To prove a simple point – that you should strive to be more engaged at work – let us offer some statistics first:
● Low employee engagement costs US companies between $450 and 500 billion each year.
● Companies whose employees are invested in their work are 21% more profitable.
● However, that’s not the actual point. Engaged employees are happier – at work and at home, in all aspects of their life.
So today, we will be looking at some ways you can become more engaged at work – as opposed to waiting for your employer to do something about it.
Create a space for yourself
Whether you work in an office or from home (or from the local coffee shop), figuring out what kinds of spaces help you be more productive, creative, and engaged is a great first step.
Take a look at the kinds of tasks you usually have to deal with at work. Then consider where you normally do them, and where you do them best. For example, you may prefer to have meetings outside, as opposed to the conference room. You may write emails better during the commute than at your desk.
Once you figure these spaces out, focus on going to them for each different kind of task.
Find your why
Engagement often begins with a simple question: Why am I here? Why am I doing this?
If you can’t answer that question, or if you find you are providing answers like “the money is good” or “there was nothing better available,” it might be time to look for something more fulfilling.
On the other hand, if you have found your specific why, remind yourself of it every day. When things get hard, when you are sleep-deprived, when you have a misunderstanding with a colleague – remind yourself why you are there and what you want to achieve. It will help you remain focused and centered.
Take care of your own needs
As humans, we often expect someone else to take care of our troubles for us. We want our boss or colleague to change something, yet we do nothing to make that happen.
Instead of always waiting for someone else to take the first step, start taking them yourself. If you want something to be done differently, speak up about it. If you have an idea, voice it.
The same goes for minding your health, wellbeing, and energy levels. If you keep treating your mind and body poorly, you can’t expect either to treat you well.
For instance, sleep has a profound effect on performance, yet we choose to deprive ourselves of it anyway. We know excessive sugar is ultimately bad for us, yet we still eat it anyway. Minding how you treat yourself can lead to feeling better in your skin, which can lead to increased happiness, which can also lead to better engagement. Which will then lead to yet another boost in happiness.
Celebrate your wins
Life is full of wins, big and small, yet we only ever seem to celebrate some of them. While you don’t need to pat yourself on the back every time you reply to an email, recognizing you have come far is a great way to motivate yourself.
Come up with your own list of wins and milestones to celebrate, something that means something just to you. If you have trouble speaking in front of a large number of people and you manage to get up at a company meeting and speak – celebrate it.
Celebrate getting tasks done, but also celebrate making smart decisions, helping people out, lending a sympathetic ear – and reward yourself for doing a good job.
To sum it up
Fostering employee engagement is not just something an employer needs to think about. Employees themselves need to do their best to engage with their work more and better. Even if an employer chooses to do nothing to incentivize you, if the job is one you really want to be in, you can do a lot to boost your own engagement. Don’t just think of it as a way of being a better worker – think of it as being a better person.
Author: Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.