5 Ways Aumni Promotes Happiness in the Workplace

Oct 14

Aumni

Nicole Davis

At Aumni we don’t do anything half-way, including promoting happiness in the workplace. Our core values drive our culture and initiatives, and adhering to these values helps us lead happier, more fulfilling lives at work. 

What are our core values? The first is: put on your air mask—this one is a reference to the aircraft safety rule that, in case of emergency, guides the passenger to put on their oxygen mask first before assisting others. We believe that if you take good care of yourself, then you’ll be able to take good care of Aumni. The next one is big team, little me. Then, act with integrity and no mediocrity. And the last one is to be a force multiplier. All of the team members who inspired and created these values are still at Aumni, driving the culture forward. 

Having this solid set of values allows our team to know where we all stand and where we’re headed. There are no surprises here, except the occasional giant tower of boxes (more on that later). Stability and knowing what to expect lowers stress and increases happiness. Beyond that, Aumni has made it a priority to foster happiness in our workplace. From team building events to employee recognition to simply allowing people to be themselves, we choose to create opportunities for our team to experience happiness together. And it’s working. 

Here are five of the ways that Aumni promotes happiness within our team:

Self-Care Advocacy with the Aumni Air Mask Fund

We believe that taking care of yourself allows you to act with integrity, be a force multiplier, and perform at a high level. That’s why we started the Aumni Air Mask Fund—a program we’ve dedicated to directly support our shared value of “Put on your air mask.” 

Here’s how it works: Every year on the anniversary of Aumni’s founding, we gift money, invested by Aumni’s management team, to Aumnians. We encourage employees to spend that money on their “air mask” (on themselves).  Then, we ask each employee to share how they spent those funds— gym equipment, rock climbing lessons, cooking class, a solo vacation, a family trip, a playset for their kids, and so on. We’ve found this to be an authentic way for the company to actively support our workplace philosophy and create an authentic engaging conversation between our team members. 

Employee Sentiment Check-ins at Leadership Meetings

Employee sentiment gauges how our team members are feeling and why they feel that way. It can uncover the strengths and weaknesses within our organization and detect positive and negative feelings towards initiatives and changes. Essentially, it helps us get a real-time handle on our people, performance, and culture, which is why we make a point in each management and leadership team meeting to discuss employee sentiment—and ways to keep it at a high.

Acknowledgment of Great Work

When our team feels a sense of purpose and progress at work they perform better and are happier, too. That’s why we’ve invested in Bonusly, an employee appreciation tool that allows our team members to celebrate each other, acknowledging wins big and small in real-time. With Bonusly, anyone in the organization can publicly recognize anyone else by giving small bonuses that add up to meaningful rewards. Taking the time to be grateful for our colleagues pays huge dividends on our team’s happiness (and company bottom line) and it also encourages our team to stay connected! Research shows that recognition boosts employee engagement, which then increases productivity, progress, and purpose! Positive feedback and instant gratification never get old.

Company-sponsored Events Outside of Work

Spending time with peers outside of the office builds stronger bonds and makes us happy, that’s why we hold monthly events for our Salt Lake City team members. The goal is to create memorable bonding experiences and for us to simply get to know one another—while also being safe and respectful of our staff during the pandemic. For example, we’ve had company-sponsored ski tuning lessons, accompanied by beer and pizza at our CEO’s house; an outing to the Salt Lake Bees MLB game, complete with ballpark foods and whatever is on tap; and our first-annual Aumni All-Star Kickball International League Championship Game (we’re trying to make this a thing) fueled by orange slices (the snack of champions). You’re probably sensing a pattern of ‘outdoor activity’ + ‘food and drinks’—and you’re right. We’re a group of people that love the outdoors and trying new things. We want to create opportunities for our team to experience happiness together in a way that works for us. 

Fostering Individuality

When our team walks through the door, it’s imperative they feel comfortable being themselves. From the clothes they wear to how they express themselves, to their passions and hobbies, embracing and supporting individuality is key to creating a happy workplace. Here’s a recent example: We just did a big office move and our engineers, being engineers, said: "Hey, is it cool to try to make a giant tower of stacked boxes?” The response from our operations management: "Yeah, I don't know why we were not doing that earlier." The point here is our team is made up of creative, unique, bright minds, and we try to create an environment where they can flourish and thrive without judgement. 

We’re always looking for new ways to promote happiness in the workplace, if you have a suggestion, let us know! If you’re interested in joining our team, check out our career opportunities here

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