Much to their dismay, I don't have an answer. There isn't one single factor that universally translates to any company's success. There's three. A "Triple Crown," you could say. They all tie into one another, and without one, it's nearly impossible for any business to succeed.
They're the Three P's: People, Purpose and Passion. No matter your industry, your size or your history, these three things are the foundation of every business's success.
Your business could have the world's best product and still fail. If your people aren't adequate, you won't stand a chance.
One of my most strongly held beliefs is that hiring well is the single most important part of any manager's job. It's important to do it well, and to train your team to do it well. And once you've hired the best people, you need to do everything in your power to make sure they're successful and happy.
Luckily, there are processes and ideas you can rely on to make sure you're getting it all right.
A common misconception about interview settings is that those on the hiring side wield all the power. Purge this thought from your mind! With unemployment at record lows, job-seekers hold more leverage than ever before - and it's up to you to put your best foot forward.
Sell candidates on your business and your values, and go a step further than the competition. It's easier than you think: Greet them at the door. Don't keep them waiting after their interview is supposed to begin. Give them a tour of your office and make sure they feel welcomed. These are small steps that could set you apart from the pack in a candidate's mind.
The work doesn't stop at hiring, though. Once you've brought in A-players, you'll need to implement processes to monitor their happiness. At my company, part of our templatized monthly check-in meetings between every employee and their manager requires answering this question: How happy are you at Arkadium? Another section prompts each employee to share any feedback - positive or constructive - that they have for management.
Since you're hiring A-players, it only makes sense to heed their advice. If you keep them happy, they'll keep performing at the top of their game.
When do people start to burn out at work? When they lose their sense of purpose. When they look back and say, "What did I even do this week?" When they're stagnant.
People crave progress. And nobody can progress if there isn't a clear goal or purpose. This applies to both individual people and businesses.
You may know it as your "why." However you refer to it, it's one of the most important pillars of your organization: Clearly communicating what your business is trying to accomplish, and exactly how each employee helps navigate the company in that direction.
At my company, we hold quarterly all-hands meetings, outlining our company objectives and setting a theme that matches the spirit of those goals. After our meeting, we encourage all our team leads to set department goals that align to the broader company ones - and employees create personal objectives that align to their department's.
If you clearly and consistently communicate your "why," you make it feasible for your employees to make tangible progress. Purpose enables progress, and progress at work equals happiness at work.
You have your people. You have your purpose. One more key ingredient, and you're set up for success.
The best leaders authentically inspire people. A little energy goes a long way. Remember: If you've done your work, your people will be aligned with your culture and brought into your purpose. They're on board. And with a little inspiration, they can all be the best versions of themselves every day.
Have you ever had a coach or teacher who you've really wanted to fight for? Chances are it wasn't an accident - that person probably made an intentional effort to inspire, with the right choice of words and a little extra energy. The next time you're preparing to share an important message, take the time to get in your zone. Stand up, walk around, play your pump-up playlist. That additional, intentional bit of energy could be what help your message resonate.
Winning teams don't make winning accidental. They consistently get better by demanding greatness in their colleagues and focusing on their purpose. Once you add impassioned action to the mix, you'll be unstoppable.