Work-inspired Reflection, the second form measured in the study, identifies the degree to which our work inspires us to reflect, and the manner in which we engage in that activity. Do we use our daily job experiences to learn more about our strengths and weaknesses, for example? Do we exhibit our values and convictions when they are challenged by an event at work or by a person with whom we interact? Do we use both positive and negative work experiences to learn and grow, or do we shut down reflection when things aren’t going as planned?
The study team uncovered several important facts related to reflection and the use of passions at work. The first and most significant finding is: work-inspired reflection is the best predictor of affiliation to work and the engagement that accompanies it. The researchers found that as reflection levels increased among employees, so did their degree of engagement.
However, the data revealed that the reverse is also true. When employee reflection levels were low, or there was insufficient focus on reflection within the workplace, engagement dropped. Similarly, limiting the opportunities for employees to apply their true passions at work resulted in the same decrease in engagement. Analysis revealed that as a respondent’s level of passion increased, so did their likelihood of demonstrating that passion at work. When that person was also highly reflective, it drove up their work affiliation score, a direct measure of engagement on the job. The results indicate that passion, reflective capacity and workplace engagement are intimately connected, while highlighting the importance of providing an outlet for employee passions at work.
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