How to Become More Engaged at Work (Without Switching Careers)
Do you live to work or work to live? Regardless of your personal philosophy, it’s crucial for every employee to feel engaged in the workplace. For some people, feeling disengaged at work is a sign that it may be time to transition to a different career or maybe find another workplace that is a better match. Other employees take this opportunity to realize that they already have a good job; they’re just in a rut. If the latter describes you, consider these steps you can take to find more happiness and fulfillment in the workplace.
Play to your strengths
Every employee has a unique set of skills and strengths. It’s to your advantage—and to your company’s—if you can adjust your work responsibilities and day-to-day tasks to suit your strengths. Raise your hand for projects that interest you. For example, let’s say your coworker, Jane, is handling scheduling matters. She’s not great with attention to detail but you are. Perhaps you could tackle her scheduling tasks and shift a different task over to her that she is better suited to and you aren’t. This is worth a conversation with your manager.
Focus on relationships in the workplace
As some people move through life, they like to focus on their accomplishments; these give their life meaning. But, for other people, relationships bring the most meaning to their lives. If you’re feeling disengaged in the workplace, you may recognize that your relationships are suffering, too. Take some steps to build and improve relationships in your organization. Ask someone to lunch. Leave your door open. Stop by and say “hello” to someone new.
Constance N. Hadley, founder of the Institute for Life at Work and Co-Author of Are Your Team Members Lonely? had this to say about the evolving need to maintain positive relationships in the workplace:
“Over the past few years, employees and employers have implicitly been renegotiating the terms of their relationships, a process that has evoked a lot of feelings. Deep down, I think many people are hurt. CEOs are hurt that people keep jumping ship or refusing to come to the office. Midlevel managers are hurt that pressures have increased to care for their employees without commensurate attention to their own needs. Individual contributors and junior managers are hurt that they aren’t trusted to get their work done while engaging remotely…
To avoid this fate, leaders must pay careful attention to the emotional patterns at work, starting with their own. Strong relationships are built on feelings of mutual respect, empathy, and care. If resentment, blame, and apathy are more common, it is essential to seek new ways of resolving conflicts and relating to one another at work. A long-lasting and successful employee-employer relationship depends on it.”
Try a cognitive shift toward purpose
Consider the tasks you do every day. How do they fit into the larger purpose of your organization? Suddenly, what may be a mundane task for you has greater value and meaning. For instance, a childcare worker might think, “I have to convince these unruly children to gather for story time.” Alternatively, the worker might think, “Time for stories! I love fueling these kids’ imaginations and sparking their curiosity about the world around them.”
At Crosworks, we see that when employees find meaning and clarity at work, their engagement and personal fulfillment increases, as do business objectives. Our career coaches have the experience and the tools to facilitate this process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your unique situation.