Work Engagement Vs. For The Sake Of Doing It

A company says: we’ve created these projects where you can volunteer to help. We’ve created them for you to have enough opportunities to develop. We… We… We… {We in this real case is a group of managers}

The message that reaches me: here are some projects we created with the purpose of development. We may be sincere in our interest and commitment to your development, or we may just care to tick the box of employee engagement, the FACT is that we decided on the projects by ourselves. You can either get involved or not. We did our part and and no one can blame us for being passive.

Gallup released their Engagement Survey last month. Worth taking a look at.

Seventy-one percent of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive. That leaves nearly one-third of American workers who are “engaged,” or involved in and enthusiastic about their work and contributing to their organizations in a positive manner. This trend remained relatively stable throughout 2011.

A good interpretation of the survey can be found on the Harvard Business Review blog.

Being busy as a status of importance

When a colleague at work justified working long hours for days in a row with a better pay, this came to mind. The question of working long hours versus being effective is long winded, so here are instead some questions that might move the discussion forward:

What if we could learn more about technology to make our work life easier and faster? Are there any things that might help besides learning to Ctrl+C & Ctrl+V?

Is it that easy to leave your personal baggage outside the company? Will a tired, unfit and chronically disapointed ‘out-of-office’ Jim* become energized and engaged once he/ she** passes through the office door?

Does being part of a corporate health plan compesante for having a poor health?

Is coffee really all that it takes to perform at work?

Can a person engaged in work 12 hours a day, for days in a row, come up with solutions that will make the company thrive?

As I’m asking these questions to myself, I already know what works for me. Work, friends, health and other aspects of my life always intermingle and influence one another. A structure sport schedule teaches me about goals and this reflects in my work. A productive day at work gives me energy to move on in the evening and not disappoint my friends with complains. The energy we take from one activity varies and changes the way we perform the rest of the day, week, month… Think about this when you say that you’re too busy and this automatically makes you the better employee.

* a name randomly generated in the writing flow.

** Jim can also be a she, I respect your choice! 🙂