Full disclosure: You won't be working from an inner-tube in a bathing suit, but you will be working with a beautiful view of the Hudson River...just saying.
“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
—Simon Sinek, author, Start with Why
It’s no mystery that as a business owner, your employees are your greatest asset. So why not invest in your most valuable product?
Here at Hudson Fusion, I’m confident in the company culture I’ve worked so hard to develop. Take this excerpt from a social media post by one of our latest hires, Kelly Seiz:
I'm beyond grateful to be a member of the Hudson Fusion team. Having a group of driven professionals I can rely on to make me smarter, stronger, bolder, and better creates an ideal company culture. I think it's safe to say that we motivate each other every day to strive for greatness in our respective fields, constantly learning, growing, and strategizing to take our individual expertise and Hudson Fusion as a whole to the next level.
I couldn’t have said it better myself (which is exactly why I hired her as a Copywriter).
We value our team as the driving force behind every success for Hudson Fusion. They may be responsible for each smaller component of the big picture, but by keeping a holistic view of our agency growth, we’re able to maintain accountability as the cohesive unit that keeps us moving forward.
If we’re talking bottom lines, the numbers don’t lie when it comes to investing in employee happiness and an effective company culture. Studies show that happy workers are 12 percent more productive than the average worker—not to mention that unhappy workers are 10 percent less productive. In fact, unhappy employees cost American business over $300 billion each year.
So, how do you keep your employees happy? What keeps your team engaged, motivated, and inspired every single day?
The 4-Ingredient Recipe for Happy Employees
According to the survey, employees are most satisfied and productive when their four core needs are met: the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. A New York Times article from a few years ago shows how to meet each of those needs. Running down the list, here’s how Hudson Fusion measures up:
Physical: Opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work
Let’s start off with the big one: we offer flexible paid time off. No quotas, no limits....just a level of trust. If you need the time off, take it.
A lot of fellow small business owners ask how I can possibly pull this off. We’re a relatively small team (for now), with roughly 12 total full-time employees. If three people happen to put in for a week off the same month, you’d think our day-to-day operations would be crippled.
Spoiler alert: You’re wrong!
Here’s the thing. We’re big on accountability here, and every single team member understands what their responsibilities are and what expectations they’re held to.
There are some surprising advantages of an unlimited PTO policy: cutting costs, simpler hiring, and early-warning systems among them (your ideal employee isn’t likely to take four 2-week, back-to-back vacations).
I think it’s incredibly important that we invest in the wellness of our employees. I don’t want them to feel guilty about taking time off to recover from illness, enjoy time with their families, or plan for a mental health day. I know that they’ll come back bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
That’s why our office features ergonomic chairs, standing desks, a lounge, and a kitchen with a seemingly endless supply of La Croix and a Poland Spring water cooler. When you aren’t worried about back pain, exhaustion, and dehydration, you have way more brain power to spend producing quality work.
Emotional: Feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions
I give credit where credit is due—and it just so happens that our team deserves all of the credit when it comes to our successes. We conduct regular weekly, casual 1-on-1 catch-up sessions and more formal quarterly reviews with every team member to assess their progress, identify their strengths, and focus on their future endeavors as a member of the Hudson Fusion team.
Every Monday, we take a half hour to sit down and talk about the week ahead and the week prior. First, we assess Team Happiness on a 1–10 basis. We ask every member of the team to grade their previous week, average them out, and keep track in a running spreadsheet. We also ask everyone to share any positive outcomes from the week prior, giving everyone the opportunity to celebrate their successes and offer their congratulations.
Mental: Having the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when/where they get their work done
We have a number of growing families in our office, and we’re big on allowing team members the time they need to attend school events, support their partners, and work remotely need be.
Everyone on our team has different working styles. We collaborate in-office of course, but for some of our team members, they find it helpful to take a day here or there to catch up on certain kinds of work from their home office (ie. Writing, drafting, strategizing, etc.). If it means they do better work with better results, we happily accommodate their preferences.
Spiritual: Doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work
Back to those quarterly meetings. We ask every employee two questions outright:
If you had the choice, what aspect of your job would you never do again?
What part of your job do you get excited about doing, and how can we help you do more of it?
As much as we may switch tasks based on necessity, we find it’s far more valuable to do it by preference and skillset. For example, if one of our team members is more interested in developing gated content offers than by designing a holistic social media marketing strategy, we’ll reallocate duties to accommodate.
It’s important to know what your team is passionate about and find opportunities for them to flex their muscles in that area. You aren’t going to put your best sprinter on the 3000-meter dash, and you’re not going to put your shot-putter on hurdles. That would be a disservice to your players individually and your team as a whole.
Interested in learning more about our team of creatives, strategists, and ambitious go-getters?