Gallup released a new study recently. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, since they release a new study every 8 minutes or so. Given that a lot of their studies end up returning the same results as previous studies, I often think they only keep doing it because people pay them and they can’t figure out what else to spend their money on. That’s the only reason I have 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 uncovered the exact same findings as their previous 2008-2010 study; namely, 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. Also falling into the “not at all shocking” category is the number one factor contributing to job dissatisfaction – the boss.
What is surprising, though, 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 are:
- A person’s relationship with and opinion of his/her immediate superiors
- 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 our most recent brain upgrade went.
So, now that you know what the most important factors in your employees’ job satisfaction are, let’s talk about a couple ways to continue to not give it to them. After all, approximately 30% of employees describe themselves as ‘inspired and actively engaged’. 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 was 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! 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.
Make No Concessions to Your Employees’ Preferences! Odds are you can’t make your employees’ commute to work worse unless you live in New Jersey, but you can be completely inflexible when it comes to when your employees work. Some of them might like to come in 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.
Now obviously, 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.