In this third of a series of blogs focusing on joy in work, I am reminded of some data or ‘statistics’, if you will, that I came across as I prepped for my recent TEDx JIBC talk, “The Joy Revolution: Igniting Passion and Connection at Work”. I thought I’d bring them into our conversation today. However, with these stats, it is not my intention to suck the joy out of you or set the condition for negativity; yet they are highlighted to emphasize the critical need for us to welcome and fan joy in our workplaces … here they are:

Burnout –Global News/CBS/CNN) reported that the World Health Organization is now recognizing burnout as a medical condition in their ICD (International Classification of Diseases). As a quick follow up to this, I recently heard a very interesting conversation on the CBC recently that reported that ‘entitlement’ is no longer the defining description of millennials … the word now is burnout.

Loneliness – often considered a private emotion, its impact on productivity and morale is huge. Nearly 20-25% of Canadians sometimes or always feel lonely or isolated at work (reported by the Health Insurer – Cigna).

Disconnection – Disconnection is the outcome of loneliness and emotional withdrawal. As Dr. Brené Brown has found in her research, human beings are hard wired for connection and belonging.

Disengagement – Recent stats reflect that in North America, employees are 70% disengaged. People are pretending to work (presentee-ism), and are more apathetic than ever before, which speaks to work environment, satisfaction and team and organizational culture.   

Meaninglessness – Feeding into disengagement above, people are not able to find meaning or purpose in their work. The ADP Research Institute – whose mission it is to “generate data-driven discoveries about the world of work” – in 2016 completed its Evolution of Work study, which analyzed key factors transforming the global workplace. They identified five basic human needs that today’s workers are looking for: freedom, knowledge, stability, self-management and meaning.     

And, I firmly believe that the impact of these phenomena is a serious joy deficit both for the individual employee and the organization at large.

For me, it is important to understand and reflect on the impact of these phenomena in my own workplace and the workplaces I am privileged to engage with. But, not to live “in” them.

What have you noticed that may impact your ability to find joy in work? How do you reflect on or notice them?