We want to work harder when working harder feels good. We want to work longer when working longer feels good. And, we want to take a break when taking a break feels good.
If it feels good, you will do it. If it feels good, the people who work for you will do it. Yes, it’s that simple.
Nearly every business leader accepts that profit is not a complete measure of success. We know that when everyone is happy at work, everyone does better work. This is supported by research that shows the correlation between job satisfaction and job performance is much higher than previously thought.
Defining success and thriving
There are many products that measure things like employee engagement, organizational health and workplace culture. To sell these products, a good salesperson will first understand how you measure success, and only then will they tell you how their product will deliver the success you’re looking for. If the product can’t deliver that success, an ethical salesperson will tell you.
Salespeople will almost never tell you the kind of success that should be important to you.
Since those salespeople won’t do tell you, I will:
A successful business contributes to the wellbeing of everyone who owns it, works there and is changed by what it does. I call these successful businesses thriving organizations.
By definition, thriving organizations are always financially successful. Why? Because owners and employees will do everything to grow a business that contributes to their wellbeing, and its customers will buy products and services that contribute to their own wellbeing.
Set the bar high
We’ve been told that better is the enemy of good enough. For example, the law of diminishing returns tells us that, at some point, more effort does not produce an equally valuable outcome. The 80/20 rule tells us that 80% of the benefit will be realized by the first 20% of effort, and that the last 20% will take 80% of the effort. Perhaps George Stigler, an American economist, said it best, “If you never miss a plane, you’re spending too much time at the airport.” All of this is meant to caution us against getting something perfect. We’re told to set the bar below perfect.
If you’re passionate about creating a thriving organization that contributes to the wellbeing of everyone it contacts, then setting the bar too low will make you miserable. When it comes to creating a thriving organization, set your bar high. If we can strive for perfection, let our striving contribute to wellbeing. Our own, our employees, our customers and our communities.
When you set the bar high enough, your thriving organization will become a deep source of wellbeing. Thriving organizations make the world a better place.