Seventy-one percent of American workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive. That leaves nearly one-third of American workers who are "engaged," or involved in and enthusiastic about their work and contributing to their organizations in a positive manner. This trend remained relatively stable throughout 2011. Americans' levels of engagement at work are generally consistent with Gallup's trends on workplace engagement from various studies since 2000. The current percentage of engaged employees is similar to the historical high of 30% in 2001 to 2002 and 2006 to 2007. The percentage who are actively disengaged is near the high of 20% recorded in 2007 and 2008.
It’s pretty easy to guess why 70% of employees are not engaged at work. And in your own life, you’re either in the same boat or have heard the gripes, quips and complaints from others. But what about the 30% of employees that are engaged? What is it that they love about their jobs and how can you love yours, too?
Dan Pink author of Drive states that you need Autonomy, Mastery and Sense of purpose.
TINYpulse conducted a survey looking into why people love their jobs and tabulated the top five reasons. The number one reason for loving their job cited by those responding to the survey was coworkers, and was mentioned three times as frequently as the next most-cited reason for loving a job. TINYpulse founder and CEO David Niu commented that "Great people attract great people," and added that "The quality of your team can play a big role in employee happiness." Employees also rate culture highly, and listed their work environment as the third most important factor in loving their jobs. . Many other respondents listed "variety" and "learning" as things they loved about their job. These two things provide stimuli which keep employees more engaged with their work, and allows them to tackle more opportunities. Challenges where also listed as desirable, providing stimuli that help employees stay engaged and develop skills that they did not previously have
TINYpulse the top five reasons people love their jobs.
1. We the People
The number one reason cited for loving a job was coworkers. because of the people they work with. In fact, this answer was mentioned three times as frequently as the next most-cited reason for loving a job. One responder commented, “I love the people I work beside. They are practically my family.”
2. Let Freedom Ring
The second leading factor in what makes people love their jobs comes under the banner of freedom. Employees cited freedom, autonomy and flexibility as key components to job satisfaction.
One employee craved “having the freedom to create, improvise and be entrepreneurial,” while another stated: “I love having the freedom to experiment and fail, and still support my actions. If you want your employees to take risks, you have to give them permission to fail,” said Niu. “You have to proactively ask employees for their opinion on a regular basis, and allow people to speak their mind without fear.”
3. Culture is King
Cameron Herold, author of Backpocket COO, said culture is king and creating a desirable work environment is the most important advice he gives to CEO’s for growing a business. Employees also rate culture highly, listing the work environment as the third most important factor for loving your job. One respondent gushed: “There are many things that I love about my job. I love the work environment. I love the camaraderie that is formed with co-workers. I love being a part of something larger that makes a difference. I love that everyone cares and that you have flexibility when needed.”
And when it comes to an engaging work culture, leadership and management are who employees look to in setting the status quo. “Many people think of work culture in terms of ping-pong tables and free snacks,” said Niu. “However, I’ve found that companies who rank high on our employee happiness index have cultures that deliver on the fundamental values of transparency, trust and communication. ”Niu commented that he has "found that companies who rank high on our employee happiness index have cultures that deliver on the fundamental values of transparency, trust and communication," while the opposite is true in companies where employee ratings are low
4. Variety is the Spice of Life
Many respondents of the TINYpulse survey listed “variety” and “learning” as things they loved about their job. According to Duke professor Tom Katsoulea, “even lowly amoebas show evidence that boredom and unhappiness occur when subjected to repeated stimuli without new ‘learning.’” Thus, it’s in our nature to learn and seek variety. One employee said, “I love the variety. Everyday is different and I get to interact with such a varied group. It means I am always learning.” It’s also very important to provide employees with the resources, tools and training for their development. “One of our clients really engaged their employees by creating and communicating career path road maps for all of their employees,” said Niu.
5. Do Not Limit Your Challenges
Somewhere in a company lunchroom there is a poster with rock climbers making the final ascent up a mountain. The caption reads: “Do not limit your challenges, challenge your limits.” It’s trite, but true. People want to be challenged. “I love that my job challenges me every day in different ways,” said one respondent. Another employee wrote, “Give me MCP: mission, challenge and purpose.” In contrast, low employee engagement scores were given when words like “grind,” “repetitive,” “mundane” and “unchallenged” were reported. “Leaders who are great at delegating provide both opportunity and challenges for their employees to stay engaged,” said Niu. “The key is to unblock, support and provide the resources for employees to push their limits.”
Mashable (11/25/13) Nakao, Kevin