BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Posted by 365SoulNotes on February 8, 2010

Anybody remember that old Almond Joy/Mounds ad slogan?  “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!”

That’s how I feel about working some days.  Some days I feel it…I really, really do.  I love my job, I feel like my work matters, and the task at hand is interesting.

Other days…not so much. 

Which made me wonder, what is the difference between the days I’m engaged and the days I spend the majority of my 8-hours in the office surfing the web and updating my Facebook status?

When it comes down to it, the answer for me is…INTERACTION!

But what does that mean?  Certainly it’s not reasonable to think there will always be an exciting new project, a creative brainstorming meeting, or even constant feedback from my boss to keep me dialed into the workplace every minute of every day.

Although I know I need to motivate myself and do what my employer is paying me to do, I have noticed there are days when that task comes much easier than others.  Those days typically involve some kind of interaction within the office (or virtual environment).

When I interact with my colleagues, boss, or clients my motivation is higher to produce…especially when I feel like what I’m doing will benefit the team.  Interaction doesn’t have to be constant.  In fact, it can come in a number of forms:

  • Mentorship from people in positions from whom I aspire to learn
  • Being brought into projects and asked for my insight (because even though I might not have the most experience, my perspective is still valuable)
  • Having clear goals or deliverables from my boss (there’s nothing worse than coming into work and not being expected to produce SOMETHING by the end of the day/week/month)
  • Being told what the bigger picture is and how what I’m doing fits into it
  • Having a forum to touch base with colleagues about projects we are working on so we can share, combine or better use resources
  • Using social media tools to connect with others & gather ideas about a project I’m working on

Some people may prefer to be left alone to figure things out for themselves. Others may prefer incentive-based motivation.  Me…I like to feel like a crucial part of the team. 

What about you?  How could your employer increase your engagement at work?

  • What working environment makes you operate at your best?
  • What motivates you to produce?
  • What kind of engagement do you just WISH your employer would provide?!

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email us at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want”

  1. Cassie said

    I like the following points you mentioned:
    # Being brought into projects and asked for my insight (because even though I might not have the most experience, my perspective is still valuable)
    This is really important in order to feel like part of the team. If the insight is not going to used/received it would be nice to hear that the input was valuable for a different project and that it can be revisited. That’s positive reinforcement. It’s better than being shot down and being told, “that won’t work”.
    # Having clear goals or deliverables from my boss (there’s nothing worse than coming into work and not being expected to produce SOMETHING by the end of the day/week/month)
    TOO True. Some bosses aren’t good at this.

  2. Cassie,

    Glad these points hit home with you…always nice to hear we’re not alone in our thinking, isn’t it?!

    I agree it’s no fun being shot down. A lot of time, fear of being shot down will prevent new hires from sharing ideas. This is a shame because sometimes an outside or new perspective could really benefit an employer. Knowing this, bosses should do their best to foster an environment that invites comments. If they won’t work, that’s fine…but instead of shooting them down, explaining WHY they won’t work might be a better option!

    As for clear goals…again, I agree!! Often, not being able to set them for other people is a function of not knowing how to wade thru all the stuff on your own plate!! I’ve worked with bosses by going in and asking, “Which of these projects needs to be a priority?” If that doesn’t work…then I just get to work on what I think is fun to work on. Win-win!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: