Just what is engagement?
According to the highly regarded HR consulting firm BlessingWhite, employee engagement reflects the combination of two elements:
- The employee’s contribution to the company’s success and the employee’s personal satisfaction in their role.
It would be easy to report here on the somewhat low levels of engagement in the workplace today, along with the high levels of stress and other negative elements. Let’s look instead at engagement as a path to greater understanding of your work, and define some ways for you to increase your engagement, if you think you need to. Engagement is important to both you and your employer, as your success and theirs highly depends on it.
Here are the top five drivers of engagement as reported by the consulting firm AONHewitt:
- Career opportunities
- Managing performance
- The organization’s reputation
- Brand alignment
As we look at each of these individually, you can rate yourself in your present role, using a scale of 1 to 5 (1=the lowest level of engagement; 5=the highest).
What are the opportunities for you to advance within your organization? Are you at the height of your career path? Or just beginning? Engagement falters when there are no opportunities for advancement. If the only way to go is out, you may want to consider whether your current position is truly a good fit for you.
Within your career track, does your organization help you to advance? This can mean formal coaching, mentoring, training or the maintenance of a culture that helps employees to advance.
The organization’s reputation
We like to be with the winners, especially at work. If your organization has a weak or other negative reputation, this can have an impact on your engagement and performance.
Do you like what your organization does (produces, builds, provides)? Do you have a sense that you and your organization are headed on the same direction?
This component of engagement has been around since organizations started to look at what employees want and need. When absent, this can contribute heavily to a lack of engagement. And in the cost-cutting times we are in, we don’t see many companies providing extra recognition. But it’s important that companies keep you engaged with some form of acknowledgement . It’s also important that you be aware of the types of recognition that contribute to your sense of engagement.
What do I do with this information?
Looking at these top five drivers of engagement, consider your score in each category. In which areas do you score highly (i.e., have higher levels of engagement) and where do you feel that you could engage more?
Then, for those areas that are lacking, consider them more deeply. Think about your organization and how it has changed or stayed the same since you joined. Ask colleagues how they work with engagement in their professional lives.
Consider what changes you can make in these areas to improve things. Frequently we get to places where we just don’t feel engaged, or committed, and it’s important to identify why. This is a key first step on a path toward increased engagement in the workplace.
Saying of the Month
“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you’re right.” -Henry Ford
The never-ending to-do list
Many of my clients tell me that they have trouble finishing their to-do lists at work. If this is true for you, instead of trying to complete your list, try adding this to it:
“Do not finish this list”
Let me know if this helps you in your day-to-day work.