Three years of a dismal economy has worn down a lot of people. While some people (about 20% according to most engagement surveys) have maintained their passion, a large majority have lost their mojo. Tired of a flat attitude and just going through the motions? Here’s a three-step process for jump-starting your work environment.
Rediscover your passion
Just about everyone has had a motivating work experience sometime in their lives. (If you haven’t, give me a call and we’ll talk.) For many of us though, that experience may have occurred long ago in the past. Your first task to jump start your work environment is to rediscover that passion. When was the last time you truly loved a job? Make sure it’s a real example.
The reason I’m asking for a specific example is because I want to find a time when you actually experienced the environment you’d like to recreate. Your past behavior is the best predictor of your future behavior. If you want to know what would create an engaging environment now, identify a time when you were engaged in the past.
Now, here’s the second part. What was it about that job that made it so great? Be a good detective. Don’t overlook any clue. (Here are a couple of possibilities I’ve heard from others if you’re having trouble identifying your personal motivators off of the top of your head.)
- My boss cared about me as a person
- My colleagues cared about me.
- The work was very meaningful
- It was a fun, collaborative environment.
- I had a lot of freedom and authority in how I did my work.
- The work was varied and interesting.
- I had a clear sense of what I was trying to do.
- I was growing and learning a lot.
- I felt involved and in the know.
Develop a plan
Now that you’ve got some data, it’s time to take some action. What can you do to build those components into your current job? Two cautions; don’t look outside yourself and don’t focus on what you don’t have. You are looking to re-engage yourself—not discover what is wrong with your present environment or what others should do.
Instead, think of ways that you can build more connectedness, growth, meaning, and involvement into your present job.
Work the plan
Your last step is to take some action this week. What can you do to reconnect with your boss or colleagues? How can you rediscover the meaning in your work? What steps can you take to provide some growth and variety in your work environment?
Happiness is a discipline
Taking action is one of the great antidotes for worry—and taking action in a positive direction is especially beneficial. (Don’t you feel a little boost already—just thinking about it?)
Shake the rust off of your positive attitude. Send yourself in the direction you want to go.