I borrowed this phrase from a senior woman in business I coached recently. To all intents and purposes to the outside world, she is very successful. She is incredibly smart, intelligent and has forged a career that has ticked all the boxes so far, progressing along the path that would be expected of someone in her position.
“Hip, hip hooray. Well done, you should be so proud. You have worked hard to get to where you are today, keep going it’s not much further to the top. Be grateful for what you have achieved, many people would give their right arm to have a job and career like you have. Don’t throw it all away now by moving field and having to start all over again!”
In not so many words, these were the thoughts that she voiced to me during her sessions.
But the words she voiced that stopped me in my tracks were these: “Maybe I should just disengage from the dis-satisfaction and keep going”.
Really? Is that what we, as successful career women, really want from our careers and more importantly our lives? To carry on the pretense that we are happy and satisfied in our jobs, because we feel we should be grateful for how well we have done?
My view of that is ABSOLUTELY NOT!
The reason I am sharing this story is that I know from my experience in coaching career women that this woman is not alone in thinking that she should be grateful and just shut up and get on with the business of pretending to be happy with her “successful” career.
And it’s not just women.
The Gallup study “The State of the Global Workplace – A worldwide study of employee engagement and wellbeing” published in 2010, found that out of 47,000 employees surveyed in 120 countries around the world, only 11% of workers were actually engaged in their work. In other words, only 11% of those surveyed felt an emotional connection to their workplace, and that they were being given all the resources, tools and support needed to feel they could succeed.
62% were not engaged, that is they were emotionally detached and unlikely to be doing more than necessary to keep their job, and 27% were actively disengaged – this means they viewed their workplace negatively and were liable to spread that negativity to others.
Engagement is measured differently to satisfaction. You can be satisfied with your job, yet not emotionally engaged.
For some, you might think that is enough. However countless studies have linked employee engagement not just to better results and therefore profits for the employer organisation, but also to better overall health and wellbeing both in and outside of work for the employee. Better engagement therefore correlates to happier people, who are more likely to contribute and actively participate in their community, family lives and ultimately the wellbeing and happiness of others.
It becomes almost like a domino effect.
My personal view is that the employee/employer dynamic is like any other relationship. It’s a two-way, reciprocal arrangement. The more you put in, the more you get out. It’s up to the employer to create an environment where the employees feel valued, heard and as though they can actively contribute to their own success and that or the company.
And it’s up to the employee to communicate with the employer about what they want out of their role, their career and their life. If, after honest, open communication the employer and employee’s expectations are not aligned, then maybe it’s time to consider moving on. But as I always tell my clients, you don’t get, if you don’t ask.
What type of communication channels do you have with your superiors at work right now? Closed, partially open or honest and direct?
If you’d like to learn more about how you can take ownership of your career to allow you to create a career you love, be rewarded for what you do and take control of your future, you might want to join me for a LIVE and FREE workshop, where I’ll show you exactly how to do just that. Click here to find out more.