Why You Hate Work: What the New York Times Didn’t Mention

There’s a lot of buzz right now about energy in the workplace. Last May, The New York Times posted the article Why You Hate Work, based on the research conducted by the Energy Project. Although I love the influx of material being presented on the topic of energy in the workplace, the article failed to mention the core reason behind why people become demotivated and disengaged at work in the first place.

There is only one way to ignite energy in the workplace. Having leaders who are able to show up and live high character. If this is not happening, all other efforts will eventually fail–resulting in wasted time and money for the business. So what does it mean to show up and live high character? Here’s a place to start…

1. Your business lives Right Now Values and not Aspirational Values. If every leader is not able to model the values the business chooses to put on its wall, in the handbook, and promote in marketing collateral, employees will view the leadership team as liars. This is the fastest way to deflate energy and drive down moral.

2. Leaders choose to ditch the “spin”. High character means that leaders choose to be authentic and transparent. They have the courage to put the truth out to the masses, rather than being caught up in political strategy for self-benefit. This also means leaders are facing in the right direction–toward people and not politics. They consciously choose to model integrity, responsibility, compassion, and forgiveness–and it’s obvious to everyone. This element is critical to workplace energy because people are exhausted by playing the game, and stressed out by guessing what their leader wants and thinks. The result is self-sabotaging thoughts and worry that suck the energy right out of employees.

These are just two ways to re-energize your workplace. I guarantee, if your leaders start living high character and ditching the spin you’ll start seeing more energy from employees.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

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