As a human being, it is essential to have some type of occupation in your lifetime. This is due to the necessity of financial compensation or money in order to live. Some people may need more money than others based on how their life is orchestrated. Now just because someone might simply have a specific job, it is another thing enjoy that job. People who are at jobs where the work they do is considered fulfilling to them is more difficult to find in this day and age than those who do not feel a sense of fulfillment from their work.
In Patrick Lencioni’s famous book, “3 Signs of a Miserable Job”, he tells you some of the differences between a miserable job and a bad job and why one person bad job may be another person dream job. The fact is that if a person is not highly motivated and satisfied with their job, then they are very likely to produce poor results. Like for example, when a school teacher decides that he or she are no longer interested in the particular subject they have been instructed to teach, not only does the class become less interesting, the students and their grades begin to suffer due to their teachers lack of enthusiasm towards the subject.
The more a manager cares about his employees as real people instead of workhorses, the better the company will flow. This however, is not always easy as it sounds. During my Thanksgiving break, I had the oppourtunity to interview a family friend as well as a fellow member from my church about their specific occupations. Both of these interviews went quite longer than expected. That being said, I received very different realities from each of the people linterviewed. The first person I interviewed was a woman who recently graduated from college and works fulltime as an admissions counselor at Towson University in
Towson, MD. She has only been working there for the past six months and she complains that she has a “normal, but stressful job”. When I asked her does her job feel like work, she told me that talking to prospective students and their parents most of her workday can become draining but that her boss is always thanking her for all the hard work she does. That somedays she is unsure whether or not her performance is worthy enough for boss when she compares herself to her fellow employees.
She told me that she does not feel a great amount of purpose at her job, even though the people around her know that she is making a difference in the lives of prospective college students. This surprised me since my own personal experiences with college admission counselors had been positive ones. It was most interesting for me to discover that although her work had positive effects on the customer’s lives (the students), based on her self-observations, and did not feel as if she was utilizing her abilities to her max potential.
The last question I asked her about her job was how long does she plan on working there at Towson. In a low voice she explained to me that her direct supervisor deposits too much unnecessary on her as if she during work hours and does not engage in any conversation with her or her associates about non work related topics. This made her feel the need to not work at that school as long as she hopes. While my friend stated above showed characteristics of immeasurement about her own success, this was not the only person I interviewed whose job had some sort of misery.
The second person I chose to interview was a friend from church who graduated from college a decade ago and considers himself a successful accountant at a law firm in the heart of the nation’s capital. He told me that he’s been working there for about almost a year and wants to spend alteast another 9 years at that specific firm before transferring to another one. His job he said, basically requires him to do most of his work in his own office individually and then compare his numbers with other accountants before he sends his reports to his boss.
That his boss has high standards for him and his team and nothing else. Unlike my friend who works at Towson, he was much more willing to work with his superior to build a bridge of friendship and togetherness. He believed that the nicer his boss was, the more productive they would become. Since he had been in the accounting industry for a while, he does not require that same amount of attention as the first interviewee did. Lencioni paraphrases Samuel Johnson at the very beginning of his book and says, “people need to be reminded more than instructed”.
This means that since my friend has had some experience in the accounting industry, his boss does not need for him to check in as frequently as a new employee would. That being said, he then told me that the relationship between him and his boss could improve. He said that as adults, you can become very busy with work that you sometimes forget to step back and acknowledge the people around for the hard work they do. That once you’re hired, you hit the ground running and don’t really worry about building bridges as soon as you step in the door.
You were hired to work. At the end of the interview, I asked if the time went by fast or slow at his job. He told me that it depends on few factors. If his boss was in a positive mood, then the time just flew by no matter how much work there was and he felt a sense of accomplishment. If his boss didn’t come to the office or needed quick results, he would send my friend files and spreadsheets to work with. This would take up most if his day and kept him from accomplishing other tasks, which slowed things down almost to a halt at times.
Unlike my friend who I interviewed earlier, he is utilizing his knowledge, skills, and abilities to the fullest. This makes his job fulfilling for him, even though he is still trying to improve the relationship between him and his boss. That he believes that his superior knows that the better the atmosphere is in the workplace, the more his employees will want to stay, work harder, and also enjoy coming to work instead of it just feeling like a job. He then told me when I asked is anyone positively affected by his work that he hopes so.
That the work benefits many people on paper, but he cannot see the results or “fruits of his labor” quite as easy as everyone else can. This along with his manager not being regarded as being the friendliest or outgoing person in the firm gives him a kind of empty feeling inside. He explained to me that he is not the only person on his job who he feels this way. That no matter how hard he works, his boss just sees him and his associates as employees. He then said that he does not expect a warm welcome from his boss everyday due to the high level of amount of work that needs to be completed every week.
However, he does wish that the workplace environment he is in would one day become as enjoyable as the work he takes in. When I told him about Lencioni’s definition of anonymity, he then became so interested with my questions that he wanted to buy my book. This was a very rewarding experience for me. This book has given me a clearer perspective on what it is I should look for in my nest job oppourtunity. Being a natural born leader, im always looking for ways to grow in relationship with the people that God has placed around me.
Reading this book allowed me see what it looks like when you’re doing what you know God has called you to do. The two interviews that I conducted gave me some insight on what real workplace dynamics look like. This also gives me a unique oppourtunity to prepare for the type of workplace I want to be in. A place where I can utilize my skills, knowledge, and abilities to the fullest not simply just for the company, but for my own sense of fulfillment. It changes your whole view about the classic workplace environment.
At first, I thought that I was going to rely on others in order to measure my success at a company since current and past employees would know best. Not only did I learn about what I need to do as a manager one day regarding how Im supposed to treat others who are below me on the business hierarchy, as well as putting others needs ahead of mine in the often selfish world of business. This experience is a constant reminder to me to never compare my job to another person’s for the simple fact that what God has for me is just for me.
In conclusion, Patrick Lencioni discovered what are some of the main reasons employees leaves companies and how to get them to stay and enjoy their work by improving the workplace culture. That managers play a big role in their employees lives, which can either make or break them as far as staying or leaving the company. Lastly, being kind to your manager can go a long way and have can also have a positive impact on the company as a whole.