Owning Career Satisfaction

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Owning Career Satisfaction by Beverly Crowell

Successful organizations understand the success of their business depends on the success of their people. They know the key drivers of career satisfaction in their workforce and work in partnership with their

employees to fuel and maintain those drivers. Owning career satisfaction is about a business imperative.

In September 2011, Time Magazine reported that despite the 14 million unemployed, “Two million people gave notice.” Why would so many employees take such risk? The answer cited was: “Extreme unhappiness on the job.” In March 2012, ADP, a payroll company, confirmed that employee turnover is increasing and that “More people quit jobs in February than in any time since the start of the Great Recession.” Why is this happening?

After the massive layoffs during the recession, companies were left with only the essential workforce, placing a lot of pressure on employees left on their payroll to produce more and at a faster pace. Employees no longer feel secure in their jobs and loyalty to their employer has been tested.

According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, wellness guru and member of Gallup’s advisory board, an estimated 57 percent of the US workforce is disengaged. Job satisfaction affects productivity, employee turnover, the quality of products and services, and as a result, the company’s bottom line. Dr. Chopra says that “The cost of actively disengaged workers in the American work force is about $350 billion a year.”

It is clear that keeping employees happy contributes to their engagement. However, employee engagement efforts are not successful without an understanding of the true drivers of career satisfaction in their workforce. Research by Career Systems International reveals that employees want

to work for a company that offers exciting work and challenge, career growth, learning and development, and an opportunity to work with great people. This places a lot pressure on the employer to meet their employees’ demands. The truth is that owning career satisfaction is a two-­‐way street which requires commitment from managers and leaders, as well as initiative and effort from employees.

Every employee has different values and knowing what those values are can help managers make a difference in their employees’ career satisfaction. Employees must learn to ask for what they are missing in their jobs. Managers on the other hand, should take interest in what their employees are passionate about, what their career goals are and what keeps them excited and engaged. Managers, working with their employees, must find ways to help them meet their goals and their passion… making their work more exciting and engaging.

When employees are happy and satisfied with their jobs, they not only stay, but they stay engaged and productive. This reflects in the quality of the products they produce as well as the service they offer to customers. When customers are happy, sales go up and so do the company’s profits. Owning career satisfaction is a partnership and win-­‐ win situation for the business.

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