happy staffRetaining good staff can be a battle. People always seem to be on the lookout for something better. Of course you can offer them a truck load of benefits and bonuses to keep them there; however, there are somethings that you can’t buy that will keep them with you, happy and fully engaged in their work.

Every year, Gallup conducts a global survey on the wellbeing. They identify 5 elements of well-being; Purpose, Social, Financial, Community and Physical. Many workplaces put a lot of effort into providing Well-being programs, along the lines of health and teamwork, to try and keep their people. It doesn’t reach in far enough to encapsulate the essential requirements of the human spirit.

As a result around 75% of Australians are disengaged and disinterest in the work place. They will just do what they have to and that is all. With this disengagement, businesses struggle to grow. Employees “take a sickie” at any opportunity and are always on the lookout for something better. Very costly indeed.

Everyone needs to feel that their life matters. If they can’t find deep purpose in their work, they are not challenged or motivated. They will be looking for something else that will fulfil that deep longing in their soul to somehow make a difference in their world. The workplace is where people spend the majority of their time and energy. If they are not happy in this place, then everyone suffers, in every area of their lives.

This is the secret of keeping employees engaged and keeping them in their jobs. They need to know they are valued for what they do and that they are contributing to a greater purpose. When the business has a greater purpose, that they as an individual can believe in, that they can align their own sense of purpose with, they become more engaged with what they are doing. They are motivated and are more willing to participate in creative and innovative processes of the business.

As we learned from the Gallup research: Those with high well-being in Purpose tend to be highly engaged in their work. They are emotionally invested in what they do and focus on creating value through their efforts. At organisation level, workers engaged in their work have more energy to take on challenges, increase their productivity and positively affect those around them. They have fewer absences from work and are less likely to abuse leave time, file claims or abuse other workplace polices.

Of course, here we need to find the willingness of the business owners to allow their team to step up; to invite them to the table. When they start to feel that they are “permitted” to contribute, and that their ideas count, they begin to feel a “psychological ownership” in the business. They want to see the business succeed and start to work together to see new initiatives come into fruition. They are more willing to put in extra effort and time to make things happen. They begin to own the purpose of the business.

Being appreciated is another vital aspect of keeping people happy in the work place. Recently one lady told me, she had been at her job for 6 years before anyone actually thanked her for anything. Now how can you feel that you are contributing to a purposeful goal, if no-one takes the time to even say thank-you!

In the 21st century the way we keep our employees is no longer about waving a carrot in front of them. What we all value above all, that will keep us engaged, happy and at the job, is to feel we are living our purpose and that we are appreciated for what we contribute.

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Keeping Good People
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