It’s not surprising that a majority of Americans hate their jobs, as noted by Forbes. But there are people who are passionate about their work, and they have a lot in common. One myth is that people who love their jobs simply hit the jackpot. They responded to the right ad or the perfect position fell into their lap.
The reality is a bit different. People who love their jobs do have a strong connection to the work itself. They also work for strong organizations that help them maintain that sense of enthusiasm and employee engagement.
Our Employee Engagement Report found that the number one commonality among satisfied employees is that they enjoy working with their colleagues. They feel energized coming to work every day because they know they’ll be surrounded by competent, motivated people who they can collaborate with.
Every career has its downside, from office politics to boring meetings, but people who love their jobs are able to shrug that off and focus on the good. They got into their field to make significant contributions, and they’re not about to let petty grievances get in the way.
They don’t just want to earn a paycheck or move up the ladder. They’re working to make a difference now. Whatever initially motivated them to get into their particular field is always close to the front of their mind.
Someone who’s happy at their job is not being micromanaged. They were hired because their manager knows they can do the job well. They’re given the freedom to do things as they see fit.
Their manager provides consistent feedback on how to improve, but also provides praise for a job well done. People who love their jobs feel confident at their ability to do their jobs.
Everyone feels some pressure to succeed. However, people who love their work are always interested in trying new things. While it might be nice to do everything right the first time, they understand that improvement is a process. They expect to learn from their failures. And they know that management won’t punish them for taking reasonable risks.
When employees feel like a cog in a machine, it’s unlikely that they’ll appreciate their work. It’s a two-way street. If the company demonstrates to the employee that their work is essential, the employee is more likely to appreciate the company.
One way to make employees feel more valued is by providing peer-to-peer recognition. Our research found that when offered a simple tool do so, 44% of employees will provide shout-outs to their colleagues on a regular basis.
People who love their work have a lot in common. Part of their success lies within and part lies with their employer. Savvy employers pick the most motivated candidates and then find ways to nurture that motivation.