Find something you love to do and work will be a joy. Does anyone remember being told this as we optimistically began our careers?
Yet despite people who have pursued passion as work versus those who pursue work as a means to an end, I increasingly see more people in the workplace who are unhappy with their jobs, and quite frankly its really starting to bring me down.
Gallup (an organization that provides data driven news) estimates that the percentage of U.S. workers in 2015 considered engaged in their jobs averaged 32%. That’s roughly 3 out of every ten people in the workplace. The majority (50.8%) of employees were “not engaged,” while another 17.2% were “actively disengaged.” So what is going on out there? Why do so many people hate their jobs?
Yesterday, I walked around the workplace and heard several comments to the tone of, “Management has no idea whats going on around here, Managers get paid to do nothing while we do all the work. This place is so disorganized, idiots must be running it.”
Hmm, is that why people hate their jobs, because of the perception of people above them? Maybe, they don’t hate their jobs, just the organization they work for. One thing strikes me as certain with these co-workers, EVERYTHING is someone else’s fault, THEY can do other people’s jobs better, and that no-one is ACCOUNTABLE for their own happiness in the workplace.
It was draining. Do people not understand how that negativity can really ruin someone’s day? I had to remove myself, so I went for a walk and that is when I met Mary. Mary is an employee who cleans the toilets and washes the floor at the hospital that I work for. She was smiling and singing while she was mopping and I felt compelled to stop and chat with her.
“You seem very happy in your work, I said. Without pausing in her cleaning duties, she replied, “Oh yes, I love my job here, its a great place to work.” After the negativity I had just endured from some some of my office colleagues, I couldn’t help but ask her why. Without missing a swipe on her spotless floor, she replied, “I have a very important job here. I clean the best I can to keep down bacteria and viruses that can make our patients sick, that can even kill our immunosuppressed patients. I also help lesson the exposure of germs for people who work here, so they don’t get sick or bring it home to their familes. I keep people healthy, maybe even save lives!”
“Yes, Mary, you certainly do”, I agreed. Mary has the ability to see the ripple effect in her work and its importance. Mary is one of the three out of ten who are actively engaged in the workplace.
So for all all of you unhappy people in the workplace, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – do something to change your situation, realize that your complaining is toxic to your co-workers, even if they pretend to agree with you. Finally, if you can’t seem to escape the workplace that you hate so much by changing jobs, then I suggest, try changing your ATTITUDE.