Managing Your Business Like A Professional

What To Do About Disengaged Employees

by Sherri Robinson

The quality of your workforce plays a critical role in determining the success of your company. An employee that is engaged in his or her work will not only be productive, their passion for the position will lead to innovative ideas and creative solutions for problems that your company may be facing.

Disengaged employees have the potential to reduce workplace efficiency and even sabotage major work projects through their lack of interest. Recent reports show that 67% of American workers are disengaged, making the management of these employees a critical issue for managers.

How to Spot a Disengaged Employee

To begin addressing an employee's disengagement, you need to identify which individuals in your workforce are no longer passionate about their job. Some of the more common signs of disengagement can include a failure to offer opinions or insight during meetings, increased absenteeism, and isolation from co-workers.

A disengaged employee can have a negative effect on the culture that exists within your office. The last thing you want is for a few disengaged employees to bring others down, so pay close attention to each of your employees so that you can spot disengagement early.

Degrees of Disengagement

It's important to recognize that disengagement isn't a binary choice. There are varying levels of disengagement that can affect employees. Some workers may continue to perform, but lack a connection to your company's overall mission.

You may be tempted to overlook these employees because they are still performing at acceptable levels, but the potential for one of these employees to be lured away by another company is high. Addressing all disengagement (from moderate to severe) will allow you to retain talented employees over time.

Simple Ways to Address Disengagement

You can easily implement a few changes in your management strategy to reduce employee disengagement. Start by establishing an open line of communication with your workforce. Collect feedback from your employees and making adjustments where feasible to improve morale.

You should also provide your employees with an opportunity to grow. Encouraging talent development in your employees will benefit your company in the long run by giving you a qualified pool of candidates to choose from when making promotions or filling leadership roles.

It can also be helpful to recognize employees for going above and beyond the bare minimum in performing job-related tasks. Recognition helps employees feel appreciated, which can increase engagement and re-ignite the passion of disengaged employees.