More Great Days at Work Start With You

By Colleen Casey , Research Analyst and Survey Specialist

BlessingWhite’s recently released report, Forget About Engagement; Let’s Talk About More Great Days at Workexplores how highly engaged organizations differ from those with average and lower levels of engagement. Using exclusive data gathered by BlessingWhite, the report examines the drivers of each individual’s satisfaction, contribution, and professional growth, and explores how to increase employee engagement through leadership practices and behaviors.

We find that individuals in highly engaged organizations are more likely to agree that:

  • Senior leaders create a high performing work environment
  • They have the training and resources they need to do their job effectively
  • They have opportunities for professional growth
  • They get regular feedback from their manager
  • The survey will result in organizational change

But what is employee engagement and who is responsible for it?

The BlessingWhite X-model of employee engagement speaks to an organizational environment that allows employees to achieve maximum satisfaction, while at the same time making a significant contribution to their team and organization. Creating an engaged environment requires the efforts of each member of the organization , from executive to manager to individual contributors.

Regardless of where you are in the organization, engagement starts with you!  And full engagement doesn’t just happen without you doing something about it. But before you can take control of your own engagement, you need to assess where you are today.

Assessing Your Own Level of Engagement

In order to do that, it’s helpful to reflect on both your satisfaction and your level of contribution. Start by asking yourself questions like:

Satisfaction

  • How did you feel about coming to work today?
  • How well are your top personal values being satisfied by what you do?
  • Do you have the chance to do what you do best each day?
  • Are you making progress toward personal goals?

Contribution

  • Do you clearly understand the organization’s priorities?
  • Are you focused on what matters most to the organization?
  • Are you giving discretionary effort (“110%”) and achieving results?
  • Are there obstacles (e.g., lack of resources) standing in the way of maximum contribution?

By asking yourself these questions you can start to determine if your work “works” for you? Does your work “work” for the organization? Once you know where you stand, you can start to plan how to increase your employee engagement, and take action, to enhance both your satisfaction, contribution, and professional growth.

Surveys don’t change organizational culture, people taking action do. Consider what you can do to enhance your satisfaction and contribution to the organization.  When you do, you’ll not only be increasing your own engagement, you’ll be setting yourself up for more GREAT days at work!

About the Authors

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Mary Ann Masarech

Mary Ann Masarech spent the first third of her career writing, designing, and marketing skills training for top-notch consulting firms. She acquired a broad base of instructional design and client experience building learning experiences in sales, negotiations, account management, customer service, selection interviewing and leadership skills. The programs she designed were all about the “how.” (When “X” happens, do “A, B, C.”) When she joined GP Strategies’ BlessingWhite division in 2000, Mary Ann began to explore worlds beyond skills: The internal workings of individual learners – expressed as personal values and goals, the puzzling workings of organizational culture, and the often complicated dynamics of trust and relationships at work. She quickly realized there was no going back. As Lead Consultant for BlessingWhite’s Engagement Practice, Mary Ann creates practical tools and strategies that clients worldwide apply to create successful businesses and thriving workplaces. Think of her approach as "research meets real world." She is passionate about great days at work – where individuals experience the highest levels of personal satisfaction, apply their skills to what matters most, and deliver their best work to drive their employers’ strategies. As lead consultant, she also works with senior HR and business leaders on how to take meaningful action on engagement survey results to drive organizational performance. She is co-author of The Engagement Equation: Leadership Strategies for an Inspired Workforce (Wiley, Oct 2012), has written numerous research reports and articles, and is a well-regarded speaker on the leader’s role in engagement and building a culture of engagement. Mary Ann's commitment to meaningful lives and meaningful work extends beyond her day job. She is a founding member of the Norma Pfriem Urban Outreach Initiatives, a not-for-profit that addresses food insecurity (serving 10,000 meals a year) and education of underserved adults and children. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys her mostly-empty nest with her husband, 2 cats and a dog, cooking, reading and running (not simultaneously) in her spare time.