One Way to Avoid High Turnover

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone is the same God at work.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

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)

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)

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.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What is the mission of your company? Think of the talents and passions of your coworkers or employees; how do those connect to the mission of your company? How could you articulate that to them? How could you encourage the cultivation of their individual talents in service to the mission?

PRAYER: God, help me to see the very particular and individual people around me at work. Help me to identify their gifts and value them. Help me to see people more than tasks, to cherish those you’ve placed around me, and the dreams you’ve placed in them. Amen.


Helping Employees Fulfill Their Dreams

The TV show Undercover Boss gives employers a unique opportunity to spend a few days in their employees' shoes. CEOs and Presidents of large and successful companies go undercover and do the work of people who work on the front line every day. Through this experience, the employer often gets the chance to hear the dreams of their employees firsthand. Hearing the hopes and dreams those employees have for their families, their futures, and themselves often becomes the catalyst for the employer to help make those dreams come true.

Not every employer gets a chance to spend a day in an employee's shoes, but each employer/employee relationship is worthy of faithful and compassionate stewardship. Every interaction is an opportunity to lead from the soul. In this series, Helping Employees Fulfill Their Dreams, we'll explore what it means to lead from the soul in our relationships with our employees, even if we never make it on a television reality show.