One Way to Avoid High Turnover


First, a few stats:

  • 53% of Americans—and 72% of graduating university students—say having a job where they can make an impact is essential to their happiness. (2012 Net Impact study)
  • 75% of Americans are looking for ways to live a more meaningful life. (Barna Group, 20 and Something)
  • 63% of churched adults say in the past three years they have not received any teachings or information that helped shape or challenge their views on “work and career.” (Barna Group, 20 and Something)

There was perhaps a time in the not-too-distant past when work was a 9-to-5 thing. Products of a mechanized era, we were expected to plug ourselves into the machine in the morning and unplug in the evening. Work was one thing. Life was another.

That time is no longer.

We can point to our smart phones, our integrated project management systems, our ever-increasing email count. There is plenty to blame in our culture. But there is something else as well—something in us— that’s driving us to work harder and longer and with more fervor.

Work That Matters

We want our work to matter. We believe it could matter.

This is particularly true among younger workers. Twentysomethings rank having a job they’re passionate about (42%) as more important than having one that offers financial security (34%) or funds their personal life (24%). Graduating university students say they would go so far as to take a 15% pay cut for a job that makes a social or environment impact (45%) or to work for an organization with similar values to their own (58%).

And if they don’t find it? They’ll leave. Nine in 10 Millennials only expect to stay in a job about three years.

This is the landscape of today’s workplace. These are the people filling the cubicles at your office. Perhaps this is you.

In such an environment, there are no cogs in machines. There are no “replaceable” employees meant only to fill a job description. You can treat them that way. But you’ll pay in high turnover.

The Bottom Line

Finding out and encouraging the personal dreams of your coworkers and employees is not just “a nice idea” any more—it’s essential. And it’s not just for companies that are doing social good or that have a missional purpose. No matter the industry or the task, workers today want to be personally connected to and invested in the work. They want to know its social and environmental impact. They want to be part of creating a better work culture.

People are hungry to find meaning in work. They are seeking ways to connect faith and work. So ask questions of those you work with. Find out their talents and passions and then figure out how to connect that to the work they’re doing or to the culture you’re creating. Talk together about the goals for each project. Emphasize the long-term results and impact. Return to the mission on a regular basis and make a point to connect each employee personally to that mission.

Some will complain about an entitled generation. Others will choose to see the possibility of impassioned employees dedicated to and mobilized around work they believe in.

This article was originally published at The High Calling. Reposted with permission.

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