Is Job Dissatisfaction Really That Dangerous?

Full Transcript Below

[ANNOUNCER]: Breaking down everyday workplace issues and diagnosing the hidden sickness not just the obvious symptom, our hosts James and Coby.

[COBY]: Did we lose a patient?

[JAMES]: No that’s just my lunch.

[COBY]: Hey thanks for joining us. I’m Coby, he’s James. Let’s get started with a question. Is job dissatisfaction really that dangerous?

[JAMES]: Absolutely. Yes it is. And the reason why it’s so dangerous is because job dissatisfaction is probably the single biggest influence on the problems you’re having with recruitment and retention. If people are unsatisfied in their job, they are going to be looking for other opportunities. If they are unsatisfied in their job they’re going to be telling other people about how unsatisfied they are, right? Dissatisfaction in the workplace is going to not only cause you immediate problems with being able to retain staff, it’s going to cause you long-term problems by damaging your reputation in the Labor Market.

[COBY]: Yeah and I mean, you’re right. And largely when people are having trouble finding people, or keeping people, it tends to stem from like an underbelly of dissatisfaction. That’s kind of what it’s called. And like you know other parts of the workplace are really important, we’ll kind of get into what that means and how it all fits together in a minute, but it’s important to realize that, yes, a lot of other factors that influence people’s decisions to work for you, or leave working for you, but the level of dissatisfaction that’s present in your workplace is fundamental. So I think that one thing that would be helpful to, again, unpack your absolutely answer to the to the question is to talk a little bit about what dissatisfaction is and what it means. So I think the best way to describe that is going to be to talk about the Theory of Job Dissatisfaction as derived from Frederick Herzberg. So to throw a little psychology at you, Frederick Herzberg created what’s called the Motivation-Hygiene Theory, and it’s a pretty interesting theory. And largely what it is, is stating that there are factors in the workplace that cause job dissatisfaction. Then there’s separate factors of the workplace that cause job satisfaction. And the factors that cause dissatisfaction are things like your policies, and your job security, and stuff like that. And when they are poorly handled, and they’re not providing what employees need, it creates dissatisfaction. And if you make the effort to address those issues properly, what that does is it doesn’t create job satisfaction. All it does is remove or mitigate the amount of dissatisfaction that exists. And then once you kind of remove a lot of that, then you have to do separate actions to actually create job satisfaction. So one thing that we often try and do is you try and make employees happy and satisfied, and thinking that if we do that, they’ll be less dissatisfied. But that’s not how it works, and that’s kind of where the breakdown happens.

[JAMES: Yeah and I want to really stress that because I love that part of Herzberg’s theory. Is that you can’t… by addressing, by trying to create satisfaction you don’t remove dissatisfaction. By removing dissatisfaction you do not automatically create satisfaction. And I think that’s a really important point to drive home. Because they are two separate things. You know, things around recognition and appreciation that drive satisfaction, those are good and those are important, and we talk about those in our Hierarchy at different stages, but doing that in an environment that has uncompetitive, insufficient, poor wages, poor conditions, poor policies, those workplace factors that create… that contribute to job dissatisfaction, nothing’s going to be sustainable, right? And that’s really… like Herzberg hit a lot of things right with that theory and I think it’s a really good place to start. One thing that I want to build on, and one of the things that we’ve done in building upon Herzberg’s theory is the idea of employee expectations. Because it’s not just about the factors of your workplace, it’s not only… okay, so let’s talk about, you identified compensation and job security are two factors that Herzberg identified in his Theory. So what do you do with that? How do you measure that, right? And this is why the employee expectation piece is so important. And how we have built on it is you need to understand that the factors of your workplace need to be Competitive within your industry and region. They need to be Sufficient to accomplish their intended task. And they need to be Equitably available to everyone. And those three expectations form the core of this idea of how do you actually address job dissatisfaction.


[COBY]: Yeah, so like Frederick Herzberg says in theory, it’s when the factors that cause of dissatisfaction are poorly handled or poorly managed, and so then that begs the question ‘well how do you properly handle them and properly manage them?’. Well then and that is the answer, it is to make them Competitive, Sufficient, and Equitable. And a lot of the time how most organizations, leaders for decades have been really thinking about what they do to handle those things, they really look strongly at competitive. Like no one’s going to be surprised to hear competitive, especially talking about the things that influence, you know, talent retention and attraction, but where kind of a lot of ‘Aha’ moments when we work with clients, and when we do our training and everything like that, is when you start really unpacking Sufficient and Equitable, to accompany competitive, that things kind of fall into place. And people start to realize ‘Okay maybe we’re not looking at the full picture’.

[JAMES]: Yeah and I think that’s really important. So I want to latch on to the idea that we tend to focus on the competitive piece. So let’s talk about… one of the factors of the workplace that we talk about is Wellness. And so how does Wellness contribute to job dissatisfaction, or how does it poorly manage Wellness contribute to it? So I’ve seen this firsthand, one of my first early jobs was in retail. It was, you know, working in a retail area where there were lots of different retail shops, box stores, a variety. It was a central shopping destination. The place that I worked was pretty much the same as every other retail environment there. It paid minimum wage to start and then you know you could make you get a raise of 5 cents or 10 cents an hour, yay. That, thanks guys that makes me really happy, anyways but everything was based on what is the minimum we can do so that we don’t get sued, right? Let’s follow the legislation and do the bare minimum at every stage. If we could pay you less than the legal minimum we would. If we could provide you less than three sick days a year, we would. That was very much the mentality of every company in that retail environment, because everybody was focused on being competitive. They understood that they had to at least offer the same as everybody else. The thing was everybody offered garbage, so back from my rant a little bit on topic, the idea of Wellness. You get three sick days a year, you weren’t encouraged to take them, in fact you were even discouraged from taking a whole 3 days a year. But what would have happened in that Park if a new player came in, a new store opened up and they not only offered the amazing benefit of three sick days a year, but they also allowed their employees to take two paid Wellness days? I can say without a shadow of a doubt my application would have been in that new store. Just the simple act of doing slightly above the bare minimum would have been enough to drive people towards them. Two paid Wellness days that I don’t have to bother my doctor to get a note if I’m off sick. It wasn’t sufficient like we talked about you know Competitive, Sufficient, and Equitable. But that competitive piece man, it would have been such a small change that would have had a small impact on the organization’s bottom line, would have completely changed the game for that retail park, right?

[COBY]: Yeah and in a lot of the… I’m sure there’s that mentality still exists in a lot of retail, food service, a lot of what’s considered entry-level jobs, is that, you know, just enough to not get sued is the gold standard. And part of it too is that, like you know, it’s kind of fun to think that if we can use a bit of a tech term, that you could have a ‘disrupter business’ in the Labor Market for, you know, going slightly beyond legal compliance and offering a little bit extra. You may even see.. there may become like a mass exodus of all these stores in this area kind of, all going to this one that has the crazy notion to offer like a slightly higher than the minimum standard. But I mean that’s kind of something that, you know, it’s funny how we say competitive is kind of the one people are familiar with, but even with that there’s still a lot of improvement in the competitive realm.

[JAMES]: Oh there’s absolutely lots of room to improve because the thing about competitiveness and we we use this term all the time, and I think it’s a great example of how our narrow focus on competitive can cause problems, because when everybody is just doing the bare minimum and only doing what everybody else is doing around them, just focusing on only that competitive piece, it creates The Amazing Race To The Bottom. Where everybody is just doing poorly, and they’re doing what everybody else is doing. But the thing is when everybody is jockeying for position at the bottom, it takes very little effort to stand out. It takes very little effort to move to the top, and becoming a leader in your field. Becoming a leader in the labor market… if you are struggling to attract and retain employees this idea of workplace factors, job dissatisfaction, and the employee expectations is critical to understand. Because it can be a game changer for you.

[COBY]: Absolutely, we talked a little bit about the Amazing Race To The Bottom in our kind of predictions for what is going to come in 2023. And  we do think though that there’s going to be this larger focus on almost like pulling things back, and clawing things back, and you know laying off you know departments, like DEI stuff and everything like that, as we almost like try to sink further into the bottom. Leaving very little effort and a whole lot of room to rise above it and actually become a leader in there field by just slightly being less terrible. Where everyone else is almost trying to jockey for a position, like you said, but I think it’s important to talk about this competitiveness piece and, you know, not just being at lower level jobs, right?

[JAMES]: Oh absolutely, and this idea of compliance, our Compliance stage of the Hierarchy is what we call it. Addressing job dissatisfaction it’s important at every stage. So like one example that I hate and love to use is the idea of consistency. And I’ve seen this many times in production facilities, especially in corporate environments. Corporate production facilities or corporate structures that have multiple production locations. Because what often happens is there will be a recruiter who is either hired, or a staff of the corporate office, who does an excellent job of articulating all of the benefits of working for such a large, prestigious, well-known company. ‘You know we’ve got thousands of employees, dozens of locations, tons of room like growth opportunities, we have benefits and perks and all of these amazing benefits that exist at the corporate structure level’. And some of them do funnel down to the individual plant level, but what I’ve seen is when somebody, the recruiter does an excellent job of selling, but when they start with at the plant level, the manager doesn’t encourage people to… they don’t allow people to actually take advantage of the benefits. The  career trajectories, there’s no such thing. So this idea of the ‘bait and switch’ and really focusing on consistency can is one another one of those workplace factors that can just cause huge problems.

[COBY]: Yeah and because like, you know, when you are…. because especially when you are talking about recruitment. Like if you’re talking to someone at a job fair, or you’re applying for jobs, you have this great experience during the recruitment process and then you get in there and you kind of have all this hope and optimism, and then you’re just told to keep your head down and keep your mouth shut and just do as you’re told. And, you know,’ what you heard about, it’s not how things really work here’. And that’s, it’s a ‘bait and switch’ and that is a component to doing really poorly with creating consistency.

[JAMES]: It’s hugely demoralizing to be excited about an opportunity and to be sold on all of the benefits and then walk in day one and realize I’ve been taken for a fool . It destroys trust and it kills motivation and productivity from somebody who you just hired. It is expensive to go through the recruitment process, it can be time consuming and to go through all that time and effort only to bring somebody in who is immediately deflated and has poor morale, I just don’t get it. Like it’s not thought about, it’s not a conscious effort, we default to being bad at it.

[COBY]: Well, it’s funny because I think that sentiment is so prevalent with a lot of work that’s been done in the recent years around representational hiring, right? Because often when, you know, a lot of companies make commitments to hire more representative employees and improve diversity, and so they’ll think that there’s this great inclusive environment, because the recruitment process has been so inclusive and I think that everyone’s been very supportive. And then they get into the job and all that, what they’ve been built up to believe in this is a great company that’s going to support me and values my representation, my perspective, and my skills, then to come to find out, no. You have to assimilate to fit in. And we kind of want the demographic box to check, not necessarily you for your unique skills and perspective. And that’s again, that ‘bait and switch’ with consistency happens a lot in that stage. But it also happens when those employees who maybe don’t have that experience of the immediate kind of ‘bait and switch’ maybe they get into the job then they’re told because we’re trying to improve representation, beyond your regular job duties we’re also I want you to sit on our diversity committee, we want you to sit on our social justice  action team, and they end up piling up a whole bunch of work on them, beyond their regular job duties, that they’re only paid for the regular job duties, but they have all this extra work. And there’s a name for that, they call that the Minority Tax, and that’s a major problem that happens when it comes to adding things to people’s plates. And really kind of hurting the consistency of what someone was expecting when they took the job.

[JAMES]: Yeah and that’s a huge problem and I that idea of job creep its incredibly frustrating for somebody going through that situation, right? You’ve been hired to do a job, and your wages are based on the job that you’ve been hired to do, but we’re just going to get you to do this and that and just keep piling on, and piling on, and piling on without changing your title, on paper what your responsibilities are, without changing your compensation, or any of those things. It’s a big problem and it happens in all kinds of environments, and it happens with all of the different factors. Policies is another one that we’ve seen be used as a weapon. And it has a punitive measure and it’s actually it’s come up in some of our training courses in the past, as you know people are seeing this happen regularly. One example that we’ve seen is the idea that… like we’ve done a fair amount of work in non-profit settings. And one thing that I’ve seen unfortunately more times than I’d care to admit is, especially around policies that have to do with conflict resolution. So what is the process for an employee who has a problem with their manager? While the policy says that if you have a problem with somebody, a co-worker, you go to your manager. If you have a problem with your manager, you go to the CEO. If you have a problem with the CEO, then it gets submitted to the Board, right? In policy, makes sense, very logical sequence of events and sounds like it’s a realistic expectation to hold people to. The problem is we’ve seen that policy paired with policies around all communication to the Board must go through the CEO, and be submitted by the CEO to the board. Which means that if you have a problem as an employee, with the CEO, or you have a complaint about the way that a manager or leader is treating you, you have to submit that to the CEO. Then they are responsible for passing it on and making your case for you against them to the Board of Directors, right? And what we’ve seen happen is if an employee dares go to the Board of Directors, they don’t, you know, rightfully or wrongly they don’t think that the CEO would accurately portray or make the same arguments that they would make about why this is a complaint or a problem. They go around the CEO and submit it to the Board themselves, the CEO uses the policy as a weapon to punish them, right? Which only increases this cycle of abuse, really. It’s using policies or using authority as a weapon is a big problem. And you could call that an extreme example, but these things happen, we’ve seen them happen way too frequently.

[COBY]: Yeah for an “extreme example”, I say in air quotes, it happens far more than we’d like to think. So we’ve been talking a lot and we’ve referenced our Hierarchy,  the Hierarchy, so I think we should actually take a moment actually break down what that is, so part..

[JAMES]: That’s a good idea.

[COBY]: So again, Roman 3 we are kind of… we’re People and Culture  solution providers. And what we do is, we do a lot of work around trying to improve problems, like you know, with attraction, and retention, and morale, and productivity, and motivation, and Innovation, and collaboration, and change management. And a lot of that is using a fundamental theory that we call the Workplace Culture Hierarchy. So what the Hierarchy is, It’s a variation on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, that is specifically designed to improve organizational culture. So the bottom stage, that is what we’re talking about right now, we call it our Compliance stage. Because what you have to do is, you have to comply with legal standards as a minimum, but the stage is far more than that. It’s actually about complying with employee expectations as well. Holding yourself to the standard of legal standards and employee expectations is how you fulfill that stage of the Hierarchy. Then from there if you are successful in that stage, and you kind of resolve all the issues we’re going to talk about in this episode, then you move up to up to the next stage, which is Psychological Safety. We have an episode about Psychological Safety that we did early on. And then we move up from there to the stage of Inclusion. We’ve done a couple episodes on inclusion. And then we move up to from there, you move up to Engagement. And we’ve done an episode about about engagement too. And then from there you move up to Strive, which we don’t have an episode. We should probably do one about Strive. But largely it’s about…

[JAMES]: We should do an episode about the Hierarchy itself too.

[COBY]: Yeah we should do an episode. Maybe our next one should be about a better explanation of the hierarchy, because this is a very quick summary. But it creates a road map for how you build a strong workplace culture and it’s it’s fundamental if you actually want to really prepare for the future of work and address the underlying issues that are causing you such costing issues. But going back to the compliance stage, that is about reducing job dissatisfaction by complying with employee expectations. We talked about it in terms of there’s 7 factors. So building on Herzberg’s Theory there’s 7 factors of the workplace that cause dissatisfaction and those factors are wellness, compensation, job security, policies, safety, working conditions, and consistency. And the points of those 7 in which James gave a story about wellness with the retail example and about consistency with the production company and everything, and then policies are example of like the non-profit. But there’s again, there’s 7 of these factors that if poorly managed create dissatisfaction. And to not poorly manage them they need to be meeting the expectations, that James mentioned earlier, of Competitive, Sufficient, and Equitable. And when the 7 factors meet the 3 expectations, that’s what we at Roman 3 call The 7×3 Rule. And that’s how you resolve job dissatisfaction. And it’s something that really is really an important component, because it’s the foundation of what your workplace is built on. What culture is built on, and we have to address this if anything else that we try and do around engagement, around inclusion, around productivity, around performance, if any of it’s going to actually work for you, then you have to at least make sure that you’re meeting The 7X3 Rule.

[JAMES]: Thank you because we really need to explain what those factors are, what the expectations are. We will do more talks on the Hierarchy itself but focusing on that compliance stage, getting back to Job Dissatisfaction; is it really as bad as we think, or is it that big of a deal? It absolutely is. And we’ve kind of, so far we’ve made the case for that through some examples. Understanding the factors of your workplace and understanding the expectations that’s huge. And I want to talk again about expectations a bit because it’s important. You have to address the factors but it’s by understanding these expectations is how you’re going to address them. So competitive again, it’s not just are you competitive with others in, you know, the… with the person who set up shop next to you. It’s competitive within your sector, so if you are like we’ll go back to the retail environment that I was talking about. Businesses need to be competitive with all of the other retailers in their area, within their region, but they also need to be competitive with other retailers across the board. Are there others in your industry who are offering… who are being more competitive in the Labor Market? So that’s it’s really important to understand, that competitive within your sector, within your industry, within your region are kind of how we talk about that. The sufficiency piece is key. Because in all three of the examples I talked about, none of them were meeting sufficiency. Even the in the retail example with two extra Wellness days it was far more competitive than every any other player in the industry, but it didn’t come close to actually being sufficient. Is two days off a year sufficient to address Wellness? I can say for myself and my mental health and how it’s taken a beating since the onset of COVID, two days probably it would not cut it. So sufficiency needs to be a key component of how you address the factors. And then Equitable is the idea of; is it available to everybody or do only certain groups get access to it? Is it the privileged few who get the all of the perks and bonuses, or how do you make your workplace factors equitable for everybody?

[COBY]: Yeah and I mean what is funny so again, we give training especially, we give training and we have a lot of conversations in our training program especially our Workplace Culture Intelligence (WCI) certification program where we actually help people work through the Hierarchy and give them tools to actually help them assess, analyze, and articulate where their company is as far as  being Competitive, Sufficient, and Equitable, providing Psychological Safety and so on. When we talk about the Compliance stage and job dissatisfaction a lot of the people on the first day say “well I’m sure we’re gonna… my company’s you know we’re a large company, I’m sure we have to be definitely doing well especially around competitiveness” and then we have a lot of people that kind of come from unionized environments or government jobs and they’re usually saying “well we’re actually probably we’re doing pretty good when it comes to equitability” and a lot of times they are, but what they realize as we kind of get into it and we start to break everything down is that they’re kind of often, all falling short on sufficiency. And sufficiency is kind of the linchpin if you actually want to truly address the issues that are causing you to, again, to lose talent or to have a hard time attracting talent, again trying to address job dissatisfaction. Because and this is one thing that for everyone, always kind of a bit of an ‘Aha’ moment, is we say that you have to be Competitive, Sufficient, and Equitable, because if you’re Competitive but you’re not Sufficient, you can be as good as everyone else, but everybody sucks. And you’re just as awful to everybody else. Or you could be Equitable and you treat everyone the same, but that’s terribly treated. And you just equally treat everyone like garbage. You’re fair, yay! So the whole point is that it kind of rests on whether or not it’s sufficient. Because again, being as bad as everybody else, or treating everyone badly, fairly, is kind of what a lot of workplaces are unintentionally doing. Especially those that are not focused on the Sufficiency side of it. And sufficiency, as you said, it’s about providing people what they need and fulfilling its intended purpose. So if wages are not sufficient, then you’re not providing people what they need to live and you’re causing dissatisfaction. Even if you’re Equitable and Competitive. If you’re not providing Wellness that’s sufficient, you’re not fulfilling its intended purpose and giving people the wellness that they need to be successful in their job. Even if you are, as Wellness, you’re comparatively within your market or you’re treating everyone the same, but if it’s not good enough, then you’re causing dissatisfaction, and so on and so on with all the other factors. So it’s so this is kind of one of the ‘Aha’ moments is people think about; we always thought about competitive about being better than our competition, but this is largely when we go back to as you said, The Amazing Race To The Bottom. It prioritizes competitive, but it often overlooks sufficiency, and to a lesser extent equitability. Because Sufficient is the most important, and the most overlooked.

[JAMES]: And it’s funny, something that comes up a lot in our training when we’re talking about Competitive, Sufficient, and Equitable is, on the Equitable piece, it’s not about treating everybody the same, right? That’s being equal. And equality is important, but it’s not about… so I want to talk about in terms of compensation. Because it’s come up in terms of “well, we pay our managers more than we pay our front line staff. Are we supposed to pay everybody the same?” No that’s not what we’re talking about in terms of Equitable. It’s not that everybody needs to be paid the exact same amount, it’s not that your CEO and your front line workers need to be paid the same amount. But there does need to be an idea of equitability, and we’ve talked about this one example that I’ve seen I’m gonna call them… I’m gonna pick on Walmart again. Because why not? Walmart is a great example of a store that misses the mark in terms of Equitable, they are competitive, right? Everybody, you know, they largely pay pretty much what any other retail environment would pay. I would argue that they are far from sufficient with the front line staff especially, but let’s talk about equitability. Because one thing that they do, is there is a discrepancy between 99 of the employees and the managers. Because if you’re paying everybody minimum wage and your manager a hundred thousand dollars a year, that is not Equitable. That is inequitable, it’s creates a vast disparity that can contribute to job dissatisfaction. Remember what we are talking about here is job dissatisfaction, right? So I want to be clear, I wanted to kind of talk about those things in those two ways of looking at it because it is important to understand how equitability plays a role in it, and Walmart’s an easy target.

[COBY]: Well I think it’s also important and this is one  of the things that’s so so important about the Compliance Stage of the Hierarchy, but also the 7×3 Rule is that when it comes to equitability, it really shows where equitability needs to fall on the workplace. Because sometimes people think of equity only as part of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s a DEI initiative but it is not. It is something… its a component that has to exist. It may be focused on, shine a spotlight in EDI or DEI, whatever your preferred acronym is for all that. But it is foundational. It is a crucial component to addressing job dissatisfaction. Thereby, being a crucial component to addressing employee attraction and retention. And it’s not something that should only live in, again in, HR or live in DEI departments. it has to be…. what we’re saying it’s the bottom of the Hierarchy. It is fundamental, the equitability has to be woven into the fabric of the workplace in order to truly reduce Job Dissatisfaction and to address retention, and… talent retention and talent attraction.

[JAMES]: But you can’t just focus on any one of those expectations, the 3 play together in concert, right?

[COBY]: Well like I said before, you know, you can be Equitable and treat everyone the same, but that’s still terrible, then you’re really not that much better, right? But I think the other thing too is again like the other conversation that kind of come up a lot when we talk to clients and everything about The 7X3 Rule is kind of identifying the Consistency factor, right? So Herzberg’s theory he mostly just talks about job security, policies, wages and working conditions. and we added things like wellness, and consistency, sorry. When we were fully fleshing out the theory and everything like that. And it’s so important to really put into perspective how fundamental the factor of consistency is in the workplace. Because you talked about before with the ‘bait and switch’ and I talked about it before with the Minority Tax and kind of like the job duties creeping up on people and everything like that, is how important consistency is to kind of creating wellness. Because like when you don’t provide people consistency in the workplace, when management is hot one day, cold the next, or they do something for a little while and they abandon it, and they just go a different direction. Or the job’s not what you expected, it changes every day, or you’re sold a bill of goods that didn’t play it or whatever the inconsistency looks like in your workplace. It causes anxiety. It destroys trust. It makes jobs almost unobtainable to the neurodiverse or people with disabilities. It just ruins any type of progression or growth, at any of the other stages of the Hierarchy. And is kind of one of those fundamental pieces that just ruins workplaces for people. Because inconsistency looks like insanity. And often when we say, we kind of refer to companies, like not we, but generally people refer to companies as ‘like a dumpster fire’ it’s often if you scale everything back, it’s because of inconsistency that it seems so messy.

[James]: Yeah, I love the inconsistency looks like insanity piece, because I’ve seen, I mean who has not had a manager that has been inconsistent, right? If we think about this not only from an organizational perspective, but how have you felt walking into a workplace where you never know what the expectation is going to be that day? You don’t know if your manager is going to be in a good mood and high five you on the way in, or be in a bad mood and try to stick their foot up your butt. Like the inconsistent application of rules. Inconsistency, as you said, it is incredibly damaging to the morale, to the productivity, it creates massive job dissatisfaction, and it creates huge amounts of anxiety in people just approaching work.

[COBY]: Yeah absolutely. That’s something that we really have to make sure that we’re clear and stating about how… because again, all of The 7X3 Rule is very important to kind of reshape your workplace, but the consistency piece really has kind of a ripple effect, as you move up the Hierarchy, it has to be there in order for psychological safety to exist, in order for inclusion and belonging to exist, in order for engagement and productivity to happen, you need that to be rock solid. So it’s a very important piece, it’s something you can’t skimp on.

[JAMES]: I would rather somebody be consistently bad than inconsistent.

[COBY]: And there’s there’s a valid case for that, absolutely,

[JAMES]: Because at least that way I know what to expect, right? Ideally you want to be consistently good, but inconsistency is more damaging than being consistently bad.

[COBY]: That is a fair statement. Okay I think I’ll kind of summarize the conversation. Again, I think we have a lot more work to do on building some content and having conversations around the Workplace Culture Hierarchy as a whole. Maybe we’ll do that one next, but also we should talk about the Strive one, because it is something that people often ask us about, so we really want to have that too. I think I’ll kind of wrap everything up. So Job Dissatisfaction is really, it is really dangerous because when it exists, its fundamental into how we recruit and attract talent. And it is something that can, is kind of the major barrier in order to actually create the goals that we often have for our workplace. Things like to improve productivity, increasing performance, providing for inclusion. all this kind of stuff, It is the block that will hold you back if it exists when you’re trying to put into other initiatives. To address the dissatisfaction we have to comply with employee expectations. These are not new expectations, but they’ve become front and center since the  onset of COVID, and those expectations are that the factors of the workplace need to be Competitive, Sufficient, and Equitable. And for a long time we’ve done a good job at prioritizing competitive, but when the only bar we hold ourselves to is that we’re as good as everyone else in our sector, or in our region, what we end up doing is creating The Amazing Race To The Bottom. Because we overlook Sufficient and Equitable and we end up just jockeying for a position to be the best of the worst. And even despite the fact that any kind of slight effort might actually move or let us kind of rise to the top, and be a much better employer than the average, if we actually looked a little bit more at sufficient and equitable. Because especially when it comes to sufficiency, because if you’re not sufficient then you’re not really getting to the heart of the problem. Because if you’re Competitive but you’re not Sufficient, then you’re as good as everyone else, but you still are bad. And if you’re Equitable and not Sufficient, then you treat everyone the same, but you’re treating them terribly. So you’re not achieving the point. And it’s really important to also remember how crucial Equity is to being that foundational component that has to be woven into the fabric of our workplaces. And realizing how important the factor of consistency is, because inconsistency looks like insanity. And it’s really hard for people to maintain wellness, and reduce anxiety, and create trust in an inconsistent workplace. So we strongly urge people please do not undervalue dissatisfaction, it is going to be what holds you back if you’re not addressing it. All right any other thoughts James?

[JAMES]: No I thought that was a good summary. Probably a more coherent summary than some of my ramblings.

[COBY]: So status quo. So that about does it for us. So for a full archive of our podcasts and access to the video version hosted on our YouTube channel visit our website at Thanks for joining us.

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