I hate my job is one of the common statement either we hear from others or say it to ourselves (most of the time to our self and occasionally to others we trust). For ourselves, it is quite simple to know the reasons and causes, which ranges from (but not limited to) work environment, relationship with supervisors and peers, company regulations, pay and reward structure, policies, procedures and most importantly organizational culture and last but not least internal office politics.
I have reviewed many literatures and reports, and found that most of them are focused on helping individuals to overcome the situation and not to hate their job, many authors have tried to market tips and suggested several ways to improve or either eliminate the feeling of hate however, I have struggled to find some meaningful material on helping the organizations in handling phenomenon.
I strongly believe that this is not just an individual’s problem, this is an organizational level problem which should be taken seriously due to the fact that despite being a common and widely used statement it is still challenging for line managers to (a) know that the staff reporting to him / her really hates the job (b) what are the drivers or causes of this condition and most importantly (c) how to mitigate or eliminate them.
In support of my argument I have found Schneider’s statement that states “people make the place” (Schneider 1987) and in case of many people with similar condition of I hate my job the overall culture of the organization will be at stake.
Handling this scenario is even trickier when employees who hate the job are still doing their work effectively, predominantly due to the fact that we all have to continue earning to meet our financial commitments, if this is the case (just for the sake of argument) why to worry!!! Let them hate the job and continue producing the results, why to bother.
If as an organization, we ignore this, I believe this will impact the overall organizational culture and ultimately lead to devastation overtime, as said by Schneider “the people in a group define the culture” (Schneider, The ASA Framework – An update. Personal Psychology 1995). He explained this in his model of Attraction, Selection and Attrition (ASA) which explains the three-pronged mechanism by which cohesive, like-minded groups of people develop overtime, people that are at odds with the culture within the guild or clan tend not to want to be a part of it, and if they do, they tend not be selected for membership, and if this happens, they tend to range a quit overtime (Madigan 2010).
Which means if people who hate their job, and they continue working, this will form a close group, which will attract more people with shared feelings, and with the passage of time, this group will influence organizational culture dominantly in selecting / attracting like-minded people for new positions, as well as play a role in attrition of talent potentially who are not fitting in to their environment.
In summary it is essential for today’s organizations to keep a close watch on their culture by constant monitoring of employees satisfaction level at individual level as well as at group level. In the event of knowing the existence of I hate my job phenomenon, take necessary corrective action by pinpointing the probable causes. Keeping a blind eye to this will surely lead to devastation and is a threat to the very existence of all.
Madigan, Jamie. The Psychology of video games. March 10, 2010. www.psychologyofgames.com/2010/03/picking-your-guidlines-the-role-of-attraction-selection-and-attrition/ (accessed March 07, 2015).
Schneider, Benjamin. The ASA Framework – An update. Personal Psychology. Vol. 48. New York: Personal Psychology, 1995.
—. The people make the place – Personal psychology. New York: Chicago , 1987.