Engagement in the workplace has often been thought of as a top-down approach. Leaders need to motivate their team to be more engaged in their roles and achieve the company goal.
This is true. But what can you, as a team member, do to increase your own engagement?
52% of employees reported not being engaged at work. 12% were "actively disengaged" to the point of misery. Research shows that teams can do great things when they engage. So, what if we worked from a bottom-up approach? Engaged employees would be drawn to learn how to take responsibility for their own path. To find new and more productive ways to ask for the things they need at work.
Here’s some things to keep in mind when looking to increase your own engagement:
Wellbeing - Do you have a physically & psychologically safe workplace?
Google has found that the highest-performing teams have one thing in common: psychologically safe workplaces. Psychologically safe workplaces promote healthier, more productive and more inclusive workforces. They also provide the environment in which innovation can thrive and people can perform at their best.
Are you surrounding yourself with people who will encourage you to do better? To work hard and think smart? Are you taking the steps to create a community of people you trust in work?
In the case of ethnic and cultural diversity, research shows that inclusive teams perform up to 30% better in high-diversity environments. Create a diverse environment. You will be able to listen to the opinions / views of people from different backgrounds.
Are you taking the time to look after your mental health? Burnout is more common than you might think. Over a third (36%) of Brits have said they think they might be headed for burnout. 53% believe the start of 2022 has left them feeling more tired than previous years.
It’s easy to get lost in the work. To ensure you can be fully engaged in the workplace, you need to make the effort to look after your mental health. Here are a few tips for preventing burnout:
- Take control - You can avoid or overcome burnout by finding ways to create more autonomy in your role. Talk with your boss to see if they're willing to let you have more control over your tasks, projects, or deadlines.
- Learn to manage stress - There are several strategies that you can use to cope with stress. You could keep a stress diary to document what routinely causes you stress. Practise deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation techniques. This can help you calm down when you're experiencing stress.
- “Give” to others - One quick and easy way to add meaning to your career is to give to others, or to help them in small ways. When you do this, it makes you feel good. Even the smallest act of kindness can re-energize you and help you find meaning in your work.
Fulfilment - Do you enjoy the challenge of your role and feel proud of the work you do?
Finding meaningful and fulfilling employment has become one of life’s greatest pursuits. Those who find it tend to lead happier lives and are more committed to their jobs.
Fulfilment can mean many things. But at its heart, it’s about connecting work to a sense of meaning and purpose. Most often it’s small, such as building connections with people, having fun, or being challenged.
What steps are you taking to enhance your professional development?
According to research, 74% of employees say that a lack of professional development is preventing them from reaching their full potential. Invest in your own development. It allows you to enhance skills and gain opportunities to move up that career ladder. Here are a few ways that you can take charge of your professional development:
- Enrol in an online course - Online courses are a simple way of increasing your knowledge of your chosen field. Most online courses are offered on a flexible basis, allowing you to work your continuing education into your busy life. There’s nearly an endless array of resources online.
- Expand your scope - Instead of waiting for your boss to challenge you to grow, ask him or her for a new challenge. Take on a project outside your standard load. Think aspirationally. Grab every resource you can. Do whatever you have to do to learn and grow into your expanded role.
- Find a mentor - Find someone you admire, either in your organisation or outside of it. Choose a leader who embodies the professional qualities you hold dear. With the help of a mentor, you'll learn more than you ever could by simply reading a book or taking a course.
Leadership - Do you feel inspired by your leader?
38% of employees don’t feel their manager knows them well enough to understand their full potential. This lack of understanding goes far beyond leadership and management. It can have a huge impact on productivity and engagement.
When we speak about leadership, it’s not unusual to discuss the role of a leader in supporting others. But how often do we think about how we can support our leaders? Success comes from partnership, collaboration and cooperation. Why should support be a one-way street? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you can support your boss, your manager, or your leader.
Do they know what inspires you? It’s a leader’s role to inspire their team but often this can lead to a guessing game or a ‘one type fits all’ scenario. Is there a certain skill you have that’s useful for the team? Do you learn a certain way or take inspiration from different strategies? Be sure to speak up. It not only helps your leader, but you as well. It can be the difference between a fulfilling and an unfulfilling role.
Here are a few other ways you can help your leader:
- Offer solutions - When things break down, focus on solutions instead of problems. Help brainstorm ideas and analyse available options. Find out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.
- Keep them in the loop - Whatever your leader’s style of communication, it’s always best to establish and maintain an open line. Keep them involved and informed to protect them from being blindsided. Summarise complex issues and your leader will thank you.
- Take initiative - There are always numerous ways of going above and beyond at work. Look for challenges that stretch you and increase your skill set. Try to anticipate what your leader might require or request and prepare it in advance.
Connection - Do you feel connected to the organisation?
We asked our research panel which factors they thought had the highest impact when it came to the engagement of high performing teams. 32% said connection & the communication of goals, vision, mission and values was the most important factor.
Having the same values doesn’t always mean having the same personalities or attitudes. It helps in building great working relationships. These people carry the same goals, intentions, and passion.
Do you know what the values / goals of your organisation are? If not, where can you find them? When increasing your fulfilment, take into consideration if it is a company you want to work for.
Now that you've established you share the same values as the company, think about how you will demonstrate those values in a day-to-day style. While your company sets the house rules and office policies, you set your own strategy according to your priorities and own values. It’s how you get the job done.
Here are a few things to put into practice that will help align your values:
- Start a conversation - The company's values are no secret, so put them out into the open. Talk with your leader and your team members about the values. Discuss how you connect with them and what you think needs changing.
- Tie personal goals into professional goals - Take a look into how your goals can be accomplished within the framework of your company. Take advantage of coaching sessions, 1-2-1’s and team meetings to understand the connections between your goals and those of the company.
- Create an action plan - Think about how you can exercise your core values in a constructive way. Is there a position / department in the organisation where your core value alignment would be an even stronger asset?
By focusing on these 4 pillars of engagement, your productivity will increase. Your personal and professional achievements will also be easier to obtain. Overall this is likely to lead to an increase in your personal happiness.
One way to let your leader know how you feel is through regular feedback. 1-2-1 meetings are amazing for creating personal action plans and career development strategies. Another great feedback method is through engagement surveys, you can provide honest, reliable feedback which allows your leader to work closely on the problems affecting your engagement. We’d always encourage you take part in feedback surveys, to ensure that you can share your voice and ideas with your leaders - don’t miss out on a great opportunity!
To learn more about engagement in the workplace, check out our blog on the link between engagement and performance.
To see how we can help you stay engaged, check out our website: www.spacehr.co.uk.