Haworth College of Business News

Joy Martinez, MBA ’10 – How Job Satisfaction Relates to Company Culture

After completing an MBA and working as a marketing manager, Joy Martinez, MBA ’10, was living her dream but began to feel stagnant. To further develop her strengths and leadership skills, she enrolled in the Emerging Leaders Series through the Center for Community Leadership, a premier leadership resource offered by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. Her drive and passion attracted the attention of her current employer, LeanLogistics, and although she was not searching for a new job, she notes that making a move, “made sense and the timing was right.” She recognized a great opportunity and accepted a position as Marketing Programs Manager.

In this role, Martinez is responsible for supporting overall marketing strategy and maximizing sales by creating, executing, measuring and tracking individual marketing programs’ success, including webinars, email campaigns, tradeshows and other special events.

Martinez is thriving in her new position, largely because of the company’s culture, noting that company culture is a major contributing factor in job satisfaction. Learning from great examples of what to do (and just as importantly, what not to!), Martinez lays out her top four trends of successful companies on how to keep employees engaged, productive and happy in their work environments:

1.       Don’t micro-manage:

“From what I’ve seen and experienced throughout my career, micro-managing is the number one culture killer. Organizations that embrace employee autonomy and innovation are the ones that succeed. If management allows employees to be open and creative, submit their ideas, and take ownership of their work and decisions, the employees are more satisfied. Instead of telling employees what to do and how to do it, management and leadership should focus on coaching their employees and developing the employees’ strengths. This type of coaching will build confidence in the employee’s ability to execute his or her job, to make decisions and to continue to grow as a professional and a person.”

2.       Engage in open communication:

“Many business leaders lack proper communication – not only within the leadership team but also across the organization. This lack of communication can derail overall company strategy, create frustration and confusion, and decrease innovation. Leaders should excel in open communication to ensure the organization is working toward a common purpose or vision.”

3.        Make ethical decisions:

“Dr. Ali Metwalli inspired me to be an outstanding individual in my community, my career and my personal relationships. During the time I was getting my MBA, I was working for a company that made me question their decisions ethically and strategically. It was interesting to see issues from both sides of the table and realize that I would never work for a company like that again. Sometimes it is just as beneficial to learn from a company that has it wrong as it is from a company that has it right. I learned a company’s ethical standards are essential to business success. Many believe being ethical is a choice; Dr. Metwalli taught me that it is a way of life and business.”

4.       Encourage continuous improvement to drive success:

“Success happens by looking at what I’ve brought to my role, how I’ve elevated the position or the company and by continuing to learn from the company and those around me. If I stop learning, I stop growing. If I stop learning, I stop making an impact. Success is about changing lives and pushing myself to maximize my strengths. Through continuous learning and by maximizing my strengths, I am able to focus on what I do best which ultimately benefits the organization, drives success and contributes to an engaged company culture.”

What’s next for this go-getter? Martinez’s long-term goal is to launch her own business, drawing upon her passion for empowering students and young professionals to achieve success. She plans to foster strengths development, leadership and business skills. “All too often, we stay in jobs that drain our energy; we don’t follow our dreams because another path is easier, and we stay in relationships that stifle our growth. Instead of taking action, we sit on the sidelines. Believe that your life and your career can be full of passion, happiness and success!”

To learn more about Joy and her thoughts on personal strengths, career, business and leadership, follow her on Twitter at @joyvanoeffelen.