A group of employees arrive at a local beach and meet up with a large number of community members and colleagues. For an entire day, the 40-50 people sweep a 4-mile stretch of beach and clean up the entire area. Their office is located in Southern California and they spend their entire Friday returning a beautiful local destination to its natural state of perfection. The annual program was originally organized by the employees of a specific company and it has grown and attracted more volunteers every year.
These people are passionate about travel and this passion extends to all parts of their life, even when they aren’t technically in the office. They have certainly found the right company to use as a vehicle for their deepest interests. Over the past decade, many of these same men and women have built homes in post-Katrina New Orleans and participated in Habitat for Humanity projects building homes in Chicago. However, despite the connection between their profession and the ways they spend their free time, their company understands that a certain level of separation is necessary.
Working at the online travel company which ranks second in employee satisfaction means that their employer understands the desire to travel, and also understands the free time and flexibility necessary for that sort of exploration. They allow their employees to blend their passion with their profession in whatever ways they want, making them better at their jobs and happier in their life. Orbitz is one of the premiere online travel sites, which helps hundreds of thousands of people travel every year. It may not be a billion dollar company, but it’s getting close with a yearly revenue total of nearly $ 800 million.
This is the transitional time in which many companies begin to change some of their policies, stop behaving like a start-up company and begin slowing down. Their internal structure tends to become more hierarchical and much of the innovative potential that defined the first few years of business begins to disappear, now that they have loyal customers, a reputation to uphold, and a return to provide for investors. Employees are expected to consistently deliver the same high level of performance, but they often lose the excitement of creativity and motivation that made the company successful in the first place.
Companies like Orbitz are rare, because instead of caving into the stigma of big sluggish, billion-dollar companies, the travel site has embraced an alternative infrastructure and has reinvented the way that a company should treat employees. Instead of demanding more time and dedication through hours at the office and forced brainstorming around board room tables, they give their employees the freedom to really connect with the meaning behind job and mix the spheres of their professional and personal lives in a balanced way. If you can find a way to maximize your employees’ passion for their job while they aren’t even at work, you will have a fiercely loyal and wildly appreciative workforce.
First, you should seek out people that genuinely care about or are invested in your industry. Obviously, travel appeals to a massive range of people, but that list shrinks when you urge them to make it a full-time career. It takes a special kind of person to do any job, regardless of industry, in a truly spectacular fashion. The chances of finding an entire staff or workforce that care about what they are doing are greatly increased when you specifically look for that quality when you’re hiring. Just because someone is a business professional doesn’t mean that they can waltz into any company and know their way around. In short, the first step towards building a happy company in which life and work are balanced is hiring people who have a special interest or particular connection to the tasks they perform.