8 Ways You Can Learn To Love Your Job – Even When You Absolutely Hate It

It’s that time of year again, the 14th February, or in other words… Valentine’s Day. A day that celebrates love. Whether you’re jumping at the chance to surprise someone with chocolates, or cursing all the loved up couples whilst crying alone into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, nobody can deny that celebrating love is something simple and sweet.

But why should February 14th be restricted to those in the thralls of romantic bliss?

Whatever our plans are this evening, it’s likely that on this Tuesday we’ll be stuck at work until they happen. In fact, the average person will spend around one third of their life working. What’s more, the annual Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For awards are coming up next week, full of companies with employees that love their jobs and really enjoy going to work. That’s great for them, but what about those who aren’t so lucky? Here are 8 ways we can learn to love our jobs that little bit more..

 

1. Think about what you enjoy at work… and ramp it up

 

Focusing on the areas of your job that you really do enjoy will give you the strength to get through the less enjoyable parts. Whether that may be the flexible work hours, the interesting projects, opportunities for development or the great bunch of colleagues you work with, focus on these areas and try to embrace them even more.

 

2. Make a change, however big or small

The root of employee unhappiness is often boredom. Instead of lulling around spending time feeling sorry for yourself and thinking about how bored you are, take the plunge and modify what’s getting you down. Start challenging yourself and think, “What would give me more joy at work?” And then make it happen. Be persistent in adding worth to what you bring to your job, and it’s likely your boss will notice and reward you for it.

 

3. Volunteer – either through your work, or on the side

Volunteering can help you to escape the dramas and negativity in your own life, and allow you to gain perspective on the needs of others less fortunate. If your employer initiates the volunteering it can help to build relationships amongst co-workers, as you work together to make a difference.

 

4. Keep up to speed with your field of expertise

Don’t get left behind in your chosen industry. Becoming complacent may mean that when interesting opportunities arise at work, you may not be adept enough to grab them. Read trade publications or set up a Google Alert that tells you about news in your industry. Remaining in the know, and up to date with industry trends, may empower you to come up with your own projects that you can start. Plus it means you can really own your area of the business, and people (including your boss) will come to you when they need knowledge or advice about something.

5. Take the plunge and ask for more duties

Think about your current position and dissect it in order to identify a new responsibility that will challenge and excite you. Listen to conversations carefully and make sure you’re aware of any upcoming projects or positions that you can put your name in for. Say yes to new assignments. If all else fails and you can’t think of any yourself, or aren’t aware of any upcoming, then schedule a meeting with your manager and ask them. It’s likely they might not be aware that your task load is thin, and they’ll welcome the fact that you’re showing your initiative and demonstrating interest in your work.

 

6. Declutter your desk, then create your own office nest

If your office space is messy and overwhelming it can make employees feel low on energy. Clear out as you go. Take rubbish out of overflowing drawers and declutter your mail inbox. It’s liberating and empowering, and it will allow you to go on to create your own office nest. We spend so much time at work it’s important we try to make our own area as enjoyable as we can. Make your space your own by decorating your area with photos of loved ones, and make yourself as comfortable and relaxed as you can be.

 

7. Move around more

Most of us are likely to work in an office and stay seated for the majority of the day. This can cause us to feel sluggish, and also may contribute to health concerns such as weight gain, heart disease or eye strain. Find time to go on a short walk, run up and down your stairs, take a quick gym class (where possible), or stand up and do a short 10 minute exercise. This short break will not only benefit your health but will put you in a better place mood-wise as well, helping you to enjoy the rest of your day more.

 

8. Finally, smile and laugh more

Smiling and laughing are so simple, but really can help us to enjoy work more. They tell your brain to be more happy by releasing neuropeptides. A recent Gallup study discovered that those who smile and laugh more at work are more engaged with their job. Improving engagement will mean you’re generally happier and more enthusiastic, and people will be more likely to want to have you on their team. At the end of the day most of our troubles at work are quite trivial, so try not to be so serious; couldn’t we all use a laugh anyway?

Want to find out more about how you can love your job? Visit our website www.motivii.com or follow us on Twitter @getmotivii  

Data vs HR… (Traditional HR is dying: Part II)

A few months back our CEO wrote about how HR is dying. The article had an amazing response, so we thought we’d continue the theme around HR and how data and analytics is changing how we listen to employees…

This year, Google beat Apple in the race to become the world’s most valuable brand in Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 Rating.

The main reason stated? Continual innovation…

Whilst Apple seems to have slowed down in their supply of new innovative products, Google flooded the market with new inventions, ranging from Google Glass 2 to Google Cardboard – the down-to-earth VR headset. ‘Google’, however, is merely a brand name and it’s easy to forget the faces behind their consistent success. Continual innovation can only accelerate when there is a significant focus on employees and employee management. From a business angle, the department that is crucial in driving these innovations is the department that looks after employees, or in other words ‘HR’. If we examine the DNA of Google’s HR department we will realise that Google has the world’s only data-driven HR function. Renamed ‘People Operations’, its mantra states “All people decisions at Google are based on data and analytics.”

It makes complete sense; you wouldn’t base any other crucial business decisions on anything but data, so why should HR be the black sheep of the business? In order for businesses to drive innovation they need to take a leaf out of Google’s book and firstly innovate their HR department.

Human Resources, as a term, first transpired in the early 1900’s as a notion that saw workers as some form of capital asset. Just like machines or capital, humans were seen as a resource. For these reasons traditional approaches to HR Management tended to focus heavily on the enforcement of rules and a formalised structure with clearly defined power centres. Since then, HR has evolved in many ways and in most jurisdictions HR professionals recognise that people always come before systems and machines. What has remained stagnant, in a time of all this industry change, is the currency that HR professionals choose to trade. Focus lies too heavily on relationships and intangible things like feelings and opinions. A consequence of this is that too much of HR is poorly measured, or simply not measured at all.

Usain Bolt didn’t win nine gold medals by guessing his personal best and trying to improve on it. Simply put; we can’t improve areas of a business if we don’t measure them.

Data is measurable, but it is also intrinsically linked to time, and as time progresses the importance of data regresses. This is another issue with traditional models of HR; the frequency of its processes are far too episodic. Annual staff surveys are becoming as outdated as the data they provide. Continuous feedback will encourage a continuous learning environment where innovation and development can foster. Google found that managers who show an interest in their employees and commit to frequent and consistent feedback with each employee were the number one key success to retaining great talent.

What’s more, performance management research conducted by Deloitte has shown that companies who revisit employee goals each quarter or more generate 20% higher profits than those who do so annually.

So continuous employee feedback and people management is in your organisation’s best interest, as well as your employees.

Admittedly it would be difficult, and costly, to completely overhaul our HR departments and try to mimic Google’s “ People Operations”. Taking a People Operations approach to HR, we can use online tools like Motivii.

Motivii helps to retain employees by understanding what drives them. Instead of basing people decisions on guesswork and ‘fluff’, Motivii helps you to base them on data – just like Google. The power of benchmarking allows you to compare your organisation against the global average in six key areas, and you’re also able to compare how you are doing against yourself in the previous quarter. A two minute micro weekly-review ensures regular feedback is given, so decisions are based on what is happening real time, rather than seven or eight months ago. As an organisation in today’s over-saturated business landscape our people are our only real source of competitive advantage. We have to listen to what they are saying consistently, and be fluid in how we react to what we hear.

HR traditionalists may resist, because they won’t like the idea of having their long established methods reinvented. The reality is, times have changed and the way we do things needs to change too. Google is a household name and 2016’s most valuable firm, but you don’t need to be a ‘unicorn’ to use data in your people decisions and innovate the way you view HR.

Motivii is a platform which gives managers the tools to save time, improve feedback and boost performance of their team – Try it free for a month!

The Secret to Engaging Millennials – the Most Dominant Generation in the Workforce

In 2015, the ‘Millennials’ (those born between 1980 and the mid 1990’s) over-took the ‘Baby Boomers’ in population, making them the largest generation in Western history. The first generation to grow up alongside the rise of technology meaning they have no experience of a world where mobile phones, internet, cameras, blogs, or email did not exist. Their view of the world is fundamentally different to their predecessors; a smaller, interconnected global community where anyone anywhere is reachable. They also possess a high degree of technical savvy in the modern day’s fast paced, digital-fuelled society, and are accustomed to fast communication.

More and more Millennials enter the workforce each year. In fact Deloitte predicts that in ten years time 70% of the workforce will be Millennials. Business executives, CEO’s, HR professionals, marketers and managers all over the world are therefore keen to learn about Millennials behaviours and beliefs, because the strength of the marketplace depends heavily on what this generation can achieve. If they are not engaged at work then the profitability, productivity and innovation at their company will suffer. What’s concerning is that the Millennials are the least engaged generation to date; Gallup estimates that only 29% are engaged with their jobs. They’ve also grown accustomed to looking for job options elsewhere if their current job isn’t giving them compelling reasons to stay. This is a costly characteristic of the generation; Millennial turnover costs the US economy an estimated $30.5 billion a year (Gallup).

So how do we keep Millennials engaged and loyal to their current employer? Gallup’s How Millennials Want to Live and Work report found that performance management and a constant focus on regular feedback is a huge contributor and pays large dividends in engagement and performance.

Interestingly, 44% of millennial workers who meet regularly with their manager and give and receive frequent feedback are engaged, compared to just 20% that do not. This is a massive disparity, and illustrates how something so simple as regular feedback and meetings can drastically improve engagement amongst the workforce. In turn, higher engagement levels also lead to a host of other benefits including improved customer ratings, higher profitability and productivity, lower turnover, fewer safety incidents and lower absenteeism. Being strict with regular catch-ups with Millennials, or using fast-feedback tools (hint: Motivii) will drive engagement and ultimately allow businesses to reap the benefits amongst other factors company-wide.

In summary, Millennials have grown up with the ability to communicate with anyone instantly, and so they are much more likely to expect it in the workforce. The more conversations Millennials have with their manager, the more engaged they will become; these two components have become intrinsically linked. Businesses need to acknowledge this and those that do not listen, and still rely on annual or infrequent staff surveys and meetings, will fall behind as Millennials increasingly dominate the workforce.