12 Ways to Become an Engaged Employee

Retention in an ever-tightening labor market is one of the most challenging arenas for recruitment today. If a company’s employees are “engaged” in their work they’ll be less likely to listen to that siren call (when it comes – and it will come!) from a recruiter outside its own four walls.

Over the next decade, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects labor will become even scarcer than it is today. What can you do now to alleviate recruiter suffering within your own organization?

By helping your employees become engaged in the work they do, you can lessen the chances that your company will find itself in a serious staffing shortage down the road. Assisting your employees now with these 12 common-sense guidelines is one strategy you can implement to improve your company’s ability to preserve and develop what has become its most valuable asset – its people. Happy and satisfied employees accomplish amazing things.

Some of the advice that follows may appear contrary to a company’s objectives. Do you DARE to be so open-minded as to include this advice to your employees to help them grow strong? I suggest you do! Let the chips fall where they may. Your organization will grow stronger as a result. Remember, happy and satisfied employees accomplish amazing things.

12 Ways to Become an Engaged Employee

1. Evaluate what you’ve done right. Continue or increase your commitment to the positive ways you currently contribute as an employee.

2. Treat your employer right. In all likelihood, your employer pays you a competitive salary, some give you benefits, and training and many of them acknowledge your contributions. Give it back. Let them know you appreciate all that they do for you and the opportunity they have given you. Remember, much of this “opportunity” comes with great risk to them. Give them credit for their belief in you.

3. Get your financial information organized. If your finances are in disarray it’s a pretty good chance your work is too. Get organized and resolve to reduce and finally eliminate your debt. Check your credit reports periodically. Pay your bills on time.

4. If you’re customer-facing, increase your efforts with your employer’s best customers. If the economy turns sour in 2008, help your employer stay the course by not being one of the companies your customers “cut bait” with. Work with them, serve them well, and make sure your company is unforgettable!

5. Market yourself. In down-turns, one of the first things that get the sharp axe in most big companies is the employee roster. It’s a fact of life; stock prices drive corporate decisions. It’s nothing person-al but you need to be in a position that allows you to land on your feet. If you keep up with your own “marketing” your own market share will increase! Market, market, market (yourself)!

6. Diversify your income stream. If you’ve always wanted to own your own business, begin now. Nothing happens over-night. Just about every successful enterprise starts out small and grows daily. Begin now. Use your weekends/ evenings. Today will never come around again. (Use caution: Many people use the phrase “multiple streams of income” to lure you into bad investments or second businesses you know little about or don’t have time to manage. Don’t fall into this trap.)

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7. Make friends with and network with recruiters. You never know when one might come in handy.

8. Save money. $50 a week will compound into a fortune over 40 years. A savings account in the lean times will give you courage and help you stay the course.

9. Develop an annual business plan for your enterprise (yes, that’s YOU!). Just like for a business, develop one for yourself. Start thinking of yourself as a business and learn to make decisions for one. It can be a simple plan, but do it!

10. Attend trade shows, conferences, seminars, take classes, and gather new skills, read things! Stay up-to-date in your industry. Create a blog, talk about what’s going on for You, Inc. Contribute something some-where. Bring more to the table than you take away. Do stuff! Lose the 9-to-5 mentality. That’s what some employees have. You’re not one of THOSE, are you?

11. Think of yourself as an asset because that’s what an engaged employee is. Your brain is your most important business commodity. Add to it – nobody can ever take away what’s in it.

12. Finally, remember what truly matters. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you. Become the person you always wanted to be.

Maureen Sharib is co-owner and co-founder of TechTrak, Inc., a name sourcing firm and author of “The Magic in the Method”, the only telephone names sourcing course available today. Read Maureen’s blog, NameSourcer, here: http://maureensharib.typepad.com/namesourcer/ Copyright Maureen Sharib 2008.

Maureen Sharib has been a “Socratic sourcer” her entire sourcing career; from the moment she first picked up the faxed list of Silicon Valley high-tech companies that was her target list to “phone source” in 1996 to today she has instinctively followed this method of investigative sourcing using (mostly) the telephone.  She is a proponent of sourcing as a synonym for success and envisions the craft moving away from a dangerously drudgery-paced life-form existence to an exciting investigative/competitive place within organizations where practitioners co-exist within a framework of market research, human resources, and C-level future planning. She owns the phone sourcing and competitive intelligence firm TechTrak.com, Inc. You can contact her at Maureen at techtrak.com or call her at (513) 646-7306.  If she’s not on the phone she’ll pick up!