Are you feeling checked-out and disengaged at work, wishing you were somewhere else on most days? If so, you are not alone. In fact, 66% of U.S. Employees are “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, according to Employee Engagement On The Rise In The U.S. by Jim Harter, featured on Gallup.com.
- “Engaged employees are those involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and contribute to their organization in a positive manner.1”
- “Disengaged employees are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive.1”
- “Actively disengaged employees are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.1” “[They] are miserable in the workplace and destroy what the most engaged employees build.2”
1 The State of The American Workplace, 2017
2 The State of The American Workplace, 2013
Companies are investing $720 million annually to improve the situation, according to Bersin & Associates’ report, Employee Engagement: Market Review, Buyer’s Guide and Provider Profiles. The investments are worthwhile to most businesses because the cost of not taking action is so high. “Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity.”, according to Gallup’s report, The State of The American Workplace, 2017.
The costs are not only high for employers, but there is also a cost for you. You feel the pain of not enjoying your work and pressure to find something new. As you’re opening your mind to new opportunities, imagine what could happen if you made every effort to take control of your engagement at work in your current role, turning what may be a poor experience now, into something positive. If your leadership team knew how to tap into your true motivations for working, and chose to give you exactly what you need to achieve your goals at work and beyond, would you stay? Would you be happier? Would you be proud of your work and the people you work with? Would you actually look forward to going to work? Imagine the possibilities.
Employers want to improve engagement, but most are missing what matters most to you at work and beyond. To take matters into your own hands, first start by thinking about your well-being. How do you imagine your best life? What matters most? Think about this for your life, both at work and outside of the office. This is all a part of your Total Well-Being.
Once you have a clear vision of what you want and need in your life, consider what your employer can do to help you achieve the lifestyle you desire.
Use The Following Points As Examples As You Consider What Your Employer Can Do To Support Your Total Well-Being
- You do work that interests you with the right level of challenge
- You’re working toward clearly defined goals with clear expectations and measurements of success
- You have an appropriate level of autonomy, freedom to do what needs to be done
- You have mentors, training, education, tools, advocates, and more to help you do your job well
- Your leadership team supports your desired goals for career progression
- Your company’s mission is meaningful to you
- You see value, purpose, and a greater good to the work that your company does
- Your leadership team is full of people you’re proud to work for
- You receive public recognition for exceptional performances
- You receive personal recognition through promotions and raises
- You have opportunities to step up, mentor, and lead
- You leadership team promotes, encourages, and supports open and honest communications
- Your leadership team listens and you feel heard
- Your work environment is convivial and there are opportunities for friendships to develop
Ask yourself, “What else can my employer be doing to make my work experience amazing?”
Beyond The Office
- You receive financial compensation to afford the lifestyle you desire
- You have access to healthcare, dental, and vision insurance benefits to meet your needs
- You have access to mental wellness resources such as therapists, counselors, and your company offers programs that promote daily mindfulness and meditation
- Your company offers facilities and easy access to services to achieve your fitness goals
- You have an ample amount of vacation time to rest, relax, rejuvenate, and adventure beyond work travel
- You have a flexible schedule with room to enjoy the things that matter most in your life
- You have work location options that meet your lifestyle needs
- You have access to 401k Retirement Packages
- You have access to education and resources to plan for a smooth transition into retirement when the time is right
- You are encouraged to disconnect from work at appropriate times
- You have access to resources that help you defuse and alleviate stress
- You have access to paid Maternity / Paternity leave
- Your company offers and supports sabbaticals
- Your company is aware that employee burnout is all too common and takes action to prevent it
- Your company offers tuition reimbursement
- Your company offers gift matching to enhance support of your favorite charitable organizations
Ask yourself, “What else can my employer be doing to provide me with the support I need for what matters most to me and to help me live my best life beyond the office?”
Your employer may not be able to provide everything you want, but can they fix the things that matter most to you? What are the top 3 things they can do to make your lifestyle amazing? If you had to narrow your wish list to one thing they can do that you must have to achieve the lifestyle you want, what would that one thing be? Can they deliver what you want?
Susan LaMotte validates the importance of supporting life beyond work in an article featured in Harvard Business Review entitled Employee Engagement Depends on What Happens Outside Of The Office, where she states, “as my current team at exaqueo reviewed client data to help them address their problems with engagement, we confirmed that most employee engagement models are centered around the work experience and not on the employees. That’s the core problem. When we only try to understand and affect what happens at work, we ignore the most basic tenet of person-organization fit: employees bring their whole selves to work. What happens after the workday may be just as important as what happens during it.”
Margie Adams of Emerge Approach recently published a brilliantly simple post about How Treating Employees With Dignity Impacts Your Business. In it, she quotes Dr. Donna Hicks, author of Leading with Dignity, who says, “Neuroscience research shows that when people’s dignity is violated, it actually shows up in the brain in the same area as a physical wound… this isn’t just some touchy-feely of how we’ve got to be nice to people.” You need to be heard and treated with dignity and respect. The first step is starting the conversation.
Total Well-Being is not a one-time event. It’s a journey toward the achievement of the lifestyle you want, both at work and beyond. Advocating amongst your leadership team for the things you need to bring your best to work each day will improve employee engagement, productivity, and reduce turnover while joyfully unleashing your highest potential. We all have one life. We deserve a work experience that helps us make the most of it.
If there is anything you would add to the list, comment or send us a note to email@example.com. We would love to hear your ideas!
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Michelle Reeb, CEO of The Top Candidate, is a candidate advocate, career coach, personal branding strategist and author of The Top Candidate Playbook. She is passionate about helping candidates rise to the top to seize the career opportunities you desire, whether you are actively pursuing a new role now or planning ahead for a career move in the future. Nicole Reeb, Michelle’s daughter and an award-winning author in the “What Makes You Proud Of America” essay contest, edited this post.
Content provided by The Top Candidate, DAA’s Career Center Sponsor.