Talking to your co-workers could be the key to a more productive day
12 April 2019 at 2:49 pm
Finding that you’re not loving your job? According to new research, collaborating with your colleagues and practicing mindfulness could be the answer to being more engaged at work.
The research, published by Curtin University, examined the different ways organisations could help their employees stay physically, cognitively and emotionally involved in their roles.
It found that employees could actually take matters into their own hands, by making an effort to learn new skills, and collaborate with their co-workers to get the most out of their work.
Dr Caroline Knight from the Future of Work Institute based at Curtin University, said work engagement was incredibly important for an organisation because of the vast benefits for employees.
“Employee engagement has been linked to increased wellbeing, organisational commitment, and work performance, but can also contribute to decreased burnout, sickness absence and turnover. It is essential for organisations to have engaged employees in order to remain competitive in the workforce,” Knight said.
She told Pro Bono News individual changes to work habits to increase engagement didn’t have to be enormous.
“Individuals can improve their work quite dramatically by changing little things, like setting goals each day to do something different, maybe find out more about what a colleague is working on, or see how you can collaborate on a project with someone,” Knight said.
But she said the onus wasn’t just on the individual to make a change, and required good leadership, and a good organisational culture to increase engagement.
“It’s empowering for individuals who have a workplace where a manager is supportive of people getting together and being one being creative and innovative. I think that’s very important,” she said.
“If they don’t feel supported, employees may be reluctant to give up their working time to take part in something which they are not sure is endorsed by their manager.”
The research also found that employees who practiced mindfulness, stress management, exercise and relaxation programs were also more likely to stay engaged, as the activities helped to reduce stress anxiety and depression.
Knight said while it might be difficult to run mindfulness or relaxation programs during work hours, having a workplace that allowed for employees to explore those programs would be beneficial to everyone.
“It’s about creating a workplace culture that allows individuals to branch out and do things like that,” she said.