When I was researching this topic, I discovered that many articles focus on the company’s side of the issue. Employee engagement is a hot topic in business circles, costing companies billions every year. I then asked myself, “What’s the cost for the employees?”
The answer to my question can be measured, not so much in dollars, but in self-investment. The solution to indifference comes when we look at the role mindfulness plays in our personal development. We are fully engaged in what we are doing (in our personal and professional life) when we approach tasks with intention and see their value in terms of our self-worth.
A Mindful Approach to Workplace Engagement
The tips I offer in this article are predicated on one important principle of work-life balance: You are not two different people – one at work and a different “you” at home.
5 Steps to Getting (and Staying) Engaged in Life
- Understand that “best fit” works both ways. When looking for a new position, make choices that work well for both sides of the employee-employer relationship. Factor into your “go-no-go” decision the match between the company’s cultural values and yours. Be determined not to make a choice out of panic (especially important if your job search is happening when you are unemployed).
- Help your manager see that you are invested in self-development. If your company doesn’t have official forms to support regular assessments, create your own and invite your manager to partner with you in performance measurement. Focus on your strengths, clarify your roles and responsibilities, see the connection between your personal goals and the company’s direction, and explore approaches to continuous improvement.
- When you arrive at work or home, bring your whole self. You can do this even if you work at home most or some of the time. A March 2011 article published in Psychology Today debunked the multi-tasking myth. According to Jim Taylor Ph.D., “You and every other so-called multitasker are actually serial tasking…shifting from one task to another…in rapid succession.” Use a mindfulness technique such as prioritizing tasks in order of their importance in helping you be your best “you”. This will allow you to focus all your attention on one thing at a time. (See Step 4.)
- Approach each day understanding how it will help you be your best “you”. Spiritually speaking, weekdays and weekend days are no different. In the morning, before your feet hit the floor, focus on the one thing you will do that day that will have you saying at the end, “I made progress today.”
- See yourself as the “architect of your own experience”. Shawn Doyle, the author of an article on this subject in a February 2017 article in the Huffington Post, tells us that “[Your new] house would be designed just for you, and then built by a skilled general contractor. To me a life is exactly the same way.”
Remember that you are responsible for how you move through the world. Sleepwalking during the day or “phoning it in” doesn’t do you, your family and friends, or your company any favors. You can do this! After all, you know how to be you, right?
If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness and meditation and how both can help with your self-development, contact me via email.
Adkins, James Harter, Amy. “What Great Managers Do to Engage Employees.” Harvard Business Review. N.p., 02 Apr. 2015. Web. <https://hbr.org/2015/04/what-great-managers-do-to-engage-employees>.
Doyle, Shawn. “How to Be the Architect of Your Own Life.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 01 Feb. 2016. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawn-doyle/how-to-be-the-architect-o_b_9103120.html>.
Heathfield, Susan M. “Does Your Workplace Encourage Employee Engagement?” The Balance. N.p., n.d. Web. <https://www.thebalance.com/create-work-environment-for-employee-engagement-1917575>.
Kruse, Kevin. “What Is Employee Engagement?” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 25 June 2015. Web. <https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement-what-and-why/>.
“State of the American Workplace Report 2013.pdf.” State of the American Workplace Report 2013pdf Version History. Report originally published by Gallup, Inc., 2013. Electronically published in PDF on 23 Sept. 2015. <https://collaboration.worldbank.org/docs/DOC-18331>.
Taylor, Jim. “Technology: Myth of Multitasking.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 30 Mar. 2011. Web. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201103/technology-myth-multitasking>.
“What Is Employee Engagement?” Engage for Success. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://engageforsuccess.org/what-is-employee-engagement>.