Only 13 percent of workers across the world are “engaged” in their work, according to Gallup. That’s actually a 2 percent improvement for stats from the previous year. Still, it’s sad to think of 87 percent of workers toiling away at a job that doesn’t make them happy. What can we do, short of winning the lottery and buying the company, to make work a more engaging experience?
(Photo Credit: Kalyan Chakravarthy/Flickr)
A lot. Forty percent of our happiness is within our control, according to positive psychologists. In order to be amp up your happiness and engagement at work, try the following:
1. Put a positive spin on things.
Obviously, there are some situations that can’t be redeemed by looking at the glass as half full. But if you can get into the habit of thinking of mistakes as opportunities for improvement, you’ll feel a lot better about the inevitable snags that any project hits.
The same goes for your job. You might not love what you’re doing now, but you’re probably developing skills you can apply to something else down the line. Plus, learning what you like and don’t like about your current gig is a good way to narrow your job search in the future.
2. Give the boss a break.
“Truly exceptional bosses are relatively rare,” writes Geoffrey James at Inc. “Mediocre bosses are simply doing the best they can with what they’ve got to offer. Most mediocre bosses wish they were better, and may even be trying to hone their management skills. Just like everyone else, your boss is a work in progress.”
By cutting the boss some slack, you’ll also feel less like your happiness at work is solely determined by what he or she does, which can be empowering.
3. Tie your efforts to the company’s goals.
Whenever possible, try to see your work in its context within the company’s mission. That’s easier, of course, if you feel a real connection to your employer’s purpose, but not impossible otherwise. The point is to stop thinking of your efforts in a vacuum and start feeling a real sense of purpose about what you do.
Bottom line: It’s easier to feel engaged when you remember why your work matters.
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