Guest post by Barron Rosborough from SnackNation
If I had a nickel for every time I heard an anecdote about someone’s father or uncle or non-descript father figure slaving away at their desk, coal mine, or smelting factory job for decades to support their family because “that’s just what you did back then”, I’d be retired by now. All of these stories have one thing in common, everyone’s miserable, especially me.
Not to take anything away from the years of hard work and mental fortitude of our predecessors, but that ideology is as dated as the rotary telephone (even though the sensation of a recoiling rotary still brings me nostalgic satisfaction).
Often when we’re listening to these stories, we ask ourselves or the people telling them, “Why didn’t you just quit?” Even though it’s our first instinct, it’s not the right question. What we should be asking is “Why didn’t the company change?” Why were they content with the mental and emotional strain that toiling away for years exacted on the people that were responsible for their success?
These types of companies are a breeding ground for an “us and them” mentality where employees dissociate themselves from the company to varying degrees the further up you go in the food chain.
Those who experience more efficacy, like executives, are more likely to see themselves as part of the whole, saying things like “my company” and “we” and evangelize the brand. While those who are unclear about their agency are more likely to distance themselves from the company, using pronouns like “them” and “they” and are less likely to promote the brand outside of work.
The idea of employees as expendable two-dimensional mechanisms that can be used up and replaced doesn’t work. It’s this sort of attitude that creates high turnover rates in a company today, a symptom of poor engagement.
Employees want more. The movement toward work-life balance has made it clear that people want their employers to play a more substantive role in their overall well-being – mind, body, and social. If your company doesn’t get on board, people are more likely than ever to search for opportunities elsewhere.
Nowadays, the market for top talent is too competitive to let your best people burn out. And if you do adopt this approach for your employees – especially those pesky Millennials – will likely jump ship (in a marina full of yachts).
Ostensibly, it makes sense to get the most out of your top talent by ensuring their health and well-being, but don’t just take my word for it:
- It’ll Cost You
The average cost of replacing an employee is around 21% of their salary, according to a study by Center for American Progress! This is likely the clearest business case I can present for favoring the longevity of your employees.
If you’re under the impression that your employees are loyal, then you should consider that in a 2013 Gallup study, they found that 70% of employees weren’t engaged and emotionally disconnected from work, costing US businesses between $450-550 billion a year.
- Performance Will Suffer
Employees who experience happiness in the workplace are 12% more productive, including sales departments that experience 37% higher sales than their counterparts that aren’t engaged.
- It’s Not Hard
If there was something you could’ve done to keep your top performers from leaving, would you? What if I told you it was as easy as recognizing your people for their accomplishment regularly, or showing them how their work impacts the company by giving them end-to-end visibility, or just facilitate the conditions for them to create friendships?
And what if I told you that it isn’t too late?
Barron Rosborough is a seasoned digital marketer and writer from Los Angeles, CA. He writes on topics ranging from wellness to leadership (and everything in between). He is currently the Digital Marketing Coordinator at SnackNation, a curated healthy snack subscription service for offices and homes.