Breaking Boundaries: Money Can't Buy Happiness

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Employee Engagement Strategies
Employee Engagement
While The Beatles may understand that money can't buy love, in many organizations, leaders cannot comprehend the fact that not all employees are motivated solely by the zeros at the end of their paycheck. For most workers, satisfaction and happiness comes from loving the work, not the payout. While monetary incentives are certainly welcome, those dollar signs are often secondary, as employees value quality of life above all else. And, as Robin Rotenberg of BASF, says, the happiest employees--those that are well equipped with the tools necessary for success--are often the brand's best advocates.

While The Beatles may understand that money can't buy love, in many organizations, leaders cannot comprehend the fact that not all employees are motivated solely by the zeros at the end of their paycheck. For most workers, satisfaction and happiness comes from loving the work, not the payout. While monetary incentives are certainly welcome, those dollar signs are often secondary, as employees value quality of life above all else. And, as Robin Rotenberg of BASF, says, the happiest employees--those that are well equipped with the tools necessary for success--are often the brand's best advocates.During Rotenberg's panel discussion at the Incite Marketing and Communications Summit last week, the chemical company's chief communications officer shared her experiences and advice on humanizing company culture. When Rotenberg came into her role with the German company, she established new guidelines for her team, allowing them to wear jeans on Fridays and prohibiting them from sending emails to one another after noon on Fridays. Because of the company's conservative nature, Rotenberg's bold moves created quite the buzz throughout the company, even sparking playful jealousy among those whose teams ran a tighter ship. Yet, while her newfound measures did not violate any of the company's rules, she learned numerous lessons on how to successfully introduce new perspectives and change company culture in ways that boost employee morale:

Don't break rules, break boundaries: With company rules in mind, Rotenberg was still able to push the boundaries and incorporate her ideals so as to create a more comfortable atmosphere for her team.

Respect the company's environment and underlying values: Rotenberg understood BASF's conservative German roots, and ensured that her adjusted approach did not violate the company's true nature.

Look past what they say; examine what they do: Though BASF's operations may have been stricter than was accustomed to, Rotenberg sought to embrace the similarities in order to reach common ground.

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EXPERT OPINION