Creating meaning as a manager means you will have a huge impact on retention, a critical factor should a shortage of talented labor arise in the coming years, as many pundits believe will happen. A BlessingWhite study indicated among those employees coded as “engaged”, 81 percent intended to stay at their jobs for at least the next twelve months, in stark contrast to the disengaged, of which only 23 percent intended to stay. This same study astutely noted that “the engaged stay for what they can give, the disengaged for what they can get.” 1
Any company interested in upping retention would want to be considered a top workplace to work; reputation helps drive retention. Doug Claffey, CEO of Workplace Dynamics, which surveys more than 5,000 companies a year, says that employees in Top Rated Workplaces, regardless of the industry or profession, most importantly can answer yes to the question “Do we feel our work is meaningful?” 2 Providing meaningful work will also be of paramount importance to attracting and retaining millenials, who will make up half the workforce in the coming years. It is well known that millenials are simply not as concerned with money and benefits as their parents were, and are much more concerned about whether or not they have found truly meaningful work. Competitive advantage can’t be maintained if you can’t hire and retain the bodies to maintain it.
So unlock the glue that makes the work, and the workplace, stick. If the “labor wars” on the horizon do indeed materialize, you’ll be glad you did. Your efforts will have really mattered.
1 Employee Engagement Research Update (January 2013), BlessingWhite.
2 Claffey, D., What Matters Most (June 16, 2013), The Enquirer, p. s10.