Wellbeing | Having a job isn’t enough

181/365 - Life 2: The Unhappy Endingphoto © 2009 Helga Weber | more info (via: Wylio) Hate your job? Feeling underutilized and devalued at the office? Turns out the unemployed may be faring better than you.

Roughly 1-in-5 American workers is actively disengaged at the office. Gallup has concluded that these employees

tend to be significantly less productive, report being less loyal to their companies, are less satisfied with their personal lives, and are more stressed and insecure about their work than their colleagues.

And newer data is showing that the unemployed are finding more pleasure in their lives than those disenchanted with their current employer. They are more likely to say they are thriving (48% to 42%). Despite the financial hardships and present insecurity, the unemployed are less likely to say they’re struggling with their lives than those actively disengaged members of the workforce (49% to 54%).

While we keep hearing how lucky people are to have jobs in this economy, it appears a pay check may not be enough. At the end of 2010, Manpower reported that 84% of Americans would be looking for a new job this year.

Given that the 12-question Gallup survey was designed to determine how challenged and valued employees are at a given company, it seems that the intrinsic benefits of employment may be missing for the least engaged. Not only do employees want to be paid fairly (if not well) for what they do, they want to see their efforts successfully contributing to objectives that matter internally. They want work that matches their skill levels and knowledge base so that they’re adequately challenged. And they want the autonomy to decide how best to get the job done; afterall, if not trusted to do the job, an offer of employment probably shouldn’t have been extended.

So it takes a toll when one is micromanaged or finds oneself working in a dysfunctional setting that limits the little successes that add up over time. And then, voila! Work and life seem much less enjoyable.

Gallup: Daily Positive Experiences

Hopefully, you’re part of the engaged segment of the workforce.  What is your employer doing to help keep the spring in your step?   If you’re not happy in your current position, how do you keep your spirits up?