People who love their work are 100% engaged. These are the same people who might tell you that if they won the lottery, they would keep working because their job is so enjoyable; it feels more like play.
Every organization should want their staff to feel this high level of happiness and engagement.
However, research indicates most people are not engaged at work; and engagement levels in the English-speaking world continue to decline. This might explain why many people think they can only enjoy life and PLAY outside of work.
Research Gallup poll conducted prior to the pandemic on employee engagement indicated that fewer than 20% of people were engaged at work, while other studies indicate this number may be as low 13%. Imagine 80% – 87% of your organization’s budget is being wasted because people are neither engaged nor enjoying their work. If employees are not engaged, what are they doing? Many are doing what researchers call sleep working, coming to work and watching the clock; or worse, they may be sabotaging the work of the others. Yes. This subject gets dark!
What is even more distressing than the thought of 87% of organizational resources being wasted is the time and energy of each individual who does not enjoy what they are doing with their lives. Being unhappy with the 40+ hours one spends on work during the week will clearly have a negative impact on their quality of life.
On average, we spend 56 hours a week sleeping. Add in the 40 hours of work, traveling to and from work, and all our daily chores, and this leaves us with between two and five hours of leisure time per day. And parents of small children or those who are looking after aging parents have even less.
What is the answer to getting higher levels of workplace engagement? We must ensure people can find real meaning on the job.
The requirements to find satisfaction at work are the same for everyone: security, certainty, autonomy, respect, and fairness. Together, this formula provides humans with a sense of belonging. However, to be truly happy, we also need to feel our lives have meaning. To do this, we must be able to make connections with our passions. This is where play is the key to engagement. Play is the one ingredient that, when missing, causes the entire recipe to fail.
Do you want happier, healthier employees? Looking to make better use of your human resources?