It’s a Labor of Love
As I type this blog, I am tying the bow on another fun, exhausting, and well deserved Labor Day Weekend. For me, this weekend is a time to spend some quality time with my family, get together with some of my oldest friends, and see just how much candy my kids can gather and subsequently eat at the local parade. It also marks the unofficial end to the summer and brings to a close the three months every year that I envy everyone who decided to make teaching his or her chosen profession. However, the true origins of this holiday are to celebrate, “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Taking a few minutes to reflect, I began to think of just how important the American worker is to the success and vitality of our nation. I also can’t help but think about how fortunate I am to work in the 21st century for a company who deems me (and all of its employees) to be its greatest asset. This train of thought led me to compare my view of life at Kenway to what it might have been like to be in the workforce in the early 1900s.
A Sum of its Parts
Working in the early 1900s: When I think of working conditions in the 1900s, I picture dismal conditions where workers were viewed as an interchangeable cog in the larger machine. Investment in the growth of workers was little to none as the general mentality was that if one individual couldn’t satisfy his responsibilities, there was a line of people behind him/her who would gladly take the job.
Life at Kenway: In contrast, I wake up every morning knowing that I have the unequivocal support of Kenway and the breadth of Kenway’s resources at my disposal to help me define my career path. The leadership of my company realizes that as I grow as an individual, our company also grows stronger and the value we can bring to our clients increases. The peripheral result of my individual growth is job satisfaction and a true passion for what I get to do everyday.
The Bottom Line
Working in the early 1900s: When I think of the financial philosophy of companies in the early 1900s, I imagine companies that primarily focused on the bottom line. I envision little investment was made in workers or working conditions. The primary drive of companies was to maximize profits by minimizing operating expenses with little focus on anything but the financial outcome.
Life at Kenway: On the contrary, at Kenway our goals remain firmly focused in the “means” or the manner in which we operate. We believe that if we do things “the right” way, we can continue to deliver premium consulting services at below market prices. Through the proper management of our organization and the long-term partnerships we develop with our clients, the financial outcomes will take care of themselves.
When a Job isn’t a Job
Working in the early 1900s: In the early 1900s, I can only imagine the vast majority of individuals worked purely out of necessity. Job conditions were less than ideal, hours were long, and safety was an afterthought.
Life at Kenway: While it is still a necessity that I work, for me, working for Kenway is an easy choice. Kenway affords me the opportunity to do what I love. I get to work with clients and colleagues every day who challenge me to be better at what I do. Every day I go to work with the clear goals of improving my clients, my company, and myself by delivering solutions to complex business problems.
The relationships that I have with Kenway and my clients are not relationships of “necessity,” rather, they are mutually beneficial relationships where there is value for all parties involved.
As I continued to reflect on how much working conditions have progressed, I can’t help but think that in many scenarios companies haven’t come far enough. While working conditions and on the job safety aren’t the issues they used to be, all too often the focus on achieving short-term financial goals trumps the long-term investment in individuals.
As I reflect on the origins of Labor Day, I am grateful! I am grateful that every morning when I wake up, I get to go to a job about which I am passionate. I am grateful that I get to work for a company that cares as much about my development and me as an individual as I do. I am grateful that I don’t have to endure the same hardships of workers in past generations. Most of all, I am grateful that I am part of an organization that exists to help one another and the clients with whom we choose to parter.
Happy belated Labor Day