Last week, our discussion focused on new research concerning where individuals find happiness in their careers. Surprisingly, the “real estate agent” position topped the 2013 “Happiest Jobs in America” list.
How did the real estate agent position garner such a high ranking? The position scored highly on the top ten factors that produce happiness at work:
1. Work-life balance
2. One’s relationship with his/her boss and co-workers
4. Job resources
6. Growth opportunities
7. Company culture
8. Company reputation
9. Daily tasks
10. Job control over work performed on a daily basis.
In part one of this blog, we talked about how to use this information during an interview. But, there is more to learn from this research; both from a retention perspective and a second recruiting angle you may have not considered.
Think about how the agents on your team would rate each of the happiness factors listed. It might be interesting to conduct your own research on this topic during upcoming coaching sessions.
To mirror a job happiness study, use a five point scale (1-Unacceptable…5-Outstanding) and ask questions in the following manner….”How would you rate your work-life balance while working in our company?”
As you might suspect, retaining agents has a lot to do with maintaining an environment where people feel they can initially obtain and then later sustain a sense of personal happiness.
Typically, agents won’t leave your organization because the company next door offers something better. They leave (initially with their emotions) because something (or multiple things) is constantly irritating them. Once this irritation sets in, it’s easy to rationalize that the grass must be greener somewhere else.
To be successful at retaining your agents, be proactive and make sure that these irritations don’t take root in your organization.
From a recruiting perspective, there is a second angle worth considering in the jo happiness study. It will always be difficult to lure happy individuals away from their current positions with a “life’s great over here” message.
A better strategy is to find those who are unhappy.
Almost any message of hope has a good chance of resonating with these individuals. The CareerBliss study documented the job positions where workers are most dissatisfied:
There are a few patterns worth noticing in this data.
1. Pay is not correlated to happiness. The most “unhappy job in America” pays a six-figure salary. None of the happiest jobs are particularly high-paying positions.
2. Education level is not correlated to happiness. Several of the jobs on the unhappy list require high levels of education (nurse, teacher, attorney, pharmacy technician). Many of the happiest jobs do not require highly specialized education.
3. Serving unhappy customers is taxing. Notice that many of the unhappy professions regularly deal with dissatisfied customers or unhappy clients. People typically interface with the legal, medical, and customer service professions when something has gone wrong.
Successful recruiting first involves finding people who are unhappy with their current employment and then engaging them by tapping into their feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration.
Unless a candidate first feels heard on these two topics, the positive traits of being a real estate agent will fall on deaf ears.
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