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How to Avoid ‘Career Misery’ in Your Workplace
New research shows that one in six British workers over the age of 35 were unhappy at work, while almost a third of those over 55 said they didn’t feel appreciated. At Right Management, we know that when individuals succeed, organizations win – and unhappy staff equal an unproductive organization. Use these five strategies to ensure your employees don’t become part of the ‘Career Misery’ cohort.
 
1.  Engage your employees with regular Career Conversations
Leaders today know that engagement is now far more than a simple measure of staff morale: it’s a key driver of business performance. Engaged staff mean reduced turnover and increased productivity. How are your Employee Engagement Survey results shaping up? Does line management consistently come up as an area for improvement? 82% of today’s employees would be more engaged in their work if their manager conducted meaningful Career Conversations with them on a regular basis.
 
2.  Ensure you have the right people in the right roles
Our latest research has shown that up to 1 in 5 people is in the wrong role: jobs they are not engaged with or motivated by. Can you afford not to implement a career development strategy? By filling your talent pipelines with existing employees – providing opportunities for career development whilst also reducing turnover – you’ll improve engagement, morale and brand reputation.
 
3.  Invest in your teams
As well as developing the individuals within your organization, it’s important not to forget the importance of engaging your teams. Teams are the lifeblood of an organization: they represent the collective creativity of your people, enhance and embed cultural aspirations, and enable the greatest amount of work to be done through the most efficient use of resources and intellectual capital. Consider implementing a formal team effectiveness program, with measurable outcomes supporting business performance, individual sense of purpose and organizational culture.
 
4.  Don’t forget to have fun
We spend more time with our work colleagues than with any of the other people in our lives, and while much of the working day may be focused on achieving results, it’s important to allow time for social activities too. This could be in the shape of after work drinks, a formal business development day, or simply opening up communications channels and encouraging staff to share their news on your intranet or internal social media site. If your staff get along outside of work, they are far more likely to be productive together at work.
 
5.  Promote a culture of career development
Let your employees know that they are in charge of their own careers. Encourage individuals to seek personal development opportunities by taking on additional projects or working in different teams, or develop an internal mentoring programme to encourage staff to support each other. It’s also important to remember that sometimes an unhappy employee may be better off in a different role elsewhere – foster a culture of openness that encourages individuals to be honest about their career goals, whether they lie inside of the organization or not.
By investing in your people, you’ll reap the benefits and so will they: creating a happier, more productive workforce.

If you’d like to find out more about how Right Management can support your career management strategy, take a look at our solutions.
 
Author: Nicola Deas, Practice Leader, Right Management UK & Ireland
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