We all know the saying “a happy worker is a productive worker.”  Increasingly, many HR teams have made the happiness of employees an area of significant focus and investment — in fact,  there are currently more than 1,000 listings for chief happiness officers on LinkedIn.

Some companies — particularly those in Silicon Valley, have focused on perks including bean bags and ping-pong tables to unlimited vacations and catered lunches. However, these exterior perks often have little impact on employee satisfaction.

This is because there is a fundamental difference between the trappings of happiness and meaningful satisfaction. The keys to employee happiness aren’t standing desks and office toys; they are fostering a culture where your employees feel valued, rewarded and supported to succeed. The key learning here is that employee happiness shouldn’t be the end goal for HR pros; what you should be focused on is employee motivation.

Motivation is what actually leads to the desired business outcomes that so many companies assign to “happiness;” growth, higher retention of top talent, higher levels of performance AND building a leadership pipeline to meet tomorrow’s challenges. There are many ways to foster a “culture of motivation” within your organization, but one key is to ensure that managers are regularly engaging with their employees through authentic conversations about their success. By doing so, they can align the employee’s career goals and achievements with the to organization’s top priorities, ensuring the employee has a sense of purpose and that the business’ goals are being met.

To learn more, download our guide to The 5 Conversations to Best Motivate Employees.