What does it take to re-engage with your job? What does it take to re-engage with your employer?
Most organisations struggle with this challenge. They roll out various engagement strategies every year with limited impact on engagement levels. A quick look at the statistics tells us that.
So, is it not enough to make the workplace more ‘fun’? It would seem not (even though it can only seem to be a good thing).
The thing is – employee engagement is much more fundamental and intrinsic than simply having fun.
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There are many things in our lives that we consider to be fun and enjoy doing. Yet, we are not irresistibly drawn to all of them. We are drawn to those activities, events etc. that offer us more – more than just fun.
How we define ‘more’ is important here. It is important, because ‘more’ is very subjective. It is hugely personal to each individual employee.
‘More’ can be defined as how an activity, event, or job meets our individual requirements, needs and values.
We all go to work for different and unique reasons. If we need ‘more’ from our job in order to be engaged, then we have a personal responsibility to explore, identify and communicate what that ‘more’ is for each of us. Each employee is a living, breathing, thinking and feeling person who contributes in one way or another to a larger entity – the organisation.
You can learn to love what you do. You can re-engage with your job.
5 Ways to Learn to Love Your Job
There are actions you can take to re-engage with your job and workplace. Here is my advice to the individual employee:
Revisit the employee you were when you first joined your current employer
We all join a new job motivated and engaged. What was it that motivated you and caused you to be highly engaged? Take a good look at this and identify the parts of your original hopes and dreams for this job that are achievable.
Write these down. Put a timeline on them and identify what resources etc you might need to achieve them.
If possible, it would be great if you could discuss these with someone. Preferably your manager. This way you can highlight what is achievable and doable.
Discuss how you want to be engaged again and the positive impact this will have on you and your performance. Work on an agreed action plan to achieve these.
Identify the good parts of your life that are currently possible because you work.
It is always helpful to take an objective look at the good things your current job makes possible.
List the good things in your life that are mainly, or only, possible because of your job. These will include things your job provides the means to pay for but will also include friends, social events and opportunities.
What do you want your work/career to do for you beyond salary?
We all work for a reason.
A lot of people will say they only work in order to pay the bills, but they are still disengaged. Why is that?
What do you want from your job?
List out the things that are important to you in work. These could include status, achievement, recognition as an expert, development, career enhancement, working relationships etc. You can also prioritise these so you know what is most important to you personally.
Consider how you can achieve what is important to you.
Prepare to have a good honest and constructive conversation with your manager about how you can go about meeting your needs from work.
Rediscover the purpose in your job.
Sometimes you can just be lost in the job and overall workings of the company that employs you, particularly if it employs a lot of people. You can feel like just a number.
It is important to realise that giving feedback isn’t at the top of a manager’s list of priorities, even though it should be. They, too, can get caught up in targets and numbers and lose sight of the people in their team.
Write down what your job does and where it fits in your company?
Who receives the products of your efforts – a colleague or a customer? Find out what the quality you produce means to them and how they would feel if you didn’t do as good of a job.
It is highly unlikely that you are just a number. You are an important part of a company producing a product.
You just need to feel it.
Identify the talents and skills you bring to your work and to your team
When you joined your company, they chose you.
It is highly improbable that you were the only candidate for your job. Why did you get the job? How did you outshine your competition?
Consider this and identify the skills and talents you provide that help make your team and company work. Recognise your own contributions to re-engage with your job.
Remember: Employers too have a responsibility to enable this in the workplace and empower employees to find their identity in work. This includes ensuring all line management are committed to facilitating the re-engagement of their team members. Engagement is a shared responsibility but the employer and line management hold the power in this relationship. Their actions, or lack of, can make or break engagement and remain the single biggest influence on whether employees are engaged.