Skip to main content

Make Work More Satisfying

Make Work More Satisfying

An unhappy person does not perform well at work.

I see it over and over again in my private clients: if they’re not happy, if they’re not content with where they are or what’s going on in the workplace, it ultimately affects their own performance. Not only that, but their dissatisfaction will hinder a clear, communicative relationship with their boss as well as with their team.

What keeps an unhappy person from making adjustments to their situation so that it is more satisfying to them and they can do their best work, all the time?

Employees Are Afraid of Looking Selfish

Many employees are reticent to ask for a change in the office because they’re concerned that the boss and other workers will see them as “selfish,” or will perceive that they’re not being a team player.

When my clients present this argument, I encourage them to look closely at what’s really going on. If an employee shows up every day to work feeling haggard and exhausted because she had to stay late every night of the previous week and didn’t get enough sleep, she’s not going to perform well. She’s going to think more slowly and be testier with her fellow workers.

On the other hand, if she made sure that she left work on time so she could get enough sleep and come back to the office well rested, she could positively contribute to the group project. Chances are, she would be more efficient during regular work hours.

Isn’t it more selfish of her to not serve her team at a higher level? Ultimately, if you don’t take care of yourself, the team is going to suffer.

Create an Environment in Which You Perform Best

It’s a good idea for each employee to consider what kind of work environment is best for her. Where are you most productive and happy? What state of mind is best for you to optimize your work hours? Are there any environmental factors that need to be considered?

For example, some people need a quiet place to work uninterrupted in order for them to do their best work. If that’s you, you shouldn’t feel obligated to stay at your desk if it’s a very noisy environment. It might make more sense for you to find a quiet meeting room where you can concentrate.

Know that it’s okay for you to own that fact, and share with the people in your office that this is simply the best way you work.

Define What You Really Want

It will always come down to knowing what you really want. If you’re half sure of what works best for you, you won’t be able to communicate that clearly to the leadership and ask for what you need.

For instance, if you want to go home early but you feel badly about asking, that uncertainty will come across loud and clear when you communicate it with someone else.

There was a venture capitalist employee and his job was to raise money. He happened to be a former college golf player and he knew that if he could spend time on the golf course with potential investors, he could get better results than working in the office like everyone else.

He was completely confident when he asked his boss about working half the week from the golf course. He truly believed that this change would enable him to work more efficiently. His boss said yes. Now this employee works in the office three days a week – the other two days he’s perfecting his swing and getting results.

See how that works?

Tackling the Fear of Conflict in Communication

Often, people are afraid of conflict. They’re worried that if they ask for something, the other person will say ‘no.’ The truth is, even if you ask and someone says ‘no,’ at least you have a starting point!

It could be that your boss said that you couldn’t leave early because she really values the time when the team is together in the office. If leaving early is valuable to you, you can then figure out a core time when the team will all be together and begin negotiating a healthy discussion.

This is a much better alternative to “my boss doesn’t understand me, she’s a bad boss.” Now you have a positive way to work more closely with your team.

Everything begins from a simple dialogue.


There is an art to owning what you want and being able to ask for it clearly and constructively. Your communication with your boss will be much more effective if you know how you’re best able to work. Click HERE to receive a complimentary copy of my Leadership Discovery Tool, where you will be able to pinpoint some of your strengths as a leader.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


Continue learning with this Ellevate Playbook: