Three simple reasons people (truly) love their jobs


In February 2010, we launched our first pilot project to better understand the work-life-community-mindset, which was just beginning to emerge along with the acceleration of mobile technology and the rising influence of Millennials and GenZ.

This February, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day by sharing what we’ve learned over the last eight years about why people love their jobs in today’s turbulent and changing culture.

So what are the reasons people truly love their jobs? In the mind of today’s employee, it boils down to three things.

Reason 1: “You get me.”

People who love their jobs are more likely to make comments like this one:

“My company makes a genuine effort to match my job duties and work conditions with my strengths and preferences.”

This means more than just positive reinforcement and real-time feedback for growth. The hundreds of employees interviewed by our team over the years are most delighted when their employers take the time to help them understand themselves, as well as how they are suited for a particular job.  

“Millennials feel underutilized and believe they’re not being developed as leaders.” 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey

Tools like the DiSC and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are useful; however, faster, cheaper alternatives are now available and can work just as well. For example, our next generation workplace culture tools include a diagnostic that can help instantly empower an employer to:   

  1. Offer leadership roles to appeal to employees who are "Accelerators."
  2. Offer socializing opportunities to appeal to "Interactors."
  3. Offer dashboards and giveaway opportunities to appeal to "Enterprisers."

Reason 2: “I’m human.”

People who love their jobs are more likely to make comments like this one:

“My company treats me like a real person.”

The net-net here is that employees want their employers to acknowledge that they have a life outside of work, care about their health and wellness, and enjoy being involved in their communities.

A productive, positive employee experience has emerged as the new contract between employer and employee. Deloitte's 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Report

Employers can make huge strides by understanding just a few factors about employees’ favorite healthy habits, purchasing preferences, and productivity zones. That’s because these data points in turn allow a company to make small tweaks with big ROI, like these:

  1. Optimize menu options, activities, and timeframes for employee events.
  2. Add low-cost perks to match employee health priorities.
  3. Evaluate office hours based on mix of employee energy levels.  

Reason 3: “Celebrate!”

People who love their jobs are more likely to make comments like this one:

“My company actively celebrates a culture of community.”

Celebrating a social impact culture is frequently cited by company leaders as the “secret sauce” for maintaining high levels of engagement. Wrapped into employers’ branding strategies now more than ever, community engagement has become a key factor for boosting a company’s reputation as a good place to work.

69% are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (e.g., responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment). Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, January 2016

Still, there are hundreds of combinations of social impact activities available as part of a single workplace program. Many workplace programs include several of the following options for employee engagement:

  • Giving to charities
  • Volunteering
  • Serving on boards
  • Purchasing products that support a cause
  • Celebrating at community events
  • Recycling
  • Donating food and clothing
  • Marketing favorite causes
  • Sharing with colleagues in need
  • Caring for health and wellness

Understanding the right mix of “ways to do good” based on employee preferences is the key to cost optimization, program participation, and community impact. Here are three disciplines of employers who know how to unlock the “secret sauce” of social impact culture to increase the odds that their employees love their jobs:

  1. Focus community activities the top three preferences.
  2. Reduce activities that are least popular.
  3. Use statistics in recruiting materials to show a culture of engagement.

To help you understand what today’s changing employee mindset means to your company, be sure to seek out fast, simple, and inexpensive tools to gather data and help boost retention, productivity, and recruiting success--without disrupting your company’s programs that are already in place and working well.