My husband and I just returned from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The organization he works for rewarded their top performers (and their plus ones) with an amazing five-day vacation to say thank you for the work they’d achieved in 2022.
As a believer in connection and culture, and its ability to drive performance, I was excited to be part of the experience. From the day we learned we were going, until the day we got home, every communication, every detail, and every experience that Documation planned, reinforced to all attendees they were valued and appreciated.
In a time when companies are being asked to cut costs to deliver results, it was refreshing to see a company take the opposite approach. They are investing in their people and inspiring performance! The company’s sales are up 20% over the previous year, a previous year that had already seen a 30% increase. They’ve experienced a 46% growth rate in just five years!
So, what’s behind that kind of success? Some will tell you, it’s just a sign of good decision making. Others might point to a couple of good hires, timing, or luck. For me, after watching the way this team interacts with one another, specifically the way the leaders interact with the team, I can tell you that I have a different take.
This leadership team is humble and grateful, and yes, they make good decisions, but they make them based on their values which are very clearly aligned with doing what’s right for their employees – even when doing what’s right is hard.
They don’t take their success for granted and they don’t believe it happened just because they began leading the charge. In fact, they give all the credit to the team. They know the success they’re experiencing is a direct result of the passion and performance of their people. A passion that was formed by fostering connection.
- Connection that improves the relationships that make a company run just a little bit better.
- Connection that creates loyalty and goes beyond anything a paycheck can provide.
- Connection that breaks down those weird cross functional barriers that make people “copy all” on an email when a 1:1 conversation would have sufficed. I mean it’s hard to “throw someone under the bus” when you’ve had a beer with them by the pool. Right?
- Connection that is not just downtime, but an investment in the long-term viability and performance of their brand.
So, the next time you’re being asked to deliver those quarterly financial results at all costs, and your tempted to cut the “fluff,” resist the urge and remember that “fluff” you cut, might just be the difference between reducing turnover, or increasing it, building a relationship, or weakening one, improving cross functional performance, or allowing for silos.
Instead, choose to invest and create a culture of connection and belonging. It’s what employees are searching for in 2023.
Researchers like Harvard Business Review and the Institute of Leadership and Management report that 65% of workers feel less connected to coworkers, 30% feel invisible and 77% report that building relationships with colleagues is the most important factor related to job satisfaction. Moreover, this disconnection is the main driver of turnover and it’s costing US companies $406B per year.
There is real value in bringing people together, especially in a world where people are feeling forgotten, disconnected, and unappreciated. Ensure your company’s cultural system and leadership team are investing the time and resources needed to make connections happen and then go have a great time! Trust me, it’s worth every penny.