Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I know why people hate their jobs
A recent careerbuilder.com study of more than 7K American workers reports that 78 percent are burnt out. So I thought to myself, I know why this is going on - and it's not the increased workloads, less employees, blah blah blah.
It's because their bosses suck.
We are in a time of great change right now. The Industrial Age is over, but someone has forgotten to tell the bosses. Until a year ago, I worked for probably the worst boss ever. He did everything wrong. But the two things he did worst were 1) Make sure I was in my seat at all times and 2) Think he knew how to do my job better than I did (he didn't).
However, now I work for a great boss. That's why I know the careerbuilder.com survey is not on the mark. My workload is probably four times what it used to be. But guess what? I'm a telecommuter. I can work when I am most productive. And as long as I meet my outcomes, I have no one making sure I'm in my seat. It is liberating. And I am a happy camper.
So here's the thing: Knowledge workers are not factory workers or fast food workers. Crappy bosses want everyone to make sure that you know you are on their time - and if there's time to lean, there's time to clean. Crappy bosses are also worried about losing their jobs (and they should be, because the Information Age is making them obsolete).
So, if you want your staff to be happy and productive, stop acting like you're Mr. Slate and they're Fred and Barney. Start evaluating based on outcomes, not inputs. And stop being a jerk.