Who Else Wants to Feel More Engaged at Work?
Employee engagement is a major factor in business success, so it’s obvious why your boss hopes you’re passionate about your work. But, you have a lot at stake too.
If you’re like the average professional, you spend about one-third of your life at the office. That’s almost 90,000 hours. Feeling committed and connected is important for your health and happiness.
Unfortunately though, many workers seem to be missing out. Global polls by Gallup show that only 20% of employees are engaged at work, and low engagement is associated with high stress and low staff morale issues.
Make your work a source of satisfaction instead of letting it drain you.
Consider these suggestions for transforming your current job or finding a new one that matches your needs more closely.
Finding More Engaging Work:
1. Minimize your expenses. Taking a job just for the money is one of the most common career regrets. You’ll have more flexibility if you can shrink your expectations. Maybe you can live someplace cheaper or dine at home more. (No, we're not saying stop Netflix and you can afford a house. We're saying if you prioritise work satisfaction over pay then something needs to be sacrificed. In an ideal world, we'd have pay and job satisfaction but until then we need compromise)
2. Seek feedback. If you’re unsure about your direction, ask family and friends you trust. Others may be more objective than you can be about yourself.
3. Follow your instincts. Keep in mind that some uncertainty is natural. Pay attention to your gut and take worthwhile risks to increase engagement.
4. Focus on mission. Keep in mind the bigger picture when you’re ready to contact potential new employers. Do your research, find a workplace where the culture aligns with your values and ask strategic interview questions to ascertain if engagement is better.
5. Meet your new boss. Your supervisor will have a big impact on your experience. If possible, spend time with them before accepting a job offer, even if it's just following them online. Find out about their priorities and how they handle conflicts. Talk with your future coworkers to gain their impressions on how engaged they feel.
6. Make a difference. Believing that your work has meaning is a fundamental ingredient for staying engaged. Your job doesn't have to save lives to be fulfilling - you may find other ways to share your time and skills.
Making Your Current Job More Engaging:
1. Think positive. Most jobs have their pros and cons. Shift your attention to the things you like, so you’ll have something to look forward to each day.
2. Leverage your strengths. Restructure familiar tasks to take advantage of your talents and interests. Branch out by joining a committee (hello, sports & social) or participating in community projects sponsored by your employer.
3. Help others. Developing supportive relationships will make any job more pleasant and may advance your career. Volunteer your assistance when a colleague has a tight deadline or offer to train a new employee.
4. Express gratitude. Being thankful boosts your mood and strengthens your social ties. Be grateful your employer provides safe conditions or modern technology. Let your coworkers know you appreciate their efforts.
5. Show compassion. Resolve workplace conflicts by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. You might feel less irritated if you remember that others are busy or might be nervous about their job security.
6. Continue learning. Create challenges for yourself. Read magazines and attend conferences about your industry. Go back to school or take certification courses online. Teach what you know and practice new skills.
7. Have fun. What can you do to make your work more enjoyable? Design your own games where you compete to beat your past performance or bet on the outcomes of your projects.
8. Nurture yourself. It’s even more important to practice self-care when you’re struggling at work. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Create rituals that help you to leave the office behind when you return home from work.
Empower yourself by taking steps (and personal responsibility) to increase your engagement at work.
You’ll feel more energized and appreciated, and you’ll probably achieve more.