According to a survey done by diamond retailer James Allen, Valentine’s Day is the most popular day of the year for couples to become engaged. While the original festival dates back to ancient Rome, the 1300s is when it became associated with love and romance. Sixty-two percent of US adults say they celebrate the holiday, spending over $448 million on candy and sending 150 million cards and gifts.
When was the last time you received a valentine from your workplace? Remember the time when you accepted a job and looked forward with anticipation about going to your new workplace – a workplace that held the promise of a lifetime of passionate work?
Engagements in the workplace
Have you ever been in love with your chosen profession? Really and truly in love? Confucius said “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. And, this brings us to the topic of engagement. This February 14th, many people will become engaged. But, not likely your employees. They are inching closer to divorce as the employee engagement metrics locally, nationally and globally are stuck at 33%.
Divorce in the workplace
An American Study, The State of the Union in 2011, reported that 50% of all marriages end up in divorce. Also, of those who stayed married, almost 40% indicated that they were not happy in their marriages. And the divorce rate, or turnover rate, in the workplace can be equally as bad. Here are some examples across a variety of industries:
- Restaurant and Accommodation industry turnover rate rose to 72% in 2016
- Retail turnover is 67% according to a Hay Group survey
- Healthcare is seeing a rising rate up to 2% in 2015
- In Q1 2017, Technology companies had a 18.8% turnover rate
No one wants to stay in an unhappy marriage, it’s not healthy.
Feeling the Love
Mary is a few years away from retirement. Whenever she gets asked about it, she’s always quick to exclaim: “I don’t want to retire, I love my job”! Recently, I sat down with Mary and discussed what it feels like to love your job. She explained that she doesn’t dread Monday mornings. Each day she leaves with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. She’s proud of the work she does and the impact it has on her clients, both internal and external. It’s a respectful, supportive, flexible, and cohesive environment. They have a strong sense of purpose.
Feeling the love at work, just like a marriage, is a two way street. Employees need to be clear on their personal values as well as the type of work and work environment that brings out their passion. Employers need to ensure there are no barriers or limiting values in the workplace to hinder the release of this passion. When the two conditions exist – productivity explodes. When the opposite occurs, it’s stressful for employees and frustrating for leaders.
I encourage each and every one of you to take stock of your relationship with your work. Don’t be a passive passenger on planet earth. Be a passionate pilot with great purpose! As Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work, is to love what you do”.