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What Your Energy Level at Work Says About How Long You’ll Stay on the Job

Managers want to retain the best talent, for obvious reasons. So, there is an abundance of research concerning that issue. What is today’s worker looking for? What makes them stay with an organization? Now, a new study from the University of Surrey reveals another important piece of this puzzle: worker energy and enthusiasm. In short, our energy levels may determine whether we stay on the job, leave voluntarily, or are asked to quit.
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  1. Energy levels have an impact on how we do our jobs.

According to researchers, there are two components of human energy. The first kind is physical. This energy is necessary to do our jobs, is diminished in the process, and is restored through rest. However, the study focuses on the second kind of energy, which is a little more subjective. Researchers labeled this type of energy as “energetic activation.” This factor is easiest understood as “enthusiasm toward work.” The study showed that it has a big impact on our career trajectory.

Not only can this energetic activation manifest as a worker having more positive feelings toward work and their colleagues, but it can also lead to “a desire to act within an organization in a positive way.”

  1. Workers who energize their coworkers are less likely to voluntarily leave…

Our coworkers affect our moods and vice versa. Workers who are enthusiastic about their work and pass that on to their colleagues are more likely to stay on the job. The opposite is also true. Those with low energetic activation have less vitality and “a lower inclination to act positively” within the context of their workplace.

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  1. …unless they are also high performers.

This study really drives home the impact our attitude can have on our performance at work and ultimately on our careers. It seems that having an enthusiastic attitude simply makes us more desirable employees. The ultimate proof: workers with high energy levels and high on-the-job performance were actually more likely to leave their jobs voluntarily than others. Most likely, the study’s authors point out, this is because they had other offers. Over time, this leads to more career options and opportunities.

  1. Low performers who don’t energize others are the most likely to be fired.

Toward the other end of the spectrum, performers who did not energize others were more likely to be asked to leave an organization. High performance helps to counter this, but when low energy and low performance go together, a worker may be asked to move on.

Bottom line: it’s important to be skilled at our jobs, but we must also bring the right attitude to the day-to-day work.

Researchers from The Grenoble Ecole de Management and the University of Surrey conducted the study, which focused on workers in the IT department of a global engineering consulting firm over a four-year period. For more information, read the full report from ScienceDaily.

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