Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association Weekly (7/30/12)

This week's contents:

Topic of the Week  Re-Engage at Work

Re-Engage at Work, Executive Summary:

  • Reward and recognize yourself.
  • Boundaries.
  • In right job.
  • Connect with coworkers.

Fighting Recession Fatigue: Re-Engaging at Work

Most of us are facing recession fatigue. Less pay, more work and no sign that it'll change anytime soon. So it should be no surprise, according to a recent poll by Towers Watson, only 37% of us are highly engaged at work. While 27% felt unsupported, 13% detached and 23% actively disengaged. Ouch. Which reminds me of an article that I read on cow-fighting in Aproz, Switzerland. And you thought the X-Games was goofy, the "action" here is mostly head-butting with abundant slobber. The contest is won when a cows loses interest and wanders away.

Reminds me of the disengaged at many workplaces. With one exception, they do wander away mentally, but not physically. No wonder it can be such a challenge to get stuff done in today's workplace. But I want to take a different tact here, what if you're the disengaged person? Say you disengaged from your job sometime late in 2009? For anyone who resembles that remark, I'll offer four practical strategies for re-engaging yourself at work.

Reward and recognize yourself. The Towers Watson study also found that less than half of the people who responded had faith in the leaders of their company. Do you see the problem in relying on people you don't have faith in to reward and recognize you? That's why we've all got to learn to do it for ourselves. Celebrate every little victory. Build up your self-esteem away from work through hobbies and volunteering. Don't wait for an "atta-boy" or "atta-girl" from your boss, give yourself a pat on the back, regularly.
Boundaries. Family time is important. Don't let your company continue to eat away at the things that make you sane, your life away from work. Every time your boss tries to pile new assignments on your plate, negotiate about what you'll stop doing to make room. Sure, you won't always be successful, but you need to do everything you can to establish reasonable boundaries for yourself at work.

In right job. Your job should matter to you. If it doesn't, work will just be one huge drag. Hiring is showing some signs of picking up. So start prowling for a gig that will mean something to you beyond a paycheck.

Connect with coworkers. Okay, to many of you that is just crazy talk. Coworkers aren't part of the solution, they're the major problem. I get it that your coworkers can drive you crazy. Heck, spending 8 hours a day with anyone can push your buttons. Remember, they can also provide support, humor and energy to you, but only when you put energy into them and not just your boss.
I don't want you to have a cow on me, but I'm going back to the cow fighting for one final point. One of the cow owners pointed out one additional pleasure in raising championship cows, "It's still a cow. I can eat her." Use these tips to reengage at work so you don't have to get eaten up where you work.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

Thought of the Week

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it's ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life thinking it's stupid."

–Albert Einstein

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from Towers Watson

    Engagement matters: Engaged employees vs. non engaged

    • Companies with engaged employees had a 19% in income in twelve months
    • While companies with disengaged employees suffered a 34% decrease in income 

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