Are you unhappy in your current job? Is your workplace culture inclusive and fun? How do you define happiness in a workplace?
Over the past decade, there has been increased focus and investment in understanding the answers to the above questions and what is it that makes employee's happy. Organisation's need to have a vested interest and strategy to leverage the direct correlation between your team's happiness and their productivity. A study conducted by Social Market Foundation concluded that productivity increased by 12% for happier individuals and "lower happiness is systematically associated with lower productivity".
Mexia places their people in the centre of how they achieve success for their clients.
Our culture is one of the most valuable assets.
Being unhappy in your job can impact happiness in all aspects of your life. This is why Mexia engages their employee's at multiple levels to ensure our people are engaged and contributing to the culture.
How do they do this? Let's discuss this in the context of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. For those who are not familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy, "Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others."
Maslow's hierarchy is typically depicted as a pyramid of human needs, with the most basic needs at the foundation leading to the ultimate goal of obtaining your highest potential at the top. At Mexia, we refer to our people as unicorns - rare, hard to find, and loved by everyone. The following sections show how Mexia help our unicorns find their highest potential.
Meet people's basic needs
How many times have you joined an organisation where your first week is spent setting up a laptop which is clunky and old, access to systems takes weeks and meeting the executive leaders is an exception? At Mexia, they make a special effort to ensure your first weeks leave you feeling valued and welcomed. When people join an organisation the focus should be learning and contributing, not logging Service Desk tickets.
Here are some of the ways Mexia ensures they meet your Basic Needs:
- BYOD - we have a bring your own device policy where you are provided with a very generous bi-annual gadget allowance to help ensure you can keep up with the latest technology
- Cloud based internal systems - there are no pesky remote desk top clients or VPN's required, on-boarding to internal systems is quick and simple
- Guidance and access to leaders - we have amazing leaders at Mexia who are incredibly accessible and approachable. From Dean our CEO and Mat our COO, through to Julia, Lee & Grant our Practice Leads. They will always make time for you.
- Swag - when you start with Mexia you are given a fantastic welcome pack which demonstrates you are part of our team
- Communication - when you are working on a client site or away from the office, you can stay well informed and connected through Slack. From the latest client updates and internal initiatives, to office updates, socials and announcements.
- Food and drinks - there is always a well stocked beer fridge, fruit bowl, bread, coffee, snacks and sweets.
By providing your teams with the right tools and support to get the job done, you free them up to focus their energies on solving customer problems .
Create an environment of trust and belonging
Ensure you create a safe environment firstSafety can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In this day and age, safety and job security can be hard to find. Studies have proven that happy employees are more productive and therefore more effective which makes businesses more profitable.
- Safety means knowing your employer has your interests at heart and you can share any issues or concerns you have.
- Safety as an individual with your own set circumstances in the workforce means consideration for your situation and ability to arrange flexible work arrangements.
"Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders
—in that order" Simon Sinek
Built trust by default approachHaving a culture of trust is easier said than done. If you think of your most trusted relationships, they are most likely built through many interactions over time. Trust is not something that naturally appears overnight, but it is something that stems from your leaders. At Mexia we have a culture of trust first:
- Knowing that someone has your back,
- Your leaders and organisation uphold values and beliefs that are aligned to your own.
Having a diverse team who bring different skills and personalities to the team can challenge and build relationships better than a team who is less diverse.
Fortune have been publishing a list of 100 favourite companies voted by employees since 1998. "In studying the 100 Best and the non-winning contender companies for 2017, we found that the more consistent and inclusive an organisation is on key factors related to trust, and the more diverse it is demographically, the more likely it is to outperform peers in revenue growth."
A sense of belonging"As social beings, family, friendships and intimate connections get many people through the ups and downs of life. Numerous studies have shown that the healthiest, happiest people tend to be more involved in their communities." Quoted from an article on Abraham Maslow and the history of happiness .
- This is where communication and collaboration tools such as Slack are great for keeping our teams connected even when we can't always meet face to face.
- At Mexia they make a considered effort to create opportunities for connecting and relationship building:
- Monthly drinks
- Quarterly updates as a company
- MexReady end of financial year all of company gathering
- Mexia's Christmas, fondly known as Mexmas where all employees and their partners are brought together to the same city for a Christmas celebration
- Celebration of birthdays with a great cake and morning tea with the team
- Lunch time brown bag sessions
- Weekly Pilates and Yoga classes
- Our annual big hairy goal 'BHAG': this year we are doing the Brisbane and Melbourne Kokoda Challenge
Mexia was ranked #8 best workplace under 100 employees in Australia for 2017
which speaks volumes as to how happy our team is.
Provide consistent and sustainable ways to boost your teams's esteem needsOur teams work incredibly hard and are committed to getting the best outcome for our clients. Our unicorn's efforts do not go unnoticed or unrecognised. We use the Slack's Taco system, where you receive 5 "tacos" a day to give your thanks to a colleague. You then get to cash these in for your choice of great reward vouchers, such as a dinner out or shopping.
- Our leaders provide a culture of gratitude and respect through great leadership, genuine communication and care for the people around them. In the words of Simon Sinek "We are drawn to leaders and organisations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us".
- Showing your appreciation for your staff in a meaningful way is what keeps people turning up each day with the willingness to contribute and add value. Whether it be the "thank you Tacos" which encourages people to praise and raise up their colleagues, drinks with the team or a coffee with their Practice Lead.
Enable your people to reach their highest potentialThe last tier of the hierarchy is about reaching your highest potential. Quoting from an article about the 'pursuit of happiness': "What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualisation… It refers to the desire for self-fulfilment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualised in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming (Maslow, 1954, Motivation and Personality, p. 93)".
“You can’t live an extraordinary life with an ordinary mindset.” H.L. Balcomb
We strive to be the best and that requires a mentality of continual improvement and assessment. At Mexia we have an approach of Choose Your Own Adventure, where you get out what you put in:
- There are no monolithic hierarchies or strict structures.
- You set the bar and they will work with you to develop a personalised path to get there.
- A generous Learning & Development budget is available for you to achieve your Mexia Adventure. Agile Australia has been a popular choice amongst the Brisbane team.
In summary, we have discussed how Mexia engages its team at multiple levels of their needs hierarchy to ensure people are fulfilled in all areas. This approach creates a culture of empowerment, inclusion, trust and encouragement to reach their potential.
The key takeaways are:
- Acknowledging that as an organisation, you need to invest in getting the basics right and ensure you have provided your team the tools and support needed to do their job well.
- People excel in environments where they feel safe with a culture of trust first.
- Having a sense of belonging is at the core of how great teams are built.
- Strive to keep improving and redefining what happiness means to your organisation, as it truly is an investment which will have returns greater than your investment in the long run.
- Create a culture where gratitude is a daily ritual.
- Leaders can make or break an organisation's culture, so they need to lead by example.
- Create a framework where people can grow and challenge themselves in a supportive environment, without growth we become stale.