|Posted on January 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM|
How many people can claim they love their job? Unfortunately not many. According to Gallup’s research on the global workplace, a great majority of employees in the world experience low levels of fulfillment at work. The Gallup report paints a rather dismal picture, especially given today's job market where so many people would love to have a job to start with. Getting a job will certainly meet the basic needs of financial security, but there is no guarantee that it will lead to professional fulfilment.
Julie Ray, Gallup analyst and writer comments:
“The bulk of employees worldwide -- 63%-- are "not engaged"; they lack motivation and are less likely to invest in organizational goals or outcomes. Twenty-four percent are "actively disengaged"; they are unhappy, unproductive, and liable to spread negativity.”
- Full Gallup "State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide Report" available at http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/164735/state-global-workplace.aspx
Employee engagement is obviously essential for organizations to be able to reach their business goals, but it is equally important for employees themselves to have a good quality of life at the workplace. After all, we spend a third of our life (and half of our waking life) at work. If this is not quality time, our health and emotional well-being will inevitably be negatively affected.
With 63% of employees who are not engaged, and 24% who are actively disengaged, that leaves only 13% who are engaged, committed and fulfilled that work.
What group do you belong to?
Some companies take employee engagement and well-being very seriously. They try to improve the situation by initiating major culture changes, introducing reward schemes, teambuilding activities and so on. Employers must make every effort to create the conditions for employees to be fully engaged but it is a complex affair and not all companies succeed, and many don't even try.
But in the meantime what can the employees themselves do to improve their lot ?
As an individual organizational member you can be proactive and take a number of steps that will drastically improve the quality of your life at work.
Here are seven steps you can take to make your job more fulfilling
1. Decide to make each day at work a great day
Every working day, start the day with a strong intention of making it a great day for yourself. Start off on the right foot, with a deep desire to spend the next hours of your life in the most fruitful and satisfying way irrespective of circumstances. With this approach you will be more tuned-in to seeing the interesting opportunities and you will naturally gravitate more frequently towards pleasant people. It will help you to stay centered and positive even a difficult situation.
2. Actively seek out interesting work, don’t wait for your boss to give it to you
Take initiative to get yourself out of the routine, beyond the boundaries of your “job description”, even if it means having to make a little effort, and even if it doesn’t lead immediately to a monetary advantage or a promotion.This will get you more involved in work that you find stimulating.
You can volunteer to help in a project that you like, take initiative to develop something new, attend open meetings or seminars to see what else is going on in the organization, make new contacts with colleagues you don’t know yet, find out what other people are working on. Gradually, you can take ownership of more interesting tasks.
3. Let go of grudges and improve your relations with colleagues
Grudges are a drain on your mental and emotional energy. They keep you stuck in a rut of resentment. Most of the time the person you are resentful against doesn’t even know about it, and anyway wouldn’t really care since they are going about their own business.
If you hang on to a grudge long enough it will poison you and turn you into a bitter person that nobody wants to talk to. There is absolutely nothing to gain in holding a grudge. By letting it go you clear out your mind and make space for more valuable things in your work life. You will create new partnerships and new doors can open up to you.
4. Make a list of who benefits from your work and how it has an impact on their life
Consciously make the connection between what you are doing in your daily work and the ultimate impact of your company’s product or service on its clients. How does it affect their life? Are they more comfortable, healthier, more educated, safer, entertained ? Think of the results of the combined efforts of you and your colleagues, and the results produced for your client ? What is your personal contribution to this value chain ?
As you identify your role more clearly, you will feel more connected to the deeper sense of the work.
5. Improve on your skills, learn how to do things better, innovate on your working methods
Improving your own skills is a sure-fire way to boost your own self-esteem, up your performance and increase your visibility. As you take pleasure in performing really well, in being really good at something for the sake of it, you will gain in self-confidence. People would look at you for expert advice and for someone who is able to find innovative solutions.
6. Focus on what you can do, avoid dwelling on what others should do
Make sure you spend more energy on taking action for yourself than on mulling over what other people should or should not be doing. If you are waiting on others (the colleauges, the boss, the management, the system) to change in order to be more fulfilled at work, you might have to wait a long time. Focus on what you can change and take action.
7. Monitor your progress and celebrate success
Regularly set goals for yourself and monitor your progress. One of your goals could be to create a warmer relation with your office mate, or learning a new skill, or getting a new project approved. Setting goals, even small ones, will help you to committ to taking action.
If you fail, just learn from it and start again. If you succeed, make sure you take the initiative to celebrate ! There is nothing more deflating than a success that goes unnoticed. So invite colleagues for a drink, or take your family out for dinner. Celebrate, always celebrate each step forward !
By changing your attitude and taking these simple steps, you will be surprised at how easily you can increase your level of satisfaction at work.
Feeling good about yourself in your current work is just as important as finding ways to get a promotion and advancing your career.