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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Job Satisfaction/Happiness


Eye-opening article in latest (February 2013) Inc. on What Makes Employees Unhappy/Happy.

“One recent report suggests that 86% of employees plan to look for a new job in 2013, up from 60% in 2009(!!!).”

It goes on to talk about what ’employees’ want (depending on age and gender) such as more money, promotion, reduced hours, flex hours, higher job title, more training, etc.

Here’s the highlight for everyone in our wonderful For Impact world: Real job satisfaction is more than benefits or perks … it’s making progress on meaningful work!

“Of all the things that contribute to a happy work day, the one thing that stands out from my research is making progress on meaningful work. Feeling like you were able to move forward on a daily basis engenders real joy.”

This is from Teresa M. Amabile who is a Harvard Business School Professor and co-authored THE PROGRESS PRINCIPLE: USING SMALL WINS TO IGNITE JOY, ENGAGEMENT AND CREATIVITY AT WORK.

If you are a leader/manager of 1 or 100 employees/associates/team members … if you are involved with search, talent, or ‘bus’ issues … you need to truly understand the following:

“When we looked at the diary entries – and we had more than 12,000 – what stood out above everything else on people’s best day was that they were able to move forward in their work, even if it was just an incremental step forward. That had a huge positive impact on their motivation.”

When asked if ‘managers’ were aware of this, Amabile and her co-author, Steven Kramer, responded: “After we did this study, we surveyed nearly 700 managers asking them to rank five employee motivators, including recognition and incentives. Progress came in dead last.”

This huge disconnect would also seem to help explain why so many people are ‘disengaged‘ at work.

Special Note: For Impact organizations have the best opportunity (of any organizations in the world!) to deliver on this big idea.

What can you do today to help your team …

“MAKE PROGRESS ON MEANINGFUL WORK?”