How Do You Measure Success at Work?

Jan 03, 2019 Beth Monaghan

What makes InkHouse special? I am often asked to answer this question when people come interview with me. I always say that my answer will be biased because InkHouse is like one of my children. I tell them they should ask the people who work here. Because specialness begins and ends with shared values.

At InkHouse, we’ve established 10 company values which are the foundation for how we work. They will drive where we go in 2019, when we’re focused on the theme of connections--between our clients and their audiences, our teams and their clients and even among ourselves.

So I begin this new blog series, “Connected Culture,” where I go to the source--our employees--by asking them one question: “How do you measure success?” It felt like a good way to start of the New Year and all of its resolutions for progress. I was surprised that not one of the answers included the typical markers like “receiving a raise” or “being promoted.” Of course, these matter, but instead, the answers were focused on making an impact, shared successes and, overwhelmingly, an emphasis on the importance of connection.    

Below, I share a few of the responses.

Question: How do you measure success?

“Life often presents itself as a never-ending to-do list, but it doesn't have to be that way. I've recently given up on writing "to do" lists and instead have moved on to writing "did" lists, focusing on the tasks I completed. Of course, I still keep a dozen Post-it note reminders lying around, but shifting to acknowledge all the things I did do, instead of what I didn't, has led me to be more grateful and proud of what I achieved. That, to me, is a success.” -- Louis, Senior Account Executive, San Francisco

“If I was so busy I barely had the time to sit down and my teammates are happy, thriving and doing great work!” -- Anne, Vice President, San Francisco

“For me, success is when my clients tell me that we've made a difference. Even better is if my team has enjoyed the work that went into creating that difference for the client. I find when the team is passionate about the work they're doing, and satisfied with their work/life balance and their role in the office, the work is better and clients are happier. With all that, we're making a serious difference to our clients. That to me is success.” -- Jill, Account Director, San Francisco

“I measure a successful day or week at InkHouse when I am able to do something meaningful for my clients or my teammates. Whether it's landing a killer piece of media coverage that showcases my client and helps drive their business goals; helping a teammate tackle a project or task they are struggling with and, in doing so, seeing something 'click' for them or being able to teach them something new. It probably sounds really corny but I feel good about what I do at InkHouse if I'm able to bring together different people on my teams and make them closer. I know that if we are stronger as a unit, we will do better work for our clients — AND we can have more fun.” -- Hannah, Senior Account Executive, New York City

“At the start of each week I create weekly and daily client "to dos," and I write down the top three goals I want to accomplish for each client. If it's a broader team initiative I will bring it up during our internal meetings. On Fridays, I look back at these goals and applaud the team for meeting (or exceeding!) them. On Friday I also measure success by checking in and listening to my team members to make sure everyone feels supported with their workload, and can titrate accordingly the next week. -- Shayna, Account Manager, Boston

“It varies from day to day and week to week, but if A. I'm able to make my clients and coworkers smile, and B. my work enriches their lives by making things easier for them or providing them with the tools they need to be successful, I feel pretty accomplished.” -- Christine, Digital Account Director, San Francisco

“A few different ways: If I've tried a new strategy to help my client meet a goal; If I've learned something new about my client, their industry, or my own role or industry; If I’ve had some kind of meaningful connection with a co-worker.” -- Emma-Jean, Senior Account Executive, Boston

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Topics: Employees, hiring, 2019, Connections, Success
Beth Monaghan

Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”

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