Learn about the National Standard – Engagement

On average, Canadian workers spend about 60%
of their waking hours at work. Wouldn’t it be nice if your workplace not
only made you feel connected but also motivated you to do your best at your job? Do YOU feel motivated when you are at work? Does YOUR work give you a sense of personal
accomplishment? What makes YOU feel inspired at work? Answering these questions can help you look
at how engaged you are in your workplace. Feeling engaged at work is about how CONNECTED
you feel to your job. Maybe you can RELATE to the overall MISSION
of your company. Perhaps you have a STRONG COMMITMENT to seeing
your organization succeed. Maybe you find the work you do really makes
a DIFFERENCE. Or maybe work is just work, but your workplace
makes you feel part of a community. Let’s look at an example. This is Michael. Michael has worked as a middle-school biology
teacher for 10 years. If you knew Michael, you would know that he
LOVES biology. It is definitely his passion. The class that Michael teaches has many kids
living with learning disabilities. He feels like he really makes an impact on
his students. Recently, Michael had been asked to teach
a semester of math to an advanced class, instead of his biology class. Michael is open to new opportunities… however,
after trying it out for two months, he feels less motivated and less connected to his job. The school principal has noticed that Michael
isn’t quite as engaged. In Michael’s story, it is quite clear that
he feels that the topic of biology is very important for his job satisfaction. He also feels like he makes a bigger difference
with the students who require more support in the classroom. The reasons why someone feels engaged in their
job can differ from person to person. In Michael’s example, a different teacher
may be more engaged depending on the age group they are teaching, where the school is located,
or how much support they get from colleagues. Engagement can be seen in three ways. Being physically engaged means that you are
applying yourself at your job. If you are PHYSICALLY engaged in your job,
you may see work as a source of energy. If you are EMOTIONALLY engaged at work, you
may find that work brings out your passionate side. You probably have a positive outlook at work
as well. If you are COGNITIVELY engaged in your work,
you may find that you become absorbed in the type of work you are doing. You may be willing to devote more time or
energy than is required, just because you find it interesting. Knowing yourself, including knowing what is
important to you when you are at work… what you value… what interests you…what your
talents are… are all important aspects of what makes you, YOU! The more you know, the more you can share
with your supervisor and have an open conversation to ensure your job gives you the opportunity
to remain engaged. Research shows that engaged employees have
high morale at work and develop good relationships with other colleagues, clients, and customers. This ultimately leads to more retention of
skilled employees at work. Speaking with your supervisor can help to
ensure your work matches with what matters to you. If Michael’s principal recognizes the sign
of change in Michael, she could initiate a conversation with him. It is important for the principal or any supervisor
to notice when staff are becoming disengaged. This way, action can be taken before someone
becomes unhappy and decides to leave. They can talk about what Michael needs to
keep him engaged during this semester and then look at returning to the work that he
really CARES about. Relationships also matter. Having a good working relationship with the
person you report to, as well as your coworkers, can also affect your engagement at work. What is one way that you can increase your
level of engagement at work over the next month? Could this involve having a conversation with
your colleague or supervisor? Engagement is one of 13 factors that support
psychological health and safety in the workplace. Learn more at: MentalHealthCommission.ca/NationalStandard For more resources for your workplace, check
out haveTHATtalk.ca Developed in collaboration by Ottawa Public
Health and the Mental Health Commission of Canada With content adapted with permission from
Mindful Employer Canada And support from Bell Let’s Talk.

Michael Martin

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