Statistics suggest the majority of American workers are disengaged at work. In a Gallup Business Journal summary for Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report, writers Susan Sorenson and Keri Garman note: “By the end of 2012 … only 30% of American workers were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their workplace.” The study also finds that, “An alarming 70% of American workers are not showing up to work committed to delivering their best performance, and this has serious implications for the bottom line of individual companies and the U.S. economy as a whole.”
This research indicates a serious problem for employers, and it’s a sad state of affairs for employees, many of whom are hesitant to look for other opportunities for fear of landing in a precarious “last in, first out” position if layoffs ensue.
1. Decide what motivates you. “We know through our research that nearly all (96 percent) of working Americans want to better integrate their personal and professional drivers in their careers,” Stocks notes. “People must first understand what truly motivates them and what impact they want to have on the world through their work. Then, they should use those insights like a compass for career-related decision making, resulting in a better experience for both the person and the employer.”
2. Take care of your health. While you start to mull over more suitable work environments, don’t forget to take care of yourself where you are. “It is important for people to maximize their own health and well-being so they can best help others achieve theirs,” Stocks says.
3. Learn something new. Take advantage of opportunities to learn new things. If your company does not already encourage continuing education, take the initiative and find classes or seminars that would enhance your skills and your ability to do your job better.
4. Seek out opportunities to work with people with diverse backgrounds and skills. Not only will working with a diverse group help you learn new things, Stocks suggests, “Employee resource groups, corporate volunteer programs and group activities are a great way create an environment where open collaboration occurs and meaningful connections are made.”
Read the rest on my U.S. News & World Report column.