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Back in 2013, Gallup released a report that roughly 70 percent of people were either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. And with engagement being directly tied to productivity, work quality, job satisfaction, and morale, it’s no wonder why so many employers are bending over backwards to make sure you’re happy with your job.

But engagement is still a relatively new concept for many businesses. It’s understood in principle, yet those in leadership can struggle with its practice.

That’s why it’s so important for employees to take charge of their own engagement. And according to experts, loving your job has less to do with the job itself and more to do with you. So, the next time you’re feeling unsatisfied at work, try the following to improve your own level of engagement:

1. Make the first hour count.

How you begin your morning often sets the tone for the rest of the workday. In fact, more than 60 percent of people claim they’re at their most productive between 6 a.m. and noon. If you make the first hour of work count, you’ll just get more done by the time lunch rolls around than most people do by even the end of day.

Instead of frittering away that first precious hour on emails or chitchat, get in the mindset to be productive by focusing on important tasks. Make a to-do list for the day — or get to work on the one you made yesterday, which is actually a much better habit to get into. That way, when you show up to work, you know exactly what needs to be done.

Long story short, progress can be motivational. Even the smallest of wins can inspire you to keep checking tasks off that list. And by day’s end, you’ll have accomplished more than you ever thought possible. Talk about rewarding.

2. Seek out learning opportunities.

Most companies these days have development programs available to staff. But if your company isn’t one of them, don’t let that stop you from learning new skills. Create your own development program by attending conferences and classes. Or consider asking for a “stretch assignment” — one that’s just outside your current skills set.

When you actively seek out learning opportunities and develop new skills, leadership will take notice and start seeing you as someone deserving of more responsibilities. While this can most certainly lead to a better job, there’s also something very gratifying when you can demonstrate and use what you’ve learned to make a real contribution at work.

3. Make a difference outside the office.

Doing good is just good business. It’s also not bad for improving your engagement at work. According to the Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey, you’re almost twice as likely to be “very satisfied” with your career when participating in workplace volunteer activities.

But if your company doesn’t have a formal program, consider starting one yourself — with the help of your colleagues, of course. You’ll need some assistance finding the right charity, educating staff, determining the level of involvement, etc.…oh, and let’s not forget, getting approval from leadership to even start one.

4. Make a difference inside the office.

People who want more gratification at work can find it in the last place they often look: coworkers. Doing things that help colleagues have better days can have a positive impact on your own attitude.  So, start asking people about their day or if you can help them out in some way. It’ll change the way you feel on the inside.

Besides, relationships in the workplace — and we’re talking positive relationships here — can actually improve your engagement. For example, women who have a best friend in the workplace are more than twice as likely to be engaged while on the job, while having a best friend at work can improve the performance of both women and men.

5. Take on a new perspective.

Far too many of us look at our jobs as if we’re working “for” an employer, which is partly true. It’s not like we’re signing our own paychecks. But what can really make a difference with our perception of the workplace is to think differently about our relationship with the employer.

Instead of looking at employment as working for someone, flip the script and start working with someone. Consider yourself a partner in the organization’s success. After all, your contributions are doing just as much for you and your career as they are for the company’s bottom line.

Taking control of your job and career isn’t as difficult as you might think. It’s all about changing how you approach your day and think about your employment. Once you make these slight alterations, you’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel about your contributions at work.

If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your satisfaction and engagement at work, or would like to discuss opportunities for different employment, please feel free to contact us today. A member of our team would be more than happy to explore your employment options and help you take an additional step to advancing your career.

Questions? Need more information?

We’re here to help!