• Group Science

Does anyone like their Job?

In preparing a presentation [on the failure of leadership] I recently did a google search for the following terms, 'my boss is', 'my job is', and 'my colleagues are'. The neutral nature of the search terms was deliberate but I must admit I was [at least initially] surprised and maybe a little shocked (but not too much] by the results.

You can of course try it out for yourself but here are a representative sample of the results I got:

My boss is...rude to me / not paying me/ in love with me / crazy / a micromanager

My job is...boring / killing me / making me sick/ making me suicidal/ stressing me out/ pointless

My colleagues are...awesome/ incompetent/ annoying/ bullies / toxic /the best / fake

With the notable exception of the [underrepresented] positive results about colleagues, the balance of the results seem terribly depressing and negative! Even though the search terms were 'agnostic' the vast majority of results indicated a very negative outlook at least for those searching for these topics on google.

I followed this up with a [deliberately] innately negative search for 'I don't trust my manager' and of course not surprisingly the listed results were of similar nature to this one '10 signs of a toxic boss'. OK no surprise there but guess what? In an endeavour to be balanced I then searched for 'I trust my manager'. I was not expecting the results that came up but every single link on the page was more akin to the 'I don't trust my manager search. Here's an example, 'Never, ever trust a manager who does these 10 things'. In other words an inherently positive search term still resulted in a negative response.

What was my conclusion about all this? Well notwithstanding the changing vagaries of google search term algorithms a moment of reflection led to probably a fairly obvious observation...duh! Of course these were the results! Why would anyone be surprised when the annual global workforce engagement surveys consistently tell us that the vast majority of employees do not trust their managers and are not engaged with either their jobs or their employers.

The next question surely is why? Though the answer seems to be out of our grasp or at least out of our control to do anything about it, there is good news! The 8 prosociality principles of optimising group performance utilising the ACT matrix will create and maintain an environment that allows both individual and group purpose and identity to be aligned and satisfied. When you achieve this alignment of purpose and identity, individual trust and engagement is optimised...along with both individual and group performance!

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