How a frustrated employee could be the goldmine companies look for

March 15, 2019 12:13 pm

Disgruntled at work? Always opposing your boss and clashing with colleagues around you?

You are exactly what companies are looking for to restore some direction and inject new ideas to drive profits again.

If your frustrations are born out of your expectations falling short, then let your feelings show and instead of facing the firing line, experience upward mobility that leaders deserve.

Venting…the mother of invention

A New York Times (NYT) article says we normally avoid frustrated people who we perceive as halting progress or leave negative vibes in the workplace.

“Frustration is the feeling of being blocked from a goal. Although it sounds like a destructive emotion, it can actually be a source of creative fuel. When we’re frustrated, we reject the status quo, question the way things have always been done, and search for new and improved methods,” said NYT.

Adam Grant, a TED presented and organizational psychologist asked: What’s the best time to shake things up?

“In most workplaces, it happens when you’re struggling. When the chips are down, you’re desperate— and you have nothing to lose by taking some risks.”

“The evidence suggests that the best time to shake things up is actually when you’re doing well.”

The upside of work frustration

According to LinkedIn, frustrated employees who want to see big changes in their workplace may be an employer’s biggest asset.

“That said, it’s worth understanding why they’re disgruntled in the first place: do they want to see potentially useful changes or are they simply unhappy?” LinkedIn asked.

Tim Herrera, Smarter Living Editor at The NYT commented that frustration is the feeling of being blocked from a goal. “It sounds like a destructive emotion, but if you frame it right you can use it as a source of creative fuel.”

Glennis Harris, CSSBB  Zone Director at Ross Stores, Inc. said even good employees can find themselves fighting burnout and all burnouts start with a sense of wanting to move on.

Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer–authors of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, studied that what motivates employees isn’t necessarily the money or the work hours.

“It’s the feeling of making progress. When you feel stuck, you’re in the wrong environment. You long for something else, something new, and you lose motivation.”

 Suzanne Vickberg, PhD, Author, Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships | Social-Personality Psychologist said “Adam Grant is speaking my language. Find the misfits on your team, figure out why they’re frustrated or don’t fit in, give them an opportunity to solve for something that takes advantage of their strengths, and watch them go!

“Frustrated at work? That might just lead to your next breakthrough.”

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.