The latest surveys show an increased interest of employees in making a career change this year. Thus, according to an Ernst & Young study, carried out on a sample of 17,000 employees from 22 countries, 43% of the people surveyed want to leave their current jobs in the next 12 months – motivated mainly by the desire to get a higher salary, better career opportunities, and flexibility. The decision comes amid inflation and an increase in jobs that offer flexible working and probably it’s based on emotions.
In these conditions, you think about how to motivate your colleagues to stay involved in the company’s activity, for as long as possible. The first step is to increase your benefits package, offer bonuses, training courses, and more flexible working hours or announce the salary increases you will be making this year. But all these techniques cannot work if people feel frustrated and demotivated at work. If they have certain emotions that are stronger than any financial motivation.
FRUSTRATIONS EXIST AND DEMOTIVATE THE MOST
In the Frustration At Work study, conducted by the research company, Leadership IQ, 2,553 employees were surveyed to assess the biggest frustrations and obstacles that prevented them from being as productive as possible. 60% of employees say their frustrations at work are so severe that they want to search for other jobs, and 84% said that fixing their frustrations would make them significantly more productive.
Workload and the people they worked with were the top two categories of frustrations, mentioned by 39% of employees. Other frustration reasons were also mentioned such as toxic colleagues, poor management, and lack of clear direction.
Imagine that you are an employee who gives his best to the job; you solve situations or tasks that have the potential to bring results (that other colleague) may have left on hold) and convey the company’s values. Now consider that either through inadvertence or lack of courage, your manager does not recognize your merits and involvement. Or he doesn’t have the same goals for your teammates as he does for you.
How frustrated would you be? And would a bonus be enough to make up for this frustration?
There are numbers and data to show that frustrations exist and they need to be addressed head-on. For example, the study, Why Company Values Are Insufficient, shows that only one-third of managers talk to people about their company’s values. And employees who feel valued by their managers are approximately 80% more engaged than employees who don’t have a close, trusting, and transparent relationship with their managers.
The Risks Of Ignoring Employee Feedback study shows that only 23% of employees who share their work problems with their leader get a constructive response from him. And employees whose leader responds constructively are about 12 times more likely to recommend the company as a great employer.
Before you worry about bonuses and other financial compensation, it’s important to find out what your employees’ frustrations are and work to fix them. Shallow attempts to motivate them will only alienate and irritate your colleagues even more.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to solve every employee’s frustration. But if you don’t open a dialog, the effects will be visible in retention.
HERE’S HOW TO ADDRESS EMOTIONS SUCH AS ANGER, FRUSTRATION, AND RESENTMENT IN PEOPLE ON YOUR TEAM:
When you’re in a leadership role, you face a major challenge: managing the moods of your team without letting their tantrums affect effectiveness.
Anger, frustration, and resentment aren’t new notions on the job. Recent research by Gallup shows that daily rates of anger, stress, worry, and sadness among American workers have increased over the past decade.
But the past two years have brought particularly acute frustrations such as working at home with family and layoffs amid the pandemic’s downsizing. As the leader of your team, it is important to realize that you cannot keep your employees happy all the time, but you are responsible for building a culture of trust and psychological safety. Here are some recommendations to try when you realize that your team is dominated by feelings of frustration, and anger.
BALANCE YOUR EMOTIONS BEFORE YOU REACT TO THEIR EMOTIONS
It’s natural that your team’s feelings will affect your own. One option is to show that you want to deal with the situation as quickly as possible, but you may be rejected by people who think they have to manage their feelings on their own.
Another form of response is to show an interest only when problems arise, but then change the subject and do nothing about it.
If you are emotionally distant from your team, your first reaction may be defensiveness as a way to protect yourself. But being defensive will create more resentment.
All these reactions: impulsive involvement, deflection, and defensiveness are instinctive but highly ineffective. They create a psychological distance between you and the people you are supposed to inspire and motivate. Rather than reacting in these ways, it’s much more effective to focus on stabilizing your own emotions first.
Depersonalize how you get feedback about people on your team. It’s essential to perceive this information as data, not as dangerous. In time, you’ll have a chance to share your point of view, but for now, don’t get overwhelmed.
Remember that the feelings of the people on your team give you valuable insight into your leadership role. And when you resist the urge to add judgment and excuses to this data, you’ll be able to respond with a much more effective coping strategy.
BE RECEPTIVE TO THEIR ANGER WITH THE INTENT OF LEARNING
Once you’ve accepted the feedback and understood the moods and emotions your team is going through, it’s important to approach the situation openly, without judging people.
Don’t suppress their anger or ignore it. Instead, ask for more information, showing that you care. And rethink the concept of anger in the workplace so you can manage it with sensitivity, not fear.
Anger is part of the human condition, and when it is managed effectively, it can even be a catalyst for improving your leadership style and having a happier team.
Give colleagues a space of psychological safety so that they can say what they feel about the relationships in the team, and about your leadership style. Then suggest that you work as a team to explore new solutions that work for everyone.
A constructive approach might be this: “I know you’re upset, and as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, I want you to know that it’s okay to express your feelings. I believe in supporting each colleague and acknowledging their emotions, not repressing them. My commitment to you is to listen with the intent to learn. But if you want things to change, I need you to help me help you. That means thinking about what factors behind your anger you need to manage and giving me some concrete ideas about how I can help you from my position.”
REDESIGN GOALS WITH YOUR TEAM
By acknowledging emotions, inviting colleagues into dialogue, and learning about the source of their anger, you can guide them toward more constructive outcomes. By helping them to balance their emotions, they will feel better and be more creative in coming up with ideas for change.
From your leadership role, consider the quality of your team’s goals. Are these well defined so that people can achieve the desired performance or are they unreasonable and colleagues are tempted to abandon them? Do your expectations come with a healthy acceptance of failure, or do you not even conceive of failure, and do people work out of fear rather than inspiration?
By creating goals with your team, you help them move from negative emotions to positive emotions.
Start with the premise that you may have “blind spots” in your leadership style that could be contributing to the anger of people on your team. At the same time, you may not be the direct cause of your team’s frustration, given the many issues that cause employee anger these days. But how you deal with your team’s emotions and moods either exacerbates tension or improves trust.
You can take as a case study a leader quoted by Harvard Business Review who improved his leadership style based on feedback from his team. He learned that people didn’t perceive him as transparent during crises, he even angered them when they needed a leader the most. Colleagues also resented that he relied heavily on “favorites”, unfairly giving opportunities for advancement and visibility to a small circle of colleagues. Interestingly, lack of transparency and favoritism are some of the most prevalent inhibitors in organizations and the cause of lack of trust in managers.
So, he started to change these perceptions, he approached his colleagues with gratitude for their input. He asked them for advice and feedback every month. This simple approach was effective in changing negative perceptions and minimizing frustrations.
How you respond to your colleagues’ frustrations is essential, so you don’t let negative emotions overwhelm them and affect the team’s effectiveness. By following these suggestions, you will not only manage your emotions better, but you will also build confidence and motivation for future performances.