According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2013, around 63 percent of workers surveyed across countries all over the world claimed to be disengaged from their jobs. In other words, almost two-thirds of employees are unhappy in their current positions, although not necessarily enough to quit. Instead, they tend to push through each working day with little energy and enthusiasm, while a further 24 percent despised their jobs altogether.
The same study found that only 13 percent of workers felt actively engaged with their jobs, genuinely enjoying their typical working days and taking their responsibilities seriously. Unsurprisingly, these workers tend to be the most loyal and productive ones, since they have a genuine interest in the direction the companies they work for are heading.
Naturally, not all employees share a deep connection with their employer and company. However, Victor Mitchell, a life-long entrepreneur and successful businessman who has successfully founded, acquired, and/or turned around numerous diverse business ventures over the past 30 years, firmly believes in five elements conducive to greater employee satisfaction:
1. A Good Team
Studies have shown that by far the most common reason people like their jobs is that they like the people they work with. After all, it shouldn't come as any surprise that a workplace without a team-driven atmosphere can be an awkward and unpleasant working environment for everyone involved. It's difficult to have everyone get along at all times, but building a good team is undoubtedly crucial to success.
Morale in the workplace is heavily determined by the integrity of your team and how people work together to complete common goals. While no employer wants to sacrifice productivity, it is essential to adopt a work-hard-play-hard philosophy by allowing time for personal projects, encouraging teamwork through fun team-building activities, and recognizing both individual and group achievements.
Many organizations adopt an unyielding approach that feels like a soul-destroying chore to become a part of. Those office cubicle farms, fluorescent strip lighting, and grey carpets hardly make for pleasant places to work in. While building a comfortable, bright, and enjoyable workplace is essential for keeping your employees happy, it's also important to give people a reasonable degree of flexibility.
When employees have the freedom to work independently, make improvisations, and feel their actions and decisions are supported, they'll feel more responsible and more important. The risk of becoming disengaged with the job will be significantly less as well. Some ways to increase workplace flexibility include allowing employees to work at home on occasion or choose flexible working hours.
3. Productive Work Ethic
Having a good team and a pleasant physical environment to work in is essential, but those factors alone will not lead to a productive work ethic. After all, no employer wants their staff to be having fun during working hours if it comes at the expense of productivity. A productive working culture requires clear communication and trust above all else, as well as recognition of good work.
Different things work for different people when it comes to having a productive work ethic. Some work better when they prioritize persistence, while others need focus, and others work better when under a sense of urgency. By recognizing the strengths of individual employees, you'll be better equipped to help promote and encourage their skills to increase their productivity.
Some jobs are inherently dull. For example, not many people would claim anything is exciting about data entry, accounting, or telephone marketing. Nonetheless, with creative thinking, it is possible to break the tedious routines typically associated with such jobs by adding some variety. When each day is slightly different, and there's an opportunity to learn new things, people will be happier.
To help keep employees engaged, it is essential to offer the option to carry out other tasks as much as possible. However, this solution may not always be possible, in which case you'll need to take some steps to make boring jobs less so. Short but regular breaks by the water cooler can help a lot, but others might work better when multitasking or setting themselves some productivity goals.
5. Being Challenged
If an employee isn't being challenged at work, then their job is just a job and nothing more. They won't ever have that feeling of pride they would have if they have just completed a challenging task, and there won't be that important sense of accomplishment that helps push people to work harder and earn greater rewards. Challenge often marks the difference between a follower and a leader.
The average person spends almost 100,000 hours of their lifetimes working, so it stands to reason that they want to spend this time learning, developing, and bettering themselves, rather than wallowing in boredom and frustration. Pushing employees to their limits by giving them new responsibilities might sound harsh, but when combined with a highly motivational rewards-driven system, it will more than pay off.
Everyone needs to earn a living, but money is not the only thing that influences job satisfaction. Employers often underestimate the importance of other factors, instead offering pay raises to keep people happy. However, about half of the employees who accept such offers still leave within the next two years. When it comes to longevity and loyalty to the company, employee satisfaction cannot merely be bought.
About Victor Mitchell:
Victor Mitchell, 52, of Castle Rock, Colorado is a successful businessman and life-long entrepreneur who has founded or turned around varied companies ranging from wireless to technology to real estate services to finance. Currently serving as CEO of Lead Funding, Mitchell is widely known for his innovative business strategy.
Mitchell previously founded several successful wireless communications companies and turned around several others. His innovative management strategies allowed numerous "mom-and-pop" wireless retailers to achieve financial success by aggregating their selling power to bargain successfully for favorable rights from national wireless service providers. In 2000, one of his companies was named "Colorado Small Business of the Year" by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. The Denver Business Journal placed Mr. Mitchell on its coveted "top 40 under 40" list of business executives, and Mitchell was also a finalist in Ernst and Young's nationally recognized "Entrepreneur of the Year" contest.