The State of the American Workplace survey from Gallop sure is getting a lot of press. Not surprising considering it revealed that only 30% of US workers report being engaged at their jobs. Susan David’s recent HBR blog post is an excellent response piece to this survey as it actually provides some insight on what employers should do to fix this huge problem. David’s fantastic tips include encouraging grassroots engagement, allowing for social support and feedback, and checking back in with your employees on a regular, consistent basis. She writes, “What would it take to engage half, three quarters or 100% of the workforce? Imagine what it would mean to business success, employee happiness and productivity.” We think following David’s advice is a good start to improving engagement numbers.
Preparing for a job interview can be very time consuming, especially the effort of trying to memorize stock answers to anticipated questions. Alan Henry suggests that, as a job prospect, you would benefit more by spending your time preparing “three good, broad stories of times you were proud of your work, worked under pressure, and that illustrates your skills and expertise.” This is an effective strategy because these stories can then be applied to any question the interviewer asks of you. Having a comfortable story that you’re prepared to give will help the interview feel more natural, instead of a simple question-and-answer session. An interview that feels more like a conversation is known to yield better results for job prospects.
The language we use at work can very much affect the overall company culture. Liz Ryan writes that, “The language cements the corporate frame, the mental model that carries with is all kinds of beliefs.” From the time we enter the workforce, we’re taught a new set of words to use, words that we would never use in our lives outside of the office. Ryan continues, “We don’t have to talk and write like robots at work. We can talk about the culture around us like a living thing, because it is.” Wouldn’t a more natural set of vocabulary make our time spent at work more natural and comfortable?