5 Tips to Being More Engaged in Your Job

Are you feeling a little disengaged at work? In 2015, 32 percent of U.S. workers were engaged in their current job, so rest assured you aren’t alone. The reasons for losing enthusiasm for your career can range from bad leadership to unengaging daily tasks. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to fight disengagement that will impress your employer and save your sanity.

  1. Empathize

For a moment, consider your boss or supervisor. Really put yourself in his or her shoes, especially if you have a strained relationship with leadership. Remember the pressure you feel is something he or she is feeling from executives, or from the need to keep the business afloat. While you’re sympathizing, think of your colleagues. How is your lack of engagement going to affect them? There is a good chance that a loss of job productivity on your part will cause a strain on teammates you work alongside every day. Even if you don’t happen to get along with your team, missing deadlines and having a poor attitude could affect your job-seeking reputation. Studies have shown that increasing empathy at work can lower your own stress levels, so start walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

  1. Make Contributions

Wherever possible, add your two cents. Come to meetings with an idea for a new direction on an old process or even something as simple as an insightful book you recently started reading. Speak on the idea with excitement, or support a co-worker’s contribution with enthusiasm. When you show positive interest in a project, chances are you will find yourself being a part in its implementation. This is an amazing way to reignite love for your job when the day-to-day tasks have left you feeling less connected. Additionally, this involvement will show you and management how strong of a skillset you have as an employee. Even if you end up walking away from the position, you’ll have a wide range of skills to take with you.

  1. Smile

Have you ever heard the phrase, “when you smile at the world, the world smiles back?” Well, science has proven there is a bit of real truth to that statement. Research has shown that when we smile, our brain reacts chemically. Scientists have found smiles actually are contagious, and you can fool your brain into making your whole body and mood better by simply flashing a genuine grin. While at work, no matter how sour you feel, smile at your co-workers, supervisor and even the delivery guy or gal.

  1. Get to Know Your Co-workers

Did you know that 40 percent of employees claimed one of the top reasons they loved their job was due to the workplace friendships they formed? Taking the time to bond with fellow employees makes for a better team environment and also increases the chances someone will be willing to support you through tough times. Not to mention the possibility of getting more tasks crossed off your list since 66 percent of employees said positive relationships increased their productivity.

  1. Take a Break/Vacation
    Occupational stress has been—and probably always will be—a concern for us. In the U.S., 60 percent of adults listed work as a top cause of stress, second only to money. Heavy workloads are the top source of stress for North American employees, so we often believe the only way to ease the problem is to work overtime. Employers also worry that taking a vacation—or even a sick day—might look bad to colleagues or management. Lose that fear because 70 percent of HR professionals think vacation is extremely important for inspiring creativity. The break will recharge your brain and inspire more creativity, which is something important to all departments.

Working to increase your own engagement might be all it takes to rediscover the love for your career. If after all your hard work, you still can’t seem to find peace with your employer or position, it might be time to make a change.