“This position is a great fit; I can’t wait to start.”

“How do you know?”

“From my research. I networked deep into the organization, was able to spend a day visiting, and even talked to alumni. In those meetings I focused on five specific criteria; expectations of me, how they will utilize my strengths, their plan for my development, how my voice will be heard, and the alignment of my mission and purpose.”

The five elements are directly from Gallup’s Wellbeing at Work Study. Gallup identified these as the highest priority engagement elements for the workforce. The question in a transition is: “What do you look for in each of these elements?” Below are considerations for anyone in a transition to consider.

Think about taking some time to write questions that will allow you to discover the truth as you conduct your search. Information meetings, interviews, visits, and research will present opportunities to reveal the answers.

According to Gallup less than 50% of the workforce knows what is expected of them. What does that mean for you in your search? Maybe seeking out how closely the position description matches the actual requirements. Talking with your prospective boss, individuals in the actual or similar positions. Possibly networking with alumni of the organization. All are ways to drill down on your roles, responsibilities, and limits of authority.

Less than one third of the workforce surveyed agreed that they use their strengths every day. My first question for you is; what are your strengths? Next question; what does it look like for you to use those strengths? Understanding not only what they are but how you use them is critical knowledge. If building relationships is a key strength, is that in a remote environment or in person? What kind of input will you have in shaping how you will utilize those strengths in this position?

Gallup’s data emphasizes the importance of development in the mindset of millennials, the largest population in the workforce. Individuals want to be developed and they want to know someone personally cares about their development.

I coach in organizations that assign high potentials a coach, a mentor, and a sponsor. That is a focus on development. What do you need to progress and how will you be supported; more education, training, certifications, credentials?

Being Heard
Less than 25% of those surveyed feel their opinions are valued in the workplace. Everyone wants to be heard. What kind of access to leadership will you have, at what frequency, and will your input be acted on or ignored? Being listened to equals being respected. What is the culture of respect and listening at the organization you are examining? This can be a very easy element to research.

Mission and Purpose
Ninety percent of individuals in the workplace have a mission and/or purpose important to them. Yet only one third feel their personal mission and purpose aligns with their organization. Yikes! Think about what you value most. If those values could be fulfilled in your profession every day, what would be the impact on your life?

Work might not feel like work.

Consider developing a question bank and methodology to reveal the answers for each element. This is more than simply getting answers to questions; it is building insight into an organization. Keep these five elements top of mind as a guide and add it to your decision criteria as you search for what is next.