Remembering what you love about your job is key to workplace happiness

November 27th, 2008 - 1:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, November 27 (ANI): A study conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta suggests that absenteeism at offices can significantly reduce if employees simply rethink their jobs.
The researchers said that urging employees to simply rethink their jobs was enough to drop absenteeism by 60 per cent and turnover by 75 per cent during the research.
The study was conducted as part of a ”Spirit at Work” intervention program, designed to engage employees and give a sense of purpose.
According to the research team, the program significantly boosted morale and job retention for a group of long-term health-care workers at the centre of the study.
“We discovered that people who are able to find meaning and purpose in their work, and can see how they make a difference through that work, are healthier, happier and more productive employees,” said Val Kinjerski, a University of Alberta PhD graduate who co-authored the study, and now works with organizations to cultivate productive workplaces.
Published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, the study focused on two groups of long-term health-care workers from two different care facilities in Canada.
One group of 24 employees participated in a one-day workshop, followed by eight weekly booster sessions offered at shift changes. During the program, the workers were led through a variety of exercises that were designed to help staff create personal action plans to enhance spirit at work.
The researchers also asked the subjects to consider concepts like the deeper purpose of their work, being of service, appreciation of themselves and others, sense of community and self-care.
The second group of 34 workers, on the other hand, was not offered any support program.
The researchers observed a 23 per cent increase in teamwork among participants in the intervention group, a 10 per cent hike in job satisfaction, and a 17 per cent jump in workplace morale.
They said that employer costs related to absenteeism also reduced by 12,000 dollars in the five months following the workshop, compared to the same period in the previous year.
Kinjerski said that the employees started to show an increased interest in and focus on their patients.
“They really had a sense of what they were there to do, to be of service to their clients. This notion of being of service is important in all work, but in the field of long-term health care, it is of utmost importance,” the researchers added.
Berna Skrypnek, a human ecology professor at the U of A and co-author of the study, believes that the findings of the study may be helpful for employers in retaining and fostering a happier, more motivated workforce.
“This has become a leading concern in the long-term health-care field and for that matter, in any field, as labour markets become tighter and employees are demanding meaning and fulfilment from their work,” Skrypnek said. (ANI)

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