Are You in the Unhappy Majority at Work?

Are You in the Unhappy Majority at Work?

In today's uncertain economic climate, career goals and aspirations have certainly changed. Rather than seek out a job that will leave them feeling fulfilled, people are more likely to settle for something steady that will pay the bills—and they feel lucky to have it.

And a recent Gallup poll reflects this reality.

An Unhappy Reality for U.S. Employees

According to a report from MSN Money, the Gallup research found that 52% of full-time workers in the U.S. feel uninvolved and unenthusiastic about their work. Another 18% are "actively disengaged," which means that they actually hinder progress at their companies by stealing from employers, driving customers away and spreading their negative feelings amongst colleagues.


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Companies are taking a hit in other ways, as well. Gallup estimates that employees who take frequent sick days cost American companies between $450 billion and $550 billion annually.

RELATED: When It’s Time to Call It … Quits

The Secret to Content Workers

However, the news isn't all bad: 30% of Americans described themselves as excited about their jobs—a tie for the highest level of on-the-job satisfaction since Gallup started tracking this aspect of work life in 2000.

Want to join the happy majority?

Based on the poll, the factors that most commonly led to reported excitement about jobs included being a woman (this despite issues of gender equality faced in the workplace), having a management gig, working on a team of 10 or fewer people and being part of a company that's growing.

Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, says that boosting engagement in the workplace is all about hiring the right managers: "When leaders in the United States of America—or any country, for that matter—wake up one morning and say collectively, 'Let’s get rid of managers from hell, double the number of great managers and engaged employees, and have those managers lead based on what actually matters,' everything will change."


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