Last March, a Gallup poll revealed that only 34.1% of US workers consider themselves “engaged” in their jobs. That’s one in three! Take a quick look around your team — if you’re overseeing six people, there’s a good chance that two of them would have identified as disengaged on the survey.
What might disengaged behavior look like?
- Quality of work has gone down
- Attendance is suffering
- Less engaged in meetings or conversations
- No longer taking initiative for new projects
- Quietly sabotaging or undermining the work of others
- Negative talk about project
- Work is turned in late, or ignored
If you recognize any of these signs in your employees — either as a long-term problem or as infrequent behaviors — they’re probably disengaged.
What can you do about it?
Getting to the root of disengagement
First, it’s important to understand why a particular employee has become disengaged. It could be an internal issue, such is a problem with their home life or health — or, it could be an external issue with the job itself.
There isn’t much you can do for the former besides offer support, but you can take steps to fix the latter.
- They may simply be burned out on the job, and need some time away.
- They may disagree with the direction the team is going, and need to feel their voice has been heard.
- They may dislike the work they’ve been assigned, and need to switch gears.
- They may have an interpersonal conflict with a coworker, and need to work through it.
Promoting engagement among all your employees.
Regardless of why your employee is disengaged, there are some things you can do to promote engagement among all of your employees.