2019 – Part 1: The Right People on the Bus

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2018 is in the books and now is the time to reflect on and refine investments and innovations as we ramp up for a year of growth. From attracting new talent to creating automations and operational excellence, as well as launching value-added services and planning effective marketing activities, growth and fine-tuning should be everyone’s goals in 2019. It certainly is ours here at directworx.

The Graphic Communications industry is facing significant disruptions: new technologies; sales strategies and training; the evolving role of print in the communications ecosystem; and the importance of analytics in delivering personalized 1:1 communication. In the following weeks we’ll share what guided our business decisions, strategies, and plans at directworx last year and will continue into 2019.

Culture crushes everything

Getting “the right people on the bus” (Jim Collins – From Good to Great) has never been more difficult or critical. When employees’ values align with the company’s they are happier, more productive, and more loyal. The burden and benefit of adapting to the Millennial workforce ironically dovetails ideally into a more engaging work environment for all stakeholders.  Fostering and sustaining employee satisfaction through aligned corporate goals and values creates a culture that instills employee happiness which in turn leads to loyal customers.

The structure of all workplaces continues to evolve, and our industry is no exception. Many Baby Boomers have already entered retirement or are planning to leave the workforce soon, as Gen Xers and Millennials continue to reshape the business environment. Meanwhile, the oldest members of Generation Z are starting their own career paths. Each generation has its own unique set of characteristics and preferences, and businesses must change with the times when working to attract new talent. Corporate culture is important to everyone, the trick will be to remain flexible and sensitive to what matters to each generation.

As we move into 2019 and beyond, more Baby Boomers will be approaching retirement and more individuals from Generation Z will be coming of age and entering the workforce. Employers must understand these demographic differences and ensure that their company culture and onboarding process will be appealing to the next generation.  We welcome this change and our culture is one that celebrates the generational variety by recognizing the value of harmony in delivering great customer experiences.


Today’s businesses need a plan of action for training so they can develop the right expertise. Managers must educate their teams to set them up for success, and this starts with building a learning culture where each employee is held responsible for their own professional development. Ongoing training is vital to an effective management process. Training should cover the process, insight and skills, markets, and relevant operations or service offerings.

Too few businesses prioritize budget for employee training; something we’ve been guilty of at directworx in the past, even though the research proves it’s a great investment. Further, numerous generous government-sponsored training incentives are currently available to significantly buffer the cost of the investment.  Great leaders prioritize employee training that supports their growth year over year.

Next week’s topics: Tailor your Techniques, Automation and Operational Excellence