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Chapter 2: The Company | Don't Be That Guy

In a pleasant town in a pleasant office park resides a pleasant company named Techsys. Their line of business: providing technical marketing services to companies in the consumer products industry. Techsys has been in business for eight years and has undergone some recent organizational changes due to an evolving marketplace and a new strategic marketing plan. Because of this revenue growth, and new executive leadership, Techsys has expanded their staff and their office space. This growth necessitated the hiring of new, talented professionals across all departments of the organization. Techsys considers their company a premier employer and makes significant investments on efforts to keep employee morale and engagement high, such as catered lunches, after-work activities, and ongoing recognition and reward programs.

Because of their progressive approach to employee engagement, Techsys considers employees to be its greatest asset. The executive team encourages a casual atmosphere where employees can and SHOULD feel free to think “outside of the box.” Some departments were given the freedom to work from home two or three days a week, since their projects could be done remotely. Techsys encourages a healthy lifestyle, and group participation in corporate races and intra-company sporting contests is encouraged. On the days of these events, there was an exodus of participants in the early afternoon, and pictures of the event posted on the Techsys intranet the next day.

The staff of Techsys was made up of a small number of long-time employees who were with the company since its inception when the company was named FunData. Recent growth has resulted in a large number of other professionals, who now outnumber the founding staff. Techsys, like most companies, competes for technically savvy employees such as database and systems programmers. Technically proficient staff members are necessary to continue the forward growth momentum in a very competitive marketplace. In the past five years, the number of employees at Techsys has increased from 150 to over 500. Most work in the home office but may also work remotely. The Techsys company motto is: “Let’s strike BEFORE the iron is hot.”

At one time, many empty offices and common areas existed in the Techsys workspace, and now every available cubicle is occupied, and common areas such as the game room are being built out for offices, and the lunchroom is being reduced in size to provide more employee work areas.

Before Techsys’ rapid revenue growth, the Production Services department was not an area of major concern, and never was the topic of conversation at executive meetings. The services provided by the production department were not considered “mission critical” and those services could be done adequately by non-technical, lower-paid employees. There was this general feeling that the C-Suite could get rid of the 30-person department, or at least cut it in half, at any given moment. However, as Techsys grew, so did issues associated with the Production department; wrong packages received by clients, confidential data mishandled, shipments delivered too late for clients use, etc. These issues were becoming too frequent, and were affecting the Techsys reputation and the cost to fix these errors was growing. The executive team concluded that the Production department needed better leadership. The staffing of the Production Services department was upgraded, higher hourly salary was offered to attract better candidates, and a director was added to strategically lead the department and make the department a best in class operation.

Included in the 30 employees of Production Services are Danny, Jim, and Don. These three gentlemen represent three different generations of professional workers. Danny is 21 and a recent college graduate. Jim is 38 and is the manager of Production Services. Don is 58 and the Director of Production Services.

Tune in for ongoing chapters of David Warden's book, "Don't Be That Guy: Career Advice From 30 Years Down The Road." To order the full ebook, email - or you can also order via Amazon.

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