What Spiritual Needs Do Employees Have?

No single factor in the study influences people’s job satisfaction and likelihood to stay at an organization as much as feeling connected to their company’s mission, and finding a sense of meaning and purpose in their work.



Most companies fall far short of communicating their mission to their employees in a clear and compelling way.

Only 34% of respondents said that they felt a connection to their company’s mission, and those who didn’t feel such a connection were 62% less likely to stay with their employers and 45% less engaged.


Deriving a sense of meaning and significance from their work had the highest single impact of any variable in the survey.

Employees who did find meaning in their work also reported being 2.8 times more likely to stay with their organization, 2.2 times more satisfied with their jobs, and 93% more engaged.

For Leaders: Communicate a Clear Vision

Purposeful leaders have an especially powerful influence on their employees.

Only 20% of employees reported having a leader who communicates a vision that is clear, consistent, and inspiring. Those that did reported being 70% more satisfied with their jobs, 56% more engaged, and 100% more likely to stay with their organizations.

Leaders set the tone for the energy of their team members. If they model positive practices, it increases the likelihood that their team members will follow suit.

When leaders actively support more sustainable ways of working, the result is a significant positive impact on every performance variable. Only 21% of our survey respondents told us that their leaders model sustainable work practices.

Employees who work for these leaders are 51% more engaged, 68% more satisfied at work, and 100% more likely to stay at the company.

How Meeting Core Needs Affects Employees

The more needs employers meet — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual — the more their people’s performance variables improve.


Ushering in the Human Era at Work

It’s time to usher in the Human Era at work. In the Human Era, leaders take better care of their people, so people can take better care of their business.

The better people’s needs are met, the more healthy, happy, engaged, productive, and loyal they become. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of business.

The Human Era calls for a new kind of leader, whose most fundamental role is to serve as Chief Energy Officers, responsible for mobilizing, focusing, inspiring, and regularly recharging the energy of those they lead.

Spiritually, the best leaders define a clear and compelling vision and a set of values that inspire team members – while serving themselves as role models who walk their talk.

About the Survey

The Energy Project partnered with the Harvard Business Review to release the Quality of Life @ Work assessment, a 56-question survey designed to examine the world of work: organizational policies, practices, and mindsets, leader behaviors, and the feelings and responses of employees, at all levels, within those companies.

The survey was conducted online through HBR.org from November 2013 through June 2014 and included responses from nearly 20,000 employees working in organizations of all size, at all levels in over 25 industries. For a breakout of the respondent profile, see pages 13-15 of the original report.