Having What Matters

Why You Hate Work

CleanDeskI just ran across this article this afternoon, and I thought it was very interesting:

Why You Hate Work by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath published in the New York Times.

The article describes how workers are happiest when four core values are met:

Put simply, the way people feel at work profoundly influences how they perform. What our study revealed is just how much impact companies can have when they meet each of the four core needs of their employees.

Renewal: Employees who take a break every 90 minutes report a 30 percent higher level of focus than those who take no breaks or just one during the day. They also report a nearly 50 percent greater capacity to think creatively and a 46 percent higher level of health and well-being. The more hours people work beyond 40 — and the more continuously they work — the worse they feel, and the less engaged they become. By contrast, feeling encouraged by one’s supervisor to take breaks increases by nearly 100 percent people’s likelihood to stay with any given company, and also doubles their sense of health and well-being.

Value: Feeling cared for by one’s supervisor has a more significant impact on people’s sense of trust and safety than any other behavior by a leader. Employees who say they have more supportive supervisors are 1.3 times as likely to stay with the organization and are 67 percent more engaged.

Focus: Only 20 percent of respondents said they were able to focus on one task at a time at work, but those who could were 50 percent more engaged. Similarly, only one-third of respondents said they were able to effectively prioritize their tasks, but those who did were 1.6 times better able to focus on one thing at a time.

Purpose: Employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations — the highest single impact of any variable in our survey. These employees also reported 1.7 times higher job satisfaction and they were 1.4 times more engaged at work.

What do you think?

Do you have time for renewal at work?

Do you feel valued by your supervisor?

Are you able to focus on one task at a time?

Do you feel like your work has meaning and significance?

These questions matter to both employers and employees.

If you are an employer concerned about attracting and retaining your top people, consider whether your organization is giving your people what they really need in these four areas.

And if you are working in an organization and not experiencing these four important values, what can you change? How can you increase your levels of renewal, focus, meaning, and feeling valued so that you can experience more “love” in your work?

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