Get Your Team to Take Responsibility for Their Own Fulfillment at Work
I worked with a client called Jason. He’s spent 15 years in corporate life as a Business Analyst and enjoys the work he does but finds he gets itchy feet every 18 months or so. He finds it hard to connect with his boss as he always cancels his 1-1 meetings and he’s not really feeling like he’s achieving his potential.
Jason has ‘Seek.com’ moments and spends time during the day applying for other jobs and talking to recruiters. One of his challenges is that he has a strong need for job security so he stays trying to make it work but says he has a sense of compromising his happiness. He starts to look at things like pay rises and other perks to make the job more tolerable.
Jason is one of many. Many who have learnt that if “I’m not happy I’ll just leave”. The reality is though that more people are fearful of leaving jobs since the GFC, resulting in less engagement and a feeling of being trapped.
Last year I spoke at a conference and shared the stage with Mark Bouris, the Australian version of Donald Trump and the host of “The Apprentice”. During his speech, in his signature blunt and direct style, he said “if you don’t like your job, learn to like it”. I believe this is precisely the future challenge for business leaders.
As a team member it’s easy to sit back and blame others for my unhappiness at work. I believe as leaders we have a job to teach leaders how to help staff take responsibility for their own enjoyment of their jobs and it not be up to organisations to make people happy. As leaders we don’t always have time to make sure everyone is okay. Day to day operations take over and before you know it another week, month or year has gone by.
A recent survey found that over 70% of people hated their jobs. This costs billions of dollars to organisations and economies each year.
Jess Pryce Jones in her book “Maximising your Psychological Capital for Success” found in her research that those who are more likely to feel like they’re achieving their potential at work are 150% more motivated, have higher energy levels and are happier in life overall. She found that if the individual is happy at work, then by default they will be engaged.
Some things you can do, or teach your team to do to learn to like their job:
1. Take control of your calendar– this will increase your feelings of being in control of your day and less at the peril of others. Block time for yourself. Check emails only 3 times per day and allocate time to do your own work, don’t just have a calendar full of meetings and looking at everybody else’s needs. This will result in working late and not completing tasks.
2. Celebrate wins– stretch out positive experiences. So often we dismiss achievements and results. It’s easy to overlook their importance because they’re what “should” happen. By actively stretching out positive experiences to celebrate wins will help you to engage and have a more fulfilling time at work. Have team lunches or afternoons, drinks after work, morning teas, make wins and progress visible in your work area with images, posters or news articles on your intranet.
3. Ask for time with your manager– gaining clarity on what you need to achieve and how you’re measured in your contribution is one of the fastest and highest ranked ways to improve your enjoyment at work. If you’re feeling like you don’t have enough time or clarity from your manager, ask for it. They’re only human too and they’re not mind-readers.
4. Know how you like to be thanked– Dr Gary Chapman wrote the ground-breaking book “Love Languages” and has written a workplace version. Being aware of how you like to be thanked and sharing that with your manager will help them reward and recognise you in a way that is meaningful to you rather than a one size fits all.
5. Get networked– Jess Pryce Jones’ Research found that those who have strong networks outside the organisation as well as within, are more likely to have access to resources when solving problems and challenges. This also improves feelings of confidence on the job.
To be an effective leader means to leverage your team’s likability of their job to get the results you’re looking for. You can use some of the above steps to prompt coaching questions at your next one-on-one meetings.
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Jane Anderson is a Speaker and Author who works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
She is the author of 4 books including “EXPERT to INFLUENCER: 12 Key Skills to Attract New Clients, Increase Sales and Leverage your Personal Brand to Become an Industry Leader.”
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.