Paul Batz of Good Leadership Enterprises

100 Best Celebration Reflection

Business celebrations spread goodness.

On June 28, I was the Master of Ceremonies and part of the team that hosted Minnesota Business magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For celebration. Instead of a snoozy dinner, the event felt more like senior week before college graduation. It was a party! 

Business awards in general create a divide: there are skeptics who think awards they are trivial, the application process is a waste of valuable staff time and the winners are predetermined. The other half realize the power of celebration in creating a culture of goodness that pays. Employee pride and engagement pays in quality, customer loyalty, speed to market, generosity and most of all financial performance. Every company in the room last night was a company worth investing in. That’s big news.

As I congratulated 20+ winners and shook literally hundreds of hands, I felt the difference between the average places to work and the great places to work. The winners have created an environment where employees and owners believe they can thrive together. In other words: the employees don't feel the owners will profit at their expense. That’s goodness, and when it comes alive, it deserves to be celebrated.

Celebrations drive out the darkness

In the exact moment Matt Kusilek (publisher of Minnesota Business) and I went to our microphone check, we were interrupted by a CNN report of another shooting in Maryland. The dark noise just keeps coming. As global citizens and business leaders, we feel obligated to stay in touch with what’s going on in our world. And yet, the dark noise of murders, crime, natural disasters and general shenanigans by celebrities makes us either numb, or depressed.

On June 28, we saw the power of how a healthy workplace culture can drive out the darkness. When people have best friends at work, a sense of purpose in their job, and a connection to the mission of the owners, the workplace can be healing. I saw evidence that good work heals people. That’s goodness. And that’s worth celebrating.

So, if you are wondering if it’s worth the effort to apply for a 100 Best Companies to Work For award next year…consider the idea that your employees might want to celebrate how much they love their jobs. And how much they love to celebrate.