What is Engagement at work and are you engaged?
Well, according to the Leadership IQ, Engagement is passionately giving 100% to your work and company.
Agreed, you may think 100% is a lot to give to your work daily. However, I see work engagement as a positive and fulfilling work-related state of mind that is characterised by motivation, vigour, dedication and absorption. As an engaged employee, you will work with passion and feel a profound connection to your organization. You will also partake in or help to drive innovation that can move the organisation forward.
If you are not engaged, physically you will be present at work as just another bum on the seat but essentially you are mentally checked out. If you are not engaged at work, you will ‘robotically’ sleepwalk your way through your workday. You will put in the time at work but not the passion.
So, how do you know if you are engaged at work?
If you are engaged at work, you will deliver a bit deeper, which shows that you are inspired to give your best effort. In addition, you will be as motivated as you’ve ever been because you effortlessly and actively give 100%. Above all, you don’t think twice before you recommend your organisation as a great organisation to work for and you will always feel like your organisation has had a positive impact on you.
With Gallup’s latest State of the American Workplace survey showing that 70% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work, frankly, it seems that most people at work are simply apathetic.
So, how do you perceive yourself at work in terms of how engaged you are?
Your engagement at work matters, regardless of your position because the lack of real motivation or engagement in the workplace is now seen as an epidemic and one that must not be overlooked by any organization.
A disengaged staff isn’t just unhappy at work; he’s also busy acting out his unhappiness. Every day, such a worker undermines what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
As a disengaged employee, you have to be aware that today’s reality is that many qualified and experienced people with great attitude who are keen to work are waiting in the wings. One of these people would gladly be engaged doing your job if they had the opportunity. These days, employers cannot afford to keep disengaged employees on their payroll.
Disengaged employees are recognized as being any company’s dead wood. To see if you are an engaged staff, take the “self-engagement” questions assessment below. Here’s what you need to do: answer all 35 questions by adding a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ tick beside each question. Your score will let you know if you’re doing the right things to be more engaged, motivated, and fulfilled at work.
Engaged at Work? Ask Yourself or Your Staff These 35 Questions
Engaged at work?
– Yes to 30 – 35 questions: Excellent! You are super engaged! Your goals are exciting enough to help you get ahead at work. You can always be counted on to understand and demonstrate the organization’s goals and vision. You can also be trusted to have the organization’s back.
– Yes to 20 – 30 questions: Good! The potential for you to be fully engaged at work is already present. However, there’s a bit of work for you to do in terms of having the right conversation with your manager on the questions you ticked ‘No’. Having a mentor in the organization will benefit you.
– Yes to 10 – 20 questions: Well, you are somewhat disengaged with your job, manager or organization. You are neither engaged nor disengaged. In other words, you may be apathetic.at work. You may need to re-think your career development or role. Have the courage to see what you can change as an employee or pursue other opportunities in other organizations if the organization is the reason why you feel disengaged.
– Yes to 5 – 10 questions: You are disconnected and disillusioned. You may actually be working against the organization because you are unhappy at work. Your day ‘gets away from you’ as soon as you walk in through the door at work. It may be time for you to move on.
“If you’re engaged, you know what’s expected of you at work, you feel connected to people you work with, and you want to be there. You feel a part of something significant, so you’re more likely to want to be part of a solution, to be part of a bigger tribe. All that has positive performance consequences for teams and organizations,” – Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management and wellbeing.
Who is responsible for your engagement?
1. Individuals – You
You must own you engagement. Come to work with unique motivators, interests and talents. Be responsible for your personal and professional success. Take action and don’t wait for a tap on the shoulder to signal a move into your next job.
2. Leaders – Your manager
Your manager will take control of his own engagement first. He’s an employee too. Remember, a dead battery cannot jump start another. A mis-directed manager cannot align team members to organizational goals. They cannot make you engaged. They can coach you to higher levels of engagement and align your passion and proficiency with organizational priorities and projects. Managers need to stay in regular contact with you to ensure you are reminded of the things you can do to increase both your contribution and satisfaction at work.
3. Organizations – Where you work
Your work is responsible for shaping the organization’s direction and definition of success, without which your maximum contribution is impossible.
Your organization must inspire commitment. They need to build a culture that fuels engagement. According to BlessingWhite, culture has been likened to the tide: As the tide rises, so do all the boats. Your organizations should create an atmosphere of engagement.
Employers need to play their part in employee engagement
In agreement with Bruce Shutan, it behoves management to care deeply about the implications of a disengaged workforce, which costs the U.S. economy an estimated $370 billion a year in terms of lost productivity, according to Gallup.
Employers who fail to engage their employees could end up paying a terrible price down the line. According to the National Association for the Self-Employed, turnover and training costs can be up to 2.5 times an employee’s salary – an assessment that also considers ambiguous measures such as damage to morale and lost customers.
“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company”. ~Zig Ziglar
According to the CEB (Corporate Leadership Council), most organizations (91%) plan to increase or maintain current investment levels for engagement, but only 20% believe their engagement efforts drive organizational outcomes. Many organizations invest in engagement initiatives that provide immediate impact, but do not sustain engagement over time. Instead, organizations must prepare the necessary foundation for their engagement initiatives by focusing on these seven critical areas:
The Seven Focus Areas for Building Engagement Capital
1. Organizational Values: Foster Employee Ownership and Protection of Values
2. Work Environment: Enable Employees to Demonstrate Obvious Impact on the Organization
3. Employee Networks: Build Relevant Connections That Help Employees Execute Work Successfully
4. Career Management: Align Employees to Jobs by Capabilities and Interests, Then Leverage Peers to Support Career Steps
5. Rewards: Include Noncash Awards in Rewards Strategy
6. Performance Management: Foster Peer-to-Peer Informal Feedback
7. Role Clarity: Leverage Teams to Translate Goals into Day-to-Day Work
The truth is that engaged employees plan to stay for what they give while disengaged employees stay for what they get.
So are you engaged at Work? Let’s hear from you.