The Power of Working for a Life-Affirming Company

The Power of Working for a Life-Affirming Company

When Personal and Organizational Missions Align

I joined Great Place to Work® in January of this year to lead the U.S. Marketing group, which produces the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For© list. Our team also produces the Great Place to Work® Annual Conference, which I am eagerly awaiting this week in Dallas, TX. Here, we will listen to leaders of our own company and of recognized great workplaces such as Twitter, ClifBar, The Cheesecake Factory, and many more speak about the important role of trust in the workplace.

What has been poignant for me in my first 90 days with Great Place to Work® is how passionately our employees embrace the mission of this organization. This is true for all of us, including myself. Our mission is:

Building a better society by helping companies to transform their workplaces.

We each connect to this statement in different ways and for different reasons. This week, for the first time, I will get a chance to speak in person with a broader community of people including CEOs of great workplaces, hosts at long-time 100 Best Company The Container Store as we tour their corporate headquarters, HR industry influencers, clients of Great Place to Work®, human resources leaders from around North America, and Great Place to Work® affiliates from around the world.

I expect that after dozens of conversations this week, my understanding of our company’s mission will expand dramatically. I can report back to you what I discover.

Speaking for myself, coming to Great Place to Work® feels like coming home—full circle—after a long career of marketing, product development and writing. When I first graduated from college, I remember reading, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, about the importance of establishing and adhering to one’s own mission statement. I wrote mine at the age of 22 and have found over the years that it still rings true for me. The mission statement I wrote for myself is: “To motivate large groups of people to build life-affirming organizations, and to live my daily life with love, commitment, fun and creativity.”

Serving in the role of marketer is an ideal way for me to have a hand in motivating large groups of people. In the coming years at Great Place to Work®, I will be working on generating mass awareness for the extensive benefits of building high-trust, high-performance organizations that affirm people and their personal wellbeing. And I know I will not be alone in this mission because over 1,000 advocates who are about to join us in Dallas are also evangelizing these benefits with the people they touch day-to-day.

While I have worked for all three sectors of industry—that is, for-profit, non-profit, and government—I gravitate to for-profit organizations because I appreciate easily measurable feedback about the efficiency and the value of the organization is generating as measured by profit, market adoption, and market capitalization. So it is especially meaningful to me that life-affirming organizations are good business. It intuitively makes sense to me that the data Great Place to Work® has gathered over the years show that great workplaces have three times the financial performance of their peers. Life-affirming organizations are sustainable organizations.

The core of our model and methodology is measuring trust. We measure the extent to which management and employees trust each other within each organization. Ultimately, this is a measure of all the relationships that make up the organization. As I delve more deeply into the topic of trust at the conference this week, I would not be surprised if trust is a key underpinning of the four values that I had put in my personal mission statement: love, commitment, fun and creativity.

I plan to attend a couple sessions this week about innovation in high-trust organizations, so stay tuned on further insights there for fun and creativity. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to tweet me during the conference @ingridGPTW. See you on #gptwConf.