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Avoid the road paved with good intentions

Procrastination. Promising what you can’t deliver. Being unrealistic. Lack of planning. No follow through or follow up. Over promising and under delivering. Little or no motivation. Listening to the wrong people. Getting caught up in a mob mentality. Slowness to respond. Lack of engagement.  All of these and many more can cause failure and disappointment. It can affect your career for the long term, not to mention the drastic effect on your personal life and relationships.

Workplace demotivation and lack of engagement is the root cause of good intentions not being developed into actionable plans.

Forbes reports the following.

    48 percent of employees worldwide don’t like their jobs.

    80 percent-plus of US workers feel stressed at the office.

    30 percent of workers feel engaged and inspired in their careers.

    18 percent are actively engaged in their work (present on the job but hating every minute of it).

What a sobering report! No wonder good intentions, even when they exist, are not carried out.  Disengagement is caused by any one or more of the following.

1. Micro-management. Micro-managers may have good intentions but will drive you crazy. It is a major factor in the dampening of engagement. It also hampers development of your staff.

2. Insecurity on the job. Working for an unstable company or in a position that is expendable fosters the “working only for paycheck” philosophy.

3. Lack of leadership. If leaders are incompetent or non-caring, employees lose faith in the future. It will cause a lack of loyalty, “followship” and even result in subversive attitudes.

4. Poor communication. The absence of communication causes the rumor mill to become the information source. This is dangerous. Employees have to guess what if going on, and they become confused and frustrated.

5. No difference in treatment of poor performers and outstanding performers. When there are no rewards for outstanding work and no differentiation between poor vs. outstanding, the best employees go on auto pilot. Giving poor performers the same treatment as your top performers is disastrous. Often the best employees will lose heart and start looking for another job where they will be appreciated.

6. Boredom and lack of challenging work. A LinkedIn poll showed that workers of all ages desire fulfillment in their jobs. It is valued above salary. It showed that workers over 65 were the most excited about their work.

9. Lack of pleasant co-workers. Gallup research has repeatedly shown that work relationships boost employee satisfaction by 50%. Hiring employees who fit the company’s culture cannot be over emphasized. Respect and trust starts at the top of the organization and filters through the entire workforce.

10. Company success. Everyone likes to be associated with a winner. Employees want to feel their work matters and is a part of why the company is successful. When the company treats employees right, they will treat customers well resulting in a “win-win” situation.

The ideal work situation should make you feel important and needed on the job. If you like what you do, like the people you work with and are proud of the company you work for, the satisfaction level increases. If you don’t like the people or your job and are not proud of your company, you should quit and find a job you like, people you like and a good company you can be proud of. Life is too short to go to work every day and be miserable. Don’t allow it to become an acceptable way of life. Make up your mind to be happy and encourage others. It is amazing how positive your attitude and future will become when you invest in others. Becoming happy on the job is not an impossible task. Set goals. Become your best encourager. You are ultimately in control of your future. Make it the best.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.