Be Engaged: Positioning Yourself for Success
When people speak about employee engagement, management and supervisors are often noted as bearing the brunt of the responsibility. It is the upper echelons who are supposed to be responsible for fostering employee engagement, right? While they do have a part to play, it isn’t solely up to them. Don’t forget that you are in charge of your attitude and reactions, and you can have autonomy over your own career.
It helps to know what is and isn’t employee engagement. A happy employee might enjoy team outings to the bowling alley, but that doesn’t equate to engagement.1 Engaged employees have demonstrable dedication to their organization’s mission and core values. This doesn’t mean that they never have a bad day, or that they have to be perfect all the time. It does mean, however, that they willingly, and without prompting, put forth their best effort to support the organization in reaching its goals.
So, how do you take employee engagement into your own hands?
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Engagement begins before you even enter the interview room. Be sure to visit the organization’s website to learn its mission and core values prior to shaking hands with the human resources manager. Ask yourself if your values fit with those of the organization.
Tom Clancy, the Operations Director of the Laboratory Medicine Program at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), explains, “What really impresses me about a candidate coming in for an interview is how well they prepared for the interview. Have they done any research on the position, and have they done any research regarding the organization? When I see that coming out in the interview, I am generally pretty impressed because it shows a different level of professionalism and maturity that you may not see in other candidates. For me, it’s really about fit. If you don’t have that fit, it could be problematic.”
Find opportunities where you can constructively share your ideas on how to improve or address issues in the lab. Christine Bruce is the Administrative Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario. At her hospital, there is an “idea board” where employees can open a ticket to voice their concerns. The employee who opens the ticket needs to explain what the challenge is, why they think it is happening and what they are hoping to gain by changing the process. This allows employees to take ownership of the process.
You can share ideas in other ways, including newsletters, huddles or team meetings. Join and be active in one of your organization’s committees. Positioning yourself for success in the lab requires personal engagement, which can be as simple as raising your hand and saying you have something to contribute. Do this, and you might be pleasantly surprised to see how far you can go in your career.
Do you want to learn more about employee engagement?
Visit webinars.csmls.org to register online for Christine Bruce’s webinar, “Chicken & Floor Wax: The secret to employee engagement.”
You will earn CE hours for successful completion of this webinar.
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1 What is Employee Engagement https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement webinar.what-and-why/#3edeeb987f37
Kate Hendriks is the Marketing & Communications Associate for the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS). This article was originally published in the Canadian Journal Of Medical Laboratory Science (CJMLS), Vol. 80, no.4 (2018). It has been republished here with permission.