Want to feel happier and more engaged at work? Try to connect with the end users of your work — and change your job title, says Adam Grant, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
<bri Yahoo!Finance column about rising dissatisfaction in the U.S. workforce. Grant suggests that in the modern economy, tasks have become fragmented and employees more disconnected from the clients, customers, and other beneficiaries of their work. For example, Grant is examining how to redesign the jobs of radiologists and pharmacists, to see if more face time with patients offers “benefits for engagement, motivation, productivity and performance,” he says.
In the meantime, here’s a quick-and-easy fix for the job blues: Get everyone in the office to pick new job titles. That’s something Grant tested in a large hospital. “We found an improvement in happiness and a reduction in burnout,” he notes. “It allowed people to bring values and identity to the workplace; they felt more accepted and understood by others.”
One physician chose “The Germ Slayer”; a surgeon put “Painless Paddy” on his nametag; and a nurse started introducing herself as “Nurse Quick Shot.” A process improvement specialist became “The BASF man.” (Remember the commercial? “We don’t make the television, we make the television better.”)
“It lightened the mood and created a rapport and bond that helped people in difficult working conditions,” Grant says.