Over the past decade I’ve had the pleasure to experience some absolutely amazing organisations that made me feel very engaged at work. I’ve also experienced those which did not.
I remember in one of my first jobs in consulting, I became quite disengaged when:
- Work became a chore and rather mechanical due to a lack of challenge
- My head space was clouded with anxiety and workload pressures (it got so bad that the second my eyes opened after sleep, I was bombarded with all the things I had to do)
- My physical health declined due to the obscene hours, expectations and management responses
- My lack of engagement bred negativity and affected others
Luckily, I also had the fortune of experiencing jobs where I was very engaged at work. One of the best positions I had was as a business developer in a software research company where I had felt very engaged.
So what was the difference between company A and B?
In the job that I felt engaged in, some of the differences were that I:
- Had a boss and colleagues that encouraged my professional growth and appropriately challenged me
- Was able to be on a project doing meaningful work
- Was actually happy to come in to work, as such, stopped considering it as such and rather as contributing to something far bigger
- Was successfully able to have a personal and social life
I believe that organisations can serve as great vehicles for impacting our world and that we all have a responsibility to make sure that workplaces are as engaging and as positive as they can be.
After all, the majority of people will spend one third of their life working, so why spend a large chunk of your life disengaged, unhappy and lacking purpose!
So how many people hate their jobs due to lack of engagement?
According to Gallup, a large management consulting company that provides research, analytics, and strategic consulting services, approximately 85% of world-wide workers did as of 2017.
There’s good news though, the beautiful thing is that we have the ability to choose our experiences! Depending on the choices we make, things can remain as they are, or they can change for the better.
Now, back to that 85% of workers hate their job stat. How did Gallup come up with that figure and why is it important?
Factors to feeling more engaged at work
To determine a worker’s “engagement” level, Gallup asked participants to essentially respond “true” or “false” to the following 12 statements:
1. I know what is expected of me at work
2. I have the material and equipment I need to do my work right.
3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
10. I have a best friend at work.
11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
Why this is important?
Now that we know 12 factors to create a more personal engagement the subsequent benefits that would come from them like happiness, growth, fulfillment etc we can CHOOSE to make things better for ourselves (and indirectly, for others as well!)
5 steps to FEEL MORE ENGAGED at work
With some genuine eagerness and desire to make change, you can create a massive difference in how engaged you feel at work. All you need are the 5 steps below:
- Look at the above list and identify which of the 12 points you want to address
- Detail out your current situation for any of the 12 points. What’s happening, who’s involved, why are things as they are etc.
- What do you want/desire instead, make this really specific.
- Work backwards and list out the steps you would need to take to achieve what you want.
- Take the first step!
I wish I had learnt this earlier in my career so I could have experienced more positivity from my job rather than negativity. Instead, I expected someone else to make changes for me to feel more engaged at work. It was only a few jobs into my career did I realise that no matter the environment or role, my personal happiness at work was in my control.
The great thing is that most people are actually willing to help, so there’s a significant amount of opportunity for you to to connect with them and create ways for more engaging work/atmosphere to be created.
To your success,
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