Was your New Year’s resolution in 2014 to find a new and better job? A Career Builder survey in early 2014 revealed that 58% of people are dissatisfied with their current job and 21% will be doing something about it this year. People are not happy for a variety of reasons: stress, poor work/life balance, feelings of under-employment or no avenues for advancement. Instead of adding to these thoughts of despair and this overall negative downward spiral that has happened since late in the last century, let’s talk positive and look at a few things that can be done to turn this around.
• We need better leaders. Improved communication that engages employees and includes them as an important part of the team. People, who lead by example, communicate expectations and reward successes while turning miss-steps into teaching moments, not negative marks.
• We need better pay equality. According to Paul Wiseman in an AP article, in 2012 the gap between the richest 1% and the remaining 99 % was the widest it’s been since the 1920s, and 2013 Nobel-winning economist Robert Schiller believes this inequality: “is the most important problem that we are facing now today.” This just highlights the “us vs. them” mentality and paints the picture that everyone is not sharing in an organization’s success.
• We need to change our corporate culture. People need to look forward to and want to come to work. Many places are enjoyable and rewarding to work, from long-established firms that have embraced or led change to start-ups that have excitement around every corner. We need to take a look at these “best places to work” and figure out what they are doing differently than others and then have the courage to drive change, from the CEO to the parking lot attendant.
• We need to get current and stay current. Accept new tools and technology so workers are more productive, efficient and profitable and are better able to make solid contributions while feeling less frustration and more of a valuable member of the team. Intranets and on-line communities foster engagement, networking, sharing and improved communication that benefits all involved while putting an organization on the road to success.
• It starts with you. Yes, we all have to learn, change and look positively to the future and take personal responsibility to focus on making organizations better.
Now I will get off my soapbox and just ask everyone to make the effort to contribute to a better workplace. Let me know what you think and what will you change to improve those 8 hours every day, or a third of your life that should provide you the rewards of happiness, accomplishment and financial security.
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