This started out as a simple discussion topic on Gearheads Without Borders, but it’s worth sharing here.
Do you care about what you do for a living? Does it matter? Or are you just another brick in the wall; working just hard enough to not get fired, since the company’s made it clear you won’t see additional reward for additional effort?
My friend Valeria posted this. It’s solid advice not just on how to stay employable, but also how to keep those you employ engaged. (When you pay someone to do something, you’re employing them, by the way.)
THE GEARHEAD ANGLE
In this piece, Valeria shares Gallups 12 questions on employee engagement. Want to feel empowered? Reframe them into things you can do to make a difference. Here’s what I think that looks like:
- Let people know what you expect and how you’ll evaluate it. Make it easy for them to focus on delivery, not translation.
- Jobs aside, spend more time doing the work you can do right because you already have the materials and equipment you need to do it right. Get better at what you’re good at.
- Find time to either do what you do best or learn about how to improve what you do best every day. Even if you can only find a couple minutes, it’s worth it.
- Recognize someone for doing good work at least once a week. Don’t just like a post on Facebook. Leave a comment and tell them why you like it.
- Show someone – a noobie, a peer – you care about them as a person. Not neccessarily the slovenly, illiterate reprobate who refuses to use the search, but keep an eye out for people genuinely trying. People who feel important tend to act important.
- Encourage someone you know who is trying to get better. Let him or her know you can see the effort. Everyone could use a pat on the back from time to time.
- Why waste a good idea on deaf ears? Save your opinions for places they count – like this community. ;)
- Get involved somewhere the mission or purpose feels important. Could be a forum, could be a local club or charity. Could be an online magazine that wants to help you build high performance machines & lives.
- Seek out and spend more time with people who care about quality work. We all hate half-assed, shoddy workmanship. It’s good to be a positive role model, but find opportunities to revel in real craftsmanship when you can.
- Find a best friend in the automotive world. (Bonus: Make a gearhead friend on the other side of the world.)
- Talk to a fellow gearhead about his or her progress every couple of months or so. Find out what’s working, what’s not, and how you can help. If you can “rally the troops,” you could be a real hero to a gearhead brother or sister.
- Jump at the opportunity to learn something new at least once a year. Let go of your preconceptions and go with the flow with gearheads who do something you’ve never done. Talk to the guys with the rolled fenders at the local Stance meet. Ask a modified street bike owner about his mods. Find a mentor.
Staying employable is important, but what really speaks to me is how a simple change of perspective makes it easy to spot ways we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. This is the power of metaphor – thinking about something you don’t know very well in terms of something you do know well.
True success is a function of helping others achieve success for themselves. That’s a fast-track to achieving our full potential.
Would you change or add to this list?