day. No, like, I want to create meaning I want to create impact. And how do we get people to realize

Scott Scully:

that do you think all I can think about when you talk about scrolling through their phone is people saying which everybody does what? I'm multitasking. I can make dials and type in notes and scroll through my phone. I can totally do that. I'm a multitasker. You're just mad because you can't multitask. Do you say Good multitasking is a thing. Do you think that somebody actually can multitask?

Eric Watkins:

I think you get more out of it. When you don't I, instead of counting the hours, make the hours count. Like I love the people that may leave at 530. But they're literally smashing their result. Like they just do it. They're just efficient. They don't mess around. They don't talk. They don't BS, they get it done every single day. Those are the people who are maximizing their lives. In my opinion, I don't think you can multitask and do three things at once you're given everything split attention, right? Not going to be as good at it. Well, it's

Scott Scully:

it's so it's scientifically proven. I read something where they're like, even if the phones out. it buzzes, and you don't answer it. That's why I think it's important to put the phone away. But it buzzes, you're doing something, your attention for just a little bit of time goes over, looks down at the phone goes back. Right? It's it's taking away from your attention on a thing. Multitasking doesn't exist, it's scientifically proven. You can't do more than one thing, all the way through at once. And people are doing three or four things including scrolling through their phone, and they're not doing a good job. They're just they're just not

Eric Watkins:

Jeff's phone's been going off this whole podcast, and I can't focus I haven't been able to focus one minute. On the table.

Jeff Winters:

Scott and I were actually doing an experiment on you. You didn't even know. Right? It says multitasking work. It's a prop. I mean, like you remember the last comment you made? should take that to the bank. Let me say this. I think there's a lot of people out there. And maybe this is a controversial statement or taboo topic. But I think that that's what we address here. Sure. A lot of people out there, you know what they say, this generation doesn't work hard. This generation doesn't work hard. And I think that I bet the listeners out there, some of you are saying it, some of you are thinking it and some of you are going no, no, I'm not thinking or saying I know, I know, this generation doesn't work hard. And, and to me like that, that as a blanket statement, or as a broad brush isn't fair. Like there's, there's plenty of people in every generation. And this one included, and especially that worked plenty hard. But let me say this, for people that are business owners and entrepreneurs alike, this generation, by and large, wants different things than prior generations have. And that's statistically proven in that study. And I think we're gonna have a good discussion on this topic. And I think that you can go one of two routes, you can embrace that. Or you could not embrace that. And I don't think there's any right or wrong answer. But I think middle ground is a bummer. Like, I don't I don't think you I don't think you want to be in the middle. Like I think there are companies are like, Hey, we're gonna come to work, we're gonna work hard, this can be who we are, and we're gonna go this direction. And then you got companies that are going to go a different direction. And I think as a as a business, you need to make that decision.

Eric Watkins:

Great point. The first thing I would say, when you talk about the generation not wanting to work hard, I think, being a millennial myself. And then as we get into Generation Z, I think they just see through the bullshit. So if you're having them work hard, but you don't have a light at the end of the tunnel of what they're working hard for, yeah. Why don't they're not that generation, they're not going to just work to work, because that's what they're supposed to do. Right? Show them the vision. What am I doing? Why am I working so hard? What am I coming in everyday to do? And

Jeff Winters:

that that's the other thing, though, like, that's the, that's the like, if you're going to embrace a different generation, you should embrace the shit they care about. And I think that's the point you're making.

Eric Watkins:

I think that's I think you do have to embrace it. And I think we've done an incredible job here, because we had to, we wouldn't have anybody here doing the work we're doing, if we didn't have pas to develop them and put such a focus on that.

Scott Scully:

I agree with both of you. I do want to say that here's where I think that generation degeneration in our current time period, where we're falling down, I think that every generation has been different. Every older generation has had to understand a younger generation. But what is lacking a major difference other than maybe they see through the bullshit, and maybe it's there's more tools and things available to help see through the bullshit, or to work smarter. The older generation is afraid of telling the younger generation how they really feel today. And that's bullshit. Like because there's shit that older generation does wrong, and there's shit that the younger generation does wrong. But there are some fundamental mistakes that are being made by a younger generation right now. Because it could actually be easier for them to grow their career, because just a lot of people are jumping. And the older generation is trying to learn, but they're not holding the younger generation to come Hon, they're not being honest, the younger generation is not being as open to maybe what has worked in the past and what they should take from the older generation. And, you know, and the older generation, because things are just a little bit different now. And maybe they don't understand as much there's been more of a shift in technology, and there's a maybe a wider difference. So then they're automatically maybe backing up and not having the confidence to say certain things to the younger generation. Look, I've watched it now for a few years, nine out of 10 people that stay in the same place, as long as there's enough opportunity within an organization, in a three to five year period end up way further ahead, than if they go to three different freaking jobs where they completely re re, they have to rebuild their equity. Yep, relearn. Like, there's things like that, where somebody should sit somebody down and say, No, you're not jackass, like, you're so smart, you're so valuable, you're gonna go completely rebuild your equity equity, and then guess what, you're going somewhere where there's not a bunch of opportunity, so then you're going to have to do it again. And then you're going to have to do it again. And if you had a little bit more patients here, went through a little bit more development, in five years, you'd be two and a half times further than you're going to be going to three or four other organizations. And I hope we have to have the confidence to talk about that. And I just don't think we always do, well, whatever, they're just gonna go anyway, they're gonna figure it out from themselves. And, and I just think that because maybe the clearest way to say it is, there's more of a gap between organizations, things that people have today, things that I didn't even have, I didn't forget to have email. I didn't have the internet, I didn't have those things in high school and college. That's a huge difference. And so now people think there's so much of a spread, that they they can't, I don't know, lean into a younger generation and wake them up a little bit about certain things. If that makes sense or not.

Jeff Winters:

I think it does. And also, like, I want to, I want to just pick up on the point you made about patience and quick career advancement. Because that's something that as an outsider, this business does so well. So Gen Z, people born 96 to 2010, I think is roughly the timeframe 75% feel their first position should be only a year. And 32%. Think it should be only six months. So like the expectation isn't patients like the expectation isn't four years or three years on put the expectation is a third of us want to be promoted. Within six months,

Scott Scully:

they're literally telling them that in college, I want to go smack the professors who will style exactly Will Smith style, right? Because I run into a professor, that's Chris Rock style. doesn't even move in laughs at me, but they're being taught that it's gonna try a bunch of things.

Eric Watkins:

It's the secret. It's the secret. The secret is don't do that. Like that's the secret. Because these companies, when you have an employee that smart, they work hard, they have a good attitude, they are going to move mountains to create opportunity over the long haul, you know, whatever you'll do whatever forum whatever you want. If you go to a non growth organization, that's your fault. You just went to the wrong company. If you go to a company, that's it, right, go to the right. Yeah,

Scott Scully:

pick the right company and stay there. Right?

Jeff Winters:

What Scott, like what you've done in this business that you've run for a decade plus is you've created these levels that people do pass through quickly, I'll give you a quick story. So went to this President's Club, which was amazing. And at this President's Club, for abstract, they get up and they talk about everybody's promotional path. And I'm there with my wife, who's had like one job for same title since for, like, six years, and everybody who came up and they describe their promotional path had 678 jobs. And they're just loving the next one. And so energized about the next one, like you have done something brilliant here creating these many levels, these progressions, whatever you call them, to keep people motivated, and it's playing into the motivational tendencies in this generation of people. I mean, it is true

Scott Scully:

that well, first of all, it's a team team effort, right? And I do think we've listened to the younger generation when we have younger people at all stages of management in our organization that helps us right and just understanding but God as I'm like, hearing you guys, I think the most important thing is go to the right organization that has growth and then stay there and and then do that. things that other people are not willing to do, and you go so fast, so fast, you climb in a ridiculous way by just taking time to pick the right company. And then by having some patience and working hard, you will get shoved up.

Jeff Winters:

And as a company, though, let me say this, as a company, you should be making sure that people know where they're going. Like that is one thing that is jarring about the abstract culture and this a player structure is, people know, the next step and the next step and the next step, and they're preparing for it. And they're geared up for it. And they're shadowing people, and they're taking training. And there's so much attention paid, I think it's a good lesson for listeners, good lesson for me should I didn't do it, we lost plenty of people who go there, you know, I left because I didn't see where my next step was, or my progression, show people where they're going have prescribed paths for everybody, multiple options, give people something to work to, it's, it is magical.

Eric Watkins:

I truly believe in, if you stop learning, you start looking. So as soon as anyone in your organization feels like they're no longer developing. And whenever you have a position you're shooting for, you're always developing, because you're studying, you're shadowing, you're learning the new skills of that position. Soon as you stop learning, you start looking, now maybe you're comfortable, and maybe that lasts for a little bit of time. But inevitably, something's going to come around, it's going to be shiny, it's going to give them an opportunity for growth. And they're going to take, and I think what we've done a good job is to make sure that our people are always learning. And they're never looking they're looking if they are they're looking at the position that's above them, because why would you leave? Why would you go through the hassle of going to a new company, meeting new people losing all the equity that you've built up, and the institutional knowledge that you have, that's going to set you apart? And so we've, we've made our living off promoting from with it, and it's been it's worked, it's had a huge impact on our success.

Scott Scully:

Absolutely. Being committed to always growing. You know, that's, that kind of sets the whole thing up, are people come here because they want the opportunity. And then we've designed the entire organization with enough progression and departments where somebody can, I think the last count was there's like 30 different career paths, right? 30 different types of roles that they can play. So that they can come here work hard, be positive, and try different things, and grow their career in one spot and not have to go out and build or rebuild equity at different companies.

Eric Watkins:

One point I think is important is we've talked a lot about Gen Z and age. It's also individuals who went into retail, and did that for five, six years. And then all of a sudden, they realize they they haven't built up, they lost, they didn't have vision. So they want a career where they can have vision or there may be restarting, maybe they did it they taught for 20 years. And it's a great opportunity, regardless of your age and background, to launch a career. And I think when you go when you pick a business, it should be one that's growing, that's going to provide you opportunity, and you should vet that upfront. And then once you go to it, and you're in the door commit, it's it's really easy to give up. It's hard to commit. And if you do, you'll put yourself ahead of so many people, so many people,

Scott Scully:

it's if I'm an organization, and I'm hiring, I like to different pools, one, the person that has had a little life, under their belt, been there, done that seen some things, you know, then they'll come into your organization realize that not everything's gonna be perfect. And, hey, this is a pretty great place to be. Or if you're hiring, for instance, straight out of college, you've got to hire slow, and figure out if you're hiring somebody that's willing to stay somewhere for a while. Otherwise, you're retraining, retraining, retraining, right. And we are able to do that because there's all these other positions they can take. But if someone's hiring right out of school, and there aren't that many different opportunities for somebody, that's going to be difficult unless you're landing on the person that is okay, staying somewhere for five or 10 years and doing the same job.

Eric Watkins:

To recap, sort of the topic of this conversation, how hard should somebody work? We went, we talked about it from a couple different angles. After we talk, something hit me. And I think it matters. Are they working for today? Or are they working for tomorrow? And you need to find that out really quick? which employees are working for tomorrow. They want a desirable future. They're working towards something and then which employees are working for today, and it's okay. It's okay to have both. Not everybody has to be shooting for something. Some people just want to support their families and they want to have a job. And then double check that those people working for today. Don't know that you feel they're capable of working for tomorrow because sometimes people need a fine reputation to live up to. But then in those two groups If someone's working for tomorrow, and you don't have a vision for them, they're leaving, it's just a matter of time. It's a matter of when. And if they're working for today, how do you be as efficient with your time, so you can leave when the bell rings and feel good about what you did and accomplished and you're making an impact with your work, I think that's our answer,

Scott Scully:

I'm going to come from an employee perspective. And, you know, because it's hard, because it's too easy to say, I worked 12 hours and kill everyone. At a minimum, like this, this has to happen from everybody, at a minimum employee should make sure they absolutely understand what's required activities and results. And at a minimum, they've got to work to get those done. But you know, whatever work that takes however, hard, they have to work to accomplish that, that is the expectation. That's, that's what they should do. And if they do, they're never ever going to be in water with an organization. And they could have that job for as long as they wanted it.

Jeff Winters:

And they should be employees, and companies should all be congruent. Like, it takes all different kinds of kinds. And so there are companies who are going to embrace people who are here, for the now and not long term, they're going to build their culture around, they're gonna build a company and processes and systems, great. These companies are going to embrace enormous amounts of freelance work and the gig economy, great. There's companies, they're going to be wanting longer term, folks. I mean, I think of like an enterprise rent a car here. And here in St. Louis, like the quintessential, you're going to come up through the ranks of the entire company, we're going to promote from within, almost exclusively, that's great, too. And, but coming to the US, like, know who you are, and be congruent. Because I think that's where I see people get into trouble. And business owners and entrepreneurs get frustrated, like why I expected people to stay for a long time. It's like, well, you didn't build the business for that. That's not what you built the business for, like, if you want that, where's the growth? Where's the vision, where's the mission? Where are the systems, those are the things you got to have in place. So like, make sure as a company, you're congruent. Because we're all perfectly built to be where we are. And companies are no different. Makes a lot of sense.

Eric Watkins:

Agree. At the end of the day, every employee has a choice. They make a choice every single day when they drive into work, that they're working for your organization. And every company has a choice, do they want that employee to work for their organization, and it's important to be loyal, and commit to one another. And know what you're signing up for. And once you're signing up for it, you're signed up for it commit, I think is what we're talking about, at the end of the day, just to just having more commitment, and in a day and age have little to no commitment can set you apart. And it can it can put you in a spot where you're just you've changed the game, you're in a completely different spot than your peers, because of the level of dedication and commitment that you had

Scott Scully:

it. So are we suggesting that there has to be agreement, like the company has to completely lay out what the expectation is, and the employee has to be, you know, accept the work, activities and results? And then you know, what if this person wants to do it in five hours a day, but they're getting it done? The company set up the expectations? They have to be okay with that? Sure. Yeah, the person did their job, they did it. Right. So that, what do you want out of the employee, and then you know, the employee accepting that, and there has to be a meet, or an agreement. And that would be really how we would define it. Right?

Eric Watkins:

100%,

Jeff Winters:

I would say it's a promise, I would go a step further, I'd say it's a promise. You know, as an employer, here's what I promise to you, I promise, I'm going to pay you on time, I promise, these benefits, I promise, you're gonna place to work, you're gonna have a laptop, here are my promises to you. And as an employee, like you're the promises that we expect, in return, and like that is an upfront agreement. And I think the word promises important because it's a little more personal. But like that, that's the agreement we're creating here. That's the promise we're making to each other. And it takes the employer to be really clear on what the promise they're making and the promise they're expecting. And it takes the employee to really understand the promise that they're making, and the promise that they're accepting when they take a job, like there's, it's expectations, and it's understanding, and then you've got this alignment that you need for any successful partnership, including and especially one in which you have an employee employer relationship.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah. And to your example, Scott, if you can get the job done in five hours. I think if that's an employee that's working for today, that's a perfect example of Pat's, you on the back. Great job. You got the job done in five hours you made it. And if it's someone working for tomorrow, that's where you separate yourself, what level can you take it to? How can you set a new standard? What can you do to help others on your team

Scott Scully:

and in a company needs both apps?

Eric Watkins:

salutely absolutely didn't know that topic would go on that long. That was a good discussion. I like the back and forth. I think we all bring a couple of different opinions. Let us know how you all like that, you know more of a open format, just discussing topics that are relevant. I know we're dealing with it. I know a lot of businesses are dealing with it right now. And at the end of the day, we care about our people, and we want to do what's best for them. And knowing how to not only get the most out of your people, but allow them to get the most out of you as a company, I think is really important. And it's always going to be a topic we're going to discuss. So make sure to share this. Like this, subscribe to the podcast. We're going to keep coming at you with the real topics. Anything that comes up, we're going to be transparent, we're going to tell you how it is you may not like our answers, but we're going to tell you the truth.

Scott Scully:

Let's grow. Let's grow.

Eric Watkins:

Let's grow. Thanks for listening to the growth show. Leave us a review and let us know how we're doing or if there's a topic you'd like us to cover in the future.

Unknown:

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