I’ve been meaning to talk about a key study mentioned in the New York Times, in its June 1, 2014 Sunday Review edition. The title gets your attention: “Why You Hate Work.”
The article is written by Tony Schwartz, chief executive of the Energy Project, and Christine Porath, associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a consultant to the Energy Project. The Energy Project is a consulting firm that works with organizations and their leaders to improve employee engagement and more sustainable performance.
Much has been written about the disengagement middle managers experience at work. I see this all too clearly in my career coaching practice. However, the authors say “this experience is common not just to middle managers, but also to top executives.”
Luke Kissan, chief executive of a multi-billion dollar chemical company, approached Schwartz to be his coach. He realized he was overwhelmed by the demands of his family, his business and his expectations for himself.
Srinivasan S. Pillay, a psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, studies burnout. He surveyed a random sample of 72 senior leaders and discovered nearly all of them reported at least some signs of burnout and that all of them said that one cause of burnout was their work life.
Schwartz and Porath cite a 2013 Gallup study, surveying 142 countries, that reports just 13 percent of employees feel engaged at work. The writers say “For most of us, in short, work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in some obvious ways, it’s getting worse.”
In my next post, I will outline what factors Schwartz and Porvath have discovered that increase employee engagement throughout an organization.