Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo Day

Halo 3 comes out today and my copy is currently sitting on my desk. Does this make me a geek? Probably. But the truth of it is, this is the kind of thing we work for. Sure you want a house, something to drive, food to eat and all that good stuff, but in the end we make money to have fun. Halo represents that for me.

A few years back when Halo 2 came out I would play online a lot with friends and siblings. While it was frustrating at times, the sense of comradery and fun of sharing an experience with those around you is what it was all about. Just that feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself, with set goals and missions and the ability to track your progress, use your skills, help others and reach success or failure based on your combined efforts.

In a lot of ways it parallels business. A business, at heart, is the people. Every day they are performing, making incremental steps towards a common goal. In this day of mercenary tactics, a lot of businesses have lost that perspective that the people make it what it is, trying to instead make everyone as interchangeable as possible. You negotiate a salary, get a title and a work flow and are set loose. Sometimes they give you some mentoring, but for the most part you are on your own. If you fail to perform, you get replaced. If you perform well, they give you more work for as little compensation as they can. All in all, the person is more of an anonymous face than really an individual.

I actually hope to be different. My 3 year goal is to start my own business. I want to change the culture some. Sure a majority of the system will remain the same because you need a lot of those elements. But I hope to provide better incentives for my employees to be a part of the company. I want to focus on health and growth rather than focusing on a certain number of hours of being at a location. Here are some of the ideas I've come up with:

- Option of spending an hour during each day exercising that will count towards work time.
- Discounts on health supplies like vitamins as well as other health tools
- Flexible schedule based on performance more than time at the office. Features like being able to work at home or out of the office as long as production level is maintained or increased.
- Programs to discount meals for people who eat with their coworkers.
- Reimbursement for cost of taking community college classes as well as degree programs.
- Support of extra curricular activities that will boost work performance or expand abilities by extra time off or financial backing.

I've always believed the saying "healthy body, healthy mind" is correct. I think programs like these would help to promote a culture of health. Usually when people feel good they are productive, amiable and more willing to compromise. Also, there is no law governing how fast or slow someone can develop. Why not help people keep growing in their knowledge and experiences instead of expecting them to sit at a position doing the same tasks repeatedly. In the computer age, mindless repetitive tasks can be done by machines, let people use their ideas and originality.

So while I'll be finishing the fight with the Chief in Halo 3, my fight to see my vision come true will battle on.

No comments: