Chances are you’re unhappy with your job.
A new report from Gallup found that 70 percent of Americans report feeling unhappy, uninspired and less engaged in their job. This has led American workers to be less productive, costing the United States anywhere from $450 to $550 billion a year, the report said.
To find this, researchers sent out questionnaires to thousands of employees and asked whether they felt they were engaged or not.
Engaged workers tended to be more loyal to their companies and were “responsible for the most innovation within their organization,” according to CBS News.
Meanwhile, those who said they were less engaged also were more likely to take out their unhappiness on their co-workers by “undermining what their engaged co-workers” accomplished, according to CBS News.
Many employees also find themselves unhappy because their workplaces don’t offer suitable perks, raises or flexible schedules, according to the Gallup report.
“Popular — and oftentimes expensive — strategies to boost work morale, like ping pong tables and catered meals, aren't really helping either,” CBS reported.
Boosting morale can be a challenge for some companies, especially if a manager is unhappy with his or her job since bad morale seems to stem from the top, CBS reported.
That’s why, in order to make workers happy, employers may want to hire a strong manager, CBS reported.
"Here's something they'll probably never teach you in business school: The single biggest decision you make in your job — bigger than all of the rest — is who you name manager," wrote Gallup CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton, according to CBS News.
Managers often have the power to inspire their workers and change office policies to better fit the needs of employees, according to Entrepreneur.
Good managers can also do things to improve morale, like increasing the amount of wellness challenges and incentives in the office, according to Inc. For example, employees at Woodhouse Day Spa have a “Wellness Challenge” in which employees wear a watch that measures their fitness compared to their colleagues, according to Inc.
Employers also have been known to boost morale when they encourage employees to take time off and spend more time with their families outside of work, Inc reported.
For example, the breastfeeding accessory company Simple Wishes allows employees to choose their own hours so that they can embrace their family and get work done without feeling stressed about work-life balance, Inc reported.
Employers may also want to make their workplaces fun by having small activities and breaks in between projects, Fast Company reported.
“Make it a habit to evaluate morale in your workplace; if it’s suffering, a break for fun can lift spirits and boost success,” according to Fast Company. “Give your team a chance to enjoy themselves; it’ll undoubtedly create a friendlier, happier and all-around healthier environment for everyone.”
It’s also important for managers and workplace leaders to recognize and show appreciation for their productive workers, allowing them to feel incentivized to keep working, Fast Company reported.
“It’s well known that incentives, rewards, and recognition increase employee satisfaction, but adding an aspect of public acknowledgment includes your whole team in celebrations of successes,” according to Fast Company. “As an added bonus, this improves workplace culture overall, fostering an environment that recognizes and aspires to key business values. Aspire to a culture of success guided by positive affirmations.”
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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret News National. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @herbscribner.