by Fleur Heazlewood
Research continues to find positive links between employee engagement, advocacy, performance and intention to resign meaning that it is in employers’ interests to drive up levels of engagement amongst their workforce. Engagement is not about driving employees to work harder but about providing the conditions under which they will work more effectively. This is more likely to result from a healthy work life balance than from working long hours. Engagement is wholly consistent with an emphasis on employee wellbeing: arguably it is an essential element in contributing to that wellbeing.
Increased levels of engagement also have significant benefits for employees considering that engagement is positively associated with job satisfaction and flow experiences at work. We all want to go to work and know that the job we are doing is worthwhile and, on some level, inspires us to do our best.
Without taking time to reflect and take stock, it is difficult to choose purposeful goals that align our personal interests and strengths with our job requirements and organisational expectations. An important step that many of us skip when it comes to completing our annual performance and professional development plans is taking adequate time to ask and answer the following simple questions:
- What have I done well?
- What are my strengths?
- What do I get most satisfaction from doing?
- What would I like to do more of?
- What skill, knowledge or experience would I like to try or learn?
- What would I like to do less of?
- What didn’t go as well as I hoped?
- What would I do differently next time?
- What were my blocks?
- What stopped me from achieving what I wanted?
- What could I try differently next time?
If you would like support in working out what you want to do, there are plenty of options: try buddying up with a friend or colleague; ask a mentor for their time and feedback; book a couple of coaching sessions; or join a career development workshop to help get you headed on the right track.