This week marks the 12th anniversary of my entertainment marketing and interactive advertising agency, Situation Interactive. I founded the company, which has offices in New York City and Los Angeles, based on my personal passion and curiosity for the intersection of technology and live experiences: the sporting event that makes us cheer, the Broadway show that makes us sing, or the vacation that leaves you in awe. As a consumer, I believe having such experiences--and sharing them with others--makes me a better, happier person. Therefore, as a business owner that helps market these experiences, I believe wholeheartedly in what I do every day.

My company has been fortunate enough to be named a best place to work by Crain's New York Business three years in a row. We work hard to provide great perks, including free tickets to cultural and sporting events, free breakfast, and an outdoor roof deck. But what I'd like to believe makes it a truly great place to work is the fact that each of my 60 employees shares my belief in the value of the live experience and my passion for what we do. Over the years, I've identified four key traits common to happy employees. Now, I keep them in mind when I'm recruiting new hires to ensure they'll be a good fit.

They believe in the greater purpose of our company.

There's nothing more powerful in a career than realizing what you do has a greater purpose beyond financial gain-;for me, it’s the fact that I believe my company makes the world a better place. Whether it’s the company’s greater purpose or the impact of each person's work day-to-day, all that matters is that our employees believe in it."¨ 

They have a personal passion for their role at the company.

For me, it's not a question of whether an employee will dread going to work each day, but if they will love going to work each day. Without a personal passion for their job, employees will have a hard time growing within the company. "¨ "¨

Their values align with company values.

Every company has a core set of values expressed either through words or action. While it wasn't until this past year that we (literally) published on our walls our founding principle that "We believe the world is a better place when people are doing rather than having," this spirit has been central to what makes us tick since the very beginning. We continually reinforce this core principle by taking part in rewarding experiences together as a team.

"¨Their family members (or other loved ones) are proud of what they do.

People want to be proud of what they do. One of the best ways to illustrate that is to have the acknowledgment and respect of those that love them the most. Happy employees are excited to share their work life with loved ones. They speak proudly of what they do to their mother, son, daughter, and friends. If their loved ones are proud of them, it's icing on the cake.