People who are engaged at their job know a few secrets that lead to higher productivity and greater satisfaction. These secrets are ones we can all learn and employ.
Be a Continuous Learner. With people working long after the traditional retirement age, chances are you’ll work 40 or 50 years. It’s up to you to find ways to make your career fresh and interesting. Being a continuous learner allows you to enhance your personal and professional portfolio of skills. Engaged workers look for ways to achieve variety in their work by seeking stretch assignments, joining cross-functional teams or proactively learning new aspects of the business. All these grow business acumen and value to the organization, while creating variety and excitement in your day-to-day work.
Savor the Moments (Reflect on Accomplishments). Today’s fast-paced work environments have us jumping from one major project to another and from one crisis to the next. Working at this non-stop pace can lead to burnout and decreased engagement. Engaged workers pause to celebrate successes. They take time after each project to reflect on what went right, what was accomplished and the impact they had on the organization. Make an even bigger impact by sharing words of thanks to other contributors so they can savor success as well. And, remember to document these accomplishments for your next performance review.
Engage a Positive Mindset. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out,” according to noted basketball coach John Wooden. In other words, being a positive person at work is a choice. Every position in the company from line worker to CEO comes with its unique set of frustrations. Shift your thinking to view workplace hurdles and hiccups as opportunities to improve a process or solve a problem. Avoid blame and finding fault and instead commit to a positive mindset that seeks solutions and plans ways to avoid similar issues in the future. The best way to stand out amongst your office peers is to rise above the workplace woes with optimism and a solid focus on making things better.
Have a Career Plan Aligned with Your Strengths. Dr. Covey, renowned author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells us to, “begin with the end in mind,” at work that means having a career plan. Engaged workers know the value of having a clear career goal and ensuring that goal allows them to employ their unique strengths. According to SHRM’s 2014 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement report, 59% of employees rated opportunities to use their skills and abilities at work as the most important contributor to their job satisfaction. What’s more, 33% of employees rated career advancement opportunities as an important aspect of job satisfaction. Start building your career plan today by assessing your skills, abilities and interests and identifying career moves that capitalize on your strengths. Then, have a dialog with your leader on ways to launch your career plan.
Building these few habits goes go a long way in growing your engagement at work, your value to the organization, and your ability to reach your long-term career aspirations. And remember to participate in meaningful programs, such as leadership workshops, competency development initiatives or career coaching provided by your organization to continually grow your skills and fuel your engagement.