Responsibility and accountability: these are the top two things every employee should embrace to be successful in their roles.
But there is also one more (possibly bigger) thing every employee needs to bring with them to work every day: Engagement.
No, not that kind of engagement—no shiny rings required here! The kind of engagement we’re talking about has to do with something else entirely: Attitude.
You might not realize this, but an office is the best place to people watch. Why do I say this? Because employees are constantly watching, evaluating, and comparing themselves to other employees and measuring mentally how they stack up against them. They think:
Am I blending in? Am I standing out too much and drawing too much attention to myself? Are my work habits in line with the company’s vision and mission, or do I need to realign myself?
These are all great questions to ask, and they all have to do with one simple word: Engagement. This is all about how you show up every day and play your part for the benefit of everyone else.
Here are 5 important questions to ask yourself if you are experiencing doubt or uncertainty in your position:
- Have I done my best to make sure I have completed my tasks? If you’re leaving your projects half finished, or are procrastinating starting them, then you need to figure out why your commitment level has dropped.
- Have I grown bored with this [project, task, role]? This is a common problem, and it comes from growing too comfortable in your position. (In a previous article, “Professional Development: Is It Really Worth It?”, I discuss the uncomfortable truth about comfort zones.) Has that happened to you?
- Am I being true and authentic to myself? There are too many disingenuous people in this world. They’re difficult to trust and even harder to work with because you don’t know what to expect from them. That’s why they’re fake. When you choose to be authentic, you’re letting the world see YOU for who YOU are. When you allow authenticity to show up at work, you bring passion back. Or you recognize the need for change because what you’re doing and how you’re feeling no longer line up.
- What am I looking to get out of this position? A promotion? More money? More responsibility? You need to get clarity on what you want your job to give you. Getting re-engaged could require nothing more than a quick reflection.
- Am I reaching out and growing my network? Casting a wide net and networking with others in positions similar to yours could be the attitude boost you need to get re-engaged. Reach out to others who share your interests. Join groups. And network, network, network.
If you find yourself going to work just to have something to do or somewhere to go every day, that’s not serving your purpose, is it? Take the time to reflect on why you chose to join the organization you did in the role you’re in. If you find yourself unable to answer, or unmotivated to change your habits and attitude, then consider yourself disengaged from your role. Then find a way to either get re-engaged, or move on. It will cause much less stress, time, and worry that way.