Since 2020 I have never come across so many ways to describe how uncommitted we are at work. From the Great Resignation followed by Quiet Quitting, which is now getting noisier, to now being called Resenteeism.
Hard to keep track of the next trend, but what is actually happening?
At iOpener, we have been measuring happiness at work for over 10 years. You already know if you or your team are happy at work. But when we talk about happiness, it isn't the short buzz when you are told you've done an ‘amazing job’ stacking boxes in a straight line (based on true events - 1993).
Instead this is your mindset in pursuing happiness. This mindset is fairly stable and the good news is that it can be changed with focus and effort. There are a bunch of factors that affect your happiness mindset and one of them is Commitment. The long-term engagement you have to an organization. There are a bunch of other factors that we have written about that you can find here.
Unfortunately for me, stacking boxes was not gonna be the long-term gig I dreamt of. But if I have long-term Commitment I am:
- Doing something worthwhile. For me this is doing something beyond making a profit.
- Feeling strong bursts of positive emotions. Meeting with purpose, learning and experiments.
- Believing in the vision of the organization and those leading it. Beyond the mousemat strapline.
- Being interested in my job.
Easy eh? So what have we found out?
We know that if you're not paid well enough you are more likely to consider leaving. But what tolerance do we have and has it changed? Post-pandemic, folk are less likely to tolerate lower pay and stay in a role. No surprise with mass inflation and joblessness.
When we measure how meaningful work is and intention to quit: those responding that have meaning in their work are more likely to stay.
When we do find trust or belief in our leaders, this increases Commitment and overall happiness. Trust is drying up in politics and the media. But not all bad news if you work as a Scientist or in the Military where trust is relatively high. We believe they are there to serve and protect (hint hint).
The good news is that the institution of business is typically more trusted than those in the Government, or in the Media.
But business leaders are being asked to take seriously the trends I started this blog with. Beneath the cheesy terms is a real urge to change how we work. For fairer work, better conditions, improved wellbeing. And if your employees do not trust you to lead to make these changes, why would they stay?
So what might I suggest to strengthen Commitment?
Finding out what really pisses you off.Not just at work. But at work, home and play. Think about a time when you have disengaged or walked away from a relationship or at worst a job. What value might have just been trodden on. Got it? Now think about how your work and this value is connected. If it isn’t, then that’s a conversation. At least with yourself. How do I fulfil my core values at work? How might I change my work to make it more connected to what matters? How am I using my core values to make my decisions at work?
In my bunch of core values is Health & Home. I found these out on a cold snowy morning in 2021. During lockdown. The family was having a hard time. Twin two year olds are constantly crying. Mother is not good. I was about to have a team workshop in the afternoon. The obvious thing was to postpone the session. Instead, I spent the next 45 mins trying everything to keep the workshop in the diary. I had to go for a walk to realize how paralyzed I was. If it took me such a long time to make a decision, how long would it take for another in the team? Workshop canned. And Health and Home is born. Now it’s a common mantra across the team. If your work messes with your Health or Home, just stop and shout.
Measuring happiness.Having a happy mindset is not a behavior. You can’t see it. So when you break it down, it can be easier to focus on 1 or 2 things. Here’s the plug for today’s blog. Fill in our Happiness at Work questionnaire and in a few minutes you can specify what to strengthen with a bunch of questions to either coach yourself on - or if you’re lucky enough, to have a conversation with someone you trust (I hope it’s your boss).
Being interested in your job. What makes me interested is really knowing what happens in the world of work and grabbing the data, insight and know-how to Make Leadership, Learning and Life Better. We are on a quest to get as much data on happiness so we can tackle real issues being faced at work. Poorly designed jobs, toxic cultures and lack of equality are real challenges. Over 60,000 people have filled our Happiness at Work questionnaire, but we are on a quest to be even more informed so we can better serve others (so others can trust what we do).
Finding work that is worthwhileWe are hurtling to the end of the year, and we convert the number of participants we have met into minutes. So last year we met around 3,500 participants. Works out to be around 9 days. We give these 9 days to less privileged organizations that cannot afford what we do. This formula matches our success with payback to something beyond profit. And the buzz it gives is lasting.
Way more than stacking straight boxes.