Happy Workers are Profitable Organizations’ #1 Secret & the Relationship-Cube™ Model Provides 4-Simple Yet Critical Elements to Sustained Success!


Global talent acquisition and management firm Korn Ferry has recently revealed what many of us in the talent development and leadership space have known for quite a while. “Happy” members of your organization are your greatest asset, while “nomads” (job-hoppers who frequently move within the company or between companies) do more harm than good to employers.

Nomads are the # 1 counterproductive disrupter in the workplace today, and their toxicity kills the relationships necessary for success!

In his TedTalk™ “The Way We Work,” Michael C. Bush stated, “Happy workplace environments and thus genuinely happy employees equal greater levels of sustained success, productivity, and profitability.” I’ve been saying this to clients and readers for nearly three decades!

Devising the right conditions, and attracting and retaining the talent necessary to create this reality, is a byproduct of an endless equation of variables (KPIs). This including (but not limited to) how your people engage with one another in the workplace and the TALENTification®  – how you develop and create the layers of accountability among people in an organization. A positive work culture that has employees excited to come to work every day depends mainly on the people you hire and how you develop their talent.

Of the 3 billion people working in the world, only 30-40% of them are happy in what they do. That’s a frightening statistic, but we can learn from other’s mistakes. We can then look at the organizations that employ those happy people and learn that:

  1. These organizations are three times more profitable than others
  2. These organizations outperform the stock market or comparative businesses by a factor of three
  3. These organizations have greater employee retention, and their turnover is 50% lower than other businesses

What causes happy employees? It’s probably not what you’d think: 

  1. It’s not about extra pay
  2. It’s not about extra benefits
  3. It’s not about safe space rooms
  4. It’s not about freebies

You don’t make employees happy and fulfilled with perks or bonuses, but by treating them well. Workplace satisfaction is about how leaders engage and treat the people within the organization, and how individuals engage and treat one another.

So, how do you really create business units and organizations that foster, create and support happy people in the workplace? How do you develop interactions that feed your happiness and that of those close to you?

The Relationship Cube™ Model 

As a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) working with many clients over the years, and speaking with fellow CMC’s globally, I have recognized four pathways to happy, engaged, appreciative employees (entry-level to the boardroom). This is called the Relationship Cube Model.

To best understand this model, equate it to a banking account. With each person you engage, there is a relationship account between you and them (“you” can be your organization, culture, brand promise, or individual perspective). There are four sides to this account (Trust, Motivation, Communication, Assertiveness), and you can only make deposits into the relationship from one of these four areas. Likewise, we make withdrawals from these accounts from four sides as well. There are endless degrees of ways you can do this.

You must understand each person on their terms. What does each side mean to them? How would they like deposits made into it? You’ll learn how often you should make deposits and recognize which deposits may actually be counterproductive and rejected. You must always make more deposits into the Relationship Cube™ that you withdraw!

Below, you’ll find a list of universal deposits. How you demonstrate them with others will help you understand what influences your happiness and that of others. In turn, they should understand what deposits strengthen the Relationship Cube™ between them and you.

TRUST Account Deposits 

  • Honesty
  • Do what you say
  • Standby others
  • Empower others
  • Know what others value and garner that
  • Keep confidences
  • Don’t mislead or lie
  • Be willing to make the tough calls others shy away from
  • Avail oneself to others freely and without expectation of a deposit in return
  • and, more …

ASSERTIVENESS Account Deposits 

  • Invite and listen to their opinions and views
  • Empower others
  • Support others
  • Delegate growth tasks and opportunities
  • Get out of others’ way
  • Help others attain their goals
  • Reward appropriately and freely
  • Defend them/others
  • Compensate appropriately
  • and, more …

MOTIVATION Account Deposits 

  • Genuine, sincere Thank Yous
  • Acknowledge successes immediately and personally
  • Acknowledge successes immediately and publicly
  • Provide meaningful and appropriate awards
  • Provide meaningful and appropriate rewards
  • Cash, bonuses, pay raises
  • Promote without reservation when earned
  • Celebrate as others like to celebrate
  • Delegate more
  • and, more …

COMMUNICATION Account Deposits 

  • Listen
  • Ask engaging and non-threatening questions
  • Make time for engagement
  • Communicate to them as they prefer to communicate
  • Show sincere interest
  • Don’t violate things which others value or are offended by
  • Be supportive in communication exchanges
  • Demonstrate you are willing to take action to exchange with others
  • Be conscious of your tone of voice and messaging with others to be respectful
  • and, more …

Understanding which deposits each individual values helps you construct a wealthy and healthy relationship and creates happiness within individuals. You will also understand the currency and the currency exchange rate for deposits versus withdraws with each person.

Beware of the nomad as they are time suckers, emotion suckers, integrity suckers, and always have an overdrawn relationship account with those around them. They always withdraw from others’ accounts and never make meaningful deposits. They are artists at the deception game and leave everyone around them miserable and burned out.

When employees are happy, they can deal with challenges more effectively, see the best in others, find satisfaction in their work, and strive to do the best job possible. When employees are happy, everybody wins!

Written by Dr. Jeffrey Magee.

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