At Next Level Performance, we definitely practice what we preach. We’ve been named one of New Jersey’s Best Places to Work by NJ Biz for several years running, and we are honored to have been recognized for our workplace culture and our community service initiatives. We put a lot of thought and energy into being a place people want to come to work. That’s why I have colleagues who have been here nearly 30 years. And that’s why I love my job.

Here’s what we do to make this a great place to work:

Put Values First

We root everything we do in our CARES values (Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, Ethical Behavior, and Service). When the going gets tough, these are our guideposts. To drive the importance of these values home, we tie them to our recognition program and to our performance reviews. They are central to how we view our work both with clients and with internal projects.

Believe People Can Achieve MoreTM

The first part of our mission is, “We help people and organizations dig deeper, reach higher, and attain the next level of performance” and that starts at home. We are committed to helping our teammates reach their full potential. Whether that means inviting people to innovate or to grow to the next stage of their careers, our management team is listening for interests, and thinking about the opportunities we can provide for each person. We know that every member of our team has a lot to contribute. We want to remove the obstacles so that they can advance the business and move forward as individuals.

Recognize the Individual

No matter what else is going on, every member of our team has a complex life outside the office. Whether caring for young children or aging parents, attending graduate school at night, or just managing the day-to-day complexities of home, we are all subject to highs and lows in our own lives.  As a team, we at Next Level pull together. We celebrate and commiserate, always with the full support of the company.

Years ago, when I was a single parent, my 5-year old daughter was hospitalized with a potentially life-threatening illness. From every level of the organization, support poured in – offers of contacts with pediatric specialists, reassurances that it was OK to take the time I needed to care for her, a sweet gift of a Build-a-Bear rabbit that’s still in her room, a week’s worth of Whole Foods prepared meals dropped off by a colleague. I’ve been here nearly 13 years. If you ask me why I’ve stayed so long, this is the first thing that comes to mind, 10 years later.

Keep It Fun

There’s no doubt about it, we have busy times, when everyone is working full-tilt to deliver impeccable programs to our incentive, recognition, and engagement clients. Our Recognition & Engagement team is made up of a team of volunteers who keep things fun. From in-office pancake breakfasts to friendly competitions, they give us reasons to get up, get moving, and get to know our colleagues across department lines. It helps us to build a culture of people who appreciate each other’s efforts. And speaking of appreciation, our team is also on our ApplauditTM recognition platform, where the social stream has become the place to be each day, as our teammates call out good work for all to read.

So why does it matter that I love my job? Well… Knowing that I come to work – even in difficult times – to the support and camaraderie of my teammates makes it a positive place to be every day. And, intellectually, I have had an interesting and challenging 13 years, with new projects open to me on a regular basis, giving me something new to chase after.

And finally, I believe in our company values. It gives my work greater meaning to live up to these tenets, and it reminds us all to provide the best service and the most positive experience we can to our colleagues, clients, and program participants.

Our working lives are dedicated to making other workplaces great and to helping literally thousands of individuals stay inspired and reach higher. It’s a pretty good reason to get up in the morning.

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About the author

As Vice President of Engagement at Next Level Performance, Susan serves on the board of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and chairs the IRF Research Committee. She has also served on the board of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) and is a past president of the Recognition Council, and a past member of the Performance Improvement Council and the Incentive and Engagement Solution Providers (IESP). She is interested in the strategies and benefits of employee engagement, incentive, and recognition programs. An avid traveler, she is also passionate about the art and science of incentive travel. Favorite travel destinations: Costa Rica, Iceland, Switzerland, and Maine.

Susan Adams
Vice President of Engagement
sadams@nxlperformance.com