Don’t worry, be happy (and live longer!)

In my last entry, I wrote about employees wanting to feel in control of their work environment.  This week, the Labor Day issue of The Miami Herald noted dramatic changes in the workplace over the past 25 years. In 1977, only a little more than a third of American workers were over 40 year; today over half are.  Workers are feeling more pressed, more stressed, and perhaps more depressed?  Today 39% of employees are not fully engaged in their jobs and 54% are less than fully satisfied with their jobs.  As expected, employers who offer flexible work environments find more fully engaged employees committed to staying with their employer.

Paradoxically, however Glenn Bassett wrote a little over a decade ago about an interesting case against worker satisfaction being a significant measure of productivity.  While it seems to remain true that employees’ dissatisfaction with their jobs may affect both turnover and absenteeism, it may be that satisfied employers may have lower standards or be less ambitious.  As Bassett notes, dissatisfied workers may be employees who are highly conscientious about work effectiveness and upset by the prevalence of poor management practices. 

Work satisfaction was found to be the best single predictor of longevity against actuarial tables of mortality in another study.  As a worker, or manager, this is food for thought.  For those interested in the fascinating study in detail, you can find it, hopefully, at

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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