"The idea that 'work sucks' is everywhere. It’s been the subject of ancient philosophers, world leaders, your colleagues and even pop culture. Comedian George Carlin once quipped, 'Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.'"
-From the Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report
"Late night, come home. Work sucks, I know." -Blink 182
In this episode, I will discuss the findings of Gallup's State of the Global Workplace Report for 2022. Most people report that they are stressed out and emotionally detached. So how do we make sense of this in light of The Great Resignation? If people hopped across the market to find better money and better conditions, then why are a majority still reporting that work sucks?
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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In this episode, I want to talk about Gallups recently released state of the global workplace report for 2022. I guess we could sort of sum it up as blink 182 Did late night, come home, work sucks. I know. I have provided the link so that if you want to download this report and read it in entirety for yourself, you can do so. At the beginning, there's a little note from the CEO, and I want to read from that for you now, at 1396 hours. That's how much of life most of us spend working. The only thing we spend more time doing is sleeping. I will break in to say that's debatable really depends on how much you're having to hustle to stay afloat. If we spend so much of life at work, how is life at work going? According to the world's workers, not well. Gallup finds 60% of people are emotionally detached at work and 19% are miserable. But is that a surprise or a statistical explanation of the obvious? I would think it would be the ladder. The idea that work sucks is everywhere. It's been the subject of ancient philosophers, world leaders, your colleagues, and even pop culture. comedian George Carlin once quipped, oh, you hate your job. Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called everybody and they meet at the bar. Carlin's joke works because it's true. But workplace misery isn't funny. being miserable at work can bring more suffering to a person's life than being unemployed. Again, this is up for debate because someone who's unemployed and desperate for a job, they're starving, they're homeless, I would think that they might have some pushback about that. I think it really depends on each situation. He goes on to talk about the false workplace proverb, and I intend to get into this topic. In more detail. In another episode, I have been reading the book squeezed about middle class America, and honestly how middle class America is getting not only further and further squeezed, but it seems that this in my in my opinion, what I would call a K shaped economy of the ultra wealthy getting wealthier and wealthier. And people living in poverty, you know, that like the number of people living in poverty seems to be growing. So the number of individuals that are even in the middle class seems to be shrinking, and the ones who are left are getting squeezed tighter and tighter. And part of that goes back to this notion of we'll do what you love. Just just follow those passions, do what you love, and you'll be a okay. And then it didn't really work out that way. I also intend to, you know, I've been talking about how I need to sit down and record an episode juxtaposing what was going on in 1982. Economy it was going on in 2008. economy was what I see going on today. Not a professional economists have said that many times not a professional financial planner or advisor. Cannot will not and I'm not providing you with financial advice, but I just want to opine about this because I do see some real similarities. In particular, I've been thinking a lot about Billy Joel song, Allentown, and John Mellencamp song pink houses. And they were right in that same pocket of time around 82. What was happening and it's been on my mind a lot lately and just watching what's happening to the working class right now is, is turning my stomach it is. So he writes about the false workplace proverb, find a job that you enjoy doing and you will never have to work again in your life. This quote is often mis attributed to Mark Twain or Confucius. But regardless of where it came from, the popular adage has a different problem. It's not true. work according to Oxford languages is activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Exerting mental or physical effort to achieve anything is rarely done without stress, worry or even pain. Nobel laureate and best selling author Daniel Kahneman once said that there were periods when he worked alone on writing that were terrible when he felt miserable. Stress, anxiety, and maybe a little pain will always be part of a high performing job. But those negative emotions cannot be the very soul of someone's job. Yet that is exactly the work life experience for the 19% of workers who are actively disengaged in quote, I mean, yeah, I would definitely agree with this notion that work is not going to be bliss every second of every day. I enjoy by and large, the work that I do, I I wouldn't have stuck with it for this amount of time. It's doing HR and recruiting and staffing. It's a stressful gig. It really is. There's so many moving parts. There are so many places and pieces and components where the whole thing can go straight to hell and not work out at all. If I didn't enjoy the work, I wouldn't, I wouldn't still be doing it, I would have tried my best to find something else. But that definitely does not mean that I'm in a state of heavenly bliss. Angels are strumming harps, I'm eating bonbons. I'm reclined people, like the kings of old they're fanning me with palm leaves, and it's just wonderment all No, no, I'm not happy every single minute of every single day there are times when I want to pull my own hair out. So I do understand this idea of yes, there's going to be stressed there's going to be some anxiety. Look, stress and anxiety are part of life. It's not just part of the work world, it's part of life itself. There's going to be times when we feel stressed out. I agree with the idea that it should not be the very soul of your job. If you are miserable soul crushingly miserable every minute of every day. It's a terrible way to live. Then on the other side of the argument, is it true that if you just pursue your dreams, if you follow what you love, if you do what you love, you'll never really work a day in your life? No, no, it's not true. I'm going to return now to gallops CEOs commentary. Now of this paragraph, he's talking about workers that were surveyed. Ask them Did you feel stressed yesterday? 59% will say yes. Ask them. Did you feel worried yesterday? 56% will say yes. Ask them Do you feel physical pain? A lot of the day yesterday? 33% will say yes. And how about anger? 31% will say yes, these figures are staggering and 46% to 83% higher than an engaged person would report. Now there's a heading called a better way. I'll read from that. The pain from work has caused leaders to invent new ways to get as far from work as possible. movements to attain work life balance, implement for day work weeks and expand remote work are now everywhere. But it's not just the hours imbalance or location that leave workers unhappy. It's what's happening at work that makes them miserable. Yes, no sh it exactly that it is what is happening. That is making them miserable. For example, balance is essential but it implies a work life separation emotionally compartmentalizing work or anything in life is hard. Even if your boss can't call or email you after 5pm You probably haven't recovered from the berating he gave you earlier in the day, it's almost impossible to leave that kind of emotional baggage at work. In a Gallup study in Germany. 51% of actively disengaged workers said job stress caused them to behave poorly with loved ones. So what makes a bad job and one of the largest studies of burnout Gallup found the biggest source was unfair treatment at work that was followed by an unmanageable workload unclear communication from managers, lack of managers support and unreasonable time pressure. Those five causes have one thing in common your boss, get a bad one and you're almost guaranteed to hate your job. A bad boss will ignore you disrespect you and never support you. environments like that can make anyone miserable. A manager's effect on a workplace is so significant that Gallup can predict 70% of the variance in team engagement just by getting to know the boss and yep, you know, I've talked before on this podcast about workplace psychopathy. People who may appear to be sunshine and roses, they may posture themselves as Mother Teresa or Albert Schweitzer all that person is just so kind. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, they may be a complete jerk. They may be one of the worst human beings you have ever had. The misfortune of knowing. And it makes it an even more toxic environment. Because when you try to blow the whistle and say, no, no, no, no, no, no, you would not imagine the way that this person talks to employees when nobody else is listening. They don't want to listen to you. They don't want to believe it. Oh, really? That person is just so sweet. Oh, they donate money to charity. Oh, they volunteer at the hospital every weekend while they get doesn't ever be a jerk. And it's like, yes, they could. bosses can also look the other way on things like racism, bigotry, homophobia, ableism. It may not be that they themselves are joining in on some racist tirade, it could just be that they're ignoring the fact that somebody else on the team is making racist tirades. They're not punishing people who need to be gotten out of the way. Replace, we're doing stuff that's completely illegal. So I this this part I completely and totally agree with if you have an a hole boss or an ineffective boss that doesn't support you, you have somebody that wants to put unrealistic bizarre time pressures on you, you're going to be miserable. I'm 100% in agreement with that. Under the heading thriving at work we find improving life at work isn't rocket science, but the world is closer to colonizing Mars than it is to fixing the world's broken workplaces. Oh, it's a tragic comedy. I you know, I'm not laughing because it's funny. I'm I'm laughing because it's sad. This, I'm sure I'll have to get into that over on Patreon. But yeah, you know, it's almost like we're closer to colonizing Mars than to fixing the world's broken workplaces because these giant global corporations want it that way. Hmm. Almost like that. I'll continue to read. Stakeholder capitalists think they have the solution. Well, don't they always using environmental, social and governance metrics, they encourage companies to report on their impact on everything from the environment to the workforce. But when it comes to the worker, most ESG reports focus solely on PE and demographics. These are critical, but how do we know if workers are being treated with respect? Or if they feel cared about? Does anyone care? Any stakeholder capitalist? Do they care? I'm gonna I'm gonna have to relate at this getting into Patreon territory. Let me let me just let me go on. The real fix is this simple, better leaders in the workplace. Managers need to be better listeners, coaches and collaborators, great managers help colleagues learn and grow, recognize their colleagues for doing great work, and make them feel truly cared about in environments like this workers thrive. For 79% of workers, this kind of work environment may seem like a pipe dream, but for 21% of workers, it's a reality. Okay, they still have days with stress, worry and pain, but at half the rate as people who are actively disengaged at work, in fact, 95% of people who are thriving at work report being treated with respect all day, and 87% report smiling and laughing a lot. Stakeholder capitalists would love the idea of more respect and care in the workplace. But will shareholder capitalists. How does this impact the bottom line they'd ask? Well, as it turns out, it pays to have thriving workers because that's all that flipping matters. You don't treat someone with dignity and respect, because it's the right thing to do. You have to do it because it will put money in your pocket. You know, this is like the the point system for people involved in like hospice and funerary care, you get a quarter of a point if you call the grieving family and it's like Jesus, I still can't wrap my mind around that. Now. It's great to treat people with respect and care because it will make your bottom line better. I'll continue to read. business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit compared with business units with miserable workers. Additionally, teams with thriving workers see significantly lower absenteeism, turnover and accidents. They also see higher customer loyalty. The point is, well being at work isn't at odds with anyone's agenda. Executives everywhere should want the world's workers to thrive, and helping the world's workers Thrive starts with listening to them, hear what they have to say about how life at work is going and this year state, excuse me, I'm trying to lose my voice in this year state of the global workplace report and quote, I'll get into the topic of profits versus people and stakeholders, shareholder capitalists, aka crony capitalism. I think that's really all we have at this point. I'll get into that over on Patreon. This public podcast is not not really the appropriate place for that. What I want to suss out here is how do we make sense of this? How can so many people still be disengaged and miserable? Post great resignation? How do we start to come to terms with what even is this all about? How do we make sense of it all? On March 9 of this year, Pew Research published majority of workers who quit a job in 2021 cite low pay, no opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected. There's the term again, disrespected. When we get into the thick of this article, we find many of those who switched jobs see improvements. A majority of those who quit a job in 2021 and are not retired, say they are now employed either full time 55% or part time 23% of those 61% say it was some at least it was at least somewhat easy for them to find their current job with 33% saying it was Very easy. One in five say it was very or somewhat difficult and 19% say it was neither easy nor difficult. For the most part workers who quit a job last year and are now employed somewhere else see their current work situation as an improvement over their most recent job. At least half of these workers say that compared with their last job, they are now earning more money. 56% said that have more opportunities for advancement 53% have an easier time balancing work and family responsibilities 53% and have more flexibility to choose when they put in their work hours. 50% still sizable share, say things are either worse or unchanged in these areas compared with their last job. Fewer than half of workers who quit a job last year 42% say they now have better benefits such as health insurance and paid time off while a similar share. 36% say it's about the same. About one and 520 2% Now say their current benefits are worse than at their last job and quote, something is just not right here. Because, you know, I feel like I've said repeatedly that I wanted people to get as much out of the great resignation is possible because I knew it was not going to last forever. My hope for people in full time W to employment was that they would land at a place that they truly liked. They were treated well. They were paid well. They had good benefits. It worked well for them and their lifestyle. For people freelancing and gigging, same thing interact with clients who treat you with dignity and respect. Let's Let's weed out the mike the micro managers, the NED the needies, the Nancy the nitpickers, let's just say, collectively as a group of freelancers, we're not interested in you, until you change your management style and your approach to how you deal with gig workers. We don't want to take on your projects bull by as I'm saying something is not adding up here. If people are still by and large, disengaged, and miserable. Think about why that would be let's just put on our collective thinking caps. Some people say that day job hopped, and they did get into a better situation. Some people say that they job hopped and found that the grass was not greener, wherever they went to. Hmm. They're also saying a lot of things that overlap, particularly as it relates to things like low pay, not very good benefits, feeling disrespected. Feeling that there is no opportunity for advancement, not feeling that they have enough flexibility. Mm hmm. You know, I think I might be going to use the S word here. Some of you are not going to like this, I'll probably get some hate mail. But that's okay. I'm a big girl. I can handle it. You know, it's almost like the word systemic could be applied here. It's almost like the whole ball of wax. The whole corporate America ball of wax has issues at a systemic level. You know, it's almost like that. returning for a moment to the Gallup report. 21% of employees globally, 21% of employees are engaged at work. 33% of employees are thriving in their overall well being. There's also a byline here that reads 2021 as the pandemic raged on, the global employee burned out. There's an article on spiceworks.com I'll drop a link to and it is titled 40% of employees who quit are unhappy in their new jobs. The byline reads during the Great resignation, millions of employees worldwide quit their jobs and join new jobs. But how many of them are satisfied with their new roles? Do any of them regret their decisions? This was published on May 16. Of this year. One of the paragraphs reads, UK GE recently conducted a study to understand this one key finding was that more than 40% of the employees who quit, felt that they were better off in their previous job as they faced similar problems and the new ones in addition to unfamiliar faces and routines, further about 20% returned to their previous jobs and more are considering it and quote, again, I feel like this points to the S word systemic. We get to one place and it sucks and we then we go to another place and it sucks and then we go to another place and it sucks. You know, I've always been pretty transparent here and willing to pull the curtain back. I've talked about mistakes and failures, my foibles, etc. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to go into business for myself. My first business failed. It did. I've been very open and talking about that and I went splat at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. And it has taken me a lot of time to be able to rebuild myself after that. I mean it it was like just scraping the ground clean on my finances. And after I had to go back into corporate America with my tail tucked between my legs I Thought I will never do that again. I will never do that, again, Flint man plans and God laughs because I got to the point where I'm like, you know, I think if I can work the courage up to try it again, to change the business model to do things differently. It's worth it. It's worth it. I mean, I just hated being back in a cube farm and having a boss and all of that. Zero out of five stars do not recommend but that's just me, I cannot tell anybody else what to do. For other people. The idea of owning and operating their own business or freelancing and gigging might might be totally anathema. They might be on the other side of the spectrum. But I just wanted out that bad, because it was like, no matter where I went, within third party, contingency based staffing, I saw the same problems playing out place after place, no matter where I interviewed no matter where I sat down with a manager and had a cup of coffee and talked about how their business operates. It always seemed to have the same set of problems. And I thought, What is my career going to be like, if I just play musical chairs, or hopscotch from one agency to another to another, always hoping this one is going to be the one this one is going to be the place that doesn't completely suck and make me want to jump off the roof? Do I want to spend 40 years like that? Hell no. And I left, I left. And the idea of ever going back to that makes my stomach turn. So I understand when somebody says, Hey, I left thinking that the grass was going to be greener. I've got over here and it just wasn't. But how do we explain it when it's across industries. It's not just third party contingency based staffing. It's not just one particular area of the economy or one particular industry, this seems to be a broad spectrum. Again, I keep coming back to the word systemic, like maybe the entire ball of wax the entire way that corporate America operates and treats people is jacked up. Meanwhile, over on Yahoo Finance, we find that companies intend to lower headcount. I'll read a new survey from consultancy Price Waterhouse Cooper released this month showed 50% of companies are planning to reduce overall headcount. Additionally, 46% of companies said they are dropping or reducing signing bonuses while 44% are resending offers. As I as I've said many times, I can't give you advice, I can't tell you what to do. I think in order to Job hop, you would have to be sure of where you were going, you'd have to feel confident about where you were going. Do you feel in your gut that where you're going would be an upgrade? It would be a better situation for you than where you're at. Now. It could be I mean, there are people who participated in the great resignation, who said yes, I got out of a toxic workplace and into someplace, it's so much better that can happen. I think it needs to happen in a way that's thoughtful and well considered. Because sometimes people look at the paycheck or they listen to whatever kind of hoo ha and Frou Frou was tossed at them during the interview. A lot of companies still do the bait and switch during the interview process. They roll out the red carpet, they tell you whatever they think you want to hear. And then once your butt in seat in the cube farm or if you're allowed allowed to work remotely after you get your laptop and cell phone that there I'm sure going to monitor the hell out of you on. It's like, okay, you're in our world. Now you're going to sit down and shut up and do what you're told all this stuff that we said all the pleasant trees and you know, warm sunshine and roses that we gave you during the interview that's gone. Now you need to sit down, hush your mouth and work. I think it's wise in any economy, to make good judicious decisions and to look before you leap. With that being said, in my opinion, it's even more important in a recession. It's even more important at a time where unemployment is going to go up. And competition for whatever jobs are open will be stiffer. Do you want to really just leave just to leave? Do you want to hop just a hop? Do you want to potentially go from the frying pan into the furnace? That's a decision that only you can make? Speaking solely for myself, I would not want to go from the frying pan into the furnace or from one furnace into another furnace. It's sort of like the old cliche Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know. Well, the idea is to get away from these devils. But if you can't know Do you want to go from one bad situation to another bad situation. This is food for thought. And it's legitimate food for thought. I feel like this is a good time to be selfish. Consider what's best for you and your family. Because these huge corporations are going to think about what's best for them. They're not going to worry about the little guy they're not going to worry about the working class. They're focused on answering to their shareholders the board directors they investors, not us. Be. Be thoughtful, be strategic, be intentional. Do good research, try to figure out as much as you can. Look before you leap. In the meantime, stay safe, stay sane, and I'll see in the next episode. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. If you haven't already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next time.