Earlier this year, I read an article that shared the thoughts of 14 rich and powerful people and their definitions of success. The diverse backgrounds of the individuals were as intriguing as their views about business. From multimedia moguls and world leaders to global business magnates, the factors that topped their lists were the intangibles.
While the thought of their billion dollar bank accounts may have crossed their minds for a brief second, it was surprising and refreshing to read that money was last on all of their lists of accomplishments. So, what were the items that collectively hovered at the top? Relationships, wisdom, self-satisfaction and truly liking yourself were discussed; however, doing things differently and creating a unique path they can be proud of topped the charts.
As I have learned, success is defined differently for everyone, and the reasons for celebrating milestones aren’t always cookie cutter. While some companies and organizations perceive large revenues as a major win, others, like Amazon, value growth over profits. While both scenarios are critical, there is still one major factor that trumps all others … people. The measure of a company’s employee morale and stakeholder buy-in can truly be the difference between winning and losing. Many organizations are doing this right and the return on investment is scaling them upward.
Doug Conant, Founder and CEO of ConantLeadership once said, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” A timeless sentiment that is moving missions forward in both Charlotte and outside the Carolinas. It’s when you approach your employees in a way they have never experienced, that is when your business truly transforms.
While keeping in step with technology and exploring more streamlined ways to operate your business are priorities, maintaining the confidence of your employees and keeping stakeholders engaged are equally as important. As a service provider, Thompson’s model is people-centered; therefore, the organization must employ the most effective and surefire ways to keep employees driven, leadership inspired, and clients protected. Over the past year, Thompson has been laser-focused on doing things differently in order to boost employee morale and embrace stakeholders, in addition to addressing the mental health issues many people are facing in the Carolinas that require real solutions.
Creating partner events that allow employees and corporate alliances to connect and cultivate relationships builds skills. It makes your employees want to do more because you make them believe they can. Employee Appreciation Days are huge and go a long way, as they always bring out the best in everyone. This kind of inclusion boosts self-esteem and an enthusiasm that will transfer to clients.
When Thompson recently collaborated with CycleBar for their #GivingTuesday event, it not only brought donors and corporate partners together, but employees participated and felt good about being part of something bigger than themselves. Their contributions of time and resources moved Thompson’s mission forward.
Employing effective communications strategies and creating a culture of inclusion to ensure no employee is left behind is key. When internal information needs to be conveyed, Thompson utilizes creative vehicles to share updates, announcements, milestones, and staff achievements. On a weekly basis, a group or individual staffer is recognized for their hard work or a job well done. This simple practice has led to daily peer-to-peer shout outs and virtual high-fives among the organization’s 250 employees.
Leadership that leans in is perhaps the most vital because the entire organizational culture begins at the top. One of our nation’s leaders, President Ronald Reagan, once said, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” It matters when your president and CEO knows your name and notices when you’ve had a haircut. And when the C-Suite thanks you for completing a task that takes you seconds to handle, employees feel valued and will express their loyalty at every turn. These very simple things heighten morale and impress stakeholders to the extent of wanting, desiring, needing to do more for your organization.