Monthly Article Archives: May 2018

Are You Unhappy at Work?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

Unhappy at work

In past articles I have described the unhappiness and disengagement that many individuals experience in the workplace.  As an example, my January and February, 2014 columns reviewed a comprehensive report produced by Gallup, Inc. that was titled “State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders.”  The findings of the report were unsettling in terms of capturing the widespread dissatisfaction felt by so many people throughout the workday.  The Gallup researchers found that only 30% of American employees across a number of settings felt engaged in their work, displaying enthusiasm and commitment and helping to move their organization forward.  Another 52% were categorized as “not engaged.”  They were described as “sleepwalking through their workday, putting time—but not energy or passion—into their work.” A third group, which comprised 18% of employees, were labeled “actively disengaged,” characterized as “more or less out to damage their company.  They aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. . . .  Whatever the engaged do—such as solving problems, innovating, and creating new customers—the actively disengaged try to undo.”   These negative behaviors, displayed by such a large number of employees, are estimated to cost businesses in the United States between

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