6 Reasons You’re not Happy at Work (and What to do About it)
Does going to work feel like a daily grind? It’s time to stop making excuses and start taking action.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
You may have met a few of these people in your lifetime: The rare individuals who love their jobs and pop out of bed every day energized and excited to get to work. If that's not you, take heart--there are things within your power to feel more engaged in your career.
Just ask Roy Man, cofounder and CEO of the collaboration and communications platform Dapulse. As previously part of the leadership team of an Israeli startup which had grown from 50 to 1,000 employees in a short amount of time, his insight stems from being tasked with fixing the communication problems arising from such exponential growth. To do it, he met with hundreds of managers and employees to discuss the challenges they were facing, where they were finding best success in the workplace, and how they wanted to manage their teams. He, together with his cofounder Eran Zinman, took everything they learned and started building Dapulse, which was first sold in early 2014 and is now used by more than 10,000 teams, in over 120 countries, across 200 business verticals. Here's his take on the top reasons people aren't happy at work, and what they can do about it.
1. You are handed one task after another
The most common complaint Man received from the people he surveyed is that upon finishing an assignment, employees were simply given another task without being recognized for their work. Either that, or they only received feedback when it was negative. As a result, people were tempted to work slower.
The fix: Bring ideas to the table about how your team can reward those who set and achieve weekly goals. In essence, you're looking for ways to motivate people to be productive, not the opposite. This can completely change your team dynamics.
2. You are not given the tools you need to succeed
Man learned in his surveying that companies struggle to provide employees with the right resources, access, information, and ability to execute on their assignments. Employees do not know how to ask for what they need and feel vulnerable admitting they need additional resources.
The fix: Identify what things would help you achieve your goals, and delineate how investing in these tools (or process changes) would positively affect your workflow. Do your due diligence and communicate how you will demonstrate increased productivity in the days, weeks and months to come.
3. You spend too much time in boring meetings and weeding through the time suck of email
Man found that people spend too much time in useless meetings and writing emails. This wasted time is universally demotivating.
The fix: First, know that nearly half the people out there believe at least some of the meetings they attend are a waste of time. As such, there's plenty of research available which will help you argue the case for having less of them. But if meetings are ingrained in your company culture, do your part to prepare attendees with what you'll be presenting so people are primed to contribute meaningfully. And, at the very least, don't be guilty of annoying behavior common to many meetings, including texting, arriving late and being unprepared.
4. You feel micro-managed by your boss
No one enjoys being micro-managed. But when managers don't know what subordinates are doing they can go overboard trying to exert control.
The fix: Be proactive and beat micro-managers to the punch by sharing what you're doing in the next weeks and months, along with when they can expect to see deliverables. Share this information with the entire company so everyone feels confident that there's a rock-solid plan in place--one to which you will hold yourself accountable.
5. You feel like you can't change things for the better
Man found that in spite of years of experience, many of the employees he surveyed did not have all the information needed to really succeed in their job. Often, they felt like they had to rise in the corporate hierarchy to obtain access to necessary information. Plus, people generally do not like change.
The fix: What helps--frequent and consistent communication. After determining what needs to change, help make it happen by frequently and transparently updating everyone in the organization on the progress of your initiative.
6. You're not an insider and find things out too late
Shouldn't everyone on a team be an insider? Yet rumors and drama often result when some people--but not everyone--has access to information.
The fix: Lobby for using a communication platform which can help create a transparent work culture, which fosters agility and productivity. (Hint: It's not email.) Transparency means making all information--numbers, roadmaps, plans, challenges, and concerns--readily accessible to everyone on your team. This demonstrates that no one has anything to hide.