September 7, 2020

Work Family

We spend more hours at work with our colleagues than we do with our actual families. That is why it is so important to make sure that we enjoy and feel aligned with our work culture. From decades of interviewing across public, private and NGO sectors, we note the themes of why people are moving on are often the same. People are usually not unhappy with their duties but are often looking around for a new role due to environmental factors; their relationship with their manager, Board or colleagues. Salary increases are not often cited as a reason for looking for a new role alone. In fact, many people will, within reason, compromise on salary for a happy workplace.

Conversely, employers are often more focused on upskilling, training and providing alternative working conditions for employees they feel ‘fit’ into the work culture. This doesn’t mean they accept poor performance.

As an employee, you don’t have to be socially ‘joined at the hip’ with your work colleagues as that isn’t healthy for a work environment either, but if you find yourself actively resisting any social interaction with them, then you need to ask yourself why. Research shows that staff retention is longer when employees feel aligned to the culture of an organisation.

If we think of ourselves as a battery of energy with many things using that energy on a day-to-day basis, we will soon deplete the battery if an added drain is not liking your workplace and those around you. Business has always been tough and if you are able to debrief and gain support from those around you, you will keep your motivation going and your battery ‘topped-up’. Mental well-being can affect physical well-being and from an employer perspective, this can lead to more sick leave being used.

It’s also about being honest with yourself in evaluating your role. Not everyone is an analyst, business developer or manager of others. Play to your strengths then work will become easier. A quote from Steve Jobs is “the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Being happy at work is an overall productivity booster and enhances performance. People who enjoy their jobs are more likely to be optimistic, motivated, learn faster and make fewer mistakes and better business decisions.

Taking a role isn’t a prison sentence, you are allowed to admit that it doesn’t suit you and seek an alternative role. Almost everyone has had a role on their CV’s that doesn’t suit them. If there is a theme of ‘wrong positions’ on your CV, you need to ask yourself why and do you need to find a better culturally-aligned workplace.