Transforming a Miserable Job

In his latest book The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Patrick Lencioni dissects what takes a job beyond bad or a poor fit to downright miserable. In an interview with Amazon, Lencioni explained the three signs:

1. Anonymity: the feeling employees get when they realize their manager has little interest in them as a human being and they know little about their lives, their aspirations and their interests.

2.Irrelevance: when employees cannot see how their job makes a difference in the lives of others. Every employee needs to know that the work they do impacts someone’s life--a customer, a co-worker, even a supervisor--in one way or another.

the inability of employees to assess for themselves their contribution or success. Employees who have no means of measuring how well they are doing on a given day or in a given week must rely on the subjective opinions of others, usually their managers, to gauge their progress or contribution.

These three signs are exactly what our strategic employee recognition systems are designed to counter by providing an easy way for anyone, at any level, to deliberately and frequently show gratitude to fellow employees or subordinates for their efforts in a way that links those efforts to overall company goals. Think about it. By saying "thanks,” you raise that employee out of anonymity, you make their tasks relevant to the success of everyone, and you give them the ability to assess what is valuable effort in the eyes of others.

Have you experienced a miserable job based on any or all of these criteria? What was your solution – leave or try to change the environment? Share your approach in comments.

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