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An article in the Harvard Business Review notes that “close to two-thirds of employees in the United States are bored, detached, or jaded.” The good news for bored employees, however, is that they can address tediousness in the workplace by taking some simple, proactive steps. Gallup’s report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, outlines six ways in which you can reinvigorate your current job:
Millennials in particular want to work for a company that has a well-defined mission and purpose. One way for you to find more meaning in your job is to become actively involved in your employer’s mission by, for example, volunteering for workplace committees and social outreach activities.
Employees can often tap into workforce training or continuing education programs that will help you learn and grow, which can keep malaise at bay. “Purpose and development drive this generation,” says Jim Clifton, Gallup’s CEO.
Employees want to build on their strengths. Finding a workplace coach or mentor might give you a new perspective on both your employer and your place in their ecosystem. “Millennials care about having managers who can coach them, who value them as both people and employees, and who help them understand and build their strengths,” says Clifton.
Millennials are accustomed to constant communication. One way to keep from getting bored is to use your company’s feedback and communication mechanisms to give your manager real-time insight into what you need and want in the workplace.
Todays’ workers are more interested in building on their personal strengths rather than addressing weaknesses. You can boost your level of engagement by helping your managers understand and nurture your strengths, which has the potential to pay both personal and organizational dividends. “We are recommending our client partners transition to strengths-based cultures, or they won’t attract and keep their stars,” says Clifton.
Employees want to be challenged to do their best work possible. To fight workplace boredom, companies need to make sure their employees feel valued. At the same time, you need to find ways to let your managers know if you are feeling under-valued or under-utilized. That can translate into everything from providing more feedback to asking for greater responsibilities.
While any effort to influence change at work should be approached with careful consideration, the current tight labor market gives employees leverage in getting the attention of their employers.
Moreover, writes author Annie McKee in the Harvard Business Review, “The first step is to accept that you deserve happiness at work. That means giving up the misbelief that work is not meant to be a primary source of fulfillment.” As McKee notes, workers who are engaged, fulfilled and valued at work make for better employees. “Our brains function better; we are more creative and adaptable; we have more energy, make smarter decisions, and better manage complexity,” she says. “It’s simple: Happy people perform better than their unhappy peers.”