So, your recruitment strategy is great, you hired some of the best professionals in the business, and you have managed to lead them to work hard, drive results, and sacrifice for the success of the company.
So why did some of your best employees just walk out the door?
A recent study by the Harvard Business Review and The Energy Project polled more than 12,000 white collar employees and found that “feeling a sense of purpose at work” is the single biggest driver of employee satisfaction, engagement and tenure.
Employees who feel a sense of purpose are:
- 3 times more likely to stay in their jobs
- 1.7 times higher to feel job satisfaction
- 1.4 times more engaged at work
An Insights Study from April 2014 showed out of 160,000 employees across broad sections of the U.S. workforce, feeling a sense of purpose at work ranked as the No. 2 factor driving employee engagement. What is the biggest influencer of engagement?
(Hint, it also is connected to heart disease, sleep, exercise, depression, job performance, successful relationships, and more…)
The most important factor is an employee’s ability to manage stress!
These findings suggest that companies looking to boost employee engagement must address stress. However, stress is not one-dimensional; it is connected to energy levels, concentration, emotional state, optimism, depression and overall happiness.
Employers can not expect to prevent burnout just focusing on stress management. They need to support the overall well being of their people. This includes a sense of purpose, a manageable workload, clear expectations and feedback, a positive sense of teamwork, and more.
Reinventing the Employee Experience
Focusing on stress management — while it’s not the only cause of burnout — can provide big payoffs. Here are just a few ways to incorporate stress management into your employee experience strategy:
- Empower employees to clearly communicate challenges they are facing through regularly scheduled meetings with managers.
- Create a monitoring program.
- Train managers to be aware of stress clues, not only in employees, but also in themselves.
- Offer programs that specifically address tips to reduce or manage stress.
- Include questions about stress and the interconnected issues of sleep, resilience, health, and job satisfaction in employee surveys. Track results over time, by department, location, etc.
- Find small ways to change your environment, such as onsite fitness programs, which can be as simple as offering pedometers and a little friendly competition.
Losing an employee can cost double their annual salary — even more for top performers and senior executives. So it is wise to take your employees emotional health seriously.
Consider assembling a task force to dig deep into root causes of stress within your organization. Develope programs that support your employees even after they walk out the door at the end of the day. And never underestimate the power of fresh air or a chance to be heard by a manager or mentor.
These just might be the secrets to keeping your top performers from burning out and with your company!