A disengaged employee is not necessarily a bad employee, there are ways that you can bring them back from the brink…
Disengagement at work is a worldwide phenomenon and reports have previously shown that around a quarter of all workers in the UK are actively disengaged at work. But what does disengagement at work actually look like?
Signs of employee disengagement
Employees that are disengaged at work have no emotional commitment to the organisation that they are working for and have little to no passion for their work. These can manifest themselves in a number of ways including:
- Standard and quality of work sees a dramatic decrease
- Significant rise in sick days
- Missing important deadlines
- Withdrawal from team meetings or social encounters
- Avoidance of responsibility
How can you re-engage a disengaged employee?
Talk to employees
Although a number of the signs mentioned above can be a result of employee disengagement there are also a lot of other factors that could be contributing. Talking to the employee to get to the root of the problems can go a long way in solving them. Not only will your employee feel valued, it gives you the opportunity to put active solutions in place if there is anything that they are specifically struggling with. Maybe they have had a recent family grievance and would benefit from some flexible working hours. For disengaged employees, raising concerns with them directly will give you a chance to tackle the problem head-on and collaboratively come up with ways to motivate them.
A big reason that most employees feel disengaged at work is because they feel that their efforts are going unnoticed, they may begin to identify that no matter how hard they work, there is never any reward or gratitude and therefore the desire to work hard can quickly dwindle. Having processes in place to reward work achievements and show gratitude to dedicated employees can help to keep them engaged but also encourage disengaged employees to become more active within the organisation.
Motivating disengaged employees doesn’t have to involve delving deep into your budget to increase salaries, and most of the time a pay rise won’t actually have any long term benefits for disengaged employees. Giving your employees the opportunity to have more control over their working schedule and arrangements can quickly help to boost morale. Studies have found that employees who have more flexibility with their time are happier and more productive as it portrays a sense of trust between employee and employer.
Invest in career development
Employees who feel that they are stuck in a dead-end role will quickly become disengaged and even look to leave the organisation. Highlighting career development and training as a priority within a business is a quick way to demonstrate that you want to help facilitate your employees’ professional progression. Holding meetings to identify the next steps for your employees and available training to develop their skill set will allow them to view themselves in the bigger picture of the organisation and give them something to work towards.
Disengaged employees can be re-engaged through a range of different methods, usually an employee is disengaged for a number of specific reasons. By identifying the cause of their disengagement you can put practical solutions in place to help them to feel happier within the workplace and begin to motivate them again.