Engaging Employees & Understanding Job Misery

Engaging Employees

Employee engagement and understanding the real truth about job misery. Organizations are working hard to overcome the great resignation in 2022. How you engage your employees will differentiate you as a leader.

In his book, The Truth About Employee Engagement, Patrick Lencioni says,

“Engaged, enthusiastic, and loyal employees are pivotal drivers of growth and health in any organization.”

Companies need to offer more than higher salaries if they want to retain their talent. Job boards are filling up and employees are feeling comfortable making the switch to a new position and a new company.

picture of employee engagement symbols

This blog post will give you an inside look on three key aspects that keep your employees from feeling fulfilled. We also share tips on how to keep your team members engaged. By following these tips, you’ll be able to avoid the great resignation. 

The impact of job misery is much greater than leaders might think. For example, there are some studies that show up to 77% of workers are dissatisfied with their employment situation. Job dissatisfaction doesn’t come from benefits or pay but it stems from the relationship, or lack thereof, with their team leader.  

Job misery kills employee morale and therefore drives up the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new team members. It is a vicious cycle but leaders need to be on the lookout and understand the aspects that are the driving forces of job misery. 

Employee Engagement requires the awareness of job misery

Irrelevance, anonymity, and immeasurement are the three aspects that join together to fuel the misery. If an employee feels any of these, they’ll never be able to feel fulfilled in the organization.


Every single team member likes to know their job matters to someone. A lack of seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, and an employee simply will not find lasting fulfillment. Even the most cynical team members want to know their work matters to someone, even if it’s just their team leader. Every job in the company should be relevant to someone. Whether the job impacts someone in a big or small way, a fellow team member or customer, there should be an impact on someone. If there isn’t, the job should probably not exist. Everyone likes to be seen, heard, and feel like they’re contributing to the organization.


If an employee’s success relies on the opinions of another person, they cannot be fulfilled in their work. They need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution for themselves. Motivation crumbles without tangible means of assessing success or failure. Employees need to see themselves able to control their own fate.


The last aspect is the most important of the three. Team members will not, and can not, be fulfilled in their work if they are not known. Human beings need to be understood and appreciated for their efforts and qualities by an authority figure in the organization. Someone who feels invisible, anonymous, or feels as though they’re just another number will never love their job. No matter what that job is or how much money they make.

How can team leaders work to overcome these aspects? Addressing anonymity is the first step in tackling job misery and keeping your employees engaged. Leaders should work to get to know their people on a professional and personal level. They should work to help employees understand their relevance. They need to know where they fit into the organization. Lastly, team leaders need to provide their employees with meaningful ways to measure their success. 

By doing those things, the team will feel fulfilled in their work. There are additional steps leaders can take in order to make sure their team members are engaged. Here are a few ideas leaders can test within their team. 

Engage employees by embracing employee feedback

Don’t take feedback as criticism, your employees have a lot of thoughts about the company and they should feel safe providing those thoughts. Use their words as a roadmap of what you can do to boost engagement and avoid high turnover rates. 

With the feedback you receive, monitor and analyze your employees, your teams and the workspace. With your observations, you’ll find essential insight into what works and what can be improved.

Recognize the accomplishments of employees

Create a program that recognizes employees for their accomplishments. This can range from pushing team leaders to acknowledge a team member, to giving rewards like gift cards to achievers. If your employee does something outside of their job that resonates with your company culture and values, that should be rewarded too. There’s no reason to limit recognition to only work related activities! 

Employee engagement requires supporting mental health initiatives

Show your employees the company is aware of all issues affecting them. Provide support mechanisms to help them navigate through their trials. 

Invite employees to lead on meetings

Try mixing it up and get employees to take charge of all-hands and stand-up meetings. Get the teams to rotate the responsibility between different people. This is a good way to create ownership within the company’s regular activities. Encourage employees to make the meetings fun! They could insert small games or icebreaker activities into the meetings.

Boost peer-to-peer recognition

This point goes hand-in-hand with making team members feel relevant. Team leaders should allow employees to shout-out and recognize their colleagues. Allocate a few minutes at the start of meetings for this exercise. The benefit of this is, it gets employees to think of their colleagues and other teams. It’s an easy but great way to sustain regular recognition.

As part of the onboarding process, there should be someone assigned to work with new hires and answer important questions. This mentor can answer questions a new person would be hesitant to ask of a team leader.  A newcomer would be able to better adapt and grow with the team by building a trusting relationship with someone who has a bit more experience. 

When your team is engaged, they will also drive improvements in productivity and the success of your company. The success of engaged employees depends on the team leader being aware of the signs of job misery. As well as continuous efforts needed to keep their people engaged. 

How are you working to avoid the great resignation? Have you tried any of these engagement ideas? Share your thoughts below. 

At NexLevel, we’re experts in building healthy organizations through cohesive teams and engaged employees. We will help you and your employees become the high-performance team you’ve always wanted to be by focusing on collaboration, creativity, culture, and connection. 

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