A lot of my work with leaders and teams is centered around how to increase and sustain employee engagement. When people first begin their jobs, they are typically fully engaged, but this initial enthusiasm eventually fades into "what's next?" or thinking the bamboo grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
One of my biggest pet peeves is while a person is at work they say, "I am so glad it's Friday." Why does this bother me so much? Because I feel like they are not engaged where they are – this may or not be true but I want to say to them, "Figure out a way to enjoy where you are." If you're only engaged on the weekend or when you're not at work, you're really missing out on one of life's greatest joys: being engaged at work.
Here are four strategies to stay more engaged at work:
1. Go deeper in the job you currently have.
If you want to feel more fulfilled in your life, you must dig deeper into your current job. Even if you think your daily tasks are meaningless, it's important to remember that it's not the tasks themselves that matter. Rather, it's your attitude and approach to the tasks and your willingness to continue learning. And while it may seem counter intuitive, being present and dedicating time to your job right now is the first step to your dream job.
2. Show up with a desire to be present.
It's difficult to stay engaged in your current job when your mind is wandering elsewhere half the time. If you want to stay focused on your tasks throughout the day, you must be present. Being present isn't easy, but it can become second nature with a little bit of practice and a lot of intention. Find ways to be present, from moment to moment.
3. Be engaged.
Staying engaged is easier said than done, and it's something many people struggle with. If you're able to stay engaged on important tasks you will become more productive and be more fulfilled. As a result, you will be noticed and rewarded for your efforts. For an example, if a restaurant server is particularly engaged in attending to you, you are likely to leave a larger tip. Similarly, when a server is disengaged in his or her duties and seems focused on other tasks, it can lead to frustration and a smaller tip and you may even decide not to return to the restaurant.
4. Take one step at a time.
To truly advance, you must learn to tackle the annoying, minute, and challenging tasks on your list. It's kind of like climbing stairs: you can skip a few steps to get to the top, but the only way to avoid tripping and falling is to take one step at a time.
Please add to the conversation—comment below or on Twitter at @gregbellspeaks.