Are you part of the “Working Wounded”?

I came across an article on Recruiting Trends this morning that was based on a recent survey by Right Management, part of the Manpower Group.  An excerpt of the article is below:

Most employees say their job is unrewarding and saps their energy, according to a new survey by Right Management, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup. Only one-in-five consider their job rewarding and gratifying…and the rest say they just want to enjoy their lives and that is why they work.  

The survey was conducted in December and January and 438 North American workers responded to the question:

Which of the following best describes your present work situation?

My job is rewarding and gratifying.
21%

I want to enjoy my life, so I work.
30%

My job is unrewarding and saps my energy.
49%

I have been saying for months that many workers are dissatisfied with their work and that many who kept their jobs may be experiencing a higher level of dissatisfaction than those who “hunkered down” and stayed in their roles during the entire economic downturn, one that is still taking place, especially if you don’t have a college degree-more about that later.

I have come up with a new phrase for those in the workforce who are dissatisfied and unhappy.  I call them the “Working Wounded”.  The phrase walking wounded is one that many of us have used for years and it has been tied more closely with men and women in combat who serve our country, but I think the Working Wounded term is very appropriate for those who have been with organizations where they are unhappy and unappreciated for the contribution they bring.

There is no prototype for those who are the Working Wounded, but here are a few tell-tale signs      to help you know if you have some of them in your workplace:

  • they typically may be a little late in arriving or early in departure (not always the case)
  • they may keep to themselves a little more than other employees
  • working wounded usually work for the managers or supervisors who don’t do a good job of communicating
  • working wounded are productive, but they have latent ability that has not been discovered because they have not been engaged
  • working wounded want to be appreciated for what they bring

We all see working wounded in our daily lives and some of us have more of them than others.

What can you do to deal with the working wounded?  Can they be saved?

Let’s talk more about the triage for working wounded in our next conversation.  For now, go out and see if you can find any of them on the battlefield in your work place.