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At beqom we provide a solution to make your people happy. We firmly believe that 3 of the key tenets in employee happiness are:

  1. Clear Direction – Understanding the corporate vision
  2. Alignment – Knowing your part
  3. Motivate – Understanding how you will be compensated

At a company meeting I overheard someone describing the JFK and the Janitor story to a colleague. I had never heard the story of JFK and the Janitor before, but immediately after reading the story for myself a couple of ideas clicked together. The idea of understanding the vision of the company linked in my head with Motivation 3.0 theory of purpose the desire of people to be part of something that is bigger than they are. Total Compensation, Motivation & Productivity are all tightly linked.

If you don’t know the story here it is:

President John F. Kennedy was visiting NASA headquarters for the first time, in 1961. While touring the facility, he introduced himself to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at NASA.

“I’m helping put a man on the moon!”

— The janitor

The janitor got it. He understood the vision, and his part in it, and he had purpose. While looking for the JFK and the Janitor story I found another similar story: “Perhaps you have heard the story of Christopher Wren, one of the greatest of English architects, who walked one day unrecognized among the men who were at work upon the building of St. Paul’s cathedral in London which he had designed. ”What are you doing?” he inquired of one of the workmen, and the man replied, “I am cutting a piece of stone.” As he went on he put the same question to another man, and the man replied, “I am earning five shillings twopence a day.” And to a third man he addressed the same inquiry and the man answered, “I am helping Sir Christopher Wren build a beautiful cathedral.” That man had vision. He could see beyond the cutting of the stone, beyond the earning of his daily wage, to the creation of a work of art—the building of a great cathedral. And in your life it is important for you to strive to attain a vision of the larger whole.” – (Louise Bush-Brown, http://www.bartleby.com/73/458.html)

I like this story as well. One by one it touches on all of beqom tenets of employee happiness – what’s your part, how will you be compensated, and what is the corporate vision. Two of the men only understand one of the three tenets but the 3rd workman that gets the whole picture. Both the JFK and the Janitor story and the story of Sir Christopher Wren are illustrative of our ideas around employee happiness and personally both stories brought a smile to my face. A quick injection of happiness! I hope you enjoy them as well.