Friday, 25 March 2016

Work Through Joy

Apparently, Gallup the polling company, have consistently found that only 13 per cent of working people in the world actually enjoy going in to work. I was going to add 'in the mornings' or 'for a living' etc, but in fact it was simply going to work .... full stop. This heroic 13 per cent described themselves as being "engaged" or "emotionally invested" in their work, and thus focused on helping their organizations improve.

In fact, the results of the last such study, showed that the of the remaining 87 per cent of the work force, the largest, 63 per cent, were "not engaged" (or simply unmotivated, and unlikely to exert any extra effort), while the remaining 24 per cent were "actively disengaged". Or put another way hate their jobs, and were thus very non-productive. These work happiness figures hardly changes between 2009 and 2012.

Best And Worst Workers .....

Now lets be honest, not many of you are really surprised at this revelation. In fact I would hazard a guess and say that none of you are surprised, after all we all spend a lot of time each day 'daydreaming' of other things. According to one poll, most people spend nearly half of their waking hours not thinking about what they are actually doing (especially while at work). I wonder by the way, if this daydreaming is what really sets us apart from most of the animals? That ability to spend so much of our time constructing wish worlds, in which we have won the lottery, married the boy/girl of our dreams, or are a (Rock Star/Sportsman or woman/TV Presenter/ etc)?

Anyway, that thought aside, interestingly, the United States and Canada actually have the highest engagement rate in the world, with 29 per cent of workers reporting they are invested in their work. Australia and New Zealand were a close second, at 24 per cent with twenty-one per cent of workers in Latin America saying that they were engaged in their jobs, while just 14 per cent of Western Europeans said they were. Very oddly the UK stood as better than average with 17% reported as engaged while perhaps less oddly, the Chinese with (6 per cent engagement), East Asia (also 6 per cent) and South Asia (10 per cent) are at the lower levels ..... these last figures are apparently explained by poor working conditions than other regions.

However this revelation set me a thinking about my own place of employment, where there has been an on-going campaign of relentless 'feel good with us', and 'get engaged with change' type propaganda for a couple of years now. For obvious reasons, I can't give out the specific buzzwords or catch phrases used, but in any event, anyone who has worked for any largish organisation will have had to endure at least one, if not several of these types of things during their working lives, so will be familiar with the typical terminologies used.

Find Your Country .... If You Can Be Bothered

This also raises the serious question about how much value these Human Resources led workplace campaigns actually offer their companies? Most of their employees are at best unmotivated, and at worst antagonised by these policies. They simply want to turn up, do their work, and go home (collecting their pay at the end to week or month). This isn't to say that this 65 per cent or so are necessarily doing bad work, but they are simply doing what's required to get through the job ... with only the lowest 13 per cent, for whom it may be harder to argue a case for, as they possibly really are doing very poor work.

Spotting The Actively Disengaged 'Workers' Is Not Always Hard .....

Perhaps, if instead of campaigns to make us make us feel 'joy in our work' or is that "Strength Through Joy", ('Kraft durch Freude'), the HR department should in fact be looking to identify and remove those real malcontent's in the bottom 13 per cent of their workforces .... maybe that would be a better and more productive use of their employers resources?


  1. As a long weekend in the UK comes to an end, I can confirm that I don't want go back to work.

    1. You and 25 million others mate.

  2. Removing the bottom 13% does sound like a better plan, perhaps then they'd go and do something which suited them better?


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