Have you thought about how engaged you feel on a daily basis? What does engagement mean to you? People who are engaged usually feel energised about their work, most likely are using their strengths and are closely connected to their purpose.
According to Gallup only 15% of people are highly engaged and if you’re not engaged, you’re either looking for a job or open to taking a new one. We’re in the middle of a mass exodus of employees or the great resignation as it is being referred to. Employers take note, whether or how engaged your employees feel does matter. The pandemic has caused people to really appreciate the value of their time and caused many to re-evaluate how they spend it. Doing something meaningful in a setting where you feel you belong has become priority for many.
Engagement is not just good for your employer and personal satisfaction from work, it’s one of the five components of well-being. If you want to be proactive about managing your own well-being then you’ll pay attention to this part of your life. The handy thing about well-being is that it is a construct, that means it is something we can manage. Happiness is more subjective, dependent on what happens around us but well-being is something we can take control of and be proactive in promoting well-being strategies for ourselves. Here are some ways to help you do this;
- Find purpose in what you do – this doesn’t mean you have to leave your job because you’re not working on the front line or seeing direct impact to helping the greater good in the world but look at the small impacts or value you add each day. It might be helping a customer so their day is a little better, supporting a colleague or speeding up an administration process. Recognising progress or small achievements is important. You may have to remind yourself of these on a daily basis. Perhaps keep a journal detailing positive impact you feel you had each day.
- Use your strengths – most of us don’t know or proactively use our strengths. Sometimes because our strengths are the parts of our job that we find easy we discount them. Why do we feel overcoming challenges and doing the hard stuff is more important than doing what comes naturally to us? If something comes easy to you then that is your gift.
- Find where you belong – this can be a tough one. We tend to look externally for feelings of belonging but I think we need to look more inside of ourselves. Understanding your values and what is important to you. Valuing yourself and a self-belief in your own offering to the world. In my work supporting introverts I see many struggle with this because such negative perceptions around the introvert trait pervade. While the larger cultural shift still needs to happen to appreciate introvert temperaments, internally recognising your own traits as valuable is important work for you to do.
Engagement is not a final destination but a continually evolving experience. Check in with your engagement levels regularly and if you’re leading a team or responsible for others at work I suggest prioritising their engagement levels is a worthy goal.
Aoife Lenox as the founder of Inside Strategies is an Introvert Well-Being Coach and Engagement Specialist. She supports introverts in the workplace in promoting positive strategies for career development and well-being and employers to build internal levels of engagement through inclusive approaches.