Start Engaged, Stay Engaged
by monsterstaff, published 03/06/2013
- Do your homework. Don’t join a company that you know up-front has a bad reputation for how they treat their employees. The website www.glassdoor.com gives you the inside scoop based on employee ratings.
- Keep it real. Presenting yourself in the best possible light during the interview is fine, however, don’t set yourself up for failure. If the job requires a specific skill that you don’t have be straight about your level of proficiency and then emphasize you willingness to learn, otherwise, you will feel overwhelmed which will lead you to become frustrated and disengaged. Furthermore, you risk your supervisor and team members viewing you as incompetent and becoming disengaged with you.
- Get someone engaged in you. We tend to be engaged when others are engaged with us – especially our supervisor. If your supervisor doesn’t seem interested in coaching and mentoring you, look for someone else in the organization that can fill that role.
- Develop positive social relationships with your colleagues. You don’t have to like everyone but it is to your benefit to have friends at work. If you come to work feeling as though you are liked and respected, the day goes a lot quicker. Being engaged with your team members is just as important as being engaged in your work. As a proactive measure, meet as many of your potential team members as possible during the interview process to get a sense of whether you might work well together and to get a more honest and accurate appraisal of what it is really like to work for the organization and supervisor.
- Look for opportunities to learn and develop. One of the most frequently cited reasons that people quit – the ultimate form of disengagement – are that they feel as though they have no room to grow. Most people left unchallenged get bored over time. Let your supervisor and colleagues know that you’re up for new learning opportunities. Take the initiative and don’t wait for someone to come to you.
- Make sure you’re a good fit for the culture of the organization. For example, is this the kind of place where people come in early and stay late? Is it a warm and friendly environment among team members? Is management interested in employees’ opinions or just their following directions? Does the organization have a core set of values that they really live? If the organizational culture is not aligned with your values, you will become disengaged very quickly.
- Ask: Do I need this job more than I want this job? Don’t lie to yourself, if you are under financial pressure to accept a job and know going in that it isn’t a good fit, well, you may just have to suck it up. Acknowledge that this isn’t your dream job but be conscious that the more engaged you are, the more likely it is to be successful. Being successful can lead you to other opportunities within – or outside – the organization that may be more attractive. Don’t set yourself up for misery right from the start – do what you can to make it work.