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  • Writer's pictureMark Samuel

Disengaged Employees? The Real Problem Will Surprise You

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Every company wants to have engaged employees. These workers are vital to your business, and they often adopt your company’s values, purpose, and vision. As a result, they make stunning colleagues, innovating problem solvers, and passionate contributors.

Group at table discussing work

Unfortunately, disengaged employees have the opposite attitude. If you have these disengaged employees, you want to know the real problems. Those causes will often surprise you.

5 Real Reasons for Disengagement

According to Gallup, more employees are disengaged from their work. You could categorize these employees into three different groups: engaged, not engaged, or actively disengaged. There is a clear line between engaged and disengaged employees. However, the silent majority of not engaged employees are part of the workforce and can blend in between those two groups.

Disengaged employees can be easily identified with low energy, bad attitude, absenteeism, and lack of enthusiasm. As a company owner or manager, disengagement is a serious problem. Here are some of the surprising reasons for these levels of employee disengagement.

No Initiatives

You might think that poor work output is a clear sign of disengagement, but that is not always the case. In many cases, the employee can feel disconnected but still perform well. Often that is due to their personal work ethic, or they might not feel challenged by the work. So if your employees are still producing high-quality work, don’t be fooled. They could still be disengaged at the workplace.

If you want to know if your employees are disengaged, look at their motivation. You might want to move your employees into different roles for the day. It also could be beneficial to plan outside activities for your staff. Any employee that does not participate might be disengaged.

Unhealthy Activities

You might notice that some of your employees have bad habits. Do your employees scramble to head off to a break? While some workers are just tired or hungry, employees overindulge in these unhealthy behaviors to fill the void in their professional lives. A person who is genuinely motivated will be fulfilled by their professional lives. They might be so focused on their work that they don’t notice it is time for a break or lunch.

Silence Can Be a Problem

Today, many people identify as introverts. They need their own space to feel recharged. However, if you have reasons to celebrate success at work and few employees show excitement, that is an issue with engagement.

Lack of Motivation and Learning

Do your employees have zero interest in your company? That would be a sign of disengagement. Along with that, you might notice that your employees don’t want to learn more about their roles. When you have curious employees, they can grow into those bigger roles.

A high level of work motivation is directly tied to engagement. As a company, you want to encourage growth and learning. Make them a part of your company’s values. If your employees don’t share your company’s level of enthusiasm, it might be time to check out those engagement levels.

Wasted Weekends

When your employees are disengaged, it can affect other areas of their lives. If your workers are spending the weekends “recovering” from the workweek – that is a bad sign. Engagement employers are more likely to pursue their passions and hobbies during those off-hours.

Why is Engaging Your Employees Important?

You should think of your company as a game. All of your players (employees) should know the rules and have the tools to win. By setting key objectives and goals, you can assist your employees for the win. It is vital to keep your customers and employees energetic and loyal. As a result, the players should love the game and strive for a successful outcome.

Disengaged employees are the result of poor management for the leadership. If their ideas and goals are not aligned with their strengths, you have workers who don’t care.

Forbes found out that employees want to use their strengths in the workplace. You need to find those roles where you can play to those strengths. For example, a quiet creative worker won’t do well in the fast-paced world of sales. As a leader, you should know what will work for your workers. If they are struggling, then find ways to help them succeed in their position.

Some companies just lack a value or purpose. They might have a set of values for the company, but those ideals are not a part of the company culture in many cases. You should think of your leaders like a head coach. They should inspire their employees to win by reaching for a larger purpose.

How to Help Re-Engage Your Employees

There are plenty of reasons for employee disengagement. In many cases, poor employee engagement lies in the hands of the leadership and management. A management strategy change can help to clearly define those values and purposes. With that, you can create a work culture that values your employees.

When you need to find the reasons for disengagement, your managers must ask those critical questions. You should discover what motivates your employees and what they want from their jobs. One great strategy is to ask employees to share their goals and ideas for the company.

When you implement those ideas, you can share the individual goals and triumphs with the whole company. Let your employees know that they are a vital part of the culture.

In the workplace, open communication and feedback is an excellent way to engage your workers. If any issues are leading to disengagement, you can quickly help resolve any problems. When your workers trust the leadership and management, they will be more willing to ask for help and be forthcoming with their ideas.


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