December is a funny month. For many companies, it comes with the push of a fiscal year end. In an effort to get as many deals on the ‘books’ by the close of the year, I’ve frequently heard stories of salespeople working 20 hour days, or driving to customers’ houses to get them to sign a deal. For me, over the past 10 years of my career, this is what December has been all about.
During that time, I’ve had some amazing professional accomplishments, but have always come out of the year feeling exhausted and mentally drained. I’ve never really given it much thought as it has always been the way it was. The companies I’ve had the good fortune to work for made it very easy for this drive to exist by offering things like team breakfasts everyday leading up to year end, with a general understanding that taking vacation at that time of year was frowned upon.
As I sit poolside, doing some work, on my first vacation at this time of year in the past 10 years, I can’t help but think how personal satisfaction factors into professional motivation. Even though I find myself doing work late at night, during kids naps, and when sitting by the pool (with a glass of wine of course), I am more motivated than ever to deliver, and surpass, on my professional commitments and obligations. Why? Likely unknowingly, by allowing me to use my vacation to spend time with family over the holidays, even though it was at year end, it created an increased personal satisfaction, leading to a greater professional motivation. This did not come at the expense of some amazing professional results, in actuality, it was likely one of my most productive and impactful year ends in recent memory….both personally and professionally.
For some people, like myself, the personal satisfaction may come from time with family. For others may come from increased earning potential to use as a downpayment on a house or car, a free pair of shoes, a day out for lunch, or flexible hours to get up to the cottage. Regardless of what it is, I have now proven to myself that if an organization is conscious of what motivates its people, and has the ability to cater to that in a personalized manner, it will inevitably create a culture of employees that have a greater degree of personal satisfaction and are willing to go through a wall to deliver what they have committed to an organization. If they are not those type of people, they likely are not the people who are going to help an organization grow.
As we continue to scale our organization here at gShift, the attention and awareness to personal satisfaction will definitely always be something that is on the radar. I am a living example of how it can parlay itself into the type of professional motivation that other companies spend countless hours and millions of dollars to promote.
Unfortunately at gShift, we don’t have an endless reserve of cash to create this satisfaction and motivation, but we do have what everyone else has and many choose to ignore, the ability to pay attention to individuals, understand what satisfies them, and create the culture to drive motivation thought that awareness. At the end of the day it is the PEOPLE that make the company GROW.