Those companies with positive, personalized cultures that truly reflect a collective set of beliefs and values are best positioned for future growth. But to create the contagious culture of joy that backs successful brands, we must first understand what makes employees happy—both now and over the long-term.
Such data can easily be mined, whether through focus groups or by simply surveying employees. Ask what makes them happy in their specific job and at the company. Find out what they enjoy when they’re off the clock with family and friends. Probe what moves them when they think of their futures and the big life steps they hope to take down the road. Moreover, learn about the causes they support and why they invest their resources outside their own lives. Get to know how they feel when they are working and experiencing the world on their own time.
With this data in hand, employers are able to design engagement initiatives that are uniquely tailored to motivate employees over the long term, thus boosting both their productivity and outlook. Not to mention, making the effort to understand employees at their core naturally deepens their connection to their employer and the brands they're helping to cultivate. Such happiness at work, as in any relationship, is at least partially grounded in being understood. With this foundation, happy employees are able to picture a long-term experience with the company, strengthening their overall loyalty to the organization.
Keep in mind, however, that productivity doesn’t always mean that employees are happy. It’s also important to explore why productive workers are as productive as they are. If unhealthy systems are feeding their high output, it’s likely that the stress will eventually catch up with these overachievers. Worse, it can eventually impair company performance and/or drive discord and division from within. You can counter this by taking stock of employee motivation and taking positive steps to improve it.
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