When Gallup polled US workers last year, they found that 80% of people don’t like their jobs, and what’s worse, 67% say they plan to leave their jobs within the next 12 months. Anecdotally, I know this is true. I hear my friends talk about how much they hate their jobs all the time. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen – the language they use to describe their work is negative, negative, negative. In some cases, they seem to take pride in how awful it is. They brag about the stress, the hours, the conflicts; and they count the days and years until they can stop working.
As a father, I’m worried that my children are hearing and believing these messages. I’m concerned that they believe that when they enter the workforce it’s all stress and misery, buffered occasionally by happy hours, TGIF and a desperate hope that “one day I can retire.” Who is out there telling our kids, my kids, that work is rewarding, fulfilling, meaningful and important on numerous levels?
As a business owner, I know that if my team members are sitting at their desks thinking how much they hate their jobs and planning to leave soon, then clearly they aren’t helping us achieve our business goals.
But I’m convinced that it doesn’t have to be this way, and I’m committed to changing the conversation about work by changing the culture at work. I want to make sure that every member of my team feels valued and that their work is valuable. I find opportunities for every single person to have a voice in what we’re doing. And, I eliminate rules that see every individual as being the same and seek out ways to treat team members as individuals, understanding that not everyone is motivated in the same way and not everyone wants the same rewards. I institute rituals and traditions into our culture focused on five specific areas:
- Ignite Individual Growth
- Inspire Team Togetherness
- Build the Community Together
- Respect Family
- Support Meaningful Work
By doing these things, my team members are more fulfilled, more engaged, more focused and more intent on helping us be the best company we can be. They are the 20%, and that makes me happy.