An employee’s dissatisfaction at work isn’t an isolated factor; it could be related to negative feelings about management, the work environment or their compensation. Regardless of the reason, an unhappy employee will have less loyalty to the company and those feelings can have an impact on others in the organization too. This is why you must take the time to get to know your employees, keep an eye out for these red flags that come with a potentially disengaged employee and fix the situation.
If an employee was once eager to come up with new ideas or develop better ways of doing things and now no longer does, it might be a sign that they’re becoming disengaged. Curiosity and innovation are good signs that an employee cares about the bigger picture. Losing that passion and providing little to no feedback shows an employee is starting to withdraw, making them one step closer to walking out the door.
How to Fix It: At an organizational level, your company should be encouraging learning and growth. You’ll want to make sure that any ideas that come from your employees aren’t overlooked or ignored as that will lessen the chances of them coming forward with those thoughts in the future. If this is a current issue, schedule some one-on-one time with the employee where they can discuss their ideas or concerns.
Engaged employees will actively look and ask for new responsibilities and challenges. If you see that an employee is working to simply get through the day or avoiding new tasks or training opportunities, engagement may be slipping.
How to Fix It: Once again, a conversation with the employee can go a long way. You should try to understand the meaning behind their actions. It may not always be disengagement; they may want to take on different types tasks or they may simply be overwhelmed. Mentoring employees and developing meaningful relationships will improve communication and engagement going forward.
If an employee who used to stop by your office for small talk now only interacts when it relates to a project, then they may no longer feel the connection they once had. An employee that becomes suddenly withdrawn, comes with a high risk that they are becoming disengaged. However, some employees are naturally quiet, so make sure you take that into account.
How to Fix It: This detachment can be a result of an issue with management, another co-worker or something completely separate from work. Be proactive in engaging with employees and getting to know them a little better.
You won’t be able to keep all of your employees engaged all of the time. But you can take measures to lessen the chances. By ensuring that employees clearly understand your organization’s purpose—including its mission, goals, and values—and how they support that purpose. People want to feel that their work matters. When they see that their efforts are crucial to their employers’ success, they will feel more committed to perform.
Learn more about how to manage employee engagement here!