American workers spend an average of 104,000 hours on the job over the course of a typical 50-year span in the work force. This equates to 13,000 eight-hour days, or 16.6 years of their lives spent away from their families to make a living. There’s no doubt many more workers and business owners expend significantly more of their lives than this performing their job-related duties.
Given these staggering numbers, isn’t it easy to see just how important it is to make sure fulfillment and happiness are just as consistent as a paycheck? The workplace is a second home for your team members. If human enjoyment and contentment aren’t encouraged and supported, no amount of money will inspire workers to give their very best for long. Financial rewards only go so far in bringing out the best in people.
Average companies of all sizes have a lot they can learn from sophisticated business models that harness the incredible power of fostering ongoing job satisfaction. When team members enjoy coming to work, they’re more efficient and productive — they produce higher-quality products and deliver superior customer service. In addition, business owners experience far less turnover. In other words, satisfied and happy workers contribute their abilities to the business at a much higher and more consistent level that, in turn, leads to increased revenues. Everyone wins!
Without a doubt, businesses are always looking to get the highest possible return on their investments. One well-known Colorado company found that when it provided a place to exercise and access to healthy foods, it realized a whopping 619 percent return on every dollar invested. This is simple math that leads to an undeniable conclusion: Investing in your people — their fulfillment, well-being and happiness — is good business. Even if your return was only half this good, you would still realize over a 300 percent return! What business owner wouldn’t like those numbers?
A positive and healthy work environment starts with effective leadership. And leadership is most effective when it comes from a place of mentoring and empowering team members to personal greatness. Being a “boss” is quite different from being a “mentor.” When leaders embrace the constructive power of mentoring, it’s encouraged and supported company wide. A culture of coaching is created, and the collaborative spirit thrives. Let’s take a closer look at the qualities embodied by effective leaders:
Effective leaders understand the necessity of hiring and developing empowered and capable managers. Across the board, poor management is one of the leading causes for costly turnover in companies. Managers who can mentor their team members foster strong working relationships through effective listening, clear communication, support, encouragement and accountability. When people are managed in this way, job satisfaction increases.
Effective leaders acknowledge the overwhelmingly positive impact properly selected team members have on company culture and performance. Hiring team members through a well-defined and proven strategy, such as Job Benchmarking, brings aboard those individuals who are best suited to perform and enjoy their particular job at the highest level.
Effective leaders realize that learning, growth and development are a process that requires consistent training over an extended period of time. High quality, ongoing training and development programs performed by an outside professional that are designed to closely evaluate and remedy any gaps in the talents, skills, motivators and behaviors needed to maximize on-the-job performance and satisfaction are best. The illuminating power of these coaching and consulting programs assist companies in creating a supportive and encouraging environment that contributes to the happiness of team members.
Effective leaders know that rewarding staff with sincere praise and recognition is often more powerful than merely giving them a raise. All people need money to live. But even more important than that, everyone needs to feel accepted, valued and appreciated — to know their work and their lives are meaningful.
You don’t have to make huge investments in a fitness facility and a cafeteria to create a positive, supportive and encouraging work environment. There are many other options available to assist you in building a company culture that believes in and endeavors to empower your team members to personal greatness. Start today by seeking out the help you need to discover where you can add to the fulfillment and happiness of your team, and yourself, and take the action steps needed to make necessary improvements. In return, you’ll be rewarded with a company that rises to new heights.