27 September 2023

Helping workers to love their jobs again

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Roberta Matuson* has advice on tactics leaders can use to get disillusioned and disengaged employees back on track.

Imagine going to work every day and hating what you do.

Unfortunately for many, you don’t have to imagine.

Those people are you, and it appears that you have a lot of company.

According to Gallup, employee disengagement recently hit a nine-year high.

So this is the perfect time for a heart-to-heart discussion on how to get your employees to fall in love with you over and over again.

Here’s where to begin.

Be authentic and ensure cultural fit

If you’ve dated more than one person in your lifetime, then you know what it’s like to be enchanted the moment you meet.

Everyone is on his or her best behaviour.

Flash forward a month or two later, and you realise that you may have been sold a lemon.

You quickly depart.

I’ve spoken with enough candidates who have broken up with their employers to know that many hiring managers aren’t being completely truthful.

The job they are presenting to prospective employees isn’t quite the same as the job these people are accepting.

Prospective employees and those in your employ prefer transparency.

Always be yourself, and understand that you most likely aren’t right for everyone.

Leverage new technology to help screen and assess candidates to ensure the fit is right all around.

Be nice

You’d think this would go without saying.

However, I’ve worked for several really mean bosses who would make Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly, of The Devil Wears Prada fame, look like a dream boss.

If you’re finding it’s really that difficult to be nice, then maybe management isn’t for you.

Lots of people are successful being solo contributors.

You can be as well.

Coach your people

Most employees have a desire to improve.

A day of training, here and there is nice.

However, most people will soon forget what they learn without further support.

If you have the time and the aptitude, you might want to coach your own employees.

For the rest of you, consider hiring an external coach to ensure your people feel supported as they look to develop their careers.

Treat employees like you really do care whether they stay or leave

I’m now in love with the Chief Executive of Basecamp, Jason Fried (don’t tell my husband).

Fried really cares for the hearts and minds of his people.

He’s working against the technology grain to create a sane workplace.

Employees at Basecamp, which develops project management software, not only receive paid time off to take vacations, the company pays for their vacations as an annual ‘gift’ to those with at least one year’s tenure.

Believe me when I tell you these aren’t camping trips.

Employees have been given the opportunity to choose such places as Martha’s Vineyard, the Grand Canyon, Ethiopia, and Verona, Italy.

Sign me up.

Nothing says: “I care about whether you stay or leave” more than an organisation that supports career development and provides growth opportunities for all.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, relationships require continuous effort.

Just because an employee falls in love with your organisation doesn’t mean they will automatically remain in love with you.

Unless, of course, you remind them of why they fell in love with you in the first place.

*Roberta Matuson is President of Matuson Consulting which helps Fortune 500 companies and high growth businesses create exceptional workplaces leading to extraordinary results. She can be contacted at [email protected].

This article first appeared at matusonconsulting.com

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