I don’t know that it’s actually possible to achieve enduring job satisfaction. Career malaise is easier to identify in the corporate world, but it permeates all industries, it just takes different forms.
Paper pushers slump in their cubicles and start a stamp collection and dream of writing a letter of resignation, while rock stars develop a coke habit and put out albums like Bridges to Babylon; both examples evidence a lack of drive and starvation for appreciation.
There are also circumstantial factors donating to frequent reporting on job satisfaction. For one thing, the herd now entering their early thirties grew up in a time wherein college degrees were pitched as golden tickets. Get a degree in anything as soon as possible has finally reached its dead end.
The other, less charitable factor, is the one about my generation-workforce millennials being the most voracious for approval. I’ll grant that anecdotal evidence makes this a uniquely difficult charge to fight, but not without insisting that the root isn’t necessarily narcissism and self-absorption. I don’t think it’s a crime to welcome professional self-evaluations, many of which can only be properly addressed by requesting feedback from employers.
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The key questions
In a new CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness Survey, a third of the 8,000 American working adults queried said that they considered quitting their job in the last three months. Sixty-seven percent of this demographic reported ruminating over this resolve because they feel undervalued. To be clear, a quarter meant this in terms of salary, while the remaining meant they would like more verbal demonstrations of appreciation for the work they do from their colleagues.
Ninety percent of workers that haven’t given resignation a serious thought still lamented this lack of recognition; this was a recurring theme in the new report. Workers that have considered quitting and those that haven’t (yet) still agreed on the key issues troubling their place of employment- a lack of mentorship availability, the perceived refusal to instruct staff on how to operate and or combat automation on behalf of their employers, and a frustrating hesitance evidenced by their bosses to validate their efforts. .
Validation doesn’t only have to be communicated via a moist, hand on the shoulder “Atta boy!” sentiments, in fact, most find these affirmations to be condescending. Workers like to be alerted to their value in the form of increased opportunities within their firms, the younger the employee the fiercer the appetite. One in four respondents that belong to the Gen Z and millennial generation (age 18–24) feel that opportunities to advance are the most important precursor to the longevity of their tenure at a given company. Some autonomy must be allowed in the crawl space between positions, as salary isn’t a strong enough incentive on its own to motivate workers to rise to the challenge.
Telling employees precisely how and exactly how long it should take them to complete a task is to ignore the grit and grain of the bottom of the professional food chain-productivity will suffer and company morale will suffer. Seventy-one percent of workers that have considered quitting in the last months occasioned doing so by reason of lack of self-government within their position.
Roughly 3.5 million U.S workers quit their jobs every month; the unemployment rate being what it is, means the well of passionate competent workers of which to replace these with dries more and more every year.
Brian Kropp, who is the vice president at research firm Gartner, fully comprehends the power professional acknowledgment has in steadying a temporizing foot out the door, telling CNBC Make It, “People didn’t get promoted in 2018. We saw a reluctance from companies to actually significantly promote people. Today, the average employee is at the same level for about four and a half years. Pre-global financial crisis, that was about two and a half years, so the average employee is at the same level roughly 50 percent longer than they were a decade-plus ago. And that’s a sign that it wasn’t a great year for employees.”