Today I’m just coming off an incredible weekend with my family. The best part is that what we did was nothing out of the ordinary: a little yard work, some Easter festivities but above all, lots of time spent together. All the happiness in the air drove me to reflect on the significance of our first place win at the Great Place To Work awards last week in Toronto.
When I consider the amount of great companies in Canada and when I look around at the other winners, I feel happy just to be in the room. But winning number one has a much bigger meaning for me personally and for the company.
For one thing, the Great Place to Work award is a good way for me to measure whether I’m delivering on the promise I made to myself and that I make to each new team member at 360. When I started the company, it was just me working alone in a room with a whiteboard but I knew I wanted to build a company that would be considered an unbelievable place to work by anybody we employed. At the time, there wasn’t much in the way of documentation to support my hunch, but I knew that if the team was happy, they would make our clients happy.
A few years later, I’m able to quantify that our efforts toward making 360 a happy place to work have saved us three million dollars in churn. Even after all this time, we have still never had a client implement with us and then leave the company. When you measure that against the accepted annual average churn rate of fifteen percent for SaaS companies, happiness doesn’t just feel good: it pays real dividends.
For me though, it’s incomplete to only look at the financial returns of workplace happiness. It’s incomplete because measuring the health of a company on its financials alone is incomplete. I was thinking a lot this weekend about how much making other people happy figures into our own happiness – making other people happy feels amazing. It is impossible to have any discussion about 360’s road to this award without talking about my great friend, Todd Skinner.
Todd was 360’s Chief Of Staff and he was the one who started to organize us around culture and set the goals of being the best place to work in Canada and then in the world. Todd was a guy who dedicated his life to building up others and supporting them in their most outrageous endeavours, like starting this company. I had never known anyone before Todd who was so aware of what made themselves tick. Todd could articulate his mission to you in a snap: “To inspire other people to lead bigger lives than they ever thought possible.” It was Todd’s dream to win this award, so to me it was one of the great pleasures of my life to see that dream become reality last week.
Winning the greatest workplace in Canada award is a great business and personal metric for me because it means that I’m tracking positively against my own goals. Having an amazing weekend with my family immediately after honouring my friend Todd’s major goal is something so much more – it lets me know I’m living with purpose. That means a lot.
Jason Atkins is the Founder/CEO of 360Incentives.com and plays himself in our corporate video. Connect with Jason on Twitter @jayatkins or Google +.