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Why Everyone is Unhappy With Their Jobs and How Companies Can Fix It
Posted by Arya Chatterjee
November 11, 2023
Help your employees find greater fulfillment in their jobs, making them more excited to show up daily.
In the bustling landscape of modern employment, there’s a recurring trend that has been haunting employees and employers for years – unhappiness at work.
From groaning about Sunday Scaries and Monday Blues to the infamous ‘Hump Day’ and constant refrains of ‘TGIF’ — job dissatisfaction is almost considered normal. A disenchanted workforce has heavy consequences, not only for workers but for companies as well.
A Gallup poll from 2021 found that only 36% of employees in the United States feel engaged in their work. This means an alarming 64% are disengaged, experiencing a significant level of unhappiness during their working hours.
Outside of the USA, the situation isn’t any brighter. The World Happiness Report in 2022 emphasized the importance of the workplace as a crucial factor in people’s overall life satisfaction. But what’s causing this widespread unhappiness?
Warning signs of an unhappy employee
Job mismatch: Unmet expectations encourage people to quit their jobs due to frustration and disillusionment.
Lack of recognition: A lack of credit is a powerful demotivator that makes people feel unappreciated at work.
Stagnation: Career growth and development are essential for all individuals, so if these opportunities are scarce at a workplace, the seed of unhappiness gets planted.
Burnout and work-life balance: Poor work-life balance is a significant driver of burnout, defined as an occupational phenomenon by WHO. In today’s digital age, where work often eats into personal time, employees struggle to balance their lives.
Toxic work environments: Working in a toxic environment can harm mental as well as physical health, increasing employee discontentment and turnover rates.
What can companies do to fix it?
The negative impact can be counteracted, and companies can take meaningful steps to tackle these issues and improve employee happiness. Happy employees are not only more pleasant at work, but they are also productive, creative, and loyal. If you’re trying to find the solution to how to deal with unhappy employees, get ready to transform your workplace.
1. Flexible work arrangements
Freedom is the name of the game. Post-pandemic, we have learned the significance of remote work options or flexible hours. Today, it’s become such an integral part of maintaining work-life balance. Giving your employees the freedom to manage their schedules better makes them happier and more motivated. New data from FlexJobs shows that 65% of employees said they’re more productive working from home.
Recognizing and rewarding employees’ hard work keeps them happy and productive. A simple “Employee of the Month” program or an annual awards ceremony can create a healthy sense of competition and a positive atmosphere.
3. Learning and growth opportunities
Employees who feel that their workplace encourages their growth and advancement in their careers tend to stay for longer. Companies that provide such opportunities not only foster a happier culture but also improve employee retention. Workshops, mentor programs, and clear pathways for success can be the key.
4. Foster a positive culture
Encourage open communication, celebrate diversity, and promote a healthy work-life balance. Going further, organize team-building activities, celebrate birthdays, and foster a supportive community where employees enjoy participating.
5. Perks and benefits
Your employees are the backbone of your company. Ask yourself, what perks and benefits would make them feel special? It could be free gym memberships, mental health and wellness programs, courses to improve their career, or even an in-house barista and lunch system.
6. Let the creative ideas flow
Creativity isn’t just for the design or marketing department; it’s an integral part of your company’s culture. Employees should feel confident about suggesting new ideas and initiatives. Google has a “20% time” policy where employees can spend a fifth of their work hours on projects close to their heart. This gave birth to the iconic Gmail.
7. Work-life balance
Balancing work and life is no joke, but it shouldn’t be a war between them. Give employees the freedom to unplug when they’re off the clock. This gives them a clear message that you respect their boundaries. After-hour emails, messages, and work emergencies shouldn’t be the norm.
8. Listen to your employees
Employees must feel like their ideas or grievances are heard and acknowledged. Creating avenues for feedback through suggestion boxes, surveys, or open-door policies gives them a sense of security to voice their opinions.
The bottom line
In the pursuit of workplace happiness, small things can make a massive impact. Unhappiness is a complex issue, with many factors being the cause of it. Companies can alleviate this disenchantment by creating environments that foster employee well-being, promoting growth and success, and building a culture that makes workers happy. Valued employees who feel challenged and supported at work wake up with a smile, eager to tackle the day ahead. So, go ahead, put a smile on your team’s face, and make your company shine.
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact ushere.
Arya Chatterjee is a freelance writer and consultant from Mumbai. With a background in journalism and over five years of creative writing experience working with legacy media like Architectural Digest and Femina India and brands like The Label Life, ThinkRight.me and Macy's, she crafts unique and compelling stories that engage the readers. She enjoys writing about health, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle and exploring the symbiotic relationship between thriving businesses and happy employees through her writing. She is always looking to explore new avenues to expand her creative energy.