Disengaged employees can be a cause for concern for any business for a multitude of reasons. However, just because an employee is disengaged it doesn’t mean that they are worthless. Sometimes fixes for disengaged employees means adjusting the employee experience and identifying the issues to get the most out of your investment in them while getting them to invest in you.
Here at Engagement Multiplier, we’ve identified five different issues that arise within a company that have led to disengaged employees. Keep reading for drivers and fixes for disengaged employees.
Underperforming employees (because they’re confused)
One mark of poor communication is a staff of confused employees who aren’t quite sure what they should be doing. This happens more often than you think (and too often, you think they know what they’re doing when they don’t). We’ve seen a number of employees report that their leaders haven’t communicated job expectations clearly enough – or that their job expectations change unexpectedly, leaving the original job description in the dust and leaving the employee confused. Change without communication causes disengagement.
The engagement fix: Employees can’t be productive if they don’t know what they’re doing (or why they’re doing it). And, if they signed up for a job description they knew they’d be great at, and it changes drastically without consultation or notice, it’s frankly unreasonable to expect them to do their best work. Both issues can be repaired with better communication. But take care. Employees might feel embarrassed or worry about their job security if they voice their confusion, or discomfort, about their tasks. Having an anonymous outlet for questions and concerns can be the first step in alerting you to potential problems.
Underperforming employees (because they don’t care)
Some people just don’t want to engage. They want to go to work, put in minimal time and effort, collect their paycheck, and go home. They don’t really want to work for you – and to be honest, you really don’t want them to either because, as research has proven, employee engagement matters to your bottom line.
The engagement fix: One of the great benefits that Engagement Multiplier clients derive is that as their company’s become more engaged, the disengaged employees who couldn’t care less do one of two things. They either buck their ideas up, get with the program, and become as engaged as the rest of the organization – or they take their disengagement elsewhere. Losing a disengaged employee is really no loss. As Simon Sinek famously said, “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can teach skills”.
Hiring the wrong people in the first place
Hey, it’s happened to the best of us. You found someone you think would be a great fit and they just weren’t! Their disengagement may not be an attitude problem as much as simply not connecting to your mission.
The engagement fix: Just like Engagement Multiplier, many of our clients have developed processes and strategies to test potential employees’ levels of engagement and alignment with their Purpose before making a hiring mistake. It’s a wonderful cost, time, and frustration saver! (Our secret to hiring? Kolbe assessments.)
Getting bypassed by top talent
Competition is fierce, and not just for job-seekers. Attracting top talent is one of the greatest challenges of fast-growing, forward-thinking companies.
The engagement fix: In the Forbes article “How to Attract Top Talent That Will Stick Around,” the secret is not to recruit, but attract: “You don’t have to be a company like Google to make this happen. You just have to create a workplace that people would enjoy working in and have a magnetic employment brand. . . . Capturing their hearts and minds and having them yearn to be a part of what you are doing is priceless.” Nothing is more attractive than an Engaged organization, especially to Millennial applicants. Millennials, more than previous generations, expect to have meaningful input on their companies, receive recognition, and work in a transparent, supportive environment.
Inability to keep your best people
If your employees aren’t excited about your purpose and don’t feel connected to your company or their coworkers, there’s not a lot to keep them in their roles. Sure, you can offer raises and promotions, but if a better offer comes along (and for the top talent, it will), your best people are only as good as your last incentive.
The engagement fix: It’s statistically proven, that most people aren’t primarily motivated by money (in fact, I recently heard that most employees would rather see their manager fired than take a pay raise!). It’s important to realize that disengagement stems from other causes. Most people would rather have recognition for doing their job well, a work environment filled with supportive coworkers, and a feeling of connection with a purpose larger than they are. In the words of our own Marketing Manager, Ashleigh Brown, “It’s rare to care so much about what you do, who you work for, and who you help. But, if we do our jobs right at Engagement Multiplier, maybe that won’t be so rare for too much longer.”
So, there you have it. Five of the most common personnel problems that every business owner would like to avoid, all solved with simple solutions. The common thread: ENGAGEMENT.
Ask yourself, how many of these problems have I already encountered in my business? How many are taking up my time and resources right now, or how many am I going to have to deal with in the future?
To simplify it still further, and going back to the previous blog post about eliminating personnel issues, ask yourself ‘how many of my employees are going to be sitting on the train talking about how your company doesn’t listen to them?’
But one final question. How do you know that’s not what they’re doing? To find out more about how Engagement Multiplier enables you to overcome these issues and provide you with a bonnet-up view understanding of your business, learn about our employee engagement strategy, or reach out today.