Over half of US workers feel a lack of purpose in the work they do and dissatisfaction in the workplace. A recent Gallup survey reports 53 percent of workers feel just so-so about their work and workplace. They are the ones that show up, do the bare minimum, and quickly leave their company for only a slightly better offer.
With the spread of COVID-19 and increased levels of stress in workplace environments, hourly workers who are collecting unemployment might not be as enthusiastic and committed to work as before. Why leave what feels safe, familiar, and secure and return to what feels cold, distant, and high-stress or a high health risk?
As the workforce opens up, employers need to reevaluate their company culture and offer benefits that promote feelings of satisfaction in the workplace as well as purpose for the work employees do.
Even before COVID-19, coming into work hasn’t always been easy. Nearly a third of workers report that work causes high or extremely high stress levels, and out of those high-stress workers, 33 percent feel dissatisfied with their job. For hourly workers, who often have to navigate long hours on their feet and increased customer and client interaction, high stress is just a part of the job, but dissatisfaction shouldn’t have to be.
Dissatisfaction leads to low productivity, loss of interest, feelings of being undervalued and underrecognized, and overall loss of purpose. Other symptoms workers experience from high stress include fatigue (29 percent), aches and pains (24 percent), high anxiety (23 percent), and, for some, even depression (15 percent). These symptoms suggest that hourly workers might carry more of a burden than employers realize.
Worse still, 79 percent of high-stress workers say that their company does not offer classes, programs, or benefits that would help manage that stress.
Workers’ satisfaction is shown to increase with tangible benefits, recognition for work-related accomplishments, and better relationships with coworkers and supervisors. Successful organizations that are built on this culture of high development experiences (acknowledging purpose, awarding recognition, cultivating a sense of community) result in high levels of achievement.
In other words, company culture starts with you—the employer.
Of course, cultivating workers’ purpose and strengthening relationships takes time. What employers can do right now to increase work-related satisfaction is provide hourly workers with tangible benefits, such as vacation time, retirement plans, and pay plans or pay-related benefits, which give workers more autonomy over their financial well-being.
PayActiv is one such benefit.
As the leading provider in Earned Wage Access (EWA), PayActiv partners with employers across the nation to provide access to earned yet unpaid wages to over two million employees. PayActiv is an award-winning holistic financial wellness platform, which means the well-being of the employee matters. This platform provides workers not only with EWA but with other benefits, such as online bill pay, budgeting and savings tools, financial counseling, access to Uber and Amazon shopping, and prescription discounts.
Companies and organizations that offer PayActiv to their employees create financial inclusion and upward mobility. This financial autonomy is necessary to financial wellness, as hourly workers rely on their wages to meet their daily needs. By acknowledging that timing of pay matters and by providing EWA, employers show their employees that they are seen and valued within the company, which increases their work-related satisfaction.
Over half of US workers shouldn’t have to feel so-so about work anymore. It’s time to lower that 53 percent.
 Jim Harter, “Employee Engagement on the Rise in the U.S.,” Gallup, August 26, 2018, https://news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx.
 “Do American Workers Need a Vacation? New CareerBuilder Data Shows Majority Are Burned Out at Work, While Some Are Highly Stressed or Both,” CareerBuilder, May 23, 2017, http://press.careerbuilder.com/2017-05-23-Do-American-Workers-Need-a-Vacation-New-CareerBuilder-Data-Shows-Majority-Are-Burned-Out-at-Work-While-Some-Are-Highly-Stressed-or-Both.
 “Do American Workers Need a Vacation?”
 Harter, “Employee Engagement on the Rise in the U.S.”