Playing Company

 In Atlas

Healthcare related jobs, and in particular temp jobs, aren’t going away anytime soon. There are some that would have you believe otherwise, but I’d question their motives for distributing such information. Every key indicator shows our industry will continue to grow regardless of future market conditions. But with this growth brings trends, especially with companies in our space. We have seen it happen over and over again during the good times, and it just happened again recently. One big company buys a smaller company for more money than any of us has ever seen. It’s announced like it should be celebrated, but who is really benefiting from it? Seems like they aren’t telling you something, right? So try this…call and ask for the CEO, or a VP of whatever they call each division. Do they answer? Can you even get past the gatekeeper? Better yet, if you actually got them on the phone, would they answer the questions you have?

I’ve said it before, I’m not anti-business. I love that we live in a country where you can go hang your shingle and try to make a go of it yourself. I believe hard work and determination to succeed will always win. Where I have a problem is when it turns into an ego game. Buildings get bigger, parties get fancier. The unnecessary nonsense gets even more nonsensical. (Every party needs a huge ice sculpture, right?!) Big fancy houses are built. Expensive cars are purchased only to impress others who would purchase the very same expensive cars. There is a vanity and shallowness to spending company money only for the purpose of bigger and better.

Have you ever been to the headquarters of the agency you work for? Do you know where they are located? The size of their building? How many employees do they have? How many offices filled with non-producing VPs/Directors/Managers/Team Leads do they have? There is a misconception that all of us agencies need to look and feel the same. Once the company gets big enough, they need a big building with lots of unnecessary things. Just recently an agency not too far from us was boasting about their big fancy Starbucks coffee machine. What value does that possibly add to the nurses working in the field for them? Another has a golf simulator in their game room. I’ll repeat that, because we are talking about an office…a game room and a golf simulator. Seriously?

Jim Koch, the founder of the Boston Beer Company called this “playing company”. It’s ego
space not workspace. Ego space is there simply to gratify the egos of a select few. Workspace is just that. A productive no frills environment used to accomplish the tasks of the day. Ask yourself, what does your company have? Ego space or workspace? Do they send their top producers on lavish trips to Mexico or Hawaii because they achieve sales or profit goals? Both sides of our equation are in business to make money. No one faults either of us for that. But when the business part of making money on the agency side is replaced by cutting corners and taking advantage of the people doing the work, that’s when you should have a problem.

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