Would You Work for Nothing?

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Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss

Of course, there are many people who do work for no money.  They are termed voluntary workers, or volunteers and there are countless such individuals who take on and enjoy that role.  Their satisfaction is derived from helping others and not from any financial reward. The reward that makes a difference to the life of another human being is enough for them.  However, there is a debate as to whether people really do things for purely altruistic reasons or whether there is also an inner benefit for themselves.

I remember when I worked in the evenings as a volunteer for the Samaritans (an international crisis helpline), for over 20 years, that the satisfaction I received in helping someone in a personal crisis, far outweighed any remuneration.

Job Satisfaction Survey

This week, I was sent a survey into job satisfaction and the results showed that money does not necessarily bring happiness.  One in ten workers said they ‘loved’ their job so much that they would do it for nothing and researchers discovered that 11% claim they would carry on working even if they were not paid! One in eight of those in poorly paid jobs said they were very happy in their work, compared with just nine per cent of higher earners. It was also interesting to read that this study, which polled more than 8,000 workers including 1,968 in Britain, found that younger workers were apparently the least happy.

So where are you on the ‘job satisfaction’ scale?  Well, I guess you will say that you can’t love your job all the time and of course you are right. There will be tasks you enjoy doing and things you don’t. That is the nature of our day-to-day job. The question is, are you generally happy, overall?  Do you have a ‘spring’ in your step when you go to work or do you have to pull yourself out of bed as you reluctantly have to face another day at the office?  An interesting question. 

Now I can already hear some of you saying that satisfaction is a nice to have but not a necessity and of course the job needs to get done, whether you like it or not.  But think of how much more efficient and enjoyable your role would be if you really loved what you do – which reminds me of the well-known line from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, which says, ‘work is love made visible’.

And then whose responsibility is it to try and encourage their employees to love their work rather than just having to ‘get through it’?  I would argue that this is a joint responsibility. The employer who doesn’t value the individual who works for them and makes that clear to them, will probably not have an employee who feels happy in what they do.  After all, we all usually like to think that we are doing a good job.  On the other hand, there is the employee who is always complaining about their work but never takes any action to try to improve their situation. The result is a dysfunctional workplace in which both the employer and employee contribute to a work environment that is counter-productive and expensive in terms of efficiency and health and which invariably results in competitive disadvantage.

If you are that employer, then what can you do about it?  Well, you can do nothing and accept the status quo or you can make a decision to find out by taking a ‘satisfaction survey’ of all staff members and employees throughout your organisation to determine how everyone feels about their individual job. The imperative for any business is to get the most out of all those who work for you, on any level.

As an employee, you should take responsibility for what you do and don’t like about your job.  Assess each point carefully and see what changes could be made; what support you might need and what training would be helpful; then start to implement those changes.

We don’t go through our lives always being happy.  Sometimes, we have to make happiness find us. We need to take action to gain the maximum satisfaction for, and from, our lives.

Key Points

  • An efficient organisation has a satisfied workforce
  • Your human resource is your most important resource
  • Value those who work for you and they will work twice as hard

Written by Carole Spiers and reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News.



Not Another Meeting!

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4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

The other day I was sent an email with five attachments and it was suggested that these were all read prior to attending a forthcoming meeting.

So I arrived at the meeting, on time, and sat and waited for 15 minutes which made me annoyed.  The meeting eventually started but no agenda had been distributed.  The attachments I had been sent were only touched upon so were not really necessary.  And so I sat there thinking ‘what was the purpose of this meeting?’

Sometimes I wonder if people who arrange meetings fully appreciate the responsibility entailed?  I am certainly not saying that some meetings are not invaluable and if organised and delivered well, are essential to develop projects, initiatives, clarify thinking, to brainstorm and to encourage networking.  However, when using other people’s time, it is necessary to ensure that there is a valid reason.

Often, I arrive at a meeting that starts late, and I begin to lose focus and interest. And when they do eventually commence, the AV equipment has not been tested beforehand, the micrphone doesn’t work and it becomes more of a ‘fire-fighting activity with loads of excuses rather than a business meeting, Continue reading


The Importance of Treating People with Dignity and Respect

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The Essential Guide to Managing Stress

We are aware that all employees should be treated with dignity and respect and that bullying and harassment is detrimental to both morale and team dynamics and should never be tolerated.  However, if you are being bullied, it is not always easy to know what action to take.  All employers need to demonstrate a duty of care to everyone who works for them but, sadly, this is not always the case.

Being Bullied

Emilee is a 35 year old, London accountant who enjoys her work. She appears to be a self-confident, efficient and outgoing person who you would not think could be easily bullied.    However, the opposite is the case.  She told me that her boss, John, only speaks to her in order to criticize her work and, otherwise, completely ignores her from one day to the next.  Never is there any word about what she has actually achieved.  To date, she has done her best to ignore this attitude because good jobs such as hers are not easy to come by and she is committed to her work. However, a few weeks ago, Emilee could finally take no more intimidation and she arrived at my consultancy room, in tears. Continue reading


Do you get that ‘last day of the week’ feeling?

stress, motivational speaker, UAE

Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss

According to a new study in the UK, British workers now switch off for the weekend at 2.29 pm! The research found that most of us wind-down long before going home time, with 59% admitting they take the last day of every week much easier.

Many admit to ignoring calls and messages in order to go home early. The British Airways study of 2,000 workers found that 61% wind-down earlier on the last day because they claim to have worked over their contracted hours during the week but insist their boss still gets ‘value for money’.

So, if there is really a ‘Friday feeling’ in the UK, then I guess the same goes for those who experience a ‘Thursday feeling’ in the UAE. Continue reading