As I’ve become more involved with the human resources side of marketing (and business) consulting, I’ve become more aware of how people feel about their work. In particular, how employees feel when it comes to being happy at work.
I’ve been focusing my attention on the different age groups in the workplace but what I find even more interesting are the similarities that employees of all ages have in common.
Here three important indicators I’ve discovered that have a correlation or relationship with a person’s happiness in the workplace.
- If they dislike their manager/boss/supervisor, they’re more likely to leave
This finding, from a Gallup poll, indicates that the primary reason employees leave companies is due to their direct supervisor or manager. “75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself. In spite of how good a job may be, people will quit if the reporting relationship is not healthy.”
With all the time and expense that goes along with recruiting and retaining valuable people, why isn’t the same amount of energy, time, and resources going into teaching people how to manage others? And monitoring their success at people management? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen people elevated to manage a team without any formal training, education, or accountability when it comes to the success – or attrition rate – of their team.
If you spend money finding new employees and keeping valuable talent, it only makes sense to invest in keeping them.
2) If employees don’t have a say in how they’re managed, they’re not as happy
I’ve written about managing age-diverse teams and why there’s a “crisis” now, managing Millennials in the workplace. And part of this arises from the fact that younger workers are often managed by older workers. If the differences in how these age-groups approach teamwork is not addressed, it can lead to worker attrition. As noted above, people leave bad managers, not companies.
No two people are the same, from their ages to what motivates them best, and treating everyone in a cookie-cutter way is not a recipe for success. Why not ask employees how they want to be managed? This is a great way to empower each person to get what they need from their manager, and to keep them happy at work.
3) If communication in the organizations isn’t clear and consistent, employees feel stressed
What I hear people of all ages saying about their workplace is that a lot of their job dissatisfaction comes from being in the dark about a lot of issues – from policies to expectations to announcements. Many times, the issue isn’t one of having communicated a wrong message – it’s the problem of not communicating enough.
One of the biggest learnings from the pandemic has been that clear, concise, and consistent communication within an organization is critical – for the physical and mental health of its employees. The companies that do best are the ones that overcommunicate – ensuring that everyone in the organization is on the same track and understands exactly what’s going on.
This includes ensuring that everyone knows what’s expected of them and ensuring that lines of communication work in reverse, too. Senior management needs to know if there are issues or problems and the more communication flows both ways, the less likely an organization is to get into trouble – on many levels.
The way employees receive and notice communications (instant message vs. email, for example) may vary; and how they prefer to communicate themselves may also differ from one age-group to another. But the messaging itself needs to be created and sent – as well as received – for an organization to ensure everyone is on the same page.
How about you – are you happy in your current position/role? I’d love to hear your story, so contact me and let’s talk about what motivates you and keeps you happy at work.