A Letter from an Engaged Employee
Think about your job. Why do you show up every day? For the paycheck? So you don’t get fired? Because it’s one of those things you just have to do? Now imagine that same job – except that you have no set hours, guaranteed job security, and the autonomy to determine most of your own responsibilities. Would you still be at work every day?
I have a job like that, and I do work every day. Sometimes until midnight, or at absurdly early hours of the morning. I show up at work at 9:30 am every Saturday, without fail, completely by choice. Why do I do those things? Because I love my job. Or, as we might say, I’m engaged!
When I’m not working at EmployInsight, I double as the coordinator for my university’s undergraduate admissions visit program. That means managing approximately 130 volunteer student tour guides, arranging classroom and overnight visits for prospective students, interviewing, selecting, and training between fifty and one hundred new volunteers a semester, overseeing thirty information sessions and tours a week, and, in my case, restructuring the entire program to increase its success.
This is a job that never ends. Whenever I have a free moment, I go into the office. The official email account is permanently open on my laptop with notifications enabled and connected to my cell phone so I get every email right away no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I work extensive hours on nights and weekends and don’t get overtime pay for doing so. But I don’t have to do any of those things.
I choose my own hours – there’s no minimum number, and no time that I’m ever required to be there or working. I’ll hold this job for exactly a year, during which time I can’t get fired, and after which I will be ineligible to reapply. I work with minimal supervision, and the large majority of the work I do is work I have created for myself to improve the program, rather than work that I am specifically required to do by contract. And while I do get paid by the hour, I would happily do it for free if I didn’t need the income.
Now imagine what would happen if every employee at your company loved their job as much as I love mine. If they were willing to put in extra time and do extra work, just for the sake of improving the company. If they didn’t mind staying at night or coming in on the weekends to get things done. If they actually looked forward to going to the office and enjoyed all of the time they spent there.
This might sound like a fantasy world, but if you hire for engagement it doesn’t have to be. Somewhere out there, there is a person who would love the position you are trying to fill. All you have to do is find them.
Jennifer Titche is EmployInsight’s community outreach specialist and is interested in the people part of business and human resources. She believes in making personal connections whenever possible, doing what you love, and never settling for anything but the best.
Photo Credit: flickr/William Arthur Fine Stationary