While everyone is bound to have an off day, in a perfect world, most employees would typically enjoy their workday. But what happens when they don’t? When it’s clear that work is starting to feel like a chore, how can you step in before the situation gets worse?
Let’s take a closer look at four reasons why employees might feel stuck at work—along with four action steps you can take to get ahead of the issue. With these tips, you’ll be in a much better position to provide a fulfilling, meaningful work environment for your team members.
Up first: how vacation time affects employee satisfaction.
1) Your employees aren’t taking vacation time.
The first factor that can lead to work feeling like, well, work, is a lack of utilized vacation time. Whether your PTO setup doesn’t serve employee needs or your culture de-incentivizes people from actually taking their time off, overworked employees are unlikely to be motivated.
If this factor applies to your organization, take a look at your vacation policies and consider adding a minimum number of days off per quarter to ensure that everyone gets the breaks they need.
2) Your employees don’t see a future with your company.
Next, it’s hard for many employees to enjoy their work when they don’t see a future career path with the organization. You may be contributing to this atmosphere if you fail to promote people from within or provide transparency into growth opportunities.
Instead, make sure to discuss growth plans regularly. Annual reviews are a great time to realign team members with their potential futures within the company—and to make sure they’re learning the right skills to get where they want to go.
3) Your employees want more flexibility day to day.
This will look different for each organization and each employee. Most companies granted employees more flexibility and autonomy during the pandemic. As a result, employees got a taste of what it felt like to take mid-day walks, work during the times they feel most productive, or choose where and how they get their work done.
If you’ve since removed some of this autonomy, your employees may be bearing the burden. Consider how you might entrust your team members with more privileges around when, where, and how they do their work. You’ll likely find that they become more engaged and start achieving better results because they feel in control of their workday.
4) Your employees are overworked.
You knew this one was coming—employees that have too much on their plates are unlikely to give their all in the long term. Since many organizations are struggling to find qualified applicants for open roles, the result may leave current employees with a much heavier workload.
To avoid this outcome, check-in with employees about whether their workloads are manageable. If not, come up with a plan to prioritize tasks—and let some projects go—to reintroduce balance.
If any of these are present in your own company, take action using the solutions above to ensure your team has what they need to thrive. Everyone will benefit—including you!