It is every employer’s dream to get the talented, experienced and domain experts onboard. While it is crucial to get the crème de la crème eventually it all boils down to nothing if employees don’t find themselves in an environment that is enriching and engaging and where they continue learning.
For those of you who haven’t guessed yet we are talking about employee engagement. Some of you may smug at the mention of this term but let us tell you that it is not the new buzz word in town. The term ‘employee engagement’ was first introduced almost three decades ago by William A Kahn. He defined it as “the degree of psychological identification employees experience with their job role or work persona.” Unfortunately, most organisations actually overlook it and naturally the talent pool suffers a setback.
Exploring the underlying meaning of employee engagement further, a Forbes article states that it is much more than employee satisfaction and happiness. It has a lot to do with “emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” So, if you are sitting in your cubicle or wherever and reading this and feeling dissatisfied with work then your time is NOW. Delay your decision of putting down your papers and trust that what we’re going to ask you to do isn’t going to be a futile exercise. Get up. Talk to your boss because that’s the only way you will be heard and also get to know if you’re headed in the right direction.
My current role profile isn’t challenging enough
Saying this will convey that you are willing to shoulder challenging work than what you are currently assigned. Bosses know that not many dare say this because it only mean foregoing comfort and easy work. Anyway, you being you, if you express your intention to charter a new territory you are surely going to be rewarded in more ways than expected. It is only when you challenge yourself do you open yourself to new opportunities that make you learn the tricks of your trade.
“I want you to help me tap my skills and give my best”
The moment you feel disengaged from work and see your confidence graph dipping is when you should startle and raise your hand. Send a meeting request to your boss and in the ensuing discussion express your concern of not being able to reaching your full potential. Your willingness to work hard is enough to convey your seriousness. You will be one of those employees who the company can’t risk letting go. Finally, once you’ve come out of your shell it becomes your boss’ responsibility to align your talent with the quality of work assigned to you. Do make it a point to follow up though.
I’m not quite fit for the role I’m assigned
This statement is a strong one to make because you admit to being underused or sense that you are working on something which is below your qualification and experience. If you do say this then make sure your fact file is ready. Present your preferences corroborated with evidence as facts will be hard to ignore. Talk about previous projects that you brought to fruition or contributed to and how fulfilling it was to you. Give them a reason to rethink the plan they have for you so that you aren’t stuck in the rut against your wishes. As a matter of fact, also point out aspects of work that are not working for you. It is highly likely that this brainstorming session is going to help both you and your manager arrive at a conclusion.
Timeout! I’m overworked
You may be delivering projects after projects and beating deadlines left, right and centre, but what good does it promise if you feel burnt out. Every once in a while you would want to slow down and escape the whirlwind of work thrown at you just because you are a ‘star performer’. Remember that this may prove to be a difficult conversation as your boss would want you to stay in-charge and keep things going. Having said that you must be ready with your answers and give them alternatives like hiring more people or telling them to check with you first about your bandwidth of taking more work.
If despite these discussions you still feel lost and underwhelmed then take time to figure out what next you want to do. Think of what your ideal job is and compare it with your current role and responsibilities. Examine every aspect of your current profile before jumping to conclusions and grabbing another opportunity. Often times it is factors like friends leaving work or a bad boss situation among a host of others that can result in dissatisfaction from work. Make sure you are diagnosing right.
Anyway, as you know, in the end it is you who knows best how trapped you feel in the job. Remember “if you don't like where you are move, you are not a tree.”