Your employees could be costing your business revenue if this is happening under your management.
Lead style managers know that unsatisfied workers will not produce quality work. Boss style managers view workers as producing their best because they have a paycheck and for this they will do their quality work.
Why do you need to know if your workers are happy? Bottom line, it will cost your business quality, reputation and revenue.
Few of us have the potential to read minds and know for sure where our workers’ satisfaction really lies. Few workers will be honest and present concerns or complaints if they are under boss style management for the sake of maintaining employment, at least until they find a better offer elsewhere. Most of us have been taught to follow the money, and this becomes our drive or motivation to do our job. However, while this behavior meets one of our needs, which is to survive, motivating ourselves just for a paycheck discounts the rest of our human basic needs.
Why does this matter? As human beings, we cannot shut off our basic needs just because we want to. For example, if you are hungry and your stomach is growling, just telling it to stop will not make the hunger go away on its own. You will be forced to take some kind of action such as drinking water, eating a snack or trying to do something different to take your mind off of the hunger. Another example, if you are feeling stressed you may try and go for a run, eat something or make a list. The stress will not just disappear until you address it.
I have heard many stories from employees and managers who stay at a job because they need the paycheck yet are unhappy at work. These individuals will stay as long as they need to or they will do one of the following: find another position, realize that their needs are not being met and become unhappy, or if a person is able to push out their needs not being met, then physiological symptoms can begin to surface as a way to let them know they are not satisfied. These physiological symptoms manifest themselves in areas such as stress, tension or migraine headaches, back pain, depressive and anxious symptoms to name a few. Some recent studies show one of the leading financial implications in a workplace is due to high stress levels in workers/managers.
Boss management style will tend to view the psychological needs of a worker as secondary when they enter the workplace. I have heard comments such as “leave your emotional and personal issues at home, focus on work” in an effort to get workers to perform at their best. While this tactic may work temporarily because it instills fear in the worker of losing their job it is not sustainable. The worker will try to do just that, stuff or push out what they are needing in an effort to keep their job. However, over time the worker will become frustrated internally and begin to find ways to alleviate their misery. This is where workers begin to behave unhappy, utilize their time to find a different job, perform at their minimal required, create negative energy in the work place, suffer from illness and miss work and utilize energy into complaining.
What can you do?
The most difficult thing I have seen in a business is for managers to change how they manage their workers. While you cannot make everyone happy what you can do is ensure your managers are leading in a way that teaches workers to self motivate themselves to produce their best. Lead style management teaches to first lead in a way that your workers want to connect with. When you lead instead of boss you begin to earn respect, trust and loyalty from your workers. When a worker is happy, meaning their human needs are met beyond receiving a paycheck, the happy worker will produce quality work, get along well with others, and utilize their energy to produce their best potential to maintain not only their paycheck but also to maintain the connection they feel to their leader and the business.
Rose Lawrence, MA, LPCC, LCPC