“If it was fun, then it wouldn’t be work.”
I’ve heard that whenever someone complained about not enjoying their job, with the speaker’s intended message being, “Stop complaining. Be thankful you have a job. Lots of people don’t, and most who do don’t enjoy it anyway. So suck it up.”
I get that, but I also know that people spend a LOT of time at their jobs. A lot of their whole lives are spent at work. So it’s okay to want that time to be nurturing or to feel worthwhile. If we’re going to spend years or decades devoting ourselves to a cause, we want it to be a good one. When we don’t feel like it is, though, everybody suffers.
According to recent surveys, a majority of workers in the US are burned out. Only 36% of employees feel like their work is meaningful, while only 25% “connect” to their company’s mission.
Businesses need to pay attention, because happy workers work harder, and the other way around. So what’s a company to do? As it turns out, businesses can improve their stats by meeting four “core needs” of their employees: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Wait. Spiritual needs?
Yep. Spiritual needs. No matter how secular a company might be, an employee’s spirituality is a significant factor in increasing both their health and commitment to their job. But how can a company be spiritual?
Good question! In general, being spiritual is about finding the holy meaning in life. So when companies help their employees find meaning in their work by connecting their job to improving society, it addresses people’s spiritual job needs. And when employees find their work meaningful and significant, they are three times more likely to stay with their companies.
Apparently, humans are spiritual beings who long for meaning in life. Who knew? Well, we did. We know that everyone yearns to connect with something bigger than themselves. That’s why we organize in churches, to give structure that can help people connect and be spiritual.
One Baptist pastor noted the irony that “it takes a survey in the world of business to tell us something we Christians have known for years: We were made to worship a God that is the only one who can fill that empty hole in our heart…. God gives us the ability to connect with Him in order to make a difference in the world around us, whether we work in a cubicle or farm the land. Building time for spiritual exercises into our work schedule will only further that connection.”
As a church, we can help with that. In fact, we can help a lot. According to another survey, what makes a big difference in job satisfaction is “frequent attendance at a church that…emphasized integrating their faith in the workplace through ‘sacrificial love’ to their co-workers, sensing God’s presence at work among others.”
Got it! So that means we can help people be more satisfied at work by 1) inviting them to church more, and 2) helping them integrate their faith into their daily lives. We’ve wanted both those things to happen for a long time, but now we just need to be serious about it. So what are we waiting for?