Whether it was the case now or before, you (or your employees) probably had a job that was abysmal. The kind of job that sucks to wake up to and has you asking “why do I work here?” every single day.
The last thing you want to do is be googling “I hate my job” in the middle of the day and trying to find other workplace horror stories. There are reasons why you think your job sucks and, believe it or not, they are fixable.
Whether you’re an HR manager trying to figure out how to improve the staff morale, or an employee that likes the career, but doesn’t like the job. These problems, as well as solutions, will get you one step closer to enjoying your work.
1. Management Is Just AWFUL
When we start our careers and enter the workforce, we are already preconditioned to follow the person in charge.
Throughout school, you are taught that the teachers and professors are the ones you must follow. Sports and clubs, you have to follow the coaches or oldest person involved. Heck, if you worked at a fast food joint, you had to take orders from someone that has no leadership skills.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.Abraham Lincoln
Though he used the “men” as an example, it can be applied to any gender. Honest Abe was living in a time of where gender neutral pronouns were not appreciated.
One of the themes covered in my favorite children’s books, Lord Of The Flies, is the aspect of leadership coming from a title, as opposed to their actions.
In the story, the children believed that the person holding the conch was the one that was one that holds the leadership position, whereas the rest were meant to obey their orders and follow the lead.
This analogy can resonate with those working in a traditional workplace. Where we are taught to treat the people with leadership roles as if they are above others, as opposed to equals.
People (especially when they are new to the workforce) feel like they don’t have enough ‘power’ or respect to be an outlier, or blaze a new path. They often choose to conform and follow orders, as opposed to creating and have unique experiences.
Creativity is not valued as a prominent work skill, and hiring managers and leaders will overlook creative employees, to find someone that can agree with managers
How To Avoid Bad Management?
This one is all on the Human Resources Department. They have to constantly look for ways to improve employee performance.
If a manager is lowering productivity and hurting your workplace, there needs to be action taken. It’s one thing to hurt one person, but when a manager is hurting a department, the problem goes even further.
It may be easier said than done, but make sure that they have the approval of the majority of the employees. There’s people that can lead, and there’s people that will abuse power if given any.
If you or your employees despise your management, look at what your company is doing to make sure that they create a healthy environment.
Do they have a system to give employee feedback to leadership?
Start listening and coming up with solutions.
2. Your Job Is Not Challenging Enough
This could be an extension of the last argument, as this falls under management and planning.
Work is supposed to cause a decent amount of stress. No, not the kind of stress that is associated with mental health issues; the kind that challenges your mind and leaves you wanting new ones.
If managers are giving tasks to employees that are causing them to feel unmotivated and unchallenged, that’s almost as big as a problem as them outright verbally disrespecting them. It eliminates trust and straight-up demotivates employees.
Whether it be a lack of trust or another issue, a manager shouldn’t be scared to dish out a lot of responsibility to an employee. They shouldn’t micromanage or find different ways to find ways to be on top of their employees, either.
Autonomy is not only liberating but will lead to better results in the future. Just make sure to have a good, challenging workload, along with having (or giving) autonomy to complete it in the way that is the best for them.
How To Make A Job Challenging And Fun
A growing trend among many offices is the implementation of OKR’s. Establishing an OKR strategy will allow employees to set realistic expectations for themselves every quarter.
This strategy allows not only increases productivity but creates a way to make a game of sorts out of the objectives you set up.
Set up 2 or 3 objectives and know the key results that you expect to see out of them, and then find a way to make it happen.
Hold you and your team accountable for completing those goals, as you’ll need each other to make it happen.
Just know that knocking out a big goal is great, however, don’t be upset if you fail. If you set up a lofty goal, you might have accomplished more than if you hadn’t.
3. Work Cliques Are Hurting Your Growth
As proved in the movie Mean Girls (Yes, this HR blog can allude to Mean Girls), allowing large cliques to form will cause a lot of separation within an organization. And usually there’s one bad apple that is causing the fall of another great individual.
It is very easy for cliques to form in the office. Putting like-minded individuals within the same office can cause terrific friendships to form. It may become detrimental to the atmosphere as soon as one person badmouths another, or a department in general.
From there groupthink takes over, and everyone conforms to that idea that an individual or department is not holding their own.
This kind of bullying within the workplace is a part of the reason people begin hating where they work. People start believing that they have to watch what they say and half step at their job to be cautious, just because a clique is overlooking them.
A house divided against itself cannot standAbraham Lincoln
I had no idea that I would quote my favorite historical figure twice! Blame Daniel Day-Lewis.
This one is a tough thing to break out of. Your office wants to have a bigger bond with the team, but when it’s separated to different cliques, it may cause a lot of (bad) competition.
What To Do About Office Cliques
Unfortunately trying to promote any kind of office team building might be too forced to solve any problems.
From a manager’s standpoint, the best way to go about is to make sure that the teams aren’t all out to hurt another person’s progress or growth. Cliques should only be formed to inspire one another and grow, not to hurt others.
Disciplining a detrimental group may rub people the wrong way. However, talking it out (like in Mean Girls!), will help your team get closer together. It may even find the root to the problem and allow others to work around it.
The best way to find any problems between people and groups is by scheduling one-on-one meetings. The only way out is through, and it may seem scary for most but it will help solve problems in the long run.
4. No Clear Goals Set Up For You Or Your Department
The simplest way to disengage workers is to not have a plan. Shooting into the dark will never lead to success.
One would have to assume that this falls under the management but there are instances where this may be the employee’s fault.
Whether it’s setting up individuals goals or company goals, they have to be clear and improve one aspect of your performance.
Proper planning prevents poor performance
The best qualities about scientists, doctors, and other types of research-based professions, is that they use a great method to track down all of their notes to back up their hypotheses.
Having clear data and notes will allow people to see all the hard work that went into finding out if a project worked or not.
What Are Good Ways To Set Goals For Yourself At Work?
Aside from following the aforementioned OKR strategy, it is best to set up the kind goals around the main metric, or main purpose of your position.
Having Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) will allow you to know what is the best goal to track. Essentially, you’ll have to know what you and your department will have to measure in order for you to set (and accomplish) goals.
These goals will help you grow as an individual, a department, and as a company. Shooting in the dark shows no promise, but having a target will allow you to know what to improve to get a bulls-eye.
5. More Style Than Substance
One of the worst things that managers can use to assess their employees is how they think they are performing, as opposed to how they are actually performing.
The United States workforce is infamous for liking the confident people that have more bark than bite. The suave person that dresses well and speaks confidently. This is something (unofficially) called the Wozniak vs Jobs theory.
Where we’ll unconsciously appreciate the person that can talk about it, more than the ones that can “be” about it.
It’s the sad truth, but we want extroverts leading, and introverts using their other abilities to perform.
The quietest people have the loudest mindsStephen Hawking
It is cool to have a vocal extrovert in the office, and this is no way a knock on them. However, companies need to value the brilliance and abilities that can be found within a quiet person’s mind.
The thinking person’s mind is quite fascinating. The more research that has been done, the more facts have proven that introverts tend to be better strategists than others.
No Suits, No Ties, All Business
One of the worst things that superiors can do is hire the wrong person, or keep them around if they are detrimental to the environment.
It’s fairly easy to assume that if you have an extrovert leading a team, that is not a good strategist, and will blame others for any shortcomings, will hinder an office’s culture and growth. Causing some of the problems that have been mentioned throughout this article.
Moving these people up, giving them praise for others’ hard work, and thinking they are good because they pass the “eye-ball” test.
A fair shot needs to be given to all people within the company. If you’re a manager, give everyone an equal shot to move up, or around the company.
A person’s skill set should be optimized and exercised to make their strengths greater.
If you don’t like your current job because of this, step up when the time is fitting and make sure you do your best to show that you have the best skillset to take more responsibility and do a lot for your organization.
There are plenty of other reasons why you, or your employees, may think that their job sucks. It all relies on management to make sure that they work for a place they love, and that they aren’t actively disengaged, just there collecting checks.
If you’re looking for a way to hear more from your employees, gather your HR department and discuss implementing an employee engagement strategy that will collect information from your employees in the long run.
Do You Think Work Sucks?
Even if all the above were fixed, what more would it take for you to like your job? If you think there is a larger problem that can’t be fixed, let us know what you think, and we’ll help come up with a solution.