The Oxymoron: A Talent Shortage but 70% of People Hate their Jobs

Surveys of industry leaders report there’s a significant talent shortage. Results from Stanton Chase’s 2017 Global Industrial Executive Survey says, while top executives understand they must stay on top of technological change, many have not made progress, particularly in terms of leadership, vision, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit.

A recent 2017 Gallup survey reports 70 percent of employees either hate their jobs or are completely disengaged. Jim Clifton, Gallup’s chairman and CEO said that poor management was one of the leading causes for employee disengagement.

Kronos, a global leader in the HCM and workforce management reports 95% of human resource leaders admit employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention and 87% of human resource leaders say improved retention is a high, critical priority.

Studies by Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Glassdoor, and many others, suggest that companies with a sense of purpose and a set of defined values, outperform competitors.

Deloitte’s Research Report, “Predictions for 2017,” discusses that today’s organizations cannot succeed in silos—so people who “fit the culture” and feel comfortable communicating throughout the company also tend to be most effective as individuals.  

Restructure to Meet Employee’s Needs

The redesign of your organization doesn’t mean doing a spans and layers analysis; it means looking at the way work gets done, studying the organizational networks you have, and then designing work to support cross-functional success.

In most cases, it means making teams smaller, creating more open office spaces, creating new cross-team roles, and often changing functional leadership.  

If you’re a CEO, business leader, startup, or an employee, here are ten top criteria for leading or working in a corporate, agency, consulting, or as a small-to-medium size business:

  1. Be more personal. Get to know your teams through in-person meetings and phone conferences. Just sending emails is impersonal and you’ll miss important clues about who the person is.
  2. Don’t micromanage. If shared goals are clear, accept the fact that people have different working styles and personalities.
  3. Show appreciation. Thanking people for the work makes them feel valued and more invested.
  4. Listen actively. Do you half-listen as you’re planning a response? Instead, listening without interruption enables you to learn even more about someone which enables better working relationships.
  5. Work collaboratively. There’s your set of facts and emotions, and the other person’s. Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are. Instead of trying to prove you’re right, find a third way, which is a combination of both.
  6. Plan your strategy. If you feel your stuck, find a mentor to help plot a roadmap. If you’re interested in doing something else, or expanding your career, do research and ask to meet people to learn more about what they do. Attend networking groups, go to speaking engagements.
  7. Be open. Say yes to new experiences, meeting new people, and attending events. You never know who you’ll meet. Help others. It always comes back to you, often in unexpected ways.
  8. Speak up. 85% of people are scared to express their opinion for fear of being wrong. Adam Grant says, dissenting opinions challenge underlying assumptions and offer more creative problem solving.
  9. Don’t work for a paycheck. Money comes and goes. If you’re doing what you enjoy you’ll find other ways to get clients or new business. Be creative. Discover new projects, programs and skills you have and expand in different ways.
  10. Be who you are. Don’t “try” to being authentic and transparent, be comfortable in your own skin. If you’re confident in your own skin, people will trust and gravitate towards you.

Today’s organizations cannot exist in silos or have layers. People need to play off and trust one another. Confucius said, “To know what you know and what you don’t know is true knowledge.” Build or work as a team of specialists, help, and nurture one another and have a shared voice, rather than a competitive one.

Is it better to stay in a job you hate just to get a paycheck? Or take a risk and find a job or a new career path that could love? Only you can be in-charge of your life.

Some people work to live which means their professions are their major source of fulfillment. Other people work to live. Their jobs pay the bills but their passion is in doing other things. Their work is a means to an end, not an end.

Knowing who you are, will enable you to pursue the right career path with employers who value you and vice-versa.