I think sometimes that people do new research studies because they don’t like the results they got from their old studies and are hoping that somehow, magically, things will be different this time around. That’s the only reason I can explain for why the Chicago Cubs are still a baseball team, since study after study has indicated that they’ll never win a World Series. But I digress.
The study in question is a recently released two-year Gallup poll (from 2010 to 2012) that revealed the exact same thing their previous study (from 2008 to 2010) did – that approximately 70% of working adults either hate their jobs or are so uninspired that they are essentially costing their companies money through their total lack of effort and commitment. This is not news, since that’s exactly what they found the last time they did this study. And my guess is they’ll find the same thing the next time they do it. So kudos to Gallup for continuing to get paid for telling people stuff they already told them once!
The number one factor contributing to job dissatisfaction? The boss. This is also not news, since that’s also been true for a long while. But what is surprising is how many people seem to find this non-revelation surprising. Apparently, people keep thinking that money is the most factor determining a person’s long-term job satisfaction.
So, let me break this down for you, basically because I’m hoping this article will eventually put Gallup out of business. The top three things that determine a person’s job satisfaction, in this order, are:
- A person’s relationship with and opinion of his/her immediate superior
- A person’s relationship with and opinion of his/her immediately colleagues
- The length and ease of the commute to and from work
It’s true this year, it was true in 2004, and it’ll probably be true when we’re all cyborgs and griping about how our cyborg boss doesn’t take the time to ask how my most recent brain upgrade went.
So, now that you know what the most important factors in your employees’ job satisfaction are, here are a few ways to suck them down into an even deeper pit of despair. Currently 30% of employees describe themselves as ‘inspired and actively engaged’. But I think with a little hard work and creativity, we can get that down to about 15%.
Overcompensate for Your Own Shaky Sense of Self-Worth By Berating Those Around You! A favorite tactic of the manager with an inferiority complex. The best I’ve heard in this respect? Uttered at a meeting, by a manager, in front of others, when a normally quiet employee spoke up: “Oh look! It’s thinking.” Well done, horrible boss man! (It was a man in this case, but it could be a woman too – don’t underestimate yourselves, ladies!) You don’t even treat your employees like people, much less individuals. I wonder what you’ll say when they decide to walk out en masse. Because “Oh look, it’s striking” is grammatically incorrect when it’s, you know, everyone who works for you.
Take Credit for Your Coworkers’ Ideas! Probably the quickest way to make everyone on your floor wish you would somehow fall through the floor and get wedged into the ductwork. In my case, I give Gallup no credit for conducting this survey, the guy whose article I read no credit for digesting the survey for me so that I could comment on it, and computer makers no credit for creating a device that allows me to type this article. I did this all myself, and anyone who says otherwise is simply insecure and probably a little pathetic. Notice how I made it look like it was their problem for having a problem with the way I do things?
Make Your Employees’ Commute as Long and Painful as Possible! Odds are you can’t actually get them kicked out of their house and force them to move to a crappy exurb an hour outside of town (oh, how I miss the days of feudal serfdom when you could totally do that!), but you can be completely inflexible when it comes to when your employees work. Some of them might like to come in an hour early to beat rush hour or drop their kids off at daycare, and some of them might prefer to work late to miss rush hour or avoid picking their kids up from daycare. Either way, don’t listen to their needs! They shouldn’t be making demands anyway. Remember, they’re not even really people.
Hope that helps! If you’d like to learn more ways to oppress and demoralize your workforce, check out Unleash Your Inner Tyrant! Endorsed by some of the worst bosses in history, it will give you even more ways to help Gallup not have to say the same thing year after year after year.
Legal disclaimer: I don’t really want you to do any of the things I just suggested. But I do want you to know what the top three motivators are for your employees. Unless they’re fundamentally different from the rest of us, those are the big issues. Address them, or your business will suffer.