Unhappy Employees Almost the Majority

DissatisfactionAnd you thought you were alone in your unhappy job situation?

Only 47 percent of Americans say they’re satisfied with their jobs, a sizable drop from the 61.1 percent who expressed satisfaction in a similar survey 20 years ago.

That increased unhappiness was detailed in a survey published Friday by The Conference Board, a business research organization, which has asked the same questions periodically since 1987.

Fewer Happy with their Jobs, Diane Stafford, Kansas City Star

I don’t know that you should feel so much better, just because you have quite a bit of company. What this tells me is that companies are doing a damn fine job of alienating their workforce, which is kind of odd to me if you need those people to continue to run your business.

The findings show that “employers may get the talent to come in the door, but they’ve got to work on keeping them,” said Lynn Franco, director of the board’s Consumer Research Center.

On balance, workers said they were dissatisfied with their bonus plans, promotion policies, performance review processes, workload, work/life balance, communication channels and potential for future growth in their jobs.

“Perhaps this is why two out of every 10 employees do not see themselves in their current jobs a year from now,” Franco said.

Whoa -that’s quite a list of things to be dissatisfied with, even for the disgruntled. This sounds the “unappreciated” bell loud and clear – “I have no future, I’m not appreciated now, and I have way of remedying the gap”. What a sad, disenfranchised lot we all must be.

Ready for some positive findings?

The very highest satisfaction ratings were recorded when workers said they were satisfied with their co-workers (57.7 percent) and with their commutes (57.1 percent). Nearly as many, 56.3 percent, said they were interested in their work.

Longer hours spent on the job didn’t appear to contribute to unhappiness. Among those who said they worked 51 to 59 hours a week, 52.3 percent were satisfied with their jobs.

How can this be? Working long hours, and not hating your job, even when compensation and your path to the top are ill-defined?

This says alot about the caliber of person you surround your employees with. If you want folks to love their work and spend their time growing your business instead of looking for a new one, consider the following management actions:

  • Understand why your key players have stayed. Hopefully, you’ll hear that it is because of great people in a stimulating setting that lets them explore their best selves. Or, more likely, they enjoy what they do, who they do it with, and accept you with your managerial quirks. There are bound to be a multitude of reasons why people work with you, but understanding how and why those MVPs are still showing up tells you quite a bit about how you should fill your next vacancy.
  • Hire for cultural fit as for technical excellence. “Friendly” and “brilliant” can co-exist within one person, it just doesn’t always happen. If you are in a business that is very customer-facing, think about the balance you are seeking. If your staff feels like family, consider their feelings and level of involvement when you “marry” someone new into the fold.
  • Learn to discern the difference between workplace tolerance and professional passion. You want passionate people that really love what they do, not folks that have recognized a strong income vocation but hate Mondays.
This entry was posted in Accountability, Career, Feedback, Growth, Performance, Work-life balance. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Unhappy Employees Almost the Majority

  1. Pingback: Dissatisfaction makes the world go round | More than a living

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