Various surveys and studies across the globe show that the majority of employees are disillusioned with their jobs in one way or another. Job satisfaction is connected to most of the positive outcomes relating to employees in an organization— their performance, their commitment to the job and the organization, and their general sense of happiness. Beyond work, job satisfaction can also impact life satisfaction. This means that a lack of job satisfaction can create frustration at not only the workplace but also at the home and beyond.
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Interestingly, there are studies that have looked at the impact of both work overload and lack of enough work (leading to boredom) on employees. In an interesting recent study, researchers found that lack of challenging or meaningful work can lead to counterproductive behaviours. Work that is not meaningful can be emotionally exhausting and often even lead to depressive behaviours. Often, employees in this situation try to cope through detachment and think of leaving their job or the organization. An unmanageable workload or an overload of work can lead to burnout. In organizations, overload and burnout are known problems that can impact employee engagement. However, lack of engaging work can be a more hidden phenomenon and is often something employees may avoid speaking about.
The manager can play an important role in enhancing job satisfaction among employees as well as a critical role in how they perceive themselves, their job, the team and the organization.
Gallup’s thought leaders Rodd Wagner and James Hartner in their book The Elements of Great Managing say that the manager can create the conditions that can enable great employee engagement.
The manager can influence the employee’s sense of purpose at work and alignment with the organization, and create human engagement for the employee through appreciation and recognition, nurture learning, build connection for the employee with the team members and provide him the necessary resources. All this would add up to the manager becoming a role model in the organization.
Excerpted from Purposeful: Finding Greater Meaning And Engagement At Work by Sandeep K. Krishnan, with permission from Penguin Random House India.
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