As if business owners, managers and supervisors didn’t have enough on their plates already, here’s another recent issue that some of my clients are facing, and it’s causing them deep concern. It’s satisfaction stagnation, and there’s likely a bit of it embedded in your organization and rapidly growing.
We Americans, as a group, are a pretty impatient bunch, and growing more so with each new generation. That’s good news to some businesses, because they can market their products or services to folks who wish to be instantly (or very quickly) gratified.
Recent surveys seem to show that we are behaving more and more like that in the workplace – even more than in the 1980’s or the 1990’s. We’re impatient to wait for our next promotion, developmental opportunity, or new challenge. We want it sooner, rather than later. Is it just merely a function of society? Probably not.
Younger generations watched their baby boomer parents struggle with layoffs, more stress, less control of their time and money, and on the surface it appears they’ve learned something from what seems to be our mistakes.
So what’s really going on? Lack of team communications is one of the leading pitfalls to high productivity. Retaining and developing top talent is listed as the top “pain point” of more than 76% of America’s larger corporations. More than 40 percent of employed workers plan to begin job searches during the next 12 months, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. workers by Yahoo/HotJobs. That’s up from 21% a year ago. Nearly one-quarter already are actively looking around for better opportunities outside your company.
Pick five people in your company – one of them is engaged in a full-blown job search. Oh, you don’t have five people in your company. Well, if you only have one employee, other than yourself, it’s highly likely that their job search is somewhere between a simmer and a full boil right now!
Compensation continues to be a strong motivator in the increase in job change: 96 percent cite a desire for better pay and/or benefits. Other factors: 44 percent believe their current jobs offer “no potential for career growth,” while 18 percent want a better commute and 29 percent yearn for a workplace with “higher morale.” The good news for companies: Only one in four feel underappreciated as “valued employees.” Is that good enough for you?
You may already have read about my feelings on those numbers, though. I tend to disagree with them and prefer to qualify those responses by finding out how many actually, left or want to leave “because of my [toxic] manager”, which is a staggering figure.
But that’s something not to debate here, and I already have written another article on that very topic. The truth is job satisfaction is declining. Folks are getting downright tired of doing the same, repetitive things over and over. They get BORED! And if the survey is remotely accurate, they’ll start looking elsewhere. The “grass is always greener” syndrome comes into play here.
So you say, “Okay, Coach. What can I do about it? I need people to make, sell, deliver and service our widgets. I spend a lot of money finding and training the right people, and I need them to do the jobs I hired them for.”
Have you ever thought about asking them? You could ask them how they want to develop themselves and where their development will have a positive impact on your organization. You could ask them why they stay. You could ask them what would cause them to leave – oddly, those answers are different, and they are probably different than you think. Or is it that you are fearful of the answers you might get? My guess it’s the latter.
Over 42% of workers are coping with feelings of burnout. 38% believe they are in a dead-end job and 9% say that they don’t have adequate training to effectively conduct their current job. And chances are your company is reflected in some, if not all, of those statistics.
Showing how courageous you are as a business person and leader is directly proportional to the motivation you will instill in others.