A Wake Up Call

Watching the news recently, I saw an interesting statistic indicating that 53% of workers are unhappy at work. Many cite lack of career development as one of the major reasons. That should be a wake up call to any business or firm that cares about retaining its talent.

Motivated people crave opportunities to develop themselves and their career, yet they often don’t know what to do about it. One of the most important roles of a leader is to help employees find ways to develop themselves.

As a leader, you can’t be responsible for someone else’s happiness, but you can do much to create an environment that helps people thrive.

Some suggestions:
  • Reinforce what’s working well.
    Notice when a person on your team is performing exceptionally well, or even doing relatively better compared to past performance. Congratulate them on their success or improvement. A small acknowledgement can have a big impact.
  • Encourage new ways of working.
    Invite ideas and suggestions from the team on what can be done differently to create an ideal kind of environment at work. Fortunately you don’t have to figure it all out yourself.
  • Be inquisitive.
    If you notice a particular team member who consistently seems unhappy at work, don’t make assumptions about what you think is the cause. People are complicated and you just never know what’s going on inside. But you can ask questions to get the person talking. Opening a conversation may reveal clues about issues you can help influence.

Now, if you happen to be part of that “unhappy at work” statistic yourself, do something about it.Your leadership effectiveness and business results are at stake, not to mention other aspects of your life.

One leader I know was dwelling on his past,a long career in the financial services industry. He wondered if he was really reaping the rewards he should be given his age and experience. How do you know if you’re getting what you want and deserve?

It’s not unusual to have a bad day every now and then, but if you find yourself constantly stressed, dissatisfied, unfulfilled, overwhelmed, unrewarded, unmotivated, or longing for greener pastures, something needs to change.Maybe it’s your own wake up call.Answer the alarm.Don’t hit the snooze button and roll over.

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