The Long Stay at Work


Human resources personnel continue to struggle on retention. Retention programs after retention programs have been created to make people stay. These may be successful in the general sense, but what is not tackled is what motivates people.

On a business level, it is best to resort to extrinsic means of motivating people. Increase in salary, promotion, career movement, recognition, and incentivisation are a few to mention. But on a psychological perspective, these do not sustain anything. The drive to work may last for a certain period, but it will wear off; unless there is change in the extrinsic means, nothing will change. This will even lead to the decline of people’s motivation.


What most experts in business and human resources fail to recognize is the internal locus of control in each individual. What motivates people intrinsically is rather set aside since figuring this out takes so much time, and in business, time is of the essence. Does one work because there is fulfillment in accomplishing things, in helping people, in being trusted with work, or in being associated with the boss? These things remain to be un-highlighted given that it does not attract most employers. The immediacy of driving the workforce matters, thus any means that will move people should be opted. If the individual does not become efficient given all means, he or she will be opted out.

However, if the employer is aiming for people staying longer in the company, trying to get into what they value intrinsically may lead to changes, leading to higher retention and committed employees in the end.


Yes, there is now clear formula to retention: extrinsic means + intrinsic means will equal to more committed people. True. But recently, in a few studies, one quality and personality trait has emerged to be contributing to people’s commitment and staying longer in the company. GRIT.


Grit, to put it simply, is resilience. This encompasses all the motivational means. It’s innate in an individual. One has determination, perseverance, emotional courage, psychological preparedness, and drive to just move on despite all odds. What makes one have this trait is yet to be studied on a psychodynamic, developmental, and cognitive level. But an individual stays in one company not on salary rate or the need of achievement alone. It’s just natural for him or her to stand despite all odds and challenges. And this should give insight to most human resources experts and managers.


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