Too often, businesses only focus on embracing a spirit of giving during the holidays. We’re always supportive of the traditional “Giving Season,” when people feel more encouraged to support nonprofits and volunteer in their communities. But at Zenzi, we believe it should be like that all year round, which is why one of our core values is “Live with Purpose.” Here are 3 ways we carry that philosophy through our business and find meaning in what we do every day.
#1 Do what you love.
We all know how crazy life can get sometimes, and doing what you love seems like a “nice to have” rather than a “must-have.” Making this a reality requires thinking about what you are really passionate about, and putting a plan in place to integrate key elements into your business.
At Zenzi, our clients span diverse industries and sizes, but the common thread is that we enjoy working with companies who are open to innovation and creativity, willing to take risks and do something different. We get excited about collaborating with trailblazers and thought leaders and helping them stay on the cutting edge. And because we love this type of work, it’s where we really shine.
Attracting ideal clients who possess those qualities requires a conscious effort to stand by our ideals and values. On the downside, it can mean making tough decisions and parting ways with clients or employees who are not the right fit and don’t share that spirit. Although this can be uncomfortable and scary, it opens up room for others who are more aligned, creating a win-win for everyone.
The biggest payoff in doing what you love is that it has a trickle down effect on your team. By focusing on leveraging each person’s unique talents, you empower them to make contributions that add value and be a part of something that has a larger purpose and vision. Doing what you love can be energizing to the entire organization.
#2 Give back.
You know that good feeling you get inside when you support those who are less fortunate or help out someone in need? New research shows that charitable work literally makes the heart grow stronger, adding years to your life. Tangible positive changes have been seen by volunteering 100 hours a year, or only 2 hours a week.
Living with purpose means doing what you can, whether it’s on a small scale such as recycling or carpooling, volunteering at a food bank, or on a larger scale like creating campaigns for clients such as Communities Take Root.
As many of the new social enterprises have discovered, giving back can be a differentiator that helps you stand out from the competition, recruit top talent and keep them engaged. Gen Y employees say that having volunteer opportunities available at work makes them more likely to choose an employer and more likely to stay there.
#3 Be positive.
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
At Zenzi, living with purpose means creating a culture where we embrace challenges with enthusiasm and make the most of whatever comes our way, good or bad.
Being a force for happiness in your business can actually impact the bottom line. Shawn Achor, author of Happiness Advantage, notes that happiness at work increases sales, productivity and accuracy. This is because positive energy promotes an environment where people can do their best work.
At Zenzi, we have found that being flexible with scheduling and giving people freedom to take a break helps them stay positive. If someone hits a roadblock and gets frustrated, instead of closing their door and stewing about the problem, we encourage them to go take a walk or hit the gym for a workout. Rather than feeling stuck, they will come back to the problem later refreshed and ready to look for solutions.
Practicing gratitude is another good way to foster positivity. It’s also contagious. Saying thank you to employees and recognizing their efforts encourages them to do the same with others. It facilitates teamwork when and gives people an extra incentive to go above and beyond to deliver successful results.
Living with purpose isn’t about having some grand manifesto. It’s about the little things. By pursuing work that makes you feel fulfilled, shifting the focus to helping others and keeping a positive attitude, you can create a culture that inspires you and others to achieve greater success and happiness.