What makes our clients want to do business with us over and over again? What makes others say things like, “Who wouldn’t love working with creative geniuses” and describe us as “… high-energy people excited to be creating great learning experiences?”
Is work supposed to make us happy? As a human resources manager, I have asked employees, “Why are you working here? You seem so unhappy”. In past jobs I have asked myself, “Why are you working here? You seem so unhappy.”
Invigorated. Confident. Challenged. Joyful. Connected. These are the words used to describe a fully engaged employee by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their book, “The Power of Full Engagement.” I certainly have no expectation of being invigorated and joyful every minute, since my job has elements I don’t find invigorating and joyous, but overall, I am living out those five adjectives at work. I am fully engaged. Why?
From 1994 to 2002, I was a stay-at-home Mom to my three rambunctious, delightful, intelligent and mischievous boys. Prior to 1994, when I took what Harvard Business Review calls an off-ramp out of the salaried world of work to be home with newborn boy number one, I worked in the cosmetics industry as a national sales trainer. Along with my co-workers, I often joked that what we were doing was not brain surgery.
When I took an on-ramp back into the workforce in 2002, I had a brand new master’s degree in human resources management and went to work as a recruiter, then as an HR manager in the medical-device industry—where they really do help with brain surgery! I transferred to sales, then back to HR, then back to sales again, with three different companies within the medical- device industry. I was looking for that fully engaged state that Loehr and Swartz describe.
In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink asserts that autonomy, mastery and purpose are the three factors which motivate employees in their work. In my job as Ambassador at Maestro, I have the autonomy to begin projects with terrific clients from many different industries. I am passionate about the importance of education and engagement levels for employees. I love that Maestro’s purpose is to help companies and organizations build training programs that help maximize their investments in employee potential.
When good work happens to good people, engagement is the result. I’m proud to be part of a start-up company that has been named one of 50 to watch in our state. Though I’m not certain this happens for everyone, I’m pleased to report that for me, my job is fun, and that yes, it even makes me happy.