I read a recent Gallup poll that concluded seven out of 10 workers have "checked out" at work or are "actively disengaged."
The report, "State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders," highlights findings from Gallups' ongoing study of the American workplace from 2010 through 2012. You can download the full report at this link: http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/163007/state-american-workplace.aspx.
In the Executive Summary, Gallup reports:
While the state of the U.S. economy has changed substantially since 2000, the state of the American workplace has not. Currently, 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work, and the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is roughly 2-to-1, meaning that the vast majority of U.S. workers (70%) are not reaching their full potential — a problem that has significant implications for the economy and the individual performance of American companies.
Sad, isn't it? 70% of people basically hate their job. This could be a reflection on the state of the economy and the fact so many people have taken jobs just to get a paycheck.
Gallup places the primary blame on bad management. In the report, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, states, "…these managers from hell are creating active disengagement costing the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually. If your company reflects the average in the U.S., just imagine what poor management and disengagement are costing your bottom line."
I am not a management consultant. I'm a small business marketing gunslinger. And while I don't think many of the companies Gallup surveyed would fit into the category of small business, I'm sure it's just as applicable.
Do you love your job? Even if you're a solo operators wearing all the hats – chief cook and bottle washer, jnaitor, receptionist, small business marketer, and janitor – are you actively engaged in what you do? It's sad to think that 70% of employees in America "check out" every day. The waste is enormous.
It would be sadder if the small business leaders in the U.S. also checked out. I remember playing golf with a 45-year-old dentist one time. I'd just met him, so to make conversation I asked, "What's it like being a dentist?" "I HATE it!" he replied. "Then why do you do it?" "Because I spent EIGHT years in college and dental school to become one!" To which I replied, "So you're going to let an 18-year-old decide how you're going to spend the rest of your working life?"
Look, I hope you're happy and engaged in your work. I also know it's easier said than done to switch jobs, much less careers. But there are a lot of us small business people who made that leap once, maybe more than once. If you hate your job, maybe you can, too.