Despite the emphasis on employee engagement on everything from innovation to customer service, people just don’t like their jobs. A 2013 Gallup report found that around 70% of workers are not engaged in their jobs. ANovember 2013 survey from Monster.com and research firm GfK found that 15% of U.S. workers dislike or hate their jobs.
Leaders, we have some problems, according to some experts. Like any good plan to turn around a bad situation, the first step is awareness. Here are four of the most common reasons employees despise their 9-to-5 gigs–and what business leaders can do to solve it.
1. This Job Is Pointless
If your employees don’t understand why their jobs are important, chances are they’re among the ranks of the disenchanted, says consultant Lisa Earle McLeod, author of Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work that Makes You Proud. She developed the concept of “noble purpose,” and she says it applies to everyone in the company. It’s not enough to go to work every day in exchange for a paycheck.
Solution: You need to communicate and reinforce employees’ roles in delivering something that matters. That’s going to make a difference in job satisfaction, even if there are parts of doing the job that they don’t like, she says. Talk to them about the company’s core values, and how each role fits into the overall vision to make a difference. Having “that lens of ‘noble purpose’ on your work helps you pick and choose the things to focus on,” she says.
2. My Boss Is Terrible
U.K. online staffing firm Staffbay’s December 2013 survey found that a whopping 87% of employees don’t trust the people they work for. Executive coach Kathi Elster, coauthor of Working With You Is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work, says that when managers don’t give proper direction or worse–micromanage–trust is damaged and employees become resentful.