MILWAUKEE — Yes, American workers are increasingly miserable at their jobs — but why?
WTMJ’s Vince Vitrano reached out to Mike Grubich, President and Managing Partner at LAK Group in Brookfield. They’re a business consulting firm, and Mike’s background is in human resources. He wanted to know about this survey from a global think tank called “The Conference Board.”
The survey of American workers revealed the shocking headline that a third of respondents claimed their mental health is worse now than it was six months ago, and work has a lot to do with that. Grubich tells WTMJ that they’re seeing this trend for sure as they talk with American workers.
“Everything’s a priority. Feels like every day they’re chasing squirrels is the phrase we hear quite a bit to be honest with you,” he said.
Mike and Vince share a familiarity with a common phrase, “suck it up!” He heard it from my own father, and his football coach all the time. Mike says his kids would certainly say it was one of his favorite phrases. That said, Grubich feels this discontentment in the workplace is there, and regardless of why, it has to be handled.
“You can call it what you want to call it, but it’s addressing retention, if absenteeism is a problem if engagement is a problem… then it’s something you need to address in your organization.”
Managers can help by understanding the three things that drive happiness in the workplace. Grubich says it’s engagement, satisfaction, and purpose. Making sure those boxes are checked for staff is critical. Grubich also suggests managers recommend, and that employees take better advantage of employee assistance programs.
“It’s a great resource companies have that give[s] people an outlet to talk to someone for free about their mental health.”
Grubich and his partner at LAK, Mike Milsted, wrote the book, “Career With Purpose. A Guide to Finding the Work You Love.” Vince read several chapters before they were published, as the Mikes asked for feedback and a forward.
“What I love about their style, and this is why I asked Grubich for advice when I was considering my career change, is they really helped you look beyond the usual things we consider about work,” Vince said.
“The traditional motivators have been, what’s the title, how vertically have I moved in the organization, how much am I making? What are the benefits I get? What are the perks that I get? We measure on a lot of those elements versus what we really feel,” Grubich said.
Grubich points out, while those things are part of the overall package, if their the primary metrics you use to evaluate your career trajectory, it leaves you exposed for workplace misery. “You’ve got to really answer for yourself, ‘what is it that I want to do,'” Grubich says. “‘What is meaningful to me, how am I going to get the greatest satisfaction and purpose in what I do?’ That’s going to drive career happiness.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the book, click here for more information.
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