Do Your Employees Have Miserable Jobs?

September 20, 2010

Do you have a miserable job?  Another question – do your employees have miserable jobs?

Do you realize the power we have as managers to either cause our employees to have purposeful and joy-filled jobs or miserable jobs?

The prevailing wisdom seems to be that it is the employee’s responsibility to bring a great attitude to work and to find meaning in their work and to a certain extent that is true.  However, what is also true is that we, as managers, have a great impact on employee’s sense of fulfillment on the job.  Where we have great impact – we have great responsibility.

In his great little book, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Patrick Lencioni identifies three things that we can do as managers to help give our employee’s a sense of fulfillment at work.

The three signs are:

Anonymity – People cannot be fulfilled in their work if they are not known. (This is similar to the first principle in The Way of the Shepherd of “Knowing the Condition of Your Flock”).  All human beings need to be understood and appreciated for their unique qualities by someone in authority.

Irrelevance – Everyone needs to know their job matters, to someone.  (This corresponds to the third principle in The Way of the Shepherd of “Help Your Sheep Identify with You”.).

Immeasurement – people need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution for themselves.  Without tangible means of assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fate.

This is a great book and a fast and enjoyable read.  As always, Patrick Lencioni does a great job of giving you tools to help in implementing the ideas from the book.  Click here to see some of those tools.  I would highly recommend you adding this book to your toolbox.

Grace & peace to you this week,

BG