According to a Gallup Poll 71 percent of American workers were not “engaged” or were “actively disengaged” in their work. This correlated with these employees’ performance at work as well. They didn’t measure it, but I bet these same employees were disengaged at home too. Many of us spend more time at work than we do at home, and when we aren’t happy at work it trickles down to our home life as well.
When I see couples for counseling they aren’t only miserable in their relationships, but they are miserable at work too. We forget the importance of job satisfaction. When people are happy at work feeling valued and esteemed for what they do, that generalizes to their home life. A parent is a better parent if they feel good about what they do every day at work. A spouse is a better spouse if they feel as though they are valued and competent with their career.
In this economical environment, how do we find job satisfaction? When a study reports that the majority of employees doesn’t care about their work and are basically going to work to get a paycheck, then job satisfaction is already compromised. This is sure to affect productivity or customer service but it also affects the employee. Job stress, job injuries, and disability are all part of job satisfaction. If you feel as though you are one of those disengaged workers, the New Year provides an opportunity to change. Blaming your employer gives them the power and affords you none. If you take responsibility for changing your attitude, and your work life, things will change for you, and your family. You will minimize stress at home, improve your sense of confidence, improve your health, and have more energy.
1. Talk with your colleagues and praise them when they do their job well. Do you know how many kids they have, or how they feel about world events? Do your co-workers know how much you appreciate them? People aren’t robots and they develop more passion for their job, when they feel part of the work milieu. If you go to work engaging with them as little as possible, it won’t be long before you will feel alone and develop an attitude of being socially isolated and underappreciated.
2. Plan your day. If you let the day spontaneously unfold at work, you will lose the day to other situations that won’t improve your work satisfaction. There are “time terrorists” and many people who like venting to co-workers about their unmet needs they didn’t get at home. When you have a plan, your job becomes part of a mission. You are working for a greater cause than yourself. At the end of your day take a look at your list. Schedule the big things to be completed first thing in the morning, letting the smaller things go until later.
3. Routines get boring, and although your day may feel routine at work, you can mix up the order of what must be completed to get you out of a hum drum rut.
4. Learn to take a breathing break more and complain less about other employees. In every work place there is at least one co-worker who is not happy with a calm, can-do work attitude. These people don’t come to work to accomplish tasks or help others. They come to create drama, chaos and ill-felt will. You cannot change these people, but you can change your attitude about these people.
5. Check in with your superior at regularly scheduled times so you can stay on track with what your job requires and your progress with achieving that requirement. When your employer understands you are trying to do your job conscientiously, they usually respond favorably. Being recognized for a job well done is extremely important with job satisfaction.
Counseling couples has taught me there is more to a relationship than one another. It has taught me that relationships are built upon one another’s experience at work as well. As a counselor, I understand that sometimes improving one’s job satisfaction can improve their marriage as well. The New Year is an opportunity to improve your attitude about your job, and make the necessary changes that will help you feel energized going to work, and looking forward to coming home to your family. –Mary Jo Rapini
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