8 Reasons Why Your Employees Hate Their Jobs (and How to Change It)

A Gallup report found that most employees hate their jobs. Find out why and what you can do to turn things around at your small business.
July 11, 2014

The sad truth is that some of your employees don't like coming to work—and it’s mostly your fault.

According to a Gallup report only 30 percent of employees feel truly engaged in their jobs. The rest find work to be draining and discouraging. Employees who don’t feel appreciated, or part of the bigger picture, quickly lose focus and motivation. The result is poor performance, which hurts your bottom line.

Protect your business by cultivating a better employee environment. Let's take a look at the most common reasons why employees hate their jobs, and how you, as the owner, can turn things around.

1. You have not set a clear purpose for the company. Most employees don’t want a job, but do want to be part of an organization that is larger than themselves. Common purpose is the driving force in every positive company culture. As the owner, you need to set a single mission that all employees can achieve together.

2. They don’t feel like they make a difference. In their jobs, many employees question what their work is really achieving. Make sure each employee understands how his or her job fits in and why that job is critical to achieving the company’s goals.

3. You don’t really care about them. Your employees feel like interchangeable parts in an overall plan for you to make money. You must show them how they make a difference (individually and as part of a team); ask for their feedback; and acknowledge they have personal lives and priorities outside of the office.

4. You aren’t interested in their careers. Many employees don’t see how the job they're in can help advance their careers. It's your responsibility to show employees how they can move up at your company, or how their jobs prepare them for general skills advancement. At least a few times a year, have employee meetings devoted to career development.

5. They don’t feel appreciated. It’s not all about how much money you pay your employees. Instead, show your appreciation by telling them, in person, that they did a good job. You can also send an email or letter, thank-you gift or highlight their accomplishments in front of the company.

6. Your expectations are unrealistic. In fact, you bully them to try to get the results you want with threats instead of incentives. As the owner, you should make sure your employees fit well in the jobs they have, and voice realistic expectations of consistently achieving goals.

7. You don’t allow them to focus. Your employees are given too many competing tasks and ever-changing priorities, so they don’t know what to focus on first. Set clear priorities that allow people a reasonable amount of time to get tasks done well. These priorities should not be reset more than weekly.

8. You don’t let them recharge. People need time to physically and mentally recover after working hard so they don’t burn out. According to the New York Times, “Employees who take a break every 90 minutes report a 30 percent higher level of focus than those who take no breaks or just one during the day.” Make sure all employees schedule breaks throughout the day and week. A burned-out employee can never help a company. 

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