Its engagement survey suggests that bad bosses aren’t the reason employees leave, unfulfilling work is.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on January 29, 2018

The study, conducted by Facebook’s People Analytics team, highlights that workers are more likely to quit a job because they find the work unfulfilling than out of dissatisfaction with management.

Facebook has already embraced job crafting to encourage its valued employees to stay with the company.

“Managers can play a major role in designing motivating, meaningful jobs,” the survey, published in Harvard Business Review, says. “The best go out of their way to help people do work they enjoy – even if it means rotating them out of roles where they’re excelling.

“If you want to keep your people – especially your stars – it’s time to pay more attention to how you design your work.”

The survey found that staff who stayed with the company found their work enjoyable 31% more often and used their strengths 33% more frequently than those who left.

Research undertaken by HR think tank Reventure as part of its ‘a future that works’ campaign echoed Facebook’s findings. It concluded that 72% of Australian employees were looking for purpose and meaning in their work.

Reventure lead researcher Dr Lindsay McMillan says one solution is to move away from fixed job descriptions that don’t take into account an individual’s skills and work goals.

“Our research has found that jobs need to be crafted around employees, not the other way around.

“Job crafting reimagines roles according to employees’ strengths and what they are passionate about, which increases the level of purpose and meaning they feel at work.”

Dr McMillan adds that more companies need to follow the lead of Facebook in tailoring their work to suit employees’ interests and skills.

He offered some clear guidance to managers looking to retain their staff: “Give workers a purpose – this is a crucial element that management often overlooks when attempting to retain workers.”

The advice may be timely – it has been suggested that January is the busiest month for people to apply for a new job.

One of the authors of the Facebook study, Adam Grant, has implemented ‘entry interviews’ to determine what kind of work staff find meaningful when they enter the company.

The report goes on to state that too many companies only really learn what type of work inspires and motivates an employee during an exit interview. By then, it is too late.