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How Engaged Are You at Work?

How Engaged Are You at Work?
Consider this: Only 29% of North American employees are fully engaged.
Then consider this: The academia/higher education industry has the fewest engaged—23%.*
Now more than ever, employee engagement plays a huge role in the workplace. An important factor that plays in to employee engagement is not only how your engagement level is viewed by your colleagues, peers, and even your students, but most importantly it’s about how you feel about your current job and the work you do. Your engagement level, believe it or not, is reflected during your counseling sessions with your students or clients. In a time when morale may be low and layoffs are looming, keeping employee engagement levels up can prove to be a difficult task for many managers. Yet this is the time to take charge of helping yourself to be more fully engaged in your job to deliver high-level results, and thus improve your own morale at your job.

According to the author of the new Work Engagement Profile, Ken Thomas, there are two main types of rewards that need to be understood before discovering which of these plays into engagement:

Extrinsic Rewards: These include pay raises, bonuses, and any other perks considered to be incentives which are manipulated by others, such as your manager. More often than not, workers that are motivated by these types of rewards tend to care more about the rewards than about doing quality work. As long as the work is done to meet a certain expectation to achieve these rewards, the enjoyment of doing the work is not as strong.

Intrinsic Rewards: These include psychological rewards such as recognition from others or how satisfying the work you do is to you. For example, your sense of accomplishment in knowing that your counseling sessions are helping to drive your students to a brighter future is what drives you to work in the field that you are in.

Intrinsic rewards are what the Work Engagement Profile measures. The following are four main intrinsic rewards which drive work engagement:

    1. Meaningfulness – how meaningful your work is to you.


  • Choice – the sense of choice in your job gives you the feeling that you are free to exercise your judgment and thus grants greater flexibility in your work.



  • Competence – involves how you feel about the quality of work and results you achieve.



  • Progress – your sense of advancement and accomplishment in your work.


The higher you rank in these, the more involved and thus energized you will feel to continue doing your best. According to Ken Thomas, studies have shown that those who are more engaged will report lower levels of stress, a stronger quality of life, and experience more positive emotions on the job (download the free technical brief). These positive influences are then passed on to your students and colleagues. The first step is to find out where you rank in each of these. There are three range levels in which your engagement in each of these four intrinsic rewards is categorized: high range, middle range, and low range. By knowing where you fit, the profile helps you understand your level of involvement, and provides you with action steps to put in to place.

As an A-level assessment, you don’t need to be certified in order to try it out, and help yourself to a more rewarding career. Even those who feel that they are fully engaged in their jobs may be surprised to find that there are always areas of improvement. Knowing that you are taking steps to improve in your work satisfaction will not only be rewarding to you, but those around you will also notice. If you are interested in learning more or trying out the assessment for yourself, go to our website to learn more.

*Source: “The State of Employee Engagement 2008,” BlessingWhite, Inc.

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