In today’s economy many people are left feeling unsatisfied at work but feeling as though they do not have the ability to change their situation. Fear of the bad economic conditions impacting their likelihood of getting a new or different job they simply keep their mouth shut and suffer through it. This can be as simple as wishing they had different job duties, to wanting to bring up new ideas, to needing a change in their work schedule -all ideas and needs that are valid to the employee but not worth risking their job to bring it up.
The problem is that unsatisfied workers are not productive workers. In order to receive the maximum benefit from employees a company needs to create a culture where they are safe to bring up their needs, wants and ideas. Companies need to keep in mind that they hired their employees for a reason – they bring value to the organization. Whether the value is found in performing necessary task or leading the company in a new direction – at one point their value was evident and on full display. If it wasn’t they never would have gotten the job. Somewhere along the way companies try and conform candidates to their views and fit them into a “corporate box”. This is not a smart way to operate because it takes away an employee’s ability to be creative and forward thinking. An example of this is the endless policies and procedures companies tend to force upon employees. Reading manual after manual an employee can easily get stuck in the “rules” and completely miss the objective and reason behind them. They get stuck in the mire of company politics and start going nowhere fast.
Business owners, leaders, and executives should demand more of their employees. They need to acknowledge employee strengths and provide opportunities for employees to expand upon them. Companies also need to make employees feel valuable and that they are an important part of the direction and daily success of the organization. Most people do not enjoy showing up every day for work with the feeling that they are not accomplishing anything or making a difference for the greater good. It is when people feel empowered that they make the biggest difference.
For employees that want greater satisfaction at work – do not be afraid to say so. Write down a list of your thoughts and ideas. Document what you think it would take to make your position and work experience better. Remember that the most important thing to the company and company leadership is going to be the company. Increasing your work satisfaction should be directly tied to productivity and the company seeing results.
This example highlights the difference:
“Laura – I want to work four ten hours shifts so that I have an extra day at home.
I hate driving in traffic so it would be much easier for me to work here.”
“Laura – I noticed that a lot of my customers call me late in the evening. The company would
increase their sales if I was able to take those calls. I would like to work four ten
Hour shifts in order to accommodate my customers’ schedules.”
There is a clear difference between what is good for the employee and what is good for the employer. An ideal situation benefits both and that is what is likely to get the most traction. This simple example demonstrates how there can be both. Regardless of an idea, strategy, schedule change, marketing concept or raise – employees should feel comfortable communicating with employers and receiving feedback. Employees that are scared to bring up change and get reprimanded and fired when they do should consider working with an attorney. “Labor laws are in place for a reason – to protect workers throughout the country.” – Gallon Law A productive workplace involves employees and employers working together for common goals and focus on achieving success. When one party downplays the importance of the other the organization no longer functions smoothly and both parties miss out on the benefit of coming together in the first place.
Courtney D. Smith says
Great points in your post. I especially like the example, showcasing just how to effectively speak up for both employees and employers!
Bethany Wood says
Thanks Courtney. If you need any specific suggestions let me know and I’ll try to do a follow up piece.