I came across an article that claims 70% of employees are actively disengaged and feel dissatisfied at their workplace. I’m reminded of Milton from the movie Office Space. Milton is a team member who is ignored, disrespected, and managed poorly. It all culminates in a way that is less than ideal for Milton’s employer – but I won’t spoil the ending for you.
The truth is, there are so many factors that contribute to how Milton feels about his job, and today I’m going to share a few reasons that members of your team might be feeling less than excited about their current role. I’ll also highlight what you as a manager might be able to do to make a change.
Weak Company Culture
When corporate culture is discussed, it’s often in the context of “Google-esque” workplace. Free meals, nap rooms at work, regular company outings, etc. The truth is that corporate culture is about so much more than that and is crucially important.
A strong company culture starts with communication. More specifically, communication around goals, performance, and recognition. A study from O.C. Tanner found that 79% of team members who left their jobs cited a lack of appreciation as the reason.
Can you imagine if you could retain 79% of your staff just by properly recognizing and appreciating the work that they are doing? That begins with corporate culture. If you haven’t yet taken the time to work with your leadership team and set a clear vision for your culture, stop what you’re doing and start today.
Few Opportunities for Growth
The second question to ask yourself is: are there opportunities for my team here? That includes not only opportunities for growth and advancement, but also for professional development, community engagement, and team building. What opportunities exist for the staff at your organization?
Gallup research found that “career advancement and promotional opportunities” consisted of 32% of reasons why people were leaving their jobs – nearly a third of respondents, and the biggest segment by a wide margin.
Succession planning is emphasized at Prizm Media, it’s important for all managers and executives to deeply understand each team member, continuously evaluate their personal and professional needs, and offer them the resources to build their capacities to grow.
Poor Creative Expression
A lot of companies don’t listen and engage with their team to allow them to creatively express their ideas. Great ideas may exist in thin air but as a leader, if you don’t take the time to fish out and implement your teams’ ideas that both benefit and align with your business then at the end of the day, ideas are just ideas, and will never become a reality. It’s crucially important because your team can see their efforts align with the business and work cohesively together as one unit. This is what we call – innovation.
Companies today are doing some really creative things around innovation in the workplace. Google famously dedicates 20% (one day a week!) of their team’s time to side projects they are passionate about – and the results have been incredible. Some of their leading products have been born as “side projects”. Not all companies have the luxury of Google to execute passion projects on a large scale but as long as your company makes an effort to support your team members’ projects on a regular basis, innovation will flourish and your team will appreciate the ability to express their own individual creativity.
At Prizm Media, our team has the freedom to collaborate and share ideas amongst managers/executives within the company. We have many team members execute their own passion projects that align with the mission and vision of the company. When it comes to great ideas, the sky is the limit, and we create the environment to execute them.
What opportunities exist to give your team the freedom to innovate, be creative, or tap into their “entrepreneurial” self? This practice might not be for everyone, but it can absolutely reinvigorate top performers, produce some incredible new ideas, and renew commitment to your company.
If you feel like your team is dissatisfied by their job, first consider your role as a leader. Ask yourself these questions: Does the culture need improvement? Is there an opportunity for them to grow? Are they dissatisfied?
Depending on how you answer, you may be able to help turn a frustrated team member into a star performer. If you can, you’ll save yourself at least some of the trouble that Milton’s employer went through!