A joyous, happy organization will deliver more.
I want to begin this post by saying that all of us at NeuGroup wish you and your families and friends a wonderful, joyous holiday season and a very happy New Year. And in keeping with the warm spirit of the season, I want to share with you some thoughts on joy and happiness and the value of cultivating them throughout the year. They come from a NeuGroup member’s presentation and offer concrete reasons and methods for making the feeling of happiness a priority within treasury and the broader organization that finance serves:
• Happy people deliver more. As more treasurers pay attention to culture following Peter Drucker’s maxim “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” it makes sense to make happiness a cultural staple. The way this member’s treasury looks at happiness is the joy you feel as you move toward your potential. The goal is to build a happy workplace, which means to provide challenging and exciting career opportunities, embrace diversity and inclusion and reward superb execution and breakthrough thinking.
• Measure happiness. To foster a happy organization, you must measure organizational health, which the member’s treasury does with quarterly surveys of its staff worldwide. The results aggregate into a happiness index that treasury monitors closely. The survey addresses agreement with statements such as “I play an important role in treasury success,” “I am paid competitively,” “I have access to development opportunities,” “I have a challenging job,” “I feel my contributions are recognized” and “My contributions are properly rewarded.”
• Tap into what motivates people. For example, if you have treasury operations offshore, let staff rotate to other locations, even temporarily, to allow people who like to travel to swap jobs/locations for a month. This helps along processes and cross-fertilizes best practices globally. “This generates a huge ROI,” noted our member, “and it makes people happy.”
• Embrace change as opportunity. Reflecting on the departure of a senior treasury staff person, our member noted that while it was a big loss of talent, “It opened up an opportunity to shift his responsibilities to others on the team to make them happy.” Also, if treasury has effective processes, policies and controls, it can earn the trust to change its organization to what works best—be it new people being directly responsible or best practices developed anywhere being embraced as the new standard operating procedure.
So again, I wish everyone, both inside and outside of treasury, a joyous holiday season and a happy New Year. And taking a page from our member, I truly hope your happiness is the joy you feel as you move toward your potential.