5 tips to boost your own workplace engagement

The onus is on companies to inspire workers and elevate morale, but employees can stoke their own engines by recognizing strengths, sharing gratitude and trying new things.

Getting people excited about work starts with clarity of purpose and strategy.

By connecting goals and actions from the bottom to the top, employees know what they’re working toward. An intranet is a support tool to increase engagement through company news, blogging, goal setting, celebrations, employee recognition, job opportunities and promotions, but employees ultimately must motivate themselves.

From the employer’s perspective, the biggest responsibility is hiring the right people and then providing encouragement, ownership and opportunities to learn.

On the employee side, here are five ways to stay engaged at work:

1. Know your strengths.

Being self-aware is key to understanding where you’ll fit in and how you can complement those around you. There are many free or cheap assessment tools such as StrengthsFinder and True Colors.

Look for opportunities in the workplace where your skill sets match well. Ideally, you want to highlight specific strengths on your employee profile and showcase how you’ve used them to ensure you end up where you can thrive.

2. Win together.

In his book ” 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” author Stephen Covey discusses the importance of mutually beneficial relationships. When you win at work, it’s probably because you’ve had tremendous support from those around you.

Show gratitude through public recognition or heartfelt thank-yous to all those who help in your success. Publish virtual “high fives” to your intranet to promote group accomplishments and share the glory.

3. Be an owner—or let others step up.

Progress comes to a grinding halt when no clear owner is established. Workflows jam up. Projects wither, and campaigns fizzle.

Seize opportunities to take charge and to tackle projects that need a new champion. On the flipside, knowing how (and when) to delegate is just as important. Don’t be afraid to yield responsibilities to colleagues who can expand their knowledge and help the team by taking a few things off your plate.

4. Embrace discomfort.

No matter where you are in your career, the best way to grow is by putting yourself in situations that force you to try new things. Look for challenges that align to your capabilities and incorporate them into your workload.

It might not work out, but you won’t know until you try. You also might uncover a hidden talent.

5. Employee engagement is the key to success.

The most engaged, efficient employees are always seeking improvement. Take advantage of in-house training, shadow top co-workers, watch webinars and read relevant industry resources.

Also take time to learn about your company’s customers. Who are they? What motivates them? How do they like to be communicated with?

Good companies will support training, but don’t just see this as a chance to beef up your own knowledge. Capture key takeaways, and share them with your team.

The true indication of success is when you’re able to thrive in your own work, streamline processes and empower those around you. Your workplace environment and culture might inhibit your efforts, but if you remain ambitious, curious, gracious and wise, you can be your own mini-CEO.

Rob Nikkel is CEO of Intranet Connections. A version of this post first appeared on the Intranet Connections blog.

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