You’ve probably seen the statistics. In August, 2021 alone, 4.3 million people quit their jobs. There are a lot of driving factors behind these numbers, but one big factor is disengagement and dissatisfaction.
The pandemic caused people to reevaluate all areas of their lives, but in particular, we hear the desire to experience greater impact and meaning.
As we dive into these important topics, we’ll start where we typically like to begin…with an analogy.
Your Support System
Think about the people who make up your personal support system. Who are those people, and what role do they play? For example, here’s mine:
- My husband – great at problem solving. Not great at empathetically holding space when I just need to talk.
- My best friend – very empathetic & great at holding space
- My brother – so good at helping me sort through complex thoughts & feelings
Now answer this question: how satisfied would you be with your relationship with any one of those people if you expected them to fulfill ALL of your needs?
Think about it. How satisfied would I be with my husband if I expected him to help me solve problems, provide empathy, listen and hold space, and sort through my thoughts and feelings? I probably wouldn’t be very satisfied! No one person can fulfill ALL of our needs. It’s impossible.
Your Professional Needs
The Stanford Life Design Lab points to 3 different needs that must be fulfilled for people to feel whole and and engaged:
- Financial security – am I making enough money to fund my lifestyle?
- Impact – am I making a broader impact in a way that matters to me?
- Expression – do I have the flexibility and freedom to be creative?
Here’s the problem: While it’s necessary to have all of these needs fulfilled, it is not necessary for them all to be fulfilled by one activity.
We run into problems when we solely focus on our jobs to be the one and only activity to fill all 3 of these cups. Psychologists call this role engulfment.
Have a LIFE, not Just a JOB
For this reason, it’s increasingly important for your employees to have a LIFE, not just a JOB. Employees experience the same emotions we do, employees feel the need for a break or adventure, and It’s important as leaders to encourage your employees and team members to engage in their entire lives, rather than basing their entire identity around their job. Engaging employees is a difficult task. We must remember, it is impossible for employees to find the same investment in their work as owners do.
Intentionally focusing on a variety of activities in our lives as ways to fulfill our needs of financial security, impact, and expression can raise our level of satisfaction and engagement across all aspects of our lives, including our jobs and careers.
This month, we encourage you and your team to think like Life Designers. To take an intentional look at your life through the lens of the 3 needs we’ve been discussing.
Imagine you have 3 cups, one cup for each of the 3 needs. Answer the following questions in an honest and authentic way for you (everyone’s responses will be different):
- How large would each cup be? Which needs are more or less important to you?
- How much does your job fill each cup?
- What other activities in your life fill up each cup?
Now consider designing. Ask yourself: How might I incorporate other activities to ensure all 3 cups are full?
Our next quarterly workshop will dive deep into the topic of designing your work life. This fast-paced, engaging, and hands-on virtual experience will help you and your team(s) learn Life Design skills and build psychological strength to create meaningful shifts at work and in life.
Interested in signing your team up for the Quarterly Workshop Series?