The last two articles in this series have outlined organizational and leadership inputs into employee engagement. Employees are sometimes targeted as the source and sole intervention to elevate employee engagement. When the organization and leadership also contribute to engagement initiatives it can facilitate even higher levels of engagement. That said, employees themselves are closest to the source of their own engagement. I believe the individual is ultimately responsible for their own engagement while the organization and leadership is accountable for employee engagement.
Here are 6 inputs employees can engage with to elevate their own engagement:
Focus on contribution. Determine how you can make a contribution. Know that what you give is often what you receive in return. To be disengaged at work can often lead to experiences of disengagement in other areas of your life. Engagement is not a limited resource and research would suggest that higher levels of employee engagement at work translate to higher levels of engagement at home and in the community. Focus on contribution and banish entitlement.
Be responsible while holding others accountable. Take responsibility for your own engagement while holding others accountable for their engagement. Encourage the leadership and the organization to keep making their contributions to elevate employee engagement. In the the movement from employee engagement to workplace engagement: if it is to be it is up to we!
Master your personal energy. Energy is your fundamental raw material for employee engagement. Learn to master your energy at work. Increase your levels of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy while also ensuring you take time for energy recovery. One paradox of employee engagement is that we must also find times to disengage from work to recharge and revitalize ourselves for the work ahead. Be strong. Know your strengths while also knowing what strengthens you. What are the gifts or qualities you bring to your work and what are the activities you engage in that strengthen you? People who know their strengths, use their strengths on a daily basis, and use their strengths in the service of others report higher levels of authentic happiness at work.
Own your work. Some people make their marks while others sign their names. Make your work a signature of who you are. Many organizations not only treat you like an owner they ensure that employees literally own a piece of the company. There is a great deal of truth to the statement: nobody washes a rented car.
Obliterate the if only. Don’t postpone your engagement efforts waiting for the if only. If only the organization would do this, if only my manager would recognize me, if only I had a different job…Stop the if only and do what you can with what you’ve got wherever you are. Practice the advice of the great NCAA basketball coach, John Wooden: don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can.
In conclusion, follow the instruction a rugby referee gives to get the scrum started: ENGAGE!
Photo credit: Rugby, XXVIII: Scrum by http://flickr.com/photos/jessflickr/163006527/