Two weeks ago, I was the Master of Ceremonies, and part of the team that hosted the MN Business Top 100 Best Places to Work celebration. Instead of a snoozy dinner, the event felt more like senior week before college graduation. It was a party! This annual event has emerged as the best one in its category. Because the best and brightest of the MN small, medium, and large business scene get just a little bit rowdy in celebrating their success. It was awesome!
Awards, worth the investment?
Business awards in general create a divide: there are skeptics who think the awards are trivial, the application process is a waste of valuable staff time, and the winners are predetermined. The other half realize the power of celebration in creating a culture of goodness that pays. Employee pride and engagement pays in quality, customer loyalty, speed to market, generosity, and most of all, financial performance. Every company in the room was a company worth investing in. That’s big news.
As I congratulated 20+ winners, and shook literally hundreds of hands, I felt the difference between the average places to work, and the great places to work. The winners have created an environment where employees and owners believe they can thrive together. In other words: the employees don’t feel the owners will profit at their expense. That’s goodness, and when it comes alive, it deserves to be celebrated.
Celebrations drive out the darkness
In the exact moment Matt Kusilek and I went to our microphone check, we were interrupted by a CNN report of another mass shooting in Maryland. The dark noise just keeps coming! As global citizens and business leaders, we feel obligated to stay in touch with what’s going on in our world. And yet, the dark noise of murders, crime, natural disasters, and general shenanigans by celebrities makes us either numb, or depressed.
Then, Matt and I saw the power of how a healthy workplace culture can drive out the darkness. When people have best friends at work, a sense of purpose in their job, and a connection to the mission of the owners, the workplace can be healing. I saw evidence that good work heals people. That’s goodness. And that’s worth celebrating!
Good leaders invest themselves in creating a workplace that fits the personal and professional aspirations of their colleagues. And they celebrate how much they love their work.
Please share with me: What makes your firm a best place to work?