By Madison Colbert
Learning that the engagement rate of employees across the world is an extremely low percentage was shocking to me. Reflecting back to the people I have witnessed in a professional setting, I always thought that everyone seemed to be quite engaged in their work… at least it looked this way. I also thought back to my own professional experience last summer working in a property management office. Although it was an extremely small office of four people and it was not easy to get away with disengagement, I could not imagine going day after day without getting all my work done. To think that people come into work, dread every second, and stare at the clock waiting for 5 o’clock to arrive, seems like a sad way to live.
My boss was in the perfect position to look over my shoulder at my computer screen. I was constantly paranoid if she was watching my every move. However, after a few weeks of this paranoia, my fear dissipated and I found myself doing what I was supposed to do without much need for extra motivation. It came pretty naturally to want to get my work done. Why is this so difficult for others to want to get their work done?
After much thought and talking to various people over the course of my 21 years about their work, the ones who are most engaged are the ones who are passionate and intrigued by what they do, who are constantly challenging themselves and learning something new, more often than not. I have found that the people who play it safe, are only in their profession for monetary reasons or experience redundancy on a daily basis and are typically the ones that struggle with engagement.
Because it was my first job and most of what I was doing was new and exciting to me, this was the reason engagement came so naturally to me. So, taking what I’ve learned into account as I plan out my future, in order to not fall under the high percentage of the disengaged workforce, I will choose an industry, field, or profession that will challenge me and force me to think and learn almost everyday. The more that people have challenges, variation from day to day, and some sort of passion about what they do, the less disengagement will factor into the workplace. As we enter into the workforce in the next few years, it’s important for college students to truly think and investigate, because choosing a career and industry wisely is key to raising the percentage for engagement in the workplace.