By Stephen M. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
It’s a conundrum to say the least. If you have a job, you probably don’t like it. If you‘re seeking new work, you’re likely to eventually dislike it as well. That’s because,
, 70 percent of Americans are completely “checked out” and disengaged at work, especially individuals who are mid-career.
"People who aren't engaged spend much more time experiencing emotions like worry, stress, and pain," says Gretchen Gavett at the Harvard Business Review.
Now more than ever, American workers have taken stress at work into their homes, contributing to an overall unhappy U.S. population. But this data isn’t exactly new. Workforce disengagement has been an ongoing trend since 2000, hovering close to the 30 percent mark for more than the last decade. And the problem isn’t just skin-deep. In fact, workforce dissatisfaction has taken a toll on the U.S. economy – a staggering $550 billion dollars each year according to Gallup.
Employers have also taken note of the mass dissatisfaction of workers in America today.
"The general consciousness about the importance of employee engagement seems to have increased in the past decade," said Jim Harter, chief scientist at Gallup. "But there is a gap between knowing about engagement and doing something about it in most American workplaces."
The question remains: how do we make the workplace an enjoyable and engaged experience for both managers and employees?
ON IMPROVING THE WORKPLACE
When it comes to improving your workplace environment, it takes a proactive approach coupled with the common understanding of how employees thrive in the workplace to make a difference in worker engagement and satisfaction.
Take a closer look at your job.
Are there certain aspects that get you excited? If so, ask your manager if you can focus on those tasks moving forward while delegating other duties, if possible.
Consider a lateral move.
Sometimes employees need a change to feel challenged and therefore engaged at work. Talk to a supervisor about making a lateral move within your company that focuses on the best qualities you bring to the table.
Set the right tone.
Most workplace transformations happen at the local level, but change is impossible to execute without the right tone from the corporate office. Managers and employees must feel empowered to make a difference in their engagement levels. That means the workplace must be filled with regular praise, opportunity for growth and active listening. Pay attention to your communication strategies to make the most of your company objectives.
Select the right managers.
All too often, a less-than-stellar manager can sour the mood of an entire office, branch or satellite location. When making hiring decisions, be sure to select only the managers with relevant experience in your field coupled with the right education or background to get the job done.
From corporate to small business, relationship counseling may be one of the best available options for improving your workforce. For more information on relationship counseling at work, please feel free to reach out to me at Stephen@PfeifferPhD.com or at my website,