I’m sure you know the old saying, ‘People don’t quit their job. They quit their boss.’ You probably think about it whenever someone from your team leaves, wondering what you could have done better. What you need to know is that this saying doesn’t reflect why people quit their jobs in 2023 (although being a bad boss doesn’t help). The secret is fulfilment.
But what does fulfilment mean in reality? In this article, we’ll use research from Facebook’s People and Analytics team to explain. What could you change to make jobs in your company more fulfilling and hang on to staff for longer?
The three components of a fulfilling job
Here’s why most people really quit their jobs:
- They’re not enjoying it anymore
- The job doesn’t play to their strengths
- They don’t see any career progression
It’s valid to such an extent that if you make working at your company more enjoyable, use people in the right way and better define career paths, you can hang on to your people for longer.
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
1 – Enjoyment
It’s simple. When you enjoy your job, you’re more likely to stay longer in it. In addition, you’re more likely to produce better work while you’re there. Enjoyment is so vital to fulfilment. If you’re passionate about what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.
The challenge is that often, the job that’s sold to a candidate when hiring isn’t the same as reality. As a result, people end up doing things they didn’t know they’d have to do - and they don’t like it.
The ways around this are to be absolutely upfront about your job roles when you hire, so there are no nasty surprises. You also need to check in regularly with your people to see how they’re enjoying their role, and if they’re unhappy, pull out all the stops to change it.
2 – Playing to your strengths
People like to do what they’re good at. It makes the day go quicker if you feel like you’re doing good work rather than fighting against your own abilities. Evaluate how you use your people to ensure you’re always playing to their strengths.
Often, new strengths come through as a person does their job. For example, they display leadership skills or are naturally great with customers. Keep a close eye on your people and if you spot a new strength, talk to them about it. Ask them if they agree with you and how they feel about it.
You could even create a new role that allows your people to spend more time utilising their previously unknown strengths. This is an excellent course of action because you know they’ll perform well in the role and stay in it for longer.
3 – Career path
Finally, people are more likely to stay with a company if they can see and utilise opportunities for progression. Career progression is so important, especially to younger generations of workers. If they feel like they’re stuck for years in the same role, they’re more likely to go to one of your competitors, where they’ll be recognised for their hard work.
The challenge is that people don’t have the same ambitions. One of your team members may be happy in a lower role as it’s less pressure, while another may be desperate to take on more responsibility and shine under the spotlight.
Here’s how you get career progression right in your organisation:
- Talk to your people about what they want to do next in their career
- Show them what they need to achieve to progress to their dream next role in your company
- Together, make a plan to get them there
This will require time on your part. It may require investment in training. However, if it keeps them at your company for longer, it’s more than worthwhile.
Now you know the three components of job fulfilment, what could you do to make working at your company more fulfilling?
As well as our three components, you could also think about flexible working to boost your people’s work/life balance. And, of course, you should look at how you manage and how you show your people how much you genuinely care about them.
Management isn’t easy in 2023, but if you can get it right, you can reap the rewards.