Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 

UP YOUR ENGAGEMENT AT WORK

September 20, 2018

Four steps to feel more invested  
More than likely, you have completed an employee engagement survey at least once. Companies measure engagement because the level of commitment, passion and loyalty people have toward their work impacts workplace satisfaction, productivity and the bottom line. Alarmingly, nearly two-thirds of U.S. employees are disengaged, according to a recent Gallup poll.
 
The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley has launched an online course that teaches how to increase happiness at work to boost engagement, teamwork, and productivity in your organization. They point to research that shows people who are happier at work are more committed to the organization, rise to positions of leadership more quickly and are more productive and creative.
 
If you are among the majority of people who don’t feel engaged at work, try tapping into some of the main elements that contribute to workplace happiness.
 
A sense of autonomy and self-determination
People who feel actively engaged at work have jobs that align with their core strengths and personal values. When that’s not the case, “job crafting” can help you adapt your current job to fit you better.
 
Start by looking for ways to increase time spent on the aspects of your role you enjoy most. Maybe you prefer detail work and could take on more departmental reporting while a colleague steps up for more big-picture tasks.
 
Research shows you can also bring greater meaning to your activities by building stronger relationships with clients and colleagues, embracing the learning opportunities in challenging tasks and looking at how your role contributes to something larger.
 
Regular, meaningful progress
Researchers who analyzed 12,000 diary entries from 238 employees found the most important predictor of a good work day was making progress. Celebrating small wins and incremental progress within larger tasks can increase motivation. It can also provide an important buffer against inevitable setbacks.
 
Readily feeling positive emotions
Even in stressful work environments, searching for levity can boost feelings of happiness and well-being. Make time to talk with colleagues about off-work activities, infuse humor into the workday and express gratitude to others for their help and support. Research shows that positive emotions at work make people more creative and friendlier, better at problem solving and more resilient to challenges.
 
Experiencing flow
When you are so engaged in what you’re doing that time and other distractions slip away, that’s flow. You can help create it by choosing a task that requires full concentration and then leaning into it.
 
Cut yourself off for a set period of time from email, phone calls, texts and personal interruptions. It will feel strange at first. But you are likely to emerge with far more accomplished than in a much longer time period riddled with interruptions. You are also likely to feel more engaged and satisfied.
 
Finding creative ways to boost the elements that tend to drive engagement can increase your contribution and accelerate your career progress.  


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