Getting Employees Engaged

Many employees in cubes are simply not engaged in their work. Not that they don’t want to be engaged in the work — it is boring when not — but managers and the people that work for them don’t know how to get engaged in the job at hand.

Eric D. Brown in “Improving Employee Engagement” suggests three ways to improve employee engagement:

  1. Trust your team.
  2. Make sure your team knows that failure IS an option.
  3. Make your team members accountable for their actions

I agree with these.

The more I think about “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job,” the more I’m also coming to agree with the concepts outlined for engaging employees in their work. There are also three principles:

Anonymity is simple:

“People cannot be fulfilled in their work if they are not known…people who see themselves as invisible, generic, or anonymous cannot love their jobs, no matter what they are doing.”

Irrelevance is not knowing how their work matters.

“Without seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, an employee simply will not find lasting fulfillment.”

And immeasurement is not knowing how to measure progress by the employees themselves.

Employees “cannot be fulfilled in their work if their success depends on the opinions or whims of another person, no matter how benevolent that person may be. Without a tangible means for assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fate.”

While the book is designed for managers, I think Cubicle Warriors can easily relate this to their work. If they can equate these three things to their work, there is engagement with the job at hand. If not, one needs to seriously consider alternatives.

But, there are many different ways that people can become engaged in their work. What are your best one’s?

  • Erika – nice idea. Sometimes we forget that as individuals we can try to ‘make the best of it’. Setting goals for yourself in a job can help you become more engaged in that role, even if it isn’t the ideal job.

    • Scot Herrick says:

      @Eric D. Brown
      Very true. The only caveat is that one needs to be specific on how long one is willing to work on the goal in adverse conditions. But, outside of that, great advice.

  • I’ve found that viewing a job as a means to an end can get you engaged enough to not be miserable. By setting a goal for yourself that you job helps you reach, you give yourself a reason to care and be motivated.

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