Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report showed that just thirty percent of employees are engaged and inspired. Fifty-two percent of employees are constantly zoned out, not entirely focusing on the work at hand. Eighteen percent of employees are actively disengaged at work. As employers, this last statistic is the most terrifying as Gallup reports those eighteen percent of disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses around half a trillion dollars per year in lost productivity.
Many companies are taking these numbers to mean it is their job to make their employees happier. While that’s certainly appreciated, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in July. That means, however, that 11.5 million able-bodied workers are still without gainful employment. Every employee who currently has a job should be happy they do.
This certainly does not mean that employees should reduce benefits, increase workload or be a general pain. It simply means that employees should be grateful for the stability they presently enjoy. Is it nice to have a work environment like Google? Absolutely! But, not every employer can provide that sort of environment. As an employee, you do not need to put up with abusive bosses and toxic workplaces.
Are you feeling stagnant at work? Do you not have enough to do to occupy your 40-50 hour workweek?
If that is the case, approach your employer with a plan and ask for more responsibility. Never approach an employer asking for less responsibility, absent the most extreme circumstances. Asking for a reduction in work and responsibility only shows the employer you are unable to handle what you are supposed to handle and, at that point, you are no longer a worthy employee.
The number one rule for employees is this: be more beneficial to the employer today than you were yesterday. As an employee, you can not expect your employer to continually increase your pay and benefits when you do not show an increase in productivity. There are 11.5 million people that would love the opportunity to be better at your job than you are; do not let them!
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