The current generation making the majority of the workforce wants to do more than clock in and clock out. Putting in the time is important to Millennials, but so is fulfillment. Professional and personal lives are blending together more than ever before. These blurred lines are causing today's workers to look at what they are doing and how it is shaping them more than previous generations.
How to create a better work-life balance and office atmosphere is a conversation everyone is having, and it's working to get employees to stick around. The hard thing about this is that it further intertwines work and personal lives where they used to be more compartmentalized. The number of people looking to switch companies is trending downward worldwide, and this trend is seen more in the United States than anywhere else. Now, for employers, the issue is getting employees who are staying put in their current roles to give their best every day rather than accepting work as a box to check off and a guaranteed paycheck. Loyalty is great, but the problem is how it may lead to complacency and a stagnant attitude. Employees who can see themselves in the same position for a long time create less turnover. However, it becomes dangerous when they see themselves doing the same thing forever without moving up or being challenged.
This trend is known as “quitting in seat” and is almost as dangerous to companies as losing a contributing employee to another group. The focus is changing from keeping employees from actually quitting to focusing on preventing them from mentally checking out. This is important for personal and company-wide productivity. For companies to stay competitive and give employees reason to do more than go through the motions, they have to provide an incentive in the form of future career opportunities. Making new positions within the company may be impossible, but creating new ways to advance and develop is not. Most importantly, employees may just want the chance to continue to learn and grow. This means mental stimulation via personal growth and professional education. Employers then have the challenge of creating professional avenues where there used to be roadblocks.
Pop culture has a general perception that work is changing to be about fun. In some ways, this is true. Employees are looking for more satisfaction from their work, and if they aren't getting that at the office, they will leave or “quit in seat.” Companies face the challenge of creating new opportunities to move within the organization. Work can stay fresh by making it possible to move across departments, giving employees opportunities to continue their education without leaving. Not only will employees feel valued and invested in, but they will also explore the personal benefits of continual growth both mentally and professionally.
Employees want a challenge to feel engaged, but they may not always desire the challenges in the ways upper management expects. Watching shows like Undercover Boss shows how good intentions may lose their purpose during implementation. It is going to take management checking in and experiencing change as employees do, as well as employees having a platform to share their thoughts and experiences.
Expectations need to be stated across the board. Employees do not need to be coddled into giving effort, but they are going to want challenging, yet fair, expectations. The easiest way to break down an organization is to create frustration, implement disjointed ideas of what is going on in different levels, and never revisiting changes. If managers make a company feel like a bunch of individuals, and they will act as individuals. Make them feel stuck, and they will perform like someone who is stuck.
Opportunity is the main thing people need to stay productive and fulfilled. Make sure you are creating it personally and within your organization, study life, and home life.