Time to take responsibility for your own engagement at work

Employee engagement has long been a buzzword in HR circles.  At a theoretical level, many organisations now seem to understand the importance of having an engaged workforce.  They conduct engagement surveys, analyse the results and compare them to those of previous years.  This can then inform them which of their staff engagement initiatives are working, and in what areas they need to make improvements.  From an organisation's standpoint, the impact high levels of engagement can have on key organisational outcomes, including increases in productivity, profits, proactive behaviour, growth and innovation, is key to their success.  As a result, organisations with high levels of engagement consistently outperform organisations that do not have engaged employees.

So what is engagement?  It is a measurable degree of an employee's positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organisation, that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work.  An "engaged employee" is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organisation’s interests. 

So it seems that many organisations are taking responsibility for ensuring their employees remain engaged, whether this be through clear communication of the organisation’s values and mission, by providing staff development opportunities and/or rewards, or by empowering employees to come up with new products and services. 

At Psylutions cut-e Australia, we have a highly engaged workforce.  Psylutions cut-e Australia's employees are given responsibility for their own work, employee views and opinions are valued and sought out by management, there are opportunities to grow and develop, and we live Psylutions cut-e Australia’s key values through our behaviour.  Having a relaxed, fun yet professional environment is key to the way we do our work and interact with our clients.  Our work has meaning in that we help our clients to find the best-fit person for their roles, and we help other people challenge themselves and grow through our development centres - all with the aim of helping our clients to achieve a more engaged workforce!

But how much of engagement is the responsibility of the organisation, and how much is the responsibility of the employee?  To what extent should individuals take responsibility for their own engagement at work? 

Sure, an organisation needs to provide certain opportunities and initiatives that will engage their employees, but employees also needs to take the initiative to reap the advantages of those opportunities.  They should be seeking out organisations and roles that meet their own requirements for engagement.  For example, one employee may be strongly motivated by working in a team environment and is more interested in work/life balance than climbing the corporate ladder.  In this case, they may be better suited to seeking out employment in an organisation that exemplifies these values, rather than working for a business that expects them to work long hours and to progress their career quickly.  It’s important for individuals to be aware of what engages them, and to determine during the selection process whether the organisation will be able to offer them what they need to be engaged and perform at their best.

What engages you in your work?  Is this something you actively sought out when you applied for the role?

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