How to be a Dream Company People (Might) Come Back To After Winning the Lottery

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Somebody in South Carolina woke up recently with a big problem -- 1.6 billion of them (we should all have such problems).

And the question everybody is asking...will he/she/they come to work again...ever?

The old, "take this job and," (well, you know) -- is a dream that ranks up there in fantasy land with...winning the lottery. And we'll grant you that 1.6 billion dollars provides a whole lot of compelling reasons to hit "snooze" forever.

But does it have to be that way? Believe it or not, not every lottery winner calls it quits after striking it filthy rich. This husband-and-wife duo both kept on trucking after a windfall. This $315-million winner liked his workplace so much, he kept working until he knew all his coworkers would be ok. And if your workplace appeals to a guy with nine figures in his bank account, you've got a major leg up on retention.

As a practical matter, lottery winners only account for a handful of the roughly 160 million people in the labor force. That means there's a whole lot of incentive to take care of the other 159,999,998 employees who didn't hit the jackpot, especially since lottery fever could have side effects. CNBC says if a lottery fantasy involves some creative hand gestures and a few choice words on the way out, it might be time to consider a career change anyway. And guess what -- single-digit unemployment and a record 7.1-million job openings makes it a great time to change a career.

So what keeps people from fantasizing about the exit?


No one wants to do the same job...over and over...forever. And the best way to get people who didn't win the lottery to leave is to tell them their only option at your organization is to do the same job...over and over...forever. Whether up or sideways, great companies show people the possibilities, and also help them get there.

Not having to go to work

A happy workplace makes going to work pleasurable. You know what else is pleasurable? Knowing you don't have to go to work. Since we all have those days where physical or mental health requires a day off, the boss's support for a personal day is a big deal. When people know they have permission to take care of their own well-being on an off day, they're more likely to be fully invested in their organization's well-being during the bulk of the days when they're on.

A personal life

Employees personal lives don't vanish into the ether during a workday. Worries about children, parents, savings, debt, you name it, are ever present between 9 and 5, too. Smart (and let's face it, successful) employers don't make people choose. They know work and personal lives are inexorably intertwined and support accordingly.

Not incidentally, the above -- support for career development, well-being, and work/life balance -- are the top three elements research show make people's Dream Company. And employees tend to stick around for those.

The good news is Gallup says most people aren't actually dreaming about bailing if they win (of course they haven't so...grain of salt). But the odds of winning a billion dollars are considerably less than the odds right now of being able to quit and find a better job. So for employers, better not to take chances. A company that gets people back to work after a windfall? Dream company indeed.
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
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