Posted on 6/07/2016 by Simon Bruce
13 percent of staff are really into their work. That is, in summary, the surprising result of a recent global survey. Of the lucky ones in this group, some of their responses are shown below. These should give management some clear action points, if not already in place, to introduce changes. Positive respondents said: -
I have the tools and technology in my office to do my work well. I had positive feedback on the quality of my work in the last week. I feel I am valued. I am motivated by the aims of my company and I am really proud of what the company does and what I do. My work colleagues feel the same as I do and we do our best. I have had a meeting with my manager to discuss how I can develop in the future within my company and this has been within the last six months. I have work training and this lets me develop my skills.
So for those not in this group, while waiting for management to respond, are there things you can do to improve how you feel about your work?
There are stories of how people were inspired by competitors and then changed jobs. One example was an accountant, in a stable job with much of the same tasks each year. He accepted a post with a mobile telephone company, after being convinced he would be on the leading edge of new technology with a phone that could take photos and revolutionise people's lives. He was lit up, inspired, motivated, energised. He manifested this change himself by recognising the feeling in himself when reviewing the opportunity offered to him. It gave him a more focussed, intense, meaning for what he was doing, a new purpose.
It is well known that if you are doing work you really enjoy then it is not only a pleasure but also something you can excel with and climb and climb up the career ladder.
If staying in your existing post, then there may be things you can do to make your work space more pleasing for you (and still be within company guidelines). Also, see if you can identify someone you respect who would be willing to act as your unofficial mentor. Also take note of colleagues with whom you feel at ease and in agreement with, recognising you share similar priorities and tastes. These people can be a good sounding board, and be a point of contact if you need to let off steam but also as a true friend they give their perspective on an issue, before you choose whether or not to escalate it. Also, if they get head hunted, they will probably put in a good word for you at their new company. Don't forget when these colleagues or indeed any contact at work offers help, thank them for their help. Remember how it makes you feel when you are acknowledged, when you have contributed and helped. Hopefully the management style in the company will be regularly showing this, by their example.
There are variations, often very visible, as to how people behave when comparing behaviour in different countries. You will know in some locations the respected protocol of bowing and being seen to study carefully the business card you have just been given by the person you are meeting.
Another example is in some countries smiling can be seen as a sign of insincerity. This response is in the minority and being visible with signs that you are content, welcoming and being keen to help, and smiling, with the appropriate amount of eye contact to show you are listening, will not only help the communication process, it will make you feel happier as well.
One of the issues people who work from home are finding is that they actually miss the journey to work as this provides, literally, a space of separation between any domestic worries and their work environment. It is recognised advice that is it better to maintain this divide even if you are not travelling. Divide your day. Also, don't forget photos and or comments you place on social media for your friends, can also be seen by your manager and competitors and HR not only in your current company but also in the company to whom one day you might apply for a job! Do you really want to write that post now? Think about how it would look when you are applying for that new role in the future! This is easier to monitor if you have a high level career plan. OK, if you are going into show business, to make people laugh, then you may also choose to shock, but otherwise .... you may be lowering your career ceiling all by yourself.
There are reports of world renowned military generals who placed non-negotiable personal time in their daily agenda to chill out, to reflect, to empty their mind of the hurly burly of activity - "no commander who's daily life is spent in the consideration of details and who has not time for quiet thought and reflection can make a sound plan of battle on a high level or conduct large scale operations efficiently".
There are examples of behaviour, for example companies where if you look at their work place, it is totally organised, even drawers, all is immaculate. These companies, led by work (and home) habits of their founders, are excelling in their markets.
This is the same across all activities in life not only just for work. There is a recent best-selling book from the USA on how to organise. Readers have responded by saying how it has led to huge benefits across their life - not just in how they fold their clothes! This together with an intelligent and informed view on what you eat, all goes towards making huge differences to not only how you feel but as if by magic, also how your career progresses and how you feel about your career.
Stay focussed, try to retain focus on one issue at a time and then once completed move to the next task. Also take some exercise when you can and certainly try to adopt and stick to recommended levels of sport or even walking many times in every week. This also gives you time to remember what you have achieved that day. I, perhaps all of us, remember days when it has been so hectic, we cannot remember just what were all the tasks we completed - we just feel totally exhausted. Well, pat yourself on the back and get that feeling of pride - you DO deserve it.